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Does this make teleporting inevitable?

12 May, 2013

I saw this last week – Working gun made with 3D printer – and it made me think.

Let me say first that I’m not going to get into the debate of whether it is right or wrong to be able to make a gun on a 3-D printer, and whether the blueprints should go on the internet or not. That’s a debate for other people to have, and as you know I try to avoid talking politics on this blog.

But what does intrigue me is the possibilities that the 3-D printer leads us to. The technology is only in its very early stages, however advanced it may appear to us today, and at the moment they can “only” build using plastics. Guns have been made, as have working engines and machines, so although the material is limited at present, the design capabilities are not. It’s a bit like mobile phones – ten years or so ago receiving a text seemed like an incredible leap forward, but it was in effect the transmission and receipt of a stream of one and zeros. Fast forward to today, we have smart phones that allow us to watch films, write emails, tap into the billions of pages of human knowledge on the internet, blog … and this is still the transmission and receipt of ones and zeros, albeit on a larger and quicker scale.

The future of 3-D printers will be one of sending solid goods from one place to another as simply as sending an email or downloading a film. Need a new tyre for your car? A new motor for your washing machine? A replacement kitchen stool for the one your child spilled paint all over? Ping! It’s been sent to your printer which can now create products using a variety of materials.

To anyone who lived as little as a hundred years ago, this is no different from a sorcerer magically making a solid object appear in a different place without touching or moving it. And that is how we see a scene in a sci-fi film where someone or something is teleported. Ok, sending a product to a 3-D printer isn’t teleporting per se as you are sending a copy, but look at it this way – if you write and send an email to another person’s inbox but don’t keep it in your sent items, then you have created something which you have then made disappear only to magically reappear somewhere else. That’s teleport right?

Stem cell research (and again I’m not getting into the politics or ethics) is advancing daily, and were are always hearing how scientists have created organs or body parts using them. A vision for you: One day in the (maybe not too distant) future, a store of our own stem cells is kept in order that if a heart or lung fails, or an accident leaves us needing a skin graft, it can be produced. But what if the store is in one country and we fall ill in another? The ones and zeros of the DNA make-up of that stem cell can be sent to a 3-D “printer” in the hospital where we are being treated, and an organ created.

A human body is more than the sum of its parts though, there is no chemical makeup, as far as we know, for the consciousness or the soul, or for thought or dreams. But if science is correct, then these are electronic pulses and impulses within the brain. A television is a collection of electrical components which themselves hold no pictures or sound, but plug in an aerial and switch it on and we can watch Buffy or the SuperBowl. The brain itself is an incredibly complex computer, but rather than being an argument that it is too complex to be replicated, this to me is definite proof that one day it WILL be replicated. We can build computers, just not one that clever. Not yet. And if we can create a brain then we can recreate – and logically therefore we can capture and store – its contents, its consciousness. If this does happen, if one or more organs could one day be zapped across the planet and a human consciousness, as in the case of Dave Bowman in Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, can one day converted to a series of ones and zeros, is it such a leap that an entire human being can be sent? Don’t save the person in the sent items and you’ve teleported a person from Earth to the bridge of the Enterprise.

Is this a distant but logical, inevitable step? A step far along a road which began with a computer program on magnetic tape, and passed through email and 3-D printers? If today we can print a gun, will we one day be able to print a gnu? Or am I getting carried away after watching the new Star Trek film?

 

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3 Comments
  1. I remember watching episodes of CSI. And they had an awesome projector that would literally be a scanner up off of the computer. The 3-D visual of this was becoming a reality. The elites always have a way of showing off what they have by “leaking” it out into the mainstream media and Hollywood pictures. I’m sure somewhere that these super computers are taking precedence in laboratories right now. As far as the teleporting. Its reported already going on. If people can time travel and have remote viewing what is stopping them from teleporting?

    • The technology in the street and the home is always a long way behind the technology in the lab. i wonder what has been invented that we havent been told about?

  2. Oh, and also. DNA cloning has been going on for sometime. Harvesting body parts do exist for the ones who want immortality and can afford to live forever. Its not right and down right sick.

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