The Trouble with Transporters

41 652
Live long and prosper?
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Artwork: Knut
Music: David Rees
Special thanks:
Mark Govea, Wenhao Nie, Thomas J Miller Jr MD, dedla , Daniel Slater, PervertedThomas , Saki Comandao, Robert Kunz, John Buchan, Christian Cooper, Michael Little, rictic , Ian , Ripta Pasay, Andres Villacres, Faust Fairbrook, Jason Lewandowski, Michael Mrozek, Jordan LeDoux, Chris Woodall, Nevin Spoljaric, Chang Wang, Kozo Ota, Richard Jenkins, Chris Chapin, , سليمان العقل, Tony DiLascio, Tod Kurt, Phil Gardner, Jordan Melville, Martin , Steven Grimm, Alistair Forbes, Ron Bowes, Tómas Árni Jónasson, Mikko , Derek Bonner, Derek Jackson, Sokhom Chhim, Orbit_Junkie , Jim , Duhilio Patiño, Benjamin Morrison, Eren Polat, Amandeep Hayer, Mark Elders, Splendide , Colin Millions, Muhammad Shifaz, Joe Pantry, Veronica Peshterianu, Paul Tomblin, Travis Wichert, chrysilis , Ryan E Manning, Erik Parasiuk, Rhys Parry, Maarten van der Blij, Kevin Anderson, Thomas Petersen, Kyle Bloom, David , Ryan Nielsen, Esteban Santana Santana, Dag Viggo Lokøen, Tristan Watts-Willis, John Rogers, Edward Adams, Leon , ken mcfarlane, Brandon Callender, Timothy Moran, Peter Lomax, Emil , Tijmen van Dien, ShiroiYami , Alex Schuldberg, Ryan Constantin, Bear , Jacob Ostling, John Waltmans, Solon Carter, Joel Wunderle, Rescla , GhostDivision , Andrew Proue, Tor Henrik Lehne, David Palomares, Cas Eliëns, Freddi Hørlyck, Linh , Osric Lord-Williams, Ryan , Maxime Zielony, Lachlan Holmes , John Lee, Ian N Riopel, AUFFRAY Clement, Ilan , Elizabeth Keathley, Glennon B. Nelson IV, Chris Harshman, Jose Reyes, Guillermo , David Michaels
Music by:
Runtime: 05:44


Maria Lee
Maria Lee - Time siden
What about commander chakotay in that one ep of Voyager were he went into a spiritual form?
The End Gamer
The End Gamer - 10 timer siden
Collages students: laughs in immortality
Demonhood - Dag siden
The person who started reading this comment isn’t the same as the one ending it
Dominare McFakename
Dominare McFakename - Dag siden
I remember having pretty much this exact train of thought years ago after watching the episode where the duplicate Riker is discovered. If the transporter can create an identical copy of you without destroying the original, then the very concept of "the original you" is rendered meaningless.
TornadoHarry - 2 dager siden
Who else likes thin cgp grey rather than thicc cgp grey
GalloViking - 2 dager siden
Just don't wear a red shirt, problem solved.
haloharry97 - 2 dager siden
I bet heven must be packed of kids in star Trek
CSStevens2015 - 3 dager siden
Schlock Mercenary has a version of this in action with the wormhole gates, I highly recommend it to anyone
Lisa Nidog
Lisa Nidog - 3 dager siden
And if you're a Star Trek red shirt security guard well you have a limited life expectancy anyway as you usually get the permanent retirement package being killed off with or without being beamed anywhere and they're never replaced.
Mateusz Latos
Mateusz Latos - 3 dager siden
There are so many references to different episodes of TNG
Darryl Arrington
Darryl Arrington - 3 dager siden
"To sleep, perchance to dream - aye, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death..." -- Hamlet, Act III Scene 1. I think Shakespeare put that death-sleep to paper long ago, and people missed the connotation in high school.
Isaac Alonso
Isaac Alonso - 4 dager siden
Not only sleeping. Every single second might be the one of your creation with fake memories of your immediate past.
Daan Strik
Daan Strik - 4 dager siden
For me its irrelevant.
Death is scary because of the effect my missing has on the world and the people I care about.
If these effects no longer happen I dont care if im still me.
Then again I dont believe that there’s something else besides that which can be measured so its kind of cheating
K.A. - 4 dager siden
Doctor Who had an entire episode that was based on this concept.
Nikolai Nyegaard
Nikolai Nyegaard - 5 dager siden
This is the plot of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige
GAVIN CURRY - 5 dager siden
thanks gray I don't know if I even exist anymore
Danial Buchinger
Danial Buchinger - 6 dager siden
One problem of the idea where you die when you sleep, you still respond to outside stimulus during that time, you wake up when theirs a loud noise and you roll over when your uncomfortable, you just have limited control over your body because it needs to rest.
Vladimir Pustynskiy
Vladimir Pustynskiy - 6 dager siden
If the transporter necessarily records the condition of each person's brain so that it can be perfectly recreated, getting access to transporter logs would be close to getting access to all information held by all people who used it.
Sleep well.
Gabriel Hudson
Gabriel Hudson - 6 dager siden
Wouldn't the no cloning theorum mean that the reconstruction of the second self require that the original self must be destroyed in its entirety?
Aiden Aune
Aiden Aune - 8 dager siden
your brain doesnt just shut off while sleeping, it goes into an odd state where it rearranges stuff, something it can only do if it takes attention off functioning, you still think and imagine while sleeping, its just not under your control (dreams).
ontdekkings zeiler
ontdekkings zeiler - 8 dager siden
surly helps if i watch it right before i go ti sleep
Eti the Spirit
Eti the Spirit - 9 dager siden
"Sleep well tonight"
MinecraftQuickscoper2007 - 9 dager siden
I hate this video I've thought about it extensively before both times I was put under anesthesia
W.D Gaster and The Skelabros
W.D Gaster and The Skelabros - 11 dager siden
See this is why you don’t sleep
Chris Miles
Chris Miles - 11 dager siden
Having had 4 years to think about this ... I no longer give other people the benefit of the doubt as to their consciousness.
New Under Craft
New Under Craft - 13 dager siden
i take mr.numberphile's side in this debate
ExpertAxe - 13 dager siden
Grey: Your bed is a suicide box
Me: great, more reason to not sleep
Thomas Hill
Thomas Hill - 13 dager siden
when you go to sleep you are still conscious you have dreams they bridge the cap in going to sleep and waking up
Imagine that
Imagine that - 14 dager siden
Tribbles are like Tumbleweeds
Daniel S
Daniel S - 15 dager siden
Body snatchers.
Oliver J. Cheese
Oliver J. Cheese - 15 dager siden
All the references to episodes are awesome.
Brian Arbenz
Brian Arbenz - 16 dager siden
A high school friend of mine during the '70s original Star Trek years pointed out to me the complete dud the whole concept of transporting was. He quite rightly noted that Roddenberry and all other Trek people forgot that whatever matter is in the place someone is transported to must make way for that someone. If it is air that is there, the act of your being beamed to that spot would mean that air has got to go somewhere. So as you arrived, the air would whoosh out rapidly in all directions. That would happen as well in the transporter room when crew are returning to the Enterprise -- Scotty would get blown over when he energizes to beam three or four crew members back.
Of course, this could be avoided by having the matter in the space where the crew members are going to be simultaneously transported back to the Enterprise to make room for them.
This would make the device an "exchanger," rather than a "transporter." My friend was spot on to have noted what everyone else missed. Thanks, Tim.
Edwin Huang
Edwin Huang - 16 dager siden
What if you are consciously unconscious then?
Raghav Shama
Raghav Shama - 16 dager siden
Congratulations! You have made a normal sci-fi show a tool for identity crisis. May the haunt be with you.
EJ Padilla
EJ Padilla - 17 dager siden
The thing is that the unmeasurable is your soul
EJ Padilla
EJ Padilla - 11 dager siden
@Teresa Daly it is
Teresa Daly
Teresa Daly - 11 dager siden
Seems likely.
Martin Schmidt
Martin Schmidt - 18 dager siden
that all reminds me of my grandpas old axe... it had its third head and its fifth handle but it worked really well all the time
Unknown Boi
Unknown Boi - 18 dager siden
What the hell is this? The hell is this art style?
Engineering Math
Engineering Math - 18 dager siden
Black mirror: write that down
Robert Pierce
Robert Pierce - 20 dager siden
Time to go to sleep, I mean die, only to be reborn again tomorrow.
Maybe tomorrow will be better or perhaps today is tomorrow’s dream or tomorrow is today’s fantasy. Do any of y’all even exist? I mean I can’t see you so you might be imaginary......
Tristan Ellis
Tristan Ellis - 20 dager siden
So something I just thought about though what if upon being converted into pure energy there was a way to send a signal with a coded number to where when you return you will either have the number sent in the order it was sent or if it's not you it would be received backwards so say I was beamed up and a months my reassembly I have a number programmed into my brain let's say that number is 1245 if I'm not me when I am fully assembled then I would receive the number as 5421 and by being able to do this would be by sending the number through one part of the brain and somehow tripping it if someone or something else is in the place of who you were
RedShuttle [REDACTED]
RedShuttle [REDACTED] - 21 dag siden
So basically the creators of the transporters are carrying out a secret war against consciousness...
Lukas Wernecke
Lukas Wernecke - 21 dag siden
Well not the best video to watch at 1.30 am
another person speaking
another person speaking - 21 dag siden
Absolutely love all the references from The Motion Picture. Underrated movie!
Wither Rose
Wither Rose - 22 dager siden
Very nice video, but there's two things I think should be brought up. Sleep isn't a shutdown of your brain. You still experience things in your sleep through dreams. Your brain is still active in regulating your body, and your mind is still 'active'.
But what would be considered death is a concussion. That actually does cause a brief cut in consciousness where your brain is in many senses non functional.
Harry Jude
Harry Jude - 23 dager siden
Watch "The Prestige"
Dr. A
Dr. A - 24 dager siden
I feel philosomaphized and edumacated
ItsKb - 24 dager siden
Coffee here I come, YOU won't TAKE ME WORLD!
Matthew Kh
Matthew Kh - 25 dager siden
This is Rene Descartes “I think therefore I am”
Dustine Bruner
Dustine Bruner - 25 dager siden
Digitally uploading our minds and teleportaion have always left me wondering if you technically die during the process. I have raised this question on other channels that discuss such matters. A fan of yours set me here for more information and I am glad he did. You have gained a new subscriber!
Jener Gomes
Jener Gomes - 28 dager siden
Yes, I'm still here.
This is a great idea and a cool video! I was just hoping to listen something like "Much better than moving the atoms is to transmit the information to reconstruct the copy, erasing (killing) the original after the confirmation."
Who did the research for the visual references? There is a lot of them! =]
Nuke It All
Nuke It All - 28 dager siden
So you're telling me I am not... me?
Russell Morland
Russell Morland - Måned siden
It is impossible to copy quantum information without destroying the original, so the transporter, or anything else, cannot duplicate its users. It can completely fail, in effect completely disintegrating its user, but it cannot duplicate them.
njuju WD
njuju WD - Måned siden
5:01 Oh hey Chara, didn't exspect you to be here.
Andrew Moorman
Andrew Moorman - Måned siden
Suicide box transporters are basically just like how tumbleweeds reproduce (the parent dies in order for the seeds to spread). A transporter without the disassembler is basically just a method of asexual reproduction.
Tom Broxton
Tom Broxton - Måned siden
The Prestige said it better
Tom Broxton
Tom Broxton - Måned siden
no wait this was quicker
Oliver Woodward
Oliver Woodward - Måned siden
Hey Grey, ever heard of cognito hazards, and the importance OF NOT SHARING THEM?!
Pablo Carpentier
Pablo Carpentier - Måned siden
So. What if. Consciousness is not a thing.
Like, no matter what we think, we are just a machine in the end. Not a metal one, that's true. And a really fricking complicated one, true as well. But that's it. What would it mean if the teleporter duplicated you ? there would be two you, simply. Because you is not defined by your brain in particular, but by the actions, or the neurons activated in it. One is not less you than the other. They / you are both you, in the same way as the one before and after transportation are the same.
Humans tend to give themselves this false importance of "I'm unique because of my unique conscious". Yes, and no, in nature, and thanks to the hundreds of billions of parameters surrounding us, we are all different. In the same way that two times a machine learning algorythm will be different if put in even very slightly different starting conditions or rules.
When you sleep, you are still you, and when you wake up, you are also you.
Are you the same person you where 5 minutes ago ? No, your body is always changing and evolving, so are the neurons in your brain.
Are you less you than the other person that you where 5 minutes ago. No. Both are you, just at a different state.
If we were able to represent a line, considering the exact state of your body & brain at any time, we would be able to visualise every single you there's during your life. They would all be you, simply a you, dependant of the exact time this copy of your brain was taken on.
Davis Azarya Lahope
Davis Azarya Lahope - Måned siden
Wait, grey was never a stick first?
Always has been ,*gunshots*
d f
d f - Måned siden
Schrödinger‘s transporter
yo - Måned siden
Do not watch this before going to sleep... you have been warned.
Burn Lit
Burn Lit - Måned siden
WUUT Youtube finally show this to me in 2020. And right b4 I'm about to go to sleep, but ill try Grey ill try...
JL History
JL History - Måned siden
This is also like the movie the prestige
I AM CHEVY HAMPTON - Måned siden
Maybe I shouldn't have watched before bed!
sigmata0 - Måned siden
Isn't this a definitional problem? If you take the human system as a whole, i.e. the body including brain operating to create a conscious experience periodically (but with an internal sense of consistency), as "you", the individual components which create that system are not you but only parts. Replacing parts that act as systemically consistent replacements, maintains "you" without replacing "you" because this "you" is a product of the whole system of parts interacting together. Literally the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts in that the loss of that interaction of parts destroys the system itself.
With the transporter problem, the destruction of the entire system indicates that system is no more. The mechanism that creates "you" is no more. That it can be rebuilt elsewhere is a different system even if it's internal experience is "you". That that new system experiences consciousness consistent with the previous system does not make it the same in an objective sense, but only as a subjective sense of the system that is experiencing experience. It's not the same you it only thinks it is (objectively). However, if you define you as the whole system that generates consciousness then that you does exist, and it can be considered the same you due solely upon it's information state. It's the functional you that exists rather than a particular hardware/software instance of you.
If there were a situation where a duplicate were created after some interval, both functional "you"s would be authentic "you"s but with different information states. They would immediately become distinct instances of "you" as their information states diverge. One would not have a greater claim to the right of existence than another.
This would be the same as dismantling a computer after backing up the entire software and data setup. That system no longer exists. If you then build an entirely new computer with components of the same specification(*) restoring the backup to it, you've produced a new system. The software would run unimpeded and if it could have an experience about itself it would only know the difference about when it started (and perhaps make note of it's uptime).
(*) Note in practice computer components include variations which are difficult to overcome. NIC's with unique hardware MAC addresses and motherboard/graphic board serial numbers, for instance. The operating system has to recognize these new components and then see them as the ones who will provide various services. If such an OS was self aware it would recognize the differences, it certainly has to handle it. If it were an application sitting upon an OS, it may or may not notice a difference. This might be mitigated by using virtualized instances of the OS and applications. Initiating a new virtual instance could be identical to some original instance (although some OS's require their licenses to be consistent with instance usage and may intervene if the instance isn't activated as authentic).
Z Zs
Z Zs - Måned siden
Considering all the Transporter hickkups, especially the one in the Original series with the two Kirks, the only explanation is that it is indeed making copies of people, and kills you on the spot. The copy can be considered you, but there is no question that you were killed. The replacement of our cells over time might qualify, but there is a clear continuity there that would be enough to put you to ease. Sleep absolutely does not qualifies, since even your brain never truly stopped working while asleep. The only way that could be considered a death, is if you defined yourself as a really narrow definition of consciousness, to the point of not being meaningful. At that point, you are just one step away from the conclusion that you do not exist. At the next step, by your own definition, "you" are just an illusion experienced by your brain.
Q.D. White
Q.D. White - Måned siden
+1 for making "cutty sark" and "ship-of-theseusing" verbs
LongJ22 - Måned siden
yes! I was dying to bring up Theseus' ship! Well done!
Mr. Suspicious
Mr. Suspicious - Måned siden
So you telling me that there might be IMPOSTERS AMONG US
Mino Arno
Mino Arno - Måned siden
this video keeps giving me an existential crisis
Adegboyega Ojengbede
Adegboyega Ojengbede - Måned siden
The reason I was terrified of sleep.
Daniel Newhouse
Daniel Newhouse - Måned siden
I think it's related to quantum computing. There is a paper from Lawrence Livermore, and then there is something from Akash Bandyopadhyay. Jane Garrett once restated it. Unless it is in some science fiction novel somewhere. The legend is that with Ben Russell in the world, you have to be extra safe with the mechanism.
AzuriteStar - Måned siden
I'm only pointing this out because I don't want to risk losing my nerd status, but in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tuvix" Tuvok and Neelix aren't combined by a random transporter malfunction. It was an alien plant using their DNA to reproduce in a way.
Sub Par Banana
Sub Par Banana - Måned siden
Solution: never sleep
Asriel Dreemurr
Asriel Dreemurr - Måned siden
Freebyrd7 - Måned siden
“Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates... When I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, "Do I know you?” - Steven Wright
Brian Praul
Brian Praul - Måned siden
"It was terrifying... I began each show never knowing whether I would be the one in the Prestige, or in the tank."
Russian Bear
Russian Bear - Måned siden
Thanks a lot for the existential dread grey. great video
vinfinity 09
vinfinity 09 - Måned siden
no it works because there is a small little wizard with a wand in the lights
Gideon - Måned siden
Still here, you can't stay awake forever... kelp
Psychological Success
Psychological Success - Måned siden
This and the issue of "copying a consciousness into a machine" in all situations where consciousness is "copied" the original ceases
Peter Salzman
Peter Salzman - Måned siden
It is the current orthodox opinion that we are our wavefunctions. Everything there is that makes us "us" is nothing more than our quantum wavefunction.
ali mahmoud
ali mahmoud - Måned siden
rex mundi
rex mundi - Måned siden
At least when you go to sleep you aren't disintegrated, as with the "transporter" (which is really just a fax machine that destroys the original).
Isaiah - Måned siden
Yeah, im never sleeping well again
therealCamoron - Måned siden
This is the same problem with any sort of "uploading your consciousness to a computer" thing.
Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton - Måned siden
Well thank you for the terror induced insomnia... Just before bed...
Andrew Luers
Andrew Luers - Måned siden
Also why does people age? " Hay, put my mind into a 18 year old me please" AMD also, red shirt died down there. No worry's we well just used his back up
Daksh Badal
Daksh Badal - Måned siden
I don't wanna die Mr.Stark.
Lenz - Måned siden
They should have gone with wormholes/portals as their technology instead.
Simon Delorme
Simon Delorme - Måned siden
Why, yes. I did enjoy this episode's artwork.
Leon Hill
Leon Hill - Måned siden
I'm happy I didn't watch this immediately before bed time.
General JellyRoll
General JellyRoll - Måned siden
If you can move faster than light, then you break the laws of physics. You can move backwards in time. You could flip on a light and move to a place before that light has reached there. Warp speed
Xbalanque Bronze
Xbalanque Bronze - Måned siden
Yeah hyper jump>transporter
Will Mares
Will Mares - Måned siden
Didn't sheldon have this theory on the big bang theory
Samuel McEntire
Samuel McEntire - Måned siden
Watching at 12:35 AM
SeaWeaselKing - Måned siden
Mrosen7542 - Måned siden
This problem is tackled in The Prestige.
GachaGirl - Måned siden
Where the H*** is the stick figure
Ryan John Hernandez
Ryan John Hernandez - Måned siden
Rob Passalacqua
Rob Passalacqua - Måned siden
The only real way transport technology would be able to work is if you had a collection of atoms on the other end and a reassembly machine receiving your blueprints from the disassembly machine and then reassembling you from that collection of atoms. Sending every single one of your atoms to the reassembly machine doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you can send information itself at the speed of light, but would have to expend a lot of energy sending mass to the destination