I found no suitable topic of its own (surprisingly), so I decided to make this one. I want to talk to you about certain scientific advancements, discuss their ethics, maybe - just talk about 'em.
So to kick us off, I'd like you to view this short video by Wheezy Waiter on some issues raised regarding teleportation:
And refer you to an interesting string of comments in its comment section:
to which I replied withDontMockMySmock wrote:
The question of teleportation is intimately linked with the question of what "you"/the ego/consciousness/whatever is. So here's my take on it.
Minds are made of neurons, and neurons are made of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and so on. There is nothing inherently "me" in a disorganized pile of those atoms. I hope that's obvious. And since those atoms are, factually actually, super indistinguishable from one another (according to quantum physics), the atoms in my brain are no different than the atoms in the pile, except of course for the fact that the atoms in my brain are organized differently. So what "I" am is not a physical thing, but a pattern. "Death" is what happens when that pattern ceases to have the nature of "alive"-ness (which is a characteristic of patterns).
So it doesn't matter whether the atoms that once made up my brain are destroyed/disorganized via quantum teleportation or whatever, so long as the pattern survives, either rebuilt on another set of atoms. "I" didn't die, I survived in a new brain.
So there's nothing to worry about with that sort of teleportation.
Of course, if you believe in some kind of nonphysical "soul," well, you might have problems with that idea. But I'd have to ask you where you got any kind of reliable evidence for such a thing, and you'd probably be unable to present anything remotely satisfying, and I'd quietly wish that you would shut up and go away. So, I hope you don't have such a belief, whoever you are who just read this.Ryan Wolff wrote:I totally agree.Wheezy Waiter wrote:Oh man, Ryan and I went over this many times. I don't disagree with what you're saying in terms of what the "self" is. But this doesn't fully convince me that if you break down my parts and recreate them EXACTLY the same some where else it would still be a continuation of the experience that my current matter has. If the exact same atoms were being used on the other end, then sure, that might work. But if it's entirely different atoms then you can't convince me that the perpetuation of my current matter's experience would continue.JillH1995 wrote:People often forget that all the atoms in their bodies are replaced periodically. Some take much longer than others, but all the atoms are eventually replaced. Those new atoms are still the same you as the old ones. Teleportation would just be doing the replacing all at once rather than slowly over time.
What are your views?Shrooblord wrote:+JillH1995 Which is an interesting point in its own right; when ceratin atoms are being replaced, oh say, the atoms that make up one of the key brain cells that hold your dearest childhood memory, are those memories 'shoved' onto another braincell while the previous is undergoing (instantaneous) maintenance, to be put back to their 'rightful owner' once it's done rearranging its new atoms?
Say that is true - then what would a simultaneous reshuffling of atoms by use of teleporter do to you and those memories? There'd be no 'backup generators' active to shove the memories onto while the atoms on the other side of the teleporter are being rearranged into the new you. Do you forget your past experiences? Do they rearrange to form a new memory that is more like a dream since it never factually happened? Or is everything retained perfectly?
So is it important that the replacing happens over time, or can you simply rearrange a bunch of atoms in the correct order to reform the 'self' like +DontMockMySmock suggested? Could you then create a database of human patterns and at any one point resurrect someone from the dead, given the right combination of patterns? Could you, in fact, make a snapshot of someone in their twenties and then transfer memories over from a forty year-old version of them back into a twenty year-old snapshot?
Also byteshifting becomes a serious issue. What happens when data transfer between two teleporter units becomes inconsistent with reality? When a simple decimal point in the values that make up the 'pattern that is you' is accidentally shifted, who does that 'you' become when the pattern is rebuilt on the other side?
Thank you, Wheezy - this simple video helps raise some interesting discussion.