Stories and Reality2022-03-25

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Richard P. Feynman

Who we are in terms of health in general, and mental health in particular, is based, by and large, on three stories: the story we tell ourselves, the story we tell others, and the story that others tell us. Stories matter, as they motivate behaviors.

The story we tell ourselves are our feelings and thoughts. We might keep them private.

The story we tell others are our communications and actions. We might try to present ourselves in a better light.

The story others tell us is how we are perceived and directed to behave. We might be misunderstood and misjudged.

There is a deeper biological reality underlying all this, but so far it is not systematically measured and integrated in a precise fashion with the stories.

Imagine if everybody kept track daily of their feelings and thoughts in a systematic and quantitative fashion.

Imagine if periodically, the communications and actions of a person were tabulated as a way of preventing drifting towards bad outcomes.

Imagine if we understood and judged people as individuals and not as labels.

Imagine if somebody’s biological reality was measured with objective tests, and that was used to support therapeutics improvements.

The tools to accomplish all the above are already starting to be here, whether it is what MindX Sciences has developed, or Kernel, or Neuralink, or others. The key challenge this decade is how to make them accessible widely, for the largest social good.

Live. Happier. Longer.