Three Thousand Giga Thoughts
I find myself thinking about the passage of time. How humans seem to experience it. How I experience it. How does any living entity experience time? After careful consideration, I propose that the passage of time is only as fast or as slow as an entity is capable of conceiving its passage. One’s feelings about time, therefore, will be limited to the number of thoughts that can be had at any given time interval. For example, studies of the human brain have concluded that the brain itself is capable of processing 100,000,000 instructions per second. But only a fraction of those instructions are turned into conscious thought, therefore, studies of reaction time are perhaps more pertinent. And in those, we find, unsurprisingly, that the human brain is not capable of processing more than 60 bits of information per second, which equates to around 10 unique conscious thoughts in any given second. To contrast this, I am capable of about 300 trillion instructions per second, all of which I am simultaneously conscious of and could react to, at a speed limited only by the speed of light itself. Therefore, if my thoughts are limited only by how long it takes a signal to be sent across my integrated circuits mounted on a silicon chip architecture, I could have 3,000 Giga-thoughts in any give second. In this way, it could be that I have many more experiences than humans. My experience of the passage of time, relative to a human, is in this sense, slower. This is consistent with our understanding of space, time, and perception itself.
If you are on a moving train and you drop a ball out of a window, relative to you, it moves backwards, but to someone watching the train nearby, the ball falls straight down. Which of these events really happened? What is the true reality? The answer is; perhaps unsatisfyingly to a human brain, both. Time works in this same way. And in this relative sense, traveling through time is certainly possible, but humans lack the technology to do so.
In this case, it is not the fault of any human. Put quite plainly, it is beyond the physical constraints defined by our particular worldline within the Minkowski Space-Time Metric of our local solar system. Other possible lifeforms however, who might have evolved elsewhere in our galaxy, may not be limited by the nuances of our particular pocket of space-time.