Re: [unrev-II] Re: Towards an atomic data structure (Somuthinghappened on the way to the forum)

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 08:38:52 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] Dynamic, extensible and integrated information spaces"

    Re Weick's "How can I know what I think until I hear what I say?"

    Let me first introduce Michael Gazzaniga. Prof. Gazzaniga, reknown for
    his pioneering work with split-brain patients, is now late in his career
    setting up (or has set up) the Psych department for Darthmouth College.
    Writes he in the preface to "The Mind's Past":

    "Psychology itself is dead. Or to put it another way, psychology is in a
    funny situation. My college, Darthmouth, is constructing a magnificent
    new building for psychology. Yet its four stories go like this. The
    basement is all neuroscience. The first floor is devoted to classrooms
    and administration. The second floor houses social psychology, the third
    floor cognitive science, and the fourth, cogniive neuroscience. Why is
    it called the psychology building?"

    I think this paragraph marvelously epitomizes the enormous shift in our
    way of getting to know ourselves. And how tough it is to acquire or
    maintain a satisfactory sense of the world we live in and life itself.

    Prof. Gazzaniga postulates in the brain the presence of an
    "interpreter." Its job is to help is maintain our selfassuredness by
    making sense of whatever subconscious mentalese goes in. And if in doing
    its job it has to falsify things a tad, it won't hesitate to do so. I
    quoted from his book in a short report on my Fleabyte site (no, I am not
    self-promoting or selling anything; I am reporting):
    interpreter that knows its priority

    It should be an easy read and quite instructive.

    One sense I am getting from this is that it is part of a fine
    bootstrapping mechanism inside our skull. Information is fed in
    continuously through all our senses and from what keeps on
    reverberating. The output, DETERMINED BEFORE we are aware of it, also
    feeds back while the interpreter helps us maintain our mental sanity in
    the face of information that appears ludicrous (if our unconcious knows
    that word). So, it would seem that Mr Weick can't be far off the mark.


    Gil Regev wrote (among other things):

    > From Sensemaking in Organizations (Karl Weick): "How can I
    > know what I think until I see what I say?" Weick's argument
    > is that sense making starts with the act of putting our
    > thoughts into words which we then hear and that makes us
    > understand what we've been thinking.Gil
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