Day 10. 80 pages, 35,520 words. Part One finished.
Ugh, what a day. I really need to stop sleeping altogether, it seems like I have done nothing at all by the time 07:00am rolls around, then nothing gets done between 08:30am and 11:30am, then suddenly it’s 13:20pm and I’m just getting warmed up.
Well, anyway, I guess I have managed to get a few things done today. Including a fun follow-up job-hunting submission to that same place I wrote amusing answers to on their open application page – I’m pretty sure they’ll pass me over in favour of someone else, in which case I will anonymise the submission and post it as a blog entry because I, for one, was quite pleased with it.
Anyway, to the point of today’s blog post.
I’m not sure if this link is going to do much good to non-Facebookers, but this note was pasted around by a few friends lately and I found it very, very interesting. This note here.
To summarise, this guy – aged 30 – just discovered that “mind’s eye” is not just a figure of speech and lots of people – I would even say the staggering, overwhelming majority of people – actually visualise things to one degree or other inside their heads. In other words, I can summon up the mental image of a red triangle, or a visual memory of a scene from The Simpsons, or an imaginary stage act where an anthropomorphic camel is punching George Lucas repeatedly in the face to the tune of Yackety Sax. And this guy can’t do that.
 Although colours are a bit more abstract, I think, I usually just go with the triangle and agree with myself that it’s red … and that brings a whole new degree of weirdness to this issue – actually describing or establishing in any way how you go about visualising anything.
Now, if you haven’t read the note linked above, I’m afraid the whole thing has a lot more explanation than that and is rather more complicated, but the upshot is that apparently there are people out there who just don’t, can’t, picture things in their heads. This was a completely alien prospect to me so naturally I was dubious about it – how can you live to the age of 30 without realising that people visualise things? Isn’t there whole areas of conversational and other forms of communication that depend on visual cues?
But then, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that no, I guess there sort of isn’t. It’s a huge and founding assumption, yes, but if you start with the assumption that it is just a figure of speech, then sure – there’s not really much to clue you in to the fact that people are drawing images in their minds when they access memories or just think about something in an abstract-association way.
Maybe you can go your entire life thinking it’s totally normal to have nothing with any form or texture happening behind your eyes, just darkness and raw data. Maybe you can live to the age of 30 thinking that those few artists who talk about visualising things are just being artsy-fartsy. I don’t know.
I guess I’m still unable to master my dubiousness. But it was interesting at 05:00am, which was when I actually tried to start to write this thing.