Teleporters Homogenize the World

In Munich he walked.

The air was warm and clean; it cleared some of the fumes from his head. He walked the brightly lighted slidewalks, adding his own pace to their ten-miles-per-hour speed. It occurred to him then that every city in the world had slidewalks, and that they all moved at ten miles per hour.

The thought was intolerable. Not new; just intolerable. Louis Wu saw how thoroughly Munich resembled Cairo and Resht ... and San Francisco and Topeka and London and Amsterdam. The stores along the slidewalks sold the same products in all the cities of the world. These citizens who passed him tonight looked all alike, dressed all allke. Not Americans or Germans or Egyptlans, but mere flatlanders.

In three-and-a-half centuries the transfer booths had done this to the infinite variety of Earth. They covered the world in a net of instantaneous travel. The difference between Moskva and Sidney was a moment of time and a tenth-star coin. Inevitably the cities had blended over the centuries, until placenames were only relics of the past. San Francisco and San Diego were the northern and southern ends of one sprawling coastal city. But how many people knew which end was which? Tanj few, these days.

Pessimistic thinking, for a man's two hundredth birthday.

But the blending of the cities was real. Louis had watched it happen. All the irrationalities of place and time and custom, blending into one big rationality of City, worldwide, like a dull gray paste. Did anyone today speak Deutsche, English, Francais, Espanol? Everyone spoke Interworld. Style in body paints changed all at once, all over the world, in one monstrous surge.


Folksonomies: culture speculation futurism science fiction homogenization

/sports/walking (0.501428)
/hobbies and interests/collecting/stamps and coins (0.499955)
/science/weather/meteorological disaster/hurricane (0.499187)

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Louis Wu:Person (0.973901 (negative:-0.331120)), San Francisco:City (0.847985 (neutral:0.000000)), Munich:City (0.754510 (neutral:0.000000)), Teleporters Homogenize:Person (0.593570 (neutral:0.000000)), Interworld:City (0.537223 (neutral:0.000000)), Moskva:Person (0.468074 (neutral:0.000000)), Sidney:City (0.466002 (neutral:0.000000)), Cairo:City (0.450699 (neutral:0.000000)), San Diego:City (0.449824 (neutral:0.000000)), Topeka:City (0.447161 (neutral:0.000000)), Resht:City (0.432152 (neutral:0.000000)), Amsterdam:City (0.419273 (neutral:0.000000)), London:City (0.415797 (neutral:0.000000)), ten miles per hour:Quantity (0.415797 (neutral:0.000000)), ten-miles:Quantity (0.415797 (neutral:0.000000))

Global city (0.927157): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Earth (0.917046): dbpedia | freebase
Pacific Ocean (0.851087): geo | dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase | opencyc
German language (0.810989): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
World (0.776016): dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase
Kansas (0.758887): geo | website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Thought (0.746030): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
City (0.710459): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Niven , Larry (1985-09-11), Ringworld, Simon and Schuster, Retrieved on 2014-10-05
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: speculation science fiction