An essay by Decatur Scott, as provided by Shana Ross
Art by Justine McGreevy
Q: What technology or scientific advancement was the biggest mistake in human history?
Carey Murphy, research and development, Kinetic Informatics
Using quantum entanglement to power garage door openers. I mean, I hate changing batteries on a transponder as much as the next guy, but it’s just irresponsible to have a remote that opens and closes the door to your house from anywhere in the universe.
Michiko Hawley, researcher and professor, Harvard University
The dolphin translator. The tech is brilliant, but it was just a bad idea. Dolphins are wicked smart, and they’re super angry, very bitter as a species. Nothing nice to say to us, about us, etc. And the thing about the translator tech is that once you’ve gone public with it, everyone knows it exists, it works … well, it’s not like you can STOP talking to the dolphins now. You’re stuck. And it just sucks to have to keep hearing, over and over, about all the awful things humanity is responsible for, and have these smug self-important fish nagging and nagging about how pod responsibility starts with individuals. It’s really damaging to your self-confidence, right? Just … ugh.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2019 collection.
Decatur Scott is a science journalist with a fondness for the lost art of reporting in print media. Her first TED tweet, on the evolutionary advantages of the shrinking human attention span, won a Peabody Award. She lives in Washington, DC, where she is working on her memoir, Surviving the Robot Uprising: How, Why, and What Now. The book is for entertainment purposes only, and she cannot be held liable for any sentience or other damages that may result from downloading review copies on networked devices.
Shana Ross bought her first computer working the graveyard shift in a wind chime factory, a beloved HP whose hard drive resides in her basement with a number of early works. Her writing career has been dormant for 18 years for reasons both practical and best discussed in therapy, but she has been making a respectable living as a consultant, executive coach, and global leadership expert. In 2018, she dyed her hair purple and is starting to turn that all around. This is her first published fiction.
Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities with the hope of making our own a little brighter. You can see more of her artwork and find links to connect on social media through her website justinemcgreevy.com
“In Hindsight” is © 2019 Shana Ross
Art accompanying story is © Justine McGreevy