(mental) Resource availability

Brian,

But thought matters… if the things of the world that matter to us are not machines, why would thinking of resources like a machine be of help? I think it would be better to put our pension for machine-like thinking in it’s place, drop what makes machine thinking demand total control, rather than drop our having feelings.

If everything we see is in our minds how CAN we tell that from anything else??

I mean something very practical and achievable by that. It’s that we can learn to see our thought process and the world’s processes as different, and can separate what’s in our minds from the world, as a way to clarify their connections. Maybe the parallel is how people who are born blind and then regain their sight need to learn the concept of seeing before the retinal lights and shadows have any meaning for them.

If you ask a ’cause & effect’ type question it asks for a conclusion based on information, and so points to the model of the world located in the mind. Whenever you ask that kind of question you then get answers fitting a mental model. Mental models tend to be made self-consistent and so to not point to anything not in them (…oops).

Mental models are also entirely based on information from the past, and so exclusively project images of the past, (as we stumble into the future) and so represent a changing world as having only fixed relationships (…oops 2).

Another way to ask the same question might guide you toward a learning path of exploring the world for its changing relationships, for the purpose of giving your mind useful new information. Asking “how do things develop” does that by pointing you toward the changing processes that make up the diverse systems of the world.

I call that using “emergence & development” type questions as contrasted to “cause & effect” questions. It’s a “whole new type of thinking” for subjects we normally shortcut by just applying our mental models. It takes you inside the processes of nature that create all the world’s continuities and change.

The big difference in what you find is that “cause & effect” answers always represent relationships of the past. “Emergence & development” questions point you toward things of marvelous undiscovered complexity that are going new places all the time, exposing you to guided questions about the future. But there’s a catch.

Changing the way we ask questions takes some actual labor to just get the concept, and even more labor to have it become second nature. I think the natural path starts with the kinds of thinking you already approach with exploratory process questions, and expand on it.

You’d need to go through or sidestep what seems to be a common inhibition, maybe best characterized as a ’spiritual block’ to having curiosity about it, though. Our natural urge (addiction?) is to reduce everything possible to a mental model rather than look as widely as possible at what we can not reduce into our models. Maybe it’s a phobic kind of fear.

It could seem to risk ‘loosing your mind’ to acknowledge our minds are like any other system in how thoughts emerge and develop.

Phil

 

 

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