[LMB] transporter wrongness OT:
matt.msg at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 23:58:58 BST 2020
We know what normal transporter accidents are like. (No 'Tuvix', please -
that was simply a stupid story and it makes no sense at all in the ST
universe regardless of your favored hypothesis.) We get a very clear
example in the first ST movie - the new Vulcan science officer beams aboard
and the system fails in the middle of the process.
See, the thing about disassembling complex systems - whether alarm clocks,
smartphones, or humanoid beings - is that they don't work when they've been
taken apart. But the poor man (well, Vulcan - being, person, whatever)
*screams* when the transport starts to fail. And he doesn't vanish in a
puff of disassociated matter - despite the desperate attempts of engineers
at both ends of the transfer, he ends up back at his starting location.
The people there report that what they got back didn't live long.
It wasn't that he was being taken apart and then the computer for some
reason forgot how to put him back together. The transporter process was
transferring something delicate and fragile, and the systems failure caused
that delicate thing to be corrupted. His constituent parts, instead of
remaining in the same relationship they were in before (this permitting
conscious experience to continue, and responses like screaming) were taken
out of their association. And that killed him - eventually.
Data refused to be studied by being disassembled. If being transported
involved being taken apart and put back together, why would there have been
any concern with his being unique? He would be unique - there would have
been dozens or even hundreds of perfect working copies made of him
throughout his existence, and they could make duplicates by simply "putting
together" matter into a new him.
I can imagine a show in which it was possible to duplicate people, but
society had decided not to permit it - much the way the Star Trek society
doesn't permit elective genetic engineering. I can imagine that they'd be
willing to forego a sort of immortality. But that society wouldn't be the
one we see in the show, where Picard tells the alien woman in "Who Watches
the Watchers" that their power is great but they cannot avoid death.
On Thu, Sep 10, 2020 at 6:28 PM Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net> wrote:
> > On Sep 10, 2020, at 4:10 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Guess which stories make the most sense given the society presented in
> > show?
> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to matt.msg at gmail.com
> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
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