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Tags star trek , teleportation

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Old 29th November 2012, 03:53 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
This is wrong. There is the same continuity as always.

Look at what happens in the body of someone who doesn't use the teleporter. There is a particle A that bounces into a particle B, leading to a change in B. This is a "causal" event, because A "caused" the change in B. If you wanted to, you could track all the causal events that led to A being in the state it was in immediately prior to interacting with B. It might look like this:

event(1 ) --> event( 2 ) --> ... --> event( n ) --> event( A hits B ) --> < the future >

Now can you tell me how this causal sequence is changed by inserting a teleporter event somewhere? Suppose the teleporter magicks the person to another location instantly. The sequence might look like this:

event( 1 ) --> event( 2 ) --> ... --> event( n ) --> TELEPORT --> event( A hits B ) --> < the future >

Look carefully -- do you see how the TELEPORT event completely invalidates the rest of the sequence? No, you don't -- because it doesn't. The sequence of causal events leading up to the current moment in time are identical, except for a single extra event, that doesn't alter the relative states of any of the particles in the person's brain. From the perspective of the particles -- and hence any physical process in your body -- the TELEPORT event is a No-op.

To the extent that there exists any continuity in the physical processes ( which isn't a simple yes/no, mind you ), it is entirely preserved by the teleport.

No, I don't think that's right. Let's say at the moment of your "dissolution", particle A is about to hit particle B. You're saying that on your new "resolution", particle A is set up again by the transporter to hit particle B, and things begin right where they were left off.

My argument is that, upon your resolution, it's NOT particle A which is set up to hit particle B, it's some particle C that's set up to hit some particle D in the same way that particle A was about to hit particle B before the dissolution...but that doesn't make them particles A and B. Particles A and B remain on Earth - no longer about to collide perhaps, maybe doing other things instead, scattered about, kept in a tank of particles...but they still exist there; they can't be in two places at once. Once the brain that the processes exist in is dissolved, the continuity is broken, period. The next brain can be created and its processes kicked off in a "mid-stream" state - the tape is started in the middle rather than from the beginning - but the original stream of brain processes is terminated.

Again, you continue to avoid the "what if it doesn't kill the person the information is copied from" hypothesis and its implications.

Let's make it even simpler: suppose your "transported copy" isn't resolved on Mars; suppose it's resolved on the other side of the room you started in. Now there's two human bodies standing in the same room, not one - correct? Two subjects? You can touch one without touching them both?
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:07 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
No, I don't think that's right. Let's say at the moment of your "dissolution", particle A is about to hit particle B. You're saying that on your new "resolution", particle A is set up again by the transporter to hit particle B, and things begin right where they were left off.

My argument is that, upon your resolution, it's NOT particle A which is set up to hit particle B, it's some particle C that's set up to hit some particle D in the same way that particle A was about to hit particle B before the dissolution...but that doesn't make them particles A and B. Particles A and B remain on Earth - no longer about to collide perhaps, maybe doing other things instead, scattered about, kept in a tank of particles...but they still exist there; they can't be in two places at once. Once the brain that the processes exist in is dissolved, the continuity is broken, period. The next brain can be created and its processes kicked off in a "mid-stream" state - the tape is started in the middle rather than from the beginning - but the original stream of brain processes is terminated.
There are two ways I can respond to this.

First, I'm saying the process is not the particles -- it is the sequence of causal events between the particles. If two sequences of causal events are identical, then the process is identical. Whether the particles are the same particles is irrelevant. You can swap out A for C and B for D and the sequence would be identical into the future ( as long as A and C are entirely equivalent, etc ).

Second, I don't think physics necessarily supports the idea that a particle remains the "same" particle over time. A particle could disappear and another one reappear to take it's place and all physical laws remain intact as long as that event happened inside of a planck time. This sort of invalidates the criteria we humans use for "sameness" because you could do something like teleport a whole person inside of a planck time and then ask "which particles are the originals and which are the copies?" and there is no possible correct answer.

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Again, you continue to avoid the "what if it doesn't kill the person the information is copied from" hypothesis and its implications.

Let's make it even simpler: suppose your "transported copy" isn't resolved on Mars; suppose it's resolved on the other side of the room you started in. Now there's two human bodies standing in the same room, not one - correct? Two subjects? You can touch one without touching them both?
No I'm not avoiding it. Everyone agrees that *after* the teleport there are two people. The question is what happens at the exact moment of the materialization of the copy.

At that moment, the particles in the copy are, physically speaking, the *same* particles as those of the original. You could even have the teleporter just create the copy in the same position as the original, to illustrate the issue.
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:34 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
I disagree with Nick227 on this. There are no rational grounds for thinking it is acceptable that the original is destroyed besides some obscure zero sum resource allocation nonsense ( like, you can only ever have x of you walking around because of food or energy or whatever ).
How about the physical fact that it's impossible to copy the quantum state of system without destroying the original system?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem
Quote:
The no-cloning theorem is a result of quantum mechanics that forbids the creation of identical copies of an arbitrary unknown quantum state.
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:44 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Once the brain that the processes exist in is dissolved, the continuity is broken, period.
I don't understand this "continuity". What is it exactly, and how is it important to your sense of self?

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Again, you continue to avoid the "what if it doesn't kill the person the information is copied from" hypothesis and its implications.
It's really more of a thought experiment than a hypothesis.

Anyway, imagine that I make a copy of you, and pause time at the exact moment of (instant) duplication. Now I have two identical yous, YouA and YouB. What sets YouA apart?

Remember, YouB is a perfect copy. If there was a sense of self and continuity in YouA, then there is the same sense of self and continuity in YouB.

"YouA is the original" you say. Ok, then I'll also swap around your positions, so that YouB is now in the exact same spot as YouA were and vice versa. Which one is now the original? And why?

I really want to know. Because intuitively (I would hesitate to use a Star Trek type transporter) I'm with you, intellectually I'm not.

Last edited by Asm; 29th November 2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 29th November 2012, 08:24 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
How about the physical fact that it's impossible to copy the quantum state of system without destroying the original system?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem
Alright, that seems like a very good reason.

However, this implies that the original is destroyed *as* the copy is made, not after. Does it not?
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:10 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Croydon Bob View Post
I don't understand how you could reach that conclusion. I would have been destroyed and an exact copy been made. Unless you believe in a "soul" or something religious then the beamed down me is no more the original than a copy of a CD is the original. It is exactly the same with the same memories (apparently, I can't see how that would actually work) but it is not me.
So...what exactly is 'you' then?
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:18 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
...It does not matter if reconstitute a 100% copy at the end. That person will be virtually identical to the universe, but the original died.
Sure, but so what?

If all the things I think of as me (i.e. the sum of the squishy bits between my ears) carry on in a different location I'm happy as Larry.

I would undergo this type of transportation (once proven to work with the same level of safety as air travel).

In particular, I'd much rather do this in January than what I'll actually be doing - which is hopping on a plane at Heathrow, undergoing 26 hours of torture (i.e. flying economy class to New Zealand), and then doing the reverse journey 3 weeks later.

Having my atomic information scanned in London, being painlessly and instantly disassembled, and then having the information reconstituted in some different set of atoms seconds later in New Zealand is much more palatable to me than enduring airports, airlines (and their 'food')...not to mention the cramped indignity of trip itself.

Not having to use an airline loo after 13 hours in the air is, in and of itself, reason enough to 'fax' myself rather than fly.

And yes - even the scenario mentioned up-thread where they don't disassemble me in London until they've confirmed I've been properly reassembled in NZ is perfectly fine by me. It's still far better than the alternative.
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:47 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
Alright, that seems like a very good reason.

However, this implies that the original is destroyed *as* the copy is made, not after. Does it not?
Yeah, I think so
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Old 29th November 2012, 11:14 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
Alright, that seems like a very good reason.

However, this implies that the original is destroyed *as* the copy is made, not after. Does it not?
Yeah, I think so
I'm not sure about that (though not a physicist so subject to correction). I think it's to do with having to disturb the quantum state in order to measure it: consequence of the famous uncertainty principle (measure one aspect of the state, such as momentum, and you disturb its paired aspect - for momentum, position - and vice versa); so it's a fundamental limit on knowledge, irrespective of whether the original is destroyed or preserved. Since measurement alters the state in random ways - the better you measure one thing, the less you know about its paired property - there's simply no way to completely "know" the quantum state of the original in order to copy it. More apropos of this thread, it's stated outright in the - surprise, surprise - No-teleportation theoremWP.

Which is why the question of an actual Star Trek transporter shouldn't take too long to resolve, perhaps; unless QM is wrong, it's physically impossible (quantum-level duplicates, at least). However, even if it's not science, it's still, to quote one imaginary user of the imaginary transporter, "fascinating" as a thought-experiment in philosophy, as a way to test notions of identity, continuity, consciousness and such. In fact, not under the name "teletransporter" obviously but as a question related to Christian notions of the resurrection of the dead post-Apocalypse, it goes back centuries, as least as far as Thomas Aquinas writing thirteenth century in the Summa Contra Gentiles (Book IV - 81.[7] & thereabouts):
Originally Posted by Dumb Ox
What does not bar numerical unity in a man while he lives on uninterruptedly, clearly can be no bar to the identity of the risen man with the man that was. In a man's body while he lives, there are not always the same parts in respect of matter, but only in respect of species. In respect of matter there is a flux and reflux of parts: still that fact does not bar the man's numerical unity from the beginning to the end of his life. ... [Rickaby transl.]
Resurrection of the Geeks, indeed.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:01 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
And the fact that 'stuff' includes spending your cash and banging your girlfriend doesn't bother you at all?
Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
Good point. Instead of copying yourself, copy your girlfriend.
I'd be down with two girlfriends.

Heck, maybe four. Then we can get really kinky.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:41 AM   #211
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Dunno about that, annoying enough when just the one has a headache...

jalok
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:34 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
From my personal perspective nothing is lost because there has never been anyone there to lose it,merely the illusion that there was. And that too will be perfectly replicated.

Nick
I still don't see why just because the "I" is an illusion it is acceptable to kill the brain producing the illusion. Surely it's not rational to think that just because a copy exists, when your illusion ceases, it will magically transfer to the copy? That would imply something beyond materialism wouldn't it? What you think of as "you" is bound to the hardware that produces it, by definition of materialization, producing a copy would not transpose your perspective.
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:58 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
How about the physical fact that it's impossible to copy the quantum state of system without destroying the original system?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem
That is very interesting, I knew there was some reason why you couldn't create an Identical copy in reality, it could be very close but not identical. but I couldn't remember the actual theory.

It does imply that if you create an identical copy, the original would be destroyed imediatley, a bit like the one plank length transporter someone mention earlier.

If I'm understanding this correctly, (and there is a good chance I'm not) it seem perhaps you could create a physical copy and then change its quantum state to exactly match that of the original, and at the same moment the quantum state of the original would change to match the copy. it's not likely to ever be possible but, intriguing non the less

I'm not sure I would be happy to use this sort of transporter, but it is possible. you could test it by creating the nearly identical copy. Tell it "oh your on Mars by the way" flip the quantum state and ask him where he is, if he says "Earth" bobs your uncle.

(Pretty sure you couldn't actually do that, but intriguing non the less)
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:24 AM   #214
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More than a Star Trek transporter I always wanted one of those robot bodies that was promised to Uhura in the episode Mudds Women. Having had life long digestive problems due to multiple GI birth defects, the idea of an immortal body incapable of puking has been appealing to me since I first saw the episode in childhood.
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Old 30th November 2012, 04:00 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Surely it's not rational to think that just because a copy exists, when your illusion ceases, it will magically transfer to the copy? .
The idea that there is something that would need to be magically transfered is the illusion.


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Old 30th November 2012, 10:29 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
I disagree with Nick227 on this. There are no rational grounds for thinking it is acceptable that the original is destroyed besides some obscure zero sum resource allocation nonsense ( like, you can only ever have x of you walking around because of food or energy or whatever ).
Well, if everyone was teleporting about the place and you didn't destroy the originals, a heap of social problems would rapidly accumulate.

Off to work in the morning, out to lunch, back home to meet the 3 odd copies created that day. Which of you sleeps where and with whom, who eats what. The earths population would expand exponentially.

You have to destroy originals.


Nick

Eta - plus the OCDs would repeatedly push the red button resulting in rapidly multiplying numbers at the destination. Certain personality traits would fight with their copies, others repeatedly push, the whole evolution of the race would be skewed.
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Old 30th November 2012, 10:38 AM   #217
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In reality I couldn't see teleportation to be safe to use on living beings. Or anything volatile. Or anything with moving parts. Or anything that needs to be in a certain state when it arrives, like medical supplies. Or much anything for that mater. So no.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:03 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
Well, if everyone was teleporting about the place and you didn't destroy the originals, a heap of social problems would rapidly accumulate.

Off to work in the morning, out to lunch, back home to meet the 3 odd copies created that day. Which of you sleeps where and with whom, who eats what. The earths population would expand exponentially.

You have to destroy originals.


Nick

Eta - plus the OCDs would repeatedly push the red button resulting in rapidly multiplying numbers at the destination. Certain personality traits would fight with their copies, others repeatedly push, the whole evolution of the race would be skewed.
Bull. That's a flimsy basis for your assertion. I think you're just uncertain how to treat the situation where the originals are not destroyed, so you're insisting that's the only way it can possibly work.


Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
In reality I couldn't see teleportation to be safe to use on living beings. Or anything volatile. Or anything with moving parts. Or anything that needs to be in a certain state when it arrives, like medical supplies. Or much anything for that mater. So no.
Raw materials. Given a 5% failure rate, say, it'd be insane to use on humans, but shipping steel, air, etc to a colony on Mars would be invaluable.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:33 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Bull. That's a flimsy basis for your assertion. I think you're just uncertain how to treat the situation where the originals are not destroyed, so you're insisting that's the only way it can possibly work.
I originally said that there was no rational grounds for a materialist to object to using the teleport. This is because nothing is lost and no one dies (emphasis on one). This thought experiment had been used for decades to distinguish between genuine and false materialists. Nick
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:44 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
Well, if everyone was teleporting about the place and you didn't destroy the originals, a heap of social problems would rapidly accumulate.

Off to work in the morning, out to lunch, back home to meet the 3 odd copies created that day. Which of you sleeps where and with whom, who eats what. The earths population would expand exponentially.

You have to destroy originals.


Nick

Eta - plus the OCDs would repeatedly push the red button resulting in rapidly multiplying numbers at the destination. Certain personality traits would fight with their copies, others repeatedly push, the whole evolution of the race would be skewed.
All you have to do is supplement the teleporter to merge people back together. It's really not a big deal.

Who would use a teleporter anyway, if they couldn't ever share the experiences of the copy? The whole point is to make it like a trip. One of you goes there, does stuff, comes back, rejoins, and you have all the memories of whatever you did over there. Plus, you did stuff over there.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:52 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
I originally said that there was no rational grounds for a materialist to object to using the teleport. This is because nothing is lost and no one dies (emphasis on one). This thought experiment had been used for decades to distinguish between genuine and false materialists. Nick
Are we talking about the same type of teleporter? Because in the version I'm thinking of the original dies, is there another version? If so could you explain how it works?

The version I know of copies the person who steps into the transporter, sends the data to mars, and then reassembles the data into a physical body in the same state it was when copied. At some point during this procedure the original is destroyed. (I don't recal exactly when it's supposed to happen, but I don't think it matters.)
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:10 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
All you have to do is supplement the teleporter to merge people back together. It's really not a big deal
You'd have to destroy both and create one with two sets of memories of what happened that day. Nick
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:28 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Are we talking about the same type of teleporter? Because in the version I'm thinking of the original dies, is there another version? If so could you explain how it works?
It's the strict semantics necessary in this situation. Yes the original dies. But no one dies.

Some body is killed but no one dies. If you get the distinction then you get materialism at this deeply personal level.

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Old 30th November 2012, 12:39 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
There are two ways I can respond to this.

First, I'm saying the process is not the particles -- it is the sequence of causal events between the particles. If two sequences of causal events are identical, then the process is identical. Whether the particles are the same particles is irrelevant. You can swap out A for C and B for D and the sequence would be identical into the future ( as long as A and C are entirely equivalent, etc ).

And there is the disconnect. I don't agree that whether the particles are the same particles is irrelevant. The very fact that there now exists a second "identical process" makes it necessary to use other means, external to the process itself, to distinguish one from the other. The identities of the exact particles engaging in the two identical processes is the next easiest way to distinguish between the two of them. Consider again my analogy of two seperate cassette tapes containing the exact same album. You can stop one, start the other, and it might be the same album that's playing, but it is definitely not the same tape.

Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
Second, I don't think physics necessarily supports the idea that a particle remains the "same" particle over time. A particle could disappear and another one reappear to take it's place and all physical laws remain intact as long as that event happened inside of a planck time. This sort of invalidates the criteria we humans use for "sameness" because you could do something like teleport a whole person inside of a planck time and then ask "which particles are the originals and which are the copies?" and there is no possible correct answer.

But we're not talking about a system in which the original particles are made to disappear and others are made to appear in their place near-instantly; we're talking about the Star Trek transporter, in which (if I understand it right), free particles at the destination are trapped and repurposed in order to build the new "copy".

Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
No I'm not avoiding it. Everyone agrees that *after* the teleport there are two people. The question is what happens at the exact moment of the materialization of the copy.
It may be for you; it isn't for me - and we've each been asked the same thing, which is would WE use the transporter, and why/why not?

If you recognize that, imagining for the moment that the "original" could be not-killed, the transporter essentially results in two discrete organisms, even if they are functionally two iterations of the same "consciousness", then you recognize the basis of my objection: practically-speaking (for the purposes of this argument), the required transporter procedure is that of the two discrete organisms that result from the transportation process, the one that first steps into the "departure" end is destroyed. Killed.

All this talk about whether the "consciousness that stays alive is the same" is irrelevant to my particular objection; because my consciousness is not concerned with preserving itself, it's concerned with preserving the organism in which it took form. I don't care whether "it can be said that a Checkmite still exists in the universe once the procedure is done".

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Old 30th November 2012, 01:34 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
I'm not a fan of the show, I haven't seen many episodes. What kind of things used to go wrong?
Actually for a very graphic version of what could go wrong using a matter transporter see "The Fly". EIther version, though I prefer the 1986 Cronenburg film.

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Old 30th November 2012, 01:36 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
It's the strict semantics necessary in this situation. Yes the original dies. But no one dies.

Some body is killed but no one dies. If you get the distinction then you get materialism at this deeply personal level.

Nick
So the original and the copy are not individuals? You don't see them as separate beings? I think they are, they behave the same, but do so independently.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:41 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
All this talk about whether the "consciousness that stays alive is the same" is irrelevant to my particular objection; because my consciousness is not concerned with preserving itself, it's concerned with preserving the organism in which it took form. I don't care whether "it can be said that a Checkmite still exists in the universe once the procedure is done".
I think this sums up my objections as well.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:41 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
You'd have to destroy both and create one with two sets of memories of what happened that day. Nick
You do have to destroy both, yes.

But you don't have to have two sets of memories. You merge both sets into a single set.

This is entirely possible if you think about it -- our memory doesn't work in terms of values. You don't remember "I was doing this 4 hours ago, and doing this 3 hours ago" etc. All you remember is the events themselves. To the extent that we can determine order, it is only based on our ability to infer logically based on the content of the memories.

For example, I bet if you recall something that happened years ago, and then recall something else, you can't tell immediately which happened first. You need to evaluate the contents of the memories to infer which *must* have happened first, given the content of the memories.

So merging a set of memories from your time on mars, with a set from your time on Earth, even though both spans of time are the same, is trivial ( in a mathematical sense ). What is not trivial is hooking up the neural networks properly without nuking important stuff.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:44 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Actually for a very graphic version of what could go wrong using a matter transporter see "The Fly". EIther version, though I prefer the 1986 Cronenburg film.
The question was not, would you use the matter transporter form the 1986 movie "The Fly." I think everyone agrees that if a fly landed on your shoulder right before a Star Trek transporter beamed you, you would simply have a fly on your shoulder at your destination.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:51 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
And there is the disconnect. I don't agree that whether the particles are the same particles is irrelevant. The very fact that there now exists a second "identical process" makes it necessary to use other means, external to the process itself, to distinguish one from the other. The identities of the exact particles engaging in the two identical processes is the next easiest way to distinguish between the two of them. Consider again my analogy of two seperate cassette tapes containing the exact same album. You can stop one, start the other, and it might be the same album that's playing, but it is definitely not the same tape.
Yes but my point is that the notion of whether two particles are two particles or one particle breaks down in the scenario. Its sort of like infinitesimal relativity. If one particle is destroyed and another created within one planck time, any conceivable definition of "same" will hold. Even if for a moment there are two particles, there really aren't two particles, because we can only count particles across time intervals greater than or equal to one planck time.

Granted, this also implies that there won't be two particles ever, because you can't do anything in the universe that takes less than one planck time. So it's a "magical" teleporter that doesn't operate according to math or physics. Go figure.

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
But we're not talking about a system in which the original particles are made to disappear and others are made to appear in their place near-instantly; we're talking about the Star Trek transporter, in which (if I understand it right), free particles at the destination are trapped and repurposed in order to build the new "copy".
Ok, but the typical refutation of objections to using that kind is that all the particles in your body are routinely swapped out anyway. You just don't know it because the cells remain intact even though their particles don't.

So the question is -- why is a quicker swap of particles somehow bad, when a slow swap is part of nature already?

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
All this talk about whether the "consciousness that stays alive is the same" is irrelevant to my particular objection; because my consciousness is not concerned with preserving itself, it's concerned with preserving the organism in which it took form. I don't care whether "it can be said that a Checkmite still exists in the universe once the procedure is done".
Alright, that's a valid position to hold.

I could care less about my body ( I don't really like it ) and would much rather be a free floating consciousness that could inhabit anything I wanted. I can't wait to get rid of this dumb body. To each their own.
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:05 PM   #231
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As a general rule:

If I ask whether I will survive doing a thing, and the answer is "in a manner of speaking" or "it depends on how you look at it," I won't do that thing.
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:50 PM   #232
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I love this thread, this is one of the things I've long thought about.

Teleporting the ST way uses the same technology as the replicator in ST. A copy is made and the original destroyed. I would not be happy to use it because I'd be "killed" and my clone would prevent life insurance payout. But what about transporting?

I have a thought experiment on this. Deconstruction. Start by removing the finger and replacing it with a transplanted finger. Are "you" still "you"? I believe the answer is yes. Indeed, organ transplants are common enough and I haven't heard anybody say that they don't feel like it is a part of them. That's not to say it doesn't happen. Indeed, when I look at my arms I think of them as appendages I control, not actually a required part of me to be "me". So continue with this, the only body part where it seems to make a difference is the brain. When the brain is replaced, the identity changes.

So now let's start deconstructing the brain. If Dr. Frankenstein moved your brain from your body to another body, I think you'd agree that "you" are in the new body even though the shell of more than 85% of your DNA is lying on the other table.

Suppose Dr. Frankenstein started moving your brain one square centimeter at a time into a new body, reconnecting all parts and did this while you were fully awake and did it in such as way that at one point half of your brain in the other body was fully connected to one eyeball, one ear, half of the spinal cord, etc. and the other half was still connected to the original body. At that moment, there are TWO yous, independent and experiencing separate things and not communicating with each other. So which one is "you?" One of you goes out to a party with Dr Frankenstein, the other one stays behind in the lab cleaning the surgical tools. No clones here.

But the thought experiment doesn't end there. After a short time, the rest of the operation is now completed and your brain is now fully reassembled, having both experiences but now just one individual mind having experienced those things simultaneously. At what point does your awareness of yourself arrive in the new body?

Try wrapping your mind around that
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Old 30th November 2012, 06:36 PM   #233
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As far as I'm concerned, a difference that makes no difference is no difference. Before teleport, one Xtifr. After teleport, one Xtifr. If (and this is a big assumption, but one given in the original premise) there is no difference, why should I care that some original has been destroyed? It's not there any more to object, and the new me is indistinguishable from the original (again, this is given as part of the premise--that's the way Star Trek transporters work).

All the quibbles about "well you're really dead" strike me as pure metaphysical twaddle. The result is one me, unchanged, except for location. Why should I care about anything else? (Hint: this is a rhetorical question and attempts to answer it will be laughed at.)

I stick by my original post: if the transporter has been well tested, I would have no hesitation, but there's no way I'm going to be a guinea pig.
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Old 30th November 2012, 06:53 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
If I ask whether I will survive doing a thing, and the answer is "in a manner of speaking" or "it depends on how you look at it," I won't do that thing.
Don't go to sleep tonight. The person who wakes up tommorrow is not in all respects the same person as the one who went to bed. Your consciousness even "died" for some time.

Originally Posted by Jomante View Post
Indeed, when I look at my arms I think of them as appendages I control, not actually a required part of me to be "me".
Then you look at your arms wrongly. Your brain is constantly influenced by signals from your arms (and other body parts). Without them you are not the exact same person.

Quote:
I think you'd agree that "you" are in the new body even though the shell of more than 85% of your DNA is lying on the other table.
I would not agree. My brain together with another body would become a new entity. Some of my consciousness will linger, but this entity will be too different from me to be me. My old me would be mostly dead and only a bit alive.

Quote:
At that moment, there are TWO yous, independent and experiencing separate things and not communicating with each other.
No, there would not even be two half me-s.

Quote:
So which one is "you?"
Neither. I am not a body with half a brain, so making me into two bodies with half brains would change me so profoundly (not to mention the experience of the process of making from me two half brained bodies) that these two bodies cannot be me. This is very different from making copies of me in the teletransporter: in that case both resulting bodies would be so similar to original me that there is no significant difference and both are me.

Quote:
After a short time, the rest of the operation is now completed and your brain is now fully reassembled, having both experiences but now just one individual mind having experienced those things simultaneously.
I am not convinced that two half brains that have experienced significant time in seperate bodies can converge back into one individual mind.

Quote:
At what point does your awareness of yourself arrive in the new body?
At no point. The awareness of this new body has been through such profound neurological changes that it is very dissimilar to the original me.
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Old 30th November 2012, 07:41 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
As a general rule:

If I ask whether I will survive doing a thing, and the answer is "in a manner of speaking" or "it depends on how you look at it," I won't do that thing.

Sleep well tonight.



Respectfully,
Myriad

ETA: Oops, Earthborn got there first.
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Old 30th November 2012, 08:50 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
I originally said that there was no rational grounds for a materialist to object to using the teleport. This is because nothing is lost and no one dies (emphasis on one). This thought experiment had been used for decades to distinguish between genuine and false materialists. Nick
You're going to No True Scotsman me? Really?

Alright chief, let's do this. How does identifying clones as two people count as being a "false materialist?"
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Old 30th November 2012, 09:57 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
Don't go to sleep tonight. The person who wakes up tommorrow is not in all respects the same person as the one who went to bed. Your consciousness even "died" for some time.
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Sleep well tonight.
First, I'll die if I don't sleep from time to time, so it's not quite the either/or proposition that the transporter is.

Second, I don't believe that consciousness has a sharply defined edge. I think that I'm still 'there' while sleeping, simply less aware; there's certainly a lot of brain activity even during normal unconsciousness. That leaves open the question of what happens during a deep coma or temporary death (e.g. a drowning victim who is revived). I don't know.

I'm aware that there's a constant turnover of cells in my brain, and that my brain is constantly changing state and therefore is not the same from one moment to the next. Consciousness is a process; if my state stopped changing, I wouldn't be conscious. The ongoing changes in my brain are a necessary part of consciousness.

I don't understand how the ongoing changes in my brain give rise to my perception of consciousness, so it's really not clear to me that the teleporter wouldn't represent a sharp change in continuity.

Here's my version of the thought experiment:

If there's one receiver, why not 2? Why not 50? So suppose that the teleporter created 50 copies of you, and each copy had a wallet. If 49 of you died, the survivor would have all 50 wallets with all that money! So, let's suppose that the teleporter was set up to create 50 of you, each in a room with a gun. 49 of the guns are loaded, one isn't. You've just been teleported into a room, and the gun is sitting there in front of you.

Would you do it?
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Old 30th November 2012, 10:27 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
Don't go to sleep tonight. The person who wakes up tommorrow is not in all respects the same person as the one who went to bed. Your consciousness even "died" for some time.
I don't know about him; but this doesn't work for me. I'm aware that my body is constantly changing and I'm not strictly the "same person" I was even when I began typing this sentence. This is another reason why stressing repeatedly that the copy that comes out of the transporter on the other side is "exactly the same in every respect, including conscious processes" as the body that was dissolved to obtain the "building instructions" doesn't do anything to convince me.

In my estimation consciousness isn't living; so it never dies. It's a function, like the light emitted from a light bulb where my body is the bulb. The bulb still exists when the light is turned off; in fact the light never even has to turn on in order for an observer to be able to say the bulb exists.

If it's theoretically possible for an outside observer to tell me that the body my consciousness turned off in is the same one my consciousness turned on in again in the morning, sleep doesn't bother me.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:38 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by dasmiller
I'm aware that there's a constant turnover of cells in my brain, and that my brain is constantly changing state and therefore is not the same from one moment to the next. Consciousness is a process; if my state stopped changing, I wouldn't be conscious. The ongoing changes in my brain are a necessary part of consciousness.
Maybe you can consider it a process on some higher abstract level, but certainly not on the fundamental level (particles, bits).

Originally Posted by dasmiller
I don't understand how the ongoing changes in my brain give rise to my perception of consciousness, so it's really not clear to me that the teleporter wouldn't represent a sharp change in continuity.
All that's required for continuity is already part of your conscious state (in your memory), at any given moment.

Originally Posted by dasmiller
If there's one receiver, why not 2? Why not 50? So suppose that the teleporter created 50 copies of you, and each copy had a wallet. If 49 of you died, the survivor would have all 50 wallets with all that money!
Where's the problem here? Obviously someone has to pay for the raw materials the copies consist of and for the energy used.

Originally Posted by dasmiller
So, let's suppose that the teleporter was set up to create 50 of you, each in a room with a gun. 49 of the guns are loaded, one isn't. You've just been teleported into a room, and the gun is sitting there in front of you.

Would you do it?
Sure. Again, I don't see a problem there. One guy enters the teleporter, one guy comes out alive. Nothing was lost in the process.

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Old 30th November 2012, 11:57 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
Since they are exact copies, you would want them to be of whoever is willing and able to do those things you like done. I don't see the advantage of having two identical people who want nothing to do with you.
So, if they are both copies of the same individual, if they were to have sex would that be incest, lesbianism, or masturbation?
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