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How we think - A discussion of our processes

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RickU

How we think - A discussion of our processes

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First, I'd like to qualify that I am not sure in which forum this actually belongs. I chose science because what I'd like to discuss is the manner in which our brains operate.Second is the story. While travelling to a wedding my wife and I got a book on tape. It was Don Dillelo's "The Body Artist". The subject matter was decent. It's a fictional story and, in my analysis, is main about her dealing with death.The subject matter, however, is less important to me than the style in which this work was written. I didn't find the subject matter offensive or distasteful, but I found myself nauseaus and nearly physically ill while listening to this book. I believe that it was the writing style which affected me so.I was driving while listening, having just taken over from my wife. My wife was enthralled with the descriptions, while I suffered. Unconsciously (It was brought to my attention by my wife...) I began making disapproving noises of disgust while listening to the book. She told me this after we finished listening...and I'm glad she only mentioned it after the book finished.I'm sorry for the long lead up...What we discovered while talking about what disgusted me so, is that the book was written in the same basic style in which my wife thinks. And, that style of thinking is completely alien to me. I'll go out on a limb and say that I don't think the difference is inherently sexual. Don Dillelo is a man...my wife, obviously, is not.What I think it breaks down to is that our streams of conciousness (someone elses term) can be very different. The very way that we percieve our world isn't the same.My wife was initially mad at me for being nauseated. Luckily, we arrive at much of the same conclusions in any discourse and I explained to her that this was a plus. We arrive at the same conclusions from 2 very different modes of thinking.At this juncture, I'd like to tell you HOW it is that I think that I think. I like to think of my stream of consciousness as very linear. Point to point. The subject matter isn't linear...it can jump around in my thoughts, but once on a subject I kind of view it as a line graph. Subject 1 = options ABCDEFG etc. Not that my thinking is limited, just that it's linear. The stream of consciousness portrayed in the book was not linear...aside from that it's hard to describe since it's not mine...My ultimate question (for this thread) is this - How do you think that our varying streams of conciousness affect how we view the world? Your comments, questions and discourse are highly welcomed... In Vino Veritas
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Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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I may have to read the book just to get a better handle on what you are talking about. I know that it is devilshly difficult to "get a handle" on the thinking process of someone who approaches the world differently than one (than I?) do, but I've never heard of it actually becoming repellent before. If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984
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Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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I can see how different thought processes can become annoying. I cannot offer any empirical evidence, but...I am a straight line type. I go for the most direct route for a solution to any given problem. That is, when the problem is pressing. I hate beating around the bush so to speak.Others I deal with think in a bubble type of approach. Floating ideas that I know to be uselessly time consuming and roundabout. This annoys me. Unfortunately, these people are my 'superiors' at work (family business).I love it when it comes to pass that the solution I originally proffered turns out to be the one they bosses choose to go with!So in my professional life, I absolutely abhor dealing with my bosses because I get very angry at the process they insist on utilizing.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain
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Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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I do not see your point in what you wrote then, for writing style is very conscious. Thus what you were listening to, to me, means your were upset with the authors style, again a very conscious decision.Thought and reasoning are very conscious as I understand it. I have a book I am planning on reading called "What is Thought" by Heidegger (sp?). This book explores the thought processes in an attempt to train them. To make one a 'better' thinker. So maybe I am misunderstanding, but as I understand it, thought is absolutely conscious.Also, you use subjective descriptions when you say "but once on a subject I kind of view it as a line graph". This implies conscious effort. If I am off, please help me understand.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of PainEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 8/6/04 9:44 pm
RickU

Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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Although you point out an interesting take on what I wrote...you've got it all wrong. I'm talking about your stream of conciousness. It's not a concious action. It is, precisely, how you think. It's not the answer, but how you achieve the answer. In Vino Veritas
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Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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Some material for...well...thought.www.cc.gatech.edu/classes...ocess.htmlQuote:Thought processes--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am). These words of Descartes sum up the importance of thought processes in humans and probably the most important reason we differ from animals. Although animals retrieve and store information, there is little evidence to suggest that they can use it in quite the same way as humans. Humans, on the other hand, are able to use information to reason and solve problems, even when the information is partial or unavailable. Thinking can be categorized into reasoning and problem solving. Although these are not distinct they are helpful in clarifying the processes involved.ReasoningReasoning is the process by which we use the knowledge we have to draw conclusions or infer something we know about the domain of interest. Reasoning is classified as being deductive, inductive or abductive. Deductive reasoning involves deciding what must be true given the rules of logic and some starting set of facts(premises). Inductive reasoning involves deciding what is likely to be true given some starting set of beliefs or observations.Deductive reasoningDeductive reasoning derives the logically necessary conclusion from the given premises. It is important to note that it can lead to a logical conclusion which conflicts with our knowledge of the world. For example,If it is raining then the ground is dry.It is raining.Therefore the ground is dry.is a perfectly valid deduction ! Deductive reasoning is therefore often misapplied. Human deduction is at its poorest when truth and validity clash. This is because people bring their knowledge of the real world into the reasoning process as it allows them to takeshort cuts which make information processing more efficient. Inductive reasoningInduction is generalizing from cases we have seen to infer information about cases we haven't. For instance, if all the dogs that we have seen are white, we may infer that all dogs are white in colour. This is disproved when we see a black dog ! In the absence of counter examples, all that we can do is gather evidence to support our inductive inference. In spite of its unreliablity, induction is a useful process which we use constantly in learning about our environment.Abductive reasoningAbduction reasons from a fact to the action that caused it. This is the method we use to derive explanations for the events we observe. This kind of reasoning, although useful, can lead to unreliability as an action preceding an event can be wrongly attributed as the cause of the event.Problem solvingProblem solving is the process of finding a solution to an unfamiliar task, using the knowledge we have. There are a number of different views of how people solve problems. We shall consider two of the more recent and influential views: Gestalt theory and the problem space theory.Gestalt theoryGestalt theory claims that problem solving is productive and reproductive. Reproductive problem solving draws on previous experiences whereas productive problem solving involves insight and restructuring of the problem. Reproductive problem solving could be a hindrance to finding a solution, since a person may fixate on the known aspects of a problem and so be unable to see novel interpretations that might lead to a solution.A well known example of this is Maier's `pendulum problem'. The problem was to tie together pieces of string hanging from the ceiling. However , they were far too apart to catch hold of both at once. The room was full of other objects including pliers, poles and extensions. Although various solutions were proposed by participants, few chose to use the weight of the pliers as a pendulum to swing the strings together. However, when the experimenter brushed against the string, setting it in motion, a lot of participants came up with the idea. This can be interpreted as an example of productive restructuring. This experiment also illustrates fixation: participants were unable to see any method beyond the use of a pair of pliers.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain
RickU

Re: How we think - A discussion of our processes

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Quote:I do not see your point in what you wrote then, for writing style is very conscious. Thus what you were listening to, to me, means your were upset with the authors style, again a very conscious decision.Indeed it is. The point, however, is that the writing style was (in my wifes opinion) a written example of how her stream of consciousness works. A written manifestation of her thought process.Quote:Thought and reasoning are very conscious as I understand it. I have a book I am planning on reading called "What is Thought" by Heidegger (sp?). This book explores the thought processes in an attempt to train them. To make one a 'better' thinker. So maybe I am misunderstanding, but as I understand it, thought is absolutely conscious.First - Reasoning may be conscious, but I would contend that not ALL thought is conscious. I think of it a little like breathing. Sometimes you consciously make yourself breath. Others, you simply do it without your being conscious of the action.2nd - Sounds like a cool book and I'll have to pick it up.Quote:Also, you use subjective descriptions when you say "but once on a subject I kind of view it as a line graph". This implies conscious effort. If I am off, please help me understand.You're right and it was poorly phrased. I do not consciously place my thoughts on a chart...but once done, that is my perception of my own thoughts. When truly reasoning (as opposed to idle thought), that process becomes conscious. In Vino VeritasEdited by: RickU  at: 8/9/04 2:28 pm
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