Degree in physics, working software for 20 years and still feel like an impostor ... not that I remember any physics at this stage
We had a long discussion during which I told him that I'd always wanted to program computers, but didn't think it made sense to get a degree doing something I could learn in my bedroom. Physics, on the other hand, was fascinating, and could only be truly learnt and appreciated from people who'd devoted their lives to it.
20 years later, I think those years of training in physics have made me a better developer, and taught me to better see patterns in data. To prefer "good enough for the task at hand and elegant enough to be proud of" over "perfect" (which is what many of my math friends ended up seeking).
On to your question: It's hard to pin down the exact root cause, but it seems (in my case at least) to stem from being an outsider -- a y in a sea of x's. When everyone else doing your job has a specific attribute that you don't, you can start to wonder whether you really belong in that role. The literal feeling is, "One of these days, I'll say the wrong acronym in stand-up, the rest of the team is going to figure out that I'm just winging this Agile Scrum thing, and that will be that."
That can mean being the only physicist in a company of CS grads, or the only woman on an all-male engineering team.
Being in a job where you're always learning, received no formal training, and where the expectations are fluid can amplify the feeling, since there's no yardstick against which to compare your performance. If you're a fast learner, it can be hard to believe you've gotten as good at something as people who had years of training/have been doing it for years.
Here's a group of people. Compared to each one of them, I know less about something. It's really easy to go from that to feeling like I know less about what I'm supposed to be doing than everyone else.
I don't really experience this, I suspect because of arrogance. I'm not sure that's really an improvement, though...
> I can't understand something so it must not be real
Maybe that's a problem with you more than reality.
I never said that, don't twist my words. I said it seems bogus because I've never experienced it and I don't understand it. I never said it isn't real - it probably is; I just have a hard time relating to it and accepting it.
While true as far as our current mathematical models are concerned, there are good reasons to expect that deep down the world's fabric is discrete. (Whether that counts as being "digital" is probably just a matter of language.)
There are no reasons to expect one way or the other. As far as we can measure, spacetime is discrete. However we can't probe very far in the grand scheme of things. Without experimental evidence, and without a particularly strong argument one way or the other, it's useless to be speculating.
Did you mean to say "continuous"?
Quoting Wikipedia , "physical spacetime is expected to be quantum because physical coordinates are already slightly noncommutative."