– The Star Trek Zone –

Have you ever been watching the news about a social ill or sitting at work puzzled over a productivity issue and said, “I thought we already had a handle on that.” If you were wrong, as it turns out I have been as well, you may be living in what I call ‘The Star Trek Zone (STZ).’ Many might say, come on now, you don’t really believe transporters and replicators exist. The answer to which is obviously no, but I do have a certain expectation with regard to our technological level that may be overinflated by too many hours of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

What is this magnificent zone where all of societies problems have already been solved? I was reading a post about the worst IT worker in the world and wondering why it was that some members of the IT/IS staff share so much contempt for non-tech employees. Sure there are always those who forget their password, can’t see the network printer or think the mouse is used like a remote control, but then there are those special circumstances where they want the impossible from the current system, hence living in the STZ.

– Full Automation AI –

My personal expectation is the belief in a fully automated factory. “Why are hands touching this product at all?” I’ll give you an example, my wife used to work for a pharmaceutical wholesaler. What a surprising number of people do not know is that the backbone of shipping and receiving of drugs is handled not by the manufacturer, but two to three large wholesalers. Anyone who gets a great deal of spam for discount Viagra and Lipitor or who has paid any attention to the practice of importing drugs from Canada, is familiar with the governments warnings on counterfeit drugs. Some states such as Florida have gone so far as to introduce paper pedigree systems to ensure drug purity. Another problem stems from some shipments, particularly narcotics, “falling off the back of the truck.” My initial thought, where is the automated factory with materials going in one end, products being loaded via robot onto truck and delivered factory sealed to the end user.

– How William Shatner Changed the World –

It turns out there may actually be something to this effect as Discovery recently had a special on How William Shatner Changed the World. Now it is highly unlikely that those who are non-technical watched much Star Trek, yet the fact remains that many continue to expect more from technology than is currently possible or probable. At the very least maybe this will provide a humorous idea the next time someone wants the impossible from IT.