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Re: OT: What is your qualia of consciousness / thought? (WAS: does conlanging change your sense of reality?)

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Saturday, April 4, 2009, 4:47
Sai Emrys wrote:

> O CONLANGers: what is *your* qualia of thought?
Qualia sounds like a kind of Pokémon (well, there's Quilava, which sounds pretty close, but I imagine Qualia is more of a bird-type, with a question mark-shaped feather on its head). Definitely some kind of audio-like quality. Unless I'm thinking about something that's inherently visual, like colors. I frequently have a musical soundtrack running in the background, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what I'm thinking about. It doesn't sound like actual music -- it doesn't have any actual perception of sound with it, or even the kind of sensation of hearing sounds in a dream, but it does have the same qualities of actual music -- the pitch, timbre, and timing. I guess it's kind of an abstraction of the distilled sonic properties of sounds -- while writing this I have the same internal sensation as if I heard the words "abstraction" and "distilled", but without any illusion of actually hearing anything. Although conscious thought usually comes in the form of words, I do occasionally have thoughts that I can't think of the word to express. So how is it like audio? I guess most obviously it has a serial quality to it, with words or more abstract ideas strung together one at a time. The more abstract ideas can trigger various word responses, but not more than one at the same time in the same train of thought. I get the impression that more than one train of thought might be going on at a time, but each one runs more or less in a linear fashion. I can picture things in two dimensions, but that's more along the lines of "imagination" than "thought". I'm not good at visualizing more than two dimensions. It could be that the words are just the aspects of thought that I'm most aware of. And they're not entirely audio-like: if I'm wondering what time it is, there's no potential confusion between "time" and "thyme". Even the word "time" in an expression like "how many times do I have to try this before I get it right?" doesn't seem exactly like the "time" in "what time is it?", although it's expressed with the same word in English (possibly an influence from other languages I've learned).