Air Conditioners, The Internet & Teleportation [Tech]

by moe

The other day I started thinking about how tough it would be for me to live in Southern California without air conditioning. The curiosity lead to some googling and a great article from The Atlantic. In short, no one would.

Many of the central changes in our society since World War II would not have been possible were air conditioning not keeping our homes and workplaces cool. Florida, Southern California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico all experienced above-average growth during the latter half of the 20th century — hard to imagine without air conditioning. In fact, the Sunbelt’s share of the nation’s populations exploded from 28 percent in 1950 to 40 percent in 2000. And hubs of business and technology in hot regions of the globe, such as Dubai, may never have taken off. –How The Air Conditioner Made Modern America

I started to think about what else could cause such a dramatic demographic shift, and, being a nerd, teleportation came to mind. All other transportation services would go under. Buses, trains, cars, planes etc. Also, the means to power those devices, oil, wouldn’t be needed (assuming the teleportation wasn’t powered by oil). All shipping would be immediate(probably included in Amazon Prime). The list goes on and on. The really interesting affect would be on real estate. You wouldn’t need to live in Manhattan to hang out in Times Square everyday, so why pay the rent? You can live on an amazing resort in Thailand and teleport in anytime. Sadly, my excitement quickly ended when I realized teleportation doesn’t exist.

So what is the step between air conditioners and teleportation? The Internet. The interent is replacing almost every form of communication and media. Radio, television, phones, postal mail and more. Not seeing a person’s face during every conversation(in person or a call) will feel as foreign as using a walkie talkie. In my opinion, this is just the tip of the ice berg. I think the future of most offices is home workspaces. Employers save money on renting commercial offices and an employee saves time not driving to work. Same goes with higher education and any other industry where a physical product isn’t exchanged. Almost all the industries that would be wiped out from teleporation are going to continue taking a big hit due to the internet.