The idea that our minds are infected by viruses is not new. Here we mean viruses as analogy to computer viruses technically, we use the term virus as a general term to include also worms, spyware, Trojans and other forms of malware, not biological viruses. Richard Brodie wrote a book titled Viruses of the Mind, with the subtitle The New Science of the meme. Meme is believed to be the device carrier, whereby viruses spread and proliferate.
Head viruses have already infected governments, educational systems, and inner cities, resulting in a number of the most pervasive and troublesome problems of society today: youth gangs, the welfare cycle, the deterioration of the public schools, and ever-growing government bureaucracy. During this posting, the author discusses methods of debugging such viruses. It begins with slowing down, one pointed focus, bare attention, and ends with reflection, and practice and effort.
Computer programs, except for the easiest school book illustrations, always have bug. That is the reason we have so many upgrade releases and service packs. Nevertheless the service pack itself presents new bugs. As software grows more complex, the amount of bugs increases exponentially. Software also ages, the longer it is been in use, the more likely it is to be in disharmony with the initial specifications or with the changing environment it is supposed to handle.
The mind is so much more complicated than a computer program, quantitatively and qualitatively. It does not take a playful imagination, to find that mind viruses are a lot more abundant, fatal and hard to debug. There are no anti-viruses, which you can just buy and use to wash our minds. Debugging our heads is inherently difficult, since we have first of all, to acknowledge that we carry viruses, and be ready to inspect our ego, customs and world perspectives. Even if we logically recognize a virus in our heads, we still require considerable discipline to conquer it. Just consider overeating or stop smoking.
The processes in the mind are intricate and interlinked. As in pc anti debugging, we need to do unit testing before we do integration testing. Make sure that each element is functioning as they should, before thinking about the component’s interaction with each other. If procedures are running parallel, we need to consider one Particular procedure in isolation first. Here is the technique of One Wontedness: concentrate on a single object. Do not do multi-tasking. Do not Watch TV or read the paper while eating, do not answer the telephone While signing contracts. In the extreme, one should not sing while bathing. To some, this is contrary to what they normally do. Many also Think that without multi-tasking, we are not functioning efficiently.