Is There Something Wrong With Us?

The Pew Research Center did a survey on "U.S. View of Technology and the Future" and one of the questions asked was what futuristic technology Americans would want to own . . . and while some of the answers are typical: 6% want a flying car or bike and 3% have a yearning for a teleportation device, the chart-topper is time travel-- despite the paradoxical, monumental, and wildly unpredictable philosophical ramifications, a whopping nine percent of Americans want to travel through time whenever they see fit-- and so when we finished a unit in my Comp classes on evaluating technology, I asked my students the same question . . . and got the same result-- the survey was anonymous and these are high school seniors, so I got a few requests for robot sex-slaves, some interest in instant food machines, very little desire for improved health, and-- just like the Pew survey-- time travel was the leader of the pack . . . which led to a discussion of why we desire technology that is inherently dangerous, and will eventually destroy us . . . there's a good This American Life segment on this theme called The Leap (they discuss the survey, interview people on why they want to travel through time-- mainly to rectify embarrassing situations and kill Hitler, and why older Americans don't want to travel through time).

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