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elbanditoroso's avatar

Supposing teleportation were possible. How would you use it? Where would you go?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33134points) 2 months ago
33 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

Teleportation: being able to move instantaneously from place to place. I’m NOT talking about time travel, which is something entirely different.

How would you use this ability? Visiting friends? Robbing banks? Seeing foreign sites? Where would you go?

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canidmajor's avatar

I would go places and see people and things. Lunch in Paris, Montana in the spring time, etc etc.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not like travelling, so I never go on vacations. Barely go to the cinema next town over.
So that is what I would use it for. Go to the beach in Mallorca. Visit the zoo. Go to the Louvre, or the Eiffel Tower. A short trip to Akihabara. Asssassinate Putin. Get swallowed whole by a Python in Australia. Go shopping at physical stores.

Forever_Free's avatar

I would visit family more often.

Zaku's avatar

It would depend on all the other unspoken implications of the change to universe that go along with me having teleportation ability, such as:

1. Do other people have this ability?
2. How does the ability work? Is it magic, or technology? What other magic or technology is also being added to the world in this scenario?
3. Details of its capabilities, e.g.: Can I do it at will? Does it affect me to do it? How frequently can I do it? How many times total can I do it? How reliable or dangerous is it? Does it cost any resource to use it? Are there any side-effects? Does in make noise or flashes of light or smoke or anything? How much weight or other people can I transport with it?
4. Is it possible for me to gift/reproduce/sell/lose this ability?

But, in general, the kind of answer I expect you want is:

1. I’d use it to travel a lot, if it involved notably less time/suffering/cost/etc than air travel currently does. If it’s super-easy, barely an inconvenience, I’d go everyplace I’d want to go for any reason, which is most places.
2. If I could take someone with me, I’d travel with other people, and take people where they want to go.
3. I’d consider the many ways this ability could be used for good, and carefully figure out how to do those things too. I’d try to figure out what the best risk/value strategy would be, and do that. It’s an interesting, complex problem – the sort of thing that comes up in fantasy role-playing games, as I’ve been playing for decades, so I could go on for a very very long time about that.

But I can’t help but mention again that the considerations I mentioned are crucial to what would really make sense to do, if this were a real situation. One needs to ask who else has this ability, and even if it’s only you, what the risks and side-effects are, because, for example:

1. If everyone, or many people, or even just any military types, can use this, there may be some serious worldwide chaos about to happen.
2. If only one, or a few people can use it, then those people need to be VERY worried about the military/government/oligarch types, who if they learn you have that ability, will want to figure out how to get that ability themselves, and who will be willing to do anything to you to try to achieve that.
3. Any huge shift in technology or magic abilities, implies there is a lot more going on than your one new ability, unless the universe really revolves around you. Even if this is just an ego fantasy, there would be much more to consider than where to visit.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

I would go to see my friend in England, who I’ve never actually met in person. I would go to visit my brother and his family in Texas because I miss them dearly, but don’t actually have the money to fly or drive down there.

And maybe I would travel around the world to different volcanoes because I’m a real volcano nerd. And I figure that if I can instantly teleport, then if things start to get dangerous, I can just zap right out of there!

It would be nice when you had to go out in this rough weather to just be able to teleport to work or to the grocery store or whatever. I can think of lots of uses for it. Have to go to the vet? No more wrestling with the cat to get it in the cat carrier. Just pick up the cat and hold them firmly and then teleport there!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I also don’t like to travel. I would use it as a taxi.

Response moderated (Obscene)
MrGrimm888's avatar

I would be a God. No. The God. Yeah…

If untethered by laws, anything is possible.

JLeslie's avatar

Visit friends and family more.

Spend a day in another country. I do similar trying to see a lot of things within an hour and half of where I live. Where I currently live that means, go to the beach, go to Disney, go to other various tourist places.

Cities I would go to that I have never been to before: Stuttgart for my husband to see the Porsche museum, Barcelona, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Cairo, Banff, Prague, Somewhere in Greece (maybe Thessoloniki and somewhere on the Island of Crete) Cabo San Lucas.

seawulf575's avatar

Read It’s Such a Beautiful Day by Asimov and you may change your answers. For those of you that don’t know, it is a short story based in a future society where your front door can be programmed to instantly teleport you to wherever you want to go. Nobody goes outside anymore. Ever.

One day, when sending the kids off to school the teleporter goes down temporarily, causing a delay. It is back fairly quickly and the day goes on. But one young boy thought about it. What happens if you are mid transport when the transport goes down? This terrified him to the point where he refused to go through it. He would sneak out and walk to school instead. He was perfectly happy doing. One day he got to school and was gasp dirty. Another he got home and was soaking wet. Mom finally called a psychologist to figure out why the child refused to use the teleporter.

The psychologist finally got to the core of the problem but realized also that the child preferred to go outside…something the psychologist couldn’t fathom. So he joined the child outside. He realized how beautiful it was and quickly understood why the child preferred it.

Excellent story. But what would happen to you if you the teleporter broke down with you in mid transit?

canidmajor's avatar

Or read about “transfer booths” in almost any of Larry Niven’s Known Space series, where teleportation is a well-regulated transportation medium.

gorillapaws's avatar

Assuming I wouldn’t have to be naked and I could take things with me, I would be a super-spy. If I couldn’t teleport things other than myself, I’d probably do a lot of Caribbean skinny dipping in the evenings.

jca2's avatar

Good points by @Zaku. What if it breaks down and I’m stuck someplace, needing to find my way home?

Assuming it’s 100% trouble-free, I’d like to go someplace else for a visit, like mentioned by @canidmajor. Another country for lunch or a brief visit, and then home in my cozy bed by bedtime would be great.

Caravanfan's avatar

I’d visit my daughter.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

@seawulf575 sounds like an interesting read! And I’m a big Asimov fan!

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 “Excellent story. But what would happen to you if you the teleporter broke down with you in mid transit?”
– Time to re-watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or at least that scene . . .

MrGrimm888's avatar

This was covered, in the original Willie Wonka. You stay suspended in the air as pixels, until you get downloaded to the other transportation device.

Response moderated
seawulf575's avatar

@Zaku Asimov definitely preceded Star Trek on this one (1955).

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 True. What I don’t understand, is why you mentioned that? Nor why people upvoted you for mentioning that?

LifeQuestioner's avatar

@Zaku I upvoted the original comment because I’m always looking for new books to read and that one sounded really interesting.

seawulf575's avatar

@LifeQuestioner That is really a short story. You’d likely find it in some compilation of Asimov shorts.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I thought the Asimov book/short story was relevant…

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like an interesting story, I agree.

I was asking why @seawulf575 replied to me, saying “Asimov definitely preceded Star Trek”?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^My bad.

seawulf575's avatar

@Zaku I just noticed that I opened up the idea of transporter breakdown and you later put up two Star Trek examples of the same thing. Just pointing out they likely got the idea from Asimov who wrote it a decade before.

canidmajor's avatar

The idea of devices that teleport has been around in speculative fiction much longer than either Asimov or Star Trek.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor That is true. Sci-fi often identifies things that seem outlandish right up to the point that they become reality. Jules Verne wrote about a nuclear powered submarine back in 1870. Submarines were in their infancy at that point, made of wood if I remember correctly and only able to stay submerged for as long as the air inside lasted. People found the idea of a nuclear powered submarine that could stay submerged for a long period of time to be fantastical. Yet less than 100 years later we had one, aptly named The Nautilus.

kruger_d's avatar

I would become a professional tour guide.

janbb's avatar

HG Wells The Time Machine was one of the first although I would be surprised if Leonardo hadn’t imagined one. A great book is Jack Finney’s Time and Again about time travel back to NYC in the 1880s. Great book!

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 Thanks for explaining what you were thinking. :-)

LifeQuestioner's avatar

@seawulf575 well, if teleportation never becomes a real thing, I’m probably going to be like Dr McCoy!
:-D

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