OFFTOPIC: physics question

Douglas Lucas dal at
Fri May 17 13:52:01 PDT 2019

Hey cypherpunks / nerdcoin hoarders,

On 5/12/19 6:59 PM, \0xDynamite wrote:
> If light travels at a. different speed for different colors in order
> to account for the rainbow of a prism, how fast is the. speed of light
> then?  Is there real physics to optics?  How can light know what
> direction to bend after it leaves the lens?

Tangent, but there's a somewhat similar question in philosophy of mind.
People sometimes imagine human consciousness to be a kind of
"theater"[1]: all the sensory input is arriving from behind the curtain
(optic nerves etc. transmitting inbound info), then that traveling
sensory input crosses some sort of finish line, and then is presented,
entirely bundled up together (audio, video, etc.), on some some of inner
theater, to some inner self, who then makes a rational decision about
the display on the theater, and consequently sends output ("strike
keyboard with finger") to the body, etc., until new sensory input
arrives on the internal movie screen, triggering more decisions from the
inner self/captain of the ship/homonculus...

An interesting complication to the above is, like the different colors
of light going through the prism at minutely different speeds, thereby
introducing confusing complexity to a model generally taken as
straightforward, well, the sensory input traveling through the body, the
brain neurons, etc., do not always perform properly, do not all operate
at the same speed, etc. So there's lag among these different inbound,
command, and outbound signals, and perhaps the theater is dishonestly
representing the various confusing input as straightforwardly bound
together. Maybe one optic nerve is slightly longer than the other due to
some congenital reason. So on and so forth.

I'm not sure what the implications of the above would be for, e.g.,
neuro-surgeons performing operations, athletes trying to master their
mind-bodies, Libet and free will[2], etc. Sometimes I think the above is
just well-off people with copious spare time flapping their jaws --
elementary school lunch table shit ("How do I know you see green when I
see green?") just with bigger words and longer sentences, while everyone
else suffers, does the jaw-flappers' unpaid domestic labor, disappears
into ICE prisons, etc., their views and insights on the above never
recorded to history.



More information about the cypherpunks mailing list