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Old January 17 2015, 06:29 AM   #1
JD5000
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The Transporter Debate (2015?)

I'm sure this topic has been done at some point, but I went back a few months and didn't find anything, so I'd like to put it out there.

When someone goes through a transporter - what comes out? Is it you? Is it you but another you? What happens to the old you? If it's not you, who is it?
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Old January 17 2015, 06:35 AM   #2
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

^ Based on what little evidence we have, it would seem that it's still you. I can remember two examples:

- In ST II, Saavik and Kirk are able to have a conversation while being transported.

- TNG's "Realm of Fear" which shows the transport process from the POV of the person being transported (in this case, Barclay), uninterrupted.
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Old January 17 2015, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

There are several episodes that provide evidence to the contrary though....

"Lonely Among Us" (copy of Picards pattern in buffer + Picards energy signature = new Picard)

'Unnatural Selection (Pulaski finds the Fountain of Youth - couldn't they all just reform in the same bodies they had when they first were transported, providing there was a record?)

'Rascals' (transporter makes mini-Me's?)

'Second Chances' - self-explanatory.

Also, DS9's 'Our Man Bashir' - this one's kinda like what happened with Picard in 'Lonely Among Us' - neural patterns stored all over the computer (instead of the transport buffers?), holographic recreations of their bodies stored in the holodeck...bodies made of light. What happened to the real bodies? Are the bodies they have when 'restored' the same ones they started with?
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Old January 17 2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

^ I'm more ready to dismiss those, just because of how silly their premises are.
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Old January 17 2015, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

Scientifically speaking? Well, assuming we could actually create this device without imploding the universe, the likelihood is that what would come out the other side would be a copy.
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Old January 17 2015, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

Granted, they are all results of accidents or creative solutions to other problems, but if you don't believe in self-selective canon, it has to be accepted as evidence of the technology's capabilities and how it functions on a basic level.

J.Allen wrote:
Scientifically speaking? Well, assuming we could actually create this device without imploding the universe, the likelihood is that what would come out the other side would be a copy.
So what happens to the original? The transporter actually creates matter? Scientifically speaking, isn't this impossible? Conservation of matter or energy or some law of physics? Or is it like a replicator, where it takes the original energy/matter and converts it into something similar but not the same?
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Old January 17 2015, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

There's another episode that supports the "it's the same person that gets transported" theory. In one episode of TNG they have to use long range beaming (which is apparently less accurate) and Troi, who had never experienced long range beaming before described it as:

"It was strange, it felt like for a moment like I was standing inside that wall over there."

Worf: "For a moment you were."

And in "Tuvix" it was not possible to simply create another set of Tuvok and Neelix, or another Tuvix, with the transporter to allow all three to continue living.

So it seems the general consent is that "it's always you and you stay conscious and suffer no ill effects from your body being ripped into molecules and shot through empty space."
The only exceptions are when the writers want to get creative with the transporter.

To bad Trek never steered into metaphysics much. I recall some Science Fiction setting where they actually did go into the metaphysics of teleportation and when you teleported there your body actually went into a zombie state for a few moments while your soul/consciousness snapped back into your body from your last location.
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Old January 17 2015, 07:39 AM   #8
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

Baring an accident, it's the original.

The stuff with patterns, curing people by running them through the transporter, those involve modifications to the process. They are akin to controlled accidents, if you will, with beneficial side-effects. If they had screwed up the process, you would have gotten something like what happened to Commander Sonak or the non-canonically named woman accompanying him.

I'm with Mr. Laser Beam, though. If they did something that's too silly an outlier, don't worry about making it literally fit. Squint and imagine that it's something else that makes more sense, like you have to do when watching episodes like "The Alternative Factor."

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
There's another episode that supports the "it's the same person that gets transported" theory. In one episode of TNG they have to use long range beaming (which is apparently less accurate) and Troi, who had never experienced long range beaming before described it as:

"It was strange, it felt like for a moment like I was standing inside that wall over there."
That's "The Schizoid Man":

LAFORGE: Now remember, this is a near warp transport, so the effects may be a little unusual.
TROI: What do you mean?
RIKER: You'll see, Counsellor. Energise.
TROI: Now wait a minute. I don't understand

[Living room]

RIKER: You do now.
TROI: This might sound crazy, but for a moment I thought I was stuck in that wall.
WORF: For a moment, you were.
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Old January 17 2015, 07:58 AM   #9
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

JD5000 wrote: View Post
Granted, they are all results of accidents or creative solutions to other problems, but if you don't believe in self-selective canon, it has to be accepted as evidence of the technology's capabilities and how it functions on a basic level.

J.Allen wrote:
Scientifically speaking? Well, assuming we could actually create this device without imploding the universe, the likelihood is that what would come out the other side would be a copy.
So what happens to the original? The transporter actually creates matter? Scientifically speaking, isn't this impossible? Conservation of matter or energy or some law of physics? Or is it like a replicator, where it takes the original energy/matter and converts it into something similar but not the same?
The information is broken down into its components, the data is sent to the destination, where it is reconstituted. Only the data is sent, not the matter, because we cannot predict the placement of atoms, so an identical facsimile of what was present at the time of matter assimilation is made.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:31 AM   #10
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

They treat this problem in an Outer Limits episode. They have a long range (several light years) transporter that automatically destroys the body at the point of origin as soon as it gets confirmation that the body has been materialized at the point of destination. Sometimes though, it doesn't get the signal and the person at the origin is left alive, it is then the job of the "O'brien" (the transporter chief) to find the person and... shoot them, because they can't both be left alive.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

It would be interesting to encounter a people whose religion forbids using the transporter.

It's not that hard to imagine. You can easily argue that the transporter destroys one person, only to create an identical one a fraction of a second later. So beaming someone could be viewed as murder, and stepping onto a transporter pad yourself as suicide.

That's a thorny enough issue in and of itself, but you could complicate it even further by having them ask whether a person who has been transported has a soul.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:42 AM   #12
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

^ Except it has been shown in Star Trek that you stay alive and conscious during the whole process.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:45 AM   #13
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

To be fair, we see Barclay's perception of the process, which is not necessarily accurate considering the state of being involved in being transported.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:51 AM   #14
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
^ Except it has been shown in Star Trek that you stay alive and conscious during the whole process.
Not necessarily. The entire transport process takes time, but death happens in an instant. And to the newly created person, formed with all of the memories of the predecessor, it would seem continuous.
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Old January 17 2015, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: The Transporter Debate (2015?)

tafkats wrote: View Post
Orphalesion wrote: View Post
^ Except it has been shown in Star Trek that you stay alive and conscious during the whole process.
Not necessarily. The entire transport process takes time, but death happens in an instant. And to the newly created person, formed with all of the memories of the predecessor, it would seem continuous.
True, but that was just a stupid episode all around anyway.
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