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Given a teleporter works by disassembling particles of a person, and re-assemble the same person elsewhere (so I'm assuming the teleport is not working thanks to something like a wormhole), how do I convince people to enter any teleporter?

So actually the teleporter do:

  • Kill someone (Disintegrate all atoms)
  • Spawn a perfect copy of the killed person somewhere (Assemble same or different atoms in the same fashion they were placed in the original person)

How do I convince people to die with the promise that a perfect copy will be walking somewhere?

Assumptions:

  • The copy is perfect, so the copy will have the feeling of a "continuous life", however the original is irremediably destroyed.

The copy is a perfect copy, so all its memories, feelings will be the same as in the instant before teleportation, after the teleportation a new person is spawned. There is no "awakening" or something like that.

  • Memories of the copy = memories from original body + memories accumulated since the teleportation
  • Feelings of the copy = the same as the original, apart the fact that the surrounding environment changes
  • Memories & feelings of the original = stops with teleportation.

The assumption here is that "self-awareness", memory, mind is all in one with the body.

I assume the teleport do not disrupt in any way the body or the mind (of the copy). It is just purely the knowledge of how teleport works here making a difference. So if you don't know that your original copy will die, you will just continue to use the teleport without regret. Of course here people know the entering is equivalent to die.

The teleportation process:

A communication channel (be it a quantic beam of neutrins or a electromagnetic wave)) is established and maintained until all information about composition of original body is transmitted, after that the channel should be closed (otherwise it would require exponential energy to kept open). As side effect of closing the channel the original body sublimates in few milliseconds. The receiving beacon should have enough hydrogen (all isotopes) to provide basic particles to reassembling a identical body. Interrupting the process will sublimate the already scanned atoms in original body and create a incomplete body on the other side, as plus, all the particles that were moving to correct locations will become instantly free, and as such they would explode because they attempt to form again free hydrogen (which live at lower density compared to density of a human body). So to avoid a explosion and obtain a incomplete body the process should be almost ended (something like 99,95%).

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Jun 13 '16 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ It's relevant to note that, if your heart stops, you are technically "dead". But a defibrillator can fix that. Just scale that up a bit. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Jun 13 '16 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ Worth noting, this is actually the basis for several philosophical questions that have no accepted answer. What defines our "self" is not a trivial concept. You may need thousands of answers to this question, one for each demographic of your world, with their definition of self. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jun 14 '16 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'd like my teleporter to be transactional, e.g Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACID. To achieve that, it would be better to copy first then destroy. Just in case something goes wrong. $\endgroup$ – Jodrell Jun 14 '16 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ I just really love that the first teleport device most of us have visualized was the transporter on Star Trek, and that was designed simply as a way to save production costs for the studio. And now its etched into our minds as a potentially real thing. ha! $\endgroup$ – zipzit Jun 14 '16 at 17:27

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Jimmy,

Thank you for your many years of devoted service! It is now time for your reward.

You will be going to sleep, on this very comfortable bed, here on the Motherworld. At some point as you reach the peak of delta wave activity during deep dreaming, the machine will get to work, unpacking your very being, and casting it across the wide impassable chasms of space.

At Utopia, where the rivers run with milk, honey and cider (to taste), there sits the great Receiver, upon whose warm embrace your lifesignal will arive. Upon a bed of silk will you awaken, and find yourself renewed and cured of all illness and age.

Rejoice, Jimmy, the promised land is within your reach now. I hope to shortly join you there myself, where we are all equals. Do not hesitate, go in. If you have trouble sleeping, there is a pot of tea on the side table that will put you to sleep.

See you on the other side!

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  • $\begingroup$ seems like a quote from... star trek ?? $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 13 '16 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ Don't drink the tea, citizens! $\endgroup$ – Kzqai Jun 13 '16 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like something a cult would say. $\endgroup$ – Tracy Cramer Jun 13 '16 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ Here, have some of this koolaid. +1 for an entertaining and unsettling answer. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Jun 13 '16 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ Your Answers Are Always Entertaining! +1 $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jun 14 '16 at 3:31
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You cannot convince everyone

At least plausibly. Take abortion as example. The discussion about right to abortion is in nutshell discussion about when person becomes to be person. Or even bit far away: When can you believe that this speck of flesh is going to be a person.

So, once your teleport is going to be introduced to the public, there is going to be at least one group against it. Most probably it is going to be some religion, so good luck convincing them.

But still you can convince someone to adapt the technology

This technology has to solve some problem. A problem with business impact is the best. People stopped riding horses and got into trains and cars because transportation was faster and cheaper.

So, if I can have one meeting with client in Tokyo and next meeting in Washington D.C an hour later, I am buying the tickets.

It is plausible to believe that rather atheistic parts of world will adapt the technology first. Some religions may change their opinions few years later, but there will be at least one religion not wanting to adopt teleportation at all.

So, in nutshell: Making everyone use it is impossible. But adoption by some it very plausible.

So, how do you convince peeople?

  • You state, that the process involves "dying" but from observer point you do not notice it: Emphasize on the observer point then. It does not mean dying as long as you do not feel like dying
  • Solve business problem: As I stated before, lots of people are willing to sacrifice a lot for money. So in business era, instant moving from place to place will be instant hit
  • Stretch rules on dying: How long do you have to not exist to stop being a person? Definitely more than few milliseconds for the process to complete
  • Emphasize safety measures of the teleportation device
  • And invest a lot into marketing in general
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks I just need a way to convince some people. Note people is aware that teleportation is equivalent to dying. People that wants to commit suicide is an easy guess, but then I need ways to convince people for some reason (other than the obvious brainwashing, wich is fine as answer as long it is described) $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 13 '16 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ Because you disintegrated one body. I think it is common knowledge disintegrating a body make that person die. Who created the teleport knows how "technically" the procedure works, and it is equiparable to death. you know you died, because you entered in the teleport, and the engineer who created the telport explained that to you $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 13 '16 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ "It is plausible to believe that rather atheistic parts of world will adapt the technology first." I feel like the opposite would be true. I would think that atheists would be the last people you'd convince to do it as that would mean the immediate end to their existence. If anything, you'd likely get some religious movement of people who convince themselves that your soul becomes attached to the teleported copy. $\endgroup$ – Shufflepants Jun 13 '16 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ You'd have to be able to prove to me some facts about how the "soul" and consciousness works before I even considered it. That has nothing to do with religion. $\endgroup$ – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 13 '16 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ "But still you can convince someone to adapt the technology" Do you mean adopt the technology? $\endgroup$ – T.J. Crowder Jun 13 '16 at 16:53
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Most philosophy is born of necessity or convenience.

We face some incongruences in daily life: we distrust computers, governments and even our fellow citizens, but we will still get into a long metal tube run by computers and regulated by governments, filled with a hundred fellow citizens, from which there is no escape, just to fly out to a holiday destination. Early observers of flight in the 20th century might well have believed that no ordinary person would get into such a contraption.

Yet as soon as a few people have flown, and shown it to be safe, then some rich people fly, and then the middle class philosophy morphs to see flying as exciting and glamourous, and if it's good enough for the rich then it's safe enough for me. And so we strap ourselves into the computerised metal can and fret about in-flight meal options and ignore being shot through the sky at 550 mph with no means of escape.

The same arguments apply for other modes of transport; cars were so dangerous to the passengers and other road users to need someone walking in front with a red flag, and now we drive metres from each other at 80 mph. Soon we will begin the process with automated vehicles; a few years ago it seemed like a dangerous research project, now it is experimental and mildly dangerous, and soon it will be at most glamorous and largely commonplace. Eventually, manual driving will seem like the eccentric and dangerous mode, and automated driving will be normal and safe.

Mundane Teleportation

So at first people would be scared of teleportation, just like they're scared of going up in a rocket. But once a number of animals, primates and eventually test humans have been teleported back and forth, the philosophy would naturally shift from seeing it as some kind of death+rebirth to just yet another slightly uncomfortable way of moving around. Eventually taking the slow route of flying in a metal can through the vacuum of space would seem like the dangerous and eccentric option, and stepping through the glimmering portal seems much safer and more sensible.

Not all philosophies adapt

Some people take strength from running against the grain, and build their philosophies against certain changes in society or in lifestyle. There are climate-change deniers, conspiracy theorists, nervous flyers, gun-lobbies, off-gridders. I'm sure there will soon be steering-wheel-grippers against automated vehicles, mesosphere-miseries against leaving the stratosphere in rocket planes, surface-lubbers who refuse to take to space even to go on holiday in one of the habitats.

I think there would then be soul-protectors against being deatomised for transportation, solar-stayers who won't leave the gravity well of Sol, moonlings who will hop only between moons and planetary bodies.

And out there will be the star-sailors, who hate to land on anything which can be orbited, who zip through teleporters and wage their own battle with the limitations of relativity, racking up light-years and time-dilation until they can boast that they've been living as beams of energy more than matter, and that their rest mass is only a fraction of who they are and how they see themselves.

She'll walk up to a guy chatting to you at a party, and say 'is this chick boring you?' and suggest a lap around the solar system in a semi-photonic travelling mode and off they'll go as you nurse your drink and wonder what a Pangalactic Gargleblaster really tastes like.

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    $\begingroup$ Well done, sir. Incidentally, welcome to the site! $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jun 13 '16 at 21:08
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This discussion has been had many times and many places, and the short answer is that not everyone agrees with you on the philosophy of life implied by it.

If you maintain subjective continuity of existence, how can you be said to be dead? If it manifests by appearance in one place and disappearance at another, it's teleportation regardless of whether the reassembled matter is the same as that at the origin. It would be very different if the original lives on and you have a Prestige-style cloning machine.

New transportation technology always encounters a certain amount of resistance; at the invention of the railway newspaper articles claimed that the unnatural high speeds of thirty or even forty miles an hour could be intrinsically harmful or even fatal!

The creator(s) of the system will obviously have full faith in its operation. So they'll be out there, with a booth in New York and a booth in Beijing, teleporting from one to another for the TV cameras and inviting adventurous souls to join them. It becomes the new Concorde; essential for popping over for vital business meetings. Then it starts to become normalised. Some people will still refuse to use it, just as some people refuse to fly in airliners. But they'll be a minority.

Finally, if it works at interplanetary distances it makes Mars colonization trivial. Just teleport in the Hilton piece by piece. An entire society will grow up there made only of people who've been teleported, who regard the whole alleged "death" thing as a ridiculous superstition.

It also matters quite a lot how humanity has got to the point of having this technology, and whether there are less extreme "Ship of Theseus" situations involved. Can you, for example, 'photocopy' limbs and organs for transport? Can you have nanites go and reassemble injured or cancerous bits of your body? Is teleportation of inanimate objects already routine? How about animals? Is it a usable manufacturing process?

Do you have the capability to edit the body in transport? Could you filter out cancer cells? Viruses? "Step into the death-and-reassembly machine to get a whole new, fresh body" would be a hugely appealing proposition to millions of people even if they considered the process to be death.

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    $\begingroup$ Assume the disintegration process is painfull and we can actually see the person screaming on the original beacon for a couple of seconds. Does that change something for you? (the copy would have no memory of the disintegration process of course). You should not convince me that the process is not equivalent to die, you have just to show me a way to convince people in my world (I assumed you mentioned possible arguments) $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 13 '16 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ That makes it a lot more distateful, but I think you'll still find takers for it for space travel even with that nasty downside. $\endgroup$ – pjc50 Jun 13 '16 at 15:23
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    $\begingroup$ @dariooo - it's severely uncool to throw a new premise on top of what you described in the question. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jun 13 '16 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ @DarioOO There's plenty of pain in other aspects of life. Every trip using a car is very uncomfortable for me. Others have the same with planes. Riding a bike is painful, as is running. And yet people still do it. Women give birth, which is actually very similar to your case - huge pain that is (often) completely forgotten (due to body-made drugs). The benefits outweigh the pain. If this was actually a problem, just make your teleporter involve a morphine dose (since the copy has no memory of the painful disintegration, you could avoid any effects from the painkiller on the copy as well). $\endgroup$ – Luaan Jun 14 '16 at 8:38
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Establish Teleportation Through Fiction

If teleportation is entrenched in the public mindset through well-loved fantasy and science fiction settings — in particular, as a 'normal' thing without raising questions about the subject's identity — the general public will have no qualms about teleportation. The 'crazies' who point out that this kills the originals won't gain much traction unless you botch the PR job.

Naturally, you need to plan ahead and do this before people catch wind of emerging teleportation technology, so they don't drum up the opposition early enough to take.

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I don’t think its so difficult to convince people. The first individuals might be a problem, but as soon as you get the idea accepted by the scientific community, the rest will follow like lemmings. Some how most humans are very sensitive to the opinion of the majority, especially that of the scholars. I think your objective can be compared and is very similar to the message of atheism, “god does not exist” in a world and time where most people believe in some sort of god.

Similar as with discussions mixing science and religion, the key is mixing up the difference between how, and why questions? Focus on the hows, like science:

How does the teleporter work? It reads and disassembles the atomic structure of a person, and build an identical structure in a different place. Technically atoms of a particular element are defined such that nothing happens if you replace it with an atom of the same kind. If now in your body you replace half of the atoms instantaneously with atoms of the same kind you would not even notice it. Lets go one step further, lets replace all atoms of your body with other ones instantaneously. You would not notice it. Ooops! Sorry, I just replaced all your atoms, sorry I didn’t ask you for any permission (my finger slipped on the red button). But did you notice? Do you mind? Even if you do, can you prove that I did it? Just joking, I didn’t do it. But I can’t prove that I didn’t do it, neither can anyone else proof if I actually did it or not. So now imagine the same feeling as you have now, (no difference right, (I hope your head got back at the same place as it was 1 minute ago). Now in stead of a long long bus or plane ride, think about the time you can save traveling like this, to another place. Surely it must me more comfortable that sitting in a chair with limited leg space for a couple of hours, let alone cryogenic travel for years, the defrosting really gives a bad headache.

If you look at it scientifically, what are you? Just a bunch of atoms, that grouped up in molecules follow the laws of physics that are the same for everybody. The only thing that makes you you is their configuration. Your feelings and personality are just saved by the connections in your brain. Well this new means of transportation, transports the exact configuration. It is like lossless compression, you know like a zip file. Now we will just transport you in a zip file and use the atoms at the destination, in stead of the atoms here, its really much cheaper faster, and more sustainable in energy terms. There is no difference between before or after. We have an uninterruptable power supply backup system, at the departure site and at the destination site. Nothing that can go wrong.

So the point is, that if you look at it from a how-perspective you there isn’t any difference between the perfect copy of you and you, except that it has a translation and optional rotational (to avoid headache at arrival) transformation on the configuration of your atoms. Now if you or one of your travelers still think, that they are dying some how during the atomic disintegration process at the location of departure. You are probably some religions kind of person who believes, or sometimes doubts about mysterious concepts such as an immaterial soul or something silly like that. If that is the case, or if any way you are still scared to die for whatever reason. Please sit down, take a deep breath and continue.

The main message to understand this way of transportation is: You don’t exist! That is, the you that you think that would die, does not exist for all the same reasons why god does not exist (it is simply not necessary to include such ideas in the theories of physics and science).

Trust me, I am an engineer. We "copy*/translate" the exact atomic configuration, we even tried it with exactly the same atoms, during the proof of concept stages of the design, of course with a small time delay, but it made no difference, same atoms different atoms, you are you. You are just the configuration. It is really just like a computer moving a file from one hard disk to the other.

If then there are still groups of people refusing to believe this, you can try to organize that the government organizes some extra chapter in the physics books, explaining that there is really no reason to believe that you are anything else than just a particular configuration of atoms. You can have some scientist writing books about it for the lay audience, with a picture on the cover where they are sitting in front of a lot of books. One of this books could be called “the me delusion”. Really it’s a piece of cake within 100 years, 80% of the people get used to the idea, just as with atheism.

Good luck!

EDIT: *I am not sure how the no-cloning theorem, and no-teleportation theorem, and entanglement-assisted teleportation for quantum states are of practical relevance on the teleportation of humans or living matter. I understand that one could not observe a quantum state without interfearing with it, but disintegration process could be an observation process determining the quantum state. If quantum states are relevant, Copying is not possible, but the main idea of dying does not depend on copying, it would be of equal importance for moving/teleporting.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. Nice first answer. For more info on the site check out the help center and feel free to visit Worldbuilding Chat. $\endgroup$ – James Jun 13 '16 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Just to get one thing clear, I love your answer. Well done. That being said ... +1 for logic, -1 for not understanding how the human thought process actually works. Your super-logical answer is awesome, but fails to take into account the fact that humans are not always logical creatures. If all your instincts are screaming "I'm going to die!" then you won't go through with it. Religion only comes into play after that. Just my two cents. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jun 13 '16 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM True, but the same was said of a ton of things in the past, including cars, trains and airplanes. Humans are quite conservative, but usually with relation to what was already available when they were born or during childhood. The current generation might be reluctant, but it will be a simple everyday technology for the kids that makes things easier. $\endgroup$ – Luaan Jun 14 '16 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ The difficulty with this answer is that I don't believe it's as simple as taking the same particles and putting them in the same places to re-create a person. There is so much more going on at a quantum level that chances are if you took an identical copy of a person at a microscopic level, it wouldn't be the same person at all. I think that many people would dispute this - you'd have a hard time convincing the odd well-read individual, let alone the scientific community who would know better - they would be well aware that this is cloning + death and not teleportation. $\endgroup$ – Charleh Jun 15 '16 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Charleh I was/am not aware of how quantum states influence the personality or "Me" feeling of people. And how they could be of fundamental importance to make a "copy" or replicate. But i am curious to hear and learn about them, because then one can relate the no-cloning theorem, and no-teleportation theorems (which i also was not aware of) to the particular case of the cloning of humans. Because i still don't understand if the limitations on the cloning of quantum states of matter are of practical relevance for the teleportation of people and other living matter. $\endgroup$ – Hjan Jun 18 '16 at 18:24
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The "death" issue will only matter to some people. Your early adopters will be the people who consider it unimportant.

As to how your own death could be unimportant: I'm more concerned about my own perspective than my own atoms. I would have trouble seeing this as actually dying, despite the fact that I technically have. Every day my body replaces its own cells: this is only a more drastic version of the same.

If I don't feel like I've died, I don't actually care that I have. From my point of view, I was alive before the teleport, and I am alive after the teleport. The only thing that has changed is my location. Obviously some people will care, but not everyone. For me, the convenience of near instantaneous transportation would vastly outweigh the minor drawback that I'm made of different atoms. Of course, if malfunctions where people not perfectly forming afterwards are possible, that's a different issue.

People who use the teleporter will have an economic advantage over people who don't. You will be able to attend business meetings across the world all within a single day, or buy and sell items across the globe far faster than is possible by conventional transport. If you are unwilling to teleport, you are more likely to be passed over for a higher position in a large company in favor of someone willing to travel quickly. So many people otherwise on the fence will adopt teleportation for that reason alone. The more people who use it, the more people will be willing to ignore the disintegration of the original you, and the more marginalized the non-adopters will be.

This assumes that your teleporter never kills in a conventional sense, or creates duplicates without killing the original, both of which would cause a substantially different situation.

Can you transport inanimate objects? Clothes?

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Your teleportation method works by transmitting the full quantum state of a person through a communications channel and applying it to a different set of atoms. The no cloning theorem guarantees that when your quantum state is transferred the state of the original atoms is destroyed and can be transmitted to exactly one other place. Scientifically minded materialists will have no problem using the machine because they believe everything that is 'them' is encoded in their quantum state, and therefore their consciousness really is transferred at the moment of disintegration. On the other hand spiritualists will feel that this can't account for the human soul, and that you are annihilated in the process. Perhaps they'll even feel that people who've used the machine are non-human zombies.

The no cloning theorem also saves you from the problems of 'what if someone uses the machine to make an army of themselves' and 'what if an unscrupulous teleporter operator also sends an extra copy of me to be enslaved in his off-world uranium mines'.

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  • $\begingroup$ Only chemical and thermal information is transferred (in example using a quantic stream), quantum state is not copied, and the no cloning theorem is actually an argument against using my teleporter :P. Nice addition mentioning it. +1 $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 14 '16 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ The novel "Hegemony" by Mark Kalina deals with this. More about 'digitizing' consciousness into artificial bodies than teleportation, but these digitized minds can be transmitted around, to inhabit various types of machine or artificial bodies, so it is functionally a very similar concept. The book deals with folks who accept digitization as a continuation of life and others who view it as a soulless facsimile that just pretends to be the person. $\endgroup$ – Jason K Jun 14 '16 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JasonK Yes in the end is like digitizing a body and then destroy the original. Good catch! $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 16 '16 at 8:25
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A good argument (or piece of shameless propaganda) might be that due to our normal metabolism our bodies now are not made up by the same atoms as a few years ago. In a few years almost all of our atoms are replaced.

So, this teleportation device does exactly the same, just faster.

(whether the two can be accurately compared is not relevant, the point is that it can be used to convince a lot of people, especially people who already want to believe it is not a problem)

A good argument against such a teleporter would be what happens if your destruction is delayed and the copy is already built. Who is the original? Who has the right to live and who must be destroyed? This question has to be answered plausibly, this means it's not enough to say that your machine takes care this never happens, it must not be possible to happen due to how the science behind it works.

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As far as we can tell, our feeling of consciousness arises from a specific physical configuration transitioning to a different configuration - just like your computer does calculations based on some state of its memory, and transitions to another state of memory. If you can precisely copy the exact state of the original, the copy is no different from the copy you are from one moment to another, without any teleportation involved. Since the fundamental particles we're made of have no identity, there's no "but I'm made of different electrons!" - there's no hidden ID on the electrons to say that they are different.

Your main problem will be with people who believe that there is more to the world and life than what is physically real. One such typical belief today is the belief in a non-physical soul - something that is the real you, and possibly goes to some kind of an after-life (and no, it's not exclusive to religion - plenty of atheists also have such vague notions of non-real reality). This is something that has been debated probably for about as long as self-awareness exists - many people aren't very comfortable with the idea that we're no different from machines in principle and operation. I'm not going to debate this here - regardless of my own thoughts on the matter, there's plenty of people who don't accept the physical view of life (or at least human-life), and centuries of debate didn't change their "collective minds". You're not going to change that either.

Your best bet is to simply focus on what you're selling - a new, revolutionary mode of transportation. For quite a few people, teleportation is a godsend, and they'll welcome it with arms wide open, especially if it's not too expensive. Build the scale up with the demand - from early adopters in business all the way to routine transportation from home to work, as far as you can take it given the costs involved. There's quite a few technologies that caused plenty of irrational fears that prevented immediate widespread use. But as it becomes used over time, and becomes commonplace, people get used to it and will see anyone not adopting the new technology as a weirdo (you're afraid of travelling by train? Lol). It may take a generation to really take hold, but you'll still see considerable growth in the industry even with "old-timers" - it's just darn too practical to bother not using it.

If costs allow, you can also start with cargo services. Most people who care about being disintegrated and reintegrated on the other side will probably be just fine with having their goods teleported in the same manner. This can again significantly increase the speed of adoption.

Don't forget that it takes quite a while to make a great product, and to actually make money off it. You need to be in for the long haul, and be ready to invest a huge amount of resources before you actually see a profit. Unless you're doing something really "obvious and groundbreaking" (which a teleporter might very well be), it takes many years to do something great (the 10 year number is often thrown around, and it seems to be a pretty good fit).

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  • $\begingroup$ If the teleporter is actually making an effectively perfect copy, then the change in your body's internal state from being teleported will be less than the change in state in the first moments afterwards when your body starts receiving new sensory information. $\endgroup$ – zstewart Aug 26 '16 at 21:31
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You need to use progressive teleportation. You send the people piece by piece while keeping connection between the pieces, example when you teleport the brain you destroy one neuron, recreate it at the end and reconnect remotely to the neurons to wich it was attached.It is much more complicated but the brain is always whole and running so there is no death.

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    $\begingroup$ But what if you have OP's method at your disposal, but not this? Discard it, waiting for something more like a Gantz-style teleportation to be developed even if you see no way to do it? $\endgroup$ – kaay Jun 14 '16 at 13:32
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After having considered the framing of the question I have come to some conclusions.

  1. Nobody who enjoys their life and would like to go on living it would be likely to try this process without being broken mentally and emotionally first. For these people it wouldn't matter if their copy would have their memories, because they would like to keep living and holding on to them for themselves.

  2. People who want to die will make copies that also want to die, which seems entirely pointless.

  3. Various blackmails might work, but then you'd have copies who will remember being blackmailed.

  4. You could put money into campaigns designed to alter peoples perception of personhood and self. People with a weak sense of individuality and a very strong sense of duty to the community might eventually see more utility in their memories and skillsets being transferable to other places where they are needed, even if they must sacrifice their individual sense of self in dying.

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    $\begingroup$ I certainly enjoy my life and would like to go on living, but I would certainly use the teleport whenever convenient. It's the same thing with falling asleep - my consciousness shuts down for some time and starts up later. Except in this case, it would start up somewhere else. $\endgroup$ – JohnEye Jun 13 '16 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnEye: But would it - would you have the same continuity? There is a deep philosophical question here, because there is no physical difference to the "copy" whether you (as the original) continue to exist or not - they may not even know - so there appears to be no actual continuity to the teleport destination, even if to the copy there should be a feeling of continuity. The OP's question has more subtlety than you assume - and the issue is completely ignored in 99% of sci-fi with disassembling teleporters. $\endgroup$ – Neil Slater Jun 13 '16 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ @NeilSlater: Of course, I know all the thought experiments and their philosophical implications. But after thinking about it for a long time, I decided that dying in the process is not a problem for me as long as the new me is a perfect (or near-perfect) copy. I would probably have some second thoughts if the death of the original would be excruciatingly painful though. But dying only to be replaced by a perfect copy to gain a little convenience in life? Sign me up! :-) $\endgroup$ – JohnEye Jun 13 '16 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnEye but it wouldn't be your consciousness starting up somewhere else, it would just be a copy of you with your memories. You as an individual would be dead. Or did you miss this detail in the question "Memories & feelings of the original = stops with teleportation." $\endgroup$ – Martine Votvik Jun 14 '16 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ @MartineVotvik I don't know what it means when you say "You as an individual". The moment you can create perfect clones in the way the OP describes it seems utterly non-trivial to define "me". Even at our level of technological and psychological advancement we don't really know what "me" or "I" means. In my mind assuming there is no non-physical component to a "me" it seems that existence itself as a self-aware entity is threatened. If on the other hand you believe in some sort of "soul" whatever that is then there seems little sense in believing it gets destroyed along with the body. $\endgroup$ – DRF Jun 14 '16 at 12:09
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I guess, in a society with such technology the concept of death itself would be different.

You have a technologies that pass all the data required to completely code a person, and reassemble the original person. Save this data and you've got someone's backup. If one dies, he can be reassembled from the last backup - and I have no idea why would anyone hesitate to use this technology.
(Probably people will still die for real, but mostly out of age and genetic/long-term illnesses.)

Then, in maybe a generation, most people will probably know someone who had been restored from the backup. And if my friend is exactly the same guy after resurrection - well, except maybe short amnesia - I'd be far less worried about being copied myself.

After a while, perception of temporal real-life death might become similar to death of a player's character in video games. It still kind of sucks - one is back to the last savepoint and have probably lost some experience, and the world has moved forward. But it's not really tragic.

And the teleportation doesn't even have these drawbacks, so why not using it?

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  • $\begingroup$ If that matters, in my world the backup is only possible at the price of destroying the original. Other points are all valid so +1. It is the scanning process that causes the scanned atoms to sublimate (go high temperature in short time), so basically that can't be used in other ways rather than teleporting (pretty convenient for the plot). And if there's no receiving platform the "encoded" information stream is lost running forever in the space (or until is disgregated by noise) $\endgroup$ – GameDeveloper Jun 14 '16 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ So as it is, you have a technology which dissembles a physical person into data and transmit it, but the only mechanism available for storing that data is to immediately reconvert it back into the physical person. That's fine, but you should consider that there would certainly be very smart people working on ways to safely store and copy that data long term, instead. $\endgroup$ – Carcer Jun 14 '16 at 18:52
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Have the process be very slow. The scanning can only proceed so quickly, and so the teleportation takes a few minutes. During the scanning process, part of your body has already been reconstructed at the destination, and part is still at the original location. Now, the body is something that is permanently in flux, with blood and lymph and saliva moving at all times. Something needs to be done about this. Therefore, anything that crosses the current scan location is immediately reproduced on the other side. This includes any ions that are released by neurons in the brain.

When done in this manner, there will be a noticeable period of time during which your brain is divided in two. Half the brain at the departure station, and half at the destination. The two halves communicate with each other, with the division being mediated by the equipment itself. Imagine your left eye receiving input at the destination, while your right eye has yet to be transferred. You are conscious of both portions simultaneously, and feel both of them to be "you".

With this, it becomes much easier to convince people. You have regained "continuity of self", which solves most of the philosophical issues. Heck, I could even imagine a travel agency branding itself "Ship of Theseus", to draw attention to the way all of their competitors require destruction of self at some point. Sure your original body is completely disintegrated, but you have observed your new body being made with you in it.

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Don't bring up the philosophical implications. Ever.

I think there's an assumption in the question that most people already know about and are concerned with the philosophical issues with teleportation. They don't and they're not. If you don't bring it up, they won't think about it.

Most folks have never even thought about the nature of their consciousness, and definitely not the implications of a transporter. Even in sci-fi it rarely comes up. To most folks teleportation means you disappear in one location and reappear in another... and that's it. Teleportation is so amazing and preferable to anything else for long distance travel people will be falling over themselves to use it.

Instead, focus only on the benefits. The speed, comfort, and convenience of near instantaneous travel anywhere in the world.

If someone asks, deflect or dismiss it: "Philosophers might argue about teleportation, but we can all agree it's the safest, fastest, and most convenient way to travel all around the world!". Or make an analogy to sleep which also breaks the continuity of consciousness: "Every night you close your eyes, and fall asleep. And every morning you wake up refreshed for a new day! Close your eyes in one of our transporters, and wake up in a new city ready for fun!" Again, never address the problem directly. Never bring up the idea of being copied.

If people are hesitant to use transporters it will be for traditional safety reasons: will I be reassembled in one piece? Talk about all the safety features, the number of successful transports, the rarity of accidents, the safe passenger-miles transited compared to flying, the immunity to terrorist attacks, etc...

Use existing popular sci-fi shows where teleportation is no big deal in your advertising. Shows like Star Trek and Stargate which feature routine teleportation are a good tie in. Use catch phrases like "energize". Show well known characters and actors being happily and casually teleported.

Never address the philosophical problem directly, instead show people using it with no worries, and draw analogies to similar and well-accepted activities like sleep.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is true. Substitute "religious" for "philosophical", and I think you'll find a great number of people spend a great deal of time thinking and talking about issues that are closely related. It may be that the majority of people don't think deeply about it, and just listen to leaders and follow traditions — but that really just makes it worse. If you don't bring it up, someone else will. $\endgroup$ – mattdm Jun 15 '16 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ @mattdm It isn't about whether it will come up, it's where the focus lies. Don't shine a spotlight on the metaphysical questions. I think most folks' thoughts on religion follow the mainstream message. If it's "sky god loves you" well isn't that nice. If it's "follow sky god's rules because some old book tells you to" that's going to make people think. Same with a transporter. If you focus on "this is a device that kills you and creates a new copy somewhere else" than people will think. If it's "this will transport you instantly wherever you want" they won't focus on the metaphysical. $\endgroup$ – Schwern Jun 15 '16 at 18:16
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The same way you sell new technology: buy not selling technology. It'll make sense.

You don't really have a great sales pitch upfront. You start with the what (the teleporter), then explain the how (kill and revive), and then you don't even explain the why. To be fair, this is a worldbuilding question you asked, not an Apple presentation. But what if it was an Apple presentation?

This is about to get very market-y.

You want to start with the why. Not why as in "why the product exists", but why as in "why the company exists". It usually revolves around the idea of making the world a better place.

This is where the first sentence makes sense. You aren't selling teleporters. Teleporters are a thing, you don't sell things. What you sell is the future of transportation, technical revolution, instant travel. It's a new, better way of life. This is what your company has always worked towards.

Like any technology, you'll need early adopters. And that's why the above matter, because early adopters don't buy the what or the how, they buy the why.

If you can't get enough early adopters, you're effed. You'll have to change your product, change what you do with your product, or more generally to pivot.

However, once you have enough early adopters, you'll start to capture an early majority. These are people who want to see that the technology works, is safe, and drops in price. Then, the more people start buying it, the more people will eventually buy in, until there are only change-proof people left. You can't win them all unfortunately, but your company can outlive them so who cares.


On a side note, you also shouldn't mention death and your product in the same sentence, unless it does prevent death. You can say it safely transfers every particle of your being to your destination. Whether the person at the other end is yourself, a copy of yourself, or yourself in a copy of yourself is very philosophical. If you can get legally sell it, it's probably safe to say that on a legal level it doesn't really kill you.

You should also probably mention whether or not I'll teleport naked.

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This answer would only work for a few people, but you could use philosophy to explain that we are all essentially dying and being created constantly. (The following argument is NOT meant to be a statement of fact, merely one that could convince those who do agree with it that teleportation is no different than the passage of time.)

Our minds can be said to have many parts, but who we are is largely composed of our memories and our personalities, and our personalities are determined in part by our memories. (For example, if you met a man who you remembered from the day you saw him run over your dog and drive away, you would react very differently than if you did not remember him). A large enough difference in memories is equivalent to a separate consciousness. The person you are now is not the person you were as a child, or even a year ago, or even yesterday. Since memories are being constantly created and forgotten, we are constantly dying and being born; a very, very, very slightly different person every second. It's so slow you can't feel it happening.

Now just tell people the teleporter is no different, except it's so fast you can't even feel it happening. "Everyone is reborn every day...Wouldn't you like to be reborn in Tahiti? QuikPort: Be there...in a blink." It won't convince everyone, but you get a few people to use it, and they seem fine to their friends, and then those friends use it, and they convince others, and pretty soon you're the only one not going to Paris for your lunch break and nobody you know seems like they've died a thousand times, and you do it.

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If your world is high magic or has a canon religion, is it possible to determine whether the copied body has the same soul as the previous body or a different soul? This would put the question to rest in a very direct, empirical way.

I'm not necessarily saying that your world needs to have a concept of a soul. But, regardless of your beliefs (or indeed, what is actually true) about reality, whether your story takes place in an atheistic world or not is a decision you still get to make as a worldbuilder!

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(I'm assuming you mean getting a significant fraction of Humanity to accept it, rather than getting volunteers at the unveiling)

Create opportunities to get rich, get land and/or power.
Send pioneers where there are resources to exploit.
Make teleportation cheap enough (for people, at least - not cargo; credit is a good option, too) that moving away will become a viable economical option for people with financial problems. There are many enough of those.

Even manual laborers among those who teleport could be seen as more successful than the richest of those who cower in fear of it, rotting away on Old Earth.

It's a natural process that's already been shown to work, no need to come up with elaborate schemes to prove it's fine. Definitions of death and self will get changed without much effort on your part, to suit the new circumstances - people hang onto beliefs that make the feel good, not subhuman.
What you DO need, is the ability to make the tech available to everyone without getting it subjected to bans and regulations by the extant powers, political, religious, etc. Maybe start your own, or hijack Happyology.

It does not matter if 90% of the population become convinced you're peddling Lucifer's doggy doors. They get left behind in the race and cease to matter, realization of their own irrelevance causing them to pretty much self-destruct, and/or pursue you with murderous intent. Through teleporters, of course.

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Can you convince everyone to become Buddhist? The fundamental concern being expressed here is over the loss of a "continuous life" — the sense we have of being an individual, discrete consciousness. In Buddhist doctrine, this is an illusion — and in fact clinging to it a major cause of suffering.

Or, one can go strict materialist — a philosophical outlook which also holds that consciousness is an illusion, and that this sense of continuous identity comes simply from the way memories are held in our brain.

And, of course, some people will be disinclined to think hard and will just do it.

Between these and other compatible worldviews, you'll have plenty of people willing to... take the leap, as it were. And once that's established, natural selection will take care of the rest — it's actual social Darwinism in an extreme. If this is how humanity spreads to the stars, the compatible worldviews will flourish throughout the universe, and people who don't like it will stay Earthbound. You may get new sects of stay-putters in future generations, but they too will be confined by nature.

Even if you're not going interstellar, the same basically applies: the teleporter conveys a big advantage, and those who use it will be more successful. The problem will take care of itself.

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You are not the particular particles in your body. You are the arrangement of them. We all know this: we breathe, and we do not mourne our breath. We poop, and hold no vigils.

The arrangement is moved, perfectly (apparently). So you are moved. The jumbled mess left behind is teleport-poop.

We could also find market for that teleport-poop: for exmaple, we could color it green (for marketing reasons).

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You do not need to explain the science in order to convince a large section of the population. Use infomercials. e.g:

Pay a celebrity to use the device in a televised demonstration and talk about how normal they feel afterwards. Maybe the celebrity can mention that they use it regularly and it has had a positive effect on their skin or bowel movements. have a special offer for the first 50 users who'll get a coupon upon using the machine.

Soon, it'll become a fad but won't die out due to its actual usability.

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This is how the Stargate works, and no one in the show ever seriously questioned it.

It is obvious to everyone that the person who comes out of the gate is the same person who entered on the other side.

There is no question regarding the death of the person, or the fact that the "copy" is a copy. After all, is it really a copy, or is it actually the same person? Can that person tell?

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    $\begingroup$ The stargate disassembles you, transports your components, then reassembles you on the other side. IIRC, ST:ToS (not TNG) would have been a better sci-fi reference. $\endgroup$ – Hurkyl Jun 13 '16 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Hurkyl I don't really see how different that is from the OP's question. Plus, your components are not exactly transported. There are occasions where it is explained that the stargate holds the information in a crystal memory before letting you out, indicating that the actual matter is not relevant. $\endgroup$ – njzk2 Jun 14 '16 at 13:21

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