Real Time, Minute Time, Pomodoro Time

This essay is a work in progress, all ideas and statements contained therein should be taken with that context in mind.

Human reaction time, the timescale on which we take our moment to moment perception of reality, is usually about a quarter of a second. These quarter seconds are what we might think of as real time, the basic chronology on which all people operate at all times. However planning into the future requires us to think in a way that is alien to this basic experience. The problem is perhaps best illustrated by considering the nature of our own native chronology. In the 250 miliseconds that a human being perceives as basic reality, many things happen. For example, just staring at this page on any modern computer from one second to the next fails to disclose the couple billion machine cycles that elapsed. Nor is it obvious to your perception that the screen is constantly refreshing its image to provide the illusion of motion, it simply works faster than you can process. But imagine your reaction time, your real time were 100 times faster, two and a half miliseconds per moment of experience. Depending on the refresh rate of your monitor, you would have severe flicker. A bullet that previously traveled ten meters in 312ms, just barely above the threshold of a single instant of human perception, now takes a visible 124.8 units of perception.

Our longer term planning would be affected considerably. One day might become as difficult to plan and control as ten in our real time. If human society were oriented around things that happen in a hundredth the time we might be so wrapped up in minor details of bodily motion, implementation of simple actions, and minutia of phenomena that it would take extraordinary focus and abstraction to plan out something as complicated as one of our weeks. We are comparably crippled in considering our own future, and if you have the misfortune to be afflicted with executive dysfunction issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder then you are crippled further.

Unit Timescale Units Of Human Perception
Real Time 250ms 1
Seconds 1000ms 4
Minutes 60 seconds 240
Pomodoro Time 25 minutes 6000
Hour Two Pomodoros + Ten Minutes Break 14400
Work Day Eight hours 115,200

So, how does the 2.5 milisecond man emulate the behavior of the 250 milisecond man? The same way we do, ignore the details that are inessential to living 250ms at a time. This would of course be quite difficult for our protagonist, just as it is difficult for us to imagine living in increments of 25 minutes. However some methods present themselves as possibilities. For one our protagonist (hereafter referred to as TPF), will live at least 250 miliseconds of lifespan, many times in fact. To figure out what details are essential to living at that scale, TPF must try and construct an emulation of the senses that would befit a creature observing only a hundredth as much of the detail that actually happens. This can be done by observing his same life in increments of 100 units of perception and looking at how he would handle things if that's the scale he could observe and think at. It's important to remember that TPF and a normal human live in the same reality, the difference is one of perception. All the things that happen at the 2.5 milisecond scale still happen at the 250 milisecond scale they're just abstracted away.