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Re: Mindful

Posted by R. Berg on July 09, 2004

In Reply to: Mindful posted by Word Camel on July 09, 2004

: : A light hearted puzzle, perhaps refelectin the English tongue.

: : Here's a puzzle for you all. It comes from the Chrysler/Daimler Intranet.
: : How many 'F's are present in the following text?

: : FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE-
: : SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIF-
: : IC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE
: : EXPERIENCE OF YEARS

: : Firstly, read again, then count
: : OK?

: : Alcoholics count only three F.

: : Count again. Then look below.

: :
: : How many this time?
: : There are 6 - most people miss those in 'OF' - I did, and nobody I've shown this to has got more than 4.
: : Weird.

:
: It has to do with the way the brain processes information. For some reason our brains 'batch process' a number of things, like the word "of". Another example is the way we can drive to work and have absolutely no memory of the journey. No one really knows why this is but teaching people not to batch process certain things - like the way to solve a puzzel, for instance seems to help patients with dementia recover some brain function.

Batch processing makes sense as a way to drive routine information into the mental background, thus freeing our attention for things that need it (whatever is new and different), but it makes for lousy proofreaders.