Of future note

A very interesting story in today’s New York Times about the earliest recorded sound, which dates from 1860 and is only now made playable via computer technology. (Its creator had never intended it to be played back, only to be analyzed.)

We have the technology today to measure and record the complete physical properties of inanimate objects — maybe even whole rooms’ worth of them. Although we don’t yet have the ability to “play back” those measurements (i.e., reproduce the objects), and certainly not with any fidelity, someday this will be possible. (It appears that someone has already had this bright idea, although in a somewhat crude form: a printer that prints objects using plastics.) Although we may never see a transporter beam, it’s pretty possible we’ll someday have replicators and holodecks.

2 thoughts on “Of future note

  1. AZ

    I had a similar thought hearing about this. The recording has a ghostly quality to it and it made me ponder whether certain supernatural phenomena like ghosts are actually some sort of quantum playback from the past…

    To your point, the problem with turning this into a technology lies in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle; which is why we would first need to invent the Heisenberg compensator (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_compensator).

  2. Ellen

    I will never believe in the possibility of a transporter beam! Holodeck, maybe, but not a transporter beam.

    Although, years ago when I used to watch “the new Star Trek” (the one with Capt Picard), I recall the biggest controversy had to do with an episode called “Darmok” where some aliens spoke only in metaphors. A lot of people couldn’t believe any aliens could develop science (and hence space travel) with that sort of linguistic limitation. They’d believe in a transporter beam, but not that!

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