It Would Be Nice If

Everyone has their own wish list of things that would be nice if only they existed.

This is a place to add your dream/wish and hope someone can make it come true.

Things to wish upon a star for:

MolecularNanoTechnology, Coast to Coast High Speed Rail, WorldPeace?, CyberPunk style CyberSpace, FasterThanLight? travel, StarTrekTransporters?, SpaceElevator, AnonymousEmoney, DevelopmentTools, FullEmployment?, The End of Poverty, Sickness and Crime ...

A portable, free Integrated Development Environment for the SchemeLanguage with a GUI builder based on a layout mechanism, a good object system, efficient native-code compiler that produces as good code as a C or Fortran compiler, and a built-in editor that is as configurable as Emacs. Which becomes widely used and acceptable in the RealWorld.


You should be careful what you wish for. All of the above list have serious downsides. -- SunirShah

What down sides? <optimist>Everything can be used badly but on the whole people tend to do good with what they get </optimist> -- AndrewMcMeikan

This reminds me very much of a certain thing called, "oh what's the name, ah. Wiki" -- MatthewTheobalds

Unbounded wealth (ie, brought about by MolecularNanoTechnology or things close to it) has its downsides. If you look at any war, you'll see they were started on upswings of the economy and an increase of wealth. Psychology tells us why; humans feel unworthy and guilty when they receive wealth and take deliberate (though unconscious) steps to destroy it. Now compute the outcome of getting wealth beyond the dreams of avarice; global thermonuclear war seems likely. -- rk

Well, I'll let your mind (and a dose of SciFi) come up with answers for most of those (minus the editor). But I'm curious what the advantage of having a "cyberpunk" style cyberspace would be? What is a "cyberpunk" style cyberspace to you anyway? VirtualReality? -- ss

Here (in BT) we had some folk working on VR style interaction about 5 years ago, that closely resembled what I reckon most people might think of when they hear 'cyberpunk cyberspace'. One (typical) demo had files you couldn't access run away (cartoon style, boxes bending to move as if on toes) as you approached, another had an 'igloo' close around a conference table after your avatar arrived (in the conference everyone's avatars stood behind 'windows' which showed your real videophone image). Cute but frankly useless. It's interesting that the original author wants things like this which are mostly means rather than ends. Ok, this is a bit harsh, but, e.g. would you really want FTL to take you to endless empty space and barren planets? -- BrianEwins

If someone gave you the 'ends' would be be as happy as if you were given the 'means' and got to accomplish the 'ends' yourself? I think of a good cyberspace representation as an AlternativeToDomains for net addressing. -- AndrewMcMeikan

If it were only that, it would be pathetic. The people working on 3Dsia [http://threedsia.sourceforge.net] are trying to do a lot more. Of course, they will fail because they're trying to do it on top of a horribly inconsistent OS like Unix but 3Dsia shows part of what can be done with a UserInterface on top of a decend OS. The other part is shown by the SelfLanguage's Alternate Reality User Interface. -- rk

Re: would you really want FTL to take you to endless empty space and barren planets?

I'm not the original author, but: Oh yes. Hell, yes! Barren or not, can you imagine actually being able to explore all that out there? (Well not in one lifetime, of course.) Still... maybe I misunderstood the intent of the question? -- BillKelly

I am and I would! Not only is FTL needed for exploration but it also implies communication, LightSpeedLag even within the SolarSystem? is a major problem. -- AndrewMcMeikan
For Ideas about Warp Drive and other warped ideas, see [http://www.popsci.com/exclusive/may2001/warped.html]

ItWouldBeNiceIf is non-participative. Why not change wishful thinking into action by saying: I'll MakeItHappen? or I'll TakeTheFirstStep?. (or for teams: Let's MakeItHappen? or Let's TakeTheFirstStep?)

Psychology tells us why; humans feel unworthy and guilty when they receive wealth and take deliberate (though unconscious) steps to destroy it.

I'm sorry, but that seems crazy to me. I've never felt guilty about getting a raise. Nope, not once. -- MikeSmith


I would have though that someone would've wished for a new alternative energy source by now. With gasoline prices on the rise, and "rolling blackouts" in California and such, it sure would be nice if we suddenly had all the energy we needed, without relying on the Middle East. -- MikeSmith

ItWouldBeNiceIf the rolling blackouts here in California were caused by something as easily solvable as a general lack of energy. Alas, it is caused by something far more complex: human politics. -- MarkAddleman

Yes, particularly Liberal Politics.

I don't believe it's as simple as Liberal vs Conservative politics. It's the politics of price controls versus the free market.

That sounds an awful lot like "liberal vs. conservative" to me, at least in the manner in which those terms are used within the AmericanCulturalAssumption zone. -- MikeSmith

There is no distinction between "liberal" and "conservative" economics. These days, and especially in the USA, they both represent free-market fundamentalism.

If you want to ask a meaningful question, like whether the ancient price controls or the new free market is to blame for the new blackouts, there's an obvious culprit. But of course, for free market fundamentalists government is always the culprit and deregulation is always the solution.

Here's a few facts to consider:

Privatization of power is a stupid idea.

It was bad (partial) privitisation in California that made it fail. Limiting the prices consumers pay while allowing wholesale suppliers to charge what they like is braindead. In the UK, electricity and gas are both privatised industries (and regulated, which I would agree is needed), and things are working fine. And I wish the price of energy keeps rising till it bankrupts the owners of all those gas guzzling SUVs. I want to see the carcasses of motor cars rusting alongside deserted highways like the bones of so many extinct dinosaurs. I want the age of the automobile to finally come to an end.

Limitless free energy is far from the SimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork.

Using less is far simpler, easier on the environment, and likely more conducive to human relationships since we'd have to reconsider living and working so far apart from one another.

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