EIK - Session 1 Part 6
Now, what other parts do I know something about? Well, I come now to the very extraordinary phenomena you and I call thinking. Throughout the whole of my thinking out loud with you, you are going to find that I always come back to an experiential base. I don't deal with any axioms. I don't say anything is self-evident. I don't say, then, I believe. I can hypothesize that this may be the explanation of what I am experiencing, but I'd have to say that is as a guess, it's an informed guess; but I will always be dealing in an experiential strategy, and I'm now doing everything I can to understand how we can develop a synergetic grand strategy of approaching problem solving by human mind. So, what is it that I am personally conscious of doing when I say I am thinking? I'm not saying thinking may be a bright light, we've all heard people say "I had a bright idea." I say what am I conscious of about it, and as I become really fairly well disciplined in identifying what it is I am experiencing. Now I call your attention to a common experience of all of ours, which is, we say, "what is the name of that beautiful blonde tall boy, you remember?" His name is on the tip of my tongue, but it doesn't come right away. And both of us forget we said it, and then tomorrow morning, when we're busy with something, in comes the name, Tom Turner, and you are little annoyed at this thing; but what we do, is we both experience that when we ask ourselves questions we have a mechanism which goes back and gets the answer, and maybe it might be quite difficult to retrieve, maybe it is hidden under a lot of other input, but we have this mechanism that does it absolutely inexorably. That's a mutual experience, that's one reason we can remember it, because we can check up with each other that it did happen. But we have a solo experience, and I also have learned from doing what I'm doing thinking out loud and being on the stage many times with large thousands of people out there, a word doesn't come to me quite right away, because I'm doing my thinking out loud, and I have to pull out those word tools that I've gradually learned to employ; and one comes a little slowly and I need to explain what it is, I find I can get around it by using quite a few other words to inform you what I'm thinking about, but then just as I am getting it out that way, then suddenly I find the right word comes to me. I find that there are lags in recall rates, which we would not really identify because that name seems to come back tomorrow, or sometime later on, sometime today, but such big lags that we haven't been able to say any given, identifiable periodicity of lag, length of lag. However, I have learned that the words that I am standing on the stage needing, they are rather frequently used words, and every word I use has little lag, and some of them a little longer lags. I find that people who are not used to thinking about what it is they are doing when they say they are thinking and talking, tend to go ah, ah, ah in between, really giving you the periodicity of the lag. Now, the point, is, I discovered there is a plurality of lags and rates of recall, and some of them are really very short, and particularly these ones in relation to the word tools. And the names take longer because the names used to be names of functions, descriptions of a Smith was smithing, a Miller was milling, and so on, and so you could see that by your experience, and it came to you very quickly. But now we say Miller, but he is not doing milling, and it gets to be then just a sound pattern. Smith is in an area of sound, and it's a graphing, a sound pattern, so we only have a certain amount of memory cubbyholes for this kind of non-functional pattern, and so they get buried very deep, like magazines, so it takes a long time to go down and pull it out of the stack, since that cubbyhole has been filled up vertically now.
Now coming, then, to the idea that there are lags in rates of recall and that there is an inexorable searching that is initiated when you ask yourself a question What I said to you is different, but when I ask myself something, I'm going down the street and I say, What is the name of that tree? My mother gave me the name of that tree. I haven't seen one in a very long time. And then your attention is called to something else some friend waves from a car and you have to go on. You ask yourself questions all day long like that. So when you're trying to go to sleep sometimes, in comes maple trees and you wonder why all these things keep coming in. And, because there is no identified lag of the different types. They don't come back on schedule.