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infotropism comments on How Much Thought - Less Wrong

37 Post author: jimrandomh 12 April 2009 04:56AM

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Comment author: infotropism 12 April 2009 06:54:58PM 1 point [-]

The top level of my thoughts is verbalized. On most occasions I have enough time to have an internal debate or conversation, polishing and ordering my words like beads on a string.

The lower layer, which comes just before that, is what I suppose you call gestalt., yes ?

Putting a word on a concept, or elaborating an idea using a sentence, takes time, and isn't the point of origin of my thought. It runs deeper. Usually, anything I'll say or do, comes from such a ... well the 'vague strained feeling' Yvain talks of, is what seems to be closest to those points of origin as I feel them. Except that the feeling isn't so much strained as it is a compressed burst, quick, slippery, elusive, small, and simple, yet pretty much as complete as the verbalization that is going to be based upon it a split second later.

I've tried, as an experiment, to deny myself verbalizing, to think only using strings of such "feelings", pre-thoughts. When I try, it feels like my deliberative thinking processes are running faster, but I can't easily connect them together, in a coherent whole.

In such a situation my main thought / idea thread also forks every few seconds, and after a moment the number of different, unique, threads of thought, every one of which would deserve a few sentences in itself, each one vying for a bit of attention, become too great to hold, and I randomly dump some, forgetting about them, following new ideas as they pop in my mind. Without much coherence or continuity, though how new ideas appear is always related to the ideas I had just before, ideas associated, one calling for the other pretty naturally.

But still I don't find my verbalized ideas or concepts to be different, better or more complex, than those non verbal thoughts. They're only more coherent, structured, and permanent, yes, but the real source is down there.

After having described this to some people, one told me that this looked a lot like how people on amphetamine actually describe their thoughts and ideas too.