Re: Travelling the Stars

Anders Sandberg (
09 Dec 1998 12:44:25 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> I think that we all still experience time at the same rate no matter how
> much is behind or ahead of us.
> Notice that
> small children who have fast metabolisms think 10 minutes is forever, but
> ten minutes tends to zip right by a senior citizen....

Subjective time seems to change over our biological lifespans (an observed psychophysical fact) - a day is experienced as much longer by a child than an old adult, and similarly for most other measures of time. Exactly why this happens is unclear (maybe we compare a span of time to the amount of time we have experienced, maybe our neurons slow down, maybe as we mature more conscious processes become automated and we notice fewer task transitions in a given length of time).

> Learning to slow down our own perception of
> time, either by a metabolic shift or by changing electronic clocks if we
> are uploaded, is the key to such a change as you describe.

After all, spending a few millennia alone or with a small number of companions might be rather tiring unless you have something worthwhile to do. The strategies adopted by the characters in Egan's Diaspora were rather manifold: one spent a long journey building mathematical systems on ver own, another was in a suspended state and some temporarily reprogrammed themselves into astronomy monomaniacs eagerly watching the progression of stars across the sky over the centuries.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y