We've been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. I've seen them all of course, and have watched them on and off over the years, but the last time I watched this much TNG was probably in Middle School, when I watched it every night at 7pm (new episodes on Tuesday). This time around, they are still familiar friends, but there are a lot of details that I don't remember and ideas I didn't notice or didn't think about the same way the first time around.
There are so many very small details about the way the TNG future is imagined that make it seem so much better. I don't mean in terms of all the fabulous technology and gadgets and transporters (although those are nice too) but the little things that have improved quality of life.
The other night, we watched an episode where a central plot point was a strange, recurring headache the captain had. It was puzzling, a headache? People just don't get headaches anymore...and if they do, its easy to find the problem and fix it...no more chronic headaches, if you have a headache, a quick trip to the doctor will cure that problem. (Unless the Ferengi has a mind control device, but that's another story...) Even at the time I thought, how amazing, such a simple thing...no headaches, and what a difference that would make.
Then last night, Chip, who gets headaches (probably migraines really) fairly regularly got probably the worst one I remember him ever having. It was so bad, I actually thought he might even be coming down with the flu. Luckily, it was only one night of suffering instead of several days, but still, the thought was still fresh in my mind. How nice it would be if a headache was something no one had to deal with. No medicine needed, a quick scan could tell what the real problem is and fix it. Even just that one simple advancement, even without the other technological amazement, would make for a magical better future.