How I See My Mind

Precise Efficient Communication is an Absolute Necessity.
(See glishone for a little about Glish and Johnglish.)

I am John David Allsup from Exeter.
I am going to tell you something
about how I perceive my own mind.

My mind is like a magical mansion
with a great many rooms.
Each room is like a brain state
and each brain state has many modes.
Each mode changes how my being reacts
to what it perceives in the world.
What I perceive,
and how I then react,
depends essentially upon my own brain's state.
If I change my state of brain
or my brain state happens to change,
how I react to real world input
will somehow change.
These changes may not always be perceptible
and indeed almost always aren't.
If I do not make you aware
then you have no way to tell.
Thus you must trust me
to be honest about my brain state.
If I do not wish
you cannot understand
if I wish,
you may need my instruction
in order to understand anything at all.

That is just how my brain works.

I want to tell you about something.
That something is what I call LogicalParanoia.
I use the word LogicalParanoia
because its meaning is captured
by the two English words
Logical and Paranoia.
It means I am afraid of mistakes.
Like other modes of brain
it is a mode I can enter
and a mode I can also leave.
Whether I am in my LogicalParanoia mode
is something that
you will have to ask
if you want to know.
LogicalParanoia also splits my world
into me and everything else.
In LogicalParanoia mode
I believe by default that
the world is out to get me.

I believe by default that
the world will try to trick me.

I believe by default that
I must not make a single error
and that everyone else may try desperately
to trick me into making an error.

To function socially
I then need to learn to trust.
In LogicalParanoia I trust conservatively.

(Read TrustNet for more about trusting conservatively.)

When in LogicalParanoia
I think very very carefully.
I think like I am playing games
like Minesweeper and also Sokoban.
In these games
a single mistake
may mean end of life.
By playing games like these
you learn not to make many mistakes.
The art of playing games like these
is to learn how to make none.
With Minesweeper it is sometimes not possible
to solve a game without making guesses.
With sokoban however
it is a theoretical possibility
to be able to solve a level
without making a single guess.
That can be very difficult
but in Minesweeper there are board configurations
that do not give you enough information.
In LogicalParanoia I am careful,
to a point others may label 'paranoia',
not to make a mistake
nor to guess
unless I absolutely need to.
If in this brain state
which is natural to me
if I cannot be certain
then I panic.
I panic if I calculate
with reasonable certainty
that I have no sensible options available.
I thus behave in a nonsensible way,
and maybe in a very nonsensical way,
until I perceive fresh options.
Then I start to calm myself down
and think carefully which option
of the newly available choices
is the most sensible for my being.

If you see me panicking
then this is what has probably happened.
But as is always the case mentally,
for me in any case,
there are generally no guarantees.

That is a little about
the Mind of John Allsup.

Doctor John Allsup from Exeter