An occasional e-zine by Robert Muratore
Over 400 hours could be spent pleasurably watching the entire Star Trek canon:
A typical college course lasts 15 weeks, meets 3 hours per week and requires an additional 6 hours per week of study. So watching Star Trek is equivalent to about 2 college courses, timewise. Aside from the time factor, there is another similarity between this show and a college course: both encourage daydreaming.
What a relief! Not only is watching Star Trek fun, but you might as well consider that you have earned some credit for it. But what collegiate department would award these credits?
Not a science department! After all, Star Trek is more about drama than science. However, its setting relies upon much of the traditional trappings of science fiction: that is, some future in which the technology is different. We might as well call historical dramas "science fiction", because there also do we find a different setting due in large part to the technology. Still, it is the future possibilities of science that often tickle our technological hearts, so focusing on that we call many future-set dramas, including Star Trek, "science fiction".
Much of the technology portrayed in Star Trek is more current than many people might realize. The technical consultants and designers of Star Trek have often anticipated technology by a couple of years rather than centuries, or have followed an existing technology that is not well known outside of certain labs. Knowledge that a thing might exist in four centuries and knowledge that a thing exists now inspire different dreams. It is the latter dream that I wish to nurture in this planned series of hypertext columns, through descriptions of how these things work or of the principles behind them.
Has it been done before? Sure! Here are some excellent examples:
OK, so how is this cyberspace column different?
It may come as a surprise to you (it did to me) that:
Bumping into a large piece of equipment can be startling, and brings to mind the Zen command "Be here, now!" I suppose that I would like to show in this hypercolumn that much of what we look toward in the future is at hand, and indeed, underfoot.