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Teleportation as Environmental Incentives

15 March 2008

(or: the #1 way to improve my love life)

I am in a long distance relationship – my boyfriend lives in Boston. We don’t see each other often, so many a night is spent wishing we could be closer or had some magical means of transportation. Since we are both geeks, this usually means transporters or powers of teleportation.

But being the diligent, socially-conscious people that we are, we got sidetracked into thinking about the ramifications of teleportation ability. Obviously the need to be able to teleport anything you are wearing or carrying is essential, if at least so you do not violate public decency laws. But I also became concerned that if my boyfriend gained the ability to teleport he would not get enough exercise – he would start using it for small trips that he normally walks for, such as to the grocery store. So I decided that the teleport ability should only be usable for above a certain distance – one that is further than easy access by walking and/or public transportation.

Ideally, only he and I would have this ability – its value would be too degraded otherwise. However, it it was more widespread, it should be rationed in such a way as to be friendly to the environment. The main restriction would be that it would only be available to those who did not drive or would be willing to give up driving. Same goes for people with private jets or helicopters. (And if I was mean, people who make fun of people in long distance relationships)

I mean, there probably should also be regulation for people who are criminals, or maybe just that if someone is doing something malicious, they become unable to teleport. “Lightness of soul” sort of stuff.

Of course then you run into the problem of making sure you don’t teleport into a wall or anything. It would be easy for places that you already know (like your boyfriend’s bedroom, as was the original idea, ahem), but for places you don’t know? Maybe Google could have a Google maps for transporter locations, and included a picture of what the room looks like. Either that or they would all have to be completely uniform.

I think it’s an awesome idea, but the airplane, automobile, and rail lobby would never allow it.

But do you think the government would give me a research grant for it? I mean, it’s for the good of the environment! And my sex life.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 March 2008 1:04 PM

    The two key points of teleportation technology are the following:

    1) what are the power input levels required?

    2) does teleportation require a paired set of teleporters, one at each end?

    My usual assumptions are that power inputs are very large and scale slower-than-linear to distance, and that you need an entrance-exit pairing relationship. This works well for long-distance travel, (imagine the equivalent of airports or major railroad stations with dedicated booths for major city-pair destinations, like choose two of NY/LA/Chicago/SF/London/Paris/Frankfurt/Tokyo/Hong Kong) but not so much for regular everyday travel, which would be much cheaper to take conventional transportation.

    Another option is, if the technology is based on stable wormholes, revolutionise the freight-railroad industry by building tracks through permanent wormholes, allowing through-freight to roll directly from yards on the Pacific Coast to yards in the Midwest and East. That would obsolete the billions being invested in double- or triple-tracking long sections of transcontinental mainline…

    Aperture Science / We do what we must because we can…

  2. herbertanzer permalink*
    18 March 2008 2:48 PM

    @ CComMack – See? that’s being more realistic than I am.

    I was thinking of teleportation more as a form of mental ability (or possibly an implant? Yay for cyborgs), not as much like the startreky idea of teleporters, so that would be a no to 2. But that implies an inherent autonomy with the ability which could lead to problems without proper regulation. Such as two people trying to teleport to the same spot at once. Also, how to make sure it is only used for personal use, and not for business use (since that might be a competition barrier)

    And as for 1, ideally it would require no more energy than is suppliable from the human body. Having to have an attached battery pack would be weird. I guess making sure you’re well-fed before you teleport would be a good idea.

    What would happen to the mainlines after they’re obsolete?

    When it comes down to it, though, really I just wish I could teleport, and it probably would be too much of a hassle if anyone else could as well…

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