As I sit in my hotel room in Virginia trying to fall asleep (and not succeeding), my mind has wandered to my trip here from Austin this morning and my trip home to Colorado tomorrow. During this contemplative moment, I’m fantasizing about teleportation. I would like to simply walk into a teleportation machine on this end and appear instantly in my house in Boulder. Then I’d be able to sleep in my bed tonight.
Recently, in Los Angeles, I was having dinner with Amy, Joanne Wilson, Fred Wilson, and a few of Joanne and Fred’s LA friends. Fred and I were at the end of the table and started talking about teleportation. I told him that I’d do it in a heartbeat if I had a 0.1% non-cumulative chance of losing a finger or a toe (e.g. the probability of losing a finger in each teleportation event was independent of the probability of losing a finger in the next one.)
A few days later, at the Upfront Summit, Fred did a great interview with Dan Primack, which is worth listening to in its entirety as Fred and Dan cover a ton of interesting ground. At the end (starting at 24:40), Dan asks Fred “What is the one thing you are looking for that hasn’t crossed your desk yet.”
I grinned when Fred said “teleportation.” It really would be a remarkable thing in our world and when someone shows up with a credible approach, I expect Fred and I would happily co-invest in it.
Teleportation is a mainstay of a lot of science fiction I read. As a huge Hyperion fanboy, I’ve had my mind immersed in the dynamics of farcasters, the effect of instantaneous interplanetary teleportation of the human race, and then the massive societal impact when the farcaster network abruptly stops working galaxy wide.
If you haven’t read Hyperion, pause for a second and ponder the idea of a house where every room is on a different planet. As you walk through doorways, you farcast to where the next room is located. It’s seamless – the house is one continuous entity – but each room has the properties of whatever planet it is on. And, there is no preparation to jump, as there is in BSG. It just happens.
The super awesomeness would be a portable teleportation machine that I could take with me. I go wherever I want, and then I can go from there to wherever I want. Instantly. Without having to go through TSA.
One can wish.
My special bonus is I’d see Fred a lot more often, which would make me very happy. Plus I’d be home now, instead of still in Virginia.
I’ve been listening to the Hyperion Cantos on my iPhone while I run/bike (it’s amazing – I’m almost done with book two) and I’ve been wondering why we still have airplanes.
We’ve already figured out how to go from analog form to digital form back to analog form. Consider the telephone.
We’ve already figured out how to go from atoms to bits to atoms. Consider the 3D printer.
We can transmit energy and information, so why can’t we yet teleport?
Who is working on this?
In Hyperion, the machines (the AI) ended up figuring this out for the humans. It feels like we are on the cusp of this as a species.
Ponder that as you board your next plan. Wouldn’t it be better to farcast to where you are going? Or would it?