Author Topic: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!  (Read 40371 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Well, if your argument is that we can't know, then this is just a religious matter.

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
As I've said before, until we open the box and look, we won't know, nobody forced the Wright Brothers to fly, nobody forced Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon, there will always be people willing to hurl themselves into the unexplored and find out.

Thing is, that probably won't solve the issue, because people will still argue the point that the person may not be the 'same' person, it's really an unanswerable question in that respect.

 

Offline redsniper

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
So when we build the first teleporter or brain copier or whatever, who do we test it on?
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Offline Topgun

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
bunnies.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Despite the best efforts of this thread and all involved, I still must disagree with the concept that a copy will still be me.  I can't quite nail down why, though the prime contender is that I can't shake the thought that even if the hypothetical teleporter rearranged me in the exact likeness of who and what I am now, it still wouldn't be me.  That possibly the sudden and complete sessation of life, even for an infinitesmal amount of time, is somehow different from simple unconsciousness.  At no point in my life until death will my body be completely destroyed, actually disassembled down to the smallest particle of matter, in an instant.  My bodily functions will not cease in everyday living, unlike using this teleporter would entail, but instead continue to function even as the component parts are replaced ever so slowly.

To me, that is the biggest difference, and the largest hurdle in my acceptance of your stance.

EDIT:  Holy crap!  SIX TIMES I had to hit the post button.

 

Offline Snail

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
EDIT:  Holy crap!  SIX TIMES I had to hit the post button.
You're lucky you didn't accidentally sextuple post.

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I suppose one way of discussing it would be this:

If I emailed someone a Word document, would the file I send them be the same document or a different document? Have I sent them my file, or have I sent them something that simply looks like my file in every concievable way?

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Despite the best efforts of this thread and all involved, I still must disagree with the concept that a copy will still be me.  I can't quite nail down why, though the prime contender is that I can't shake the thought that even if the hypothetical teleporter rearranged me in the exact likeness of who and what I am now, it still wouldn't be me.

You must have real fear issues watching Stargate!

Think of it this way: every second, a hypothetical teleporter fails to rearrange you in the exact likeness of who and what you are now. You're shedding and absorbing new atoms constantly. Your inner structures are in a state of constant flux. In fact, you're mostly empty space: built of flickering electromagnetic fields, like gossamer.

The only constant is the pattern of information, like a file, or XKCD's Lego model. The actual Lego bricks involved in the model are being swapped out constantly, but the model itself remains constant.

But I do understand your objections. It's not an easy thing to buy.

Quote
That possibly the sudden and complete sessation of life, even for an infinitesmal amount of time, is somehow different from simple unconsciousness.  At no point in my life until death will my body be completely destroyed, actually disassembled down to the smallest particle of matter, in an instant.  My bodily functions will not cease in everyday living, unlike using this teleporter would entail, but instead continue to function even as the component parts are replaced ever so slowly.

What if your heart stops, your lungs stop, your blood stops, your brain ceases to function, and your very neurons are simply dead matter?

(Alternatively, think of it this way: what if the gradual replacement was sped up to ten seconds? One second? You still probably wouldn't object, would you? Now, use your calculus, and take the limit as the time of replacement approaches zero.)

We can work from there.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Oh, and, sorry for DPost but I don't want you to miss it -

What if you were teleported one atom at a time, a new atom being swapped in for each missing piece? Would you be okay with it then?

Would the transported copy, or the stationary copy, be the 'you' at the end of the process?

See the dilemma?

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
It's not the teleportation itself that I wrestle with.  It's the concept of dying, even for an infinitesmal amount of time (which, even if you consider the "copy" and original to be alive after, during the atom-by-atom relocation of oneself, life can obviously not function) that really unnerves me.  What complicates it further is that after that "death," everything will still be normal, objectively, but I can't be sure, not entirely, not completely, that everything will be the exact same in every instance.

To use the XKCD lego analogy, when you disassemble and reassemble a Lego boat, that boat may still have the same shape and structure, but it isn't the same boat.  I know that, and I can accept that I am not made of the same stuff I was a month ago, but the leap of faith (*snicker*) is assuming that the instant relocation/rearragement (spatially) of matter is equivalent to the gradual replacement of the pieces of my body.  Even taking the limit as time approaches zero, I find myself unable to reconcile that the two processes are the same.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
becuase...     I    D O N  'T     K N O W
this is ALL speculation, I am not going to take the risk when there is an alternative.
I believe that, after I go through the transporter, everything will be the same, same POV, same me, everything, just as if I walked though a door.
but I don't know for sure, and I don't think its worth the risk.

Bear in mind I'm talking about using, say, a TNG teleporter where the technology has been around for many years, is heavily used and no one appears to suffer from ill effects from using it (Mirror universe trips aside! :p )
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
It's not the teleportation itself that I wrestle with.  It's the concept of dying, even for an infinitesmal amount of time (which, even if you consider the "copy" and original to be alive after, during the atom-by-atom relocation of oneself, life can obviously not function) that really unnerves me.

I agree, it's totally unnerving, but unless you want me to stop, I'll keep plugging at the logic.

So, again, what if the teleportation were just slightly slower than instantaneous? What if it were very slow? It's the same process, after all, just a wee bit more delayed. Yet you're okay with it there?

And, similarly, what if you were completely brain and body dead (which happens to people), and then you rebooted from the wetware? Do you consider that equivalent to teleportation in its 'unnerving uncertainty'? Because, from a physical standpoint, it is.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I'm not making myself very clear here.  It has nothing to do with the speed of the teleportation, and everything to do with the concept of dying, even for an infinitesmal amount of time (how do you spell that word anyway? :P).

Were I have happen to me the substance of your third paragraph, I don't know what I would think. (that sentence sounds weird when I read it).  I suppose, in the "unnerving uncertainty" aspect, it would warrant full marks.  However, the circumstance itself (simply from the brain and body death) would have a risk of incongruity with my "former" self.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I'm not making myself very clear here.  It has nothing to do with the speed of the teleportation, and everything to do with the concept of dying, even for an infinitesmal amount of time (how do you spell that word anyway? :P).

Ah, but the speed of the teleportation is very relevant. Let's tackle the same problem differently.
 
Imagine that I teleport a tiny fraction of your brain away and instantly replace it with identical atoms in an identical structure. All action potentials, neurotransmitters, everything is preserved.

I doubt that you feel that you have experienced 'unnerving instantaneous death.'

Now I increase that fraction a bit. And I continue to increase the fraction, until I have instantly teleported and replaced your entire body.

At what fraction do you enter the 'unnerving instant of death' phase you are worried about?

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I can't help seeing the image of a tablecloth being pulled out from under a vase of flowers when i read that.


I'm not a vase and i don't want to break  :shaking:
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Offline Scotty

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I suppose, if pressed for an exact point, I would say the point at which the amount teleported exceeds the amount that could possibly be survived were it to be removed.

This vague feeling of unease is not a rational expression.  Were it rational, those logical breakdowns would help.  As it is, a rational, well-thought out reservation is found somewhat lacking here.  Looking at Dekker's reply, that looks to be a fairly analogous example (even if it's missing a couple things).

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I've just realised the irony of Someone called scotty debating telporter effectiveness. ;)
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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Okay rather than go back and reply to day old messages I'll just say this.


1. People in this thread talk about evolution, well the human body is the product of millions of years of evolution. We are who we are today because somewhere along the line, it became apparent that the current design of human is a successful one. And over the course of Earth history, no design has been more successful in sheer achievement both technological and material. We are fundamentally a BALANCED design. So how is it, that some humans suddenly get the idea that they can improve one aspect of a human body and suddenly they'll get a better design? Remember nature has been testing this human design over hundreds of thousands of years. What Laboratory can do that quantity and quality of testing? To every fundamental change you make to the human body, there WILL be negative consequences. Remember that people with heightened senses and cognitive abilities already exist in our world, they're called Idiot Savants, and most of them have autism or some other disability. There are a few who do not but I would venture that they are the exception, not the norm. The real question is will these changes, the body improvements result in a fundamentally flawed design, and furthermore can these changes be instead achieved more successfully with the creation of external technology?

2. The idea that someone change the human body, and that the new change will be an optional one is bogus. Take GB's example about a race of super humans who can hibernate at will. Animals don't hibernate at will, they hibernate with the seasons. What PRECEDENCE is there for any real voluntary bodily function? Can you sleep at will? Can you decide not to sleep? Can you decide to stop requiring to go to the bathroom? No, of course not. The only thing we can really do is control our muscles and focus our mind. So what exactly gives anyone the idea that they gift humans with these magical powers and suddenly the laws of nature will no longer apply? And yes, I say magical powers because quite honestly they strike me as high fancy. That's the difference between TOOLs from technology and the human body. Tools can be used at will, discarded at will, the human body cannot. So any human-designed evolution of the human body will be technological, not biological. Sure if people want they can enhance their bodies with cybernetic implants but then you're not an enhanced human, you're just a cyborg.

3. As I said to E via PM, I am not opposed to the elimination of diseases such as cancer, or the augmentation of the human body with false hips and so forth to make up for the failings of that body. Essentially I believe there is a "human standard", and no I don't mean some Aryan Nazi bull****, just a very rough baseline of what is a healthy human body. And any medical advances created to bring individuals up to that standard is fine. Glasses, hearing aids, crutches, etcetera. If someone can help spinal paralysis walk again, cool. That's fine. But anything beyond that human standard, no. Because as I said the human is a balanced, successful design, why go unbalancing the design when you can use tool-based technology instead? And on this same topic:

4. Death is not a disease. It's a fact of reality. And yes E I should go read Culture by some guy but I'm not at a library. Immortality is a very dangerous game, as it stands in the current world the only real immortality humans have is their offspring. What will immortality do to the birth rate? I think it very likely that the human race will suddenly stagnate and cease development until all immortals die out through accident or disease and the human race as we know it ceases to exist. All of these questions also ignore the fact that a suddenly immortal world would have devastating consequences to the economy. If the death rate disappears the population will explode and in all likelihood the world economy would collapse as a result. And just because a person is immortal doesn't mean it will significantly change their lives in any event.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
I suppose, if pressed for an exact point, I would say the point at which the amount teleported exceeds the amount that could possibly be survived were it to be removed.

This vague feeling of unease is not a rational expression.  Were it rational, those logical breakdowns would help.  As it is, a rational, well-thought out reservation is found somewhat lacking here.  Looking at Dekker's reply, that looks to be a fairly analogous example (even if it's missing a couple things).

Fair enough, I'll stop trying to logic you out of it.

Akalabeth:

Huge post, I'll just pick out the factually wrong part and hit up some key differences. I really am not interested in a philosophical debate, only in what can be empirically verified.

1. Right now, today, the human species is actually evolving faster than it has at any point in the past. This makes your assertion that we have reached a 'balanced design' observably wrong.

2. It appears your objection is simply to genetic alteration of the human germ line. I'll deal with this later if I feel like it; if you accept technological augmentation then that's close enough. Of course, you do accept alteration of the germ line in some cases, so see #3...

3.  I would have no problem bringing all humans up to the 'human standard'. Of course, that standard would be defined by the most exemplary humans in all fields...after all, most humans can't drink milk, but I can't imagine you'd object to making everyone lactose tolerant. Once we're there, we can decide what to do next.

The important part is that this should be a matter of choice, not some kind of mandatory upgrade. If people want to alter themselves, let them have the freedom. The market can decide.

4. Sure, you don't want to be immortal. Do you have a problem with extending the human lifespan by thirty years? Fifty, a hundred? I don't deny there would be enormous social implications, but there were enormous social implications of the shift from nomadicism to agriculture, and we did okay.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Post edited, FYI, in case you're drafting.