Originally Posted by bcmyers2112
Yeah, I'm thinking that we conceptualize things differently. If we can figure out how to communicate that to each other, we might each learn a new way of viewing the world. I'm thinking maybe we conceptualize time differently.
An example of conceptualizing differently: some people think of time like a number line, perhaps with the past at the left. Some think of the future as in front of them and the past behind them. Incidentally, I tend to think of a year as a circle like a clock; this means I tend to remember at what time of year something happened but not necessarily which year it was. I don't think that's where we had trouble, but I think you describe something as "in the moment" when to me it would be a finite (non-zero) length of time which can be subdivided into things happening at different times (possibly only a few seconds apart). I tend to use the same sets of words and mental images to apply at very different timescales. Perhaps for you, "previously" implies a certain length of time, for example at least an hour ago or at least a day ago, whereas for me, it might apply to any length of time, even only a few seconds -- although I don't absolutely go to extremes: the word may still tend to connote longer times even for me, but less so than it does for you, I think. I tend to think like a mathematician. I may also tend to focus more on similarities than on differences, and more on possibilities than on restrictions; this may be part of thinking like a mathematician.
Just to illustrate the types of misunderstandings that can occur when people visualize things differently: one can think of time this way: you're staying still and time is flowing past you like a river. Or, you can think of it this way: time is a landscape and you're walking along in it. Depending on which type of image is in your mind, sentences like "Let's move the meeting forward two days" can mean opposite things (moving it from Wednesday to Monday, or from Wednesday to Friday, respectively). http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/back.html The same person might use these two different images at different times and use or interpret those sorts of sentences differently, without being aware of doing so. Again, I don't think that's the specific difference between our ways of thinking; it may be something else we haven't pinpointed yet.
Inability is an abstract thing involving comparison with alternate universes; it cannot be experienced.