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-   -   Are we any closer to beam me up scotty (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=790313)

nansbread 04-13-2016 04:10 PM

Are we any closer to beam me up scotty
 
Since the phrase was used for the first time on Star Trek have we taken any step in the direction of it becoming a reality. Even the tinest little advancement to beam a person from one place on earth to another place on earth. Lets stay on this planet for this question.

Lets have the dope then.

ivylass 04-13-2016 04:14 PM

From what I can gather, they haven't invented a computer big enough to hold a person's matter and energy, and aren't likely to anytime soon.

Exapno Mapcase 04-13-2016 04:21 PM

Not only hasn't there been a step, most of the analysis shows that it's impossible in reality and possibly not even meaningful as a concept.

Stranger On A Train 04-13-2016 04:43 PM

From any technical standpoint, a matter transporter of the Star Trek variety is so much garbage. When they've disintegrated a substantial portion of the crewman, how does the rest of him not just splatter on the floor in a puddle of protoplasm and skeletal residue? How do you rebuild an entire body, one atom at a time, at great range and differential velocity without Doppler shift or interference screwing up your signal? How do you keep from rematerializing your crewman with a bunch of extra air--or worse, in the case of the rare non-"M class" planet with a toxic atmosphere--embedded in him? A writer can invoke "force fields" and "subspace transmissions" but that just brings a whole new layer of bullshititude into the rationale. Trek is pure space opera, written by people who have only the faintest grasp of science, and at best a vehicle for interesting allegorical concepts. Even in a more limited context of just being able to scan a macro scale object in a laboratory and reproduce it by some means at a molecular or atomic level is so vastly beyond even projected technology it may as well be considered magic.

There is a more extensive discussion of the various ways a matter transporter makes no sense in this 2007 thread: "Whgat would it be like to go through a Transporter? (Star Trek style)"?

Stranger

Sage Rat 04-13-2016 05:16 PM

One could say that our ability to scan things is improving and you could also say that our ability to build things at a nano- scale is also improving, so in a very technical sense, yes we're getting closer.

But that doesn't mean that we're close, nor does it mean that there's actually a path with leads from here to there. The human brain, for example, may operate like RAM. It runs by constantly bouncing electrical impulses around, without end. The particular configuration of electrical signals isn't just the working medium, it's also the storage medium. If you lose all those signals, then you're just left with a bunch of silicon. You would need to reload all of the electricity back in, into the same exact positions, moving in the exact same direction as before, otherwise all of the information that was in the device is lost.

So assuming that you could put together all of the molecules that exist in the human body, connect them to one another, etc. that still leaves you with dead meat. You would not just need to kick it into life, but restore all of the electric impulses and anything else to the same exact state - after reconstruction of the body.

"Transportation" of inert items is certainly on the table. Granted, 3D printing is basically already doing that. If I have a plastic device here that I want "transported" to over there, they can print a plastic copy of it over there and (for whatever reason) I could smash up my copy so that there's still only one of that item in the universe.

But actual living things? Maybe there's some creature that's simple enough that, after printing the molecules out, can be kicked into life by simple means - because it doesn't need memory of previous states to continue on from its current position - but humans are a lot more complex than that. And, practically speaking, "beaming up" will probably always just be 3D printing, not matter transmission, so there are some practical and ethical considerations to creating copies of real live people that could stop anyone from ever doing it.

Czarcasm 04-13-2016 05:25 PM

But what we are talking about here is copying people, not "beaming", "transporting" or moving people from point A to point B in any way, shape or form.

running coach 04-13-2016 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19257752)
But what we are talking about here is copying people, not "beaming", "transporting" or moving people from point A to point B in any way, shape or form.

How do you "build" the person at the receiving end with no receiver?

Czarcasm 04-13-2016 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 19257805)
How do you "build" the person at the receiving end with no receiver?

What are you receiving-the original pieces, or the building blocks to make a damn good copy?

Sage Rat 04-13-2016 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19257752)
But what we are talking about here is copying people, not "beaming", "transporting" or moving people from point A to point B in any way, shape or form.

They use the transporter to cure people of disease, by comparing them with body scans from earlier, and (I think) the replicator uses the same special effect as the transporter, so I think it's pretty clear that the transporter is just a machine which 3D prints something based on a stored image.

But as displayed, transmitting people down to the planet surface, etc. it seems to function more like a wormhole that can be opened between any two arbitrary locations, swoop someone up from one end and deposit them at the other.

As far as that goes, I don't think we're anywhere past the stage of deciding that wormholes don't conflict with any of the math we have to describe the universe. Which is a long way away from thinking that they even exist, let alone constructing them, let alone using them in a useful manner. And, I'm not certain that our theories on wormholes would even allow for something to go through without being massively transformed (e.g., smashed, pulled apart, turned into energy, etc.)?

Senegoid 04-13-2016 06:23 PM

One reads articles from time to time discussing breakthrough in teleportation. Like, it's been possible to teleport one attribute of some fundamental particle's quantum state over to another particle. Hey, that's progress! Beam that electron's spin over to me, Scotty!

wolfpup 04-13-2016 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 19257936)
One reads articles from time to time discussing breakthrough in teleportation. Like, it's been possible to teleport one attribute of some fundamental particle's quantum state over to another particle. Hey, that's progress! Beam that electron's spin over to me, Scotty!

In a very narrow sense one could claim that it's also been done with macroscopic objects, but still, you're quite correct. The example cited merely shows the quantum teleportation of the spin wave state of a macroscopic collection of 100 million rubidium atoms, not the atoms themselves. Still, hope springs eternal in the bosoms of devoted Trekkies!

Little Nemo 04-13-2016 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19257752)
But what we are talking about here is copying people, not "beaming", "transporting" or moving people from point A to point B in any way, shape or form.

There's the "Think Like a Dinosaur" version of the transporter. It records all the information about a person and sends it to whatever destination you want where the original person is reproduced. So from the receiving end, it looks just like a Star Trek style transporter.

But the original person is still standing there at the sending end after their information is transmitted and their copy has been received. So you have to kill the original person in order to avoid being overrun with duplicate people.

drachillix 04-13-2016 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train (Post 19257605)
When they've disintegrated a substantial portion of the crewman, how does the rest of him not just splatter on the floor in a puddle of protoplasm and skeletal residue?

Stranger

Volume shadow copy?

Richox 04-13-2016 08:24 PM

Since the original question has effectively been debunked...

In the fantastical realm where you could physically copy someone perfectly at the atomic level... would they be alive, have a personality, memories, etc? Are these facets that are stored at a quantum level, or does any sort of meaningful comparison between these concepts and physical reality make 0 sense?

Trinopus 04-13-2016 08:48 PM

Richox: Chemical bonds involve quantum effects, so any chemical transference, so much as a single water molecule, entails information "stored at a quantum level."

Personality and memories are merely chemical effects, no more and no less "quantum" than any other chemical/molecular effects. There is no magical "quantum" explanation for human awareness.

(Mathematician Roger Penrose tried to argue otherwise, in his book "The Emperor's New Mind," but he has pretty much been shot out of the saddle.)

Richox 04-13-2016 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19258309)
Richox: Chemical bonds involve quantum effects, so any chemical transference, so much as a single water molecule, entails information "stored at a quantum level."

Personality and memories are merely chemical effects, no more and no less "quantum" than any other chemical/molecular effects. There is no magical "quantum" explanation for human awareness.

(Mathematician Roger Penrose tried to argue otherwise, in his book "The Emperor's New Mind," but he has pretty much been shot out of the saddle.)

Therefore you propose this idea as possible in this case? In the wildly impossible hypothetical where exact atomic replication has occurred - memories, personality and all that other human garbage would be also copied intact?

wolfpup 04-13-2016 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richox (Post 19258324)
Therefore you propose this idea as possible in this case? In the wildly impossible hypothetical where exact atomic replication has occurred - memories, personality and all that other human garbage would be also copied intact?

You seem to be trying to imply that memories, personality, and the other stuff associated with personhood has some mystical implementation other than the physical, and cannot be described by basic physics and chemistry. Which is absolute nonsense.

The answer is of course that if such replication occurs, then you have indeed replicated the person. And it wouldn't even have to be down to the atomic level, it arguably could just be "close enough" at some macroscopic level to be completely indistinguishable from the original. Moreover, the moral and ethical questions around replicating a human consciousness arise not only in the far-fetched realms of teleportation, but in the theoretical ability to replicate a full human consciousness in another person or in an artificial intelligence. Does the new instance have anything less than full human rights?

Trinopus 04-13-2016 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richox (Post 19258324)
Therefore you propose this idea as possible in this case? In the wildly impossible hypothetical where exact atomic replication has occurred - memories, personality and all that other human garbage would be also copied intact?

If it were possible to copy the chemical/material form of a human, then, yeah, it would have all the memories and personality of the original.

Obviously, no one is anywhere close to accomplishing this. At most, they have "teleported" (or duplicated) a few clusters of atoms, and only in very special conditions (super-cooled, etc.)

But if it's possible to transport/duplicate the living body, then the mind and thoughts and memory and personality would be there too.

Czarcasm 04-13-2016 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 19258402)
Does the new instance have anything less than full human rights?

But that's only half of the entire question, though: The premise is that which is left behind is destroyed to make room for the new creation. Does the original lose all human rights if it is to be killed once the copy is made? Does the original lose all human rights if the original is to be killed before the copy is completed?
Every time this transporter question comes up in a thread I try to pose this question or a variation of it: If you claim that the transporter-created copy is, to all intents and purposes, you once it arrives at the intended destination, if there were a slight glitch and the original you weren't instantly dissipated during the original action would you be willing to to be taken off to a small room and be killed? No one who has claimed that the copy is just the same as the original has ever replied back.

joema 04-13-2016 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train (Post 19257605)
...Even in a more limited context of just being able to scan a macro scale object in a laboratory and reproduce it by some means at a molecular or atomic level is so vastly beyond even projected technology it may as well be considered magic....

I'm not an expert on Star Trek canon but I believe there was an explanation for this. The simple answer is it was beyond Star Trek technology 200 years hence, and it was alien technology of a vastly more advanced civilization preserved in "stasis boxes". IOW the Star Trek era used transporters as a "black box" without really understanding it.

As you described, the technical challenge of scanning and reproducing on an atomic level a human being would seem to be beyond any projected technology -- even 200 years in the future. Phasers, maybe. Warp drive -- no currently known method but there are obviously glimmerings of of new physics that don't fit into the Standard Model such as dark energy. If our current physics cannot explain what we can currently see, the possibility of an expanded explanation allowing for faster than light travel cannot be ruled out.

OTOH matter teleportation would involve hyper dense, hyper accurate scanning and remote reconstruction of an extremely complex 3D organism. Analogs to MRI or laser scanning are just not remotely in the ballpark. Even postulating transporters as "like that but more advanced" implies a lack of understanding about how complex 3D biological material is.

It would be faintly more plausible if the transporter mechanism was described as some kind of trans-dimensional portal. However it is described as scanning, deconstructing and reconstructing the original biological pattern at a remote location using locally-available matter.

Projecting based on current technology is very inexact but it would appear 200 years would not be nearly sufficient to develop teleportation of biological matter on a human scale. Hence the explanation offered was a far more advanced extinct alien civilization preserved this technology and the Star Trek denizens simply discovered it and were able to make practical use without fully understanding the core method.

Some of this was shown in the Star Trek animated series "The Slaver Weapon".

TriPolar 04-13-2016 10:33 PM

At best we are no further away.

wolfpup 04-13-2016 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19258519)
Every time this transporter question comes up in a thread I try to pose this question or a variation of it: If you claim that the transporter-created copy is, to all intents and purposes, you once it arrives at the intended destination, if there were a slight glitch and the original you weren't instantly dissipated during the original action would you be willing to to be taken off to a small room and be killed? No one who has claimed that the copy is just the same as the original has ever replied back.

Right, but what I'm saying is that the possibility of creating this sort of replicate is much more plausible and almost certainly much nearer at hand than far-fetched discussions of teleportation. It's plausible that we may be able to read the entire contents of a human brain and re-instantiate it in another intelligence engine, whether organic or artificial, which would then possess the original human consciousness and memories.

What should be done with the original? I propose that the person consenting to such a transfer grant that authority to the new instantiation. After all, who better to decide your fate than you? I suspect that if the transfer occurred because the original was frail and sickly, the new instance would care for it until its last days very dearly indeed.

Czarcasm 04-13-2016 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 19258559)
What should be done with the original? I propose that the person consenting to such a transfer grant that authority to the new instantiation. After all, who better to decide your fate than you? I suspect that if the transfer occurred because the original was frail and sickly, the new instance would care for it until its last days very dearly indeed.

Technically, this would be widespread assisted suicide/cloning for the purpose of...traveling?

joema 04-13-2016 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19258519)
...Does the original lose all human rights if it is to be killed once the copy is made?...Every time this transporter question comes up in a thread I try to pose this question or a variation of it: If you claim that the transporter-created copy is, to all intents and purposes, you once it arrives at the intended destination, if there were a slight glitch and the original you weren't instantly dissipated during the original action would you be willing to to be taken off to a small room and be killed? No one who has claimed that the copy is just the same as the original has ever replied back.

This dilemma has nothing whatsoever to do with whether transportation might be technically feasible in the far future. That is the thread title: Are we any closer? Might it be possible at some future time?

Possible sociological and ethical complications have nothing -- zero -- to do with whether it might be technically achievable.

Also, these issues have also already been covered in the Star Trek universe. In 1970 the first Star Trek Novel for adults, "Spock Must Die!", discussed in considerable detail the same ethical and philosphical issues you raised: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spock_Must_Die!

joema 04-13-2016 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 19258559)
...the possibility of creating this sort of replicate is much more plausible and almost certainly much nearer at hand than far-fetched discussions of teleportation. It's plausible that we may be able to read the entire contents of a human brain and re-instantiate it in another intelligence engine, whether organic or artificial, which would then possess the original human consciousness and memories...

Achieving this would equate to solving a significant % of the teleportation problem. Alas there is no realistically projected method which could remotely achieve this. Just because some futurists have discussed philosophical aspects does not mean it is technically on the horizon. Those discussions can be misleading and do not mean there is any rational hope whatsoever this could be achieved. People read the philosophical discussions (which can be very interesting) and this implies the technology is at hand or at least on the horizon. It is not.

The human brain is the most complex structure in the universe. There is no current or envisioned technology which would enable scanning and reproducing it on the molecular or possibly atomic level required to totally reconstitute the original contents and function. There is also no achievable short cut that has ever been postulated which could confidently attain the same result without scanning and replicating the brain on essentially a molecular or atomic level.

A good example of how little is known about neurobiology: even with insects it is unknown how behavior is encoded on a molecular level. This is different from morphology -- body plan, color, etc. E.g, at conception an ant consists of a single cell. Everything it knows -- how to build, farm, cooperate, eat, reproduce, etc. is encoded in that one cell. It does not learn by observation. You will rarely see any books or papers on this because it is unknown. If there is not the faintest idea how behavioral encoding happens for insects, it cannot be scanned and reproduced, and the human brain is as far above that as stars are above the earth.

smithsb 04-14-2016 12:13 AM

Even in the initial series, teleportation was not perfect. The individuals experienced slight degradation with each "jump". That's the actual reason the "mission" was canceled after three years instead of the original planned five years. :D

Senegoid 04-14-2016 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joema (Post 19258653)
A good example of how little is known about neurobiology: even with insects it is unknown how behavior is encoded on a molecular level. This is different from morphology -- body plan, color, etc. E.g, at conception an ant consists of a single cell. Everything it knows -- how to build, farm, cooperate, eat, reproduce, etc. is encoded in that one cell. It does not learn by observation. You will rarely see any books or papers on this because it is unknown. If there is not the faintest idea how behavioral encoding happens for insects, it cannot be scanned and reproduced, and the human brain is as far above that as stars are above the earth.

I don't think this follows at all. If you can duplicate an ant over there, down to the molecular/atomic level, and if all the innate behavior is encoded therein, then one can expect the new instance to have all the same behavior. There is no need at all for the inventors of the duplicating machine to have any idea how behavioral encoding works for this to happen. Just copy the ant, verbatim.

The idea is similar to copying an encrypted data file: You can make a bit-for-bit copy of a file that you can't interpret (because it's all encrypted gobbledygook), and the copy will be exactly as decryptable as the original (by someone who knows the key).

Senegoid 04-14-2016 12:18 AM

The in-story explanation that the transporter is a found device from an alien civilization is lame. Scotty is seen, in several episodes, doing repair work on a malfunctioning transporter. I can't imagine that if the transporter were just a mysterious black box.

(ETA: Unless Scotty himself was an alien who came, in some preserved form, with the black box, and the Federation scientists somehow managed to "thaw" him.)

Trinopus 04-14-2016 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19258519)
But that's only half of the entire question, though: The premise is that which is left behind is destroyed to make room for the new creation. Does the original lose all human rights if it is to be killed once the copy is made? Does the original lose all human rights if the original is to be killed before the copy is completed?
Every time this transporter question comes up in a thread I try to pose this question or a variation of it: If you claim that the transporter-created copy is, to all intents and purposes, you once it arrives at the intended destination, if there were a slight glitch and the original you weren't instantly dissipated during the original action would you be willing to to be taken off to a small room and be killed? No one who has claimed that the copy is just the same as the original has ever replied back.

Pardon me, but, yes, I have! Honest! I've participated vigorously in the last three "Star Trek Transporter" threads, and have answered your questions.

Anyway, FWIW, I'll answer again. But it's complicated.

If I went into the duplicator with the foreknowledge that I might be the one who has to agree to be destroyed, I might well accept that risk. I might take the 50-50 chance, and, once I've made that bargain, then, yeah, I'm willing to be destroyed. (May we presume that disintegration is instant and painless?)

I'd be cheesed if I hadn't agreed ahead of time, and some switcheroo were played on me. But if it's part of the deal, then, yeah, I'm good. I know that a perfect duplicate of me is out there doing business as usual. I know that duplicate is "really me" -- at least up to the point where our fates diverged.

Anyway, I'm answering your question, just to make absolutely sure you can't complain, "No one has ever answered this question." But I recommend that we not continue this discussion here, because it isn't GQ fodder, but IMHO mulch instead.

Trinopus 04-14-2016 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joema (Post 19258653)
. . . If there is not the faintest idea how behavioral encoding happens for insects . . .

Actually, science has some knowledge of the topic. There are lots of experiments showing how ambient environmental chemicals can affect/alter insect behavior, and some work has been done on genetically modified insects.

You're right that it is a subject about which very little is known, but to say that nothing is known is a bit too strong a claim.

Mijin 04-14-2016 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joema (Post 19258601)
This dilemma has nothing whatsoever to do with whether transportation might be technically feasible in the far future. That is the thread title: Are we any closer? Might it be possible at some future time?

Possible sociological and ethical complications have nothing -- zero -- to do with whether it might be technically achievable.

Yes, second this.

The issue of whether personal identity can be transported / teleported is a philosophical problem that is much-discussed, not least here on the Dope. A recent example / car crash is: Teleportation physics question

I suggest for this thread we stick a pin in that discussion and just discuss the feasibility of doing this in the near future (answer: not feasible at all).

Trinopus 04-14-2016 01:57 AM

Agreed. I'll be mighty damn impressed when they first "teleport" a water molecule or a CO2 molecule. However, I'm betting it happens inside the next twenty years.

Little Nemo 04-14-2016 02:09 AM

Is there any way we can identify a specific molecule? Are there tests that distinguish one water molecule from another one? How would you know the difference between a machine that transmits water molecules and a pair of synchronized machines, one of which destroys water molecules and one of which creates them?

Pleonast 04-14-2016 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nansbread (Post 19257485)
Since the phrase was used for the first time on Star Trek

Well, since the exact phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" has not yet been used on Star Trek, we've made zero progress.

joema 04-14-2016 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 19258730)
The in-story explanation that the transporter is a found device from an alien civilization is lame. Scotty is seen, in several episodes, doing repair work on a malfunctioning transporter. I can't imagine that if the transporter were just a mysterious black box...

This happens all the time in the real world. The field technician replaces Line Replaceable Units then tests the apparatus, yet he never understands the details of the underlying device.

The explanation is not that the complete transporter itself is a found device and used "as is". Rather elements of the transporter technology and information were found that enabled people in the Star Trek era to cobble together a working device without fully understanding it.

A similar fictional scenario was portrayed in the book & movie Contact when an advanced alien civilization transmitted plans to earth for a teleportation machine. The earth technicians could follow the plans, build the machine, monitor its performance, repair it -- yet not understand the underlying mechanism.

In the Star Trek universe this explanational device was not thoroughly or consistently used. However it shows that someone, somewhere on the creative staff understood the need to rationalize the extreme level of technology required for the transporter.

joema 04-14-2016 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19258746)
Actually, science has some knowledge of the topic. There are lots of experiments showing how ambient environmental chemicals can affect/alter insect behavior, and some work has been done on genetically modified insects.

You're right that it is a subject about which very little is known, but to say that nothing is known is a bit too strong a claim.

"Nothing" is a correct term for current knowledge of how behavior is encoded on a molecular level in the insect brain. If there is any research paper describing this in any detail, I have never seen it.

If a cave man pokes a stick inside a computer and notices the screen flash, he does not have the slightest understanding of the underlying principles of operation.

Note this differs from understanding the genetic basis for disease mechanisms, morphology, and biological function as expressed by proteins. There is some understanding about that, but essentially nothing about behavioral encoding -- it remains one of the greatest mysteries in biology.

joema 04-14-2016 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 19258725)
I don't think this follows at all. If you can duplicate an ant over there, down to the molecular/atomic level, and if all the innate behavior is encoded therein, then one can expect the new instance to have all the same behavior. There is no need at all for the inventors of the duplicating machine to have any idea how behavioral encoding works for this to happen. Just copy the ant, verbatim.

The idea is similar to copying an encrypted data file: You can make a bit-for-bit copy of a file that you can't interpret (because it's all encrypted gobbledygook), and the copy will be exactly as decryptable as the original (by someone who knows the key).

While this is correct, it assumes a magical perfect copy mechanism. If some advanced alien civilization gave you a black box which did that, of *course* you don't need to understand how biological function works.

But to develop that on our own in would seem to require this understanding. Otherwise what scanning approach would you use? Cellular? Synaptic? Molecular? Atomic? Is the behavior encoded statically or is it in the ongoing dynamic spatio-temporal firing pattern among neurons?

Consider a much easier replication scenario than the human brain. A functioning Intel Xeon E7-8890 v3 (18 cores, 5.6 billion transistors) is sent back in time so an electronics researcher from 1958 could examine it and try to replicate it.

He could try to examine the signals with an oscilloscope, but his equipment could not resolve the gigahertz-rate bus signals.

He could de-cap it and look at it the die with an electron microscope, but this would not reveal the underlying operational principles. He could make a photomicrograph of the silicon die, but this would reveal nothing about the hidden functional complexity. It would not reveal the microcode, or anything about the immense complexity of the instruction decoding -- prefetching, dependency checking, branch prediction, hyperthreading, register scoreboarding. He could make a lithographic copy of that die and reproduce it to the degree 1958 technology allowed, but it would not function. It would be a child's crayon drawing of a machine, and would have about equal success of working.

If his boss asked what direction should they pursue to replicate it, he would likely say he doesn't know until he understands more about the internal function.

davida03801 04-14-2016 10:01 AM

Wouldn’t chaos theory negate the actual use of the teleporter ? One very small minuscule difference at the start can cause a very large effect on the back end. Beam up The Donald and get Bernie upon the rearrangement. Scary.

Senegoid 04-14-2016 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davida03801 (Post 19259325)
Wouldn’t chaos theory negate the actual use of the teleporter ? One very small minuscule difference at the start can cause a very large effect on the back end. Beam up The Donald and get Bernie upon the rearrangement. Scary.

Last time they beamed up down The Donald they we got Cthulhu, and nobody seemed to notice any difference.

Sage Rat 04-14-2016 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19258309)
Richox: Chemical bonds involve quantum effects, so any chemical transference, so much as a single water molecule, entails information "stored at a quantum level."

Personality and memories are merely chemical effects, no more and no less "quantum" than any other chemical/molecular effects. There is no magical "quantum" explanation for human awareness.

(Mathematician Roger Penrose tried to argue otherwise, in his book "The Emperor's New Mind," but he has pretty much been shot out of the saddle.)

It's likely that, as a sort of random number generator, quantum effects are useful for thinking, but I don't think that quantum effects are used for memory storage in any way. I suspect that the quantum state of all of the atoms of the brain could be swapped out with alternate (normal) quantum states and there would be no difference. You'd lose no memories and, while your future might change slightly from what it would have been otherwise - you might make slightly different choices - it wouldn't change any fundamental part of your personality, memories, or anything else.

Sunspace 04-15-2016 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joema (Post 19259182)
Consider a much easier replication scenario than the human brain. A functioning Intel Xeon E7-8890 v3 (18 cores, 5.6 billion transistors) is sent back in time so an electronics researcher from 1958 could examine it and try to replicate it.

He could try to examine the signals with an oscilloscope, but his equipment could not resolve the gigahertz-rate bus signals.

He could de-cap it and look at it the die with an electron microscope, but this would not reveal the underlying operational principles. He could make a photomicrograph of the silicon die, but this would reveal nothing about the hidden functional complexity. It would not reveal the microcode, or anything about the immense complexity of the instruction decoding -- prefetching, dependency checking, branch prediction, hyperthreading, register scoreboarding. He could make a lithographic copy of that die and reproduce it to the degree 1958 technology allowed, but it would not function. It would be a child's crayon drawing of a machine, and would have about equal success of working.

If his boss asked what direction should they pursue to replicate it, he would likely say he doesn't know until he understands more about the internal function.

No Copying Allowed by John W Campbell presents a scenario where people from 1920 are baffled by a 1948 air-launched cruise missile. Same conclusion...

Czarcasm 04-15-2016 12:51 PM

Getting back to the original question, and assuming that we mean "beaming" the original from point A to point B, what we have is a 3-part problem.
Part 1. Breaking the body bits down without destroying the body or killing the person.
Part 2. Safely transporting the body bits in whatever form they have been converted into from point A to Point B without killing the person. At first, they might want to try doing this via a controlled conduit rather through open air.
Part 3. Reassembling said body bits in the proper order to make a living human bean.

At this point in time we have made an ant's fart worth of progress in any one of the three parts of the problem.

Thudlow Boink 04-15-2016 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train (Post 19257605)
From any technical standpoint, a matter transporter of the Star Trek variety is so much garbage. ... Trek is pure space opera, written by people who have only the faintest grasp of science, and at best a vehicle for interesting allegorical concepts.
...
There is a more extensive discussion of the various ways a matter transporter makes no sense in this 2007 thread: "Whgat would it be like to go through a Transporter? (Star Trek style)"?

Stranger

I see you've cut-and-pasted part of your reply from that earlier thread—either that, or your mind runs in some extremely well-worn grooves. :)

As I understand it, the transporter was included in Star Trek for reasons of technical and narrative convenience, and not because the creators didn't know or care that it wasn't scientifically feasible.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
According to The Making of Star Trek, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's original plan did not include transporters, instead calling for characters to land the starship itself. However, this would have required unfeasible and unaffordable sets and model filming, as well as episode running time spent while landing, taking off, etc. The shuttlecraft was the next idea, but when filming began, the full-sized shooting model was not ready. Transporters were devised as a less expensive alternative, achieved by a simple fade-out/fade-in of the subject.


Senegoid 04-15-2016 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19262606)
Getting back to the original question, and assuming that we mean "beaming" the original from point A to point B, what we have is a 3-part problem.
Part 1. Breaking the body bits down without destroying the body or killing the person.
Part 2. Safely transporting the body bits in whatever form they have been converted into from point A to Point B without killing the person. At first, they might want to try doing this via a controlled conduit rather through open air.
Part 3. Reassembling said body bits in the proper order to make a living human bean.

At this point in time we have made an ant's fart worth of progress in any one of the three parts of the problem.

We do, however, have a methodological breakthrough that seems to have been lost in the 23rd century: The concept to developing the above parts using smaller animals (like mice) instead of humans as test subjects.

Little Nemo 04-15-2016 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19262606)
Getting back to the original question, and assuming that we mean "beaming" the original from point A to point B, what we have is a 3-part problem.
Part 1. Breaking the body bits down without destroying the body or killing the person.
Part 2. Safely transporting the body bits in whatever form they have been converted into from point A to Point B without killing the person. At first, they might want to try doing this via a controlled conduit rather through open air.
Part 3. Reassembling said body bits in the proper order to make a living human bean.

At this point in time we have made an ant's fart worth of progress in any one of the three parts of the problem.

I think you're overstating the situation.

Part 1. Breaking the body bits down without destroying the body or killing the person.

This isn't correct. Disintegrating the body of the person being transported is part of the process we're seeking. Transporting somebody without destroying the original leads to the duplication problem we've already mentioned.

So I think this step should be revised as Part 1. Breaking down the body is such a way that all of its relevant information is recorded.

That said, we haven't made any significant progress on such a process. We can only record the most basic physical information about a person.

Part 2. Safely transporting the body bits in whatever form they have been converted into from point A to Point B without killing the person. At first, they might want to try doing this via a controlled conduit rather through open air.

On this one, I think we're making clear process. Once a person is broken down and recorded, it's just a matter of transmitting information and perhaps energy. We have technology that transmits both of these and we continue to advance in this area.

Part 3. Reassembling said body bits in the proper order to make a living human bean.

The opposite side of Part 1. Even if we somehow developed a means of recording all of the information a person contained, we don't have any means of assembling a person from that information.

Czarcasm 04-15-2016 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 19263082)
I think you're overstating the situation.

Part 1. Breaking the body bits down without destroying the body or killing the person.

This isn't correct. Disintegrating the body of the person being transported is part of the process we're seeking. Transporting somebody without destroying the original leads to the duplication problem we've already mentioned.

So I think this step should be revised as Part 1. Breaking down the body is such a way that all of its relevant information is recorded.

That said, we haven't made any significant progress on such a process. We can only record the most basic physical information about a person.

Part 2. Safely transporting the body bits in whatever form they have been converted into from point A to Point B without killing the person. At first, they might want to try doing this via a controlled conduit rather through open air.

On this one, I think we're making clear process. Once a person is broken down and recorded, it's just a matter of transmitting information and perhaps energy. We have technology that transmits both of these and we continue to advance in this area.

Part 3. Reassembling said body bits in the proper order to make a living human bean.

The opposite side of Part 1. Even if we somehow developed a means of recording all of the information a person contained, we don't have any means of assembling a person from that information.

This "information" you talk about: are we still talking about transporting the original from point A to point B, or creating a perfect copy at point B using information about the original?

Trinopus 04-15-2016 04:30 PM

Actually, we do have the tools, right now, to sequence and then re-write DNA molecules.

This is currently a proposal for Mars exploration. If we find Martian DNA, we don't have to bring it back physically, but can transmit the data and build the DNA here.

This is very definitely duplicating technology (including destroying the original) as opposed to "transporting" technology, but when it comes to a DNA molecule, what's the difference?

Czarcasm 04-15-2016 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19263204)
Actually, we do have the tools, right now, to sequence and then re-write DNA molecules.

This is currently a proposal for Mars exploration. If we find Martian DNA, we don't have to bring it back physically, but can transmit the data and build the DNA here.

This is very definitely duplicating technology (including destroying the original) as opposed to "transporting" technology, but when it comes to a DNA molecule, what's the difference?

It's fine and/or dandy for "transporting" technology-It's when you get to people...
"Now that we have confirmed that we have successfully recreated you in our remote base, would you mind stepping out onto the middle of that large plastic sheet over there? Bruno will be with you shortly."

Stranger On A Train 04-15-2016 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19263204)
This is very definitely duplicating technology (including destroying the original) as opposed to "transporting" technology, but when it comes to a DNA molecule, what's the difference?

The difference is that you are not just DNA; you are the cumulation of development, environmental influences, and experience. To suggest that we could "transport" a person by recreating their genome sequences is like saying we could transport Notre Dame de Paris to Mars by carving stone and building flying buttresses to the same plans. Sure, it would look something like the famous cathedral as long as you don't examine it too closely, but it isn't the same building by any practical definition. Even breaking down the structure and transporting the materials somehow to a new site isn't going to give you the same object, any more than the London Bridge of Lake Havasu is the same structure as the original bridge built by John Rennie.

Stranger

Lemur866 04-15-2016 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 19258519)
But that's only half of the entire question, though: The premise is that which is left behind is destroyed to make room for the new creation. Does the original lose all human rights if it is to be killed once the copy is made? Does the original lose all human rights if the original is to be killed before the copy is completed?
Every time this transporter question comes up in a thread I try to pose this question or a variation of it: If you claim that the transporter-created copy is, to all intents and purposes, you once it arrives at the intended destination, if there were a slight glitch and the original you weren't instantly dissipated during the original action would you be willing to to be taken off to a small room and be killed? No one who has claimed that the copy is just the same as the original has ever replied back.

Sure the copy is me. Just like the original is me. I wouldn't want to die just because someone made a copy of me, and neither would the copy want to die just because there's an original out there.

Or to put it another way, what's all this talk of "original" and "copy"? I've split into two people, both of whom can plausibly claim to be the same person as the person I was before I was split.

I wouldn't agree to be killed, no matter which of me you ask to volunteer. That doesn't mean the thing that arrives at the other end isn't me.


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