[From Fred Nickols (990505.1720 EDT)]--
Came across the following on another list (the learning organization or LO
list) and immediately thought to solicit reactions from CSG Netters...
Critique, anyone? If I recall, no one on this list was particularly
impressed by Pinker's book and it might or might not be a good "lay
What I am going to say here, may make the confusion even larger, or it
may help Steve and others to narrow the gap between the 'real' world with
the world of imagination.
The whole world around us is a world of imagination. It is a translation
of the signals of our body-sensors into a picture in our mind. If we see
a house, this picture of the house is caused by the electromagnetic
photons from a source via our eyes into our brains. The brains create in
the mind a picture of the source. And the result is that we interpret
this picture as a house. So total brain and mind action. If we see a
colour, it is because most of the white sunlight is absorbed, and only a
certain frequency range is able to activate in the source radiation of
the electromagnetic photons.
I am getting pedantic again here, but I think some points of reference are
important. Just my overly scientific sorting process in action.
Imagination and perceptional processes in the brain share similar
networking functions and don't. Therefore they are not the same thing
because there are significant differences in functioning. Although
research in visual processing demonstrates occipital activity (the area of
the brain that mainly processes visual information) that mirrors the same
processing as actual vision. Differences however exist in other reasoning
centers, excluding schizophrenics with visual hallucinations, and visual
agnostics, who can not differentiate stimuli that like normal subjects.
That explanation of the difference between internally generated stimuli
from memorial experiences, imagination, and real time sensory data
processing holds for all sensory inputs and interpretations.
A good lay reference is "How the Mind Works" by Steven Pinker... a MIT
What that little chunck of information means is, sensory data from the
external environment is not the same as internally generated constructions
of the environment. Hence, imagination is one or more steps away from the
actual experience of processing information directly from the environment.
An example might be the difference from experiencing sex with the lights
on, and reading about it and imagining what it is like.
Metaphors are more like the story of sex... might be fun... but doesn't
have the same quality of data.
Distance Consulting "Assistance at A Distance"