Future subjective time

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that we are having this discussion after the Technological Singularity. Taking my usual optimistic point of view, the version of the Technological Singularity that I envision is one in which we humans can upload our minds into cyberspace, and from there we all get to live forever (if we want to), while treating ourselves to yummy software upgrades, as we happily ride the wave of Moore’s Law.

So I’m not talking about some evil A.I. wiping us out. Rather, I’m talking about us replacing ourselves with ourselves, as a species that might be called Humans 2.0.

In this scenario, what will be our subjective experience of a second of time? After all, the laws of physics are now being simulated, so one second of subjective time is no longer constrained to correspond to an objective physical constant.

Instead, should we choose to, we can calibrate a subjective human second of experience to be whatever is convenient. We might, for example, choose to set one subjective human second to what we now think of as a millisecond. I don’t know why we would do that — maybe for reasons that have to do with power conservation — but we could.

Or maybe we will go the other way, setting one subjective human second to 1000 physical seconds. That will have the advantage of giving that big simulation in the Cloud more time to calculate our collective mental process.

If you think of it this way, maybe one way we can effectively accelerate Moore’s Law (and thereby giving ourselves yummy mental power-ups) is by gradually slowing down our subjective time. In the long run, a single second in Human 2.0 time might end up taking longer and longer.

Eventually it might stretch out to years, or even centuries. But we won’t notice.

At least not for another few billion years. Then we will notice.

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