So, I wrote an insanely long essay for the video embedded below: I've decided to embed the essay below for your delight, and hopefully to spark a discussion if anyone is interested. (I decided to procrastinate for half an hour from my revision.) Stupid Long Essay on Consciousness In pretty much every video on YouTube discussing this, and all their respective comment sections, you see this discussion of (transporter) teleportation being a one-way ticket to death and replicating of oneself. With people then trying to argue back and forth about whether the reconstruction shares some metaphysical link to the original, and if oneself is indeed dead. This obviously leads to mundane semantic arguments that really don't help the conversation whatsoever. It seems much more reasonable to dive a bit lower down, and discuss whether death is a meaningful thing. Obviously at the social-scale there is meaning to it, but who cares about wishy-washy things like that - that meaning is still entirely tied up in the semantics of death. No, what is more interesting to me is: what even is "I"? Plenty of philosophers have debated this, and I am near completely uninformed on who has said what, but no doubt my own opinions are formed somewhat on the shoulders of their first thoughts on the matter. There is this self, the thing that is conscious, and we don't attribute such a self to many processing or data storage devices - just the more intelligent squishies really. We like to think of this self as something continuous (differentiable in time) and somehow having time-independent components - such that it somehow has a metaphysical link (nothing physical is independent of time in reality!) tying up all the points in time it exists. But yet, if we were to create a wormhole that could take oneself to a point in time in which oneself - younger or older - existed, what link is there really? The only link that can be truly made is that this younger or older self has the unique property of - except for some changes in state - having a very strong correlation in how it processes information. But yet, this correlation is the same one we could apply to two factory-default phones, for example. [This point is inspired by the Integrated Information Theory - which proposes a quantification of consciousness based on density of information and integration of information (i.e. that the information cannot be reduced to individual components). This thought ties in very strongly to chaos theory, which has similar requirements for chaos to be seen - and in both cases experimentally we see common properties between phenomena in brains and in chaotic systems.] So what does all this mean? Well, it means that the least presumptuous opinion to have on consciousness and the self, is that from one infinitesimal slice of time to the next the only thing linking the self between frames is that the state in one frame is dependent on the previous and thus if one can make a perfect copy of a self (i.e. transporter teleportation) there is no more or less reason to attribute the copy as the continuation of the original as the original itself in the frame in which the copy is made. Except, that intuition says that not just our self-state but also position in spacetime should also be differentiable (i.e. have no discontinuities). Now that of course goes back into semantic arguments and for the above, it is assumed that the self is taken independently from its spacetime coordinates. This way of thinking about oneself leads to a realisation that really we don't have any ties to our past self even in the instant in time prior to the most current self-state except those made by society (due to the likelihood of changes in oneself being insufficient to drastically change actions - hence why we have the saying "born again" and "start a new life" for people who intend to drastically change their self). This way of thinking not only fits in much better with the physical phenomena we see in experimentation but also lends much more reasonable flexibility to actions that can be taken without worrying about a concept (death) that is defined in intuition and society and doesn't necessarily have accurate bearings on physical reality. Thus if the evidence continues to bear out in support of the above: it isn't any more than the arbitrarily socially-defined death that occurs in transporter teleportation. So take that and decide if you fear such a death enough to miss out on living the life of a Starfleet Officer!