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Thread: The Perception of Time

  1. Top | #31
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    The passage of rate of change in the physical world as processed and perceived by a brain...perception being relative to a brain.

  2. Top | #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    But another idea he presents is that as we age and acquire more and more experience we also achieve more of an understanding of out environment. Our model of the world becomes more complete and as it does so there is simply less need to remember recent experiences because older, more established ones have become sufficient. It's not a defect so much as the natural result of what the brain has been doing for a lifetime. Not that inactivity is a good thing. Eagleman stresses that continuing to actively seek mental challenges is crucial to the brain's health.
    This is an interesting idea. I wonder if you could change time flies when you're having fun to time flies when you're engaged / challenged. For some, maybe it's not necessarily fun, but built-in difficulty in their life that keeps them moving, thinking, striving - their minds aren't occupied by time, but instead real challenges.

    Whereas I look at my life now and at 34 I've achieved most of what I need to support myself for the rest of my life - a pretty accurate model of reality, an advanced trade that I'm skilled at and that is in demand, sufficient savings given my age. The overwhelming number of my days feel effortless - there is no type of real exertion, and consequently minimal engagement.

    I also find it interesting as I read poetry how common of an experience this is in various poets. It's astonishing how many male poets I've read who speak of boredom. It's like they figured it out, and after a while are forced to kill time.
    I guess poetry is a good outlet for an atypically active mind. There are far worse ways to "kill time". Alcohol and the stock market being two that come to mind. It seems you're unlikely to lean in those directions. I'm know you'll find strength in building your family. Maintaining the trust in and for others in ways only a family can provide is the best way to avoid going down life's many narrow and dangerous paths that seem to occur just when we think we've figured everything out.
    It's true. Health is the only way forward - all else follows from there. I just have to deal with the boredom. I actually spent the past 3 or 4 years doing away with alcohol completely. I still have a sizeable liquor collection, but might have a half ounce every month or so.

    Oddly enough I've read and understood so many mindfulness techniques as well as Eastern philosophies that these days I'm likely more sound than most.

  3. Top | #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Here's a cool BBC video on the subject:

    Why our dreams could be the key to time travel

    Talks about precognition and a few other things. Very interesting.
    I was wondering about "retrocausality" long before I'd heard that term, and long before I'd read Huw Price's Time's Arrow and Archimedes Point*. It sounds like such thinking has become more mainstream!

    If we start accepting precognition as real and due to "quantum retrocausality" we might also wonder if evolution of Earth's life operates faster than random due to a teleology!

    Even without retrocausality, life seems to depend on quantum effects. A chlorophyll molecule, for example, directs incoming sunlight energy to a specific reaction center with higher efficiency than any "random walk" much in the same way that artificial quantum computers achieve fast searches with Grover's algorithm. And Roger Penrose hypothesises that the microtubules -- of which there are a preposterously large number -- in the neurons of mammalian brains operate on quantum principles.

    * - Huw Price's book is a good read, I think, for laymen who want an overview of the basis for retrocausality, which Price claims is precisely what should be expected in a world based on quantum mechanics. Price's PhD is in philosophy, not physics, but he has many end-notes showing his conversations with physicists, many of whom agree with Price.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    This conversation reminds me again how different this TFT board is from another Board that bills itself as the "Ignorance Fighting" center of the Web. Any attempt to discuss retrocausality there is met with derision, non sequiturs and silence.

    ETA: I think retrocausality deserves its own thread: it's only tangentially related to this thread topic. Perhaps the Board has a professional physicist willing to start a discussion.

  4. Top | #34
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    ...
    This conversation reminds me again how different this TFT board is from another Board that bills itself as the "Ignorance Fighting" center of the Web. Any attempt to discuss retrocausality there is met with derision, non sequiturs and silence.
    ...
    How revolting! Mind sharing a link to that board?

  5. Top | #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    ...
    This conversation reminds me again how different this TFT board is from another Board that bills itself as the "Ignorance Fighting" center of the Web. Any attempt to discuss retrocausality there is met with derision, non sequiturs and silence.
    ...
    How revolting! Mind sharing a link to that board?
    That board has a rule against mentioning other message-boards! Assuming that's not an issue here, Google "Fighting ignorance since 1973" and select 'Message Board' from the first hit. That board has much higher traffic than TFT, I think. Some months ago, they made a big software change with user interface and look-feel completely different from before. (Many users are dissatisfied with that; Searches now seem to work poorly.)

    I've stopped participating on that board. When I did participate it was with a username different from 'Swammerdami.'

  6. Top | #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Here's a cool BBC video on the subject:

    Why our dreams could be the key to time travel

    Talks about precognition and a few other things. Very interesting.
    I was wondering about "retrocausality" long before I'd heard that term, and long before I'd read Huw Price's Time's Arrow and Archimedes Point*. It sounds like such thinking has become more mainstream!

    If we start accepting precognition as real and due to "quantum retrocausality" we might also wonder if evolution of Earth's life operates faster than random due to a teleology!
    Greg Egan's Teranesia is a science fiction novel with a similar premise. It posits a mutation in DNA, that allows natural selection not based on random recombination, but by looking at all possible mutations and choosing the mutations that are most prevalent across all possible worlds. This accelerates the evolution in weird ways.

    Personally, I think that if retrocausality was possible, we'd see examples of it across the board, not just in brains of humans or complex mammals. There would be worms and plants that could see the future and take advantage of it. So far there is no such evidence, hence I don't think it's happening for humans either.

    As for the topic of the thread, I think that it is inherently very difficult to measure one's "speed" of perception. It's different for every person and there is no way to compare it to anything. Smarter people with higher IQ probably do perceive more in the sense that their brains can process information faster (this is what IQ tests mostly measure), but that doesn't map directly to our experience of time. For example, in a stressful situation time seems to slow down, but it doesn't actually do that: we just tend to remember more details from a dangerous situation and our brains construct that as having happened in slow motion. It's an evolutionary trait that allows us to learn from close calls.

  7. Top | #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjay View Post
    Personally, I think that if retrocausality was possible, we'd see examples of it across the board, not just in brains of humans or complex mammals. There would be worms and plants that could see the future and take advantage of it. So far there is no such evidence, hence I don't think it's happening for humans either.
    In a rushing river, there will be very few molecules moving upstream (though a few fish may consume much energy and move upstream).

    Similarly, with the strong directed rush of entropy in our part of the galaxy, 99.9999% of macroscopic causal connections will have the usual past-future ordering.

    Precognition is still hard to explain, even if one accepts quantum retrocausality.

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