Hm. I'm not definitely sure about this one, but I came across it in August 2010 while searching for an answer to the question of why I am me instead of someone else, which my brother Darren brought up and has bugged me since. I came across someone's essay on their thoughts, which although it was largely questionable ended with an idea that had potential, something like that we are each the only consciousness that exists in the series of multiverses that have made up our passage through time, therefore answering the question of why I experience this consciousness. The essay is at http://www.bidstrup.com/why.htm.
Anyway, before I could sort that out it mentioned something potentially more concrete that it was based on, the physicist Julian Barbour's theories about time not really existing, but rather that moments exist individually, and the changes between them is what we experience as time, I think. I may have gotten that wrong, but I looked up this guy to see if he was just some crackpot, there was a link in the essay to his book The End of Time, and I looked him up on Wikipedia. A snippet might explain what I learned from that:
"His 1999 The End of Time advances the controversial view that time, as we perceive it, does not exist as anything other than an illusion, and that a number of problems in physical theory arise from assuming that it does exist. He argues that we have no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it. "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." (Wikipedia)
So I found this interesting, and followed some links Wikipedia provided to do some more digging. I watched an hour-long discussion the man himself had on bloggingheads.tv (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/19429), it gave a sort of flavour I guess of the issues but it wasn't until the very end that the most significant idea was touched on, and they didn't discuss it.
Links and referencesEdit
- from Barbour's website: http://www.platonia.com/ideas.html
- Some sort of discussion with Barbour: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/barbour/barbour_index.html
- Wikipedia article on "Gauge theory", mentioned in the blog discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_theory