Focus and attention.
At one point of time, I can only focus on one thing. Let’s assume there is a table, a chair and a waste-basket in a room. As I enter the room, I see the table and chair, but not the waste-basket which is placed in the corner of the room. My attention is on the table and chair. A second later my attention swivels to the waste-basket. The table and the chair vanish from direct sight. But I know that they are there. You see, moments of perception such as the table-chair moment and the waste-basket moment, essentially times, come together to create the present. Memory holds it together, for as I turn to the waste-basket, I remember that the table-chair are in the room, so I conclude that the room has a table, a chair and a waste-basket within its four walls. It’s beautiful, the concepts at work here. As I leave the room, take a step out of it, opening the door, I know that if I re-enter it, I will see the same things in their place – nothing would have moved. The concept of the table, chair and the waste-basket, the properties I have ascribed to those physical objects through learning and experience of them, tell me that they are inanimate objects, and thus would not move from their place. To confirm this, I re-enter the room. Imagine my surprise, or rather shock, if I find that the three objects have vanished, similar to the shock I would feel if I looked first at the table and chair, then at the waste-basket and then “empty” space where the table and chair had been, that the table and chair had vanished.
Let’s look at the concept of the room itself. A space enclosed within four walls, a roof and (not necessarily) an entry of some kind into that space. “The car has room for four people”, it has space, or probably seating for four people. That’s how we function: attributing concepts to physical objects – our interaction with them dictated by our understanding of their structure, and their functioning – both created by us for them (in case of artificial objects). Coming back to the concept of the room, I know that the walls are solid and so are the objects – table, chair and waste-basket inside it, so now I know that if I lock the door, they can’t escape – solid can’t go through solid – so imagine my shock if I unlock the door and find them missing. Let’s take two considerations into account, first, that the room is windowless and has no entrance/ exit, other than the door, that it is impenetrable otherwise (including the floor) and second, that I have the only key to the room which I’m sure no one has taken from me. So, how do I think the furniture escaped?
The problem area is me.
Just because I’m sure that no one else has taken the key from me, does not mean that no one else has taken the key from me. This shows the gap that exists between reality and our account of it, spurred by our experience and perception. That seems the most likely conclusion, that someone took the key from me, without my knowledge of it. The other conclusion is that someone dismantled the door. Look at my concepts at work here – “someone”. It had to be a person, how else would inanimate objects move? How can another animal or plant dismantle the door? Why can’t it be a machine? Hasn’t artificial intelligent developed to that extent?
If we think about our logical connections and learning, I think the results will surprise us, especially, the amount of interaction with the world that takes place inside our head.