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Teleportation/Mind Uploading and You

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#1
ok, this is not an "is it possible" thread, more of a theoretically exploratory thread.

tl;dr
look at this theoretical possibility: you go to teleport, and your copy comes out the other
side. but some glitch means you stay on the originating side. now there are two of you,
both with your thoughts and memories. who is the real one. you of course? but that problem
still exists whether there was a glitch or not. is the being on the other end EVER really you?

same goes for mind uploading (saving your consciousness on a computer hard drive for later
transfer). there is no reason to believe what is left after the copy is you. and not from a
religious sense, but purely logical.

rest of the post
I have always been interested in the idea of teleportation. obviously in the "get
places quicker sense" and the "get across the universe sense", but that's the start.

what really intrigues me, is who comes out of the teleporter at the other end? assuming
it works as common sci-fi suggests, where it downloads your thoughts and then re-assembles
your molecules across the universe, and then uploads your thoughts. who comes out?

would it actually be you? or would the you that is actually you have died when they stepped
into the transporter at the start? just because the entity on the other end
has your thoughts and beliefs doesn't make them you. what do you think?
 
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W1zzard

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#2
at the instant of copy both are you. after that they are separate entities with different experiences, creating a different personality.

now the non-scientists could argue that a unique soul exists that can't be copied, only moved maybe

edit: there is no reason a "transporter" exists (destroy the old version), if it exists then it'll be a duplication machine
 
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#3
See the movie "The Prestige" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prestige_(film)

David Bowie (of all people) plays Nikola Tesla... who invents a teleporter that is actually a duplication machine... that can duplicate animated objects as well (people too) Incredible movie.

Just for cinematic effect:

 
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#5
I can't help noticing that this section seems to be consumed with metaphysics, though I guess it falls under the broader definition of science.
this is not an "is it possible" thread, more of a theoretically exploratory thread.
Well the answer to the question should likely revolve around "if it were possible then". For instance, if it were possible then we would have created Heisenberg compensators (read Star Trek) which means we can answer:
-Who is the real one? Both of them.
-Is the being on the other end EVER really you? If the transporter/copier works correctly then it is ALWAYS you.
-Who comes out? Philosophy asks "what is who?", science asks "what is it?". Your teleported/copied self is nothing more than a perfect description of the collection of matter that is called "you".

The other way to think is that is the copy created using the same matter as the one that was the original? The answer to the question is actually irrelevant because in order to move the mass during transport you'd have to destroy (aka kill) the original. In effect, Star Trek transporters just killed you then made a copy of you at the destination.
same goes for mind uploading (saving your consciousness on a computer hard drive for later
transfer). there is no reason to believe what is left after the copy is you. and not from a
religious sense, but purely logical.
I'm unclear on your intention here. Are you saying that I copy myself into a computer then I (the non-digital version) is no longer me? If so are you saying this because the digital representation of my atoms is run in a software program that emulates self (so it's not just an inactive file on the disk) and creates a divergent identity?
 
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Bo$$

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#6
what are we, if not the sum of our experiences and thoughts?
you pose a very challenging question, but i guess nobody knows for certain how it works, the are stories that people who have had liver transplants and such have taken on the personality of their donor
 
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#7
look at this theoretical possibility: you go to teleport, and your copy comes out the other side. but some glitch means you stay on the originating side. now there are two of you, both with your thoughts and memories. who is the real one. you of course? but that problem still exists whether there was a glitch or not. is the being on the other end EVER really you?
Both of them are you, it's just one of them is stuck and the other one is going places. (I should copyright this phrase, before Apple steals it)

A more interesting question is: why isn't it murder (or suicide) when the teleporter "works" and the original is destroyed? For a brief moment, either there's both of you or none of you. It is not possible to have just one for the duration of the teleportation.

In one instance there's two of them, then the original will be alive for the short time it gets to create the copy at the other end, so the copy is not really a perfect copy, since it did not experience that short time. In the other instance, you get digitized and then destroyed. So for a brief period of time, you are gone from this world. Without you time does not stop, you're missing important events, so when you're recreated, it's not you anymore, you're missing time, there's a gap in you're life that the people around you didn't experience.

Another thing, teleporting as described by you, is based apparently on a "memory cache", meaning you could be 100% digitized. So would it be ethical to have yourself digitized every day before going to sleep, so if something happens to you and your body becomes "damaged" they could turn the current you to dust (or cat food) and just create a nice fresh copy from backup?

Or would it be better to just create a temporary clone, harvest it ("him"/"her"?) for spare parts and destroy it afterwards?

What's the difference between cloning and teleportation if you don't take into effect the time difference (cloning is less "immediate" then teleportation, but none of them is truly "instantaneous")? And why is one better then the other? Would any of them raise the same questions?
 
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#8
well it's not me from that point forward i think is the accurate way to portray my idea.

as wiz said, at the instant of duplication we are the same, but from that point on we are
no longer the same person. so if my copy has a three-some, i can't say i had one as well.

we are different entities, with different experiences and emotions. how could we be the same?

i just see it all the time in sci-fi, where a clone is willing to die so the original can live, the
clone says "they will live on in them, as them".

but they won't. their consciousness is gone. they are dead.

what are we, if not the sum of our experiences and thoughts?
you pose a very challenging question
exactly, which leads all the more into my thinking.

the copy would then have a different sum of experiences.
 

Arogers10

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#9
What is that one thing that makes us who we truly are? of course we need our memories and ideas, however if we copied those over to another being we cant say that it would have our conscious. possibly the missing factor is what people call the soul. If I replicated myself in to another body we can both have the same ideas, memories, and views, however only one of the 2 copies could be "animated" by myself.
 
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#10
What is that one thing that makes us who we truly are
therein lies the rub.

i am not a religious person, but there is no denying that science cannot as of yet
explain what physical construct is responsible for "us". for our consciousness.

i would call it a soul, if the word could be stripped of it's implications.
 
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#11
The person/people who make a teleportation device would disappear by certain corporations who would most certainly go bankrupt with such a form of transport.
 
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#13
A fun fact: back in the days of the first Star Trek the producers introduced the transporters as an alternative to expensive special effects of ships going into planetary orbits and landing on the surface :)

I like Eve Online's take on things. There is no teleportation system but a clone system: instead of risking death, you clone yourself. Your real body is left in a semi-stasis state and you control the "empty" clone through an implant which links your consciousness. You are the "real you" and he is the "fake you". Your new fake self can take on dangerous missions neglecting the fear of death. He can travel to the other side of the universe and deactivate himself at a clone station for the time being. Then your consciousness returns to the real you and you can make a second clone. Send him off to yet another suicide mission and so on...Maybe a bit more barbaric and brutal solution to the problem but at least you don't have to doubt who the real you is :p
 

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#14
Heisenberg compensators
you only need a heisenberg compensator if you define "copy" as a copy that has the same quantum states.

if the copy works on a molecule level and will still function (which doesnt seem unreasonable) then you can ignore the whole quantum mess that would complicate things.
 

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#15
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#16
Nerves/Brains anyone?
ok, show me which nerves are responsible for love.
tell me what signal to send to the brain to make it feel awe or wonder.

those are not things we understand on a scientific level. if you ask a
biologist what part of the brain is responsible for our "soul" for lack of
a better word, the answer would be "i don't know"

lizards and ants have brains and nerves, they can't contemplate the universe
and life and death(afawk). where does our ability to do that come from?
 
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#17
So, anyone else get the distinct sense of dejavu? Almost like this exact idea was explored in the Outer Limits tv show (they may have been ripping someone else off, but I don't know who).

Simple answer, is there is no absolute answer. Religion believes in a singular soul, so duplication produces a new being. Physics views both as the same entity upon creation, with differences arising out of experience. The media views it as a chance to look at good and evil being a relative concept that technology may alter forever. I tend to side with the science, though the concept of an existence that ends with a dirt nap is somewhat less than I hope for.

As this situation is closer, I pose a similar relevant question that is concieveable within our lifetime. Is it ethical to grow a brain dead version of yourself to use as a source of new parts, or a completely new meat jacket should your current body run out of steam? I posit that this question, which I cannot answer, may well be revealed to the public soon.
 
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#18
A fun fact: back in the days of the first Star Trek the producers introduced the transporters as an alternative to expensive special effects of ships going into planetary orbits and landing on the surface
it looks start from Star Trek, but several year ago i read that the scientist able to move one atom with teleport concept, its kinda interesting maybe one day not just one atom but an apple teleported :D :D
 

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#19
exactly, which leads all the more into my thinking.

the copy would then have a different sum of experiences.
well it wouldn't have any experience.
But the way the brain is linked/wired up does produce memories and recollections of events as well has behavioral quirks/features. All this added should produce an identical being with identical brain connections and physical features and/or defects and hence produce the same person down to the last atom...
but then again the are stories that people who have had liver transplants and such have taken on the personality of their donor which make things even more complicated
 
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#20
you only need a heisenberg compensator if you define "copy" as a copy that has the same quantum states.

if the copy works on a molecule level and will still function (which doesnt seem unreasonable) then you can ignore the whole quantum mess that would complicate things.
If you don't replicate the quantum state of the brain will you retain consciousness in the duplicate?

If you don't copy the quantum state then it's a lossy duplicate and therefore it is intrinsically distinct from the original.
 
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#21
Science gives you facts and philosophy tries to give those facts meaning. You can only answer this question through philosophy (which isn't much of an answer).

Science would say their are two of you or to be more precise their are two copies of the matter you consist of with the energy required for the second "you" deducted from the universe. Therefore there their are two conscious entities.
But, being human and all, we have to apply philosophy to that fact. What are "you"? If you can be copied are you ,your current self, even "you". What is life? At what point does an organic molecule with a carboxylic acid group at one end and a amine group at the other become "alive"? At what point does it gain a consciousness?
Does a single celled organism have a conscious? You could argue no because it doesn't have a brain or nervous system. But do you yourself even have a conscious? You could argue that you are capable of emotions. But are your emotions not reactions to stimuli? If you introduce methane to a spark or sufficient energy in the presence of oxygen it will combust. Is that not a reaction to a stimulus? Is it therefore not on the same level of being as "you"?


Man i love tangents. Also, philosophy FTW.

Edit: This thread is assuming that the copy is perfect right?
 
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#22
well it wouldn't have any experience.
at first it wouldn't. what i was saying, was that after the moment they were copied,
they would then have two different sets of experiences, and therefore be two different
"people"
 

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#23
If you don't replicate the quantum state of the brain will you retain consciousness in the duplicate?

If you don't copy the quantum state then it's a lossy duplicate and therefore it is intrinsically distinct from the original.
if you copy a cd you dont copy the plastic, do you ?
 
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#24
if you copy a cd you dont copy the plastic, do you ?
You would imply then that we just have a bunch of empty vessels (human bodies), sort of like standard templates, that we're copying organs into and that the quantum state of neurons in the brain is not incidental to consciousness?

EDIT: Oh and wait, you do copy the plastic. It's not like you can copy a CD onto a floppy disk and get the same thing. If you copy a CD to a DVD you retain the information but it's fundamentally different.

I'm asking because I honestly don't know. Human brains are not binary and therefore the transference of consciousness would be dependent on the way the brain works. In other words, I dunno shit about that. :D
 
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#25
There's an ass load of proposed teleportation methods out there. The type that copies you and the type that dissembles you and reassembles you elsewhere are idiotic and should never be built for anything besides inanimate objects. Discontinuation of consciousness and destruction of the body are death plain and simple. Unfortunately it's only those two that seem to have any scientific grounding atm. I'd vote for some sort of personal sized warp field to move you instead of kill you. You have to get past the idea of star trek style teleportation, it's just awful.