Page Created: 7/13/2014   Last Modified: 4/4/2020   Last Generated: 11/16/2023
When you stand in a doorway, you can see both rooms clearly, but you haven't entered either one.
Most of my life has been spent in the doorway, and it's a very lonely place.
Since I had a variety of skills and interests, I never really fit into any social group. I was good at communicating with one individual and good at speaking to great numbers, but in small groups I remained silent. A small group was a strange animal to me, a type of mob mentality or group think, like a large, childish bully, very superficial, very primal, people competing for air space. I would watch and listen to see what kind of bully it was, to understand its personality, and then raise my defenses, silently, imperceptibly.
I studied communication and combined that with my knowledge of sociology and complex systems to conclude that small groups were a particularly juvenile form of the TheEgregore, an ascended being that hadn't fully ascended, being just high enough to tower over me or exist where I could not see it, and yet not high enough in morality or wisdom to justify its power.
The peculiarities of my HyperSystemizing mind were detected by me when I was very young, and I quickly compensated. I saw that I had immense intellectual power, when focused, but that I was surprisingly slow to adapt quickly to changing things, unless that also became my focus. Given enough advance notice, enough time to calibrate and lock on, I was quick as lightning. But I needed to see the pattern first.
So the first few times I did something, I was usually the slowest to perform, but then I suddenly locked on, and became one of the fastest. People didn't understand this, and thought I was inconsistent, when my mind was extremely consistent. So I began experiencing life seeing how people treat you when they think you are slow and underestimate you and then later I saw how people treat you when you are better and faster than others and how they never expect you to fail again. Life seemed to revolve around the expectations of other people, which was a strange fantasy.
The first time I saw a computer program, I had an epiphany, and suddenly understood my own thought processes. This put me on a lifelong mission to understand thought and thinking, artificial intelligence, computation, and information and communication.
Over the years, I began thinking far ahead, so that my mind was locked on when needed most. I began constructing my model of the world in my memory so I could comprehend quickly, assigning one concept as the basic meaning, and connecting new concepts to that meaning associatively, without needing to construct a different model each time. When I was young, since I was learning new concepts, I would have to tear down this mental construction often, if I discovered it was an inaccurate model of the world, which usually occurred after I had epiphanies.
Over time, I began to get smarter about its construction, consciously abstracting away similarities, continuing to use the power of association. I had to think hard about what was real and what was not, because it was costly if I got this wrong. So I became a very philosophical person, questioning things until I reached the core, because only when I found the core could I add it to my mental construct.
The most difficult things for me to understand are those things whose core is hidden. Those enigmas float around me and cannot enter them into the construction. It makes me feel helpless when this occurs, so most of my life has been tracking down and understanding those enigmas. When I was younger, certain abstractions were enigmas (arrays, recursion, object-oriented computing, landmarks and archetypes). As I got older, I could take on huge aspects of reality and developed a very novel and efficient understanding of the world, integrating my model with new things I learned in psychology, computation, and physics.
Sometimes, I would hear people say phrases like "only a few people in the world can understand this". That phrase troubled me. I wondered, is there actual knowledge out there that only a few human minds can grasp? If so, what is it about that knowledge that my mind cannot grasp? So I began studying those things, and discovered that this statement was utterly wrong, so entirely wrong.
Some people may have more mental processing ability, more memory, and more internal communication, but the only thing this does is allow for more abstraction. But abstraction is a simple process that anyone can do. But not everyone can abstract past certain levels.
Some people (like people with synethesia) can experience certain things directly, not having to consciously abstract at all. But does that mean they actually grasp the knowledge? Just because we experience something, does that mean we understand it?
But abstraction itself is an understood process. Even the most basic Turing Machine can maintain complex abstractions. In fact, neural networks can be simulated on such a machine.
Knowledge, however, is fractal. You can move into and out of the fractal, or you can go sideways and view another part of it. Your brain is another fractal adjusting and calibrating itself to the fractal of knowledge. How closely we align our brain fractal to a piece of the knowledge fractal, is how well we "feel" we understand something, like a form of focusing, but not with light, with knowledge. The ancient Egyptians represented in their Eye of Horus that "thought" is a sense, just like the other senses.
But is this actually significant?
A duck might not have an understanding of the world from our perspective, but it is well focused to a different part of the fractal.
I do not believe that it matters where we are on the fractal. All beings in the universe are focused on their parts. No being in the universe can see the entire fractal.
Through my lens in the doorway, I witnessed many things on my piece of the fractal.
My father was Persian, my mother American. I could not speak Farsi like many of my cousins, and felt separated. I grew up with Persian carpets throughout the house, and would stare at the geometry and fractal patterns. My grandmother had decorated the house with 1970's gothic decorations, also full of patterns in wood and iron.
I saw differences between countries, cultures, languages. My father came to America over a decade before the Iranian revolution, when relations between the US and Iran were good. He built and was part owner of a discotheque in the 1970's, a magical place to me, full of light and electronics. I was old enough to watch him build it, to see the wood, discoball, the ElectroVoice speakers, turntable with quadraphonic stylus, Akai reel-to-reel. I saw the Mars and Venus symbols he painted on the bathroom doors. I also saw it after it opened, with all of the people and the tiny silver mirrors reflecting points of light on the floor.
He later started an import-export business just before the Iranian revolution hit, which crushed any hope for it. I saw prejudice affect the US and all Persian-Americans, which continues to this day. I saw how class and money affects people, as my father did not have much income while he was in the United States. Monetary exchange rates dropped, and trade was blocked. He spent the following years as a hotel room service waiter and buying and selling used cars. One day, as a waiter, he served the late Ted Kennedy.
I grew up in the 1980's in a middle-class neighborhood. My grandparents provided us with a living space in a good suburban subdivision, but our income was small, which sometimes stood out amongst the neighbors.
I went to a Baptist church, but due to my father's religion, was not allowed to eat ham or pork. So when I went to children's parties, I was usually the only child without food, since American families failed to pay attention to food ingredients during those days. And if I did get my own food, the other kids would usually eat it because it they liked it better, so there wasn't much left for me. I was also highly allergic to cats and dogs which triggered asthma, and since most families in my neighborhood had them, I also could not breathe while at other people's houses. I thus began to dislike parties, felt like an outsider, and studied how small groups of people behaved differently from the individual.
Because I grew up with my grandparents, I had a window into their WWII generation. They were both teachers and veterans. They told me stories about the old days, of the war, and the Great Depression. And then I saw them get trapped by compound interest debt. The world of the past that they described was very different than the modern world, and my grandparents were being exploited by not seeing through this. I began to see how corporations; giant, old, soulless entities, would exploit the individual's weaknesses and began preparing myself for the day when they would begin exploiting me, the day I would mistakenly assume the world around me was the same as my youth.
I went to a private school when I was young and later to a public school and saw both systems. I experienced both a 50's-60's style education and a 70's-80's style, from one school to the next, noting differences in curriculum and societal class. The private school was in large part Jewish, but I didn't know that at the time. I had friends that were Greek and Jewish, and in school we listened to the wonderful story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and King Nebuchadnezzar. And we played the dreidel during Hanukka. This was at the same time I was going to a Baptist church and my father was Shi'ite Muslim (although it was spelled Moslem when I was young).
I therefore didn't understand hatred between religions, for all of them taught the opposite, they taught peace. I saw more similarities than differences.
In middle school, high school, and college, I studied German, and as part of our study, we were required to study the Holocaust constantly. For years we were required to watch film after film on concentration camps and the story of Anne Frank.
We were also shown the negative effect of the Berlin Wall to East and West Germany, the separation. Germany was a beautiful country with wonderful people, so how could such a negative force have taken so much control? I came to the conclusion that any group of people, any country, can be turned easily and quickly to a hateful ideology, that it will occur again and again if mankind does not prevent it, against different cultures and different peoples. My high school German teacher, that loved my grandmother's jelly pastries, that made me watch so many of those films, was murdered a few years later in his home in the subdivision next to mine. Evil is not something far away, in another country, it is in the cracks in our composition. It must be stopped at the source, within ourselves.
In the 1980's of my teachers took me to see Robert Clary, an actor in Hogan's Heroes, speak at a college from which I later graduated over a decade later, to speak about his experiences to us. He showed us the number tattooed on his arm and looked me straight in the eye and said that someday, people will say that the Holocaust never happened. He told us never to forget that it was real. I have never forgotten. I have burned it into my memory, for safe keeping, in case such a time should arise.
About 15 years later, my neighborhood and family home was eventually consumed by Lambert airport. It destroyed entire subdivisions of houses, my elementary school and swimming pool. My retired grandmother had just finished paying off her 30-year mortgage when they bought her out. But she had no choice. The property value of the neighborhood had declined for years since the announcement and if she didn't leave, eminent domain would surely force her out. Empty lots began appearing around us as houses were gradually demolished. My grandfather had shot an 8mm film when the house was being built in the 1960's, the first house on the street, and I shot the last videos before its destruction. It reminded me of that Arcade Fire video "The Suburbs", where the military vehicles were in the streets. While we didn't have the military, large backhoes would perch menacingly on front lawns for days at a time, and later barbed wire fences and no trespassing signs were erected, blocking off areas I used to frequent.
Now, my grandfather was gone and so was the land for which he worked so hard. He had moved there because he loved airplanes. We were so close, I used to fly kites using 1000 feet of string, and wondered if they were in the flight paths of airliners.
It wasn't until after he died that my family discovered that he was a direct descendant of the first king of Norway, Harald Fairhair, the king who ironically drove his enemies to flee their lands to Iceland. That was so odd, as I had always wanted to go to Iceland, believing it to be beautiful. Perhaps it is the dark and light that I liked, or my recollection of Jules Verne's Snaefell, or the story my father told me when he stopped briefly in Reykjavik on his flight to Tehran, or the Icelandic female singer from my high school that was posted on its "hall of fame"...
But what bothers me more than the house being torn down were the trees that were uprooted, destroyed. It was those trees I miss more than anything, that grew tall as I grew. I spent a lot of time high in those trees. Afterwards, it was all in vain, as the airport lost its hub status and no longer needed the new runway. Visions of Michael Moore's "Roger & Me" quickly came to mind.
I paid close attention when, in 2005, the Supreme Court trampled on the 5th amendment by allowing eminent domain to apply to private land transfers as well. I saw the horror of people losing their homes firsthand and now it was going to get worse. We must use the 1st to protect the 5th.
I was considered a gifted kid, but some of the gifted kids mocked me, underestimated me, and when I proved them wrong they dismissed me. It was simply another small group, another gang of bullies, intellectual bullies, wielding sabres of wit.
But I stood up to bullies. I joined my university debate/forensics team for this very reason. I could not keep up in battles of wit, as my brain needed just a few too many seconds more time to creatively counter, so my weapons of speech were analogy and logic. I created elaborate logical boxes or traps, and bound my opponents within them. But wit had a way of escaping my box--it altered the rules of the game. I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and over the years, made a better box.
For example, if you ever find yourself the focus of an intellectual bully, call them out on it. If someone is interrupting and overly criticizing you, you could say "You are hypercritical of me and constantly interrupting." It doesn't take much mental effort to do this, but it snares the attacker fast like an animal in a Norse runestone. Since you didn't attack them personally (name calling), but only called out their exact actions that are hurting you, they cannot deny what they are doing without stopping what they are doing. Their only logical way out is to admit the truth of your statement, but they won't do that, since that would mean agreeing with you, which intellectual bullies don't do.
My brain, that is so good dissecting a machine to determine its fault, can dissect and disintegrate the components that make up Evil, by finding its weakness, and, like a weakened gear, wrench that gear until it breaks. But the problem is not so much the bullying as their ability to turn you into them, like that of a virus. I have caught myself many times bullying others, just like I was bullied, and quickly felt ashamed and disgusted. The guilt haunts me, which it should.
There has always been a check in my mind that prevented it from turning towards the dark triad↗, like how Harry Potter refused to choose Slytherin. Like Harry, I always chose goodness, and never waivered, etching rules in my brain to continuously remind me that people are the most important things in the world. People are the only things in our world that are not an illusion. For if my tools ever began hurting people, I would destroy those tools, those part of me, to prevent them from growing, like how Max Cohen removed the numerical pattern from his head in Darren Aronsfsky's Pi. I believe that power corrupts anything that it touches, and if you find yourself in a position of power over others, realize that you are partially corrupt, and then start distributing your power to others. Like electricity, too much power will cause a bulb to burn out, but if distributed, it will illuminate many others. I do not believe that leadership, in the form of controlling people, is a virtue or should be treated as such, but teaching and educating people, instead, is one of Mankind's highest virtues. Instead of controlling people, I have redirected my energy into designing and controlling machines and electronic systems and providing information to others.
I was awarded "Computer Whiz" by my high school graduating class, and was shocked when a fellow student came to me immediately after and said I shouldn't have gotten the award, that he was more skilled in computers than I was, that he was designing 3D cubes in C language on an Amiga. I could not afford an Amiga at that time and would be programming the Commodore64 for the next 5 years. Even my infamous title wanted to be taken from me by someone who, strangely, wanted to be more infamous.
Since I was an athlete (runner) and a computer enthusiast (some called me nerd or geek behind my back, although I dislike both terms), I was not truly accepted by either, as these were mutually exclusive social groups. On a trip to a cross-country running competition, I was made fun of by some on the team because I was listening to music that I recorded from a Commodore 64 (two actually). They said "Is that computer music?" and laughed. They were ignorant of the C64 demoscene↗ or the fact that if you ran two SID chips↗ in parallel, you could get good stereo waveform synthesis (which I did do). They were not aware of the fact that my father played 4-channel audio, called quadraphonic↗, in his distoteque way before its time and that we had high-fidelity audiophile equipment at home. I was already a fan of New Age, and Electronica↗ was still a decade away. Today, musicians actually incorporate such sounds into their music, and in 2003, Swedish duo, Carbon Based Lifeforms, even released a song named after that chip, entitled MOS 6581.
In cross-country and track, I had to battle what my allergist thought was exercise-induced asthma. In my first years, I would wear a mask while racing, since blocking the particulates of the allergens reduced the likelihood of an attack. I got nicknamed "darth" due to this mask. And I was cut out of most newspaper photographs in my earlier years running, since I had to wear a filtration mask, and they didn't want to show my mask in the team photographs. In later years, an allergist prescribed me medication, but it only partially worked. I found, due to my own experience, that running during the asthma's "refractory" period allowed me to overcome this. The way this worked was I would warm up quickly to initiate an attack, then wait almost an hour until it subsided. In this zone, I could ramp up my running without another attack. I had to deal with intense asthma in many races, some at high levels of competition, and there were times I simply could not breathe and had to exit the race, which was humiliating. In some races, I had to walk and remember seeing people (well-meaning) clap for me. That infuriated me, as I was one of the best runners there, but simply could not breathe at that moment.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a famous Olympian from my city, also had to overcome severe asthma in her running, and so by the time I got to college, people were becoming more aware of it.
A lot of people did not understand asthma, not realizing that I just needed another hour or so when I could breathe. It reminded me exactly how people would underestimate me in the intellectual battles I was waging with people who thought I was inconsistent or slow, not realizing how consistent and fast I truly was.
In an almost animalistic fashion, people reward and honor the tough and rugged, those that consistently perform under all circumstances. But to me this was an illusion, as I could see that the reason the tough and rugged could perform consistently was because they were inefficient, over-engineered machines, like a favorite tool. They have enough natural energy in that one area to buffer or compensate for different circumstances.
I like over-engineered tools myself, they last a very long time, but I was not a tool and did not have an abundance of natural energy in those areas, but my energies were evenly distributed. My power and gift came from my mind's ability to "balance" or align all of my energies in the optimal pattern for the task, and then focus intensely on that task. I did not have the "extra" capacity to compensate if the rules of the game suddenly changed. I could take on giants as long as I thought ahead and concentrated. It was a precarious perch, but my body and mind was an efficient, adaptive machine, it just needed a small amount of lead time to calibrate. (If you are familiar with the Dreamcast fighting game, SoulCalibur, I played Xianghua exclusively for this reason.)
Twenty five years later, I discovered that when I stopped eating wheat, running would not activate the asthma, which implies that all of this time I had WDEIA (wheat dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis), a type of wheat allergy, and what I really experienced was not only asthma but anaphylaxis, intense allergic reactions that affected my whole body, not just my breathing. Today I run asthma free.
But running was the second time in my life that I really understood what it felt like to be part of a team, the first being in musicals. I could feel the energy within us, in relays I could pass the baton to my teammates and cheer them on, appreciating their individual performances. Each runner has his own signature gait, a personality shown in their movement, which can be detected a quarter-mile away. In cross-country, we ran as a wolf pack, encouraging each other not to fall behind. We were operating as a small egregore which carried us into competitions and adventures that no single individual could accomplish or experience. And overcoming the pain, fatigue and fear imposed by competitive running made everything else in life easy by comparison, which is still true today. The ancient Greeks knew that sport is as important as intellectual endeavors.
I used my same balance techniques in wrestling. Wrestling was a sport of Persia, my father's country, and I found I could overcome larger opponents in the same way, by finding their weakness and applying my strength to it, winning my weight class in middle school. The high school wrestling coach tried to recruit me, but my running coach didn't want it to affect my running, and my father didn't want me to get injured, so I did not continue wrestling. I was shocked and disappointed when I heard in 2013 that the IOC removed wrestling from the Olympics, one of the oldest, core Olympic sports, but this was later protested and reinstated.
But over the years, I had skirmishes with other runners that did join the wrestling team. For reasons I still don't know, two of them, one in high school and one in college, over consecutive years, grabbed me and tried to wrestle me down and I pinned them both with a half nelson in front of our running teams. This wouldn't be that significant except for the fact that one of them was a 3rd place state champion wrestler.
But what should have been a victory was not. What I found was that when people underestimate you, whether they are a spectator or a competitor, they expect you to fail. But when you don't fail, when you overturn their expectations, their failed prediction is so jarring to them that they simply don't want you around. You become a monster to them, you no longer fit into their story. I began to realize that people want to live in a story. They see others as a characters in a story. And you can't break the rules of their story. This was even more important in relationships with the opposite sex. I found out many times that if I was attractive to a woman, it was because I fit into her story in some way. Many people (both men and women) are narcissistically attracted to their own stories.
How bizarre that was. That was so different than how I reacted under the same conditions. My predictive model is such that I get very excited when it fails, because that means that my model of the world is wrong, and there is something new that I haven't incorporated, that I didn't take into consideration. It can sometimes lead to wonderful epiphanies. I was attracted to the enigmas, the things I couldn't understand.
But now I understand why the stories were important to them. The knowledge I generated from my mind was primitive compared to the knowledge Mankind has already written into its stories. My search for truth is really just another story, which I would have known much earlier, had I paid more attention. I didn't discover this until I set out to write my own story.
I am also cursed, like the fictional portrayal of Antonio Salieri in "Amadeus", in that I can recognize genius, but not reach it. There are those few people that are so far ahead of the rest of us that are untouchable. My father was a genius in several areas, being extremely good in both sport and art, much better than my brother and myself, but I only retained his ability to recognize it. And I'm not just saying that because he was my father, other people have recognized this as well. One day I will write some pages dedicated to this.
I deduced that there must be geniuses all around us that I cannot see, working behind the scenes. Logically, I know you are out there. Hopefully, you are, like superheros, aligned towards Good. But the engine of the brain, like any engine, must be a closed system↗, and genius is only an exaggeration of some parts of it, and a diminishment of others.
I repair my own cars and at some of my IT jobs, I had to hide the fact that I do this, because they associated mechanical skills as being beneath my job position. But I couldn't relate to most mechanical people either, as I had a different approach. Many groups are threatened when you exhibit knowledge that most of the individuals in that group don't have, tending to dismiss it rather than confront it.
I was good in both the Arts and science and many teachers disagreed over where I should reside. But in either field, I was not accepted, being too scientific for the Arts and too artistic for the Sciences. I eventually realized that knowledge does not differentiate, only people do, that people are creating artificial barriers to stop their own higher understanding.
My love of art, singing, musical, theater did not mesh well with my technical friends. No matter how ostracized my technical friends were, how uncool they were, it was simply against their principles to be friends with a performer. And my performances were so unsettling to the art crowd, as I challenged their unscientific methods, that they didn't want me to be part of their group.
My father would leave to go to Iran for months, sometimes years at a time. My older childhood neighbor moved away when I was about 15. My college roommate moved out when I was 20 and I was alone in my dorm for a semester with no money and no car. I learned to be very independent in my thinking. I stopped going to class and spent a lot of time working alone, just me and my computer versus The Universe.
I learned that when you are alone, you have to find out who you truly are, and you won't immediately like what you see. You have to sort out yourself from society and ultimately realize that they are intertwined. All of us are very important to society, working for each other, albeit in a different ways. We are all parts of one wonderful organism. Once I realized this, I began to value the time I had to myself to decipher universal mysteries, to analyze and philosophize, and share my knowledge with others.
I spent most of my 30's living by myself in an apartment, preferring solitude. I had friends and family, but the space between us provided me the study time I needed. I was outside of the classroom now, using my new tools to undercover truths, which was the start of my journey to discover TheGreatFractal.Comments