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When you formulate a thought or a sentence you compress vast amounts of data into something that's understandable in more general context. Once you've done that compression, you interpret that generalization once again as you vocalize it. This reinterpretation is powerful and may trigger some ideas that you haven't had before.

Besides, try doing math or debugging some code without any conscious thoughts.

I agree most of the time it may be a broken record and useless, especially if you repeat the same patterns over and over again, but I'm quite certain you don't know what you are going to say until you've said it (out loud or not).




Sure, discursive thinking is useful, but doing it as an unconscious habit is problematic. That's what meditation seeks to help address, for example, and cease the endless 'chatter in your skull'. Like, when you're thirsty and see a bottle of water on the counter, why think to yourself "I'm thirsty. There's some water there I can drink." Who are you talking to? You know you are thirsty, and you know you can drink it. The discursive thinking to echo it to yourself is just a bad, clutter-some habit.


> Like, when you're thirsty and see a bottle of water on the counter, why think to yourself "I'm thirsty. There's some water there I can drink." Who are you talking to?

There is probably some miscommunication happening here. Do people regularly turn every intended action into a sentence in their mind? Like some kind of play-by-play sports commentary about their full life? I certainly do not do this, and I would expect most people do not.


The Fine Article says that some people do have a voice in their heads 100% of the time, or at least report that they do at 100% of sampled moments.

I haven't introspected enough to know where I fall on that scale, but your example doesn't sound weird to me. If I'm home alone I'd probably say it out loud.


That's not really what I was trying to get at.

Putting your thoughts into words so that they can be understood by someone other than yourself or working through a problem are both deliberate ways of thinking that have clear benefits.

I do disagree with your last part. It's quite hard to test though. But let's say I'd ask you to just talk about any topic you want without preparing what you are going to say and right when you start a sentence I will randomly create some signal/noise which you should understand as the signal to stop talking immediately. I'd say you will know exactly what you were about to say.


I agree my consciousness may be lagging behind your test equipment. I have no idea how much impact this sentence that I did not finish formulating would have on me, but clearly finishing it, is providing me with some experience that I didn't have before (unless it's something that I've said before, but even then the context is already different).




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