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Thread: visualizing time and numbers

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    "Information without energy is useless" Nowisthetime's Avatar
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    Default visualizing time and numbers

    I visualize time and numbers. It's hard to draw pictures of it because the timelines are sometimes 3-dimensional and they are twisted in a way that seems impossible in reality. But I tried. I think this is why I sometimes get confused with math and numbers because I don't access them directly, I alway visualize first. It's a repetitive pattern. Kind of like fractals or something like that.

    Do you visualize time and numbers? Is it type related? I know some intuitives don't visualize numbers at all, they just associate them with their mathematical properties.

    EDIT: This is nothing I have chosen to do. I've done it automatically since early childhood

    Numbers

    Numbers 1-20 (Numers 1-10 looks like a clock pattern. It bends somewhere at 13):



    Zooming out:



    Zooming out even more (here the clock pattern is seen again):



    Still zooming out:



    Now zooming back to 0-10. Negative numbers continue "behind" the "clock". The line bends. The thicker part is closer to us. The negative numbers making somthing like a mirror image of the positive numbers.



    Time and history:

    Contemporary history. At a distance each decade bends like a clock pattern. The thicker part is closer to us.



    Now zooming out, and rotating to look back in time from today. There's a huge perspective, as we move from 1900 back in history the spatial distance increases a lot. 1300 is far away in the mist. This is like sitting on top of a mountain and looking down in a valley.

    So I'm sitting on a clock at number 10 (2010) and from this angle looking back at the years down to 2000 and then seeing the decades 2000-1900 and then from a greater distance seeing the centuries (the decades beyond 1900 are too small to be seen from 2010.)

    Last edited by Nowisthetime; 05-13-2010 at 11:58 AM.

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    ILE - ENTp 1981slater's Avatar
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    What is your IQ? What do you eat? How many languages can you speak? How can I develop my mind? Can you recommend me a few books you like? Do you have a beautiful sister? Who will win the soccer/football World Cup South Africa 2010?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Do you have a beautiful sister?
    My sister is your activator. She is beautiful. She is married to a semi-dual.

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    ILE - ENTp 1981slater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowisthetime View Post
    My sister is your activator. She is beautiful. She is married to a semi-dual.
    Is semi-dual a guy or a girl?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Is semi-dual a guy or a girl?
    She is heterosexual so her husband is a man. Now what about numbers, do you visualize them? how?

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    Looks like you've got synesthesia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Looks like you've got synesthesia.
    Hey Brian, thanks for the word synesthesia! I looked it up and then I found this: Number form - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There is an example of almost identical pattern of visualizing numbers as I have. Also a repetitive pattern with resemblance to a clock.

    I've learned something today!

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    I don't do this with numbers but I do see the calendar year in a particular way. I'm far to lazy to draw it out, however.
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    i think everyone does this more or less.for example,when i think of a number,i imagine it in a certain colour (2-yellow,3-purple,4-red,7-green etc).Also, have a pattern for human age and time eras.nothing spectacular though ; mine seem to be more linear.

    Well, alpha NTs probably have a peaceful white canvas and the numbers are written neatly.you don't really have to make space in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowisthetime View Post
    Do you visualize time and numbers?
    No.
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    this is quite interesting. pretty sure i don't do this. there is something about it that makes sense to me though. it's foreign in the sense that i don't do it, but it is familiar at the same time (my mind does not see it as foreign, but as something it vaguely understands). conceptually though it seems odd to me in the sense of "why bother," yet the abstract rather non-linear nature of it is appealing to me, and that's the part that seems so familiar. i think this is fascinating:
    The fact that synesthetes cannot ignore the spatial arrangement of the numbers on the screen demonstrates that numbers are automatically evoking spatial cues.
    Last edited by inumbra; 05-13-2010 at 11:43 PM.

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    I usually don't do this... sometimes I may give the numbers locations or colors, as a form of goofing off, but I don't normally think of those while I'm using the numbers.

    Could you give the coordinates for the various numbers in your mental representation? Where do decimals such as 3.14159 go?



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    I don't visualize numbers in the way nowisthetime does but I do tend to associate different numbers with different personalities. And I'm not talking about the enneagram here.

    For time, mostly I just visualize it like a straight timeline. To the left are events in the past. To the right are future events. Far left = way in the past. Far right = way in the future. Middle = present.

    Sometimes, I'll view time more as a sine wave, for things that are more cyclical in nature, like the seasons.
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    That's interesting but math, and space-time are an illusion. People are primarily vibrational and emotional. The sort of social stimulation we get is much more powerful.

    Time doesn't exist, only the impact of psychological awakenings.

    I understand this perspective is kinda IEI, faggy and philsophical though.

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    Strange. What about fractions? Imaginary numbers? How does it look for you when the timeline goes before year 0?

    I'm guessing decimals and fractions lie somewhere along the curve of that number, since you said that it bends somewhere around 13.

    One thing I've noticed with little kids is that when they're counting, the seem to speed up when counting numbers between the "10s," and then they slow down before reaching the next multiple of 10. For example, a child counting from 20 might say "20 (pause) 21 (slight pause) 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 (slight pause), 29 (the sound of the number is extended), 30." If this were plotted on a graph with the Y axis representing actual time taken after the end between each number, and the x axis representing the "distance" between numbers, it would very much look like the pattern described by the TS, with the highest points typically being at each multiple of 10. For example, the time taken between the child saying 20 and 21 may be 1 second, the time between 21 and 22 might be .8 seconds, most of the ones between 22-28 would be like .6, 28-29 would be .7, 29-30 would be 1 second again. An interesting correlation.

    Perhaps this number form synesthetic condition is a paedomorphic trait present in some individuals.

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    Hey that's interesting, Nowisthetime. I'm just wondering how it works though .. like when you're doing a math problem, do you see all the separate numbers as being highlighted on your graph, and then combining (and therefore moving) or something? And dates - what about pieces of information associated with dates (history events etc) - what happens to them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    Could you give the coordinates for the various numbers in your mental representation? Where do decimals such as 3.14159 go?
    If I think of 3.141... I zoom in and I see a point somewhere between 3 and 4 in the clock. There is the same bending clock pattern for decimal numbers.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I can view the line from different angles so it doesn't always look like this in my mind. But the overall shape is as in the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
    I'm just wondering how it works though .. like when you're doing a math problem, do you see all the separate numbers as being highlighted on your graph, and then combining (and therefore moving) or something?
    I don't think I have much help from this model doing a math problem. I just waste a lot of energy visualizing. But when I'm measuring something it can help.

    And dates - what about pieces of information associated with dates (history events etc) - what happens to them?
    If I think of a history event I always see the right spot on the time curve. Actually the time curve has some fussy pictures illustrating it. I think it relates to history, like around 900 I see some vikings, but the pictures are fussy and dark, like a dream.

    The history picture I posted earlier:



    is just history seen from the visual perspective of 2010 "from above". That's why the decades between 1900-2000 take up a lot of space, because they are close. If I look at the same picture from the side it looks something like this:



    The line continues further back in history from year 0. But it's harder for me to see how it bends from there on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Microknight View Post
    Imaginary numbers? How does it look for you when the timeline goes before year 0?
    I remember having to deal with imaginary numbers in school. Something with "i", right? I don't remember what I visualized, but it think it was something.

    I suck at math, but I liked vectors because I could see them in a coordinate system. I remember one time solving a vector problem visually in my mind that my teacher couldn't solve. Then some people thought I was a math genius, although the reason that I could solve the problem so fast was that I didn't use math to solve it.

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    in the year 0 i imagine baby jesus!
    and in the "negative" years there's ancient Greece :>
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowisthetime View Post
    I remember having to deal with imaginary numbers in school. Something with "i", right? I don't remember what I visualized, but it think it was something.

    I suck at math, but I liked vectors because I could see them in a coordinate system. I remember one time solving a vector problem visually in my mind that my teacher couldn't solve. Then some people thought I was a math genius, although the reason that I could solve the problem so fast was that I didn't use math to solve it.
    Idk if you are still posting on this forum but in case you do read this, I'm pretty sure you used math to solve it, just not the kind taught to you.


    As for the original question, I don't visualize like this but what @chips and underwear said is a bit like what I do with numbers, though definitely not the same.

    I do have synesthesia for numbers (and for some other things) but it's not a mental map with whatever shape, I only have a map of distances that is felt but not visualized in such a concrete form. The synesthesia is the numbers linked to colours, other abstract-visual-auditory components and a vaguely emotional-mood related component. The abstract component is the hardest to describe because it's really just some indescribable impressions but it very much aids my memory in remembering numbers and any other things that have this component linked to them. The other components also can help in memorizing but this one component contributes the most by far. The colours and other visuals and the emotional expression/mood related component I could draw or express - though I'd probably fail trying to directly express it other than drawing it - and the auditory component I could perhaps play. It can give me chills totally like when listening to great music.

    When performing operations on numbers I also have a spatial-kinetic component added to them and that can aid me in these mental calculations. It's either spatial or spatial-kinetic impressions of how numbers fit into each other or how they click together, etc.

    As for time, again I don't have such a map but I have a feel linked to how far things are back or ahead in time. Very much past/old enough times have weird negative feels to them. Yeah I don't really like to ponder the past for long, it's gone and all, no longer exists... but at the same time it's fascinating to look even with these negative tinges. I almost feel like traveling in time and immersing myself in that specific part of history that I am focusing on or several parts traveling over them. Ancient enough dates though are not at all negative anymore for some reason. Those are simply just fascinating. The future dates have more positive tinges but at the same time more vague than the past. These feel impressions are also affected by my evaluations of the actual contents of what actually happened or projections of what will happen. Yes, if now based on what I've just said you are guessing that I think we've made progress compared to the past and that I hope we will make even more in future, you are right.

    Time and numbers can be strongly linked for me, if I recall dates by explicit numbers I will have all the above described synesthesia added into the mix and it somehow interlinks with the "time feels" as well. I can have even more profound chills with this.


    As for the OP's wonderings that it may slow down mathematical operations, that's not necessarily true, the basic integrated aspects that I described above do not slow down anything for me as it's a completely automatic activation of them and it may actually even aid the operations but if I go beyond that automatic integration by intentionally visualizing spatial-kinetic aspects, that is, fleshing out details with more of a conscious focus it would take some extra working memory and attention so yes that may cause a slowing down. So I don't usually do it... just for fun sometimes.

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    While reading this thread, I couldn't help but think of this xkcd comic.

    When it comes to mathematical concepts, including numbers, I don't precisely visualize them, since it's not a sensory experience to me, but I have many particular ways of perceiving mathematical objects that bring to the forefront the properties that I'm currently interested in. For example, I may view complex numbers as roto-scalars of 2d space or as displacements in 2d space considered relative to a priviledged direction, depending on whether I'm interested in the multiplicative or additive properties. I switch between and correlate these perspectives fairly effortlessly.

    I don't visualize time at all. In fact, in general my memories aren't even connected in my mind to the time at which they took place. If you ask me what I did 3 days ago, I have no idea, but if you ask me to explain a concept (which I saw a lecture about, say, 6 months ago and haven't thought about since), I can do it instantly.
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    I can't see non-self-generated math in my head. If I'm able to see it, it's because it's an expression of an idea I've form-fit into the necessary container(an algorithm for example), but even then it doesn't hold well and I need to get it down quickly. As soon as I get it down, it'll probably go out of my head. I have a terrible working memory in general, which contributes to this.

    Otherwise, I need to work it out on paper, by having a constant referent to go back to while my head searches around. I'm not a pen/laptop sort of person, pencils are much better for this flow of things.

    Visualizing time...well, I don't visualize time, I visualize events. I feel time, and I have certain tints to whatever time period I'm thinking of, and if there's a human context, that changes it as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tejing View Post
    While reading this thread, I couldn't help but think of this xkcd comic.

    When it comes to mathematical concepts, including numbers, I don't precisely visualize them, since it's not a sensory experience to me, but I have many particular ways of perceiving mathematical objects that bring to the forefront the properties that I'm currently interested in. For example, I may view complex numbers as roto-scalars of 2d space or as displacements in 2d space considered relative to a priviledged direction, depending on whether I'm interested in the multiplicative or additive properties. I switch between and correlate these perspectives fairly effortlessly.

    I don't visualize time at all. In fact, in general my memories aren't even connected in my mind to the time at which they took place. If you ask me what I did 3 days ago, I have no idea, but if you ask me to explain a concept (which I saw a lecture about, say, 6 months ago and haven't thought about since), I can do it instantly.
    Hmm I definitely wouldn't need to link a concept with the time when I first thought of it. That'd be a weird idea

    I think I know what you are talking about with perceiving mathematical objects I call it my abstract "visualization" of concepts. Put in quotes because it's not any "real" objects being imagined.


    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    Visualizing time...well, I don't visualize time, I visualize events. I feel time, and I have certain tints to whatever time period I'm thinking of, and if there's a human context, that changes it as well.
    Human context? I guess we feel it similarly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    Hmm I definitely wouldn't need to link a concept with the time when I first thought of it. That'd be a weird idea

    I think I know what you are talking about with perceiving mathematical objects I call it my abstract "visualization" of concepts. Put in quotes because it's not any "real" objects being imagined.




    Human context? I guess we feel it similarly?
    Hmm, well I share the whole negative feelings about the past no matter what it is thing, but that has only developed in adulthood as a result of a feels bomb that redid my entire brain. However, they are vivid only if they have something to do with someone else's past or a significant memory or nostalgic "aura"/milieu/whatever the word is from my own past.

    In general, I also understand the flyover effect of going through the past, I tend to have short cutscenes or images that will represent a whole lot about a certain context, but very little actual detail about what happened. This is always how I've placed myself in historical events/periods as well as remembered my own past.

    I find it hard to understand how time is meant to be visualized if not through the events of the past or the events of the future, since abstract time is not something that separates itself as a tangible idea for me, it's always worked out by observing it indirectly from things in the world or by a wordless flow of internal states that somehow register as time or time sense if co-opted to do so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    Hmm, well I share the whole negative feelings about the past no matter what it is thing, but that has only developed in adulthood as a result of a feels bomb that redid my entire brain. However, they are vivid only if they have something to do with someone else's past or a significant memory or nostalgic "aura"/milieu/whatever the word is from my own past.
    Ah. For me it's less personal than that.


    I find it hard to understand how time is meant to be visualized if not through the events of the past or the events of the future, since abstract time is not something that separates itself as a tangible idea for me, it's always worked out by observing it indirectly from things in the world or by a wordless flow of internal states that somehow register as time or time sense if co-opted to do so.
    For me either, not very visual but for me it can become separate from events.. or I just no longer see the individual events themselves, they get summarized subconsciously? Well and that looks like as described earlier

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