On the Highly Sensitive Person

crossroads

Actions for a HSP such as me, such as walking in nature, is vital to calm down an over-sensitive nervous system.

I have recently become aware of a type of personality that makes up about 20% of the human population called Highly Sensitive People (HSP) the qualities that appear to describe me.  This is no disorder or disability, but is a healthy genetic natural personality which comes with its own challenges and abilities. The HSP has an over-sensitive nervous system that reacts at a higher sensitivity and intensity than most people.  The HSP is on a type of sensitivity spectrum, and there are those at the top 1% who have serious sensory problems, such as me.

 

I shall describe five traits of a HSP person:

Sensory issues

The senses of the body such as taste, hearing and balance.  Some of the issues I have include:

  1. a dislike of loud noise or high-pitched sounds.
  2. inability to wear jewellery; have tight wet clothes; wear sun cream .
  3. an adverse reaction to being uncomfortable and pain.
  4. dislike of swimming; extreme temperatures; swinging/roundabouts.
  5. being in crowds, and fast-moving situations.
  6. dislike of being touched roughly and unexpectedly.
  7. inability to handle spicy foods, and lots of bad reactions to food.

Emotional issues

I feel emotions with intensity which impair my choices and actions.  If I am aware of the suffering of children or an animal, this triggers immediate and intense set of emotions that make me feel distressed and ill.  I try to avoid horror movies, and anything that depicts suffering of animal or person, because of how badly I react to it, and it can cause me to self-harm or do something stupid.  I feel the suffering of others in my own body.

Adverse reactions to negative events

Rejection, confrontation, criticism, house-moves, exams and deaths are some of the events of life that has a massive impact upon HSP’s like me.  Whilst most people get over a criticism, I will ruminate and it will take ages to get over it.  Emotional melt-downs and angry reactions is common and normal for a HSP to even minor set-backs. The chances of an emotional melt-down is much higher: if I am ill; lack of sleep; hungry; uncomfortable, such as cold and wet; under stress such as deadlines and too many demands at the same time; over-stimulating environment.

Adverse reactions to stimulants

Small doses of caffeine, alcohol or a drug can cause an immediate and overwhelming reaction.  I keep away from alcohol and all drugs such as cannabis because I know that my already over-sensitive nervous system would be pushed over the edge with such stimulants that could put me and others at risk.

Being overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is a common experience with a HSP like me, with constant bombardment of emotional and sensory activity in my body via my nervous system.  Avoiding situations such as being in a crowded and noisy space, having an opportunity to be alone, having downtime, and being in nature is vital, otherwise I will have an emotional meltdown, start self-harming or risk mental illness.

It is how it is

There is no point telling me to stop being sensitive, pull myself together, be a man, be in control.  To be able to meet the expectations of others means to suppress the experience of sensory and emotional activity in the body, which won’t vanish, it will manifest as self-harm, sickness and bad choices/actions that hurt self and others.  For the HSP it is about accepting these qualities as natural, and working with these traits in a positive way.  Thus it means avoiding certain situations, foods and stimulants.  It means providing opportunities to be alone, to have downtime, to use calming positive music and surroundings such as nature to calm the nervous system down.  It may seem weak, vulnerable and hard to accept being a HSP person, and working with HSP qualities, but, to do so will mean a happy, positive and fulfilling life to one of misery and suffering.

Autism and ADD/ADHD

The HSP qualities are common to those with autism and ADD/ADHD conditions, there is also a chance that a HSP individual could be wrong misdiagnosed and then medicated for a condition they never had, which will make matters worse for them.

A refocus from confrontation to creativity

In recent months my ability to control my HSP-like qualities has been lost, and thus I have had to seriously rethink my life choices and situation.  One issue concerns my campaigning against the Satan Hunters such as Sabine McNeill or Becki Percy, whose actions and the results of those actions is making me so distressed that I feel it would be better I stop campaigning against them.

It is my thinking that if I stopped fighting predators like Becki Percy, but instead refocus upon creating something such as an AI that would curb these monsters, then I would be indulging in something positive, creative and where I have a passion, without having to deal with so many negative feelings in my body.  It’s just that I am unable to cope with the toxic feelings, so this refocusing of my attention to something creative rather than confrontational is best for everyone, but also for my own mental health.

On real world, internet and artificial intelligence

ai

The disconnection between real world and virtual world in technology hurts both people and this planet.  The ideal is to have both worlds aligned so they are in harmony. 

In South Korea a couple who spent all their time raising a virtual child allowed their real child to starve to death. Despite all the advantages that the internet and artificial intelligence brings, there is a huge disconnection between real world and the virtual world, where an individual must choose between living in one or the other.

The virtual world traps people in fantasy and delusion.

It is easy to become trapped in the artificial bubble of cyberspace neglecting real friends and even the basics of sleeping and eating.  The internet offers experiences that have no relationship to the real world, which makes people act and think in ways that they would not do if they were grounded in the real world.  In studying those who are caught grooming children for sex on the internet, which has become a national sport for hundreds of amateur hunters in the UK to encourage and then get predators arrested by the police for grooming children, it never ceases to amaze me at the stupidity, lack of empathy and wishful thinking on the part of predators who fall for what are crude clumsy online traps.  It is beyond reason why adults turn up where children meet on the internet, then share with them pictures of their penis, or their fetishes such as foot sucking, or sexual concepts that even I was ignorant of.  It is disturbing to watch these people when caught by the hunters become broken as they realise their jobs, friends, family, life, reputation and liberty is wiped out as the handcuffs go on, for their inability to distinguish real world from that of the fantasies of online life.

The disconnect between real world and machines

There is also a disconnection with the real world when it comes to new technologies such as artificial intelligence and drones.  There is a growing fashion to deploy drones and robots to deliver items such as food to the door.  The problem with these delivery machines is the numbers of them that will be deployed so that humans have to cope with hazards of thousands of machines running around in the air and on the paths.  Likewise, when self-driving vehicles come onto the road in numbers, if they have to decide who dies in a collision, will it be me over another person because they happen to have a better credit score?

So-called AI based on big data and neural networks base their decision-making on data patterns that have no connection to reality, so if it happens that an individual falls outside the normal pattern due to their circumstances, then they will be penalised for being different to the norm.  Such AI are now making decisions on credit loan applications, if children should be taken into care, what medication to give, the type and length of criminal penalties such as jail time.  In a growing number of larger corporations it is AI who now run recruiting and hiring processes.  With budgets growing less, so public and private entities are using AI to run their processes to cut costs, based on flawed big data patterns.

The disconnect between human and machine can create a backlash

It only takes one child to be killed in collision with an Amazon delivery drone for a huge public backlash against AI, robots and drones.  As a positive supporter of AI, my concern is on the matter of the disconnection between the real world and the virtual.  How do we over come this?

The real and virtual world can be in harmony

I argue the real world and the virtual can be in harmony. The individual navigates the real world because the image imprinted in the brain is closely related to what exists in the environment, a difference between life and death when trying to cross a busy road for instance.   The brain has a reality checking system that can in real-time update the images in the brain so that an individual does not fall under a bus that appeared from around the corner.

Complexity theory without big data for a new type of AI

My argument is that the internet and processes can be run by AI without the need for big data.  All these AI require is a set of scripts, the ability to sense incoming information in real-time, be capable of reality testing, immediate updating of patterns and acting upon the reality of the moment without bias.  In nature, the oak tree has scripts that trigger on simple feedback mechanisms such as when to grow new leaves in the spring, when to produce acorns and when to shed leaves in the autumn, which gives them a sense of intelligence.  The oak tree does not have a sense of reality, nor care, it has instead a set of purposes, sensors and scripts that trigger on feedback loops from what is going on in the environment.    These systems in the oak tree are so in harmony with the real world that rarely is there a conflict between oak tree and its environment, if there was, the oak tree suffers and can die.

My version of an AI has no need for vast amounts of memory or big data, but does require lots of processing power.  For the processing, this requires thousands of processors rather than one.  I break down the system by function, I allocate the number of processors to meet the function.  Every processor share the same scripts, but they auto-select which script comes into action depending upon their function and feedback loops between what is going on between them and their environment.  The feedback loops are powered by sensors acting in real-time.  This type of design means that an AI and an internet site run by them could never be out of step with the real world, unless there was a serious malfunction in the scripts and sensors.  There is no chance that a system could malfunction because some processors fail, since they all share the same scripts, they rewire and replace malfunctioning parts with alternatives.  This is how a bee hive works.  Most bees, as could most AI processing units, can change tasks and function depending upon the needs of the hive or system.

The type of design I am working on is based on complexity theory, where intelligence, aliveness and consciousness is an emergent layer of what is going on in the parts.  What is interesting and unpredictable is if one AI system starts communicating with others and self-organises to become a team so that a new super-entity emerges with another emergent layer.  As an example, oak trees do not act alone in nature, they are networked as teams, and work together via a fungal and chemical communication system between each other via their roots and leaves.  A mother tree can send nutrients through their root-fungal network to a daughter tree, they can tell each other if they are under attack and act as a team to deal with the threat.

In conclusion, the ideal is that real world and that of the virtual upon which the internet, AI and robots are a part of, is in real-time harmony so there is no conflict between them, where the real world takes the lead in defining how the technology is manifested.  This type of system becomes organic, alive, intelligent and conscious.

On an alternative to marriage and divorce

caring for living things

Nature loves diversity, it is always throwing up unique and exciting new patterns.  A healthy society is built upon this concept of nature, and I have no problem with alternative patterns in society as longs as people are happy and treat each other well.

As a child I had to experience two collapsed marriages of my parents, the impact was hard on me, and I am hostile to the concept of marriage.  The recent BBC television series by Louis Theroux called Alternative States dealt with the theme of relationships that involved more than two partners, called polyamory in episode one called Love Without Limits.

Having got over the initial weirdness of polyamory, I quickly realised that many people would benefit from this sort of relationship, having seen how this impacted the participants in the television episode.  Theroux interviewed two families who were involved in a polyamory relationship, the traditional marriages of both families was in trouble, where the partners had become unhappy, with the alternative being divorce.  One of the partners from each of the two families had entered into a relationship with the consent of their partners, so that each had a sexual relationship with two people, their own partner and the partner of another person.  Both families had children, and the children appeared happy about this sort of relationship, since they had both their parents still together, plus the benefit of other adults in their life.  The individuals who had to experience the sharing of their partner with another person was not enthusiastic about the situation but recognised the benefit to their relationship from a happier partner, which then boosted the security and happiness of their marriage.

Theroux interviewed two other females, each who had two men sharing their relationship, one female expecting a baby.  In each case everyone seemed happy in their relationship.  Clearly, here was an alternative to the traditional two-person relationships, and all the children in the situations benefited and appeared happy.

Another segment in the programme dealt with people who had a party where they were naked apart from covering up their sex organs, and fed each other food whilst blindfolded, whilst touching them except their private parts in different parts and ways.  I understood the thinking of why people wanted to have these type of experiences in a society where people no longer touch, this encouraging the production of hormones oxytocin and dopamine, however, I saw it as another new age gimmick for experience-junkies as an alternative to real relationships.

It is interesting to see how society is evolving to seeking alternative patterns to traditional roles such as relationships.  I am not bothered by whatever alternative emerges in society to traditional patterns as longs as people are happy and treat each other well.