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[personal profile] erratio
The other day I had my friend over, who also happens to be the GM for our roleplaying group. While he was over we discussed various people and their behaviours, and why it was they behaved that way. Noting that most of the people in our social groups are quite intelligent and rational (more T than F, in Type-speak), there isn't much space for justifying irrational behaviour. In almost all cases of irrational behaviour it seems like the cause is a lack of self-awareness, because if the person is rational then it's difficult for them to deliberately be acting irrationally, so their own motives must be unclear to them.

From there it seems like a short step to doublethink. I know that I have self-esteem issues, but a lot of the time I act as if I don't. I'm not precisely pretending that I don't have any issues (which would be denial), I'm just ignoring them enough that I can behave more normally. And I realised that I'm deliberately exercising a form of doublethink when I do this. And that I also make use of it for keeping other people's secrets (it's hard to explain how, I don't actually forget it but I can sort of partition it off), playing more than one player in a card game (same sort of thing, partition the knowledge off and only access it when necessary; it has the drawback that I tend to be a worse player when I'm doing this beause I'm working so hard at not knowing the other player that I don't allow myself to make intelligent predictions a lot of the time) and in roleplaying, where I'm trying to take on a different personality altogether and ignore any out-of-game knowledge I may know but only for a few hours at a time. I also know that I'm not the world's best roleplayer. I can have a complete understanding of my character and what he would know, but I tend to direct my character from a distance rather than actually become the character. So at the moment my doublethink extends to keeping two sets of knowledge side by side but not to the point of being able to replace one with the other temporarily.

I now have a theory that to be very good at roleplaying you have to be very good at doublethink, in order to completely change your personality for a period of time and then revert back to your real personality at the end. I also have a less-reliable theory that to be really accomplished at doublethink you have to be quite self-aware, or else you end up either failing entirely at acting as though the new set of beliefs are true, or you end up believing your own inventions with no realisation of what you've done to yourself. Also, I find it quite interesting that if my theory holds up then it means that the better your self-awareness is, the more interesting tricks you can do with/against your own mind.
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October 2014

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