“I'm my demographic.”

Potential caption to accompany an as yet unpublished video of me talking to myself for over an hour. — Update one week later: Said video is now on YouTube & YewTube. Look at me, doing stuff as planned!

What could easily be judged as the raving of a madman is an attempt to capture genuine self talk. At least since I first learned of Stream of Consciousness literature I fixated on the seeming impossibility of capturing actual thought. I grant that lack of interest in such a project is a possible explanation. The content may indeed be of no general interest and is nearly incomprehensible to boot. To the best of my ability I am not talking to any viewer other than myself. As with the effect of measurement altering that which is measured, I've long felt that recording changes the behavior being recorded. It has been difficult for me to record thoughts. On video and verbalizing I am much more performative than I would be with no recording. Having said that I do banter with myself, have inside jokes, laugh at myself a lot, sing to myself. None of the behaviors in this video are uncharacteristic of me when not being recorded. There will (hopefully) never be a way to record actual thoughts. If a subject were unaware of being recorded their thoughts would be silent. I consider there to be value in this recording as psychological data. I only know my own brain so I could be an extreme outlier. But I do not believe so. Regardless I'm learning how I think. My brain circles back to topics. What is often considered distractability I view as natural functioning. The work of wise decision making happens in the background, I believe. The rapid cycling of thoughts into focus is how my mind operates. Development of ideas takes place consciously as well as unconsciously. My current take is that the unconscious processing is the more valuable. In other words, during healthy functioning an idea cycles back into top of mind more developed than the last time. (As opposed to dysfunctional obsessive ideation of repetitive unchanged thoughts.) Yes I'm an artist with few responsibilities. I'm allowing my mind to wander. Yes I am capable of much more focus and control. Yet I do not believe complete silencing of random distraction to be possible nor desirable. Making this recording helps me towards personal goals: not caring at all what people think, zero embarrassment; refining my ideas and word choices; learning about myself; learning to love myself; challenging my memory while also externally saving some memories. (Even if I never watch the video again — a strong possibility — in school I found the making of notes to aid recall even if never reviewed.) When it comes to word choice refinement, this video is I believe the first time I've used the term 'abuse' to describe unhealthy self talk. Notably my strong reaction was to the common phrase 'wasting time'. I feel that I improve when I rewrite harmful programming. Concepts like 'being lazy', 'wasting time', and 'having a bad memory' I find to be unhelpful and unhealthy. I embrace precise and positive language choices. One more note on memory. It seems clear to me that my mind uses place holder variables as much as possible. Difficulty comes putting thoughts into words because in the mind it is enough to think, “do the this thing just like you did that other.” The volume and pace of thinking can expand and contract. It strikes me as entirely normal that the mind uses the least amount of specificity required to keep a rapid pace. Then suddenly when the thoughts have to be put into words a well-known term is 'forgotten'. I would suggest that the word had not been needed while the mind was composing its thoughts. The demand for the mind to put the thought into words to share with another means the mind must stop any other tasks to answer this specific request while under the pressure of performance anxiety. Just a thought. Oh! In the video I say I'm not biologically flawed. I may very well be, of course! My point is the rejection of any suggestion that I ought to be other than I am. The accuracy of this attitude is unimportant. My obstacles in life aren't that I'm causing harm by taking on tasks overconfidently. I've been more likely to be fearful, more prone to inaction. For some of my beliefs accuracy is less important than helpfulness. So I view my genetics and those of everyone else as natural and beyond control, to be accepted as neutral or positive but never negative. This last idea is new, in need of development.


by Rob Middleton. Find me on Mastodon or on the links.
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