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 Theseus' Ship

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Cyril
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PostSubject: Theseus' Ship   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:02 pm

“Sheldon: Here's the problem with teleportation.
Leonard: Lay it on me.
Sheldon: Assuming a device could be invented, which would identify the quantum state of matter of an individual in one location and transmit that pattern to a distant location for reassembly. You would not have actually transported the individual, you would have destroyed him in one location and recreated him in another.
Leonard: How about that.
Sheldon: Personally, I would never use a transporter because the original Sheldon would have to be disintegrated in order to create a new Sheldon.
Leonard: Would the new Sheldon be in any way an improvement on the old Sheldon?
Sheldon: No, he would be exactly the same.
Leonard: That is a problem”
–The Big Bang Theory.

Cyril is feeling philosophical today. Readers, are you familiar with the Ship of Theseus Paradox? Or perhaps you know it simply as Theseus’ Paradox? There are many variations of this philosophical question; variations such as the “grandfather’s axe” dilemma, the “favorite sock” problem, and each cover the same basic paradox. Going back to the original Ship of Theseus Paradox, it was first posed by a Greek historian, essayist, and biographer named Plutarch:
"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."
Allow me to simplify this, readers. He is asking that if one were to take Theseus’ ship, and over the years replace the planks one by one to keep it in good shape, until none of the original planks are left, is it still Theseus’ ship? It still retains the exact design and shape as the original ship, it is still called Theseus’ ship, but is it actually still the same ship? How could it be if the ship is made of different planks and by different men? Centuries later a philosopher named Thomas Hobbes took this paradox a bit further by proposing the following scenario: what would happen if the original planks were gathered up after they were replaced, and used to build a second ship. Which ship, if either, is the original Ship of Theseus?
Boy doesn’t that just put your head in a tizzy? The other variations are much the same. The grandfather’s axe refers to the axe of George Washington. His axe’s head has been replaced twice and it’s handle replaced three times, so is it still the same axe? The favorite sock conjecture was brought up by John Locke who asked if he had a favorite sock and replaced holes in the sock with patches until none of the original sock material remained, is it the same sock? There have been a few proposed resolutions to this paradox, one such being four dimensionalism. Ted Sider and others have proposed that considering objects to extend across time as four-dimensional causal series of three-dimensional 'time slices' could solve the Ship of Theseus problem because, in taking such an approach, each time-slice and all four dimensional objects remain numerically identical to themselves while allowing individual time-slices to differ from each other. The aforementioned river, therefore, comprises different three-dimensional time-slices of itself while remaining numerically identical to itself across time; one can never step into the same river time-slice twice, but one can step into the same (four-dimensional) river twice. Although no unique "correct" way to make these slices exists in special relativity — speaking of a "point in time" extended in space is meaningless — any way of slicing will do (including no 'slicing' at all) if observers in all reference frames see the boundary of the object change in the same way. Special relativity still ensures that "you can never step into the same river time-slice twice" because even with the ability to change how spacetime is sliced, one is still moving in a time like fashion. Another such possible solution was brought about by Heraclitus. He attempted to solve the paradox by introducing the idea of a river where water replenishes it. Arius Didymus quoted him as saying "upon those who step into the same rivers, different and again different waters flow.” Plutarch disputed Heraclitus' claim about stepping twice into the same river, citing that it cannot be done because "it scatters and again comes together, and approaches and recedes".
So, as you see, it’s all really very complicated. Cyril had all this on his mind because he had just heard of the Yardratian’s Instant Transmission technique. The person who had described it to him had portrayed it as teleportation and Cyril was wondering how exactly it worked. Did it tear apart your molecules and create a copy of you elsewhere somehow? Did they somehow make use of quantum entanglement to develop teleportation despite their primitive lives? Cyril wanted to know. He hopped into his ship, “Computer, we’re going to Yardrat” The ship hummed and rocked briefly. It landed with a deep thrum. Cyril, thoughts buzzing, exited the space ship and found himself on Yardrat. It was a desolate place, rocks and barren land everywhere. Cyril reached out for a ki signature anywhere. He found a small village of Yardrats to the north a mile or two away. Cyril also sensed a sandstorm sweeping it’s way across the plains. Cyril flew into the air and made the trip in under a minute. He landed in a clear space in the middle of the camp. The strange, blue Yardratians looked at him, but ignored him. It appeared they were cleaning things up. He didn’t see the point if they were about to be swept over by a sandstorm. A Yardrat approached him and grabbed him. It seemed pretty calm about it so Cyril didn’t react.
Suddenly Cyril was halfway across the planet along with the entire Yardrat village. They had just used Instant Transmission and Cyril realized how they did it. Cyril smacked his head and laughed. They entered a pocket dimension and travelled there to shorten the distance. Boy did Cyril feel stupid.


Word Count: 1,058. Learning Instant Transmission.

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PostSubject: Re: Theseus' Ship   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Suuurreee. That's how it works. Check.

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PostSubject: Re: Theseus' Ship   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:10 pm

"It is revealed in the movie Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, that this move briefly moves the user into a pocket dimension which then allows them to move to any location instantly. However, the user cannot travel to an area they have never been to unless they can detect someone familiar to them to use as a homing beacon. In the special Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Goku uses the Instant Transmission to warp everybody to the radish field without looking for a ki. He uses the technique during his battle against Bills, while fighting with him in a subterranean cavern.[7]" - http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Instant_Transmission

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PostSubject: Re: Theseus' Ship   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:18 pm

Who the hell is Bills?

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PostSubject: Re: Theseus' Ship   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:19 pm

I don't know. BUT THIS IS A DRAGONBALL WIKIA I AM VINDICATED.

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