Taking Kurzweil Too Far.. Maybe

by phil on Monday Nov 10, 2003 12:40 AM
brain, science of

You ever look at the seconds on a digital watch and notice that sometimes they seem to move faster?

Like you maybe running around and you look, at it seems to be beating forward quickly, but when you sit and meditate on it, you can make each second feel longer.

When I read Kurzweil's Age of Spiritual Machines, I was introduced to this concept of time being the measure of change.

So I tried applying that to my mind. If I could speed up or slow down the rate of mental change, could I make time feel slower?

Two years ago I tried a little mental experiment. I tried running an evolutionary algorithm on my mind. I'd take a problem in my head, like insecurity lets say, and try to find numerous solutions to it. I'd then experiment with each one, and find the best ones, then re-combine and improve and repeat. Running this process on and on eventually caused rapid tectonic shifts in my mentality and attitudes.

In a short period of time I'd go from rapture to sorrow to confusion etc. My usual emotional cycles of up and down shortened to a feverish pace. I remember at the time feeling like I was going through the longest hour of my life. It was especially hard since I tried doing this while in lecture. My internal clock was going much faster than the professors, and so the contrast was bleeding.

I stopped that nonsense later though, it gave me too much of a headache.

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