Recently, I took some time for myself, away from doggie, and from other people and walked outside. I brought my cell phone, aka music box, and noise cancelling headphones. I have still been stuck in my mind contemplating all the signs of the recent relationship alteration. Due to Covid, I haven’t made it a priority to stay in shape, like I had once prioritized. I think I became sedentary and gave up some hope.
I found one meager way to circumvent the preposterous accumulation of thoughts, running through my head, was to listen to some of the horrible dance mix sets I mixed previously. Some are better than others. They beckon to a time less fraught with anxiety or heavily steeped in some emotional battle. Some of these songs dredge up some happiness but allow the string of thoughts to pass through uninterrupted.
While on my walk, a transient theme re-emerges, while observing human nature. How self-aware I am in daily situations. It was a blustery day, gray skies, 50+ degrees (F), so a nice day for a long contemplatory walk. I stand at crosswalks in many intersections. I am constantly surveilling the landscape for any possible threats to self. Deep in thought, I simultaneously mitigate anything I may attribute to a catastrophe, for myself, as well as others. I am cognizant of my footprint, literally and figuratively.
I can appreciate how taxing it can be for many people to be fully aware of their surroundings. That is too much stimuli for them to interrupt their current nascent life. Our brains are very much like computer processors of the modern age. In fact, how our brains operate has helped fashion the architecture and design of these amazing computing devices.
A processor, the actual brains, the system that divvies out directionality and resources for complicated calculations and handles interruptions without so much as a belch. The ‘belches’ one may experience are pauses in the computer responding in an application. Let’s say you are checking your email. Your email application seems to stutter, it will not advance to the next instruction, in this case, to SEND an email. You get frustrated, because, this hocus-pocus magic should JUST work.
If you are like many users, you click SEND many times, unfulfilled. That pause you experience could either be the cache, that stores the list of requests made by your actions along with your Operating System (Windows, MacOS, Linux, or Unix). It could be bandwidth controls from your motherboard, similar to traffic control officers at an intersection. You sit there watching as perpendicular traffic is allowed to drive freely for a few moments, because you have been restricted from moving.
The traffic control on a computer is enacted on the motherboard. Similar to our current roads infrastructure, the speed limits are set, and rarely allow for speeding beyond its capacity. It would be hell for a lead-foot, to have to stay within set limits. In the name of efficiency, which the Germans have a solid cultural propensity towards, their Autobahn system is heavily monitored and have short areas where speed limits are not set during times of which traffic doesn’t need to be managed as severely.
Your motherboard does not have an Autobahn, per se, but people who tweak their hardware equipment can do something called, overclock certain processor parameters. This merely RAISES the current speed limit, but semi-legitimately. Unlike those random street signs, you see vandalized with a horrible graffiti of an elevated speed limit spray painted. They can merely side-step the configuration of very specific parameters, they cannot completely assume full control of the bandwidth of this infrastructure. The engineers at motherboard and processor Research and Development plants test to find the highest allowable, yet efficient and consistent threshold of any of their devices, they present to the public.
What does the internal parts of a fucking computer have to do with being self-aware, you ask? It has a lot to do with it. The list of demands placed on us by so much stimuli. Our brains can handle far more than we like to think we can. We can have a conversation with someone we barely know, and we can still us our peripheral vision to scan for threats, domestic or foreign, in whatever locale occupying. Everything that we perceive is no different than a mouse click in one app and then a quick switch-over to a web browser. It has an order it must adhere to. While having your conversation, you may be a person who tries to maintain parochial intent, but you still scan the periphery. You are taking in multiples pieces of information, simultaneously, at any given moment.
Obviously, some people are much better at this than others. I would like to separate the construct of multi-tasking, as it seems to be the case, but it really isn’t. Even multi-tasking isn’t really what it seems. With your computer, think of a seaport, where ships and semi-trucks go to load and unload goods. While it seems, there are a bunch of ships full of containers, the ship must be individually allowed access, one at a time. There may be multiple people working on these admittances, still it is one ship in at a time, but it still follows an order of operations. Like all of the tractor-trailers, you may see a long line of them waiting to enter the shipyard, but again, the order of operations still takes precedence.
Imagine if you saw all those tractor-trailers entering the shipyard all at once. It would be exactly like a deluge of water from a broken dam. They would be clueless as to where to go. All of this relies on a system that is aware of what needs to happen, in a particular order to accomplish great things. If you have a hapless idiot staffing an entrance to a port, chaos WILL ensue. Herein lies some of the problems with people who give little credence to paying attention to anything outside their comfort zone. They could be hapless and just wish and dream that everything around them, autonomously, will just know what to do. That the cosmos will protect them, and they don’t need to give one ounce of effort.
There is a phrase, ‘God helps those that help themselves.’ It really suggests a level of selfishness to those that adhere to ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ Those that wait for the universe to right all the wrongs, are doing nothing proactive to make that happen. Those that vociferate against injustices, are helping themselves and others, perpetuating a healthy society, or one would like to believe. The point is, inactivity is no excuse for a lack of protection, of self or others.
When I envision self-awareness, I tend to meld it with my appreciation for motorcycles. HERE (<<<< Yes that is a link of a Globe of Death Motorcycle show) is a prime example of how I envision symbiosis. I was thinking long and hard about the precise search query I needed to use online in order to find a perfect example of how I view a self-aware society (yes, it does seem Utopian at its core). I thought about marching bands. I thought about special trick driving of vehicles, like drifting. I thought about choirs and laws of physics and intuition.
We can all pretty much agree with the over-simplification of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which as previously said, is a gross over-simplification, but two (solid) objects (matter) cannot occupy the same space. One of the most common examples used are: Car accidents. Two solid objects, two separate cars, cannot occupy the same space, without there being a collision. Even if the cars are all mashed into what appears to be one solid piece, they still started off as two dissimilar objects.
Again, what the fuck does any of this have to do with being self-aware? While, tangential, physics and computer engineering have much to do with working with what is supplied to promote efficiencies. Being self-aware is about being efficient. Not merely for self, but for the big-picture you are occupying in any said moment. Where would an example be, of daily use, of which this could be applied? How about walking in a heavily populated town?
I think about the timing elements, the physical space I occupy, projected impedance, and many other variables that come into play. Just using the cross-walk analogies, I think about weather conditions and who has priority at a crosswalk or parking lot, a pedestrian or a vehicle operator. Logic dictates to me, if am in a vehicle and it is inclement weather, I give pedestrians the right of way. Who is most susceptible to inconvenience? A pedestrian.
I have experienced this next example many times over the course of my life. The timing element. People slovenly walk out into a crosswalk when they can see that the light will turn green for the traffic of which they will cross in front of. They have all of the signals that the light WILL change, yet decide, it is better to inconvenience traffic for their poor decision-making skills. The chirping of the alarm, the blinking of the human silhouette or hand, the color of the actual traffic lights. The people in traffic lose their shit, suggesting that the morons on a sunny fucking day maliciously walked out in front of them purposefully.
We flip that previous example upside down by introducing a blizzard. Do the pedestrians deserve any grace if they are fighting ardently against the wind and the flakes? Would these people, who were incapable of seeing the crosswalk signals, be solely accountable for inconveniencing people comfortably driving nervously in their vehicles, waiting at a traffic light? In my estimation, no. The grace and resolve is understanding that the greatest inconvenience is falling directly on the pedestrians in this situation.
Another crosswalk example. I am walking at a brisk pace, the weather is nice, I can visibly see that the light should be changing, but I charge ahead. I calculate that as long as I do not walk in front of the first car in a line of 3 or 4 cars, I will not impact them, whilst still traversing at my brisk pace. I side-step the crosswalk, in lieu of walking directly in front of the first car, and instead, walk behind him, JUST in case, my calculations were off. It turns out, it was impeccable timing. I affected no one’s ideals of getting home sooner, rather than later, due to my own stupidity.
I am proud to be self-aware. I am proud to think through and understand why I make a fucking decision to impact mine and other people’s lives. I am proud that I came from shit, but still want to make the right decisions. When I help people with technology, I am not acting in my own self-interest. I am self-aware, I give a shit about what I do. Do you?
As always, I welcome any constructive criticism, or complementary theories, analogies, anecdotes. I would love to hear if you find these edicts of challenge useful or utter horseshit. Similar to the 90’s when the catchphrase, ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ was hailed as marketing genius. I need to come up with one that invites you to either subscribe, via WordPress or via email, like posts, or even comment on posts. The immediate feedback is useful for anyone. Thank you very much for reading through all of this drivel. Be well, stay safe, AND stay sane!