What happens when everything is available anywhere?

Of all the outlandish technologies I propose in The Punch Escrow, the one nobody seems to ever take umbrage with is “printing.” For those who haven’t read my book, a base assumption I make about 22nd century Earth is that we will be able to 3D print pretty much anything: the food we eat, the silverware we eat it with, heck, maybe even some people to join us for dinner.

Tal M. Klein's The Punch Escrow is available from Amazon.

How? E=mc2. Really, it all comes down to E=mc2; Einstein’s energy-matter equivalence principle. This equation tells us that mass is just another form of energy. That means we should be able to take some mass and directly convert it into pure energy, a thesis supported by real evidence. For example, it’s how we explain the energy that keeps atomic nuclei together. If we were to weigh the nucleus of any atom, we’d find it weighed slightly less than the sum of its parts. Where’d the extra heft go? It was converted into energy -- the “glue” holding everything together (in other words, dude, energy is the carpet of our universe). Since E=mc2 is a balanced formula, we should be able to -- at least in theory --convert energy to mass.

In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle allows energy to briefly decay into particles and antiparticles which then transmogrify back to pure energy. At small enough scales, the energy of these fluctuations would be large enough to cause significant departures from the smooth spacetime seen at macroscopic scales, giving spacetime a "foamy" character. Read the rest