I recently visited a state park (Colorado Bend State Park). Hiking roughly 6 miles up and downstream the river as well as to a little spot known as Gorman falls. The view was absolutely stunning and it gave me some time to reflect, fish, explore and just sort of stand there the water and overlook for nearly an hour or more.
It’s remarkable to think about what has happened over the last decade, let alone the last year in 2020. In the last 10 years, I’ve gone through a few startups, started my own, sold a piece of a company, worked in data science, got married, had a kid of my own, moved to Utah, to Florida, to Utah, to Texas, the list of momentous times in my life continue to get more inspiring and shocking as the years go by. Each year I am taken aback by at least 1 thing that seems to disrupt my way of thinking.
In any case, this hike I went on was absolutely gorgeous and it gave me pause to consider my ancestors who may have walked along similar physical paths along that river. I know full well that the river isn’t the same as it was in their time, and neither is my path - but the feeling that generations of people once hiked and stood where I stood is something to think about. I often think about how generations prior to me would spend their time, what captivated their interest, did they have the same problem of their attention being manipulated or harvested like today’s world? In some ways, going back far enough, you still get generations of humans who communicated in art, in music, dance, feasts, and marveling at nature. Take a moment, whenever you can to step outside your sphere of modern comfort and connect with this feeling - it’s humbling.
No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.
While I was leaving and heading towards ths state park I was listening to a book about how the brain interprets the world around you all through signals it receives. The construction of reality is actually delayed and then replayed back to you in the form of a memory query. This memory query has a sort of time dilation effect where the more disrupting and more engaged your amigidlia is (for instance in an accident) the more likely you are to think that the event somehow either moved in slow motion or took significantly longer than it actually occurred in reality. The reason why we have this effect at all is merely a result of that memory query our brain is constantly doing.
In these kind of events, the “what just happened”, actually returns quite a bit of information as the amigidlia took over to lay down as much detail as possible about a situation. In normal circumstances, these details go unnoticed and the time effect seems rather normal with details a bit blury.
Consider that light, sound, sensory touch, smell, taste all have a distance they must travel to reach the proper destination. Then consider the time delay it actually takes for the layers of either hardware, interneurons, and synapse structure to actually come to a conclusion about the signals mean - in so much that most of things such as vision is typically associated with action and movement. That is, meaning is derived by our action and interaction with it. Then consider that your eyes can only truly focus the gaze one frame at a time with about a 20ms delay between the rapid movement your eyes actually do when it’s moving about to read or view. Your brain takes all these time delays into account, then constructs a reality around it. In effect, you are perpetually querying what just happened with your brain creating a chronological timelapse (including and especially vision!) such that the entire experience is seemless!
Even our thoughts, our ideas, our actions follow this same kind of delayed model. The unconcious is already deriving and iterating on thousands of concepts, connections, iterations, predictions before it ever reaches your frontal cortex. By the time it actually reaches that stage you state “I just thought of something”, when in reality, quite a bit of work has already been done for you. It’s hard to fathom just how much of what is perceived as reality is a result of this miracle of signal interpretations.
Time passing by
All in all, the day trip was very humbling to say the least. I haven’t had a solo trip like this in years. It was truly a nice way to just honor the passage of time and posit the passage of time and everything that has happened.