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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old May 16 2013, 01:57 AM   #1
Third Nacelle
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Would you use a transporter?

If you had a fully functional 24th-century transporter available to you, would you use it if it were guaranteed not to malfunction?

With everything we know about the technology, do you really think a transporter moves you from one place to another, or does it destroy you in one place and recreate you in another? Do you really believe that the person who dematerializes at point A is the same person who rematerializes at point B?

Or is this all "metaphysical nonsense" as Emory Erickson claimed?
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Old May 16 2013, 01:59 AM   #2
Lt. Uhura-Brown
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Would we be able to use all of the one-time plot features of such a device?

Reverse aging, cloning, etc.?
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Old May 16 2013, 02:45 AM   #3
R. Star
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

I'll take the second most efficient method of travel if it doesn't involve disassembling me at the molecular level.
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Old May 16 2013, 02:56 AM   #4
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
do you really think a transporter moves you from one place to another
"Realm of Fear" pretty much proved that it does. We see the entire transport process from Barclay's POV, and his consciousness is uninterrupted.
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Old May 16 2013, 03:14 AM   #5
Third Nacelle
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

But if it simultaneously destroyed Barclay and recreated him there would be no interruption of consciousness, at least not from the POV of the new Barclay. The old Barclay: permanent interruption.

I used to think the transporter was the #1 piece of technology from Trek I'd want to have, but the more I think about it the more iffy I am about it.
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Old May 16 2013, 03:53 AM   #6
Pondwater
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Yep. I would.
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Old May 16 2013, 08:04 AM   #7
Portal
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

sure why not I'd give it a try

it seems very safe to me

i'd probably have more fun with a phaser though
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Old May 16 2013, 08:18 AM   #8
iguana_tonante
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
With everything we know about the technology, do you really think a transporter moves you from one place to another, or does it destroy you in one place and recreate you in another? Do you really believe that the person who dematerializes at point A is the same person who rematerializes at point B?
A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
Or is this all "metaphysical nonsense" as Emory Erickson claimed?
This.
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Old May 16 2013, 08:44 AM   #9
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

What makes you think that you have an uninterrupted consciousness now?

I am pretty sure that humans have interruptions of brain activity all the time on such a small time scale that we don't notice any gaps...

Your consciousness doesn't extend into the future or into the past, allthough you can access memories from the past which are stored in your brain.
You always live in the present, which you can't even pinpoint as a specific point in time.

My future self does not exist, there are just possibilities and probabilities.

When I step into a transporter and get rematerialized on a starship in orbit I will be no different than before: a person with the same memories up to the transport the same arrangement of atoms and molecules.
Sure, I would be a different person from that point on compared to the possible person that didn't get beamed up that might have been, but that would be no different than the difference between a person going right at the next corner from him going left instead.

That is why the episode with the Riker clone is so great because they really are the same person and none of them has a better claim on "Riker's" life. It was a freakish accident that resulted in two possible existences of the same person.
In a way it is sort of a locally confined alternate timeline case where both Rikers are trapped in the same reality.

The whole thing only becomes problematic if you believe in a human soul, an independent undefined entity from your corporeal existance.

There are cases where it could be argued that the person stepping into the transporter has been killed because the emerging person is clearly not an exact duplicate.

The deaging of Pulaski; the aging shenanigans of Picard, Ro and Guinan; to a lesser degree the backup beaming of Picard when he was possessed and in that energy cloud.
Technically there should have been strong moral objections to those actions.
But they handwaved it with intact soul and memory explanations.

Cudos to Voyager for tackling this issue very well with Tuvix.
There they acknowledged that Tuvok and Neelix were in fact killed, a new person in his own right created then again killed and Tuvok and Neelix recreated.

So the transporter can do both, but usually the person stepping out of the transporter is the same person in every conceivable way.

Last edited by Timelord Victorious; May 16 2013 at 06:06 PM.
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Old May 16 2013, 11:36 AM   #10
Tiberius
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
With everything we know about the technology, do you really think a transporter moves you from one place to another, or does it destroy you in one place and recreate you in another? Do you really believe that the person who dematerializes at point A is the same person who rematerializes at point B?
A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.
But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
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Old May 16 2013, 12:26 PM   #11
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
Exactly. The transporter is a machine that kills you and create a duplicate who thinks he's you and gets to sleep with your wife. They'd never get me to use it.
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Old May 16 2013, 02:54 PM   #12
Albertese
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Im pretty sure the transporter as seen in Star Trek does not destroy and reassemble you. If this were the case, then there would be no practical limit to the range of a transporter, assuming there where booths on both ends. I need to be on Vulcan in five minutes, but I'm still on Earth? No problem, break me down here and have a subspace signal send out to Vulcan to instruct their booth to build a new me. We see plenty of instances of data transmission over huge distances in basically instantaneous time.

However, even in booth-to-booth transporter scenarios, the show assumes a limited range of a few tens of thousands of kilometers. If the matter that is you is being disassembled and reintegrated by the same "beam" then, I think, it's still you coming out the other end. Not an incongruant copy.

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Old May 16 2013, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
He's dead - he can't feel any difference, ever again. What he has is not a difference, its the complete absence of everything, including differences.

The guy who gets created apparently can't feel any difference, either. And I'm that guy after using the device, so sign me in.

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Old May 16 2013, 03:46 PM   #14
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

How do I know that my consciousness doesn't die every instant - or, to simplify, during periods of unconsciousness like sleep?

We believe that we're forever one being because we have memory - that's really our only evidence for this peculiar assumption. As long as that's passed on from the original to the copy, does it make a difference?
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Old May 16 2013, 04:48 PM   #15
iguana_tonante
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.
But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
Since he won't notice any difference: no, it doesn't.
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