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I have the subjective personal experience that the speed at which I can enter information in a computer through a keyboard is so slow and my thoughts "run" so fast, that I find it an especially frustrating experience to compose a text on a computer or do a translation.

Is there any research studying the effects of computer keyboard data entry speed compared to the speed at which thinking happens (or the speed of speech, the latter measurable) or just some paper elaborating on a correlation between the speed of data input and the subjective feeling of smooth mind work?

Maybe research with stenographers (supposed to be able to write at the speed of speech) would be a good direction? An article suggesting such correlation: (Plover, the Open Source Steno Program: Writing and Coding With Steno).

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Data entry at the speed of thought is not practical without advanced ai ruining interference. While not a scientific writing "3001: The Final Odyssey" gives some commentary about the challenges of organizing thoughts into input. In general our thoughts become difficult to organize and error prone at such speeds when we become emotional. This is especially true for those with dyslexia and adhd. –  caseyr547 Jan 19 '14 at 22:36
What is your question? (1) "Can we enter data at the speed of thought?", (2) "What are the effects of slower text entry than the speed of thinking?" (I don't get the 'compared to' here), or (3) "Is there a correlation ...?" Correlation between what and what? Could you please elaborate and pinpoint the exact question you are interested in? –  Steven Jeuris Jan 20 '14 at 10:54
@caseyr547 - let me give an example with translation as a mind activity. Having to keep the translation of a sentence in my mind until I type it, feels to only obstruct my mind. It definitely does not feel like I gain any advantage from having some extra time to think while typing. I prefer to type what's coming to my mind and then read it and fix it (organize it). After all, isn't it more productive to use less short-term memory by doing one activity after the other, rather than trying to do both simultaneously? –  drabsv Jan 21 '14 at 16:14
@ caseyr547 - well, what is preventing me from being calm and focused is exactly the anxiety and frustration caused by having lots of thoughts and ideas coming in my mind, while being constrained to entering them at snail speed. –  drabsv Jan 21 '14 at 16:29
@ Steven Jeuris - thanks, I made some edits. Basically my question is 2) "What are the effects of slower text entry than the speed of thinking?" in a very general way. –  drabsv Jan 21 '14 at 16:30

2 Answers 2

I am unfamiliar with such research. However, considering this from a User Interface design perspective, as well as from a cognitive perspective, I would add one bit of clarification to the question.

Can we enter data at the speed of organized thought?

If the limitations in user interface technology are overcome to the point where the input gate is no longer the limitation, it is quite possible that we would discover that our thought processes are so chaotic as to render the new technology virtually useless.

As support for this I would point out that sitting and typing a message, while slow, is already a method by which thoughts evolve into lucid communication.

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Hm, I view the issue in an entirely different way. I like to be able to quickly enter all my (overwhelming) ideas first and then organize them, once available on the screen. Data input is not a process of organizing thoughts on its own to me, but only a part of the whole process. –  drabsv Jan 21 '14 at 16:10
Yes, that is what I meant by writing as a method for evolving thought. However, I would contend that if you put raw thought down in writing, it might very well be disorganized to the point of incomprehensibility. Perhaps, I am considering thought to be the maelstrom of activity behind articulated verbiage, and you are speaking of thought at the level of at least articulated verbiage. –  John Yetter Jan 24 '14 at 14:49

You could compare with other kinds of communication limitations, or bottlenecks if you wish.

For example, one could have problems keeping up with his thoughts while speaking. This would causes some lacks of information and create a gap in the representations of the subject between the two interlocutors.

I think it's like the "lost idea" phenomenon, too much new information comes into consciousness and one cannot communicate efficiently enough to follow his "flow of ideas" while sharing.

Who knows, maybe you are faster with a pencil, or a paintbrush.

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That really is the essence of the question, only restated: "Are you faster with $x$ [e.g., pencil] or $y$ [e.g., paintbrush], and if so (regardless of which), does that improve the smoothness of the cognitive workflow and thought transmission to you personally?" That's probably how such research on subjective experience could be conducted, at least roughly and initially. –  Nick Stauner Feb 18 '14 at 8:18

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