… to explore the nature of the conscious mind.You are the teacher, and you’ve got a classroom full of reasonably well behaved students.Tell them: “I want you to close your eyes, and I’m going to ask you a question. …Quietly work out the answer to the question and keep your eyes closed until I tell you to open them…. Do not say the answer to your question out loud … and keep your eyes closed.”When they have their eyes closed, say: “in your apartment or home …. where you live … how many windows are there? Keep your eyes closed.”Now, watch them as they work this out. You will be able to tell when most or all of them know the answer.When you think they have all worked it out, have them open their eyes, and ask a few of them, one at a time, what the number is.After you’ve done that, ask them how they know. Ask a couple of different people. It may be a little tricky to get them to explain this properly, but I can tell you the answer to the question that any honest participant in this experiment will give:What happens is, you visit, in your mind, every room in your house …. or in some cases look at the house from the outside, though that is rare … and count the windows.There is not a database of things like “how many windows in house … dates I ate in X restaurant … etc.” There is rather a remembered context, a set of memories linked together, that allow an individual to re-experience being somewhere that is familiar. And count the windows. Or the closets. Or whatever.Windows almost always work. People may get numbers of closets or total number of dresser drawers, etc. wrong. But even so, they will go there to count them.This, perhaps in a trivial way, perhaps not, tells us something about consciousness and memory. Depending on the class you are teaching, this can be a good staring point.
Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:
In Search of Sungudogoby Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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