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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Imagine for a moment we have Star Trek-style transporters, which really do break you down into some kind of pure information and reassemble you at a distant point.
    Actually, I'm pretty sure a Star Trek transporter also transports your atoms to the distant location and reconstitutes them there--there's definitely talk about matter streams when talking about transporter technology, and McCoy said in the Motion Picture that he wanted to see how the transporter would "scramble your molecules" before he would get into it.

    (Off topic, but that has to be one of the most chilling moments in the Motion Picture--we've seen two people partially forming on the transporter pad and screaming, then, when Kirk asks if Starfleet got them back, "Enterprise, what we got back didn't live long--fortunately.").

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    When a paramecium divides, which is the original?
    Cell division is not teleportation. Your two paramecium are not exact copies of the original because they both have approximately half the mass, all taken from the original paramecium. The paramecium's viewpoint on this is, of course, unknowable.

    The file copy mentioned earlier also fails: At the program level (and to an extent the OS level) the duplicated files look the same, but at the physical level the underlying structures are quite different, and will be located differently. To add to the fun if the file has been copied over the disk area once used by another file then - with the proper equipment - you can still read part or all of that file. It isn't easy, but it can be done.

    You are always going to be dealing with a copy, just one that is convinced it is the original because its perceptions do not go deep enough to see the differences.

    In fiction, of course, we don't care. If such a thing becomes reality we should start caring.
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2017-09-17 at 03:17 AM.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Cell division is not teleportation. Your two paramecium are not exact copies of the original because they both have approximately half the mass, all taken from the original paramecium. The paramecium's viewpoint on this is, of course, unknowable.

    The file copy mentioned earlier also fails: At the program level (and to an extent the OS level) the duplicated files look the same, but at the physical level the underlying structures are quite different, and will be located differently. To add to the fun if the file has been copied over the disk area once used by another file then - with the proper equipment - you can still read part or all of that file. It isn't easy, but it can be done.

    You are always going to be dealing with a copy, just one that is convinced it is the original because its perceptions do not go deep enough to see the differences.

    In fiction, of course, we don't care. If such a thing becomes reality we should start caring.
    We don't really care with a disk copy either, even though that is real, because all causal effects of a file are dependent on its information content, not the physical instantiation of it. That is to say, programs might behave differently because of the read speed of one file versus another due to physical location on the platter, but they won't behave differently based on which location held the original copy and which was overwritten.

    So, from the point of view of any properties held by the level of description at which talking about a file is meaningful, a file is indistinguishable from its exact bitwise equivalent.
    Last edited by NichG; 2017-09-17 at 04:26 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    I figure Star Trek transporters kind of work however they need them to work this week. In Enterprise they had a test subject that had been lost as a transporter signal in subspace for twenty years or so, yet he wasn't simply a lifeless stream of molecules. Hence the need to bring him back, dead or alive, because his current fate was worse than either. But yes, for the purpose of trying to do some real thinking about transporters we should probably make the distinction between matter-teleporters (like Schlock Mercenary's teraport and wormgates) and data-teleporters (like Schlock Mercenary's gatekeeper cloning gates). Both devices technically kill you, but what the matter-teleporter brings to life is something made up of the same molecules as you, while a data-teleporter assembles a you based on blueprints yet with no original parts.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2017-09-17 at 04:01 AM.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    We don't really care with a disk copy either, even though that is real, because all causal effects of a file are dependent on its information content, not the physical instantiation of it. That is to say, programs might behave differently because of the read speed of one file versus another due to physical location on the platter, but they won't behave differently based on which location held the original copy and which was overwritten.

    So, from the point of view of any properties held by the level of description at which talking about a file is meaningful, a file is indistinguishable from its exact bitwise equivalent.
    But that's the whole point! At the level of the operating system you can't see the differences. But the differences are still there. A copy is still a copy, not the original. Saying that you don't care about the differences does not magically remove them.

    The limits of perception are important: It is only in the last 100 or so years that we have been aware of quantum mechanical effects. This doesn't mean that QM effects didn't exist or had no effect more than 100 years ago, just that we couldn't see them and didn't notice the effects.

    And that is why teleportation is fine as a plot device in a story, but a serious ethical question in real life.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Point of fact; (speaking here of standard teleportation that doesn't create transporter clones) its not a copy because it's made from the same atoms and energies . If I take a bicycle apart and then reassemble it elsewhere is it a different bicycle?

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Point of fact; (speaking here of standard teleportation that doesn't create transporter clones) its not a copy because it's made from the same atoms and energies . If I take a bicycle apart and then reassemble it elsewhere is it a different bicycle?
    I suppose it depends on whether you teleport the parts or drive them in a van. One could say that it's not the destination, but the journey...
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    But that's the whole point! At the level of the operating system you can't see the differences. But the differences are still there. A copy is still a copy, not the original. Saying that you don't care about the differences does not magically remove them.

    The limits of perception are important: It is only in the last 100 or so years that we have been aware of quantum mechanical effects. This doesn't mean that QM effects didn't exist or had no effect more than 100 years ago, just that we couldn't see them and didn't notice the effects.

    And that is why teleportation is fine as a plot device in a story, but a serious ethical question in real life.
    Actually, we saw the effects of QM all the time more than 100 years ago, we just didn't understand them for what they were. The colors of objects, the fact that our biochemistry actually works, etc - all of that is a constant causal consequence of QM. If you had some way to make a 'purely classical' copy of someone, which somehow copied the atoms and electrons but replaced the mechanics of their interactions with Newtonian physics, they'd detonate on arrival.

    That's an example of something that has causal consequence but isn't properly understood by the copying mechanism.

    On the other hand, if you copied a file while making your copying mechanism be ignorant of the type of media from which the file came - well, nothing at all goes wrong, and you end up with something that is causally identical to what you started with. That is to say, there's no measurement that can possibly be done by anyone in the universe to determine that you copied the source media incorrectly.

    If we take as part of the definition of a teleporter that the copy behaves indistinguishably from the original, then we're in the second situation rather than the first.

    The reason why this causal consequence stuff matters is, every single word we say about 'consciousness' and our perception of consciousness is an exhibited behavior. Whatever we feel we know by experiencing it, thinking about it, etc, we're talking about things that did have a causal consequence to the universe. So if you were to somehow copy everything about something that did have a causal consequence to the (observable) universe but still failed to also copy consciousness, that's an inconsistency in definition at least - whatever the thing was that you failed to copy, it's not the thing that people talk about when they talk about consciousness because talking about it is a causal consequence of it.
    Last edited by NichG; 2017-09-17 at 05:34 AM.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    It might be difficult to persuade Kantaki 1 and Kantaki 2 of that, though.
    Says you.
    I am pretty sure we would start making jokes about my starsign.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    But that's the whole point! At the level of the operating system you can't see the differences. But the differences are still there. A copy is still a copy, not the original. Saying that you don't care about the differences does not magically remove them.
    But at that level, everything is different - not only from everything else, but also from itself two seconds ago. I'm different now from before I read that post, and started typing this response. It's called "experience".

    So imagine two mes. One of us has sat here and typed this post to you, the other has been recreated as a perfect copy of "me five minutes ago" in, I dunno, a library on Gallifrey or somewhere. Neither is the same as "me five minutes ago", but the differences of both can simply be described as "experience". Why get so hung up on one difference in particular, while glossing over all the others?
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Please!

    We all have seen TRUE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of the problems with both teleportation, and time-travel.

    Sure teleportation works fine MOST OF THE TIME, but then...

    ...it divides you into savage "you"...


    ....and ineffectual "you".


    But then "you" hug it out and it's all good


    With time-travel though, the problem is you run into Morlocks!

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    But at that level, everything is different - not only from everything else, but also from itself two seconds ago. I'm different now from before I read that post, and started typing this response. It's called "experience".
    And? Nobody is discussing the ongoing experience after the teleport because it is irrelevent to the arguement. The point is whether the person after the teleport is actually the original person, or whether the original person has been killed and a copy created. In other words what happens at the point of teleportation, not the experience after it.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Let's assume a purely magical teleportation. A person is in some place, then is in another place. They're whole the entire time. Do you consider the person to still be the original? Why/why not?

    Now if we then turn to the (still magical) sci-fi version of teleportation. A person is in some place, then is in another place, but we posit that information has been moved from the first place to the other. Is there a difference to the first scenario? Why/why not?
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    And? Nobody is discussing the ongoing experience after the teleport because it is irrelevent to the arguement. The point is whether the person after the teleport is actually the original person, or whether the original person has been killed and a copy created. In other words what happens at the point of teleportation, not the experience after it.
    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there to observe it, does it make a sound?

    Or in this case, if one can see a difference between the you that got dematerialized and the you that is rematerialized, does it really matter wether one is technically a copy of the other?
    You are still you, just in a different place.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantaki View Post
    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there to observe it, does it make a sound?

    Or in this case, if one can see a difference between the you that got dematerialized and the you that is rematerialized, does it really matter wether one is technically a copy of the other?
    You are still you, just in a different place.
    The visceral difference that most people feel would be imagining following the thought-line of the person to walk to the teleporter. The moment of teleportation - then nothing. Meanwhile, somewhere else, what feels like someone completely different is born, remembering walking up to the teleporter. Somehow 'current experience' seems different from 'remembering things' to people even though it should be obvious that the now is an illusion even from the fact that our thoughts move in finite time.

    A counterargument that illustrates this better would be, there's no difference to this particular argument in whether the first perspective uses a teleporter or just goes to bed and falls asleep, only for the 'new copy' to wake up in the morning. So if you don't think you die every night, you shouldn't think you die in a teleporter, based on this specific argument. At least, no difference I can think of - there is no other link between future you and current you than your brain, and that's posited to be perfectly copied, so if a teleported/slept version of you is different from you then the version of you now and the version of you one second later is also different. It's easier to just taboo words like 'original' and 'copy' and note that there's no anticipated difference in experience either way to notice that the question is an exercise in confusion because nothing actual is being talked about.

    Another argument that's easier to disprove is that the physical body of a person has some relevance to their consciousness. But people, consciousnesses included, are made out of particles which are fundamentally impossible to differentiate as proven by basic QM. An electron in a certain state is the same as an electron in the same state, they have no identities, if we were to swap one electron with another anywhere in the universe we would have done literally nothing. There is no possible or even conceivable way to distinguish a specific fundamental particle. (This is mostly because particles are just a higher-level model, the universe is a wave-function.)
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantaki View Post
    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there to observe it, does it make a sound?
    Define "sound". If your definition of sound requires someone to be listening then the answer is no. Otherwise the answer is yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantaki View Post
    Or in this case, if one can see a difference between the you that got dematerialized and the you that is rematerialized, does it really matter wether one is technically a copy of the other?
    You are still you, just in a different place.
    ...Or the original copy of you died at the start of the teleport process and at the other end you have a copy that is deluded into thinking it is still the original.

    So, yes, it does matter, unless you think death is irrelevent - as has been stated earlier, it's not like the original is goiing to raise any objections.

    This is hardly a new arguement - I came across it decades ago in a Star Trek novel (Spock Must Die! (1970)) - which if I remember correctly called it out at the start as "so every time we put someone in the transporter we commit murder?" and then pretty much sidestepped the issue and handwaved it at the end.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Teleportation has several variations, and some of them run into the 'is the person after the teleport the same person as the person who teleported' argument. This has all been stated by people before.

    For the moment, let's copy CGP Grey and try to be good scientists. Cut away things we can't measure and look at what we seem to be, a bunch of atoms arranged in the pattern of 'you'. Of course this changes, the pattern of 'Anonymouswizard' has changed several thousand times in the writing of this post (as of time of writing), possibly more. If we assume that this is all there is, then if we get all the right atoms and arrange them in the pattern of 'Anonymouswizard six months ago', then do we get me, but six months younger and still annoyed that the cute French girl is dating someone already?

    Or are the original atoms important? If so, I've heard we completely replace our atoms every seven years. Does this mean I'm literally not the same person I was seven years ago?

    What is a person anyway? Surely we need to define what a person (or possibly what a being is) before we start arguing about if they're the same being.

    This is the same problem with memory backup immortality. While I want to err more on the side of 'for all intents and purposes it is you, and it probably should be you legally so you can't borrow lots of money and then teleport clone out of debt', I can't say I'm certain.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    This is the same problem with memory backup immortality. While I want to err more on the side of 'for all intents and purposes it is you, and it probably should be you legally so you can't borrow lots of money and then teleport clone out of debt', I can't say I'm certain.
    I was going to quote Borderlands earlier. I'll do it now:

    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome Jack
    Digital. That’s the diet soda of immortalities.
    ...And - for entertainment purposes - the quotes I was going to use earlier, but didn't because it respawning doesn't really fit (although the fast travel might):

    Quote Originally Posted by New-U Station
    Hyperion suggests that you do not think about the fact that this is only a digital reconstruction of your original body, which died the first time you respawned. Do NOT think about this!

    Hyperion would like to remind you that there is only one thing worse than respawning, and that is not respawning.
    On the subject of Quantum Teleportation mentioned earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Although the name is inspired by the teleportation commonly used in fiction, there is no relationship outside the name, because quantum teleportation concerns only the transfer of information. Quantum teleportation is not a form of transport, but of communication; it provides a way of transporting a qubit from one location to another, without having to move a physical particle along with it.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    I was going to quote Borderlands earlier. I'll do it now:



    ...And - for entertainment purposes - the quotes I was going to use earlier, but didn't because it respawning doesn't really fit (although the fast travel might):
    Well yes, which is why I called it a problem (and yes, I am vain enough that even if I die I would like a copy of me around for years annoying people). We do not know if it's the same person, even if we're restoring memories from a backup that includes death. I've noticed the fiction that uses such technology falls into three camps:
    -Let's ignore the complications and hope the audience does as well.
    -Coming back from death messes people up, and they take a lot of time to return to normal post resurrection. Even then, is it the same person? Because you can 'resurrect' someone who's alive.
    -People in-universe consider the mind to be the important thing, not the consciousness, and consider each instance of the same mind to be the same person.

    Even for a theoretical culture that has transcended the limits of 'human' and become truly posthuman, this is likely to be a question that the society answers philosophically rather than scientifically. Unless some Night's Dawn strangeness happens and we become able to treat souls as a scientific phenomenon then we'll have to work on the idea that there's no way to truly tell. Some people will refuse such immortality, as they consider their body to be the only instance of them, some will embrace it even if they worry that it's not going to be them coming back.

    That second quote is actually really good, because once they've gone through teleportation or resurrection once many people will not think about it, so they don't have to confront the fact they might be remembering somebody else's life.

    EDIT: I suspect my copy would be just as vain!
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2017-09-17 at 02:18 PM.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Define "sound". If your definition of sound requires someone to be listening then the answer is no. Otherwise the answer is yes.



    ...Or the original copy of you died at the start of the teleport process and at the other end you have a copy that is deluded into thinking it is still the original.

    So, yes, it does matter, unless you think death is irrelevent - as has been stated earlier, it's not like the original is goiing to raise any objections.

    This is hardly a new arguement - I came across it decades ago in a Star Trek novel (Spock Must Die! (1970)) - which if I remember correctly called it out at the start as "so every time we put someone in the transporter we commit murder?" and then pretty much sidestepped the issue and handwaved it at the end.
    I think dying is too strong a word there.
    You don't cease to exist after all.
    You are just taken apart into tiny pieces and put back together at your destination.

    In a sense it's like walking through a door, just that the two sides of the door are very far away from each other.

    So it's like walking through a door if walking through a door was like taking a bus.
    A very fast and really small bus.
    That would make it a seriously weird door, but it would be a door non the less.
    Last edited by Kantaki; 2017-09-17 at 02:33 PM.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    I see that people tend to forget that just because the Identity problem is a problem of Philosophy, it doesn't mean it's any less real than scientific problems. Philosophy is in fact very real, at least as far as non-measurable entities go. As a matter of fact, consciousness isn't measurable. Does that mean it isn't real after all? Are we simply automatons under the delusion of being aware of ourselves? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If you consider consciousness "an illusion", then there's no point in us having any type of conversation. If you do believe in consciousness, you will never find a way to measure it or demonstrate it to anyone but yourself.

    Point is, there's no reason to believe or disveliebe any of those. No "hard facts" back either way of thinking. But in front of a Teleporting Machine (of any type*) the only rational decision is don't step on it. Why? Because there is no scientific evidence we can replicate what "consciusness" is, because it isn't something measurable. It isn't even an empirical thing. It is still a real thing, at least for yourself. So why risk deleting yourself from existence? A clone of yourself isn't yourself. Saying otherwise is as silly as asserting twins are the same person (protip: they are not).

    Also, just because you can destroy an atom and replicate it elsewhere, it doesn't mean it's the same atom. It is not. You can trace back it's particles and energy used to create either in the first place. And since they come from somewhere (either a star or a man-made machine), it's easy to tell which one came from where. Replication isn't the same as moving through space. So, anything coming from a machine is originated from there (duh). Anything destroyed by a machine ends there. Saying both are "identical" (again, a philosophical question) means nothing, because their sources are still different. It's simple as that. Science won't back a pro-teleporting thinking (the opposite is also true). It's still a Russian roulette, from a consciousness philosophical point of view.

    The consciousness question will probably remain unsolved forever. But really, do you think it's rational** to risk suicide just to try teleporting yourself through space? People don't stop to amaze me every day

    *Portals aren't "teleporting machines", they are space-folding machines, like warp drives
    **Funny enough, Rationality is a philosophical topic too.
    (sic)

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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    ...In front of a Teleporting Machine (of any type*) the only rational decision is don't step on it. Why? Because there is no scientific evidence we can replicate what "consciusness" is, because it isn't something measurable. It isn't even an empirical thing. It is still a real thing, at least for yourself. So why risk deleting yourself from existence?...

    RL, I've known over a dozen friends and acquaintances who were killed in traffic accidents, yet still I drive to work.

    I suspect some would jump at the chance to have the "prestige" of being early, and once enough people had done it, convenience would win out.

    "Sure I may not really exist anymore, but think of the time savings!"

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    RL, I've known over a dozen friends and acquaintances who were killed in traffic accidents, yet still I drive to work.
    That's what public transport is for. At least you won't die alone
    (sic)

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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    I see that people tend to forget that just because the Identity problem is a problem of Philosophy, it doesn't mean it's any less real than scientific problems. Philosophy is in fact very real, at least as far as non-measurable entities go. As a matter of fact, consciousness isn't measurable. Does that mean it isn't real after all? Are we simply automatons under the delusion of being aware of ourselves? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If you consider consciousness "an illusion", then there's no point in us having any type of conversation. If you do believe in consciousness, you will never find a way to measure it or demonstrate it to anyone but yourself.

    Point is, there's no reason to believe or disveliebe any of those. No "hard facts" back either way of thinking. But in front of a Teleporting Machine (of any type*) the only rational decision is don't step on it. Why? Because there is no scientific evidence we can replicate what "consciusness" is, because it isn't something measurable. It isn't even an empirical thing. It is still a real thing, at least for yourself. So why risk deleting yourself from existence? A clone of yourself isn't yourself. Saying otherwise is as silly as asserting twins are the same person (protip: they are not).
    This is essentially a restatement of Pascal's Wager. If we're talking about things which are defined as such to be totally absent of evidence, I can for example introduce an arbitrary concept such as 'aegis', which everyone has but which can't be measured, which protects you from being abducted by dream demons every night and tortured for a perceptual infinity before your memories are reset and you're returned to your room, and which if you happen to ever walk under a bridge while whistling, will completely disintegrate. So the only rational thing to do is to not walk under bridges while whistling - why risk it, when the consequences are infinitely bad?

    If look at my 'aegis' concept and the 'consciousness' concept, one possibility is that they're both equally nonsensical. But if we want to say that the 'aegis' concept is clearly nonsense in comparison to the 'consciousness' concept, then that comparison necessarily involves invoking some kind of evidence. That evidence might be as simple as 'well, I can experience my consciousness, but I can't experience this aegis crap' - but that means that actually, you are measuring consciousness. Or at the very least, you're measuring 'something' and you're choosing to call it consciousness and (perhaps mistakenly) assigning it a particular set of properties based on that experience.

    This isn't even a purely subjective thing - if you ask a bunch of people to independently characterize what its like to be conscious, you can objectively measure the degree of agreement between them.

    If we're talking about a concept which is to be given some kind of elevated status over the infinity of totally arbitrary stuff that anyone can just make up, then we do have to care about whatever evidence we're using to elevate it to being considered 'real'. So if we built a teleport-duplicator and sent someone through it and both versions behaved and reported the same up to any possible measurable distinction, we should conclude that whatever the basis of consciousness is (to the extent of talking about a real thing rather than an arbitrary thing) doesn't appear to depend on uniqueness of identity or being made of the exact same atoms or whatever. Whereas if we built a teleport-duplicator and the copy instantly started behaving markedly different despite each atom and electron being in the same configuration, that would be evidence that we missed something that did matter to the basis of consciousness. But in either case it would be a question subject to evidence.

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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    I see that people tend to forget that just because the Identity problem is a problem of Philosophy, it doesn't mean it's any less real than scientific problems. Philosophy is in fact very real, at least as far as non-measurable entities go. As a matter of fact, consciousness isn't measurable. Does that mean it isn't real after all? Are we simply automatons under the delusion of being aware of ourselves? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If you consider consciousness "an illusion", then there's no point in us having any type of conversation. If you do believe in consciousness, you will never find a way to measure it or demonstrate it to anyone but yourself.

    Point is, there's no reason to believe or disveliebe any of those. No "hard facts" back either way of thinking. But in front of a Teleporting Machine (of any type*) the only rational decision is don't step on it. Why? Because there is no scientific evidence we can replicate what "consciusness" is, because it isn't something measurable. It isn't even an empirical thing. It is still a real thing, at least for yourself. So why risk deleting yourself from existence? A clone of yourself isn't yourself. Saying otherwise is as silly as asserting twins are the same person (protip: they are not).

    Also, just because you can destroy an atom and replicate it elsewhere, it doesn't mean it's the same atom. It is not. You can trace back it's particles and energy used to create either in the first place. And since they come from somewhere (either a star or a man-made machine), it's easy to tell which one came from where. Replication isn't the same as moving through space. So, anything coming from a machine is originated from there (duh). Anything destroyed by a machine ends there. Saying both are "identical" (again, a philosophical question) means nothing, because their sources are still different. It's simple as that. Science won't back a pro-teleporting thinking (the opposite is also true). It's still a Russian roulette, from a consciousness philosophical point of view.

    The consciousness question will probably remain unsolved forever. But really, do you think it's rational** to risk suicide just to try teleporting yourself through space? People don't stop to amaze me every day

    *Portals aren't "teleporting machines", they are space-folding machines, like warp drives
    **Funny enough, Rationality is a philosophical topic too.
    If something isn't measurable, it does not have an effect on anything perceivable. In that case it doesn't exist. I perceive myself to be conscious, therefore consciousness is measurable.

    As for atoms, that's untrue. They literally are identical. Fundamental particles don't contain a history. They can and do teleport, overlap, cease existing for a time and return, pop up out of nothingness and possibly don't even experience time. It's a bit complicated because the word 'particle' brings to mind concepts that don't apply.

    Two identical things are the same thing. In the teleporter case the exiting person isn't quite identical, because their energy pattern exists in a different place and time, but the hypothetical was that everything else is identical, so the question is, do you become someone else if you are elsewhere at a different time. That's a matter of definition.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    And? Nobody is discussing the ongoing experience after the teleport because it is irrelevent to the arguement. The point is whether the person after the teleport is actually the original person, or whether the original person has been killed and a copy created. In other words what happens at the point of teleportation, not the experience after it.
    My point is that teleportation may change you, but so does staying in the same place. "Not changing" has never been an option.

    So objecting to teleportation on the grounds that the teleported you is "not the same" is - meaningless.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    My point is that teleportation may change you, but so does staying in the same place. "Not changing" has never been an option.

    So objecting to teleportation on the grounds that the teleported you is "not the same" is - meaningless.
    That's true.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    I see that people tend to forget that just because the Identity problem is a problem of Philosophy, it doesn't mean it's any less real than scientific problems. Philosophy is in fact very real, at least as far as non-measurable entities go. As a matter of fact, consciousness isn't measurable. Does that mean it isn't real after all? Are we simply automatons under the delusion of being aware of ourselves? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If you consider consciousness "an illusion", then there's no point in us having any type of conversation. If you do believe in consciousness, you will never find a way to measure it or demonstrate it to anyone but yourself.
    Well yes, it is real, but we'll solve it by coming to an agreement as a society. Let us assume for the moment that in the year 2168 humanity splits into two factions, one uses the new destructive teleporters to spread themselves throughout the galaxy (let us also assume that these teleporters are FTL and don't require a receiving station, it's unrealistic but we're discussing teleportation), the other decides that teleportation is mass suicide and so remains in the solar system until they can build a ship that can take them to another star system. For ease let's call culture 1 the Fast and culture 2 the Slow, referring to how quickly the move through space (the cultures, as the outside observing third culture we do not have a universal view on if the people do).

    The Fast see the Slow as being tied to old notions of the self based on a single physical body, which is stupid because the body periodically replaces itself completely. They probably also practice brain uploading and other radical transhuman processes, because the mind is the same after the upload right? The slow see the Fast as commiting ritualistic suicide just to get somewhere quicker, likely remain slightly closer to what we see as human but likely do also utilise transhuman technologies, and see consciousness as the important factor rather than the mind.

    FWIW I'm not convinced that I am conscious, I might just be hallucinating it. I certainly don't seem to have anything between the moment I fall asleep and the moment I wake up except for one dream (literally, I can remember exactly one dream, which involved my parents getting me a snakecat), so maybe I'm only conscious when my brain is in awake mode, while those that dream are conscious in asleep mode. But I keep an open mind, maybe I'm just overthinking it. I'm fairly certain I exist, not completely certain that the universe existed before I was about three/four, kinda worried that the universe might not have existed until this morning, and a tad amused at the idea that it might not exist until next Thursday, I can probably continue like this if I can be bothered. My point is to me the point is moot until I actually step into that teleporter.

    Point is, there's no reason to believe or disveliebe any of those. No "hard facts" back either way of thinking. But in front of a Teleporting Machine (of any type*) the only rational decision is don't step on it. Why? Because there is no scientific evidence we can replicate what "consciusness" is, because it isn't something measurable. It isn't even an empirical thing. It is still a real thing, at least for yourself. So why risk deleting yourself from existence? A clone of yourself isn't yourself. Saying otherwise is as silly as asserting twins are the same person (protip: they are not).
    Again, not everybody is convinced they are conscious, my brother is an atheist of the 'everything is deterministic, even my actions' variety (I'm an agnostic of the theist variety personally, but we all have our beliefs), he would probably get into a teleporter before I would. Then there's a lot of people who aren't that bothered about death, and would chance the coin flip of death. Then there's a lot of people who wouldn't risk it, but would go for memory backup immortality just in case it is you.

    In many ways it doesn't matter here if we use consciousness or soul, we're talking about a thing that makes a person them that might not be transferred. I'm going to use soul from here on, just to type less letters. They're not the same thing, but they're close enough for our purposes (the main difference is in the 'after death' part). We could use mind as well, but I've got no clue as to what that's supposed to be.

    Now the main difference between clone backup immortality and identical twins is the presence of memory. We can assume that we're giving this clone backup our memory, and if the recreation is perfect then that clone should have the exact same personality as us when our memory was taken. An identical twin will have slightly different memories from the moment of birth, as there will be this other thing that looks like them, they'll likely have different experiences throughout life, will do different things to their twin. They're also likely not completely identical, even if physically the same at least some of their genetics will likely have expressed themselves differently, giving them a different personality.

    On the other hand, 'identical twin with my memory up to a certain point' is a very good way to think about it. This body might as well have a different soul to me for all I know, as a 'normal' identical twin would.

    Also, just because you can destroy an atom and replicate it elsewhere, it doesn't mean it's the same atom. It is not. You can trace back it's particles and energy used to create either in the first place. And since they come from somewhere (either a star or a man-made machine), it's easy to tell which one came from where. Replication isn't the same as moving through space. So, anything coming from a machine is originated from there (duh). Anything destroyed by a machine ends there. Saying both are "identical" (again, a philosophical question) means nothing, because their sources are still different. It's simple as that. Science won't back a pro-teleporting thinking (the opposite is also true). It's still a Russian roulette, from a consciousness philosophical point of view.
    This is an interesting question, just what is conscious/has a soul. We're working from the assumption that humans (probably) do, but does my computer? A pen? An atom?

    But you're right, science won't back either side. People trying to be good scientists will likely be pro-teleporting, but it is still a philosophical opinion.

    The consciousness question will probably remain unsolved forever. But really, do you think it's rational** to risk suicide just to try teleporting yourself through space? People don't stop to amaze me every day
    The Fast certainly do

    Honestly, when we have teleportation or brain uploading/cloning immortality we'll have a great big fight about it and then settle into our camps. Plus who knows, science is still advancing we might discover that humans possess some sort of energy field that fluctuates with thought and disappears when they die.

    *Portals aren't "teleporting machines", they are space-folding machines, like warp drives
    **Funny enough, Rationality is a philosophical topic too.
    * space-folding is a weird way to describe them in my opinion, as there's little explanation as to what the effects are on the space being folded. However wormholes and other portals are different from other teleportation, as they simply make two far away places right next to each other.
    ** I'm staying out of that discussion.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Please read http://existentialcomics.com/comic/1.

    I am not the atoms in my body. So it doesn't matter to me if they are the same or not. If the pattern of me is I the new bid it is me.
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    Default Re: My problem with time travel and teleportation

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    My point is that teleportation may change you, but so does staying in the same place. "Not changing" has never been an option.

    So objecting to teleportation on the grounds that the teleported you is "not the same" is - meaningless.
    The degree of change is not comparable.

    You normally experience small, constant changes. These do not concern anyone. If one could visualize the body's path through spacetime, it would be a large, constant stream, even if tiny bits were added and subtracted regularly.

    Large, drastic changes, on the order of having every cell of your body ripped apart are associated with dismemberment or death. Of course we wish to avoid those. If we did not, we wouldn't likely have survived. And visualizing those traveling four dimensionally through spacetime, you see one path end entirely, exactly the same as it does for death. A new, similar path is created, true, but they are not connected. Thus, they are no more the same than two identical twins are the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    I am not the atoms in my body. So it doesn't matter to me if they are the same or not. If the pattern of me is I the new bid it is me.
    You're not the pattern. You are an instance of the pattern. The particular atoms do not matter, but the instance does. If a new instance of you were created elsewhere, with the same configurations of atoms, that configuration would not be the one you experience.
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