[LMB] transporter wrongness OT:

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 9 18:00:34 BST 2020


Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net> wrote:
>>  On Monday, September 7, 2020, 08:42:25 PM EDT, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:  
>>  Where do people get the idea that transporters kill you?  You might as well

> They get it from watching Star Trek.  McCoy complained about being taken
> apart into atoms or molecules back in the original series.  Other
> explanations have gone in for being converted to energy but either way
> you are being taken apart and reconstructed.  This has been canon
> through the whole franchise.  Both Memory Alpha and Wikipedia give it:

To be fair, the transporter functions (or fails to function) according to the
needs of the current plot.  As you point out, there are several canonical
sources which make it clear that the transporter destroys the original.  There
are others which make it clear that it's merely a transportation system.

If the transporter *doesn't* kill the original, and doesn't free their
(presumed) soul, what happens if an error duplicates the original
(e.g. TOS "The Enemy Within", _Spock Must Die!_)?  Is the soul
duplicated?  Does each copy get part of a soul -- whatever that might
mean?  (See also: Voldemort.)  Is there still just one soul, but with
multiple loci?  What happens if a transporter error *merges* multiple
individuals (e.g. "The Enemy Within" again; VOY: "Tuvix")?

The question of the effect of the transporter on someone's
consciousness and putative soul both begins and ends Blish's _Spock
Must Die!_.  As a novel, it's non-canonical, of course.  And doesn't
resolve the question.

Joel


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