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TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization 
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Post TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
Alright so TRON, to summarise in this franchise Encom created a device that transports people to and fro from a programmed world. Here is the thing though, MCP didn’t import Flynn’s mind or anything it digitized him! So Encom essentially made a matter-energy converter.

Then in Legacy it is made clear that the digitizing laser works in reverse to, with the ride coding a program can be brought from the Grid into the real world. Alongside the fact that Flynn aged based on real world time and the fact that he ages at all pretty much means you can take anything from the real world change the variables as you see fit and then bring it back exactly as it became from meddling with it’s code, even humans.

And lastly the one in Legacy was made by Flynn inside a dingy basement under an arcade that can apparently run without causing a power surge so it obviously doesn’t require a lot of power for what it can do.

I’d like to discuss all the possibilities with this, and how drastically different things would be. Basically the impact on society and all the practical applications this technology would be used for.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:12 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
If you assume that the Tron Legacy plot of deploying an army from within the machine to take over the world would have worked, and I guess even if it didn't if you account for the realization of Quorra, then you're breaking the laws of physics really really hard. Re-outputting someone who'd been previously absorbed in a different configuration, but generating new person sized masses from direct conversion would take multiple days of the entire earth's power output per person. So for it to work that way you'd have to break conservation of energy, and then you've got about the hardest post-scarcity technology possible.

What would be the effect of that? It'd be the most disruptive technology in the history of mankind. If one person or organization could control it they could be gods. If it got into everyone's hands you'd have chaos. Maybe things would sort out to be a star trekian utopia after enough time, but in the short term... what if anyone who had a grudge could just print a loyal army? Or a battleship? Or an ICBM? What if everyone who felt they didn't have enough time in the day could just ctrl-c ctrl-v themselves? The consequences are extremely open-ended.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:47 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
This would be essentially the same technology as Star Trek's transporter, and it would completely transform anything to do with transportation or fabrication. It could also be used to transform medicine, as you could probably tweak the settings to alter the properties of people being transported in or out, to cure diseases, repair injury, reset someone's age or physical state, or bring them back from the dead. The problem, of course, is that it's a completely anachronistic technology; it's far too advanced even for Star Trek's 24th Century tech, to say nothing of TRON's 1980's tech. There's not enough memory in all the computers that have ever existed to store the information required to describe every particle that makes up a single human being, and as Siber mentions, if you're converting matter to energy and back again, that's quite a lot of energy.

The original TRON didn't explicitly say that they were converting matter to energy; rather that they were "digitizing" Flynn. The computer version of Flynn was a sort of special program, rather than a virtual copy of the real Flynn. Flynn and the other programs in the virtual world didn't follow the same rules of physics as in the real world; they were sort of digital abstractions with gray skin and glowing circuitry, that could drink energy, divert beams, have magic energy sex (in a deleted scene), etc. It was a very different reality. Flynn was somehow converted into data, not energy. Computers aren't energy storage devices; you can digitize someone and store that information in a computer, but if you convert matter to energy, you can't "put" that energy into a computer; it has to go somewhere else. We could suppose that Flynn's molecules were digitized and stored somewhere in the ENCOM laser system, and then returned when he was magically spat back out. If he had really been converted to energy, that would be more energy than many, many thermonuclear explosions.

TRON Legacy, on the other hand, depicted the Grid as a one-for-one simulation of reality (Flynn Jr. still has a physical body with blood, etc., and the circuitry-like elements are just clothing and gear), so the idea of moving entities back and forth between the Grid and reality is more straightforward, but it doesn't address the energy component of the matter to energy conversion. It also kind of glosses over how the virtual beings (I don't recall if they were still called Programs) operate in the real world; they don't have flesh or blood, and a lot of their devices don't seem to follow the laws of physics. Was Quorra brought into the real world as-is, or was she transmogrified into a human? I don't think it's clear.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:37 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
hi hi

It was my impression that they implied in Legacy that the digital world was full of unexpected properties and perhaps not entirely contained within the physical computer in the real world, but existed partially outside of it.

In any sci-fi setting where someone finds a workaround for thermodynamics though, it would have consequences for human society that are difficult to predict, and even more difficult for an audience to wrap their heads around. Star Trek: The Next Generation started out trying to work in a post-scarcity world, but they had to backpedal on that because it just didn't make sense to audiences, and it turned into a bit of a muddled mess.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:46 pm
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
The impression I got was that in original Tron, yes Flynn and those in the know at ENCOM thought indeed they were converting mater into energy by making a digitized facsimile of a real world object converting it into an approximation of an analog signal sustainted on a digital matrix, but what Flynn discovered when he was restructuring the Grid with Clue, and came to full realization while he was trapped in the coup by Clue was that the digital realm the 'Grid' was not contained in a computer... it was not a digital realm inside a computer at all... it was a quantum reality created by the digital computer. Don't think of the ENCOM system as a mater/energy convertor... its a dimensional transporter... it open a portal to a quantum reality that is semi-created or more likely the result of the real world digital computers of our reality... a "perifery realm"... sort of like the shadow of a 3 dimensional object. In effect our computers of our 3 dimensional reality create a shadow dimension on a quantum level that that we can enter and vaguely is defined loosely by our societies vast computer data that is growing and evolving, sort of like an emerging consciousness,...a 'ghost' of our reality created inadvertly by the emerging consciousness of our growing vast amounts of data and processing power of our computer machines.

That deep enough for you? Flynn Jr and Quorra did not create a body of mater for her ... she was transported from her quantum universe to our 3 dimensional reality.

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Last edited by sunphoenix on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:52 am, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:45 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
sunphoenix wrote:
..quantum reality that is semi-created or more likely the result of the real world digital computers of our reality... a "perifery realm"... sort of like the shadow of a 3 dimensional object. In effect our computers of our 3 dimensional reality create a shadow dimension on a quantum level that that we can enter and vaguely is defined loosely by our societies vast computer data that is growing and evolving, sort of like an emerging consciousness,...a 'ghost' of our reality created inadvertly by the emerging consciousness of our growing vast amounts of data and processing power of our computer machines.


Reminds me somewhat of one of the main topics in Ghost in the Shell in general and GITS: Solid State Society more specifically, i.e. blurring of the real and virtual and people's minds subconsciously creating new sentience in the virtual world and so on.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:07 pm
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