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The Speed of Thought

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#11
Pagafyr

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Well, technically, everything we view is seen at the speed of light. Sight is nothing more than our eyes (or our skin/body tissue in the case of Ultraviolet, Infra-red and Microwaves) reacting chemically to photons. What we "see" is simply light reflected from an object, but remember that light only travels at it's famous 186,000 miles, approximately,  per sec in a vacuum. It slows down considerably as soon as it hits something or passes through something.

 

As for "VOIP" or any signal travelling over fibre optic cable, remember it's not actually a "voice" recording, but simply digital data ( i.e. 1's and 0's) and that information can travel at "light speed" (the actual speed of which will be determined by the quality of the cable itself).

 

 

If you are just beginning your journey I might suggest a few books:

 

For a really fun and easy to follow introduction you could perhaps try "Strange Universe" by Bob Berman - It has almost no "technical" stuff, but it does explain MANY fascinating things.

 

"The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. - This book starts off fairly painlessly, but it does get quite "heavy" as the chapters go on. It's also more about the development of String Theory, however it touches upon many subjects.

 

I also liked "The Disappearing Spoon" by Sam Kean - This one is mostly about Chemistry and the Periodic Table, but it does cover virtually every scientific field in the process, and is a very enlightening read.

 

I wouldn't recommend anything by Lawrence Krauss. As brilliant and amazing a physicist as he is, I tend to find his views very "narrow", even condescending of other fields and other nationalities.

 

It's interesting how many of the toys and books I was influenced by.  Chemistry set, microscope with prepared slides, and extra's, and all the laboratory equipment that came with it for 10 year olds and Up with Adult Supervising.  A magician kit all for ages 5 to 10 years old and up.  Here I am delving into the past and with the speed of thought in mind.  I only want to be able to type 20 words a minute to keep up with the speed of my internal speed which seems just a little fast for me.  Maybe if I could type 250 words a minute I would be able to get all of the flowing thought onto the electronic Chalkboard in front of me before they go all the way around my internal galaxy of worlds and ideas and back around another time.

 

Thank you for the books to read.  

 

It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

 

I considered several points, of yours, and the strongest thought I had was about focusing our mind internally and creating images representing being in a picture.   We see family pictures, we see other parts of the world we've visited replayed on our thoughts asleep and even while in dream sleep.   I've seen pictures of an entire Galaxy from afar and watched as a camera slowly zoomed in so I can, respectively, imagine it in my own mind now.  Am I a camera with zoom ability, am I a recorder, and alsw able to create 4th dimension images, or only 3D?

 

I believe if more people have experienced mental imagery in their childhood they could produce such in their minds and actually see the motion of the sails on ship and it sailing along on moving waters, as the ship rocked side to side, and the skies lights and shadows beaming in and out if we have been able to practice such mental creative thinking.

 

Do you agree that, that detail, even holographic images can be achieved with internal mental functions?

 

It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

Tachyons travel faster than light. :D

 

 

I realize the entry of thought and sometimes the speed which my hurried life senses I am doing my best to keep up with my mental agenda calling out take steps as fast as needed to get to the appointment and then remember what I am going to do and say when I get there sometimes, sometimes my mind is like a mobile phone announcing my agenda so I am a little white rabbit crying, I'm late I'm late, excuse me but I must be going, I am late.

 

Your post arrived just in time to catch my thoughts I was going to post before it was posted HeyYou.  I almost did and complete 360 so got around my internal Sun and was back at the speed of light with all my other thought reviewed, replayed, and ready for the other posted friends notes so didn't lose where I was and what I had plans to write before you posted your short, but quick to remind us, that there are Tachyons.   :cool:  Sunglasses required when staring into the light so you don't go through the wrong White Hole in  the Universe with your back to the Black Holes we seem to have made bright for a moment while we sailed through on a light beam and ended up here, and then we can make sure we don't end up in someone else's families' light, love, and life in their reality.



#12
Shadowheart328

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It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

Tachyons travel faster than light. :D

 

Hypothetically  :rolleyes:



#13
HeyYou

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It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

Tachyons travel faster than light. :D

 

Hypothetically  :rolleyes:

 

A LOT of what we 'know', is purely hypothetical. :D



#14
Pagafyr

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It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

Tachyons travel faster than light. :D

 

Hypothetically  :rolleyes:

 

A LOT of what we 'know', is purely hypothetical. :D

 

 

Do you propose any hypothetical insight as to what you brought to light has to further the debate along to find out if with Tachyons as a part of this how the speed of thought might be with tachyons in the picture?

 

Do you suppose that thought can be slowed down or the speed of thought increased with Tachyons aid or removal?



#15
Shadowheart328

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It depends on how you're viewing it. 

From a purely scientific standpoint nothing is faster than light (as far as we are aware) hence the whole E = mc2 formula. At the end of the day, thoughts are just the result of electric signals between neurons which I believe the fastest recorded was about 120 m/s (and I'm not even sure those are the ones we use for thought). This is much, much slower than the speed of light. Granted we are talking about light in a vacuum, but even if that weren't the case, our brain and the nerves in it don't work in a vacuum either, and is still slower than light. In fact I'm pretty sure our thoughts are actually slower than the speed of sound. Now this is all assuming we are talking about the process of thinking, (the firing off of electrical signals between neurons) thoughts themselves are immaterial and thus don't 'move'.

From a philosophical perspective though it can be argued that thoughts are faster than light. The most common argument I've heard for that in some of my college classes, was that you can imagine yourself on the moon or some distant planet, and be there faster than it would take light to travel there. However, this isn't really thought's being faster than light, more than it is you painting a picture in your head, you're thoughts aren't moving to that distant planet or moon so they still aren't faster than light.

As for slowing down our thoughts, again it goes down to whether or not you are talking about scientifically (physically) or philosophically. In which case scientifically I don't believe we can, but philosophically, it's a tossup. 

Source: Math and Computer Science major, with physics minor (So not an authority on the field of physics, but I have basic knowledge to carry a conversation haha)

Tachyons travel faster than light. :D

 

Hypothetically  :rolleyes:

 

A LOT of what we 'know', is purely hypothetical. :D

 

You're not completely wrong.  :laugh: 

But Tachyons are literally hypothetical. They don't exist as far as we are aware and is just a hypothetical particle that travels faster than light, but would break all modern physics laws, so it probably doesn't exist. But again, only physics minor, if anyone has more knowledge about them outside of a textbook, then I'll defer to that  :happy:



#16
Perraine

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Well, we also the hypothetical "Graviton". Another particle that hypothetically exists - Firstly due to the fact that ... well ... Every other "force" in nature has a "messenger" particle, so shouldn't gravity as well? And the the existence of the graviton "may" help explain some unusual results seen in experiments. It's also a particle that has been "tentatively" proven to exists using the as yet unfinished String Theory. So being merely "hypothetical" doesn't necessarily negate the existence of something, it may just be that "theory" hasn't caught up yet.

 

Then too, you have the hypothesis that anti-matter is actually a particle travelling backwards in time (whatever or however THAT works), then moving forward again to meet it's future self.

 

Or one of my favourite particles, the Muon. Whose lives are measured in nanoseconds, yet, because of their near light speed travel arrangements, manage to make it all the way from the Sun, through Earths atmosphere, and then through you, which happens millions of times every second, and yet sometimes they will "bump" into an atom in your body and cause a mutation. Speedy little buggers flying through the earth like Luke Skywalker in his Trench Run, occasionally hitting that darn exhaust port! :happy: All because friken' Einstein couldn't keep his mouth shut and stop thinking about things!!!

 

And don't even get me started on the hypothetical "Anyon". :huh:



#17
Striker879

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Well, we also the hypothetical "Graviton". Another particle that hypothetically exists - Firstly due to the fact that ... well ... Every other "force" in nature has a "messenger" particle, so shouldn't gravity as well? And the the existence of the graviton "may" help explain some unusual results seen in experiments. It's also a particle that has been "tentatively" proven to exists using the as yet unfinished String Theory. So being merely "hypothetical" doesn't necessarily negate the existence of something, it may just be that "theory" hasn't caught up yet.

 

Then too, you have the hypothesis that anti-matter is actually a particle travelling backwards in time (whatever or however THAT works), then moving forward again to meet it's future self.

 

Or one of my favourite particles, the Muon. Whose lives are measured in nanoseconds, yet, because of their near light speed travel arrangements, manage to make it all the way from the Sun, through Earths atmosphere, and then through you, which happens millions of times every second, and yet sometimes they will "bump" into an atom in your body and cause a mutation. Speedy little buggers flying through the earth like Luke Skywalker in his Trench Run, occasionally hitting that darn exhaust port! :happy: All because friken' Einstein couldn't keep his mouth shut and stop thinking about things!!!

 

And don't even get me started on the hypothetical "Anyon". :huh:

 

I liked Brian Greene's answer to an audience question after one his recent talks. He said he doesn't discount anything out of hand. He uses Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity as a foundation for why he doesn't ... Einstein's paper wasn't immediately accepted, in fact it was derided as the product of an poorly educated patent clerk. We all know how that worked out for his detractors.

 

Brian went on to tell how he receives hundreds of ideas every year, and explains that so few get a proper review simply due to his own time constraints. He postulates that there is a chance the next advance needed to push back the boundaries of our understanding of the universe may very well sit in his boxes of unread proposals.



#18
Pagafyr

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I find it very comforting to read that many people have stored in their memories important science knowledge.  It is of import.  The subject matter that started us on the path to these mathematical equations gave us so much to create.  A car that uses gasoline just ignited fuel and the sound of being well tuned filled the air just as I typed the last sentence.  It reminded me how important science is to the person who has that car.  Whether they know it or not!
 
The speed of that car, we can determine where as many years ago we barely knew how to determined distance, except by how tired we got while taking a hike.  How far we traveled wasn't measured until someone came up with the idea to measure things.  Oh, I feel almost certain that was long before someone even had an idea what a cubit was.  I've read enough books on the history of how Mathematics brought sense to the mind so we knew we were actually on our feet and standing up.  I've so many short clip notes describing how one man changed the world.
 
 
 
Yes!  I see that I am grasping at /// or maybe \\\ and it makes me think of a milkshake I could be drinking.  In a 1950's soda shop sharing it with a girl across the table in our booth with two straws \ /.
 
 
 
My question about thought.  My quest is about the speed it travels.  I just came back from a place in time that was before anyone touched upon Earth had an idea to measure anything.  Stood in a field where no one bothered to think about that bit of grain they were chewing on they took off of the straw leaving it bare of fruit, and stopped off in a Soda shop to where a nickle in the Jukebox started playing noise that couples danced to preparing for the weekend to go to the Hop.  And I did it in under 10 minutes of writing.
 
 
 
Here I sit in my combination furniture able to switch it from a bed to a couch to a chair in under 2 minutes.  Just thinking about it makes me feel exhilarated.  I slept well in the bed when it was one.  I awakened when Perraine posted a moment before I was sent a post alert to my mobile phone.  How fast the speed of the electronic message traveled isn't really comparing to the speed of thought.
 
 
 
I went back to sleep, only to find myself musing over the computer and wondering what kind of response I would have.  Not dreaming.  Just about as asleep as I can get, like the times I read about a person was sitting at their desk calculating mindful of their latest thought about the end of their equation and nothing, nothing interrupted them because their attention was so intensely focused on working out the equation again to assure them it was correct no one could stir them.  At least not with ringing a bell, tapping them on a shoulder, or literally yelling something out so frightening it wakes anyone who has heard the siren of danger call to them to flee.
 
 
 
Then Striker879 posted.  And again my focus returned to fully awake.  Only a second or two did I beat the musical notes being played.  The speed of electrically transmitted machine language noise is what I could have called this thread.  And I am so attuned to anyone posting to that which I am included.  Not while they think of what to write, not while they pause and hold their head to let it cool, only when they click on the image of a button that is a switch that turns on the light in my mind while I am concentrating in the dark trying to find the switch to light up my own library of stored memories so I can discuss where we left off with some aids from other authors we all have read books from some.
 
 
 
Are you concentrating that you are so deep in thought that just a single knock, shout, or shock will move you from your inner mind focusing on that piece which keeps you returning to see your own mathematic equation so you feel assured it is correct before you get up in front of the students and show them what you have discovered?
 
 
 
Or are you looking in your deepest corners of your mental library, stacks of your notes, and your own internal envelopes of unread mail, or something you haven't had the time to discuss the words you thought, still hanging in air there without a period to keep the words from sliding off the paper's edge? 
 
 
 
What time is it?!  I remember someone said the words with a meaning that wasn't asking what the time was.  They meant to remind us what the time was supposed to be getting used for.


#19
Pagafyr

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Because it's Friday I am turning away from the Library to go do some plans for fun stuff.  No clicking your posts will interrupt me now.

 

Because I am focused on the idea that being the Pirate Captain of the Year keeps me thinking about when he entered his Greatest Discovery of all time at the Science Convention.  

 



#20
Striker879

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LOL ... reading the first of this last pair of posts had me thinking Paga. Should craft a reply to a Paga post or not? If I do, should I be so bold as to click the Post button and possibly disturb poor Paga's slumber?

 

As if life wasn't already complicated enough!!







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