Trekkie in chief and the wonders of Trek-nology.


Stardate 70249.4

We’ll take a little break from our regularly scheduled fawning to share yesterday’s piece in Wired Magazine of an interview with President Barak Obama about why Star Trek matters. Like his politics or not, the man is a Star Trek fan and he gets “it” when it comes to Trek:

“What made the show – I think – lasting was it wasn’t actually about technology, it was about values and human relationships. Which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy … it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.”

Creativity. Grit. Hard work. The confidence that if we apply ourselves to a problem, we can figure it out. That’s the story the POTUS sees in Star Trek and in the country – and it’s a story we should all keep in mind for our collective future.

Mashable does a nice job providing more detail on the interview here.

You can watch a video interview (which includes MIT Media Lab chief Joi Ito) here:

So, that all got me wondering how much of the Star Trek future is here today? Sure, we have iPads and smart phones and blue-tooth headsets. And there are always stories appearing about new theories concerning everything from EM drives and warp technology at NASA to teleportation/transporter technology.

But a quick scan of the news over the past two days turned up a few fun articles including this one on the development of a holo-like projector at Microsoft and this one on the development of a tricorder-like device that can scan food to detect genetically modified organisms (alien species, maybe?) in the wild.

Just as fascinating as all the technology – at least to me, anyway – are the possibilities represented by the economics of Star Trek. Is that utopian future presented on TV and in the movies even possible? This article from the Sci-Fi Addicts blog does a nice job of surveying Trek’s economic profile and the likelihood (or not) of it becoming a reality.

But since we’re living in the 21st century, let’s close with a look at a little slice of Trek-heaven on Earth – Destination Star Trek: Europe, one of the year’s major conventions and a joyful celebration of all things Star Trek. Here’s a floor walk video off the Red Shirts Always Die blog (warning, it’s 12 minutes long):