by Phil Jaekl
One fine spring afternoon this year, as I was out running errands in the small Norwegian town where I live, a loud beep startled me into awareness. What had just been on my mind? After a moment’s pause, I realized something strange. I’d been thinking two things at the same time—rehearsing the combination of a new bike lock and contemplating whether I should wear the clunky white beeper that had just sounded into a bank.
How, I wondered, could I have been saying two things simultaneously in my mind? Was I deceiving myself? Was this, mentally, normal? I silenced the beeper on my belt and pulled out my phone to make a voice memo of the bizarre experience before I walked into the bank; aesthetics be damned.
I was in the midst of an experiment that involved keeping a log of my inner thoughts for Russ Hurlburt, a senior psychologist at the University of Las Vegas. For decades, Hurlburt has been motivated by one question: How, exactly, do we experience our own mental life? … (continue at Nautilus)