The Dimensional Door

cadres2_up

Imagine if you could walk through the doorway in one place and arrive elsewhere on the other side. Could we create a practical and easily replicable device that would allow for safe and simple instantaneous travel from one place to another regardless of the distance? How could the two doorways be connected? Once connected, what would you see inside the doorframe? Could you get chopped in half whilst passing through? Would such travel affect your body chemistry, DNA, atoms, etc.? Would differences in air pressure from both sides create gusts of wind or other differential phenomena? These are a few of the questions that quickly come to mind.

The previously invisible was made visible. To put this idea into perspective, the telephone has been around for less than 150 years. What was it that brought us to discover that we could project our voices across vast distances? Humans began to fly in the 1870s with the Montgolfier brothers’ balloon followed by the first ‘heavier than air’ flight by the Wright brothers in 1903. In the 1890s, the wireless was another strange inspiration that mobile telephone users do not even think twice about today, never mind high definition multi-channel satellite services. In less than 200 years of human evolution, all of these impossible ideas have become commonplace.

Gravity: what is this force that we have only superficially harvested for hydroelectric power generation? In what other way could this puzzling force be harnessed? How could it be related to magnetism and time? Could this all be explained by the fifth or another dimension? These are very big questions that physicists have been studying for a number of centuries.

Ideas about dimensional travel have been around for a long time. H.G. Wells published, The Time Machine, in 1895. Instantaneous travel is explored further in stories such as Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 book, A Wrinkle in Time, or the way the witches and wizards in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, first printed in 1997, are able to travel from one fireplace to another. The film, Stargate, released by MGM in 1994, also contributes to the canon of teleportation stories not to mention Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek from the 1960s. Nonetheless, the question remains how to adapt these ‘fantasies’ into a real world application?

It is important to take into account a number of additional considerations relating to this development.

Benefits

The Dimensional Door could be a very low cost, environmentally positive, fast form of transportation. It is a response to the human desire for global communication, travel and understanding without the carbon hangover related to other forms of transportation. It presents a way for people to regularly commute to work, visit friends and family as well as explore the rest of the planet. Not only would this innovation allow us to travel all over the Earth, but it also opens the possibilities to explore outer space. Imagine a moon or Mars colony where at the end of your work day, you can return to the convenience of fresh air on earth! Visits and repairs to space stations would also be simple. This would revolutionise the way we think of travel in all of its aspects.

Imagine the new look of city streets returning to their pre World War II car-free ambiances. Think of how much quieter, safer and cleaner our cities would be. Minor distances would be walked, biked, bladed or skated and we could even shop at our favourite Tuscan farmers’ market before heading home to prepare supper. How would the face of our cities and uses for them evolve with this technology? Would we all flee to the countryside? With over 50% of the Earth’s human population (80% in Canada) living in urban environments, could we all fit in the countryside? The city would still offer many social and environmental advantages that a Dimensional Door would not change.

We could potentially harness the heat of the desserts to warm our Nordic homes in the winter whilst we air condition our buildings in the summer with Antarctic winds. Would this heat displacement completely disrupt our planet’s equilibrium or is it preferable to the excessive fossil fuel and nuclear energy already used to achieve the same effects? Nonetheless, most of our energy solution is still related to efficiency, reduction and moderation.

Problems

As environmentally friendly this new method of transportation could prove to be, there would be many consequences. Firstly, airlines and passenger rail services would eventually fold putting many people out of work. The automobile industry would have a much more limited clientele and again result in a major structural shift in employment. People would be able to access all corners of the planet which will include illegal migrant workers, masses of refugee claimants, transport of illegal contraband, spread of isolated diseases and other forms of problems. This changes all of the calculations related to public security and national defence. It could also spawn a power struggle for ultimate control over the invention.

Governance

Similarly with Open Source Software this discovery could be shared and improved as a democratic form of human liberation making it readily accessible to all people. The consequences are nonetheless important to examine. With respect to the benefits and problems already discussed, there is the question of control. How much control? Should the technology be regulated? By whom? How would it be used? How could control lead to profiteering and exploitation?

As much as public and national security is concerned, there is also the question of quality control to avoid accidents and errors. With the ability to travel instantaneously anywhere on the planet, the Dimensional Door would completely reinvent our relationships across the globe. The richest, poorest, most beautiful and most parched regions of the planet would be equally accessible. Humanitarian interventions would be greatly helped, but mass population flows could also result in new forms of disequilibrium and inequities. In these cases, a form of regulation and governance would impose itself.

The telecommunications industry serves as an example of efforts and technologies that record, trace, forward and analyse communications. The Dimensional Door goes beyond the human voice to the entire body and could prove to be as threatening as emancipating.

The question remains over where control would range between a single dominance and a global consensus. Would a body such as the United Nations be given the responsibility to administer regulation of the Dimensional Door or would a particular set of economic or national interests be able to impose their will over the uses of the technology?

Conclusions

Could the technology for this concept be fairly simple? Could the components consist of copper and aluminum wires, an iron spike, duct tape, a programmable mobile phone and a crystal? How could a doorframe or doorway be used to define the transportation space linking two different places and with what power source? Would the minimal energy of a battery or conventional electricity from a 110 V socket be sufficient? This is of great ecological interest.

As with wireless communications and travel to the moon, sometimes the most incredible ideas come to life simply because they are so inspiring. Their use for ‘good’ or ‘bad’ will always depend on our humanity with results probably similar to those of all previous innovations. Such an invention can not singularly ‘save the world’, but it would offer yet another opportunity for the expansion of human endeavour with the hope and desire that it be used for peace. Nor can it be interpreted as technology coming to the rescue of our ecological crisis. We still need to address our existing environmental problems at their sources.

It is just a matter of space-time. Our human force is to dream and imagine. It is a question of finding the reality that will bring our ideas into being. In 1850, the mobile phone was only a fantasy in a coal and steam powered world.

entree1

This entry was written by Owen Rose , posted on Monday March 16 2009at 12:03 am , filed under Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Responses to “The Dimensional Door”

  • Rachel Harris says:

    Interesting Owen,
    The biggest advantage that I can see is the disappearance of the car. I feel every day more encroached upon by those little and big metal boxes. Last week Eric saw a pedestrian hit right at our corner and every time we go out the door I am afraid for my two girls. So, ANYTHING that could possibly make them go away sounds good to me. Your idea does have one obvious flaw tough as far as I can see. There would no longer be distances in the world or in the universe. There would be no such thing as ‘remote’ or ‘wild’ there would be no part of our planet that people would leave alone. There would be swarms of us everywhere!! I think that the world is much better of with some places where we just can’t get to. Maybe I am selfish. Dunno.

    Rachel

  • Claire (RuthClaire Weintraub) says:

    I agree with Rachel that the immediate benefit is *No CARS* and confess that a similar fantasy flits, not infrequently, across my brain: Walk into an elevator in a building in NYC, press a button, get out in Paris or Kyoto, or maybe Alma Ata?

    But for some reason I never lose an intuitive sense of distance, in the fantasy. It’s that Beam Me Up thing, I guess, that one imagines: teleporting, projecting oneself into a parallel society? Right now (2:30 am EDT) it’s tomorrow afternoon in Japan, and my cousin has probably just finished her lunch.

    In any case, the complexity of a Dimensional Door’s nicely intriguing. Thanks!