[ExI] Continuity of experience

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 27 11:23:22 UTC 2010

Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com> wrote:

> I haven't seen much to convince me that time is quantized,
> so I could
> just divide by 2*10^21 again. We could be here forever.
> Yeah, I see the point. It's a fine point. It gives me
> pause. But, I am
> not sure that my mind flickers in the way you're implying
> it flickers.
> You can pick whatever time scale you want. Find a definite
> period
> during which I have had *absolutely no mind*, and you win.
> I don't
> think such a period is physically possible short of
> traditionally-irreversible death.

OK, if you don't accept that time is quantised, this could be a problem.

Or maybe not..  Just to be clear, when you say 'absolutely no mind', can I assume this is the same as saying 'no change of brain state'?

If so, then surely there must be some tiny infinitesimal period of time during which the brain does not change, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't accept quantised time. (If you don't buy plank time, does that mean you also don't buy quantised matter or energy or information?   Is it even theoretically possible to have quantisation in one without the others?)

> The point to refute is that there isn't any gap between
> those two minds, not even a little one

I think there *has to be* a gap, you just need to go down far enough on the time scale.  There must be a time of such a short duration that it's impossible for anything to occur that has any significance to a brain.  If time is quantised, then maybe there is no time so short that absolutely nothing happens between one tick and the next, but the events possible in that short time will be on the very smallest scale, and be very far from making any difference whatsoever to a brain.

(Of course you could claim that if even the tiniest motion of a single particle of the smallest possible bit of subatomic matter in your brain is missed out, you'd die, but that would be a rather Swobian argument, don't you think?)

Ben Zaiboc


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