Total Nerd

7 Ways Star Trek Changed the World  

JF Sargent
125.6k views 7 items

Star Trek (the original series) was quite a progressive take on the future for a show filmed in a generation that wasn't as open minded as their future kin from a star date far, far away. In fact, Star Trek had an incredible cultural impact and many things people find common today actually originated on the classic sci-fi series.

Why is Star Trek so popular? That's not a rhetorical question, we actually have the answer: accessibility. Despite its reputation as nerd fodder, the original show was actually a tightly paced, archetypal, and cool exploration of a possible future of the human race.

Creator Gene Roddenberry was a visionary, and many of his predictions and ideas actually came true. What common place ideas and inventions that have changed the world came from Star Trek? Read through the list below to find out.
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The First Ever Shuttle Orbiter Was Named The Enterprise (Also Street Names)
The First Ever Shuttle O... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 7 Ways Star Trek Changed the World
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

In addition to consciously trying to replicate the technology, we now live in a world where people with serious power in the world are also Star Trek fans. President Obama has admitted to being a Trekkie, and so has Megan Fox.

The result of this is that the first ever shuttle orbiter built for NASA was named "The Enterprise," after Kirk's ship. So were two "Star Trek Lanes," one in Birmingham, Alabama, and one in Garland, Texas. In Las Vegas, there's "Roddenberry Avenue," located in the unincorporated township of "Enterprise."

According to Wikipedia, a small city called Turlock, California has built their streets so that you can drive up Picard Lane, and take a turn onto Warp Drive. We can't help but imagine that every member of the town council, as well as the construction workers on the project, spent the entire time giggling like morons.
Slash Fiction
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

In case you don't know, "Slash" Fiction is fan-fiction written in order to create situations where homosexual relationships between traditionally non-homosexual characters happen.

If you're not familiar with Slash Fiction, you probably don't realize how much of it involves Kirk and Spock giving each other the "Vulcan Salute" (and if you are familiar with this subculture, you know that it's roughly 150%). Slash Fiction was literally invented by Star Trek fans. The "Slash" actually stands for the backslash mark often used to label the stories, i.e., Kirk/Spock, Starsky/Hutch, Walter/Jesse, etc. It became so popular, that it became a whole sub-culture and now you have Slash Fiction about everything from Star Trek to the short lived '90s TV series Due South.

Some people aren't on board with this sort of thing because a lot of it involves fetishizing homosexuality for one's own gratification, which is its own form of homophobia. But in Star Trek's case, the sheer number of examples of in-universe sexual tension allow for an exception. If you don't want to watch the web series devoted to Kirk/Spock, then just watch the famous "backrub" scene.
All Their Predictions Are Coming True
All Their Predictions Ar... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 7 Ways Star Trek Changed the World
Photo:  null/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
The medical Tricorder? Someone finally invented that. Light based storage? coming soon. Universal Translators? possible. Vulcan? It's a real planet, in exactly the system Roddenberry said it would be.