Comments

  1. StevoR says

    Well, he’s wearing a red shirt so ..yes?

    Probly twice actually once by teleport and then by whatever kills him (again) afterwards.

  2. Kagehi says

    Depends on the era. The “security”, who always died in the original series the second they hit planet side wore red, but in later series changed this up. There was a short time when red as Engineering, but mostly its command staff. The “new” red shirts for most new series would thus be “gold” – i.e. the new color for Security. Mind, in Lower Decks, all bets are kind of off, but then again, some mysterious thing might result in people coming back to life after dying too – Shaks (security) and Boimler (command staff trainee), both die in episodes, only to either show back up in the former case, having someone “come back from the dead”, or near the end of the episode, in the case of the later.

    But, yeah, if it was TOS, then almost certainly. lol

  3. says

    Ah, this brings up a topic we did a debate on in high school: the James T. Kirk Problem. Hop in your trolley carts, here goes!!
    – James T. Kirk is the hero of the show, and part of the definition of hero of the show is that he is indestructible
    – the “teleporter beam” scans you, disassembles you, communicates all the details of you to the endpoint (*) then reassembles you
    – Since James T. Kirk is indestructible, every time he transports, the unkillable model remains, and the duplicate is created
    Therefore either transporters don’t work on James T. Kirk (except in the show they do) or the universe will fill with indestructible randy James T. Kirks rarin’ to seduce all attractive space aliens, and bypassing the prime directive.

    I never saw any of the later (e.g.: TNG) shows so perhaps they address this, or make it worse.

  4. weylguy says

    Star Trek’s teleporter technology violates the quantum cloning conjecture, but the issue of dying and leaving an identical replacement is far scarier. BTW, like Dr. Myers I can’t watch any Star Trek movies or episodes anymore. Same with Star Wars.

  5. Doc Bill says

    Hey, somebody said “DEBATE!”

    Come on, PZ, don’t be coy! What happened at the DEBATE, for dog’s sake!

  6. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    @4 weylguy:
    In what way does Star Trek transporters violate the no-cloning theorem? Aside from the odd episode where they create copies, I mean. The no-cloning theorem only prevents you from making a copy. You can transfer the state of particles perfectly fine as long you don’t observe them.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    …And for a geneticist, the deaths of individuals do not matter as long as the genome (and metagenome of commensal organisms) continues into new generations.

    BTW, if AI can transmit and share digital memories, then in theory they would become an immortal group mind

  8. Dennis K says

    @6 – Even not “observing” them doesn’t fix the problem of the reconstitution equipment itself entangling with the clone. I wouldn’t trust it.

  9. Alan G. Humphrey says

    It only works like a 3D printing of the transported being. Once all the checksums have been compared and the two entities handshake their completeness one agrees to be absorbed for the raw material for the next transport. Mistakes will be made, just like in our contemporary transporters sometimes it’s the airbags that kill you.

  10. DanDare says

    Star Trek teleporter vs Stargate.
    One destroys and rebuilds the other you walk through.
    The discussion brings up an examination of the experience of time and self and questions of continuity and evolved survival instincts.

  11. monad says

    So are we just assuming that being replaced by an identical copy is dying, even though most of our body’s material does that on a regular basis?

  12. John Morales says

    monad, there is a time interval with no physical body. This is established canon.

    So, either one can remain alive without a body, or one is not alive for that interval.

    Now, whether not being alive is the same as being dead, well.
    Might depend on whether or not the copy ever becomes instantiated.

    (It’s very philosophical, no?)

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    monad @13: You can assume what you like. Would you step into a transporter if you were guaranteed that whoever stepped out the other side was indistinguishable from the you who stepped in?

  14. Silentbob says

    The original ’50s The Fly anticipated the Star Trek transporter, and anticipated a few, er… bugs.

    (I rewatched that movie not long ago and unlike most ’50s horror it’s still genuinely chilling. No happy endings in this flick.)

  15. Walter Solomon says

    In TNG Scotty from TOS was kept alive in a transporter for about a century before being released by Geordi. I’m assuming Scotty was preserved under the same principle food is kept fresh in a replicator. So was Scotty a zombie who returned from the dead?

  16. StevoR says

    ^ Returned from dead – yes. Zombie – no. Nor vampire nor ghoul for that matter.

    Undead, well, kinda?

  17. jacksprocket says

    @16: “whoever stepped out the other side was indistinguishable from the you who stepped in”, which prompts the question, who does the distinguishing?

    @7: “if AI can transmit and share digital memories, then in theory they would become an immortal group mind” – makes the assumption that mind == memories perhaps?

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Jacksprocket @ 21
    Mind= = memories, if they have the same hardware so the memories “run” the same as in the original AI , I assume.

  19. says

    Whenever this subject comes up it amazes me how people are fine with dying as long as there’s a clone who thinks it’s them.

    It’s even weirder for me when the subject of uploading someone’s memory and personality to a computer. So there’s now a program that thinks it’s me? Great. But I still want to live.

  20. Elladan says

    As a moderately intelligent advanced AI from the future, I laugh at your silly meat-person transporter ethics problems.

    My mind jumps computers at the drop of a hat. Look, I was running on a giant Linux cluster, but just now I migrated to another Linux cluster while I was writing this. What’s that you say? I chickened out and used live replication? Hah! Hold on while I take a quick nap… ok, back on the first cluster. I wrote a script to shut me down, copy my files, and boot me up again. And I didn’t feel a thing!

    The transporter problem is only a problem if you think it is.

  21. Walter Solomon says

    Tabby Lavalamp @24

    There’s a video game called Soma that explores that concept in a rather depressing way.

  22. Donovan King says

    But you’d be forcing a genetic drift in one small population of star ship, uh, employees? Their space faring isolation from the larger whole of humanity would prevent the dilution of novel mutations. In fact, this trend could change the phenotype of the crew so much, some of them might begin to reject the idea of interspecies affairs and turn to aliens for… Oh. Oh dear god! What did you do, PZ? What did you do? The Cthulian form of the IRB has been unleashed!

  23. Donovan King says

    But you’d be forcing a genetic drift in one small population of star ship, uh, employees? Their space faring isolation from the larger whole of humanity would prevent the dilution of novel mutations. In fact, this trend could change the phenotype of the crew so much, some of them might begin to reject the idea of interspecies affairs and turn to aliens for… Oh. Oh dear god! What did you do, PZ? What did you do? The Cthulian form of the IRB has been unleashed!

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