While sitting at my computer desk watching my son play the keyboard-o-rama Elmo game, I started pondering what really must go through his head.
Is it possible to have complex thoughts without language? It must be; people who are born deaf and blind, like Helen Keller, obviously still have complex thoughts, but for lack of a better way of saying it, what’s it like thinking them?
When I think, it seems like a little voice in my head actually saying what I’m thinking– is that only when I’m consciously and deliberately thinking? There?s no way for me to know since I can?t tell what my thoughts are if they?re not conscious. Do people without language think only visually or emotionally? How do they perceive the world around them where things don?t have names?
Language has become such an integral part of who I am, I can?t imagine who I would be without it. Despite that, I’d really like to know–I think it could open up a new level of creativity. Imagine graphic design where your thoughts were automatically visual rather than words. Solving the problem of conveying complex ideas graphically would be second nature… of course, how would you know what you were supposed to be desiging unless someone told you?