Re: human/world interface (part 2)

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 00:51:41 MDT

>From: "altamira" <>
>Subject: human/world interface (part 2)
>Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 13:57:51 -0500

The kinesthetically oriented person is supposed to be the least
>common. The instructor was using the word in a broader sense than I would
>have. I would have thought that kinesthesia had to do solely with
>but the instructor used it to include sensations of touch in general, so
>that you'd say a person was using kinesthetic recall when they remember the
>feeling of chewing ham, and the texture of toast smeared with marmalade. I
>wondered why there was no mention of olfactory recall, as smell is supposed
>to be one of the most powerful elicitors of memories. Maybe it's a method
>recall that's not commonly voluntary. I myself find it difficult to
>consciously recall, for example, the exact smell of newly wet pavement,
>although I recognize it immediately upon smelling it.
>Naturally, I turned out to be weird. Although I had no trouble with visual
>or auditory recall (or projection either--I could imagine things which
>didn't exist in the real world, and see and hear them in my mind), I tended
>to use kinesthesia in strange ways, such as when working simple math
>problems. And it's a fact, though I'm a little embarrassed to admit it,
>in adding and subtracting numbers, I count by moving my fingers. For me,
>this is a simple extension of the way in which I listen to or play music,
>I have my doubts as to whether it's all that unusual. But although many
>people dance to music, most people don't report doing math
>I guess because of my own weirdness, I was interested to read of Damien's
>inability to form visual images and his reliance on kinesthesia in doing IQ
That's how I aced the SAT and got my Nat. Merit Scholarship. I create some
kind of tactile model in my mind and feel around it and manipulate it. When
analyzing an equation, I would "ride" the curve to see if it felt right.
Unfortunately, "hard" math - limit theorems, etc. - doesn't easilly lend
itself to that approach - or at least that's not the way it was apparently
developed, so I got to a limiting point myself in trying to follow it.
>The question by which I'm obsessed today is this: how does one's method of
>interfacing with the world affect (is this right, or is it supposed to be
>"effect?") one's style of dreaming? My dreams are almost always in
>brilliant color and include sound, smell, touch, taste--the whole works.
>Sometimes I have dreams that are like movies with complex plots--some of
>them take place on really interesting non-terran planets.

Mine usually take place on terra, but are often in some distopian high-tech
future along the lines of Sterling's "Distraction" (which I highly
recommend, BTW - not especially inspiring story, but an amazing depth of
portrayal of that future, including some major idea lines that virtually no
one else has tried to follow (first time I've seen "... Breakdown of the
Bicameral Brain" showing up in a fictional extrapolation!) Often I awaken
right after learning some incredibly important insight which I can't
remember five minutes later....

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