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RAMBLINGS OF A MADMAN
The purpose of blogs vary. Many are simply personal ones, where they describe the workings of the author's life. Some are political, rallying for one side and decrying the other. The purpose of this blog is to post my internal musings about things I don't fully understand. There are few answers in this blog, but many questions. No post is a light read - I endeavour to make them long and deep. And I never give a tl;dr version. If I haven't scared you away yet, happy thinking. :D
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What DOESN'T make you look fat!?

Posted October 13th, 2009 at 12:53 AM by Citrinin
Updated October 13th, 2009 at 01:58 AM by Citrinin

(Wow it's been a while since I've made a blog entry. @_@; I have to get back into it. :})

If we imagine this as a very simplified process of coming up with things to say:

[think it]->[decide whether to say it]->[say it]

The mechanisms each by themselves are fascinating. Thinking of something to say is an interesting area, encompassing cognitive linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and all the other fun brain-related topics. The final part involves all the signals being sent from the brain to the mouth, so it can string phonemes into morphemes, morphemes into words, and words into sentences. (And these are only the things we say in terms of the content of our speech - for simplicity's sake, I'm ignoring suprasegmentals and body language.)

What I'm interested in is the middle part. The deciding whether to say it. I suppose we could dub this process the "internal filter".

Let's say your sister asks you whether she looks good in her new dress.

Imagine this as a simplified process:
1. [THOUGHT: It makes you look ugly]
2. [FILTER: If I say that, her feelings will be hurt. I care more about her feelings than telling her the truth. Therefore: reassess to something she wants to hear (bounce back to the first step)]
3. [THOUGHT: It makes her look good]
4. [FILTER: Acceptable by my (sub)conscious goals]
5. [SAY: It makes you look good]
(Naturally, such thoughts can occur very quickly. Stalling increases pressure for the system to speed up, which means the filter must become more permissive so as to allow something to be said. You don't have the liberty of constructing a perfect response for twenty minutes before coming up with an answer.)

Notice how you can bounce back and forth between mechanism one and two, in a kind of internal conflict: "Should I say this? No. How about this? No. How about this? Yes."

Today I was left thinking about my own "internal filter", and how comprehensive and thorough it was. I developed quite an effective internal filter (I believe) at quite an early age. Both on the internet and in real life, I try to think carefully about what I say. On one hand, it prevents a lot of fights or unpleasant situations. On the other hand, it masks my true personality. I wonder, to what extent would an optimal filter censor things you say? (It was posed as a rhetorical, but, come to think of it, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.)

I suppose this is why I like the internet. Several times when I might've said something abrasive online I've been able to "self-censor", and keep the peace, so to speak. This is a positive effect. But I suppose it could be argued that it makes things less personal and honest.

To sum up my fragmented thoughts on this issue, I will use a smiley.

?___?
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    I'm equally fascinated with how quickly thoughts process in the human mind.

    I'm not normally ashamed of my opinion, nor am I afraid to point out to someone that they look hideous. I do, however, want to make sure that people understand me/I don't look foolish when I'm saying something. So the majority of the time in a conversation, I'm structuring my sentences rather than focusing on filtering them.
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 02:52 AM by poopnoodle poopnoodle is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Citrinin's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poopnoodle
    I'm equally fascinated with how quickly thoughts process in the human mind.
    It is incredible, isn't it? Even in my very, very simplified 5-step model it took me at least 30 seconds to write, but that sort of thought process goes on a lot at amazing speeds.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poopnoodle
    I'm not normally ashamed of my opinion, nor am I afraid to point out to someone that they look hideous. I do, however, want to make sure that people understand me/I don't look foolish when I'm saying something. So the majority of the time in a conversation, I'm structuring my sentences rather than focusing on filtering them.
    Fair enough - people have subjective preferences that allow for filters of varying levels of permissiveness. Although, of course, relevance is also a filter - often it's easy to think silly thoughts off-topic to the current conversation at hand that you'll keep to yourself not out of embarrassment, but maintaining the current topic. Self-preservation's another one; you don't call your teacher an idiot, even if you think he is, unless the benefit of "getting it off your chest" exceeds the penalty.

    I guess structuring sentences would fall under step 1.
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 03:11 AM by Citrinin Citrinin is offline
    Updated October 13th, 2009 at 03:17 AM by Citrinin
  3. Old Comment
    It baffles me that I am able to perform millions of calculations per second, but it takes me minutes to present the conclusion of my calculation. It leaves me wondering, if we somehow were able to share thoughts instead of having to verbally communicate, how far humanity would have come in terms of progression. It's hard to imagine a world without people practicing primitive activities, which I imagine would be obsolete.
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 07:52 AM by poopnoodle poopnoodle is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Bay Alexison's Avatar
    You just have to lie, that's all, and I have my smiley to prove it.

    Nah, in all seriousness though, interesting how our mind works like that. Happened to me already this morning while I was taking a quiz (and failed it D: ).
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 09:16 AM by Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Citrinin's Avatar
    @poopnoodle: So true. The act of communication is far slower than the act of thinking, and that is almost certainly a hindrance to our progress.

    @Bay: :O What happened?
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 03:30 PM by Citrinin Citrinin is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Ineffable~'s Avatar
    Unfiltered version:

    >< I DUN GET IT!!!!!!11
    Wuts uo wuth (lol typo) this tihng about...filrtening (lol typo) wors. (lol tpye (loltypo (lol typo)))
    >< i dot (lol typo) it all the itme!!!!!11 (lol typo) but i dun evne (lol typo) no y i do it i mena (lol tpyo (lol typoe (lol typo))) ive done it since i was lil but still..my sitsr (lol ytypo (lol typo)) lofk (lol tpyo (lol tpyo (lol tpyo (lol typo)))) fat in dressed (lol typo) its so wirerd (lol ttpo (lol typo))
    ?_?
    Posted October 13th, 2009 at 06:49 PM by Ineffable~ Ineffable~ is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Citrinin's Avatar
    Is it really unfiltered? Or did you think what you wanted to say and run it through an "appear n00bish" filter? ;D
    Posted October 14th, 2009 at 03:58 AM by Citrinin Citrinin is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Yoshimi's Avatar
    Citrate, you need to make more of these; I personally think that your blogs are the most interesting of the ones that I've seen so far. You talk about the complexities of humans and human development, and parts of science, but you can make it so that it is easily understandable by the laymen checking your blog.
    However, you should always end it in a question.
    I can't really say anything about it unless you are asking something ;__;
    Posted October 21st, 2009 at 06:19 PM by Yoshimi Yoshimi is offline
 

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