Science - current topic: Teleportation

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Shrooblord
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Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by Shrooblord »

Hello forum,

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:
DontMockMySmock 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.
to which I replied with
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.
What are your views?
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Bradandez
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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by Bradandez »

Currently, nothing to add to teleportation except for the possibility of two organisms getting their molecules mixed together and becoming some sort of abomination. Imagine that would ya? It'd be pretty terrifying.

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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by Pirez »

Somebody saw The Fly recently, and it might just be ^
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Shrooblord
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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by Shrooblord »

It reminds me of that bug scientist from Monsters vs. Aliens.

Teleportation would be a cool technology though. Instantaneous travel to pretty much anywhere? Sounds good. It sort of makes me wonder about the limit of travelling at the speed of light and that sorta thing. Do you think teleportation could be limited by this constant speed?
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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by saerleiya »

Shrooblord wrote:Teleportation would be a cool technology though. Instantaneous travel to pretty much anywhere? Sounds good. It sort of makes me wonder about the limit of travelling at the speed of light and that sorta thing. Do you think teleportation could be limited by this constant speed?
A great French writer/drawer for me actually suggested that faster-than-light travels were also possible if light itself happens to be completely suppressed in a very specific area. Of course, it's very theoretical, but it does make sense, kind of.

About teleportation, what you showed in your post is very reminiscent of a debate we sometimes have, my family and I. My brother is a very curious guy and likes to start discussions about very popular yet complicated topics like teleportation. We came up with the conclusion that it would be very complicated, indeed, to recreate the exact same person at the other end of the device, provided the atoms constituing this new body are the exact same as the ones from the previous body.

I also exposed the fact that a person is also determined by the actual connexions and exhancges happening in his/her body at an instant t. What happens if they are broken, even for the slightest of time, to recreated in another place? There is also the issue that we don't a lot about how the brain functions yet, but with teleportation, it all comes to this, at it's one of the parts of the body we don't have a lot of knowledge about yet, therefore we are not able to make a deep, very thoughful statement about teleportation because of this. It also rises the fact that if we happen to have a very deep knowledge about the brain at some point in the future, it might rises other questions around it, like personal identity, and the concept of soul, as a person's mind may be able to be recreated from scratch a we would fully know how it works.
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Shrooblord
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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by Shrooblord »

Which is sorta scary cause you could potentially get robots running around with your personality or 'mind hackers' may become a thing at that point.
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Re: Science - current topic: Teleportation

Post by PluMGMK »

This topic looks like it was way too interesting to die such an unceremonious death. Not sure why I didn't bother responding when it was first posted five years ago…

Anyway, I'm afraid I have to say I'm with the Wheezy Waiter here. I don't think I could bring myself to use such technology, with no way of knowing for sure whether or not "I" would survive it.
That said, it's probably all moot. The HowStuffWorks article only mentions teleporting photons and laser beams (i.e. bundles of coherent photons). All the information that exists about a photon is its momentum and polarization. Nothing else. Contrast that to the ~1028 atoms (figure coming from the HowStuffWorks article itself) making up a human body, each made of dozens of protons, neutrons and electrons, all influencing each other's quantum states to varying degrees. Surely quantum decoherence will always thwart any attempt to move all that information at once, in the same way that a cat in a box can't really be in a superposition of "dead" and "alive" states – it's just a fun thought experiment. Maybe you'd have slightly better luck if you cooled yourself to a fraction of a kelvin before attempting the teleportation, but (whatever about the rest of the process) that alone would almost certainly kill you. :fou:

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