*The Thought Collector: Problems, Speed of Thoughts vs Available Technology*
One of the problems of a thought collector is that your thoughts move at tremendous speed. it’s been calculated that your thoughts travel (at least the spoken thoughts) at 400-800 words per minute. Speaking, seems to take place at between 100-400 words per minute. A good typing speed is about eighty words per minute. The only mechanism that even comes close to the speed of thought is dictation techniques. But the problem with dictating techniques is that they require years and years of practice and specialization. For those of us who do not have the time nor the energy nor the patience, which is most people, the use of such techniques is out of the question.
So, if the speed of thought is between 400 and 800 words per minute, how can we take those thoughts and put them in the form that can be understood by others?
It is a difficult dilemma. Unfortunately, we are not yet at the point where a wire can be hooked up to our brains and the thoughts can be printed out, saved on tape, put in pictorial form, or played by a symphony orchestra. So what do we do?
We find other means. We work with the materials we have at hand, in order to facilitate the capturing of thoughts.
I’ve been struggling with the issue for a long time now, and have not come to a conclusion that is fully satisfying. I’ve gone through any number of keyboards, speech-to-text programs, alternative input devices, etc., and nothing satisfies fully.
Kenneth Udut, May 30, 2002