On Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:00:33 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
> On 11/10/2012 1:11 AM, freqflyer07281972 wrote: 
> > Hey all on the list, 
> > 
> > Bruno, I must say, thinking of the UDA. The key assumption is this 
> teleportation 
> > business, and wouldn't it really be quite Ockham's Razorish to simply 
> conclude from the 
> > entire argument that the correct substitution level is, in principle, 
> not only not 
> > knowable, but not achievable, which means: 
> > 
> > congratulations, you have found a convincing thought experiment proof 
> that teleportation 
> > is impossible in any cases greater than, say, 12 atoms or so (give me a 
> margin of error 
> > of about plus/minus 100) ... this is very reminiscent of the way that 
> time travel 
> > theorists use some of godel's closed timelike curve (CTC) solutions to 
> einstein's 
> > relativity to argue that time travel to the past is possible. The 
> problem is, the 
> > furthest back you can go is when you made the CTC, and yet in order to 
> make the CTC, the 
> > formal and physical conditions require that you already have to have a 
> time machine. 
> > This, of course, leads to paradox, because in order to travel in the 
> time machine in the 
> > first place, you have to have had a time machine to use as a kind of 
> mechanism for the 
> > whole project. 
> > 
> > In the same way, I think, does your ingenious UDA lead not to the 
> conclusion you want it 
> > to, (i.e. we are eternal numbers contained in the computation of some 
> infinite computer) 
> > but rather the less appealing conclusion that, perhaps, the 
> teleportation required in 
> > your entire thought experiment is simply impossible, for much of the 
> same reasons as 
> > time travel is impossible. 
> I don't see the parallel.  Can you spell it out? 
> Brent 
> Sure, I'll try.

Regarding time travel, there are many reasons for thinking that this is 
simply impossible. This comes from Sean Carroll's excellent book 'From 
Eternity to Here' -- I'm just gonna quote it to save time and get on to the 
teleportation part: 

"In 1967, theoretical physicist Robert Geroch investigated the question of 
wormhole construction, and he showed that you actually could create a 
wormhole by twisting spacetime in the appropriate way, but only if, as an 
intermediate step in the process, you created a closed time like curve. In 
other words, the first step to building a time machine by manipulating a 
wormhole is to build a time machine so you can make a wormhole." (p. 115)

Now, the analogy I see is this: A person wants to make a teleportation 
device. Well, in order to teleport object A to some location X, you need to 
specify the minimum amount of information that A must contain in order to 
continue having the experience of being A. This is what I take to be 'the 
substitution level,' (i.e. the level of fine-graining necessary to take a 
solid person, turn them into some kind of digital representation, send the 
digital representation at the speed of light across a vast distance, and 
then reconstitute them at the destination. My thinking is that, much like 
the wormhole, the substitution level, if known or achievable, would imply 
that we could build a teleportation device, but we'd need to confirm we had 
the right substitution level by building a working teleportation device -- 
in other words, it's a catch-22 - you need the teleportation device capable 
of dealing with the appropriate amount of information (I'm envisioning a 
super powerful computer combined with a beam splitter, and a super 
amazingly written piece of software - i.e. one must never crash!!! because 
if it does, there is the potential that the person you are teleporting 
could be lost in the ether!) and yet you need the substitution level to 
design and build the device properly.

In practice, from what I understand, they have been able to teleport 
systems of a couple or a few particles over 100 kilometres. Also, there's 
the no-teleportation theorem of quantum physics that would seem to suggest 
it's impossible, although I am aware that this doesn't strictly apply in 
the thought experiment, because the substitution level is something above 
the quantum level (am I right about this? I think it's implied by the 
condition that there is 'ambient organic material' in the container at the 

So why the big fuss over teleportation when the UDA is really all about 
establishing that comp is consistent and implies computational/machine 
metaphysics rather than materialism? Well, it would seem to me the entire 
argument stands or falls on this teleportation business, and if it's not 
possible, then the argument for the UD doesn't seem to get off the ground. 

That's what I meant by the comparison, I hope I'm clear. 




> > 
> > It's still an important result, but perhaps not as profound as you think 
> if we admit 
> > that the teleportation required in your thought experiment is simply not 
> possibly for 
> > purely naturalistic (and therefore not computational, or mechanistic) 
> reasons. 
> > 
> > Looking forward to your response, 
> > 
> > Dan 
> > -- 
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google 
> Groups "Everything 
> > List" group. 
> > To view this discussion on the web visit 
> > https://groups.google.com/d/msg/everything-list/-/CJQdSUzCiTMJ. 
> > To post to this group, send email to 
> > everyth...@googlegroups.com<javascript:>. 
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
> everything-li...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>. 
> > For more options, visit this group at 
> http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. 

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit 
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to