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Memories of the 28th Century

Living in the Past

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Livng in the Past

There are two ways to live in the past Some people live in the past for personal or philosophical reasons, but everyone lives in the past because of the time lag in perception.

We do not perceive sensations from our extremities until something around 0.20 seconds have passed; it depends on where and how large the person is, but it is written that nerve impulses travel at about 180 feet per second. That's a lot slower than electricity through wires, but nerves use electrolytes as conductors, and that is much slower than copper or silver. Even the view from out eyes is behind the times. Even though it feels like we immediately know what we see and feel, we don''t. And on top of that there is the time it takes to process the data. Then there's the matter of the brain having made decisions before the subconscious tells the conscious.

It is impossible to know exactly how far behind actual events we are, but it is a significant amount of time, and it varies from person to person. You may have encountered that claim that no one can catch a dollar bill dropped between one's thumb and forefinger. That assertions is false, and I have caught such pieces of paper many times, and I have seen others do the same, but the average person and the majority can't grab that bill. That relates to how far into the past one lives. The average person is more than 0.2 seconds behind the times, but even the speediest people are 0.05 to 0.10 seconds behind the times, and that can be a long time. On the other hand, the subconscious mind sometimes is ahead of the world, but that is variable.

There are reasons to believe that many decisions are made before the conscious mind even thinks a decision was made. Human consciousness is complicated, and it is not certain. It appears that the conscious mind is like a GUI (Graphical User Interface) it looks like it shows us what is happening in the computer, but it is only pictures where a few minor adjustments can be made. But the operating system is the subconscious, and that tells us how to act, think, etc. On the other hand, the subconscious mind knows everything that going on, and that often includes physical conditions, and even future event, sometimes.

Predicting the future is tricky and uncertain, but sometimes people have awareness of what will come in the future. That is partly because time operates in both directions. While time travel is part of General Relativity, physical theories don't generally apply to human minds. But there is a significant correspondence between some mystical experiences and quantum theory. Some people have little respect for quantum theory for that reason. While quantum theory asserts that the wave nature of particles doesn't become a specific point until there is an observation, there are other explanations, and it may simply be a matter of probability, as in Hugh Everett's interpretation. It might also be a matter of when the relevant data becomes apparent.

The question is whether it is wishful thinking or a view of what is to come, and there's only one way to know for sure” Wait and see. But we really do live in the past, and some of our views of the future may simply be views from the actual present or views of the future. It isn't all that important, but being optimistic is generally better.

This reminded me of how things from the past continue to have effect even long after they ceased to exist, and reminded me of the Unicorn, which brought to mind the Eurasian Rhinoceros or Woolly Rhinoceros. That species became extinct about ten or twelve thousand years ago, but the myth of the Unicorn still exists. Somehow the concept of an animal with a horn in the middle of its forehead worked its way into European mythology. The animal was there, but I wonder about the matter of them becoming peaceful with virgins; maybe that was sort of accurate, but we won't know for sure, until we get time machines that work. That would also allow us to find out about the elves, and other races of humans that were absorbed into the general race a long time ago. When one starts thinking about it, it becomes clear that many of the things and ideas that humans think about are from the far distant past. Well that's another reason to work on a time machine.

There are different ways to be living in the past, and being evolved from earlier animals, we have hold overs from the, and it shows, but that's like the ancient memory of the unicorns and other mythical beasts.