Thursday, 12 April 2012

Pop: LLI: Synthesised emotions

Our most recent forage into the magical workings of Blip focussed on his emotions. He admitted only feeling particularly strong ones but said that all of them felt the same, like a really big storm. When he described what happiness or sadness was it sounded fake, like the most generic textbook description, and so we began to question it. 

Through a long discussion we came to the conclusion that the emotions he felt were phantasms, a creation by his mind to make him feel normal but that he has no actual knowledge of. Blip has no understanding of happiness, he knows when he should feel it but if he tries to explain it, the explanation is clearly a synthesized average of all the other information on happiness that he has taken in. As such, he cannot connect context to the terms. 

So I tried to remember situations where he displayed happiness, sadness, anger etc. and they were always rational situations where you would expect that emotion. But emotions are by their nature irrational. Everybody has had moments where they don’t know why they feel a certain way. Blip has no such moments. He shows emotion only when society dictates he should. 

The question then naturally comes up of why does he think of a storm when an emotion is particularly strong. The first moment in Blip’s life he has a strong memory of is an accident his dad was in. Specifically he remembers being looked after by his Auntie and there being a storm that night. Ever since this night he has had hallucinations during storms and doesn’t like them. 

Our theory is that this was the first moment that Blip should have shown an emotion and didn’t. To rectify this, the memory of the storm was used as a placeholder. That one snapshot of a storm distracted Blip from realising that there was yet another way in which he was different until he was mature enough to handle the information. 

In conclusion, our theory is that LLI has caused Blip to be too logical for emotions. What he believes he felt before was merely a placeholder or a cover-up created by his mind to distract from the uncomfortable fact that he was synthesising his emotions purely from what other people had told him.

Pop (signature placeholder)


  1. Sorry but I am having trouble trying to understand what you meant by "Our theory is that this was the first moment that Blip should have shown an emotion and didn’t. To rectify this, the memory of the storm was used as a placeholder. That one snapshot of a storm distracted Blip from realising that there was yet another way in which he was different until he was mature enough to handle the information. " Are you saying that Blip now represses his emotions because of that storm in that particular situation? I'm a bit lost!

    1. No, I'm saying that Blip's rigid and almost obsessive and unstoppable analysis of everything in a strict logical way (including emotions) has led to him overcoming emotions and discarding them altogether.

      The storm is a reminder of situations in which he understands, logically, he should feel some emotion; he uses the storm image to remind him that he is currently in a situation that would ordinarily be accompanied by emotions because it was the first time he was supposed to feel an emotion but didn't. It isn't repressing, it is trying to justify a natural abnormality.

      I hope that makes more sense, if not we can always try again!

      That's the theory anyway =]

  2. Hello Blip & Pop,

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of days now, since my friend posted about it on Facebook. Although, I do not agree with some (maybe a majority) of your opinions throughout your blog, it has helped me to evaluate myself in relation to LLI. I will qualify my interest in LLI by clarifying that I do not watch Prison Break, but have read that people take an interest in LLI because of an episode that had aired. I know nothing about that episode.

    My interest in LLI stems from the constant inconvenience that the symptoms have caused in my life. People view me as being one who "constantly complains". In fact, the last words I have read from my mother came in an angry email from her and she alleges that I "had a tendency to find fault in me,to criticize,to take offense over the slightest matter,to complain,and be ungrateful and unappreciative." I do not view this as being true or even slightly accurate; however, my quirks (or whatever you'd like to call them) do upset others.

    Firstly, I pay attention to everything. I have a curious case of OCD. I want to correct anything that is incorrect. As a matter of fact, all of the errors I have found throughout your posts (not as many as most, refreshingly) make me want to point them out to be corrected. I know that I make errors, but when I find them, I want to have them corrected. I feel the need to go back and delete what is incorrect and rewrite it. If I have found that I have stated something incorrectly to someone, I want strive to contact that person to inform them of the correct information.

    I understand that part of my personality may just be that I'm insane, but it is only a glimpse of what makes me "tick". I learn rapidly. I apply what I learn in new situations and have become an excellent problem-solver. I can Macgyver (I know, proper noun used as a verb) life, so-to-speak. I find a tool that I have stored in secondary memory and bring it to working memory to use it in another area of life, no matter how ill-conceived it may seem, but it usually does the trick.

    I was socially awkward as a child. I had many friends when I was in elementary school until we moved. My friends came from having older siblings attending the school I attended, so I was innately popular. When we moved, none of my siblings attended school with me. I didn't know how to form friendships on my own. I never had to learn that before. It took me years to learn how people naturally socialized and now I am fantastic at making friends, even though I do feel uncomfortable with it. I apply what I learn.

  3. continued..

    None of this may seem to apply to LLI... yet. The reason why people seem to become turned off toward me and consider me to be "pessimistic" is because I notice EVERY single thing.. EVERYTHING.. and it drives me nuts. Plus, I have a hard time not voicing things. It's kind of like a coping mechanism to stay sane. If I can get it out of my head, I can forget it. I have a hard time when others don’t just acknowledge it, so I can move on to the next thing. When you had mentioned completing sentences or thoughts on one of your posts, that resonated with me. I cannot let something go unless I have finished that thought. I can have an in-depth conversation that lasts several hours, but have to tie everything back together and it physically hurts me when I have left something unaddressed. I keep track of all of the different tangents of the conversation to make sure that I go back and resolve them. It’s like the greatest multi-tasking phenomenon in my head.
    The problem with my multi-tasking is this: I cannot deal with competing stimuli. My neighbors are completely rude and that situation would take pages to explain. In short, no matter how many times I have called the police or had them appear in court, they still play their music and TV loudly. It physically hurts me. Loud sounds and competing stimuli cause me to feel sharp pains in my heart and sometimes palpitations. I have a three-year-old daughter and sometimes I have to put her in her room for a period ranging from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, so that I can calm my brain from all of the sounds and movements she produces. It is incredibly difficult to deal with the competition of sounds from airplanes (we live close to the airport), my neighbors, my child, the dishwasher, the refrigerator, the washing machine, the dryer, and so on.
    The sounds never end. There is an annoying sound in my neighborhood that drives me crazy (it sounds like a whirring of an electric toothbrush, but from a distance). I absolutely cannot deal with “white noise” or sound competing with sound. I cannot use the approach of turning up the volume to the stereo or the TV because any sound seriously hurts me. I do enjoy music, but I cannot try to have thought at the same time.
    Light is probably the most difficult of all for me. I have always had a sensitivity to light. I would rather be in a little bit of darkness or shade than in full sunlight. I would wear sunglasses without end, if they didn’t cause headaches. Headlights from on-coming cars cause such a pain that I try to shield my eyes to keep from experiencing it. It is like a flash of a migraine every single time a headlight comes at me. At the movies, the flashing of the screen from movement bothers me. My eyes cannot focus quickly enough to take in every single thing on every screen, so my mind hurts because that stimulation task isn’t complete. I do not deal well with things that are incomplete. I keep those things stored in my mind until they are completed and it’s like a little release for me and a sense of relief, a fleeting sense of slight relief.

  4. continued (3rd section):

    The way people perceive me as arrogant or condescending is because I have not been able to understand why people don’t care about others and why they don’t seem to pay attention. I strive to avoid crowds. I detest crowds. People seem so oblivious to others that it makes me feel crazy. When I am walking behind someone and they have no sense that I am there, just waiting for them to move for me to get past them, it makes me angry. Only, somewhat like Blip, I have times where I don’t know which emotion to feel, or I am emotionless and only apply whichever emotions I have learned others use in those scenarios. Scenarios that are unlike what I have experienced, I am at a loss for how I feel/should feel. I learn a lot, regarding emotions, from movies. If I experience anything slightly similar, I recall those emotions and use them. In life situations that are completely new, if I have observed something similar, I feel as if I have lived through that situation before (if that description even makes sense). I am like a chameleon. I am very much like a chameleon in conversation and friendships with others. Unlike Blip, I did become aware of this on my own as a teenager. When I evaluated that my friends were all different and that I never introduce my friends to each other because of this, I realized that my personality blends in as someone else. I take the shape, in a sense, of those around me. I consider myself to be hyper-emotional, but I don’t know if this is due to a hormonal imbalance or because the role-model I observed (not much of a role-model) was my own mother, who is an emotional “basket-case”.

  5. continued (4th section):

    The one thing that makes me question whether my emotions are real or just synthesized is that those “new experiences” yield a confusion (not even a feeling of confusion, but kind of forced) because I don’t feel anything. In fact, I work so hard to scan for what I “should be” feeling that I often substitute feelings of anxiety for whatever I cannot figure out how to feel. I do not like arguing because I feel that I am taken advantage of because I do not have the luxury of surprise from emotions, it takes me slightly longer to figure out how to feel. I become confused when someone gets angry at me because I didn’t know I was supposed to be angry and I haven’t analyzed those feelings yet, so when someone tells me that I was raising my voice or that I was “shooting darts” from my eyes at them, I am in a state of shock and my emotions freeze. When someone tells me how I feel because of my actions, it confuses me because I do not feel those things. My actions do not always marry my actual feelings and that causes me to believe that I assign feelings rather than actually feeling them and then I portray those signs of feelings, and vice-versa. I may start crying and not even know why (like today) and then scan for a reason and associate it. I believe this is due to a hormonal imbalance that I have the actions of emotions but not the actual feeling inside.
    Am I being redundant? Am I making sense? These are things I wonder about how I am being perceived. I have become an expert at reading others. I understand empathy better than anyone I know. I have become so good at identifying feelings/emotions because I have had to learn them; I do not believe I have the innate ability to feel. I make assessments and then choose how I “should” feel or respond.
    This is getting to be super long and I hope you don’t mind. Thank you for your blog. Please do not be offended that I do not agree with everything in it. I am open-minded and learn from everything I am presented with. I form my own opinions and learn new things, even when I disagree (mostly when I disagree); however, I do have the ability to change my stance when presented with new information that supports another perspective. In this way, I am never 100% about anything.
    Also, if you don’t mind, I would like to post to you, or communicate with you regarding new discoveries I make as I learn more about LLI. I have not ever thought about these “quirks” in my personality to be part of a bigger picture. I want to learn everything I can about LLI before I would say that I definitely have it. I know that I have symptoms that fit the profile, but I am not looking for a label; rather, I am looking for a new perspective and insight. Again, thank you for unwittingly allowing me to gain knowledge through your perspective and experiences. I greatly appreciate it.

    - C -

    1. Hi "C"

      Thanks for your comment; I don't think I can adequately answer it in a short way but I think it deserves to be answered nonetheless. To that end, I am in the middle of writing a post as a response.

      I, evidently like you, am a perfectionist. The mere mention of errors in my posts has unsettled me a great deal.

      Thanks again.


  6. Your blog posts and the way you write and express things, and your thinking process leads myself and a few others (who have true low latent inhibition with high IQ's) to believe that you have probably self diagnosed aspergers as low latent inhibition and that you probably don't have LLI.

    None of us are picking up on any signs of LLI really in your case, yet you freely claim to have it. How did you actually reach your diagnosis? In order to discover whether you do have it or not, you need to meet others with LLI. As only somebody with LLI can spot another true LLI. If you fancy coming forth and exploring whether you do indeed have LLI, then we await you my first in the low latent inhibition group on facebook.

    There is no point in "claiming" to have LLI until it has been proven, or until you have been accepted by others with LLI. I imagine you wont post this on your blog, if that is the case then you have proven the point i am making about you not having LLI.

    1. I've answered this comment in a full post, it should be on the front page as of now.

      Have at it Batman!


Please tell us what you think and don't be afraid to be honest, that's what we're here for.