Relevance

Ask a kid – What is a chocolate box? Immediately pops the answer – A box containing chocolates.

Now, logically (as well as analogically), one might say  

Box made up of chocolates?  – just as a wooden box is made of wood.

Box inside chocolates? – just as a house-chair is inside a house and an office-chair is inside an office.

Box with ‘chocolate’ written on it? – just as a bournvita can is a can with ‘Bournvita’ written on it?

The above 3 alternatives are “wrong” not because they violate any logic, but because they violate commonsense. Hence they are odd, weird and just don’t quite “make sense”.

OR

Consider these statements Jack told John –

1. A gave a pen to B.

2. C gave a pen to B.

One of the first things John would say (react with) is – 

Oh, so it seems to be a pen-day for B! or say Oh, it’s all gifts pouring in today for B!’. 

It is very unlikely that John would say something like – ‘The flow while writing with a pen is so smooth!’ (This seems “odd”.) But note that logically speaking, the remark is connected to the 2 statements i.e. the statements and the (odd) remark both ARE ABOUT a pen.

So my question is – WHAT IS RELEVANT?

5 aspects to it – 

  1. Logic v/s commonsense : 

1. ‘I said it and he came’. (Why is this special? Logically there is nothing special about it.)

2. ‘Nobody must have done this’. (One might say – So what? But it is a rationale we use to de-justify someone’s action. Logically, it is not a reason to justify or dejustify).

2. What we react to in our every-day data-consumption : 

1. Spotting contradictions. e.g. first you said this, and now you are saying that.  E.g. – Such less furniture, for such a large house?

2. Spotting opposites/contrasts. E.g. Father’s nature is completely the opposite of mother’s nature. 

3. Special arrangements of data : 

1.. ‘all’/ ‘full’/’everything’ are special constructs. (They leave nothing behind…they create blankness).

Phrases like “all of it was used”, “everything was taken” etc. are made with an emphasis. The cyclone washed away everything – not a nail of the house was left. 

2. We question ‘too much change’ in anything in a short time.

4. Interesting :

Some things are interesting by default.

E.g. – 1. First and last times are interesting by default. 2. Extremes (min and max) are interesting by default.

5. Precursors to thinking :

This is what can be called as the prelude to thinking. 

Examples – 

  1. Repetition is of value by default! (In the pen example, the spotting of the repetition of the word ‘pen’ was the precursor to the remarks – Oh it seems to be a pen day for John

2. Too much of same together is interesting.

If you enter a room and see everyone is wearing a yellow shirt, it would trigger a thinking process (to find what it is about that).

Note – They happen even before thinking begins. In isolation, just by themselves, they are mindless, but are the initial processes before thinking. 

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