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Psychotic theories of impossibility
by Michael Giardina

When my grandfather was a young man, he was certain that man would never get to the moon. "It's unrealistic; simply an impossibility."

As a columnist, it is my job to discuss interesting issues. I could ramble on about abortion or bash protesters who believe Burger King shouldn't sell a breakfast sandwich that packs a 700-calorie punch to your gut. That's boring. I want to discuss theories; psychotic theories of unrealistic impossibility.

Organ Donors -- Assume for a moment that you could donate your brain. Isn't it odd that you can never be a brain donor? If you donate your brain, you're giving it to someone who has no brain, thus putting yourself in the same predicament as the recipient was. If you don't think that's funny, think about it for a while.

The Perfect Drug -- I've got the recipe for the perfect hallucinogenic drug. The way each human thinks, perceives, and feels is so incredibly different. The most powerful altered state of consciousness will be to experience another person's consciousness for a period of time. Imagine what colors you would see. Two babies are shown an item and told that the item is red. So we say it looks like red, but what does it look like to you? It is possible that no two people see the same colors.

Beyond that, every word you read brings to mind images and memories. Perception through another consciousness would be fascinating, overwhelming, stunning and, most amazingly, is considered banal by he who lives it every day. The theory isn't impossible. Scientists have found that there are similar neuron structures in the brain and heart. Heart transplant recipients report "remembering" places and things they've never seen; the thoughts of the donors, a flake of their consciousnesses.

Time Travel -- I am no aeronautical engineer, but why is it impossible to reach the speed of light and travel through time? In space there is little friction. Toss a wrench into space and it flies away. So, let a rocket explode a charge in space and sail forward at a constant rate. Keep exploding charges and sailing gravitational fields to slingshot yourself into a new year. The main problem is, if a mission succeeds, nobody will ever know. Who's going to fund that? Perhaps we should let suicidal people volunteer for experimental missions. We can use my backyard; it's big and empty.

Teleportation -- Scientists currently have computers that can calculate the exact molecular makeup of a gas, like a scent. The machine could, for example, calculate the makeup of that awful stench coming from the Davis dairy fields and then you could send that fresh cow-pie smell to a desired victim who has a "molecule cartridge" at his or her computer. Why not improve the technology so as to re-create solids? I'll get my friend in Mexico to beam me a delectable lobster from Puerto Nuevo. It has to be possible; they do it on "Star Trek" all the time. They didn't pull Scotty up. They analyzed his molecules, made a copy onboard, and destroyed the old one to conveniently avoid all the philosophical problems.

Goat on a Pole -- My most innovative theory will be well appreciated by all you CalPIRG folks out there. Instead of wasting precious resources to build and operate a lawnmower, why not simply place a pole in the middle of your yard and attach a goat and a string to it? The goat eats the lawn and even produces its own fertilizer. Don't worry; you can always sell the milk to make up for the price of the goat.

We have an amazing world out there. Just believe that anything seemingly impossible is possible with the technology, the drive, and the funds. The perfect science will be indistinguishable from magic. Nothing is impossible, unless we think it is.



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