How efficient would a computer be that ran non-stop for decades, with no cleanup of any sort? With almost every program it had ever started lingering in memory way longer than it was needed, and many of them never stopping at all, even if they were worse-than-useless, virus-infested, outdated crap you never wanted in the first place? What if it was rarely, if ever, powered down or rebooted, and when things crashed, you just had to wait for them to "fix themselves", if they ever did; or keep going with whatever functionality you had left?
Even the Windows box your Grandma runs isn't *that* badly-off, probably — but your human mind IS.
That fear-pattern from when you were four? Probably still running. Maybe you know full well when it goes active again, or maybe you don't — maybe its output over the years has gotten so garbled that it's no longer obvious why you're stressed or sick or angry or have nightmares — but it's there.
The bad habits you learned from unhealthy relationships or bad experiences in your long-gone past? Pretty darn likely to come right back out the next time you try to access the "relationships" or other relevant folder. They may be application-specific, but just because you don't see them every day doesn't mean they're gone.
The frustration from work last week? Still raising your blood-pressure whenever you think about it, or see that guy — and why? To what purpose exactly?
Humiliation from grade-school?
Self-esteem from that time someone close to you said you were fat or ugly?
Overindulging from a scarcity-message your hippocampus got ages ago?
Yup. These things might get covered up in the noise of other things — and you may be (like me) very, very good at finding ways to drown them out temporarily, by cranking the volume on other things, or seeking the external experiences that pull your attention in so fully that you can ignore the noise in your head — but unless you know how to turn them *off*, and have, they're still running.
This is what makes up what I call "a Psychology": A glut of old programming, never relevant to the moment you're in, playing like a whole roomful of screens running commercials and re-runs while you're trying to watch today's episode. Exactly that useful to your clarity and experience of this, now. And while even a Psychology made of all rainbows and unicorns would be useless and detrimental, most of ours aren't; many of those old programs are malicious, broken, or simply conflicting with each other in ways that are doing worse than hurting our efficiency: They're crippling us, with pain, with anxiety, with fear, depression, distraction, selfishness, and a terrible loneliness that never really stops for most people.
In contrast to the Psychology part of the brain, there's the Window: This is the stuff going on now; the code you actually want running. (I call it the Window partly because of its seeing-the-world function, and partly because of the analogy to the Window Manager aspect of an OS.) The Window sees, feels, listens, and processes all the data both inside and outside you right now.
Let's face it: Most of us have about 10% of our minds, if that, dedicated to the Window's operations at any given time. Fully 90% is taken up by old, irrelevant, and maybe broken shit.
A reboot is dead necessary, and I think everybody knows it — in fact I think almost all pleasure-seeking is misguided looking for a reboot.
Being able to power down the Psychology programs, even just once in a while, so that the Window could run unimpeded, would be wonderful.
And of course, what would be best, what would really be optimal, is to just leave the Psychology stuff off unless we needed it. Might I want to remember being four, or to call up my knowledge of what food scarcity feels like, or to remember that I was angry at Bob From Accounting last week? Sure I might. And those things being etched in my brain as they are, it's totally possible to run them — in fact, one could easily argue that with more available processor, it'd be a lot easier to find and run the relevant ones — but having all that shit on all the time is just silly.
Worse than silly. Bafflingly dumb.
The prevailing opinion seems very like Grandma's opinion about operating systems: Of course all that shit is running in the background from the first day I turned the thing on, whether or not I know what it is or need it or want it, because surely it would take some superhuman magician to know how to uninstall a thing!
And I think we all know what I might say in response to that. (And then I would apologize profusely for swearing at a Grandma. But I'd still say it.)
This is my 3D thing from the last post: I'm teaching myself to uninstall.
I'm getting used to using the Off switch, or at least looking for it (it's not intuitive to find from the position we usually occupy — rather like Grandma wanting to find the power-supply off-switch from her chair — but I know where to look, and I find it more easily every time).
I'm someone who, a while ago, started installing some monitoring widgets, and now I'm fed up with how much of my power is going to waste, and how crippled parts of my awesome system still are thanks to shit that I didn't download and didn't give permissions to and don't want.
MY mind. MY life. And FINITE — it's either control it now, or shuffle blindly towards the grave, a sick caricature of the zombies that we hilariously think are sick caricatures of us.
I have root here, dammit.