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Messages - Légu

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Apple Talk / Re: How to eliminate yourself as a force for good.
« on: June 18, 2021, 09:09:57 pm »
So basically, fighting climate change is now a racist activity.

I don't think that it's implied that it's a racist activity... Unless you meant something like "race is now an important factor in fighting climate change".

Which makes me wonder,
a) Why BIPOC were seemingly excluded in the first place (structural issue? or was it just not diverse enough at the start?)
b) Why the diversity of the group was relevant at all
c) What sort of internal politics led to this decision
d) How this helps BIPOC... Or how they will include them going forward

Of course, I don't think anybody outside the group can really know what's going on internally. I feel like this news may be somewhat sensationalized---maybe the previous administration could be working towards restructuring the group, or another group could take its place. Can't really tell either way.

Very odd phenomenon nonetheless.

[Edit] A quick read of the facebook post (which I should've done at the beginning) makes it seem as though they're just disbanding in favour of other groups, so I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing; there are alternatives there. Nothing was lost but one administration.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« 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.




Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« on: July 27, 2020, 05:13:23 pm »
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:

  • 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.


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


Some additional questions and stuff on other types of thought.

  • 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

  • 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

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« 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.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« 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.

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.

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.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« 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.

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.

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.

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"

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.

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

Best compliment I can receive!


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Thought Sans Language
« on: July 25, 2020, 03:57:03 pm »
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.

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.

"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).

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / 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.


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.


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