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What words or phrases can I use?

I think "unpredictable" kinda works, but it's not accurate.

I'm not asking for derogatory terms; it's more like someone who is simple-minded and thinks for himself naturally, and doesn't notice that his thoughts jump around too quickly.

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    Racing? Scattered? Too smart for her own good? Brainiac? Absent-minded professor? Genius but not house-trained? Feb 2 at 20:46
  • Thanks, but I don't think that is what I want, these words are kinda derogatory🤔 @YosefBaskin
    – LY Lee
    Feb 2 at 21:15
  • "Flighty" comes to mind. Also, "airy" or "free-spirited."
    – RobJarvis
    Feb 2 at 22:20
  • Well, there's "scatter-brained", but it's somewhat pejorative, and may not exactly capture your desired meaning.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2 at 22:31
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    You have not described a simple person, but a brain without social skills. Feb 2 at 22:40
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How about “muddled”, “slack” or “distracted”? All indicate a lack of focus but not a lack of intelligence or purpose.

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Opaque.

Here’s a dictionary definition: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/opaque

The key thing with this dictionary entry is to look at the synonyms. Of these, opaque seems to me like the least perjorative.

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This person has thoughts in constant mercurial flux.

Mercurial has several meanings, of which the most relevant is this one (from the OED):

  1. Of a person: having a lively, volatile, or restless nature; liable to sudden and unpredictable changes of mind or mood; quick-witted, imaginative. Later also gen. (applied to animals, phenomena, etc.,): changeable, unpredictable, fickle.

Examples of usage:

Spring and All and his improvisational writing, “The Descent of Winter” captured the mercurial flux of his thought in scattershot bursts of prose and controlled late imagist poetry in a carefully structured textual schema. (source)

This is another interest he shares with Beat writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg , and with avant - garde filmmakers like Stan Brakhage and Paul Sharits , who also strive to conquer time's tyranny in works characterized by mercurial flux and flow. (source)

Nietzsche's nominalistic anti-foundationalism was at least in part derived from his belief in a fundamental schism between language and the world, between the mercurial flux of reality and any particular conceptual system. (source)

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