Author Topic: Thought Sans Language  (Read 9569 times)


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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2020, 05:33:15 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.
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2020, 07:50:48 am »
I'm glad the re-write helped, thanks for the suggestion, altered.

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.

Another good example. You begin to understand the text without the need to 'echo' the language. Same as unsymbolic thought.

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.

Ooh, that's a very good point. That's at least one possible tangible benefit of unsymbolic / base thought.

If translating base-thought to language adds bias, then wouldn't you need to coin new words to remove that bias?

Going from the 'origin of thought' theory: since translating thought into language is conducted in the self, the self judges and modifies the thoughts produced by the super-conscious. Sort of like a policeman inside all our heads. I think the super-conscious can also be programmed to an extent, so it's not as simple as getting rid of ego, though it certainly helps. As for coining new words, I don't think it's necessary. If I'm right in saying that language is only necessary for learning or communicating thought, then you wouldn't need new words by itself to get rid of bias - instead, you would need new ideas (with or without new language) or new experiences.

Here's a fairly simple example: someone who's racist would suppress thought that contradicts their beliefs though their self / observer. When the process of turning thought into language is automatic, the self cannot observe the thought for what it is - it is too busy translating the thought. It thus ignores the thought. In this case, you wouldn't need to logically falsify their race theory or introduce liberal ideas (and also its respective words) to get rid of the bias. In this case, there are 3 solutions I think:
  • They have to observe their thoughts. This is the least likely unless the person is willing to think critically and question their beliefs.
  • They have to learn new ideas. This could come with new words, or it could not.
  • They have to experience something new that contradicts their beliefs / self and not reject that experience. This is the most effective way. There's this good Ted talk about a black man attending Ku Klux Klan rallies and talks to their members. He became friends with one of the order's leaders (which was documented) and claims to have converted many others (which I believe)[1].

I would say "visual thinking", like speech-thinking, is an interpretation of basic thought
Oddly, I can't seem to manage "olfactory thought".
I can imagine moving my arm without moving it.
For example, if I think in language at all, I imagine text, because my thought processes are highly visual.
does anyone think in music?

These make me think of the distinction between thought and imagination. CNO, you say visual thinking is an interpretation of base thought, but I'm not so sure. In fact, "base" / "proto" thought was one of the candidates I had as a name for unsymbolic thought, but I didn't choose it for this very reason - it implies that all thought is based on it, which I wasn't sure of. It might be right, but I haven't observed enough to come to a conclusion.

Usually, imagining something isn't thought to be the same as thinking something. So I'll define the term imagination as the simulation of physical senses in the mind - 'visual thought' is imagining sight, 'olfactory thought' is imagining smell, 'moving thought' is imagining movement, etc. My intuition says that these are the work of the lesser-conscious, and it fits into Cramulus's idea of the "moving brain".

Therefore I do think CNO has some truth in what he said. Visual imagination can be an interpretation of base thought, just like translating something into language, but I wonder if you can imagine without the need for base thought. I'm fairly good at imagining sound / music, so I'll try and observe that next time a song gets stuck in my head. For now, I think they are independent processes and don't depend on base thought - whereas creating language does.

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.

Haha yeah, I spent half the time thinking up this theory trying to come up with the right terms.

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.

Cramulus's theory seems to just be the triune brain model but with different words (correct me if I'm wrong here, Cramulus). Wherein the brain is divided into 3 sections: reptilian brain, paleo-mammalian brain, and neo-mammalian brain[2]. I think it's a good model for explaining the evolution of consciousness, but I personally think the inclusion of the self / observer as a separate entity helps understand thinking a bit better from a subjective perspective.

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 isn't necessarily true. In fact, the self / observer is constructed entirely from the person's interaction with their environment - particularly at a young age. The self is everything that we're programmed about: our habits, our beliefs, and our biases. It is by and large constructed as a defense mechanism against the world as a child.

The super and lesser conscious are also programmable to an extent. You can call them subconscious or separate spiritual entities - whatever, but they operate by their own language and their own systems of interpretation, just like the self. For example, if a child has an anxious-ambivalent attachment style[3] (a social function, governed by the lesser-conscious), their lesser-conscious will interpret otherwise meaningless actions, such as being told to wait by an adult who is too busy to talk, as rejection, and therefore will produce a negative emotional reaction. In a different child with a secure attachment, the same action will be interpreted neutrally and will not produce a negative reaction.

I'll also give a super-conscious example to further flesh out the idea. Cramulus and I both have separate theories on consciousness, his being the intellectual-emotional-moving brain theory, and mine being the lesser-self-super conscious theory. They may be similar, but every piece of data or observation we both receive will be processed differently and according to our own knowledge frameworks. Data that doesn't fit the system may be rejected, or might mean the framework is reworked.

I forgot to include this in the technical re-write, sorry.

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.

This is a good limitation for the lesser-self-super conscious map / theory.



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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2020, 08:21:18 am »
Need to give this more time to simmer, but two things:

Attachment theory is not necessarily good science and shouldn’t be used to support your ideas. Much of it is garbage, the remainder is controversial at best and outright dangerous at worst.

Good overview of the worst of it is available at RationalWiki, but take note of their warning that not one bit of it is settled or solid. (I understand it was probably just an example, but it’s better to give solid examples than ones based on questionable theories.)

Also! When it comes to terminology, that’s the biggest reason I suggested the technical rewrite. This is an area where no one has a common language that can be considered meaningful for discussion beyond the surface level. Defining your terms from the outset stops you from running into semantic mismatches that are impossible to re-align without loads of frustration.

Technical writing is a very dry, boring, but extremely easy to parse style of writing that is great for opening discussions in unfamiliar communities about topics without much common language. The arrogance thing was meant as just a remark on how it came across since you didn't do that initially and your responses to the inevitable semantic mismatches seemed less than totally aware of the miscommunication happening.

That’s not a slight against you, though. It’s a simple mistake to make when you’re not familiar with this sort of thing in this sort of space, and my comments were meant with good intentions. (I think my later replies made that clear, but it IS bad at words week, so... worth restating.)

I heap loads of shit on people I truly think are up to no good, it’s very unambiguous. This was miscommunication, easily fixed, and opening up a whole heap of ideas and concepts to really chew on. So thank you for the rewrite!
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Re: Thought Sans Language
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2020, 04:55:12 am »
if you're dumb like myself and don't want to get bogged down in postmodernisms, a nice exercise is to just see how long you can get along without thinking/using a word. it's hard to quantify why this is important but it's evident once you start in. it's easier than meditation but illustrates some truths more quickly. RationalWiki is only good for science stuff.