This phrase resonates with a certain subset of people. They will jump on it like a starving man jumps on a roast beef sandwich, but when you ask them what it means, they’ll be completely incapable of explaining. They’ll pause for a minute, and then start babbling about “aligned” vector fields and contort like puppeteers as they trace imaginary fields in the air with their fingers. Well, thanks to that wonderful neuroscience video that I keep referencing, we have a real idea what the mental trait of “alignment” looks like: it’s when the entire brain is operating at the same level of activity, despite compartmentalization due to cortical fissures.
So what does this statement really mean? The resting state of the neural network is either receiving and interpreting new sense data or playful recombination of old sense data (as garbled memories and pattern perception). These can be referenced as “input” and “output” states (where output is plausible combinations). Given the same environmental stimulation, melons tend more to the former and thals tend more to the latter.
(Melons, if you want to experience the typical neanderthal resting state cognition, go to a dark, dry slightly cold cave and just sit there for a while. Thals, if you want to experience the typical melon resting state try imagining the real world were as bright and exciting and interesting and colorful as Guardians of the Galaxy, My Little Pony, Star Wars, or Dragon Ball Z.)
I’ve noticed a commonality between a lot of practical “thinking” body language- it involves lots of extra sensory stimulation. While standing, this means pacing, stretching, squeezing fists, etc. While sitting, this usually means touching body parts with dense nerve endings: drumming fingertips, touching fingertips to lips (this is what I usually do), touching fingertips together, basically anything that involves playing with the big parts of the primary sensory-motor cortices:
This is because full-brain “visualization” tasks are in the input state, except that the input is something imagined that has been given such priority status that everything else is neglected (including interpretation of new sensory inputs). This is more intense than ordinary unfocused daydreaming, which is the fragmented output state of the network. It is “thinking in pictures” as the HFA folks call it.
So the input state (alignment) occurs in the presence of something interesting, which can be thought of as analogous to a diamagnet in the presence of a permanent magnet. The interesting thing can be something interesting coming in from the outside (like a charging bear) or something produced by the subconscious recombinator that is interesting enough to occupy the entire visual field (like the idea that electromagnetic radiation visualized as expanding 2-D circles, translated into light cones, needs only the following correction to match reality:
This ties into a couple of different ideas: sensory differences in autistics, the understimulation theory of ADHD-I (and therefore hyperfocus), and the nature of general intelligence above 135 IQ (according to my definition of intelligence as “the tendency to overcome nonmaterial obstacles to objects of desire”).