Are you compos mentis?

I started this post after spending a little time thinking about the title of this post, about what the words really mean. So….are you compos mentis? Are you? Really? I am sure you think you are quite sane, mostly.

Now take a second. Think about what sanity is. What do we mean when we use the word sane. It means lucid, rational, normal. Yet no one is normal. We aren’t machines, all identical, processing inputs and outputs in a consistent manner. We are individuals. Emotive. Multi faceted. And in some ways flawed.

When Deep Blue became the first chess program to beat Kasparov, a grand master, it followed a logical, rationale pattern. The human brain isn’t like that. It cannot process millions of variations in microseconds. Our emotive, sub conscious self pushes thoughts, suggestions, and options to our conscious minds at a much much slower pace. It makes leaps, based on vague remembered facts, and emotions, to fill in the gaps. That’s why optical illusions work. Take a closer look at the image above. Is it on the left or on the right of the building?

And even if we  to achieve normality, what does that mean. Will today’s normal be tomorrow’s normal? History suggests not! In the 20’s and 30’s eugenics, the practice of mass sterilisation to improve the gene pool for the human race seemed quite normal and acceptable. In the 40’s, electric shock treatment was considered suitable for various ailments.

So maybe you should forget being normal, forget fitting it or trying to confirm to accepted norms. And just be you. And celebrate your uniqueness.

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