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Star Trek, Baseball and Ghosts

September 20, 2019

The most famous ship in the Star Trek universe is the USS Enterprise. In fact, in the series and the movies there have been multiple Enterprise ship.

  • U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-A
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-B
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-C
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D
  • U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-E
  • I.S.S. Enterprise

There have probably been a few more that I’m missing. There’s a famous scene in Star Trek IV “The Voyage Home” where the crew travels back in time to 1986 to procure some radioactive material. LT Chekov communicates to Admiral Kirk

Admiral. We have found the nuclear vessel.

Well done, Team two.

And Admiral. . .It is the Enterprise.

They were stealing material from the U.S.S. Enterprise aircraft carrier. It was a funny scene. Especially since Chekov pronounces it “wessel.”

When NASA was searching for a name for it’s original space shuttle, an online petition was started that suggested the name Enterprise in honor of the movie star ship.

And yet, in the Star Trek canon, the Star Ship Enterprise is actually named after the original space shuttle. In a sense, The Enterprise is named after itself. I have no doubt that if we ever do build a faster than light spaceship, it will be named Enterprise.

If you build it he will come.

It’s hard to believe that Star Trek was made in teh late 1960s. It’s been over 50 years.

One of my kids has a “dumb” phone. No email. No apps. Just phone and text. It’s slightly smaller than a deck of playing cards. One of the biggest differences between this modern “dumb” phone and the early phones are that the earlier ones were “flip” phones. You had to physically open them to talk and physcially close them to hang up.

They were designed that way because on Star Trek to use the original communicators you opened them to talk and you closed them to hang up.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek built it. . .and they came.

Here are some similar things that Star Trek showed us and then we invented them.

  • Star Trek replicators became 3d Printers
  • Universal translators are a thing
  • Tablet computers
  • Tricorders are handheld scanners
  • Holodecks are now allowing dead celebrities to go on tour
  • Communicator badges are now powered by Bluetooth
  • Saying “Computer” now sounds like “Hey Siri” or “Hello Google”
  • Phasers are still theoretical but direct energy weapons exist
  • Hyposprays are used to administer flu shots
  • Automatic doors
  • Androids meet robots

And even Star Wars light sabers are possible.

The movie Back To The Future suggested we’d have flying cars by 2016. We don’t have flying DeLoreans. But, just a few years later, drones are being turned into personal flying taxis. Back To The Future also predicted that after 107 years the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in 2016. They missed that prediction too. But, only by a year. The Cubs won it all in 2017.

I’m not a great programmer. In fact, when it comes down to the details of coding, I’m not very patient. My buddy CK is much better at the details of coding. He spent years at Microsoft. He’s been a Dev-Test lead for years.

But, here’s the funny thing. I’m better with a blank page than CK is. I can start from nothing and lay out the classes, the procedures, the methods. If CK can see what is being created he can build off of that.

It’s one of the unique and nearly magical things about us as a species and as a society. We think. We think. We imagine. We dream. And after someone imagines it. . .we build it.

Field of Dreams, one of the best baseball movies of all time, sees a slightly confused Kevin Costner build a baseball stadium in the middle of a corn field. He imagines it. Then he builds it. And then the magic starts to happen. (More than the normal baseball magic.) Oh and the ghosts show up.

Traveling faster than light is impossible. Science explains that. But, it makes the movies better.

I have no doubt that someday we’ll manage it. And I have no doubt that ship will be named the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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