Thought travels 111 feet per second, or about a mile and a quarter per minute. Elaborate experiments have been made by Professors Helmholtz, Hersch, and Donders, to ascertain the facts on this question, the result of which was that they found the process of thought varied in rapidity in different individuals, children and old persons thinking more slowly than people of middle age, and ignorant people more slowly than the educated.Well, this is clearly dealing with axon signal speed, not thought as such. It also shows a standard academic prejudice. "Ignorant people" don't take longer to answer a question because they're dumb. They take longer because they have to think about it. They have to process the answer in CPU. "The educated" have quick answers to most questions stored in lookup-table form. The same distinction applies to children vs oldsters vs middle age. Middle age is a time of certainty when you "know" everything. Children haven't built the lookup tables, and oldsters have learned that the lookup tables are crap. Thought takes longer when you think. = = = = = Now a brand-new piece of research has come up with a stunning new answer to the question. At What Rate Does Thought Travel? As fast as necessary to maintain EQUIPOISE. = = = = = Via PNAS, a study by Noori et al in Toronto. The headline says it all: Activity-dependent myelination: A glial mechanism of oscillatory self-organization in large-scale brain networks My summary: Signals travel along axons at widely varying rates, constantly adjusted to keep the two ends of the path synced up with other paths that are involved in the same resonance. EQUIPOISE, a balanced resonance, is the invariant goal. Glial cells constantly monitor the signal paths along axons, modifying the myelin to slow or speed one path as needed. If one path changes due to damage or revision, the glial cells go to work again to get the bounces along this path sync'd with the other paths involved in this thought. THIS IS AMAZING. Is this closer to the Book Of Wonders answer, or closer to the idiotic statistical non-answer at MindMatters? Closer to the Book Of Wonders, which is talking about speed instead of time-free "available choices". = = = = = Here's my attempt to animate the idea, since the original article doesn't include an animation. We're looking at two axonal paths between a pair of brain nuclei. Thought waves bounce back and forth between the nuclei at a speed which is CONTROLLED TO SYNC THE RESONANCE. Happystar appropriately represents a glial traffic cop. Now the SUPERamazing part. When a path changes because of damage or revision of the pattern, the glial cops change the speed yet again to keep the resonance in sync. Moral of the story: LIFE IS PURPOSE. Life always manages to restore and accomplish its PURPOSES, despite all destructive efforts by microscopic pathogens and giant demonic psychopathogens.
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.