Coded green.

Freeday 4 May 2001

Trees with buds

Pic of the day: Spring is approaching, encroaching or something. Look at those buds.

The nice voices in our heads

I was so tired last night, I logged off and went to bed shortly after midnight. Because of this, I woke up by myself just after 7, instead of waiting for the clock radio. I guess I must still have been a bit tired, otherwise I would not have put on my boxer shorts inside out without noticing...

Yet for some reason, I did not fall asleep at work. Only on the bus home. And later in front of my PC. At least my sleep patterns are not completely out of their groove, like last year before I was rushed to the hospital. By then I would come to work early in the morning. Ack! Yeech! There was this study last year that proved people had much more stress hormones in their body through the day if they were forced to get up before 7.29 (or was that 7.28?) in the morning. Needless to say, I have my radio alarm clock set to 7.30.


And you can't believe what happened the other day too! I was in the bank and withdrew some cash from the ATM there, and stopped by to look at the chubby girl working nearby. Chubby girls sure are among the more beautiful things in creation, are they not? And not quite as transient and ephemeral as sunsets. (Or sunrises, for those awake at that time.) Of course, all of this world is transient, but there's still a big difference. Sunsets are over in an hour, often less. While chubby girls can be decorative for years, before they fade. (Usually into a shapeless blob of fat, given enough time. Sic transit gloria mundi.)

(Can't offhand say anything deep about the ephemeral part, because I only have a vague idea of what "ephemeral" means [kind of like those glassy-winged flies who only live for a day or so] but the word sure looks good next to "transient". Don't diss the look-good factor for words that nobody would actually say out loud. Anyway, this girl sure didn't look like a glassy-winged fly either.)

Anyway, I moved on, which is the polite thing to do. You can't just stand and look at girls the way you do sunsets or rainbows or flowers or goldfish, and besides I don't stay all that long looking at the flowers and goldfish either. I probably would if they were as pretty as humans when humans move about and wave their hands and smile at customers, but they are not. Actually the color of her dress reminds me a bit of a goldfish I once saw, but that's beside the point. The point is, I moved on, and bought a book, which was incredibly cheap.

Would you believe this hardcover book actually cost $2? Actually kr 19, which is like $2.10 or some such, but you get the point. It was so cheap they could as well have run after me yelling "have a book, man! Why don't you have a book while you're passing through anyway? Please!" but of course they did not do that. There are rules of conduct among any sentient species, and they usually include such things as not looking too long at other sentients and not run after people with books unless you know them really well.

Unsurprisingly, the book was by Eva Ramm, who is not held in particular high esteem in christian book stores after she published the novel "Elskeren Jeshua" (Jeshua the lover) which I have heard was an erotic novel about the famous Jesus. I am wary of people who write novels based on their own life, and I seem to remember that this lady was in love with Jesus back when she was borderline insane, which she wrote a book about in 1976: "Fra tro til virkelighet" (from faith to reality), another book that probably never was a big hit in christian book stores.

The book I bought - and I use the word only in the most literal sense, for it was nearly a gift - was none of the above. No, appropriately enough it was named "Det plurale jeg" (the plural I) and was written after Ramm had been a practicing psychologist for years. Psychologists and psychiatrists are among the things that sometimes improve over time, kind of like wine and cheese. This Ramm person for instance published her first novel the year I was born, so she was no mayfly either. Well, except compared to God, whom she seems to have taken a certain enmity to, after the episode when she fell in love with Jesus and didn't get any. Apart from that, she seems OK. This book was written in 1995, and I think the Internet has proved it to be almost prophetic. (Which is kind of ironic, once you think about it.)


Now in all honesty, I think people who write novels are more prone to have plural I's than your next human. Well, we all have them, but not in all people do they make such a clatter that you eventually have to let them out and give them a book of their own. As you know, I'm one of those novel type humans myself, so I have a certain sympathy for the situation. When you're young or not very bright, the line between a daydream and a novel can be pretty blurry. Some of us eventually manage to keep them apart, and let the characters of our stories enjoy a life very different from our own. But enough of that.

A few years of off-and-on roleplaying on the Internet has shown me that even non-novelists have a great ability to cough up new personae. Then there's all those furries I have met this latest year: People who also feel like a partial animal. (Often as not a party animal ... there is a slight tendency towards hedonism in the furry community overall. And lots of hugging, huggling, whuggling and glomping, but let's not go there today.) And there's the chat room identity syndrome: According to those who have tried, you get to know someone in a chat room and they have a well developed personality; but sadly this is not the personality they have in the flesh, when you eventually meet them. This does not happen every time, but enough to break a lot of hearts.

I don't know if this was already the case in 1995 (I really think so) but my impression is that there is nothing controversial about stating that we have multipe I's or egos or selves. What differs is the level of integration. There are some people where the personalities are not very integrated at all, and if you meet them they are not really more similar than other siblings or even random strangers. I don't remember what this condition is called this year, and it doesn't matter because there will certainly be another name for it soon. That's one thing that really bites about psychiatric conditions, they have to change the names every few years when the public has picked up the new name and starts to thoughtlessly use it as an insult.

The point is, we all have multiple personalities; but in most of us, they are so neatly fit together that they are more like different facets of the same jewel. You can kind of glimpse the other facets through each of them.

As people grow more and more intelligent for each generation, and also gain new fora to express themselves in unfamiliar environments, I think we will see more free or spun-off personalities. The need to repress almost all of them will be less, and people will live richer and more varied lives because the voices in their heads will have a good time too, for instance on the Internet. This is bound to be a good thing, unless those voices are really crummy shitbags, like some of the trolls you can find on newsgroups and chat channels. In which case they should probably stay in their heads and be ashamed of themselves. But the nice voices should be allowed to come out to play.

And this is my message for you today, dear congregation. Let the nice voices in your head come out to play!

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