June 17, 2008

Teleporting Waterslides

What would happen if everyone could teleport? This article describes teleportation as:
"...the name given by science fiction writers to the feat of making an object or person disintegrate in one place while a perfect replica appears somewhere else." 
First of all, urban sprawl would increase exponentially. When commuting times are zero, it doesnt matter where you live. Also, public transportation would be obsolete. Maybe the stations could be used as teleporting centers, until personal teleporting is invented, of course. What could we use those pesky roads and traintracks for? There's a thesis waiting to happen.
However, upon further review, I've realized that there is a way to teleport, or at least experience the feeling of teleporting. It is called a waterslide. You are (almost) instantly transported from 50 metres in the air to the ground, some 50 metres away. This is like teleporting because you do not see see the journey. It is kind of like in Being John Malkovich. Which by the way was directed by Spike Jonze, the award-winning co-creator of Jackass.

So what if our cities turned into waterparks? Everyone teleporting here and there, going where they may. What would the cities look like? And how would this affect existing infrastructure?

Italo Calvino calls a city like this "Armilla." In his book Invisible Cities, he concludes that,
"...the streams of water channeled in the pipes of Armilla have remained in the possession of nymphs and naiads. Accustomed to travelling along underground veins, they found it easy to enter into the new aquatic realm, to burst from multiple fountains, to find new mirrors, new games, new ways of enjoying the water. Their invasion may have driven ou the human beings, or Armilla may have been built by humans as a votive offering to win the favor of the nymphs, offended at the misuse of the waters. In any case, now they seem content, these maidens: in the morning you hear them singing."

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