All posts by Katie Cairns UNIV 200

Associative Trails ~ Concept Experience #1

screehshot of history

You can’t read what it says very well, but it mainly consists of me looking up definitions of words I was confused on and trying to find other people’s views of what they thought about the article. I couldn’t process what Bush was saying the first time I read his essay. Maybe I was just distracted or was having and off moment, but I had to read it like three times before I could finally understand what he was saying. Most of my history is me googling and binging trying to find out what he meant by most of what he said. Eventually I got on a roll and could really understand his essay. My history doesn’t show a linear thought process due to my distractions from all over the internet, such as twitter, and fmylife.com. Eventually I stopped procrastinating and got down to really understanding the essay and I formed my own thoughts about it.

As We May Think ~ Nugget #1

The Nugget that I chose from Vannevar Bush’s Essay connects to my first blog post about how we feel when we think.

“The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.”

He basically is stating that one thought leads to another. They quickly go from one to another in a trail of ideas. You don’t always remember where you started or how you got there, but the final outcome is there in your mind. Everything will jumble up together into a ball of paths of paths that lead you to your current thought. Resembling a tangled ball of yarn, you will be able to find the end, but trying to find where it comes from will be impossible.

He goes on to say:

“There is, of course, provision for consultation of the record by the usual scheme of indexing. If the user wishes to consult a certain book, he taps its code on the keyboard, and the title page of the book promptly appears before him, projected onto one of his viewing positions. Frequently-used codes are mnemonic, so that he seldom consults his code book; but when he does, a single tap of a key projects it for his use. Moreover, he has supplemental levers. On deflecting one of these levers to the right he runs through the book before him, each page in turn being projected at a speed which just allows a recognizing glance at each. If he deflects it further to the right, he steps through the book 10 pages at a time; still further at 100 pages at a time. Deflection to the left gives him the same control backwards.”

How he talks about indexing is how I think about memories. You see something or hear something, or even smell something, and it takes you back to a time in place. Those senses that remind you of the past are kind of like the codes he discusses that take you to what you are looking for. You won’t remember where that memory is or where you can find it in your mind to recall it back to you, but once you get some sort of reminder or “code” it all comes rushing back.

My Own Thinking

Trying to think about how you feel when you think, or even just trying to think about your own thinking is very, very confusing to me.

spongebob thinking

That thought in itself just goes around and around again in your mind trying to find the source of where it came from. It’s like a carousel. You just keep spinning and spinning until you can’t find the exit and you are all turned around and dizzy.

I remember when I was younger and I would try and think two, completely separate thoughts at one time, just to see if it was possible. And then eventually I would start thinking of something completely off topic without remembering what my old thought was. It’s like a giant flow chart up there that just keeps branching out infinitely.  One idea or thought leads to another, and then another, and then another, and that will continue to go on forever until your thinking stops.