My only skill

By Dan Audet 


Much of the local business community thinks I’m good at fixing computers. most of my friends think I’m good at math and physics. A few deluded souls think I’m good at creating poetry and music.

I really only have one skill: Data Analysis

Nearly everyone has a belief system. some simply believe what they were told as a child, others figured it out for themselves.

A belief system, any belief system, is just a filter in your brain. once you accept any belief system your brain processes data by categorizing your sensory perceptions and simply ignoring the data that doesn’t fit into your belief system.

I have disorganized schizophrenia; a rare form of schizophrenia that, in addition to a few other troublesome symptoms, makes me incapable of ever forming a belief system.

I have frequent, and random, hallucinations; so, the only way I can figure out what other people think is “really happening” is a combination of analyzing my own (unfiltered) sensory data, and making a guess about what other people think is happening based on their reactions.

Everybody’s senses are constantly flooded with data. Even the “smartest” people only process a tiny fraction of it. But, lacking a belief system, I process this data completely at random. My schizoid brain is incapable of categorizing data the way a normal brain can. I can not just throw away the bits that don’t fit into my world view. I deal with my data by purely random selection. So I am able to generalize based on truly random samples.

This lack of filters, combined with reading too much (due to chronic insomnia), and having a better than average memory, gives me a unique advantage in data analysis.

I do have to deal with the hallucinations, which could theoretically taint my data set. So I’m careful to ignore in my analyses data that cannot be confirmed by at least one other person with direct experience of the stimuli.

I talked about this with Robert Anton Wilson, years ago. He said he “envied my unique perspective”. I argued that it wasn’t so unique, we all do the same thing but are just not aware of it.