Author Topic: Thought Sans Language  (Read 1141 times)

altered

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2020, 04:34:24 pm »
To give a clear example: you said most of CNO’s issue is semantic differences. But semantics are vital to communicating ideas on this level. If your definitions differ somewhat, the idea often breaks down into nonsense. Attempting to parse it meaningfully will often end with something that is nothing like the idea that is intended to be proposed.

Only two things can fix this: establishing definitions and writing with clarity, or tons of tedious argumentation.
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2020, 04:58:08 pm »
To give a clear example: you said most of CNO’s issue is semantic differences. But semantics are vital to communicating ideas on this level. If your definitions differ somewhat, the idea often breaks down into nonsense. Attempting to parse it meaningfully will often end with something that is nothing like the idea that is intended to be proposed.

Only two things can fix this: establishing definitions and writing with clarity, or tons of tedious argumentation.

Definition" is have to "define plz?
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Cramulus

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2020, 04:59:50 pm »
I understood & enjoyed the OP. I take issue with sniping people on their first post and throwing a bunch of personal judgments at them because they haven't mastered whatever tone or style you think is required here. Arrogance is demanding that a poster re-write their entire topic for you, so that you can make up your mind about whether or not you're interested.

Discussing personal internal experiences is challenging--there is no universal dictionary for these things. No series of words will precisely communicate things that happen inside of you, just on the edge of conscious awareness. 

I'm sorry if I'm coming off sharp, but this is a continuation of a pattern that seriously annoys me. Like instead of discussing the topic, we're gonna spend the next dozen posts arguing about what language they used and whether or not they're an asshole. It's exhausting.

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2020, 05:04:13 pm »
He doesn’t strike me as an asshole.

He strikes me as unfamiliar with this sort of place, where he’s among, at the least, intellectual equals.

And to be clear, the OP is completely incoherent to me. Depending on how I read it, it comes across as either a sort of “concept salad” or “aha! I have rediscovered Freudian psychology!”

You don’t seem to see that. You can parse it, apparently. I cannot.

Judging by how he reacted to CNO, I feel the right move is ask for a rewrite, because nitpicking my way to his meaning is going to take a long time and be really annoying to everyone.
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“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
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Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2020, 05:06:54 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.
When someone posts in the "Think for Yourself, Schmuck!" thread, I assume they either want their idea to be subjected to criticism and analysis, so they can refine it and make it stronger, or they want everyone to admire how smart they are.

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If I had a fully organized theory with everything figured out, I would have written an article or a book.
Do you not want to further develop your ideas?  That's not going to happen if everyone sits around and agrees with you.  Science is destruction.

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If you do not think this is a useful exercise or a worthwhile investigation, click away.
"Please go away", huh?

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Dismissing my descriptions of what I experienced while admitting that you are unable to or refuse to try the experiment is not fair.
You have made false statements, and have not addressed several of the questions I have presented to you.  Why should I take you seriously?

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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 have presented my own experiences.  Twice, now.

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I wrote this post specifically with unsymbolic thought (or non-linguistic thought) as the subject, not just thought production.
This is the sort of muddled communication that's at issue.  What is this distinction between "thought" and "thought production"?

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It is not unreasonable to expect people to have at least some experience with the subject before commenting.
I've been watching myself think since I was eight, and some of my thinking methods are non-linguistic (as I have said).
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2020, 05:08:05 pm »
Even CNO seems to have gotten a better grasp on the OP than me, actually. So I might bow out.
“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

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2020, 05:13:23 pm »
Quote
A rewrite would let us judge your ideas for their worth rather than for our ability to understand what you meant to say.

Very well, I'll do my best to re-write this in a cohesive manner and differentiate my observations from my theories. Here goes:



Observations
  • Thoughts can be observed in various forms: as language, as imagery, emotions, and potentially more
    • Not everyone has the same capacity for these various forms of thought. I, for example, have trouble using imagery
  • Preceding thought as language is a form of unsymbolic thought
    • I will straight up say that this is almost impossible to describe. It is like thought as language, except the idea is understood in a single moment instead of through vocalizing a sentence internally. You have to experience it for yourself in order to understand
  • Unsymbolic thought is converted into the form of language
  • It is possible to avoid language when thinking and think unsymbolically entirely
  • When thinking in this unsymbolic form:
    • Thought no longer appears to be a 'stream' of words or sentences, but rather as individual ideas that pop in like waves
    • Focus is directed away from producing language and instead on observing thought
    • Focus cannot be sustained on just thought alone and is redirected to the breath in-between the 'waves'

These are my own experiences. I chose the word unsymbolic thought based on the observations.



Theories

I'll organize these by topic and ignore everything unrelated directly to the subject of unsymbolic thought.

Origin of thought:
  • Unsymbolic thought is observed - not produced, therefore the thought must be produced subconsciously
  • There exists at least 2 consciousnesses:
    • The super-conscious, which produces thought
    • The self, or observer, which observes thought
  • When thinking in language-form, the self is in charge of both translating and observing language
  • Thinking is an active process of observation rather than production. The self can direct the super-conscious and thus have a degree of control

Language as rhetoric:
Question: Is unsymbolic thought less subject to filters or bias than thought as language?
  • Language is intended for the communication of thoughts from one person to another
  • In converting unsymbolic thought into language, the purpose of thought as problem-solving is converted into communicating itself
  • In order to communicate itself most effectively, thought sacrifices accuracy and logic in order to be persuasive



Other

Some additional questions and stuff on other types of thought.

Lesser-conscious:
  • There exists a lesser-consciousness that is the amalgamation of all primal operations, separate from thought
  • The lesser-conscious operations manifest as emotions and feelings
  • The lesser-conscious is in charge of motor skills and bodily functions
  • Not directly relevant to thought, but can influence the self and super-conscious

Questions:
  • What is the operation of visual thinking? Is it a 'base' thought like unsymbollic thought, or is it the interpretation of base thought?
  • What other types of thought are there? Is the list non-exhaustive?

How to achieve unsymbolic thought:
  • Begin by meditating
  • When thoughts as language arise, try and observe how they begin
  • When you can pinpoint the origin of an idea, try and stop translation into language when a new idea comes up
  • If you can't stop a particular idea, let it go and try again on another one
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2020, 05:16:54 pm »

The thoughts which I am directly aware of, I typically perceive as an inner voice.


With me, it's all the other thoughts, too. They holler back and forth and smash things and yell "DO YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?"  It's like having Brooklyn in my skull, only with lower housing costs.

For example, last night while I was laying in bed drifting off to sleep and some useless bastard runs up to the front of my brain with a cringe memory from my high school years.  One of THOSE cringe memories, where you flinch so hard your colon bounces off of the back of your teeth.  I heard THAT one in an inner voice, and I wasn't directly aware of it until I was staring at the ceiling at 11 PM, wondering if I was gonna get any sleep at all.
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2020, 05:30:55 pm »
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.
Reminds me of what happens when you start reading faster than your "inner voice" can speak - not skipping over the text, but really quickly reading every single word, and you only percieve the meaning, but don't "read it out" inside your mind anymore. This process is a prerequisite for high-speed reading, and it was pretty fun to experiment with apps that helped you train that. I can't find most of those I used to try out anymore though, and the ones I can still find aren't free anymore. :roll
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2020, 05:47:25 pm »
That is an improvement.  I do not currently have time to give this the attention it deserves, but I have a couple notes:

Question: Is unsymbolic thought less subject to filters or bias than thought as language?
Unsymbolic Basic-thought can potentially work with finer degrees than speech-thought.  It is possible to recognize subtly different shades of blue, but not have specific words for them.  Once the interpretation process picks a word, you have lost something.
Is it less biased?  Maybe, but I'm not sure how one would measure this.  If translating base-thought to language adds bias, then wouldn't you need to coin new words to remove that bias?

Quote
What is the operation of visual thinking? Is it a 'base' thought like unsymbollic thought, or is it the interpretation of base thought?
I would say "visual thinking", like speech-thinking, is an interpretation of basic thought.  I suppose that with "speech-thinking", you're engaging your auditory/speech-centers in some sense, and with "visual thinking", you're engaging your vision centers.  Both are translations of the underlying process.

Quote
What other types of thought are there? Is the list non-exhaustive?
I can conceptually process movement and physical sensation without actually moving (or feeling) something.  I can imagine moving my arm without moving it.  A lot of movement is connected at the base-thought level, from reflexively drawing back from pain, to higher-complexity processes like typing (once you're trained in it).

Oddly, I can't seem to manage "olfactory thought".  I simply cannot imagine smells.
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2020, 06:30:04 pm »
That’s a huge improvement. I’m going to give it a read after I eat something for sure.


ETA: At a quick skim, I do take issue with the hierarchy of consciousness-fragments you outline. Linking emotion to action and divorcing it from thought feels incorrect, rather I’d say that if there is an “Office of Thought Production,” it’s either also in charge of emotion, or it’s right next door to the Emotion Department.

Action feels more like the observer’s place: it can recognize what’s going on but it cannot produce thought or emotion itself. It has conscious control of the body (exercise: try to think deep thoughts and be aware of them while intentionally moving), it seems reasonable to say it would have unconscious control of the body as well.

I have no real issue with the rest of what you outlined (again, at a quick skim, I reserve the right to change my mind on further reading), it squares with my experience. For example, if I think in language at all, I imagine text, because my thought processes are highly visual.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 06:38:11 pm by altered »
“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.”
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2020, 01:36:14 am »
I just can’t help myself


ETA: the video is called “Making Sense of Sensemaking” and it’s about coherence, tribal conversation, etc.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 01:50:55 am by minuspace »

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2020, 05:12:33 am »
does anyone think in music?  Like sometimes the best answer to how I'm feeling is a rhythm and a melody.

I don't really understand how people can say they think in language - I guess I do sometimes, but only if I'm thinking about how I would explain what I'm thinking about to someone else - or if I want to give my "thinker" something to think about - I will state my assumptions and conclusions to myself to solidify them in my thoughts before going back to pondering in a more abstract way.

thinking to me feels more like when you're reading a book but you are no longer aware of the words - just what they are building in your mind.  or maybe dreaming - daydreaming,  I guess.

the goal of the thinking tends to drive the nature of it, too, I think (haha).  Is it a math problem?  Are you building something?  Do you need to plan a strategy?  What day is it?

or, if you have ever been driving for a long time, and suddenly realize that you are driving - just before that happened was usually some good thinking.

For me, once the thoughts are formed, then they are distilled into language.  I've developed a love for language in this regard because it's fun (probably get a little dopamine hit, i dunno) when you can find the perfect word that exactly describes what you are trying to communicate.  the irony being that no words can *exactly* describe your thoughts (or can they? I suppose if you start with words and work up they can . . .)

i prefer to communicate in metaphors.  I've only sort of recently realized I do it - but I think it reinforces the notion that what I'm saying isn't exactly what I mean and that whoever I'm talking to will need to interpret it and, after interpreting, they will better understand my thought at the more abstract level I was thinking at.  then again, maybe it's just me being a lazy communicator. . .

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2020, 05:17:18 am »
Just as I’m starting to better appreciate the topic and getting into the concepts Legu was presenting, the resident dipshits turn up. All we need is PDS taking a fat dump now. Fucking hell.

I’m still digesting the OP btw, Legu. There’s more going on now that I understand the foundation of the concepts, and I owe you a lengthy reply soon.
“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.

altered

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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2020, 05:26:59 am »
Abruptly, immediately after I post the last thing...

Food for thought, especially for Cramulus:

Cram’s 18th century mystic-tinged view of consciousness seems at odds with thought as outlined here, and I find that super interesting. I have to put it into a good framework, but the two seem both antagonistic and complementary.

Cram’s consciousness is the self-awareness of thought through logical interrogation of thought (I’ll explain this if Cram disagrees, I’m having bad words week and I swear this isn’t a misunderstanding), where Legu is more interested in a property I can’t put a word to that is kind of like a “meta-qualia”, the qualia of thought, the personal and subjective attributes of that thought. Kind of like, not quite the same. Bad words week.

They’re related but distinct, and they seem to be impossible to do at the same time. Arguably Cram’s consciousness is externally directed, awareness of the concrete parts and the interconnection between self and environment, where Legu’s thought concepts are extremely introverted.

This is a mess, but it’s early and I have to arrange it into a better form still. It just struck me as an interesting compare/contrast exercise due to the relationship of thought and consciousness, along with Legu’s ideas of a hierarchical consciousness.
“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.