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# Colors for numbers

June 1, 2018

Summary
The idea is to utilize colors instead of numerical symbols to represent numbers.
Instead of 0-9, we will have a color wheel, as shown in the figure below. This is
obviously a bit difficult when writing, but not that hard when thinking.

## Here is a test computation:

1
Why?
I wanted to replace numerals with colors to try to shift basic math computation
from the cerebral cortex (conscious thought) to the visual processing side of our
brain. Instead of doing math by thinking out in our mind ”4 + 9 = 13” (notice
how you kind of read it aloud in your mind. you may not do this as much for
super simple computations but you likely do for longer mental math), we would
just imagine the colors in our mind and our brain would do the cycling, with no
words attached. Thus, ideally we are both getting away from the linear thought
process that is inherent to our inner dialogue, and also perhaps shifting process-
ing to the visual cortex to some extent (though I am not sure of this latter part.
Just because it involves visualizing doesn’t mean it’s utilizing visual processing
effectively. I’d say that good visual processing would involve converting 2d to
3d or finding intersections or other problems our visual cortex has to solve in
the real world). Also, I think that perhaps it would aid in our memory of long
numbers. I think the average person can retain like 7 words/symbols at a time,
but perhaps viewing a string of numbers as an image(row/pattern of colors)
would allow you to memorize more.

Obviously this is not perfect, but it is a start to the main thing I am try-
ing to achieve right now; converting problems written in verbal symbols into
nonverbal symbol problems. Of course, cycling through colors is still a linear
process in some sense, and so perhaps this isn’t nonlinear in the typical sense.
However, it utilizes some sensory-associations(colors) and is nonverbal, so it’s a
step in the right direction.

2
Further thoughts
I think a big part of ”nonlinear” thinking will involve going through thought
processes without thinking in actual language. Perhaps this is one of the major
uses of a type of nonlinear thinking: we take a problem that we currently do
using conscious language (with our internal dialogue) and convert that problem
into something that can be done without words; into ”symbols” (colors, shapes,
sounds, any other basis) that our brain can work with.

Obvious Improvements
I wish addition actually made sense going around the color wheel. For example,
I wish I could find a mapping so that when I add two colors together and
they give me a new color, that new colors number corresponds to the actual
arithmatic sum represented by the original sum of colors. For eg, I wish I red
something like red is 1, blue is 2, and then purple is 3. Then at least the
cycling would make more sense. Right now it’s primarily memorizing which
colors added together leads to which next color. The real issue is that primary
colors and their mixtures don’t have a well defined magnitude (which is further
from white, red or blue?). The magnitude system we picked is arbitrary, so
while we get nonverbal thought, we miss out on having our system be logically
consistent with our every day experience of colors (like mixing paint).