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Thinking without language?

Alan Roth alan42 at mindspring.com
Sun Nov 21 08:31:43 EST 1999

Paul Miller <pmiller at DIESPAMMERS.lni.net> wrote in message
news:3837eb83$0$54870 at news.tdi.net...
> On Sun, 21 Nov 1999 07:29:21 -0500, "Alan Roth"
<alan42 at mindspring.com> wrote:
> >> When I
> >> recite the first  200 decimal places of pi, I do  it musically: I
> >> on the sounds and (predominantly) tones of the Cantonese
> >> of  the 10 digits.   So, I  can't recite  them if  I try  to do  it
> >> Mandarin or English.
> >I have a musical background but had not thought of using it this way,
> >(and I certainly can't recite pi to 200 decimal places with sheer
> >memorization).
> You certainly could if you put the effort into it.  Actors memorize
> plays, and Homeric poets memorized epics.  Surely 200 words is not too
much to
> memorize?  Some soliloquies in Shakespeare run longer than this!
Am I being accused of laziness, or of just not needing pi to 200 places?

I find rote memorization useless for most of what I have done
professionally (as a computer programmer). If I were a Shakespearean
actor I would memorize plays--I am not one.

I went back to school for a Master's degree at the age of 45 in a
totally new discipline, education. It took a few weeks to get back into
the swing of things--memorizing for tests et al. Most memorization can
be eased by memory aids of one kind or another. And I found that my age
didn't preclude carrying a 4.00 through the Master's program.

I ended up doing doctoral work in Educational Psychology--I got better
at remembering things as I studied ways of remembering. So what is the
point? I still find it surprising (and admirable) that someone would
take on the task of memorizing pi, but I am not inclined to do it
myself. Is this a character flaw?



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