What is CTD?

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What is CTD?

Post Number:#1  Postby RJG » October 14th, 2017, 10:57 am

What is CTD?

CTD is Conscious Time Delay. It is the delay in time between that which happens in reality (in ‘real-time’) and that which happens in the conscious mind of the observer (in ‘conscious-time’).

We feel that we experience reality ‘as’ it is happening. We feel that our ‘present’ conscious experiences are in sync with the present happenings of reality. But, this is not the case. Because of CTD, everything that we are ‘presently’ conscious of, are of ‘past’ events. When we see a car traveling (at 40 mph) down the street, we fully assume this car to be where we see it, when in actuality, it is at least 9’ (3 meters) in front of where our eyes tell us.

Although we view ‘reality’ through ‘consciousness’ (our conscious experiences), our conscious view is ‘skewed’; it is a ‘time delayed’ view of reality. This means that ‘everything’ that we are conscious of has already happened PRIOR to our conscious awareness/experience of it.

There are at least 3 factors involved in our CTD; transmission, translation, and recognition. Using the above example, 1) the transmission delay is the time it takes for light waves to bounce off the object (car) and enter into our eyes, 2) the translation delay is the time it takes for the conversion of these light waves into the electrical signals that the brain can then understand, and finally, the most significant is 3) the recognition delay is the time it takes to match these signals/patterns to corresponding memory patterns so as to “know” what one experiences. Current science tells us that the average human takes 150-200 milliseconds to “recognize”.

Note: It is not necessarily the ‘amount’ of the time delay that really matters here. It is the ‘realization’ of the ‘time delay’ itself, and its effect on our understanding of “now”; i.e. on our present conscious moment/experiences.

To help better understand -- Imagine watching a “live-broadcasted” sporting event on TV. We believe that what we see (on the tv) is actually happening in ‘real-time’, but due to “network transmission delays” of up to 7 seconds, our ‘present’ view actually consists of ‘past’ events. While we may see the batter on TV going through his warm-up swings, but back at Fenway Park, in so-called ‘real-time’, he has already hit a home run, ...we just don’t know it yet!

We view live sporting events through the ‘time-delayed’ view of our TV. And likewise, we view reality through the ‘time-delayed’ window of consciousness. ...this being our ‘only’ view of reality.

The logic goes like this:

    P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible. This includes human conscious experiences (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

    P2. None of our conscious processes are ‘exempt’ from this ‘time delay’, as ALL processes consume time.

    C. Therefore, our ‘present’ conscious experience(s) are of ‘past’ events, and our ‘future’ (next) conscious experiences have already happened, (...we just don’t ‘know’ it yet).

We are, in effect, being ‘fed’ our conscious experiences. That which happens, ‘necessarily’ happens. This conclusion is a bit ‘chilling’, as it destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.

So, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually “consciously do” anything, ...we are only “conscious” of what we’ve “done”.
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What is CTD?



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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#2  Postby LuckyR » October 15th, 2017, 2:25 am

Yet we can play tennis, ie strike a ball that is not where you think it is (according to your post). How is this possible? Well because you left out the compensation that our brains put into the image to make up for the delay, hence we see where things actually are, even though we receive input that tells us differently, as you correctly describe.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#3  Postby Togo1 » October 16th, 2017, 6:01 am

RJG wrote:There are at least 3 factors involved in our CTD; transmission, translation, and recognition. Using the above example, 1) the transmission delay is the time it takes for light waves to bounce off the object (car) and enter into our eyes, 2) the translation delay is the time it takes for the conversion of these light waves into the electrical signals that the brain can then understand, and finally, the most significant is 3) the recognition delay is the time it takes to match these signals/patterns to corresponding memory patterns so as to “know” what one experiences. Current science tells us that the average human takes 150-200 milliseconds to “recognize”.


This isn't current science. This is the Libet series of experiments from the 1970s.


RJG wrote:
    P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible. This includes human conscious experiences (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

    P2. None of our conscious processes are ‘exempt’ from this ‘time delay’, as ALL processes consume time.

    C. Therefore, our ‘present’ conscious experience(s) are of ‘past’ events, and our ‘future’ (next) conscious experiences have already happened, (...we just don’t ‘know’ it yet).


C doesn't follow from P1 and P2. You're assuming that events have no duration. Once events have a duration, then a time delay in processing doesn't imply that a event has completed before consciousness begins, it merely implies that has started before consciousness begins. Which would make sense under almost any model.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#4  Postby RJG » October 18th, 2017, 1:11 pm

LuckyR wrote:Yet we can play tennis, ie strike a ball that is not where you think it is (according to your post). How is this possible?

Lucky, you seem to imply that consciousness is necessary to move our bodies about, and to hit a tennis ball.

Remember, EVERYTHING (and I mean 'everything') that we are conscious of has already happened; we can only be conscious of 'past' events. We can't be conscious-of-X, without X 'already' existing/happening.

We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about.
We can only be conscious of our bodies moving about.

We can’t consciously hit tennis balls, we can only be conscious of hitting tennis balls.


RJG wrote:P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible. This includes human conscious experiences (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

P2. None of our conscious processes are ‘exempt’ from this ‘time delay’, as ALL processes consume time.

C. Therefore, our ‘present’ conscious experience(s) are of ‘past’ events, and our ‘future’ (next) conscious experiences have already happened, (...we just don’t ‘know’ it yet).

Togo1 wrote:C doesn't follow from P1 and P2. You're assuming that events have no duration. Once events have a duration, then a time delay in processing doesn't imply that a event has completed before consciousness begins, it merely implies that has started before consciousness begins. Which would make sense under almost any model.

1. Events have duration. Events cannot be events without duration.

2. CTD is just a ‘shift’ or ‘lag’ between that which happens in real-time (reality), and that which happens in conscious-time (the mind of the conscious observer). The beginning of one event in reality is the beginning of the same event in the conscious mind. The only difference is the separation of time. The “completing” of an event has no relevance to this time lag.

3. Let’s assume for discussion sake, that CTD is 5 full seconds, then this means that the next 5 seconds of our life has already been determined; it has already happened (in reality; real-time), it just hasn't (consciously) 'played out' yet.

Everything that we are going to experience, (including our doing, saying, feeling, thinking, sensing) in the next (and continuing) 5 seconds, has already been set in motion, and has already 'played out' in reality. We can't "consciously do" or experience anything other than what our bodies have already done.

The ‘amount’ of CTD does not matter. Whether CTD is 5, 0.5, or 0.000005 seconds, it does not change the before/after relationship, nor the impossibility of “consciously doing” anything.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#5  Postby Chili » October 18th, 2017, 5:27 pm

If we take "can" and "can't" out of the above and simply place "do" or "happens to us" would that make it more or less accurate in your view, or mostly the same?
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#6  Postby Togo1 » October 18th, 2017, 7:37 pm

[quote="RJG"]
We can’t consciously hit tennis balls, we can only be conscious of hitting tennis balls.

Given that this concept of a delay applies both to conscious and unconscious processes, how do we hit tennis balls at all?
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#7  Postby Atreyu » October 18th, 2017, 8:25 pm

Great post, RJG. Everything you said is pretty much incontestable and important.

You've given another good example which shows how our views of ourselves could not be correct, an important realization in psychology....
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#8  Postby Burning ghost » October 18th, 2017, 8:44 pm

Just to be clear RJG is suggesting that because sensible data takes time to process this means consciousness has no causal effect. He jumps from one point to another with a leap of faith.

What he fails to do is present any evidence or reasoning to back this up and instead presents the argument as if we're all disagree with the point that biochemical processes take time (which no one would dispute and he seems to think is an original thought for some bizarre reason?)
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#9  Postby RJG » October 18th, 2017, 10:27 pm

Chili wrote:If we take "can" and "can't" out of the above and simply place "do" or "happens to us" would that make it more or less accurate in your view, or mostly the same?

I've said “can” and “can't” quite a bit above, which specific sentences are you referring to.

Togo1 wrote:
RJG wrote:We can’t consciously hit tennis balls, we can only be conscious of hitting tennis balls.

Given that this concept of a delay applies both to conscious and unconscious processes...

Not so. This time delay is about the difference ‘between’ real-time and conscious-time. It is the time delay between the (unconscious) real-time happening of X, and the conscious realization of this X.

*******

Atreyu, thank you for the kind words.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#10  Postby Burning ghost » October 18th, 2017, 11:05 pm

RJG -

How do you know what "real time" is? Surely "real time" is simply some thing known only at a temporal distance so your idea of "real time" is merely "conscious time".

You may as well be saying flibble flobble wah wung de bassus, at least that would have some kind of euphonic quality to it.

Basically, it case I have not been clear enough, you are saying the this time difference is known to us consciously. Yet, you also say that we cannot know this, but that we do. We obviously (according to your strange analysis) cannot actually test for this in some future sense because we are unable to causally effect the future and devise some method of experimentation to test such a thing ... yet we have done this, and we can measure the time delay? Is your view that the brain is doing this and that the brain is separate from your consciousness?

Gazzaniga's "interpreter" view may be of use in untangling all of this. Not that I expect you to actually READ something in the subject, but for the sake of others:

psy.plymouth.ac.uk/research/mattroser/p ... script.pdf

note: If you'd taken the time to do some research you'd have been able to cherry pick facts from here and give a more robust façade to your idea. So you now have some new ammunition(if you care to read it), other than Libet, with which to flummox the unsuspecting and uninformed forum visitor.

-- Updated October 18th, 2017, 11:13 pm to add the following --

ALSO ... when I see someone swing for a tennis ball with their racket I have the ability to understand what could happen in the future. How is this so?

No doubt we're about to enter into more convoluted use of language with your memories of memories of memories? Should we assume you view consciousness as a rigid pipe through which experience flows? If so the pipe serves a purpose and obviously has some interaction with the flow because we "feel".
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#11  Postby LuckyR » October 19th, 2017, 2:04 am

RJG wrote:
LuckyR wrote:Yet we can play tennis, ie strike a ball that is not where you think it is (according to your post). How is this possible?

Lucky, you seem to imply that consciousness is necessary to move our bodies about, and to hit a tennis ball.

Remember, EVERYTHING (and I mean 'everything') that we are conscious of has already happened; we can only be conscious of 'past' events. We can't be conscious-of-X, without X 'already' existing/happening.

We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about.
We can only be conscious of our bodies moving about.

We can’t consciously hit tennis balls, we can only be conscious of hitting tennis balls.


Your post makes no practical sense. The piece you're missing is the difference between two different perspectives. The first is that of an observer who has a magically instantaneous neurological system (the perspective you are using), the other is that of everyone's mind (the one we use every day).

The slight delays between the two you correctly point out are finite and measurable. Yet since magically instantaneous neurological systems don't exist we are left with Real Life (dull and boring as it is).

Your "proof" that tennis is either impossible or a random, unconscious event makes logical sense if your audience doesn't think too hard. Yet tennis can be played, intentionally.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#12  Postby Chili » October 19th, 2017, 9:42 am

The Rosetta stone which clears up the confusion here, is to remove words like "can". Remove "agency" - which is not experimentally verifiable, anyway. This person playing tennis - they have a nervous system ( they *are* a nervous system ?) and a ball is coming at them, and the configuration of neurons reflects what evolution has made them, and what interactions have conditioned. The balls move around, the bodies move around, the person doesn't "can" anymore than the ball does. If panpsychism makes it "like" something to be the person, perhaps this also covers it being "like" something to be the ball. Or quantum woo is a back door for gentle conscious will to be somehow exerted over the individual brain's biological machine. Even in that case, it seems sensible to post some type of cause-and-effect at work between the supernatural mental realm back and forth with the natural physical realm. We could mystically remove "can" from that model, as one things doesn't occur without the other.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#13  Postby Togo1 » October 19th, 2017, 12:49 pm

RJG wrote:
Togo1 wrote:We can’t consciously hit tennis balls, we can only be conscious of hitting tennis balls.

Given that this concept of a delay applies both to conscious and unconscious processes...

Not so. This time delay is about the difference ‘between’ real-time and conscious-time. It is the time delay between the (unconscious) real-time happening of X, and the conscious realization of this X.[/quote]

No, the actual event is not unconscious, the actual event happens outside the human body.

The point I am making is that unconscious processes also have a time delay. All processes in the human body, without exception, that deal with information from outside the body, have a time delay between themselves and the real world. If a time delay dooms us to only see events that have already happened, how is it we play tennis?
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#14  Postby RJG » October 22nd, 2017, 3:05 pm

Burning ghost wrote:ALSO ... when I see someone swing for a tennis ball with their racket I have the ability to understand what could happen in the future. How is this so?

Your thoughts of “what could happen in the future” are just ‘thoughts’. Since you have the ability to recognize (be conscious of) your thoughts, then you have the ability to recognize the thoughts of what could happen in the future.

LuckyR wrote:Yet tennis can be played, intentionally.

Not so. For how does one play “intentionally”? Does one 'intend' their own intentionality?

“Intentionality” is a self-contradictory concept (i.e. “self-stultification”). One cannot “intend” anything without there existing the prior “intention” to do so. This prior “intention” defeats any viability of true 'intentionality', making the term itself self-contradictory (nonsensical).


Chili wrote:The Rosetta stone which clears up the confusion here, is to remove words like "can". Remove "agency" - which is not experimentally verifiable, anyway. This person playing tennis - they have a nervous system ( they *are* a nervous system ?) and a ball is coming at them, and the configuration of neurons reflects what evolution has made them, and what interactions have conditioned. The balls move around, the bodies move around, the person doesn't "can" anymore than the ball does.

Good point. Yes, agreed.


Togo1 wrote:If a time delay dooms us to only see events that have already happened, how is it we play tennis?

CTD has NO effect on the body’s ability to play tennis. Your question seemingly implies that consciousness is ‘required’ to play tennis. It is not possible to 'do' (or 'play') anything consciously. The body performs lots of amazing and complex tasks without consciousness. When the body moves to the left to be in position to hit the tennis ball, then 150 ms (CTD) later, the tennis player will then be conscious of moving to the left. When the body hits the ball back over the net, then 150 ms later, the tennis player will then be conscious of hitting the ball over the net. ...and so on, ...and so on.

Remember, our bodies experience and react BEFORE we are conscious of these experiences and reactions. Consciousness 'lags' reality by the value of CTD. Also note, that our conscious experiences are just 'mental representations’ of the real events themselves.
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Re: What is CTD?

Post Number:#15  Postby JamesOfSeattle » October 22nd, 2017, 5:15 pm

RJG, I accept the nature of CTD, but I disagree with your conclusion that
it destroys any viability of conscious control (aka “free-will”, mental causation, conscious causation) or any form or notion of “consciously doing” anything.

What if the fundamental nature of consciousness is an event that looks like
Input --[agent]-->output

So for example, the input is the sight of someone on the other side of a net hitting a ball whose trajectory takes it to your left (something which happened 200 some milliseconds ago) and the output is the start of an action which will move your body to the left after some short delay. Some short time later the input is a visual of the ball reaching the net + the feeling of your body moving to the left (both of which happened some milliseconds ago) and the output is an adjustment of your speed to the left + the initiation of a back swing.

So my question is why is this not conscious control?

BTW, my favorite demonstration of the CTD comes from David Eagleman's book: The Brain. There's a chapter where he talks about the difference in CTD between hearing and sight, using the example of the starter's pistol in a foot race. It turns out that even though the flash of the pistol reaches your eyes before the sound reaches your ears, the processing of the sight takes longer than the processing of the sound. If the runner queues off the flash, she starts later than if she queued off the sound.

*
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