Level of abstraction
|In his head were sounds that he associated with a lot of what had happened. Furthermore, he and his neighbor had made sounds to each other and had discovered that they could agree on what those sounds meant. They had language. They had a means to think about what might be, and they had a means to communicate.|
neighbors developed their language and their imaginations until they had
whole communities of neighbors
who were able to catch deer without falling over cliffs. They also developed wondrous stories and fablessome true and some not so trueabout how to catch deer and whales...and get the deer meat that's stored in the caves of the tribes who lived on the other side of the mountain, and get the women of the tribes who lived on the other side of the mountain, and . . .
Sometimes their ideas didn't work as well as they wished. Jumping up and down at the edge of the cliff while screaming the word for deer over and over again once did startle a deer which then fell off the cliff, but it never seemed to work well again. They passed the word down through the generations, anyway, and it became widely considered as a way to get deer meat without having to do the hard work of chasing deer.
millennia later, human thinking had made great progress toward real
effectiveness in getting what humans want. One day one of the more respected thinkers
of the day invented a word for what made the food important, and what made
rest cure the fatigue of chasing deer. Aristotle coined the word,
"energy," from the Greek words meaning "at work."
"energy" stood not for experiences or imagined experiences, it stood for
a deeper abstraction. This "capacity for doing work" was
something in common to a lot of different kinds of experiences and
imagined experiences. Thinking about
it was a little harder than thinking about experiences themselves.
Science had begun to gestate.