our mind contains the equivalent of text, graphics, audio, video, "olfactory" and any other file type you can imagine. In fact, imagining them is just about proof that they are there.
When an understood concept is expressed as a word rather than a graphic, it becomes far more portable. A word requires less "bittage" than a big picture file. So you can sling it around inside your skull with great speed.
Words are used in logical statements called sentences. We test out consequences of proposed actions by a kind of algebraic word (concept, Boolean-if/then) processing. If we had to do this in pictures it might take all night to decide what topping we want on our pizza.
Words have settings on them like:
(x by itself)=0
(x associated with y)=1
It's much easier to deal with existence (mental calculations-wise) in the DOS format stripped of all superficial and logically irrelevant 'other stuff '.
So how did people get along before language ?
They lived like pigs ... animals.
They killed each other and themselves with their own stupidity.
If you could go back into the past you would perceive the inhabitants therein as "mentally deficient".
With the development of language all of that has changed. We now kill one another with "aplomb" ; )
But seriously, folks ...
Actually, people who are adept at language or any intellectual endeavor for that matter, don't generally kill one another or knock people over the head to steal their money. We still have a large percentage of underdeveloped people on Earth who haven't the ability to "calculate" consequences and thus get themselves into big trouble.
Doesn't it strike you as odd that one guy is working in a clean room in silicon valley while another, on the same planet, is wearing a loincloth (or less) and getting his sustinence by sucking snails in a swamp.
Once again, Is this not odd ?
This state of non-equilibrium will not persist for too many centuries. But for now we have to live with it. (And maybe die by it.)
Parents are often disrespected by their teenagers because they are unable to explain situations, consequences, planning, responsibility, morality, etc. etc. The teen believes that if a thing is understood it means that it can be described in terms of words. This is very seldom the case in the average human being.
We have many things to do in life which take up our time and one of them is to translate our non-verbal understanding into words so that it can be effectively transmitted to another.
Unfortunately, we just don't get around to it often enough.
It's kind of like sending a text file to someone instead of an avi file. With text we send a
little information and rely on the receivers experience with life to fill in the graphic details. (Very efficient) With avi we send a movie giving every miniscule bit of data. (Inefficient). But the avi file mode is how most people store their understanding. After all, that's how they obtained it.
To save in the text mode requires "reflection", i.e. thinking, in words, about the experience thus translating it (save as ... ) into text mode. When this is done you can explain yourself fluently (appearing quite intelligent) to even a hostile audience. If not, you are forced to say something like "well ... er.. ah ... duh... ya' know like ... uhhh , I can't explain it but I ... feel ... that it's right ...")
This kind of response will make you appear ignorant even if you are in the right.