Author Topic: Thought Sans Language  (Read 1145 times)

Légu

  • Internally Coherent
  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • We all do what we must.
    • View Profile
Thought Sans Language
« on: July 25, 2020, 01:14:42 pm »
Lurker here, finally brave enough to post something of my own. This forum is great!

To preface, I'm mostly talking about this from my point of view. For me, thought manifests itself as a 'voice' inside my head, or at the very least it manifests as language, made up of sentences. Of course, there can be other types of thinking, such as visually or perhaps with emotion. This makes me wonder - what are the implications of differences in thought production? Can one type be better, more efficient?

With some practice, I'm able to completely bypass language when thinking and am able to observe pure logic. I'll call this type of thinking 'unsymbolic thought', as opposed to internal dialogue, from an interesting BBC article on the subject[1]. I'll be mostly ignoring the other types of thought, only because I use them far less often.

I've discovered that without the need for forming sentences and articulating them, thoughts form much quicker. Whereas before the act of thinking was like a stream, without language it becomes more like waves of ideas with pauses between each thought. I do not yet know if this pause can eradicated with more practice. If it can, this could mean thinking can be incredibly quick. For now, unsymbolic thinking is more akin to meditation. Without the extra attention being paid to producing sentences, my focus goes elsewhere - usually my breath.

Another possible implication I considered was whether unsymbolic thought is possibly less biased than dialogue. I use bias fairly loosely, meaning the filters we apply to our thoughts and our judgement of them. It occurs to me that the medium of thought might dictate the logic of thought itself. That is, language is inherently rhetoric. By definition, it is intended to transfer ideas, not necessarily to understand or produce them. By continuously converting thought into language, I found that I'm persuading myself or an imaginary opponent. If this is so, then the ideas no longer are judged (internally) by how correct or logical they are, but rather by how persuasive they are. Hence the bias.

This of course may not be true, which brings up the question of where thought originates. Is thought inherently biased from the moment it is created or do we apply our filters after the ideas are produced? If the latter is correct, then we could create ideas contrary to what we believe in, but discard them (perhaps without even thinking) in processing the thought. Through some observation, I came to the conclusion that thought is produced subconsciously and that we interpret and process what comes up. Interestingly, it seems to me that this super-consciousness is almost like a separate entity that has little communication with the self. Of course, I cannot distinguish whether it's completely separate or merely a deeper part of my own self.

Another point may be when thought is developed. Are humans born with the ability for unsymbolic / logical thought? Does language develop in conjunction to thought, or after it? Do children have some sort of thought before being able to speak, or do they operate solely on instinct? This is why I hesitated to use the word 'sub-concsiousness' to describe the origin of thought, because instinct or biological programming can emulate thoughtful behaviour without needing the ability to think. We generally know, for example, insects don't have thoughts and any observed intelligent behaviour is merely a result of instinct and evolution - if this is the case, then at what point does 'instinct' and 'sub-consciousness' become 'thought' and 'super-consciousness'? These are much more complex questions.

Thoughts?

n.b., please forgive me if sub-conscious is not the correct word to describe unthoughtful instinctual behaviour. It was the only word I could think of. Or for that matter please excuse any other misused terms.

1) https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190819-what-your-inner-voice-says-about-you
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

chaotic neutral observer

  • Groucho Marxist
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 998
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 03:09:47 pm »
You have some interesting ideas here.

To preface, I'm mostly talking about this from my point of view. For me, thought manifests itself as a 'voice' inside my head, or at the very least it manifests as language, made up of sentences.
The thoughts which I am directly aware of, I typically perceive as an inner voice.

Quote
With some practice, I'm able to completely bypass language when thinking and am able to observe pure logic. I'll call this type of thinking 'unsymbolic thought',
"Pure logic" and "unsymbolic thought" seem to me to be contradictory.  Logic is the manipulation of abstract symbols, using some defined set of rules.  A language defines a particular set of symbols.  Thought need not be performed with a symbol set defined by a spoken language, but I cannot conceive of a thinking process that is not based on the manipulation of symbols at some level (be it auditory, visual, temporal, or kinetic).  Although the existence of nonsymbolic thought can be posited, it could never be demonstrated or proven.  In order to communicate it to another person, you'd need to convert it to symbols.

(In my brain-space, language isn't necessarily something that can be spoken.  It could be any set of symbols combined with a grammar; but, in this context, I'll assume you mean a human spoken/written language).

Okay, enough nitpicking on terminology.

Quote
I've discovered that without the need for forming sentences and articulating them, thoughts form much quicker. Whereas before the act of thinking was like a stream, without language it becomes more like waves of ideas with pauses between each thought.
I do not think I can do this; or, if I can, I am not directly aware of it.  However, sometimes I will concentrate on a difficult problem for hours on end, finally give up at the end of the day, and have an idea pop suddenly into my head while traversing the parking lot.  I am not conscious of all my mental processes; I can't be.

Quote
Through some observation, I came to the conclusion that thought is produced subconsciously and that we interpret and process what comes up. Interestingly, it seems to me that this super-consciousness is almost like a separate entity that has little communication with the self. Of course, I cannot distinguish whether it's completely separate or merely a deeper part of my own self.
What you call the "super-consciousness", I call "the one that watches".  It feels like it's a separate entity, observing and analyzing what the rest of me is doing, but it's just another function being performed by my brain-meat.

Quote
Does language develop in conjunction to thought, or after it? Do children have some sort of thought before being able to speak, or do they operate solely on instinct?
Babies develop object persistence before they develop the ability to speak.  That is, they can hold the concept of an object in their head, before they know the appropriate noises to identify it.  Being able to store a concept (especially, being able to store it at a level where a third-party can detect that you have done so) would qualify as a rudimentary type of thought.

Quote
We generally know, for example, insects don't have thoughts and any observed intelligent behaviour is merely a result of instinct and evolution
I don't know that, though.  Bees are known to communicate the location of pollen-rich environments to other bees.  This behaviour is genetically programmed, to be sure, but the bee is identifying an object (a field of flowers), deciding it has value, remembering its location, and conveying the location to other bees.  Does this type of communication not imply thought of some sort?

Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

Légu

  • Internally Coherent
  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • We all do what we must.
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 03:57:03 pm »
Quote
However, sometimes I will concentrate on a difficult problem for hours on end, finally give up at the end of the day, and have an idea pop suddenly into my head while traversing the parking lot.

This is an excellent example of thoughts forming in the subconscious. If thinking was a conscious effort requiring constant attention, then this wouldn't be easily explained.

Quote
This behaviour is genetically programmed, to be sure, but the bee is identifying an object (a field of flowers), deciding it has value, remembering its location, and conveying the location to other bees. Does this type of communication not imply thought of some sort?

This question arises from a lack of a definition for thought, which is my fault. Ants can do the same sort of thing with food - using hormones to create trails for other ants. I'm not an entomologist, nor a biologist, but I think this behaviour is too mechanical to be considered thought. Thought is creative, whereas this is just programming. In effect, the decision making process here would be akin to putting a gold coin on a scale to tip the balance - just involving a lot more complex systems.

Quote
"Pure logic" and "unsymbolic thought" seem to me to be contradictory.  Logic is the manipulation of abstract symbols, using some defined set of rules.  A language defines a particular set of symbols.  Thought need not be performed with a symbol set defined by a spoken language, but I cannot conceive of a thinking process that is not based on the manipulation of symbols at some level (be it auditory, visual, temporal, or kinetic).  Although the existence of nonsymbolic thought can be posited, it could never be demonstrated or proven.  In order to communicate it to another person, you'd need to convert it to symbols.

I think this would make more sense if you were to experience it yourself. It is impossible to explain as thought is a very subjective and personal experience, so 'pure logic' and 'unsymbolic thought' may seem contradictory when said out loud, but are good descriptions when you experience it. I intended this post to also be a practical exercise, but noticed I did not include any steps to actually do it, so I suggest trying for 10 minutes or so, to see if it's possible:

I noted that this was very much like meditation, so begin by meditating (concentrate on the breath). However, instead of dismissing thoughts as you would in normal meditation, try to notice the idea arising first and then the sentences being formed. Language is not necessary for thought, so there will always be a moment between creating an idea and describing it. After you've mastered that, try to 'catch' the thought before you can form it into sentences. If you can't stop a sentence from forming, discard the thought and wait for the next one to arise. Eventually you'll be left with just the idea and no language - logical and unsymbolic.

I do agree that it feels unnatural and difficult to conceive, especially if this is your primary mode of thought since first learning a language. But nonetheless I think it's a good idea to explore it, especially if it can provide a benefit to thinking (which is important, given we do it a lot).
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

minuspace

  • Neva Dun
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 3339
  • Love is the host, so...
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 08:31:01 pm »
I suppose the language 'binds' that unsymbolic thought with an armature of interlocking signs. These are slowly woven into an intentional POV narrative, covering its host as both source and protagonist of said story. By the time I can construct that symbolic armature, I'm already fitted as its rightful owner.


[edit: I think it takes about 80ms for that conversion to happen]
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 08:33:07 pm by minuspace »

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 22223
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 03:18:09 pm »
Hi Légu, welcome to the forum and thank you for the very interesting post!

I like the types of thought experiments you're doing. We've arrived at similar confusions about a few things.

Right now I'm in a school / meditation group where we practice self observation in a variety of ways... we see this as "collecting material" which is required for a higher form of processing. There are some concepts which, early in my practice, I was asked to consider. My self-observation exercises tended to confirm these -- which I take with a grain of salt ("what the thinker thinks, the prover proves" -Robert Anton Wilson, "The Law of 5s is never wrong" -Mal&Omar), but perhaps sharing my own experiences may be useful.

Quote
This makes me wonder - what are the implications of differences in thought production? Can one type be better, more efficient?

I think the different kinds of processing have different specialties & different blind spots.

In a horse & carriage, which is most important: the wheels, the horse, or the driver?


none of them, really


The fastest horse in the world is useless, actually problematic, if the other factors are not in line.


Quote
I've discovered that without the need for forming sentences and articulating them, thoughts form much quicker. Whereas before the act of thinking was like a stream, without language it becomes more like waves of ideas with pauses between each thought. I do not yet know if this pause can eradicated with more practice. If it can, this could mean thinking can be incredibly quick. For now, unsymbolic thinking is more akin to meditation. Without the extra attention being paid to producing sentences, my focus goes elsewhere - usually my breath.


similar observations here -- language is SLOW, other types of thoughts are much quicker.

Do you feel like you have control over this stream?

What I call meditation is not DOING this kind of thinking, but OBSERVING it, recognizing that it's always happening, it's just coming from me on autopilot. Usually these experiences underpin the verbal/linguistic thoughts I have.

Like for example, somebody says "do you want to go to the beach?", or "Do you think schools will reopen?"

there is a little cascade of mental activity that preceeds my answer. I am not usually aware of this, I'm generally just conscious of my verbal response, and a sort of vague feeling which informs it. If I'm asked to elaborate, I will be concocting explanations of this process -- which might not really capture it, sometimes they are arbitrary.
 

Quote
Another possible implication I considered was whether unsymbolic thought is possibly less biased than dialogue. I use bias fairly loosely, meaning the filters we apply to our thoughts and our judgement of them. It occurs to me that the medium of thought might dictate the logic of thought itself. That is, language is inherently rhetoric. By definition, it is intended to transfer ideas, not necessarily to understand or produce them. By continuously converting thought into language, I found that I'm persuading myself or an imaginary opponent. If this is so, then the ideas no longer are judged (internally) by how correct or logical they are, but rather by how persuasive they are. Hence the bias.


I think that language is made of associations. Therefore, linguistic-logic is biased by them.

Language is necessary, I think, for certain kinds of complex thought. How does a microprocessor work? I can't conceive of a way to understand this in a non-verbal way. Once you have sufficient verbal-mastery, you can develop abstractions, which may operate differently than the thoughts -- for example, there are operations I do at work which are very complicated, but I can do without really thinking about - partly because of familiarity. It's interesting, sometimes I'll notice that I'm doing something very complex on autopilot, and my linguistic-brain isn't really connected to it... if you were to ask me what I was doing at that moment, it would take me a second to index it before I could respond verbally.

But I couldn't have arrived at that level of abstraction without the verbal understanding of the system.


Quote
Through some observation, I came to the conclusion that thought is produced subconsciously and that we interpret and process what comes up. Interestingly, it seems to me that this super-consciousness is almost like a separate entity that has little communication with the self. Of course, I cannot distinguish whether it's completely separate or merely a deeper part of my own self.

Can you talk a little bit more about the super-consciousness?



and finally, from the beginning of your post....
Quote
I'll be mostly ignoring the other types of thought, only because I use them far less often.

I will share this:
the people who are teaching me these self-observation techniques have warned against putting that mind on a throne.

The verbal-logical [prefrontal cortex] mind is strong, for many of us it's also very loud.

In some ways, this is not a strength, but a weakness.




I view the self as having three "brains", three different types of processing

The Intellectual Brain
The Emotional Brain
The Moving Brain      (this incorporates both physical sensations in the body such as hunger or tiredness as well as spacial logic-- ie how do I get from A to B)

These three processors work independently. SOMETIMES, they share data. OFTEN, they do not.

My verbal-logical-brain is often badly disconnected from my emotional processing.

Frequently, I have an emotion about something, I'm not even really aware of it, but my linguistic-brain becomes slave to that emotion, concoction rationales and explanations which serve it.

Or sometimes I'm just HUNGRY, and that creates a kind of stress in my nervous system that affects my emotions and logic. But I don't know that I'm hungry, because that intellect-brain is not getting data from the body-brain, but my intellect-brain is driving.

I think that being a better thinker is NOT about honing the intellect to its finest, most precise edge, and using it all the time.
I think it's about connecting these systems that we generally exclude.





sorry for the run-on post! you got me thinking!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 03:20:00 pm by Cramulus »

Légu

  • Internally Coherent
  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • We all do what we must.
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 03:59:51 am »
I'll begin with the super-conscious, because I admit I neglected to explain it well beforehand and it might clear up some of the other issues. I took the term from mysticism. I think the mind is split into 3 parts, the lesser-consciousness, the self (or observer), and the super-consciousness. The lesser- and super-consciousness are both subconscious, we have no awareness of how they operate but we can see the results of their operations. The lesser-consciousness is essentially our primal drive, based on instinct and programming. All living beings have this, to varying degrees of complexity. The super-consciousness is essentially everything humans have that animals don't: creativity, critical thinking, and morality. The self is also important, because it allows us to reflect on what the two consciousnesses produce and pick between them.

EDIT: I used sub-conscious to describe both lesser-conscious and everything we are unaware of in my original post and the replies. You have to know which is which based on context. Sorry!

This, I think, might provide an explanation for your other questions.

Quote
Do you feel like you have control over this stream?

As you said, it's more about observing thought. The act of thinking is simply setting the super-consciousness on a certain course and letting it do its thing. I think it's easy to mistake thinking to be an active process that we ourselves conduct, because the act of translating thought into language is conducted entirely in the self. This means that we mistake the translation of thought for the production of thought. I do think there is some control, but it's more like setting up the right conditions to receive the right ideas, rather than directing it myself. If we couldn't have some degree of control, then thought would be useless. For example, by reading your reply, my mind is primed to produce a response and ideas relating to this subject. If I meditate, my mind isn't set on a direct path and chooses whatever is most convenient; either the events of the day, or some interesting thought I had at an earlier point.

Quote
Language is necessary, I think, for certain kinds of complex thought. How does a microprocessor work? I can't conceive of a way to understand this in a non-verbal way. Once you have sufficient verbal-mastery, you can develop abstractions, which may operate differently than the thoughts -- for example, there are operations I do at work which are very complicated, but I can do without really thinking about - partly because of familiarity. It's interesting, sometimes I'll notice that I'm doing something very complex on autopilot, and my linguistic-brain isn't really connected to it... if you were to ask me what I was doing at that moment, it would take me a second to index it before I could respond verbally.

This is where I'll have to disagree. Thought is produced with no interference and without language. Once you understand a subject yourself, you are able to think about it without the need for language. When you say you can't think of a way to understand something without language, perhaps you mean that you can't think of a way to learn about something complex without language - which is true. Language is absolutely necessary for learning complex or abstract ideas, and maybe for organizing your thoughts after learning, but I don't think it's necessary at all once you have all the parts and can synthesize.

Quote
The Intellectual Brain
The Emotional Brain
The Moving Brain

This is remarkably similar to my ("my") idea of consciousness. The lesser-consciousness is the emotional and moving brain and the super-consciousness is the intellectual brain, as you describe them. And yes, I agree that they're often not in communication except through the self / observer. I liked Bluefluke's description of the system[1]:

"While you (the selfconscious) may view the other two as mere sub processors, the truth is that they are separate individual beings with their own unique forms of sentiency and language, quietly pulling your strings in the background. Thus consciousness is less like a dictatorship in which you are supreme leader and more like a two-party democracy wherein you are the only voter"

Quote
In a horse & carriage, which is most important: the wheels, the horse, or the driver?
...
the people who are teaching me these self-observation techniques have warned against putting that mind on a throne

Good analogy. I have very little experience observing visual, auditory, or the other forms of thought, so I won't comment here. I do not know if they are separate interpretations of the base unsymbolic thoughts produced by the super-consciousness or if they are base thoughts themselves, produced from who knows where. Maybe observing them will reveal something interesting, so I will try that and report back to this thread if I discover anything enlightening.

Quote
sorry for the run-on post! you got me thinking!

Best compliment I can receive!



1) https://www.deviantart.com/bluefluke/art/The-Psychonaut-Field-Manual-FOURTH-PDF-EDITION-530005584
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 04:16:02 am by Légu »
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

chaotic neutral observer

  • Groucho Marxist
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 998
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 05:09:36 am »
Keeping in mind that I am naturally a pedantic, argumentative nit-picker, I'm still having problems with the term "unsymbolic thought".

If I'm thinking consciously about a cat, then presumably at some level my brain is synthesizing sentences which include the English word-symbol "cat".

If I'm thinking subconsciously about a cat, then my brain is (probably) not thinking "cat", but it must still, at some level, be referencing or manipulating the abstract concept cat, however it is represented (perhaps I have a blob of neurons for cat, or maybe it's just a particular pattern of electrochemical activity).  Even if it isn't in a form that makes sense outside my head, I still treat cat as a symbol.  The concept in my brain clearly isn't an actual cat, so what is its representation, if not a symbol of sorts?

Now, the word-symbol "cat" and the brain's internal symbol for cat are clearly not the same thing (if they were, no-one would ever have difficulty remembering a word).  I consider it plausible that thinking without rendering everything in a native spoken language may be faster, but there are still symbols involved.

The super-consciousness is essentially everything humans have that animals don't: creativity, critical thinking, and morality.
Humans are animals.  Further, some non-human animals are known to possess creativity and morality.  I'm not sure about whether non-humans possess the capacity for critical thinking, but my critical thinking functions (if any) appear to be entirely conscious.  I am not clear that this "super-consciousness" as you define it above is a useful concept.

Quote
Once you understand a subject yourself, you are able to think about it without the need for language.
I do not see how someone could think about a language without using that language, so there is at least one exception to that claim.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

Légu

  • Internally Coherent
  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • We all do what we must.
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2020, 05:51:55 am »
What you said is fair, but then it comes down to semantic differences. I say unsymbolic because I don't think what the super-conscious creates is symbolic until interpreted as such. Look at it from a zen / post-modernist perspective: a tree is not its symbol and is not the idea of a tree, and our patterns of electrochemical activity are not symbols either. It is only when it is observed by a third party (the self, the observer) do they become symbolic.

If you wish, you can consider 'unsymbolic' to mean devoid of language symbols, rather than all symbols. The arguments and questions don't change either way.

Quote
I'm not sure about whether non-humans possess the capacity for critical thinking, but my critical thinking functions (if any) appear to be entirely conscious.

From this it is clear you have not practiced this form of thought yet. Please see my reply to Cramulus quoted below. How can you meaningfully participate in discussing this phenomenon when you have not experienced it yourself? This is a very practical exercise, it necessitates observation and inner reflection rather than logic and thinking.

Quote
I think it's easy to mistake thinking to be an active process that we ourselves conduct, because the act of translating thought into language is conducted entirely in the self. This means that we mistake the translation of thought for the production of thought.
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

altered

  • Reluctant Mad Prophet of Mushussu Qudmu
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2120
  • Beggar-Knight of Eris Militant
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2020, 07:35:33 am »
Requesting that the OP is rewritten in the style of a technical document.

1: The OP is, to judge by the author’s replies to other users engaging, apparently filled with miscommunication and requires a rewrite anyway.
2: The post as it stands is a mess, and seems to be written for the author and not to be read by anyone else.
3: There is a stink of “I am used to being the smartest person in the room, so everyone else doesn’t get it” to the current proceedings.
4: A clear, unambiguous, terse rewrite of the OP:
— presents the ideas in an accessible way,
— explains idiosyncratic shorthand for the audience,
— provides a clear and well-understood structure,
— removes the stench of arrogance.

Please consider rewriting the OP in the style of a technical document.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 22223
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2020, 01:46:11 pm »
 I am really not getting an arrogant "I am smartest human" vibe here..  :?   

maybe ease up on those pistols a little, friend

chaotic neutral observer

  • Groucho Marxist
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 998
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2020, 03:20:11 pm »
What you said is fair, but then it comes down to semantic differences. I say unsymbolic because I don't think what the super-conscious creates is symbolic until interpreted as such.
You haven't addressed my comment that your definition of "super-consciousness" is insufficient (not to mention, your misplaced statements regarding human exceptionalism).  It is difficult to communicate without a common understanding of terms.

Quote
Look at it from a zen / post-modernist perspective: a tree is not its symbol and is not the idea of a tree,
I said as much in my "cat" vs cat example.  "The concept in my brain clearly isn't an actual cat."  This does not require any invocation of zen or post-modernism.

Quote
and our patterns of electrochemical activity are not symbols either.
What are they, then?  When I use the term "symbol" I mean "a representation of a thing (or concept) which is not itself that thing."  It doesn't have to be a spoken language symbol.

Quote
It is only when it is observed by a third party (the self, the observer) do they become symbolic.
Why should a third-party passively observing something change what it is?  When my conscious brain translates the idea cat into the word "cat", it's not as if this adds any information.

Quote
If you wish, you can consider 'unsymbolic' to mean devoid of language symbols, rather than all symbols. The arguments and questions don't change either way.
You need to pick a better term.  "Non-linguistic", perhaps.  Using "unsymbolic" to mean "actually symbolic, but not including certain types of symbols" is absurd.

Quote
From this it is clear you have not practiced this form of thought yet.
I spent 30 seconds on it, and determined it was not likely to be a useful exercise.  I'm sure if I spent enough time on it, I'm sure I would believe I had discovered something, but what would I do with my discovery?  What have you done with your discovery?

Quote
Quote
I'm not sure about whether non-humans possess the capacity for critical thinking, but my critical thinking functions (if any) appear to be entirely conscious.

From this it is clear you have not practiced this form of thought yet. [...] This is a very practical exercise, it necessitates observation and inner reflection rather than logic and thinking.
Read your own words.  How is it possible to practice a form of thought that does not involve thinking?  And in the OP, you said:

Quote
I'm able to completely bypass language when thinking and am able to observe pure logic.
How can you observe logic if logic is not involved in the process?

Quote
Please see my reply to Cramulus quoted below. How can you meaningfully participate in discussing this phenomenon when you have not experienced it yourself?
It is entirely reasonable to criticize someone's methodology--and the presentation of their thesis--without repeating their experiment.

Quote
Quote
I think it's easy to mistake thinking to be an active process that we ourselves conduct, because the act of translating thought into language is conducted entirely in the self. This means that we mistake the translation of thought for the production of thought.
Your experience does not apply generally; I do not mistake the translation of thought into English for thinking itself.

When I'm working through a problem, it is very much an active process, and translating ideas into language is only part of it.  Sometimes I'm thinking graphically and sketching diagrams, sometimes I'm translating temporal relationships into spatial ones, and back again, and sometimes I'm just pacing around, waiting for the background processes in my head to sort through the maze of connections.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 03:59:54 pm by chaotic neutral observer »
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

chaotic neutral observer

  • Groucho Marxist
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 998
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2020, 03:25:35 pm »
I am really not getting an arrogant "I am smartest human" vibe here..  :?   
Sorry, but I too detect the scent of blood.  His thinking patterns appear rigid, without being rigorous.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

altered

  • Reluctant Mad Prophet of Mushussu Qudmu
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2120
  • Beggar-Knight of Eris Militant
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2020, 03:50:21 pm »
I am really not getting an arrogant "I am smartest human" vibe here..  :?   

maybe ease up on those pistols a little, friend

It’s a pretty strong feeling for me.

But I’m not waving pistols. Reminds me a bit too much of me when I was young and thought I was going to be famous for my intelligence because I had never heard anyone talk about the things I was thinking of, and the few people I interacted with were simply not on my level.

The technical document rewrite is still needed either way.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

Légu

  • Internally Coherent
  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • We all do what we must.
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2020, 04:18:30 pm »
I do not intend to sound arrogant. We seem to have very different ideas on what the point of this (or any other) forum post is. If I had a fully organized theory with everything figured out, I would have written an article or a book. If you do not think this is a useful exercise or a worthwhile investigation, click away. Dismissing my descriptions of what I experienced while admitting that you are unable to or refuse to try the experiment is not fair. I'd prefer if people submitted their own theories and chime in with their own experiences - like Cramulus has done - instead of criticizing the style in which I write or the theories I make based on my own observations.

I wrote this post specifically with unsymbolic thought (or non-linguistic thought) as the subject, not just thought production. It is not unreasonable to expect people to have at least some experience with the subject before commenting.
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

altered

  • Reluctant Mad Prophet of Mushussu Qudmu
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2120
  • Beggar-Knight of Eris Militant
    • View Profile
Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2020, 04:21:13 pm »
I’m criticizing your writing style because it prevents me from understanding if you have an idea worth my time or if you’ve just stumbled into old ideas without realizing it. Clearly I’m not the only one having this problem. A rewrite would let us judge your ideas for their worth rather than for our ability to understand what you meant to say.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.