Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hypothetical method of transportation in which matter or information is dematerialized, usually instantaneously, at one point and recreated at another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of many (mostly hypothetical or fictional) processes of moving matter from one spatial point to another without physically crossing the space in-between and which are often depicted or described as happening instantaneously, and through dematerialization or gateways.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hypothetical mode of instantaneous transportation; matter is dematerialized at one place and recreated at another

Etymologies

tele- + (trans)portation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined by Charles Fort in his 1931 book Lo! from tele- +‎ transportation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Zoiks! I should have read this thread much earlier in the day. My brain is too tired to comprehend it all. But this is fascinating stuff, really. I may check out your recommendation too, seanahan. Thanks.

    August 21, 2007

  • Never heard of it. I just looked it up and it sounds pretty fascinating. Added to my shopping list, thanks for the recommendation! :-)

    August 20, 2007

  • I suggest that you read "I am a Strange Loop", by Doug Hofstadter, author of "Godel, Escher, Bach". It deals with all of those issues.

    August 20, 2007

  • That's beside the point. I'm sure he'd be CERTAIN he was me. Doesn't change the fact that he's just a copy. It would raise some odd ethical questions, but the important thing is that the original non-duplicate person not be killed, or disassembled, or whatever. My life, from my vantage point, ends the moment my personal consciousness ends, regardless of any duplicate consciousness that might carry on after the fact. And that's just wrong.

    Killing the duplicate would be wrong too. Problem is solved by just not duplicating people in the first place. ;-)

    August 20, 2007

  • What if he didn't know he wasn't you?

    August 20, 2007

  • That's me who said it, actually. I would argue that if I could stand next to a perfect duplicate of myself, I would not *be* both people, and both people would not *be* me. The duplicate is a separate consciousness (or the semblance of such). For all intents and purposes, he's someone else.

    If the situation involved "disassembling" me to allow the duplicate to live in my stead, I doubt I'd be too quick to jump at the prospect. Someone exactly like me is not the same as the real me. I'm not ready to die for the sake of an impostor. Even if, to everyone else, he appeared to be the real deal.

    August 20, 2007

  • I hate to tell you Reesetee, but if "the automaton has the same brain structure and memories and so on", it is the same person.

    August 20, 2007

  • I'm just trying to keep the site PG, if only for uselessness' sake. ;)

    August 20, 2007

  • The Star Trek thing was all about getting a "pattern lock" with a "molecular imaging scanner," mapping the locations and velocities of every subatomic particle, and disassembling the pattern into a "matter stream," which is really just data. The data is then transmitted via subspace frequency and reassembled on the other side. Of course there are lots of safeguards against signal degradation and stuff. Lots of jargon that doesn't really mean anything in the real world, courtesy of Memory Alpha because I'm certainly not qualified to talk about Trek details without help. ;-)

    I've speculated my own science fictions for years about a future where material teleportation is real, but doesn't account for the immaterial soul-things (whatever you want to call them). The transporter device would essentially kill everyone who used it, and reassemble some kind of soulless automaton on the other end -- but because the automaton has the same brain structure and memories and so on, it acts exactly like the real person and assumes his identity, which fools everyone else into thinking it's the same person and not a duplicate. As the technology becomes more popular, the whole human race adopts it until no "real" (um, souled?) people are left.

    Of course, in any good science fiction there's a resistance group that is aware of the truth and is trying to save humanity from all the fakes that are taking their places. Lots of chase scenes and stuff. Maybe I'll write the book someday, but now that I've told you all I won't be surprised if someone here beats me to it. ;-)

    At any rate, a much preferable way to handle teleportation would be to open a wormhole and walk through it, with some sort of protective shield to withstand the pressure. At least then you don't have to worry about that whole icky disassemble/reassemble thing. I don't particularly want to be disassembled! :-P

    August 20, 2007

  • Oh, I could think of worse body-part disasters than having an ear on your upper arm, jennarenn. It's just that I don't want to think about them. ;-)

    Interesting point, uselessness. How would you teleport the non-physical aspects of yourself? How the heck did they manage that in Star Trek, anyhow?

    August 20, 2007

  • Ew, ew, ew, ew, EW!!!! Can you just imagine someone else's ear landing on your upper arm or something? Ewewewewew!

    August 20, 2007

  • AND no stowaway fly parts!

    August 20, 2007

  • If there was a way to do it without ripping my body into pieces and reassembling them somewhere else, and hoping that everything got put back together in exactly the right way and that my self, or soul, or consciousness or whatever was kind enough to follow the pieces in transit and not get lost along the way... I'd be game.

    August 20, 2007

  • This would really shorten my commute.

    August 20, 2007