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What if consciousness is a staccato frame-rate that seems continuous only because memory is ontologically persistent and the experiential narrative is spatiotemporally consistent – and therefore neurologically predictable?

Or maybe the brain works faster than the frame-rate required for the impression of quotidian conscious identity? That is to say, brains are able to render - at any moment - a convincing selfhood (consciousness complete with sense of its own history) that’s perceptually indistinguishable from an objective continuity of being; but could just as easily have been constructed in that moment rather than emerging as the latest instance in a long persistent sequence of past to present time.

There's precedent for non-continuity feeling continuous in vision, for example, where we actually spend a lot of time functionally blind but what we see is a smooth visual experience that doesn’t flicker on and off. The brain fills-in gaps in our perceived self-existence from one moment to the next, just as it fills-in the moments of blindness to create a continuity in wakeful vision.

Doesn't it become too restrictive to work independently in small teams once the work requires significant resources (technology, specialized equipment, access to outside expertise, singular laboratory conditions, etc etc)? With good reason graduate students to find a place in the most advanced, cutting edge faculty.

Consider. Just on its own, the relatively small Clinical Medicine (Engineering) "school" at Cambridge University has 36,000 ($200 million) clinical and medical devices at one of its sites. Plus access through the Department of Engineering to billions of dollars equipment through the Engineering faculty itself; not to mention sabbatical exchanges etc etc.

Not every project needs access to expensive equipment in specialized labs, I guess. And coding can work using small teams.

But anything involving physical/natural science tech is increasingly out of reach to enthusiastic hobby groups working in their proverbial garden sheds. Am I wrong?

LW paradigm right here. Interesting too.

It's worth considering the wages/worker exploitation angle from top down too, because that's where the deck gets stacked, against both capital and labor.

We can spotlight symptoms of undervalued workers and debate ways this undervaluing may be, potentially, ameliorated e.g. by imposing a minimum wage. But while government is a de facto enforcer for monopolistic interests AGAINST the free market, arguing for more libertarian or a more socialist approach to wages is pishing into the wind.

We're not at the point where arguments over libertarian or socialist or free market capitalist matter. All the sociopolitical arguments are moot while unaccountable oligarchy monopolizes the market and our government polices their monopoly with exclusive recourse to violent enforcement.

What a generous, personable post! Good-natured and earnest in the best Scandinavian tradition.

(Notes to self:

  • American-half thinks "interesting, naive and harmless dinner party exposition" but happy to read more thoughts as they develop.
  • English-half thinks "pedestrian dilettante waffle" and files the post under time-wasters.)

Let me stress, in case it's not clear, I'm saying 👍🏼 excellent essay on a subject we (as a society of individuals) badly need to address ASAP; in a way that scales into extant power hierarchies, without simply abstracting to create another corrupted homogeneity.