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Thinking without language?

Peter T. Daniels grammatim at worldnet.att.net
Sun Nov 21 17:52:54 EST 1999


Alan Roth wrote:
> 
> Peter T. Daniels <grammatim at worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:3837EAE9.5C46 at worldnet.att.net...
> > Paul Miller wrote:
> > >
> > > On Sun, 21 Nov 1999 07:29:21 -0500, "Alan Roth"
> <alan42 at mindspring.com> wrote:
> > >
> [...]
> > > >(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
> entire
> > > plays, and Homeric poets memorized epics.  Surely 200 words is not
> too much to
> > > memorize?  Some soliloquies in Shakespeare run longer than this!
> >
> > A 200-word speech has semantic content. A string of 200 occurrences of
> > 10 different words has no semantic content. (Unless, of course, you
> > *calculate* the value of pi each time you recite its digits.)
> > Off-the-shelf memory can handle lists of "five plus or minus two"
> > unrelated items.
> While in graduate school, I remember coming across this as someone's law
> that was derived from experimental data, I quote it often but can't
> remember the reference--any help?

I was going to automatically say George Miller, but then I thought of
Colin Cherry ... it's one or the other, and it's from the early 1950s.
-- 
Peter T. Daniels     grammatim at worldnet.att.net




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