• Michael McMahon
    “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
    (said about a difficult situation in which someone with only a few skills is in a better position and more successful than those people who have none)

    “Our sense of touch is controlled by a huge network of nerve endings and touch receptors in the skin known as the somatosensory system. This system is responsible for all the sensations we feel – cold, hot, smooth, rough, pressure, tickle, itch, pain, vibrations, and more. Within the somatosensory system, there are four main types of receptors: mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, pain receptors, and proprioceptors.”

    Does the fact that light travels faster than everything else inherently make it more fundamental? Might it be possible for the sense of touch to operate in a basically separate causal system? Even though we can visually account for touch in terms of internal proprioceptive cells, could the brain interpret structurally different causal realms? So the slower touch signals correspond to our own kinesthetic awareness coming from the impact of material objects on our skin.

    Light would then be more of a platonic entity which allows us to sense distant objects. I guess colour might be comparable to a complex self-interaction of light to produce visual qualia. Maybe much like an infinity mirror or an upward spiral, light diffusely reflects off objects in myriad ways to give rise to these vivid colours. In the similar way to a photon being supersonic relative to a sound wave, light itself could possibly appear “tachyonic” relative to tactile matter.

    “Kinesthetic: relating to a person's awareness of the position and movement of the parts of the body by means of sensory organs (proprioceptors) in the muscles and joints.”

    “A single person standing in front of the mirror will only see a single image; the infinity of images are hidden “behind” the first image.”

    “Mathematical Platonism is the form of realism that suggests that mathematical entities are abstract, have no spatiotemporal or causal properties, and are eternal and unchanging.”
    - Wikipedia

    “Fractal: an irregular geometric structure that cannot be described by classical geometry because magnification of the structure reveals repeated patterns of similarly irregular, but progressively smaller, dimensions: fractals are especially apparent in natural forms and phenomena because the geometric properties of the physical world are largely abstract, as with clouds, crystals, tree bark, or the path of lightning.”

    There’s still some mystery in our perception of how the different senses can coincide in the brain:
    “The binding problem stemmed from unanswered questions about how mammals (particularly higher primates) generate a unified, coherent perception of their surroundings from the cacophony of electromagnetic waves, chemical interactions, and pressure fluctuations that forms the physical basis of the world around us. It was investigated initially in the visual domain (colour, motion, depth, and form), then in the auditory domain, and recently in the multisensory areas. It can be said therefore, that the binding problem is central to multisensory perception.”
    - Wikipedia
  • Michael McMahon
    I’ve thought a bit more about the Monty Hall problem! Let us imagine the money is behind door 2. In order to explore the bluffing explanation, we need to approach it from the viewpoint of the host.

    If you pick door 1 then the host has no choice but to passively open door 3. This is stipulated by the rule that he must show you a door without the prize.

    If we could go back in time and you instead chose door 3, the host must automatically open door 1.

    If you picked the right answer on the very first go i.e. door 2, then the host has a free volitional option of whether he wants to open door 1 or door 3. It’s entirely up to him which door he wants to choose. So if the host strangely hesitates to think about what door he wants to open, then you can infer that you actually picked the right door. That’s the only psychological factor that can come into play as far as I can see.

    I’m afraid I still don’t comprehend how that alone would be sufficient to shift the probability to two thirds.
  • Michael McMahon


    The above videos imply that we can’t volitionally alter our sense of time. But even so, just imagine if our unconscious/subconscious mind could gradually and subtly alter our time perception. How would we notice an extra millisecond here and there if the alteration occurred during larger weeklong time-spans? A further corollary of antirealist philosophy would be that time passes relative to our own sentient experience.

    By logical necessity we only have a data set of one when it comes to subjective time; that is our very own selves. We never experience how time passes from another person’s point of view.

    The enhanced reaction speeds and evolutionary benefits from a slowed down passage of time would be immense:
    “The big brown bat, for example, sleeps for 20 hours a day. In contrast, newborn killer whales and dolphins hardly sleep for weeks if they are born during a migration; the same goes for their mothers.”

    Nor would it require any supernatural violations of physics as even a simple camera phone can play events in slow motion:
    “Typically this style is achieved when each film frame is captured at a rate much faster than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving more slowly. A term for creating slow motion film is overcranking which refers to hand cranking an early camera at a faster rate than normal (i.e. faster than 24 frames per second). Slow motion can also be achieved by playing normally recorded footage at a slower speed...
    The opposite of slow motion is fast motion. Cinematographers refer to fast motion as undercranking since it was originally achieved by cranking a handcranked camera slower than normal. It is often used for comic, or occasional stylistic effect. Extreme fast motion is known as time lapse photography; a frame of, say, a growing plant is taken every few hours; when the frames are played back at normal speed, the plant is seen to grow before the viewer's eyes.”
    - Wikipedia
    Why therefore wouldn’t the brain be able to subconsciously increase the frame rate of the visual system?

    Nightly dreams elapse rapidly relative to us. It’s easy to understand how things could go wrong if this were the case:
  • Michael McMahon
    “Basically, relativity said that the laws of physics couldn’t depend on how fast you were moving; all you could measure was the velocity of one object relative to another.
    But when Einstein applied this principle to his thought experiment, it produced a contradiction: Relativity dictated that anything he could see while running beside a light beam, including the stationary fields, should also be something Earthbound physicists could create in the lab. But nothing like that had ever been observed.”
    - National Geographic

    If someone travelled at light speed, I guess they’d see a series of still photographic images. The light ahead of them would be stationary relative to their own speed.

    There are obviously many different forces in physics such as the strong nuclear force. But from a philosophical stance, if consciousness isn’t a tactile material entity then for lack of an alternative it must be a bright photonic concoction. There’s simply no other substance that’s so far discovered with such unreal properties.

    We only see light that enters our own eyes; so the light that other people see is invisible to us. Instead of viewing consciousness as a material substance trapped inside of the skull, what if your consciousness was the entirety of the actual light that you perceive in your visual system? Light itself is your consciousness.

    A physical object can’t be accelerated to the speed of light. But if non-material consciousness is itself made of light, then obviously consciousness could effortlessly travel at speed c. It would be as easy as it would be for light emanating from household light bulb.

    A mundane camera can essentially freeze time with a single photograph. Unconscious dreams often take the form of a series of seemingly related photographs through which we confabulate a movie-like dream narrative. Could sleep be where subjective consciousness zaps forward through time at light speed? That for sure would explain the bizarreness of dreams.

    “In physics, a standing wave, also known as a stationary wave, is a wave which oscillates in time but whose peak amplitude profile does not move in space. The peak amplitude of the wave oscillations at any point in space is constant with time, and the oscillations at different points throughout the wave are in phase. The locations at which the absolute value of the amplitude is minimum are called nodes, and the locations where the absolute value of the amplitude is maximum are called antinodes.”
    - Wikipedia
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.