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SMBC Comics Forum • View topic - [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

[2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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[2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Tony » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:45 pm

Corey Mohler dealt with this issue in the first installment of his Existential Comics series:



It includes the astute observation that our consciousness arises not from specific atoms but from the pattern of interaction between them, which ceases every time we're knocked unconscious or fall into deep sleep and is started anew the next time our brain re-IPL's our consciousness. The question of whether your soul is eternal seems moot when you realize that it doesn't even survive a long nap.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby TheCastro » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:04 pm

I've always had this problem with the teleporter theory, but on star trek it was explained the atoms are moved to the new location and reassembled, so you're still the same person. This comic reflects the theoretical physics explanation of how a teleporter works. The movie the Prestige has this same issue, either Wolverine's character died the first time he used the machine, or the subsequent times it was used the original died, either way the original dies at some point, but that's never addressed.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby pianoplayah » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:41 pm

This concept is also explored pretty funnily in the novel Kraken by China Mieville. A character has the power to teleport but every time he does, he dies. So eventually his past selves get really pissed off and start haunting him as ghosts.

Also, lol Wolverine's character in the prestige. :) I agree with your nomenclature, and will similarly probably always refer to Orlando Bloom as Legolas.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Nurrdeer » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:25 pm

Thinking of playing EvE?

Think again.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:15 pm

I still really like this animation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdxucpPq6Lc
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Guest » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:23 am

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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby DonRetrasado » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:40 am

How is death any different from having your particles rearranged anyway?
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby MeisterKleister » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:16 am

Last edited by MeisterKleister on Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Men educated in [the critical habit of thought] … are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain." -William Graham Sumner

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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:14 pm

If you believe in metaphysics, it matters and hopefully using a teleporter doesn't get you fed to the harpies. If you don't, it probably doesn't matter much.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Guest » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:44 pm

The real problem is each teleportation causes a death trigger, unbalancing a lot of older cards.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby knowan » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:02 pm

Would you be opposed to a teleporter that could edit the copy? Say you step into a teleporter for transportation. When it does its initial scan it notices that there's something wrong with a certain number of your cells. Unbeknownst to you, you have cancer. The transporter corrects the error and the "new" you has the cancerous cells deleted, and you emerge cancer free.

But in this case, information wasn't merely transferred, it was altered. The "you" that stepped out of the transporter was significantly different that they "you" that stepped in. You are demonstratively a copy.

And if they can correct for cancer, what else can they correct for? Sure, at first the mind reels with "hey, there's no more need for surgery, ever! We can scan the body and correct the error!"

But then what would be considered an error that need correcting? A broken bone or a blocked artery shouldn't be a problem right?

But don't forget, your thoughts, your consciousness, is nothing but an information pattern to the machine. If you have schizophrenia it can correct it. If you have a traumatic memory that causes toy PTSD, it can remove it.

If you have a bad thought about the current president, or the Republican Party, it can correct it.

If you reject the use of teleporters because you think that destroying the original and creating a copy is murder of the original, well guess what, it can correct that thought as well.

And that's what we see in the world of Star Trek. A world where resistance to transporter technology has been selectively removed by the transporters themselves. A world where no one resists the Federation, because resistance is unthinkable. Use a transporter once and the "new" you will think that it's absolutely wonderful, because that thought, that worry, as been selectively removed. Use this incredibly convenient technology even once, and resistance to it is literally unthinkable.

You don't even need to transport everyone. Just enough people to overcome inertia.

So teleport babies out of the womb. Mothers don't have to go through hours of painful labor or possible complications, and it's even easy on the baby since it isn't squeezed through a 10 cm hole. How convenient!

What other behaviors can be corrected by modifying the thought patterns? Is the Utopian society in the Star Trek Earth obtainable without modifying the behavior patterns of its citizens?
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Lethal Interjection » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:38 pm

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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Tony » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:33 pm

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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby Nachtie » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:51 pm

I'm frankly surprised to see Star Trek being used as an example in the discussion? I know it's the pop culture entity that first introduced many people to this dilemma, but it's made perfectly clear that the atoms are not magically zapped somewhere and reassembled. If this were true, there couldn't be two Rikers in . There's also the animated episode , whose resolution depends on the fact that they can muddle around with the output of a transporter. Now, how it keeps their memories while returning their physical bodies to an earlier state is a mystery, but not as big of one as why this feature isn't routinely used for life extension. Then, there's the numerous references to which, if memory serves correctly, are even able to remove nano-molecular virii, parasites, and bacteria. Also, I don't know if there's a proper name for it, but they can also find weapons and remove them when transporting. We never see or are told, but since there's no visible output when these things are separated (unless intentionally produced) it's safe to assume they just aren't fabricated at all. Oh, and lets not forget my personal favorite, . Now, all of this does make it very bizarre that raw materials which cannot be fabricated using replicator technology can be teleported aboard. However, short of fiat claims made by proclamation, it's really the only strong argument for the actual atoms being transported and reassembled exactly.
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Re: [2015-12-15] Teleportation Is Always Fatal

Postby ChuckV » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:52 pm

I think much of the attention paid to copy vs. original is based on human experience that doesn't apply to individual atoms. In human scale, two identical objects can have different actions applied and the result used to identify which is which. For example, with two identical minted coins one can be scratched. However, atoms are identical on a deep physical level which doesn't apply to human scale objects. Atoms of the same type and energy state are physically indistinguishable. It physically makes no difference whether it was the same carbon atom or not when the protein is reconstructed. Even if you take the energy from the original carbon atom to make the carbon atom in the new location, the new atom, in a physics sense, is a new particle (created from a photon or whatever) which is identical to the old.

Another confusion is that people are not used to being disassembled. In all our history, human disassembly means death. However with this fictional technology, not so. I think it better described as a stasis, as when my computer is disassembled. It's neither dead, nor alive. Using the term fatal doesn't get the correct nuance here. Fatal implies one cannot come back. In the story you can.
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