Hitchhiker’s bLOG – 2021.02.23

Forward Thinking

This photo may or may not be the product of photoshop, but it is still cool. Notice the year on the stone: 2228. Captain Kirk would be born 207 years in the future, which makes me wonder how people from the future will view us when they look back at our time. What will they say?

Let’s be whimsical and ponder what the crew on the bridge of NCC-1701 might say about these times.

Scotty (engineer), Bones (ship’s doctor), Checkov (navigator), Christine (nurse), Captain Kirk, Uhura (communications), Mr. Spock (science officer), and Sulu (helmsman)

Bones: “They battled a global pandemic called COVID-19. It killed a significant number of the earth’s population, especially older folk. And some people had lingering side-effects for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, nobody knew the scope of the pandemic at the time because every country finagled their numbers to save face on the world stage. The issues were compounded by internal strife within certain countries that prevented the truth from surfacing.”

Christine: “But Doctor, this pandemic launched an incredible new wave of vaccine technology based on messenger RNA. That breakthrough ushered in many innovations that led to today’s medicine.”

Bones: “Yes, Christine, but the entire thing dragged on because a segment of the population would or could not take the vaccine due to conspiracy theories, political and social upheaval, distrust of the government, inequity in distribution, climate issues, and a tidal wave of media propaganda. Some of these same forces influenced how the dang thing spread in the first place. Simply barbaric!”

Dr. Leonard McCoy and Nurse Christine Chapel.

Scotty: “It was an exciting time for engineering. You begin to see the extinction of combustion engines in automobiles replaced by electric drives. Unfortunately, they couldn’t figure out what to do with those bloody batteries once they were expired, and swapped one toxic pollutant for another. And the bloody things required a hazmat team at every traffic accident site.”

Chekov: “But at least they had Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson ushering in a new era of private space ventures called SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. These innovators led to Zephram Cochrane inventing warp engines leading to “first contact” on April 15, 2063. And Scotty, never forget that it was the Russians who were the real inventors of space travel on earth.”

Scotty: “Aye Laddie. But the Russians never understood capitalism like Sir Richard!”

Lt. Cmd. Montgomery Scott and Ens Pa.vel Checkov.

Uhura: “It was a time of great strides for all races as it challenged how people see and listen to others in a new way. And this was miraculous considering it happened during one of the darkest moments in the history of communications earth ever experienced; the apocalypse and toxic wasteland known as ‘social media.'”

Sulu: “Nyota, don’t forget that not everybody prospered in the era. There was a surge in hate crimes against people of Asian descent because certain others blamed them for a global pandemic that seemed to have started in China. It was reminiscent of what happened to people of middle-eastern descent after the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001.”

Uhura: “Thank God we got past all of that, Sulu!”

Lt. Nyota Uhura and Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Spock: “If memory serves, Captain, this was the era that ushered in the collapse of the two-party system in the so-called ‘United States.’ I believe what caused this was the absolute absence of logic, reason, and civility coming from that nation’s capital. This disease also spread to the capitals in all fifty states. Chaos ensued.”

Kirk: “Correct as usual, Mr. Spock. The eventual decline of the United States opened doors for other foreign powers to take advantage who developed nuclear weapons rivaling that of the so-called ‘superpowers.’ This eventually led to a third world war in 2049. It ended in 2053 when they completed the destruction of their infrastructure. The irony was that the infrastructure was already severely decaying well before the war. This collapse ushered in a dark age of sorts.”

Spock: Highly illogical. But profoundly fascinating from an anthropological perspective.”

Mr. Spock and Captain James T. Kirk

Remember, this is met to be tongue and cheek. It takes no side on the opposing worldviews of the day, and the future dates and events taken from the Star Trek timeline. These dates may not represent actual events. (I can’t believe I have to add this disclaimer, but you never know!)

These conversations are intended to challenge us to look at ourselves with our own critical eye.

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