Re: virus: a tangent

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 10:13:36 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 23 Mar 1997, Dan Plante wrote:

> The point is, the emergent mind is a complex system in exactly the
> same way that the Earth's weather is a complex system, and will follow
> the exact same principles. So, based on what I /think/ you had in mind,
> it seems to me there's no guarantee that:
> A: the resulting stabilized system (mind-set, or lack thereof, call it what
> you want) will be more complex by any metric, or,
> B: if more complex, will better manifest the qualities of mind you desire.
> As I mentioned before, a rather hit-and-miss process.

I guess I took as read a lot of things that I never stated. I don't
really think we're talking about different things. The technique you
describe (in other posts) is very much like the one I'm speaking of. The
point (or one of them) I was hoping to make was that you can look into
that "black hole" without fear (or as near as possible) if you know that
all the hard work you're about to do will result in a new improved you.
This never works the first time, the first time always scares the shit out
of you. But after you've made it out the other side once, you can
collapse the whole process the next time because you're not afraid to rush
into the "black hole" and see who comes out the other side.

As a small example, I realized a couple years ago that my depressions had
a pattern. I would feel them coming on, suffer for a couple days, then
have a realization (usually something I already knew but didn't want to
face) and come out of it. Once I saw the pattern I was able to dissect it.
As soon as I felt it coming on I would ask, "Okay, Tim, what are you lying
to yourself about this time?" and I began to be able to collapse the whole
process from a couple weeks down to a couple days. And now I can do the
whole thing it in a couple hours when I'm at my most aware. I still lie
to myself (self-deception seems to be one of my greatest natural talents),
but know that I know myself I can never get away with it for long.

I've also come to understand that all the advice I give other people is
the advice I need to hear for myself. When I can stay awake to this (no
mean feat!) I can help myself at the same time as I help others and I can
understand why I'm so hard on other people at times. Those are the times
when I really need to be that hard on myself. [This admission will no
doubt come back to haunt me next time I get in a flame war with someone
here, but that's why I said it, after all ;-) ]

Maybe the chaotic system analogy for the mind wasn't that good as a
general rule. It fits the way my mind works as it goes through this
process, that's why I used it. My mind is not unlike the weather in that

-Prof. Tim