The unconsidered factor
Are you thinking? <stop the clock: time is 00:000> NO!! You are reading. The mind is not multi-tasking. You can read or think but not read and think. Your mind is skipping down an algorithm to see if there is a match (preprogrammed response) for someone asking if you are thinking. <advance clock to 00:005 (½ second)> You have reached a decision point on the algorithm. The mind slides the time forward ½ second so that you have the ILLUSION of continuity. Lets say you decide I’m strato-cumulus and decide to read another article. You toss this in the trash and pick up another article. The point is that during this ½ second you are without volition. Do not confuse this with a reflex which is measured in fractions of a second. Or with a reaction which is <1/2 second. This is a reaction which takes 1/2 seconds. So lets say you decide to keep reading <start the clock: time is 00.005> data continues to be read into a FIFO buffer to be processed as reactions points are triggered. After, say 5 minutes you lay the article down and reach a decision point to ponder what you have read. The FIFO buffer empties and is processed. <start the clock time is 05:005> access left hemisphere 3 sec <05:035> access right hemisphere 3 sec <05:065> return to algorithm ½ sec <05:070> <stop the clock> Up till now we still have not done any thinking, we have only searched our mind for possible matches. Bear in mind that during this 7 seconds we are without volition. WE DO NOT NORMALLY THINK REAL TIME. This has extreme negative survival value in an environment where there are nasty critters that want to eat us. If we decide to actually think the time would be indeterminate. (head in the clouds, penny for you thoughts, daydreaming is thinking real time)
It is impossible for a creature that thinks real time to have survived to evolve into humans. Charlie Chimp would be Lion Lunch if he stood around with his head up his ass for 7 seconds. He wouldn’t have any offspring. There would be no Stanford psychologists for el Loco Gringo to make fun of, and that would make el Loco Gringo very sad.
But, you may protest, we don’t go through all these steps. No, but the mind does. So when do we think? Well, if you’re sitting at you desk in an air conditioned office and there isn’t a lion prowling the halls looking for lunch, you’re probably safe. Most thinking, however, is done in dreaming, where various scenarios are played out so the optimal solution can be used to modify the appropriate decision point on the algorithm, so that when you are operating in your normal environment you don’t have to have a 7 second pause between question and answer. These dreams are in full color and indistinguishable from reality. That’s why they have to be flushed upon awakening.
Time is, after all only in our head. It is our mind’s way of interpreting motion.