It went to Russia.
Pravda is offering an entertaining insight into just what Russians consider must-haves for the forthcoming century – a list which naturally includes flying cars, cheap space travel and the elixir of eternal youth.
A poll by the Russian National Centre for Public Opinion Studies asked the unwashed masses what they considered the most important advance of the last 100 years, and what was on their wishlist for the next 100.
Space travel topped mankind’s achievement last century, while the computer attracted 14 per cent of the vote. Mobile phones, TV and the internet scored eight per cent each.
Fourteen percent want to see space flights available to everybody (11% hope it’s light speed, too) and thirteen percent would like flying cars. Only 3% want teleportation? You and your flying cars. If we had teleporters we wouldn’t need so much in the way of fuels. Unless those flying cars can run on garbage or something and somehow poop out clean air instead of exhaust in the process. 34% of people polled hoped for an alternative fuel.
16% want decent Artificial Intelligence – well, you’d need it to keep all those flying cars from crashing into one another, wouldn’t you? Or for emergency brakes in case one falls from several feet up when the user forgets to put it in park before getting out at his top floor flat. That’d put a real crimp in window shopping.
Immortality or some youth elixir had 6% interest, as did perpetuum mobile. You know, I watched a movie once where a carousel worked like a youth elixir, turning a life back from 60 to 5 or so in the span of a few minutes. It worked the other way, too. It was in the movie The Thief Lord, based on a book by Cornelia Funke with the same name. Show’s not bad, but the book’s better.
7% of those polled actually want to know what people are thinking. I used to think mind-reading could be cool, but it’s only cool if a person can shut it off when not needing it. Imagine having to hear the thoughts of everyone around you every moment of the day! I hope you’ll enjoy your extended stay at the Rubber Room Hotel.
21% hope we’ll have all the medicines required to end disease and 33% want to see bioartificial organs – well, maybe not see per se, but know they’re around in case of need.
Only 5% want to see a workable time machine and now that I’ve watched more Doctor Who, I think the TARDIS is supercool. Should everyone have the ability to move through time though? No. Imagine the chaos of a thousand people bouncing back and forth to get autographs and stop stars from getting killed or help despots get killed in the crib or play the stock market in the weeks before it all crashed or get lotto numbers the day after and go back to play them (saw a short story once with that as its plot – it didn’t end well).
Looks like 0% asked for some sort of end to war, famine and poverty. 0% were interested in affordable housing for everyone. 0% interested in a living wage. 0% interested in an end to racism and religious tyranny and prosecution.
Although maybe they just weren’t asked.
Interesting results, at any rate.