On Talking Back

PSA: I’m thinking out-loud, here. Pure, unmitigated stream-of-consciousness. My interior filter seems to be on an extended vacation, so for the readers looking to get inside my head: it’s your lucky day. To that end, I’m preparing to discuss a topic of which I have no formal experience or education.

If my writing doesn’t reveal the infantile grasp I have of this material let a formal warning do the trick:
I am, in no uncertain terms, a complete idiot. Take nothing on here (or this blog for that matter!) for granted. My last intention is to mislead readers about the nature of this very serious condition — these are simply the passing thoughts of an attention-deprived young man with entirely too much time. You have been warned.

I’ve often thought to myself about multiple personality disorder. It’s an inherently fascinating condition to me for a host of reasons, the strongest of which is that I spend a great deal of time, well, talking to myself. Nobody talks back, mind you — but I do talk to myself to such a degree that many people, if aware, might grow concerned.

Most of it is mindless prattle, though. Frivolous chatter. It’s all there: schedules, distractions, motivations, dreams, desires, lusts, fears, self-loathing, self-pity, countless judgments and decisions, and, of course: secrets. Theyr’e all relegated to the invisible incessant voice bouncing around inside my head.

That internal engine, always stirring, is aimed at making the next breath in my chest rise a little quicker. Whenever the stillness begins to settle-in I invariably grow uneasy. It’s an unhealthy (insufferable?)  paradox, but for me: to slacken the tension of my mind by even an inch is to surrender my mind in total. [1]

Admittedly, most people entertain these same monologues to some degree. We’re a self-reflective species; ever-ready to offer everything from challenges to enthusiasm on any topic to the personal (and affectionate) ego-born identity we call “me”. I imagine that, in some sense, we’re all living with the prerequisites to this condition — we all involve ourselves with these kinds of internal messages aimed at inciting reflection. Of course, for the individuals that experience dissociative identity disorder, these conversations must play out very differently.

//hate everything below this line//

The key difference is that, for people diagnosed with DID, they’ve dropped some of the information’s header. Somewhere along the way the mind forgets where the message originated from, and thus, scrambles to ascribes it to what must seem like a foreign identity within the mind. The mind conjures such a solution if one isn’t readily found. Terrifying.

We’re all one step away, too. All it would take is one little synapses firing off in an unusual way, and the next time we engage ourselves in reflective dialogue  we might find someone talking back.

[1] The bold line line here is intentionally inspired / lifted from Ayn Rand’s book, THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS

There is no greater self-delusion than to imagine that one can render unto reason that which is reason’s and unto faith that which is faith’s. Faith cannot be circumscribed or de­limited; to surrender one’s consciousness by an inch, is to surrender one’s consciousness in total.

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On smoking and the concession of ‘cool’

“Man, that’s so cool.”

Cool. It’s a word that, despite not getting much use today, represents this concept that we all immediately  understand. I mean, I don’t have to paint anyone a picture of what ‘cool‘ looks like: we already have some kind of mental representation — we don’t need it spelled out for us. For me, in this moment, it looks something like the lead singer from Fitz and the Tantrums. Good God that guy is cool.

It’s neat to me that we have this internal, unique definition of what ‘cool’ is, custom-fit to our personality and experiences. Self adopted, instantiated, and ever-employed: this definition is with us at every moment of every day as we evaluate the world around us. Undeniably: what we define as ‘cool’ might be someone else’s ‘crap’. But that can’t invalidate our internal definition of ‘cool’. Cool as a preference concept is a justification in and of itself. IE: It’s cool, and I like it (because it’s cool).

It’s the equivalent of a mental bullet-proof vest: one can’t help but look-on at a debate between two people engaged in verbal gymnastics aimed at convincing one-another to take the jackets off — it just isn’t in the cards.

But, somewhere along the path of our collective intellectual and ethical development as a species, we decided that it was suddenly taboo to publicly acknowledge the degree of something’s coolness. Somewhere along the line it became uncool to simply state preference as a justification for something, and in particular, with the use of the word ‘cool’. Suddenly ‘cool’ was wildly uncool.

Admittedly, this thought and post arises from a string of exchanges I’ve had with friends discussing the merits of entertaining a smoking habit in the year 2014. When these types of engagement arise; I’m quick to concede that smoking is blindingly, unabashedly cool.

But then the scowl appears. You know the one, the, ‘don’t-give-me-that-crap’ kind-of scowl. It’s as if they’re determined to deny smoking’s most (only?) redeemable quality: the fact that it exudes a confident coolness.

Why is it that when the first snow arrives for the season we’re invariably tempted to blow the hot air from our lungs and watch the steam escape our lips: because it’s damn cool. Blowing visible smoke from our mouths is, in my opinion, so undeniably cool that if offered the option to do it at all times I would unhesitatingly accept. You would find me sitting in classes and meetings, vapors trailing from my mouth and nose, wearing a grin that could only say “Yeah — it is what it looks like: I’m a mother-fshking dragon. Fear me.”

Argh — I’ve lost the beat. Somewhere in that tunnel I had a point, but it seems for the moment I’ve lost it. Perhaps I’ll return at some point to remedy the situation. Until then, stay cool. No matter what they tell you.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/60/work_smarter.html

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/reflections-on-free-will

http://stockrt.github.io/p/emulating-a-browser-in-python-with-mechanize/

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4000896/logging-into-facebook-without-a-browser @EverythingZen

http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/26/how-tencent-is-slowly-transforming-into-one-of-gamings-biggest-investors/

http://www.polygon.com/2013/10/21/4863050/report-red-5s-new-investor-is-the-shanghai-oriental-pearl-group

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUUxmvvl2FE

Harish Manwani: Profit’s not always the point (TED)

Companies cannot afford to be just innocent bystanders in what’s happening around in society. They have to begin to play their role in terms of serving the communities which actually sustain them.

And we have to move to a model of an and/and model which is how do we make money and do good? How do we make sure that we have a great business but we also have a great environment around us? And that model is all about doing well and doing good.

On magic and automation.

sdflsdfl s al shizslinky. I’ve had it all wrong.

All these years I’ve dreamt of superpowers, and little did I realize they were right under my nose. Literally, in fact, as I spent the vast majority of my formative years staring wide-eyed at a computer screen. If only I had known that the key to the door was hidden in a few deliberate keystrokes at my fingertips!

Welp, you live and you learn.

Computer automation is magic, and the people that code these wondrous robots are the digital wizards and ninjas of tomorrow. And with that; I think I’m ready for a Keanu meme.

iknowkungfu

If it isn’t clear at this point: I’m enthralled by the sheer power of computer automation.

Take for example, what I did today: entertained some classwork, ate le burger, snagged some fossil fuels, made a few phone calls, only to come home and find that I had actually been working the entire time thanks to the power of code. I couldn’t help but scratch my head — even though I’ve worked on this code for months, I hadn’t ever fully considered what it was all building towards. It seriously felt like I had been in two places at once.

It’s a powerful feeling, really, and I wish more people could share in the joy. If nothing else, it’s addicting. Let’s build more.