I was okay with the invention of the printing press and telephone, I was cool with the invention of the horseless carriage and the aeroplane, but I wonder if perhaps we have not gone too far with the invention of the smart phone, the drone, the robot and artificial intelligence. What happens when we find that our android and replicant masters really do dream of electric sheep? What do we do when robots, as confidently predicted, replace all human workers from the factory floor to clerking for Supreme Court Justices? Maybe it all ends with the imminent invention of the antimatter positron drive now being funded by NASA.
There is an immense amount of power in antimatter, but the problem has always been how to unlock it. The answer may be near in the form of positron breeding. Positrons are the antimatter of electrons, and by breeding positrons one breeds antimatter, which, if all goes well, will be used for fuel for spacecraft to take us to the stars. But what if all this positron antimatter gets loose? Haven’t we been told that if matter meets antimatter annihilation results? And even if the only things annihilated by antimatter positrons are electrons, don’t we need electrons? Just asking.
The thought of breeding positrons
Is frightening at best
Think of the monster in the lab
Who seems to be at rest
Whose eyes are closed, whose breath is still
No movement to be seen
But deep inside the monster lives
Desires that are keen
To feign deep sleep while unaware
Technicians calmly take
Decisions that will change the world
The instant he’s awake
Imagine then a world in which
Electrons don’t exist
Will chemical reactions then
Be gone and not be missed?
Without electrons would the world
Because of something rash
Be circling a burnt out sun
Of slowly cooling ash?
Meanwhile the spaceship travels on
Its positron exhaust
Turns fire of the inner stars
From heat to icy frost
Eventually the galaxy
Blinks out without a sigh
While gods look on and shrug and say
Well, it was a nice try