Overactive Slow System

I’ve been feeling like I am weirder, lately. Like I’m having an experience that is different from most people’s, more so than usual. Different in that my Kahneman Slow System 2 is more active and my System 1 is less active.1

Some examples:

This is exhausting. The world is so complex and coming at you so fast that your Fast System is the only system that can even remotely keep up. When your Slow System tries to take over something like “what do I do in this social situation”, you make bad decisions, slowly and awkwardly, and get tired then.

(butterfly meme) Is This Autism (spectrum spectrum2)? I don’t think so, but I think they’re connected. I heard a description of autism as “too much connection in your brain” which means more things are more overwhelming. So something like a loud noise, which might be kind of difficult to a normal brain, would just be mind-obliterating if you have more than the normal number of connections in your brain. A well-functioning System 1 can handle more louder stimulus in parallel than anything that got redirected to System 2.

  1. “System 1 is fast, instinctive and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical." System 1 is when you look at a chess board and say “hmm, this move feels right”; system 2 is when you say “if I move here, he’ll move there, then I can move here, or if he moves there then I can move there, therefore I am sure this is the right move.” Kahneman, despite his great work, should be thrown in jail for naming these “1” and “2”, so I’ll call them “fast system” and “slow system”. ↩︎

  2. I’m lucky enought to definitely not have “strong enough autism that it has caused serious difficulties to me” (besides the ones in this post), but I’ve wondered if I’m somewhere on the spectrum. Not diagnosed, though, all I can say is that I’m somewhere between 0 and the autism spectrum, or “I’m on the autism spectrum spectrum” ↩︎

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