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Time Flies For Flies

I am an intellectual. I believe we are all intellectuals. Even animals and plutocrats think. It’s Descartes, upside down: Animals Think, Therefore They Survive.

I developed my idea that “INSTINCT IS FAST LEARNING.”

Time perception can only reflect how rapidly an animal’s nervous system processes information. To test this, researchers show animals a flashing light. If the light flashes quickly enough, animals perceive it as a solid, unblinking light: this is the principle of the movies.

Beyond 60 frames per second humans see a continuous motion; yet, anyone who has tried to catch a fly or a lizard know they move, and decide to move, faster than humans.

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One
Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

This gives a window for a lot of learning to happen in a bee, that looks like instinct.

The animal’s behavior or its brain activity reveal the highest frequency at which each species perceives the light as flashing. Animals that detect blinking at higher frequencies perceive time in a more frequent manner. Movements, events, learning itself, unfold more slowly to them—think slow-motion bullet dodging as recent movies.

The smaller the animals, the easier it is to turn them into dinner. So the more reactive they have to be, to dodge the bullets. Thus one would expect that species perceiving time more slowly to be smaller and have faster metabolisms. This is (roughly) was is observed (although some of the results are dissonant, maybe an experimental artifact: rats may be slow visually, but fast olfactively, say).

“Ecology for an organism is all about finding a niche where you can succeed that no-one else can occupy,” Andrew Jackson, an author of the study in Animal Behavior said. “Our results suggest that time perception offers an as yet unstudied dimension along which animals can specialize and there is considerable scope to study this system in more detail. We are beginning to understand that there is a whole world of detail out there that only some animals can perceive and it’s fascinating to think of how they might perceive the world differently to us.”

Flies, or plutocrats, may not think deep, but they think fast. And they cannot think deep, because they think fast. The most exploitative philosophy is thus the fastest, and shallowest. That is no doubt why, in one of his variants, the Devil, Pluto, Belzebuth, was represented as Lord of the Flies.

Patrice Ayme’

(Connoisseurs of Nazi philosophy will appreciate the connection with Heidegger’s “Sein Und Zeit“. Time is, indeed, the Dasein. As with a computer clock: no clock, no computer.)

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