I think the clouds and the foreground make a feeling of motion, and that is appropriate given the topic of todays post.
I have decided that, with a very few exceptions, I don’t like travelling very much. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy being in different places. I’m just not sure that I always enjoy the process of getting there. Have I, I ask myself, been ruined by science fiction? I can remember I think it may have been back in the 1970’s possibly even the 1960’s I first read Robert Heinlein’s Space Cadet. The star of the book, a young Matt Dobson is embarking on a new life as he joins the Space Patrol. I haven’t read the book since, but it may possibly have been on the first page Matt pauses his trip toward the space rocket that will be taking him to the planet, he opens his bag, takes out a small device and to be blunt, phones home.
Written in 1948, the book describes a device that today sits comfortably in my pocket, and does oh so much more than just “phoning home”. All I knew was that as I read that book, fifty plus years ago, I can remember practically drooling over that little device and can actively remember thinking “I want one of those”. Well, over the last few years I have had several of these, mobile phones we call them, but they can do things that I suspect are beyond even the dreams of Robert Heinlein back in 1948.
I talk about Heinlein’s personal phone becoming what was fiction became reality. And then, I watched Star Trek. It is here then that I get to the crux of my piece about not enjoying travelling; teleportation. Yes, Yes, I know pure science fiction, but so was the mobile phone, but then I also read Larry Niven’s tales of known space; what a fantastic set of stories that are. Please read them if you enjoy hard science fiction and pure entertainment. His society has transfer booths, stand in the phone box sized device, key in a number and re-appear somewhere else on the planet. That’s what I want! Teleportation or the transport booth. Then I could visit Easter Island (sorry, Rapa Nui), the plains of Nazca, Stonehenge. Just, as Tommy Cooper would have said; Just like that.
I did mention toward the top of this piece that there were a number of exceptions to my aversion to travelling. Cruises. I love going on a cruise. I do not like driving around the M25. There are no similarities between the two activities beyond getting from A to B. I think I would be much happier if I could just step in to a booth and step out to say hello to my dear friends in France.
Mind you, there is something to be said for driving somewhere different, getting to see new pieces of countryside.