Beam Me Up, Scotty - Copy and Paste a Human

Human teleportation, the instant transport of people from one place to another without travelling through space, is by far the coolest way to travel in almost every sci-fi (science fiction) book or movie. There are mainly two ways to teleport a human. The first, like in the movie ‘Contact’, is through some kind of a wormhole, a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is essentially a shortcut through space and time. The second, like in ‘Star Trek’, is by scanning a human physical structure, eliminating him and transmitting the information to another place where it is used to reconstruct a perfect copy of the person. I would like to focus on the second method and ask this: What happens if the teleport technician hired to tranport me to the moon will keep the source, choosing by mistake copy-and-paste instead of cut-and-paste?

There will obviously be two physical copies of me, one on earth and one on the moon, but which one of them is me? It’s easy to tell the one stayed on earth is me, but what about the new person constructed on the moon’s teleportation room? He’s got the same memories as me. He thinks like me. He feels like me. He is me in every way. So actually there will be two of me. No, I will not simultaneously see what my moon-buddy sees, but for a short moment we'll both feel the same. Exactly the same. From the point of separation, different events on earth and the moon, will cause our two brains to become more and more different, resulting in two persons with mutual identical history, but different thoughts and feelings. Since it can become really awkward, especially if you’ll ever meet your copy at a cocktail party, my advice to you is – choose your teleportation technician wisely.

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p.s. If you tend to succeed on your second attempt, don’t try skydiving. (credit not mine)

4 comments:

Oren Ellenbogen said...

man, this one crack me up! Talking about fault tolerance enterprise application ah?

Uri Kalish said...

Yo Boogie, where in my post have you seen any reference to fault tolerance enterprise applications? Didn’t you promise you’d stop doing LSD?

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