Because if I keep all of this inside, I'll go nuts!
2007-07-24 - 18:49:12
The three speeds of thoughtI've often wondered how the brain works, how intelligence works, if we can ever reproduce or recreate intelligence artificially. I'm not a neurosurgeon, nor am I a neuropsychologist. Actually, I'm not an expert in any field whatsoever. All I do it think and observe. So as you can understand, this opinion isn't even worth the electrons it's printed on.
This having been said, here is a bit of what I understand about my thought process. There seem to be three levels which I can discern. The one we are more familiar with is the way we talk to ourselves. We basically chit chat in our mind, telling ourselves stuff. Above that is an accelerated type of thought. If, for example, you look at a work of art, your brain will send you impressions which aren't necessarily phrases. They're close to emotions in that our feelings don't talk, they're felt. Well, ideas can also be processed that way. Sometimes, this can take the form of an image. If you're imagining a scene in your head, you're not telling yourself "ok, now the dog is turning the corner, so imagine that". You just imagine it. Here's another example. Say you want to pick up a piece of paper. You're typically not going to tell yourself "all right, now I want to pick up a piece of paper, so let's do it!". You just think the action without words and execute it. Or not.
Above (or below?) that lies an even faster type of thought. This is where thoughts are, in a way, born. It's your brain working at (somewhat) full speed, processing as much data as it can. At first, I thought the previous thought type was the ultimate one, but after a while I noticed that I could feel something beyond that. I still have trouble explaining it, but it's as if the second thought layer is basically there to help us understand what we just thought. As if we needed a buffer between pure thought and action. Maybe it's like a censure board for the brain, quickly analysing what thoughts and impressions are worth keeping and dropping the rest. I still don't really understand the super fast thought process. I can kind of feel it going on, when I try, but it's truly difficult to grasp what's going on at that speed, if that even makes any sense.
As you can see, this is far from being a scientific theory. It's just me trying to pay attention.2007-07-02 - 10:35:31
Memory stimulation techniqueWhen I was a teenager, I had problems remembering which actor played in a particular movie (or other unimportant things). Since this was before the popularization of the Internet and the IMDB, finding answers to the second question was a complicated matter. This search for who did what sometimes obsessed me and I was frustrated by my lack of memory. Of course, occasionally the answer would pop in my head and I'd let out a quiet sigh of relief. After a while, I started wondering if I might learn to better understand myself and speed up the recovery of these memories. I started listening to my thought process (if such a thing is possible) and noticed that memories bring back other memories.
You know how that works. If you let your mind wander, you'll go from one memory to the other, or one thought to the other. I then tried liberating my mind from the multitude of thoughts that go through it at any given moment. I guess this is a lot like meditation. Except I'm not trying to free my mind of thought, I'm trying to explore and observe one single thought.
You're not really concentrating on that thought, it's a bit more like loving it and letting it be. You observe it but you try not to influence it. If you do that enough, you learn to see tiny little details that exist with it that you hadn't really noticed before. It might be a sound, an image, a smell. But more often than not, for me, it was feelings. Nothing that can be named such as love or hate. Just some tiny little emotional vibrations that exist with a particular memory. I couldn't even name them, but they're there like some long lost echo.
So what's the link between this and my memory? I found out that these little details that surround a memory also help find the thing I forgot about. I'll explain how I do it and then I'll give you an example. I call this technique the "memory massage". I think of what I'm looking for and then I let that thought linger while I observe it. After a while, like when you hit a gong, the memory looses it's intensity. So I "actively" think about it again and observe. After a few times, my observations help me build a picture that is clearer and clearer, bringing me closer to my objective. Most of the time, I'll remember what I had forgotten.
Here's en example: you're looking for who played in a movie you saw a while back, You have some vague impression of who you're looking for but you just can't put your finger on it. Well concentrate on that impression for a second or two, and then observe it, Try to notice the little details and feelings that surround it, After a few moments, concentrate on it again. Notice that there was something that reminds you of another detail. A hat, for example. Now you have some vague recollection and a hat, Think about everything again. Try to notice something else. Do this a few more times. You'll end up with a hat, some feeling of stress because of what was happening in the scene you're thinking about, colours, a nose, a brown coat, etc. After a while all of these things will probably bring back what you are looking for, having found enough associated memories to point the way towards your goal.
Of course, this can be used for more than remembering trivia. It's helped me find things I had forgotten where I'd put them, as well as some other things I'll talk about in another post. It's a bit like exercise, it can be tiring, bur it sure is useful when I need it.2007-05-18 - 15:28:29
IntroductionI've wanted to write this blog for a couple of years now. But time is a rarity in my life and this, like many other projects, was pushed back.
Why am I writing this blog? What are these strange thoughts I have? And, more importantly, am I the only one who's brain seems to work the way it does?
The "why" is pretty simple. Because I must. I see this blog as something akin to the "pensieve" in the Harry Potter books. The pensieve is a sort of bowl in which Dumbledore takes some of his memories and stores them for a later use. I don't remember if this is explained in the books or not, but I believe this device lets the mind work with less worry about remembering details of important events. In a way, this blog will let me spill in written form the ideas and memories I go through every once in a while just so I won't forget them. By writing them down, I probably risk some ridicule, but I'm freeing myself up for further mental explorations. I have the feeling that the fear of forgetting these things sometimes keeps me from having more of these strange thoughts.
The "what" will be part of the texts that will be showing up here from time to time. I have absolutely no idea if this is of interest to anybody else than myself, and that's OK. Even if absolutely nobody reads them, the texts will at least have served the purpose explained in the above paragraph.
As for the "who else" part of this, I'd sincerely love to hear from other people who have had similar experiences. If I'm all alone living through some thing that ends up being a benign form of dementia, so be it. If you have any questions or comments about the ideas posted on this blog, I'll be happy to read your posts.
I hope you'll enjoy visiting this site.