Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Random Questions

Random questions

I've been reading and studying psychology and neurology ever since I got sick and then got well enough to do it, about a decade now, give or take. In that time I've learned quite a few interesting things, a decent number of things I think are wrong but that are taken as common knowledge, and more than a few disturbing things about just how fragile we all are. Lately, I've come more and more to notice that even though there was a definite time when I "got sick," that "sickness" was merely a tipping point of preexisting conditions that pushed me from functional (in a societal sense) to non-functional. I have always "been this way" and one day it was a bridge too far. In fact, much of the long-term damage I have to deal with is a result of that one step too many and the damage from that trauma than from any original issue. This, in turn, has led me to watch closely the sub-text of various psychological discussions and to examine, not the surface information being presented, but rather the underlying assumptions about the mind, personality, and the rest. And this has led me to the conclusion that, if I'm to take everything at face value, some of us just flat think differently than the rest of society.
Put differently, neurotypicals are weird. It is as if, taking mentality and thought process as a base, humanity is actually several different subspecies living together instead of one single template. I also don't think that such a thing would actually surprise anyone. Some of us have entirely different modalities of thought, different mental paradigms, from others. We may live in a one-size-fits-all culture but I think deep down we all recognize that we are not, in fact, all operating under the same set of presuppositions and even sensory input.
Okay, I know that what I've said thus far probably doesn't make much sense. It's a very hard thing to pin down with words. That is fine; my purpose right now isn't to present any conclusion. Rather, I wanted to give some background to why I have a list of (maybe) really weird questions that I'd like very much to have answers to. Please do respond, if only to a few of them. You can post anonymously if you wish. There are no right or wrong answers; I'm just curious.

1--Can you hear electricity?
2--Do fluorescent lights and/or LEDs make you feel sick?
3--Do you hear sounds inside your own head? That is, not external sounds but actually hear the noises that originate from inside your skull?
4--Can you recall from memory actual sounds such that you are not just remembering songs but actually listening to them internally with the same textures as if they were playing externally?
5--Do you taste colors?
6--Do you think in abstract images and symbols, concrete visualized forms, words and sentences, a combination of all these, or in some way not listed here?
7--Do you "know" things before you could possibly know them? By this I mean do you arrive at well-reasoned, defensible conclusions about things before you have had time to think through these thoughts, a kind of gestalt understanding.
8--Do rooms (or comparable areas of space) have an emotional temperature?
9--Can you feel the emotional levels of the people around you (immediately and without analyzing faces, voices, etc.)?
10--Do you have memories that you know to be factually false?
11--How significantly does the weather affect you? If it is a noticeable amount, how far in advance does it happen?
12--Can you feel your teeth? If so, is there ever a time when you are not consciously aware of them?
13--Do you like to think hard?
14--For you, at times is the phrase "in the moment" an apt way to describe your mental state or is it a meaningless buzzword? (set of buzzwords?)
15--Do semantic differences in words matter in your day-to-day life?
16--Do you, for no obvious reason, occasionally have the urge to up and smack somebody?
17--Is there a specific color, temperature, smell, or combination of these that greatly improves your ability to perform tasks?
18--Do you have a sense of time? Is there a metaphorical clock ticking away inside your head that keeps you constantly updated on how long any give thing has taken?
19--Do you believe in free will? If not, do you argue with people?
20--Do you study yourself?
21--Do you have any fears you consider irrational? If you don't mind, please say what that fear is and why you think it is irrational.
22--Is food texture important to you? Is it as important as the taste?
23--Have you ever had what you would consider unusual or unique experiences under altered physical states? (Obviously this would include drugs, legal and otherwise, but I'm especially curious about anesthesia and sensory deprivation.)
24--Is pain too much of a given sensory input (such as touch vs. a pinch) or is it a different sense altogether? I'm interested here in your opinion, not what current medical texts say.
25--Is it a bad thing to be an idealouge?
26--Would you be willing to answer more questions like this or even contribute a similar list of your own?