Functional Noise Generalize Your Mind


We've been rewatching the series of House MD and every few episodes a person goes insane. Spoiler alert: House himself goes insane too at some point. The way that people in the show go insane varies a lot. Some immediately start lashing out at some invisible threat, or become angry for no apparent reason. Yet others calmly explain that they are hallucinating. House himself at first is fully aware of his hallucinations, but he figures he can use them to directly access his subconcious and solve his medical cases even better. That is until his hallucinations tell him to start killing people, then he begins to fight the experience and show signs of outward insanity.

It seems to me there are two odd cases of insanity:

  • Internal sensations of insanity, but outward you act sane.

  • Externally you are perceived as insane, but internally you still feel sane.

These cases are interesting because they contain a contradiction. The "boring" cases are:

  • Feeling insane and being perceived as insane.

  • Feeling sane and being perceived as sane.

At least if there is consistency you might go with the flow, just live your life if you are sane, or let yourself be treated otherwise. If you feel insane internally, you might feel the need to keep hiding this fact, to protect yourself. If you feel sane, but people think you are insane, you probably feel like the world is conspiring against you.

Note that I consider (in)sanity a feeling or perception, not a state of being. How are you feeling at the moment? Do you feel sane? Can you pinpoint this feeling in your body or mind? Can you describe if phenomenologically? Does sanity feel good and insanity feel bad? Does it even matter if you feel sane or insane, as long as you can function properly in society?

Maybe there's an optimal feeling in between sanity and insanity. If you feel a little weird, so slighly insane, maybe you dare to do things others won't. Like creating a startup, or writing blogs, or organizing meetups. All these things are slightly outside the societal norm and so you may feel a little insane to do them. Right? If so, then you may have to experiment a little with insanity to find the optimal valley of weirdness. Just be careful, the weirdness might find a way out.