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GreaT Article on Teleportation


roorichard
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Yeah, interesting article. But I really roll my eyes when an author, who is clearly not an established scientist or engineer, takes liberties with language that are misleading with respect to the technology he describes. What I am talking about is:

 

"We can see the first glimmerings of teleportation in space exploration today," said Darling, responding to questions sent via e-mail by SPACE.com to his home office near Dundee, Scotland.

 

"Strictly speaking, teleportation is about getting from A to B without passing through the points between A and B. In other words, something dematerializes in one place, then simply rematerializes somewhere else," Darling said.

 

Darling pointed out that the Spirit and Opportunity rovers had to get to Mars by conventional means. However, their mission and actions are controlled by commands sent from Earth.

 

"So by beaming up instructions, we effectively complete the configuration of the spacecraft. Also, the camera eyes and other equipment of the rovers serve as vicarious extensions of our own senses. So you might say the effect is as if we had personally teleported to the Martian surface," Darling said.

You might say that, but it would be baloney! It is still nothing more than an RF link that transmits sensor information to earth and commands back to Mars. Yawningly old technology, which has NOTHING to do with teleportation.While I am all for getting people excited about the possibilities of the future, I am also cautious about authors who adopt a Sci-Fi temperament in an attempt to try to convince people (some of which know more about tech than the author himself) that some huge advancement is "just around the corner" because of a misinterpretation they have made about a current technology. Here is another one:

 

In the future it might be possible to assemble spacecraft "on-the-spot" using local materials. "That would be a further step along the road to true teleportation," Darling added.

No, it wouldn't. It is merely using robotics to fabricate and assemble... just like is being done in automotive factories here on earth. What makes it "sexy" (and feeds the Sci-Fi "gee whiz" factor) is simply that the assembly is being done far away from any human. Big deal. It has no relationship to teleportation!Poo-poo on Mr. Darling! :P

RMT

 

 

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You should write him and let him know your feelings on his article...

Yes, however my feelings are actually more applicable to what is happening with respect to all media in our time, not just this article. We live in a time where anyone with a keyboard who can put words together in a semi-convincing pattern could be construed as an "expert" in any given field. It has the effect of blurring the lines of distinction between reality and fantasy, and can be dangerously misleading to some people. Towhit the explosion of "conspiracy theory" websites that some people take all too seriously. There is a fine line between questioning authority and being so paranoid as to think that anyone with any sort of power over the least elements of our lives has some secret agenda.Ray Davies of the Kinks put it best: "Paranoia will destroy ya".

Ever since the advent of CNN and the internet I have noticed an explosion in "news". But I wonder if it is really news or just filler because there is an outlet that has to publish something to earn its living. The old creedo of reporters was that most of your work was in researching your sources to make damn sure your facts were correct. That is no more, because deadlines and other outlets getting the "scoop" on you have now resulted in people taking a lot less time to verify facts before they present them to unwary viewers as facts.

 

One example was the coverage of military aviation that I saw as the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq were being prosecuted. The news networks would hire former military pilots to provide commentary and technical information. However, while these fighter jocks obviously know a lot about flying an airplane, that does not mean they know a lot about the technology behind the airplane. As a person who does know a lot about this area, I caught two of Fox News Channel's "aviation experts" in some mighty large inaccuracies about wake vortices and windshears that even someone with an undergrad degree is aeronautics would know is bunk. It makes me wonder how many "news facts" that are being reported to me in other areas, where I am not an expert, are also flimsy in their factual content.

 

And overabundance of incorrect information can actually be more dangerous and devastating that not enough information!

 

OK....now that I got that off my chest...back to work! :)

 

RMT

 

 

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