|Something of the week|
Here is another story I wrote in school, this time in College back in May 1997. I don't recall the exact topic but something along of the lines of writing about what the future would be like using references from articles. All the items in parenthesis refer to the works sited on the bottom. Most of the urls are now gone.
“Welcome to New Boston, the ‘Hub’ as it was original called. Originally known for its use as a seaport and for its seafood and beans, is now the city of the newest technology. Ever since the state of California was divided into the Isles of California (Sertorius) and Japan was rocked by the two earthquakes of 2034 and 2037, each of which equaled the Kobe’s 6.9 in 1995 (EQE), the city has been growing with technology in mind. Now the city is teeming with the newest gadgets and gismos. This city has been used as a model for other cities around the world…”
I stare at the new city in awe, letting the tour guide just ramble on as I look at the splendid site. The city is beautiful, so full of happy life. There are no skyscrapers, not even streets. There is still low-key building but are mush more spaced out in comparison to other cities I’ve visited. I can see the people strolling casually on the small paths in the vast expanse of grass.
“As you likely noted, the city has larger packs then most cities. In the late 1990’s the city adopted the Boston 2000 Plan. A group effort by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, MoveMass 2000, and the then existing Central Artery/Tunnel Project ‘to create parks and low-rise buildings’” (CA/T)
I search thought the tour schedule looking for the time when we would be able to walk around in the city, away from the tour bus I am in. I see that at 14 o’clock there is going to be a two-hour lunch break. Looking at my time counter I see that it is half pass 12, one and a half more hours to go. I am quite eager to stroll the parks.
“We are now going to enter the Pimental Express way, so please sit and engage the restraints.”
I turned away from the windows an hit the button on the arm rest labeled "restraint". I feel a small tingling sensation and then a small, constant ouch, forcing me against the seat. I look out the windows and see a small tunnel about the size of the bus. As we enter, I feel the force of sudden acceleration. Looking out the window I can see nothing but blackness. After a few seconds of forward movements and occasional quick turns, we emerge from the tunnel, we slowly decrease speed.
Once back to a slow, steady speed, I release my restraint and look at the other passengers. Some where puzzled, as am I, on what just occurred; others were calm, they have obviously done this before. I watched as the tour guide got up from his seat and walked to the platform…
“People, what you just experienced is the solution the engineers came up with to solve the terrible traffic congestion. The tunnel was designed to work just like a particle accelerator or synchrotron (forward,34). As the tour bus approaches the entrance, we output a positive charge. The bus must reach a speed of 40 km/min in order to break through the tunnel’s positive charge. Once inside the positive-positive repeal of the tunnel and the bus keeps us from smacking into the walls. At this time the radio-frequency oscillators kick in causing us to accelerate. As we reach a turn the magnetic fields curves us to the right tunnels. Because of the speed in the tunnel, the destination must be entered before entering. Sorry, no free flying in there”
“If you can look to your left you can see the new recyc. building created just yesterday to replace the older one. The building is the first joint effort between the standard Fractal Shape Changing Robots (FSCR) and the new, just released nanobots.”
“The FSCR have done most of landscaping in Boston since the time they have been invented in 2053. These robots can range from sub millimeter to as large as necessary. As Joe Michael said in the late 1990’s, the these FSCR ‘have self repair capabilities built in, they are fractal… they are also capable of 100% automation… and they are also capable of self assembly.’ They are called Fractal Shape Changing because they work the same way in small scales are large ones. (Michael)
“But just two years ago, in 2095, the first nanobot was made. Similar to FSCR’s but can exist at mush smaller sizes, ranging of about a billionth of a meter (Smalley). Because nanobots are relatively new they are still in the experimental phase. Yesterday was the first experiment of the two robots; and as you can see, it seems successful. A breakthrough of modern technology.
I’m staring at the new building trying to imagine the sight of the huge building built atom by atom in one day. I would love to see that! I also note that there were only a few people around the building. Inquisitively I ask the guide.
“Well, because it’s the first of its kind there is an on going investigation of how sound the structure is and to confirm that all the bots were collected. The results look very promising. If you like, I can upload you some information on the project.”
“I would appreciate it, thank you,” I said.
“If you would please look to the right, you can see the famous Ball University named after Dr. Ball, the inventor of the first practical use of antimatter for power. This school is the successor of MIT, the leading technological school of the past century. Each class has a direct connection to the vast amount of organized information of the Interworldnet and to the older Internet. There are also holographic sessions with the actual people in the field of their study. Each student also has their own compad to allow them to do their homework. I was impressed about one their policies: ‘If the [home]work isn’t received at school by a certain time that evening, a warning message is sent to the students home computer’ (Carter,3). As a parent myself, I liked this idea because my son had the tendency to save the work to the last moment.”
I can remember during my own schooling, my uncanny ability to procrastinate. I found out that hard way. I can remember my one of my closes in which I had to write a final report and two rewrites of previous essays on the same day. Of course I couldn’t, Oh well.
As the guide rambled in about the school; when we can up to a gigantic structure. It appeared to be a very long series of tubes and cables that stretched into the sky as far as the eye can see. As the guild was finishing his stories of his college days at Ball school, he notes my shocked expression of this structure.
“Ah yes. This here is the space lift. The 22,000 miles of cable and tubes (Pearson, 42) leading to the space station Freedom 2. I’m surprised that you are so shocked. I bet you didn’t realized that it was that massive.”
“This lift was first created in 2085 and is made-up of pure Kelmerk, the currently strongest substance ever created. It has completely revolutionized that space program. Before the lift, the world has to use solid-fuel rockets and the expensive spaces shuttle of the 1990’s. The lift has allowed us to send bulk supplies cheaply to Freedom 2. The lift takes about four hours each way and now is allowing private persons rides to the station. There are even plans for hotels in the near future.”
Looking at my time counter I note that the lunch break is coming up. I wanted to ask one other question, which I thought, was important and seemingly missing: “Excuse me, where does all the electrical power to run all of these things?”
“Antimatter. With the development of efficient antimatter reaction plants located several meters underground. The plant has the ability to generate 2000 GeV a day of pure, clean power. If anyone would like to know, “Then an antiproton and a proton annihilate, nearly 2 GeV of energy are released” (Forward, 34). The antimatter used is created on one of the outer compartments of Freedom 2 by using solar power and the space tethers rotating around the earth which conducted electricity from the earth’s magnetic field.” (Pearson, 47).
“OK, I see that it is about time to have our lunch so please restraint yourselves in your chairs again, we are going back though the express way.”
I sit in my chair and restricted myself as we approach the tunnel. As the bus is traveling in the tunnel, I start feeling a nudge. At first I thought the restraint was giving or malfunctioning but it was continuing even after we left the tunnel. As the bus was landing, the world around me started to fade.
I then found myself in my bed. My mother was trying to wake me up for school.
CA/T “When We’re Done” Internet web page at http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/bigdig/future.htm
Carter, Charlotte … “Computers in the Classroom of the Future” Technos Quarterly Internet web page
EQE “Can it Happen Elsewhere?” Summary Report Internet web page at http://www.eqe.com/publication/kobe/conclusi.htm
“Similarities Between Kobe and the San Franciso Bay Area” Summary Report Internet web page at http://www.eqe.com/publication/kobe/conclusi/conclbar.htm
Forward, Robert L. “A matter of Antimatter” 1994 Science and the Future 28-45
Michael, Joe “Introduction to Fractal Shape Changing Robots” Internet web page at http://www.stellar.demon.co.uk/#introduction
Pearson, Jerome “Press ‘Up’ for Space” 1991 Science and the Future 42-55
Sartorius, Lawrence and Michael “The New Earth” Internet web page at http://www.islandnet.com/~arton/newerth2.html
Smalley, Rich “Nanotechnology and the Next 50 Years” Internet web page at http://cnst.rice.edu/dallas12-96.html
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