You can only think what You can say.

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posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:26 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Now what you are talking about is that you have like a small percentage of the population, the ability to process information in a non-traditional way. Some have the ability to do this like savants, but they are the exception to the rule.
Even Einstein said that the greatest leaps that he and other great scientists ever made, happened in moments of no thought, when the mind was left to pure creativity and imagination.


[edit on 9/21/2008 by schrodingers dog]




posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
So as the mind thinks only in verbal terms, any interpretation or description is by definition going to be an approximation.
The only alternative is to try to capture and convey that movement through an artistic and creative mechanism.


Sounds like your making a distinction between understanding one's own ideas and communicating that idea accurately to someone else.

I'm not sure I want to accept the premise that the mind thinks only in verbal terms. We have our ideations that are abstract and, in order to "make sense of them" as we ponder them, we use language as a sort of decryption tool.

But I don't think that language is thought limiter, though it may be a communication limiter; a sort of "language barrier" between individuals. Some people are better wordsmiths than others, of course.

I remember listening to Imus years ago and he'd stammer his way through something that he was trying to express, and Charles McCord would interupt with a concisely worded version and Imus would blurt out "Charles, once again you have crystalized my thoughts exactly!".


Edit because there was a very key word missing in paragraph two.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by Tuning Spork
Sounds like your making a distinction between understanding one's own ideas and communicating that idea accurately to someone else.


The distinction I am failing to communicate is this:

Something external happens and you observe it.
You feel it and you sense it. That movement lies in one of an infinite feelings that a human can experience. Within a split second that experience travels to your brain, which is only able to interpret it within the limits of the words it knows to assign to it.

I'm not trying to minimize the breadth of the human experience. I'm only noting the brain's limited ability, because of language, to interpret it.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:45 AM
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I don't know if it's linguistic though, or cultural.

I think that what we see and feel gets filtered into comprehensible form -- that we only think about something new in relation to something we're already familiar with. And those things will be firstly the experience of being embodied, and secondly what we have learned from our culture.

But I guess I think in some cases the words come into our thought after we already have the concept. Like in/out, up/down, me/not me -- the really basic dichotomies that must be our first experiences.

EDIT: But I don't think this disagrees with your core intuition that in some way we can think fewer things than we can experience.

[edit on 9/21/08 by americandingbat]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:49 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


You know, I'm not married to this idea, that's why I'm throwing it out there for consideration. But I think that if you take the time a few times a day to stop and notice yourself thinking, you will find that every thought has a word attached to it.
Maybe I'm wrong.
But I don't see how else thought is even possible.








[edit on 9/21/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:57 AM
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Hey, don't frown. I may think Pinker is full of poop, but he knows a heck of a lot more about linguistics and psychology than me


Most things I think you're right, I think in words. Just certain stuff that I don't.

I think it's part of the human need to tell stories, to make sense of experience. I'm not sure that words are the only kind of symbols we can use to think with, but I do believe that we think in symbols.

Maybe to me, thinking in math or chemistry is like a musician thinking in music -- it's just one area in which the verbal mechanisms that usually filter everything we experience get bypassed.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:01 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 



Okay. See if this works as an analogy.

A very intelligent 19th century watchmaker encounters a modern digital watch. He studies for a few moments and can't figure it out. It has no gears, no springs and the display is made up of numerals. The numerals emit light, but there is no light source he can see. When he pushes a button it beeps, yet there are no horns or air being pumped through it. What are the casing and strap made of? They're not metal or leather.

He may be a brilliant watchmaker in his time, but he has no idea of the words (light emitting diode, electronics, polymers) that he would need in order to make sense of the thing in his own mind.

He can then show it to his friend, the poet. The poet will examine it and find the most colorful language he can to evoke the "essence" of the strange timepiece, but neither he nor the watchmaker will be any closer to really understanding what it really is because they do not have the neccessary language needed to define it.

That's sort of a nuts and bolts example of what your getting at, I think, though you seem to be thinking along the lines of much more abstract experiences such as your example of sensing someone entering a room. Am I getting your drift?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by Tuning Spork
 


Exactly, now take our understanding of the universe, which is less than than the 19th century watchmaker confronted with a digital watch.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:07 AM
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Very interesting thread. I really think you are on to something here. I do think you should have named this thread "you can only think what you can say"

When I read "You cannot think what You cannot say". The first thing that came to my mind was. Hell I've thought my wifes cooking was horrible for 15 years, but I dare not say it.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by jwstarry
Very interesting thread. I really think you are on to something here. I do think you should have named this thread "you can only think what you can say"

When I read "You cannot think what You cannot say". The first thing that came to my mind was. Hell I've thought my wifes cooking was horrible for 15 years, but I dare not say it.


Absolutely right. I changed the thread title.
And no one has to cook.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:22 AM
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It is more that you cannot think of something you don`t know or haven`t seen before.
you cannot make up the unknown.
everything you make up and you think is new consists of things you knew before.
so that guy who invented the plane did not make up something new but put known things together in a different way.
try it...try to think of something new....



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:24 AM
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reply to post by alexenia
 


Yes, but it's always the approximate word(s) first, then thought.
In fact many inventions are a result of gaps between words.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Imagine you are sitting in a big busy restaurant having dinner. And you are sitting at the farthest table from the front door with your back to the door. Someone walks in and their energy is so strong that even though you don't see them walk in, you are compelled to turn around and look at that person. I speak four languages and none of them has a word for that. So your only recourse is either emote that wordless feeling through an artistic vehicle, or do like I did and spend a whole paragraph describing around it.
Make sense?


When you put it this way, I wonder whether the answer lies more in our evolution and particularly with the functions of the 'Reptilian Brain' or the R-Complex (according the model of the Triune Brain)


The brain stem is the oldest and smallest region in the evolving human brain. It evolved hundreds of millions of years ago and is more like the entire brain of present-day reptiles. For this reason, it is often called the 'reptilian brain'. Various clumps of cells in the brain stem determine the brain's general level of alertness and regulate the vegetative processes of the body such as breathing and heartbeat.

It's similar to the brain possessed by the hardy reptiles that preceded mammals, roughly 200 million years ago. It's 'preverbal', but controls life functions such as autonomic brain, breathing, heart rate and the fight or flight mechanism. Lacking language, its impulses are instinctual and ritualistic. It's concerned with fundamental needs such as survival, physical maintenance, hoarding, dominance, preening and mating. It is also found in lower life forms such as lizards, crocodiles and birds. It is at the base of your skull emerging from your spinal column.

The basic ruling emotions of love, hate, fear, lust, and contentment emanate from this first stage of the brain. Over millions of years of evolution, layers of more sophisticated reasoning have been added upon this foundation.


The pertinent piece of information here being that all these functions are controlled or originated in a part of the brain that developed before spoken language. And, most definately before words.

As most of the functions of the Reptilian Brain are believed to be related to a 'function' it is more a case of actions speaking louder than words and a demonstration that like the 'lower' mammals, we were once much more dependent on all our senses. Perhaps having a thought without words to express it, is merely you having an instinct response that you nolonger know how to translate into words, or which no words can yet describe. Or even, a reaction that works faster than your language centre in the Neo-Cortex. The physiological response is probably quicker than the linguistic response, the flight or fight mechanism could also activate a chemical response which may effect rational thought.

Possibly.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:44 AM
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Again I think there is something substantial in the statement,
"You can only think what You can say"

I also think that is breaking down the theroy in simplest form. I am not learned in the field of Particle Physics so therefore I can not speak into great depth on the subject, but I can scratch the surface with the best of them.


The deep theroy here I believe is that you can not conceive of that which you do not know of. While you know that you dont know it, you then try and apply what you do know of via past experiences and/or related studies to try and fill in the blanks.

Example

I have never eaten Chocolate Marshmellow Ice cream, Hence I can not tell you what that is like (unless I lie of course). I have eaten Ice Cream, Chocolate, and Marshmellows all individual of each other. So it is farly easy to surmise what chocolate Marshmellow Ice Cream will taste like.

But you will never really be certain until you do it.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:53 AM
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I do not think (
) that you really need words to think. of course you use them - but they are much too limited to complete all our thoughts. it is so often that i want to express something and i do not have words for it. thinking is more based on emotions and logical impulses than words.
i mean for example, animals are also able to think and they do not have words. so are babys - and they think and learn a lot!
mainly you use words to express your thoughts to others. those words just give a very improper picture of what your really have been thinking. they can never express the personal emotions you connect with that thought.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:58 AM
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reply to post by milabb.
 


I agree but I have a question for you.

If you can not put a thought into words, Can it be thought of?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:04 AM
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there is a word-thought connection but you can think of something you don't know the word of or forgot the word. babys do not have words at all but do think . when a baby wishes for milk it knows that it wants milk or is hungry without knowing the word for it. there are a lot of car words I dont know but I can think of them without calling them in my mind.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:05 AM
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Originally posted by jwstarry
reply to post by milabb.
 


I agree but I have a question for you.

If you can not put a thought into words, Can it be thought of?

yes only by thinking of the image.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:08 AM
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reply to post by jwstarry
 


do you ask if it is a thought if you do not have words for it? if so i have to say of course it is. like i said, thoughts are based on much more than just words....



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by alexenia
 


Correct, and herein lies the enigma of the statement. "You can only think what You can say."

We have been conditioned to associate words with Conscience thought since birth. You stated "babys do not have words at all but do think . when a baby wishes for milk it knows that it wants milk or is hungry without knowing the word for it." You are 100% correct, the baby "knows" what it wants. Hence a Conscience thought and something it knows. Although the baby has yet to associate its thought to words yet does not detract from the fact it is still a conscience thought.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by jwstarry]





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