Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

The Steps of Human Cognition With Respect to Emotion

These I have corralled into four steps, each of which impart their own separate yet interconnected experience.

Passionate Emotionality
This is the first step of human cognition where something sufficiently provocative to be noticed consciously and not absorbed unconsciously is dealt with. At this stage, emotionality provides the drive and thus I call it passionate in that it has an emotionally based force to it and not a simple rules matching, following, and deducing sort of motivation.

In this step, human experience is framed in and largely formed from jumps of assumption, leaps of faith, instinctive reactions, rapid escalations of feedback reaction, and the like.

This is the step known for women stomping out after a man says the wrong thing, men throwing a punch in a bar, children screaming that they never get their way, and so on.

Dispassionate Emotionality
This is the second step where the human mind tries to get an ordered logical grasp on what for it is still an emotionally based scene. The drive of emotion which is poorly understood and functions on its own without intellectual understanding more often than not now fades and the vacuum demands to be filled, and the mind fills it with tab A slot B reasoning, but applying it to emotion, trying to both use emotion to solve or understand a problem and at the same time refine the understanding of emotion itself.

This stage is the stage of cagey shrewd behavior in social situations, the part that thinks it over as to whether to take someone home from the singles bar, and the part that covers what to tell your boss during a review.

Passionate Intellectuality
Next up comes the return of emotional drive as in the last stage the emotion was given an overly large sense of itself by the overt focus from the start, the seeming aegis of logic and order in the second step, and commits itself to being the drive behind actual logical though. It's as if the emotion somehow thinks it can conquer that simple logic stuff and avoids its own emotional aspects of leaps of faith and intuition, or that the human begins to tire of fruitless leaps and instead in an emotional fit decides to try actual facts on the ground as it sees them.

This is the stage of long talks with oneself, the stage of trying to make a doghouse without planning, the stage of diving into your math homework.

Dispassionate Intellectuality
Finally the emotion burns out and a sort of resolve to not be resolved is reached and the brain's eternal attempt at finding reason and meaning has to play by itself without emotional drive or interest, and so goes on repeating times tables and thinking of how many screws will be required to affix a plaque to a wall.

This last step starts out with a push out the door goodbye from emotion and goes on with analytical thinking of various subjects step by step without much passing interest from emotion, more or less, until emotion suddenly feels a need to intervene, usually because something piqued its interest. In the meantime the brain doodles along 5+5=10/2=5*3=15+5=20...

This is also the part that creates works like Kant's while it is the preceding stage which keeps shoving this one along to get it done.

All this will be dressed up and refined as I go along but it is what I've noticed so far. As I've said elsewhere, there are multiply re-entrant lines of logic, and crossovers of logic between that of emotion and that of pure intellect and while they sometimes conspire without discrepancy they more often act as sneering contentious rivals. Nevertheless, they compliment each other and somehow human cognition functions despite emotion's rowdiness and intellect's seeming unconsciousness. One is all smell the flowers, the other doesn't see the cell structures for the flowers, and between them...

Astronomy Picture of the Day