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I guess it's sunk cost. No need to torture myself over what are effectively phantasms.

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Tech I Can't Stand

Yes, the future is waiting for us in the future. It will be awesome, or terrifying, or both!  But damn it, some tech advances are a lot further away from us that we like to believe. So much so that near-future games tend to show of tech that, if it actually existed, would somehow be much more advanced than you'd think they could be, and some tech could probably solve in-game problems if properly repurposed.

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  • OK... I'm not too keen on getting too detailed, but if one's definition of holograms is that of a truly three-dimensional image made of light, then we have problems. You notice in movies and TV, how if the camera isn't directly looking at a screen showing someone's face, how they'll often turn the face slightly to make it look like they're facing the person they're talking to? With current tech, the person would, from any angle, seem to be facing off to the side. A two-dimensional image doesn't become 3D on its own. You need things like 3D glasses to be able to make things pop out, and that's basically because it takes a single image and splits it into two slightly different ones, creating the illusion of three dimensions. A free-standing image would need to do that for all observers in order to have the illusion of depth, but then when you move just slightly to the side, you would still see the same image, because the image can't intelligently know where all observers are in the room and constantly update the image to make sure it looks like you're spinning it around. So, I mean, I love holograms in movies and TV. I think they're fun. But they're not on the horizon. The best we can do right now is like with the 3D glasses, and I think THAT is how we'll get those sorts of images: in virtual space. If you have modded reality, like through glasses or implants or whatever, then you can have all kinds of fun hallucinations. But for the rest of us, this sort of thing will require a quantum leap in technology. Cue music.

  • The Convenience Drive. That whole neutrino thing that was recently in the news may come down to the scientists not taking into account the rotation of the Earth. Neutrinos are nearly massless, so they can approach the speed of light much easier than a many-ton starship could, but they still will have to break some rules to go faster than light with physics as we understand it. Look, just like with holograms I WANT to see these sorts of things. I'd love to, in my lifetime, take a starship to another star and see the planets around it. I'd love to at least know definitively that there's extra-terrestrial life in the universe through first-hand experience, assuming they weren't trying to swallow my soul. But we're sort of stuck with the rules of space and time, and that means huge barriers to travel. As you accelerate toward the speed of light, time dilates such that, from the planet you left, time seems to slow down. This means you might not die of old age before you reach orbit around a distant star, if you can accelerate fast enough (and this will take unbelievable amounts of energy). But the time it takes, no matter what velocity you might attain, will still be more than it would take for light to get there, in years. And the more massive a vessel you're riding, the harder it is to get it going fast because mass itself acts as a sort of space-time slow-down, with each unit of mass effectively becoming more massive the faster you go. If we somehow learn to break the light barrier it will, strangely enough, maybe come through goofy, and purely theoretical, stuff like warping space, tachyonic energy (stuff that goes so fast that it might travel back in time), or the analogous negative energy, the kind of stuff that would be needed to maintain wormholes for more than a quantum instant. So... here's hoping, but for now invest in SETI and probes.