Feel What Its Like to Be Someone Else Paradox
Consider the expression: “I wish I could feel what its like to be Roger Penrose for 1 second”.
To feel exactly what its like to be Roger you would have to have no knowledge of what its like to be yourself so the experience could never be communicated. Clearly, in the strict sense the statement is a paradox.
The situation implied by the statement is that we can perceive the sensory input of Roger for 1 second and feel what its like to be him. Clearly we feel, and presumably Roger feels like the same person, with every new experience, so the experience of being like Roger is based on the sum history of Roger’s previous experiences, rather than current sensory input. In fact every sensory input slightly changes you or Roger.
Would it be possible to feel what it is like to be Roger by being half Roger and Half Me, or Both Roger and Me, somehow? The half and half case is clearly ridiculous and the fully both requires that no experiences or preferences can cancel each other out. So if I like peas and Roger doesn’t, somehow I would have to remain in the superposed state of both liking and disliking peas.
The feeling what its like to be someone else paradox is a useful though experiment to contemplate information transfer. It suggests two things: that information shared means elimination of difference and that communication between individuals is triangulated with reference to the things in the world around us. What are the differences between information exchange between two systems and between two systems with reference to a third.