by Aaron Nordquist
Do you remember the Replicators on Star Trek? Many of the inventions on that science fiction show have become a reality, now all we need is this one technology to truly save the world. The next stage in civilization offers us more technological advances, and these advances will play an integral part in saving the world. Today we have the technology to map genomes of almost anything, and for years we have had the ability to make digital copies of information.
When we transfer anything into a digital format, we convert that information into discrete quantities, and assigned values. The assigned value is in the form of binary digits, or Bits. Most of us learned the base 10 system when we were growing up, meaning the numerals 0 through 9. The Binary Digit system uses a base 2 system, meaning a system consisting of 2 numerals, 0 and 1.
These values can be encoded on any medium that stores memory, and then can be decoded when played back or replicated. These values can be used to represent one of only two outcomes, like on or off. Groups of bits form digital words, called bytes. A byte is a group of eight bits, representing a unit of data, a kilobyte is equivalent to 1,024 bytes, a megabyte is equivalent to 1,024 kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes, a gigabyte is the data or storage space equivalent to 1,024 megabytes, or over one million bytes, and a terabyte is equivalent to 1,024 gigabytes.
Technology continues to expand the storage space and memory capacity for digital data, and soon we will be able to store 1,024 terabytes, and 1024 of those and…well, you get the point I think. Our ability to store digital information continues to improve. We can make digital copies of almost anything. The next step will be to digitally make physical copies of physical objects.
If we assign a basic numerical value to the all of the molecules of an object, and record all of the data on all of the substances that compose that object, including all the information in the DNA, and so on, and if we copy and store the basic properties of the composition of these physical objects, we could store that information and replicate it later using another medium.
Today we also have the ability to break physical objects down at a molecular level. We can use this ability to help us recycle all of the world’s garbage. We can recycle anything in the world by breaking it down at the molecular level, to convert those objects into a harmless base compound that we could also put into storage, to be used later. We could recycle and reuse anything in the world, by turning it into another physical substance that would be meant to be used to replicate something else.
The original object can be recycled at the molecular level, and it can be converted into this new substance, that I’ll call Protomatter, which would be a complex compound that can easily be stored. That Protomatter could then be converted into any another object by retrieving the digital code that is stored in memory, and by physically recycling it into the digital code specified thereby creating a physical replica of the original object.
I think I need to paint you a picture. Imagine that you are in your new apartment, that was built by the UE. Imagine that you are holding a big red apple. You decide that this apple is perfect, so you want to have more apples just like it. Imagine that you walk up to the Replicator, which is a machine about the size of a refrigerator. You place this apple in the Replicator, and press a button that says “Replicate.” The Replicator reads and maps the properties of the apple and stores that information within its computer. The Replicator then breaks down Protomatter which is stored within the Replicator, and converts it into the properties of the original apple. Now you have two big red apples.The Replicator then breaks the object down at a molecular level, and converts it into another substance which can be stored, called Protomatter. You walk up to the Replicator and use its computer to find the apple. The computer inside the Replicator looks up the information that you just stored, and pulls enough recycled Protomatter, and then reorganizes the Protomatter to create a new apple.
You could recycle the clothes you don’t like, or don’t need, or don’t wear anymore, and create a whole new wardrobe. Or if you have a favourite pair of shoes that you don’t want to get ruined, you could scan it, and store the information in the computer. When the shoes get worn out, you can recycle them and get a brand new pair.
We could recycle all of the water in the sewers. We could recycle the water in the oceans. We could recycle the air we breathe. We could turn steel into food. We can turn water into wood, and wood into water. The waterlines in your house could all be connected to the Replicator, so that the water that goes down the drain could be converted, and reconverted, and reconverted, and used over, and over, and over again.
This is sustainability. We can recycle everything this way!
Imagine that we could clean up the entire world of garbage, and convert that garbage into food, and clothing, and blankets. This invention will play an astronomical role in saving the world. Not only does it help us clean up our planet, by ridding us of our garbage, but it completely reduces our wastefulness. We won’t need to buy anything anymore. We could replicate everything we need, right in our own homes.
Imagine again with me, just for a moment, that you are in your apartment again, ready to cook a meal. You tell your Replicator to produce your favourite meal, and it replicates it for you, complete with plates and utensils. When you are finished eating your meal, you put your dirty plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, napkins, and uneaten food, back into the Replicator. The Replicator breaks it all down again, and converts it back into Protomatter, to be used again in the future at your convenience.
This creative idea will save the world.