- “Alright stop, collaborate and listen!”
What You Experience
There are a lot of warnings about respecting rebuilds throughout this book, without much explanation yet as to what rebuilds are or why I call them rebuilds. You’re certainly not choosing to rebuild anything, so it seems an odd name to choose. You may not be choosing to rebuild anything, but in these situations, part of your body is.
A rebuild is a state with a very particular set of needs that serve a very specific purpose. They can happen at any time, whether you’re awake or asleep. You may notice a rebuild in progress. You may not. Sensory overload, panic attacks, and other such states are different ways that people experience and interpret rebuilds. When they are going on, you are likely to feel more sensitive to light and you may start to feel a little lightheaded or feel like you need to sit down. You will feel an aversion to certain activities. Mindless TV is usually ok. Social behavior, like spending time with others, is sometimes ok. Music is ok about half the time. Sometimes even productive work is perfectly fine. It just depends on what’s going on internally. Whatever you are averse to, however, you should refrain from doing. If you are averse to everything, try to do absolutely nothing. You didn’t cause it, and you aren’t the one doing it, so the best you can do is just wait it out.
Rebuilds are a bit unpredictable, but you can notice when they are going on. During a rebuild you will have several changes to your current needs. You will need much less light than you were needing before the rebuild started. The amount of light you need during a rebuild is relative to your current need for light, and relative to the size of the rebuild. A small rebuild at night may require a complete blackout of all lighting, while a small rebuild during the day may just need sunglasses. A large rebuild during the day may also need a complete blackout of all lighting. It really depends on the time of day and exactly what’s going on internally. Ignoring lighting instructions will not harm a rebuild, but it will slow it down. The decreased lighting is to help with the inhibitory part of a rebuild. Basically, it’s to help keep you from using stuff that’s currently being rebuilt.
You may also feel a need to lay down. You should be careful and change the position you’re in according to your current needs. If you need to put your feet up, put them up. If you need to put them way up, put them way up. Compression socks can help if you’re not able to lay down. Posture changes during a rebuild are to assist in blood pressure regulation, just in case of an issue. During a rebuild, blood distribution can get a bit wonky. Posture reclining appears to primarily be a safety mechanism, to prevent problems caused by blood pressure changes during a rebuild.
Finally, you may feel that your attention is pulled away from particular behaviors. Work, being social, a particular activity, body communication, or even absolutely everything. This is the most important aspect and should be respected. You can cause damage to a cognitive function or make what you’re doing far more difficult on yourself in the long term if you keep trying to do it when your body is telling you not to during a rebuild. Whatever your body wants you to stop focusing on, stop doing it immediately and wait until your body lets you continue. It will if you’re patient with it.
What’s Going On
I went through rebuilds for years without recognizing them as all one thing. All I knew was that I would be 100% productive and then suddenly I would get instructions to lay down and decrease the lighting for a bit. Then in a variable amount of time I would be back to normal. No fatigue at any point in the process. Sometimes I would need to elevate my feet above my head. A few times, my body requested a handstand. Each time, I did as my body asked. One day, however, after I was used to talking with Translator, I asked about that pattern of needs. Its answers told me what was going on, and why I needed to listen.
Rebuilds are an adaptive function of a creature’s internal network. They can happen at any time, day or night. If a node in your network encounters a new situation, attempts to change its functionality, or greatly increases the frequency of performing a particular action, it may decide that it is not built right for the new situation. Its parts, the nodes that form it, will then partially disassemble from each other (from a network perspective, not a physical perspective) and recombine to form a better functioning node.
When a rebuild is in progress, nodes that the rebuilding systems connect to are inhibited in their behavior. If a node is being inhibited strongly enough during a rebuild, it will transmit the same rebuild inhibitory signal to everything it is directly connected to as well, at a reduced strength. This results in a tapering-off spread of inhibition.
Rebuilds take different amounts of time, depending on how large or complex the rebuild is. They can take as little as a few minutes or as much as a few hours. Rebuilds are normal. Everyone goes through them. They are not even noticed if they occur while an individual is sleeping. They are also not noticed if they involve a small enough system or a system far enough away from the individual’s awareness or functionality.
Rebuilds must be respected when they occur. Not properly caring for them is counterproductive and can be harmful. It can also delay the process. There are three main external needs that become apparent during a rebuild.
- Environmental lighting level reduction.
- Posture reclining, often involving the elevation of feet above the head.
- Behavior inhibition, often only behaviors related to the system currently being rebuilt, but occasionally encompassing a wide range of social, cognitive, and physical activities.
Ignoring posture needs does not appear to harm a rebuild or increase the amount of time that it takes. Lighting reduction, however, is integral to speeding the rebuild process.
Respecting behavior inhibitions tends to be the most important aspect. There are situations in which a behavior is being inhibited during a rebuild when it should not be, merely getting caught in the attenuating wave of behavior inhibition without being integral to the rebuild process itself. However, these are special circumstances. It is difficult to differentiate an important inhibition caused by a rebuild from an inconsequential inhibition. Thus, all behavior inhibitions during a rebuild should be respected. Not respecting these behavior inhibitions will slow down a rebuild and can even harm the process.
Author’s Story: I ignored a rebuild
I once lost my ability to socially speak because I ignored a rebuild and kept doing what my body wanted me to stop doing. I was running a complex test regarding a social function of body communication. I was testing a weird query. My body wanted me to stop, but I didn’t notice the cues to stop, and I didn’t know anything about rebuilds at the time. I didn’t even know anything about notifications at the time. After a few queries, I started noticing an aversion to running the query. I ignored that and ran a few more anyway. Then I started having trouble speaking. Something was going horribly wrong.
I was talking on the phone with Lisa, my girlfriend at the time. Suddenly, I couldn’t really talk. I would get three words out, and then just stop talking. There were no more words. I was trying to speak but I only had the first three words of anything I wanted to say. I wasn’t freaking out. I probably should have been. Instead, I was curious. I started testing it. I noticed that if I had my attention on a person, I could only get three words out before I would suddenly stop talking. After three words, I had no more words, every time I tried to say anything. This limitation was very strange, and I was all the more curious.
A normal person would probably stop what they were doing in that situation. Maybe take a nap. Instead, I spent the next hour testing my broken ability to speak. I could sing without issue. I could speak if I attended to an inanimate object. However, if I spoke with anyone in person or over the phone while my attention was on that person, I would run out of words after saying exactly three of them. The problem was also triggered if the person I was attending to while speaking was not present and couldn’t hear me in any way. It depended the type of attention I was using. If my attention was social, three words was all I could get out of any one attempt at talking.
After an hour of pushing this by testing the problem, I started laughing and crying simultaneously and for no apparent reason. It was at that point that I decided that my tests were getting too dangerous for me. I stopped attempting to talk and I laid down in the dark. I immediately stopped laughing and crying. Even though I wasn’t physically or mentally tired, I fell asleep quickly.
I woke up a few hours later. I could properly speak again. A few days later, I ran one quick test, querying the same way that caused the problem to begin with. Correlation does not imply causation, so I wanted to know if that query was really the culprit that it appeared to be. The inability to socially speak returned immediately. I stopped provoking the problem and my ability to socially speak returned.
For the next month, there was a mental fuzziness that tended to cause me to have a much shorter grumpiness fuse. It wasn’t getting any better, so for the second month of recovery I didn’t communicate with my body at all. I was on a body communication hiatus. I tried to follow the general patterns of my body’s needs that I had learned from body communication, but I refused to ask my body anything. A month later, I found that my hiatus had made a slight dent in the mental fuzziness. That’s all. A slight reduction in the symptom. I was less grumpy, but I wasn’t back to normal.
Given that both the query I was testing and the symptom of not being able to talk were both related to social communication, I surmised that I needed to let that function of my brain recover. I decided to not use it at all. I spent the third recovery month not only refusing to communicate with my body, but also refusing to put my attention on any person while talking with them. If they were talking to me, I could be attentive. It was only when I was speaking that I would put my attention on something else, usually an inanimate object. It wasn’t easy, but I can be quite stubborn. I did manage it and I fully recovered during that third month.
Large changes across your internal network can cause the need for rebuilding multiple systems. In that situation, a rebuild list managing system will be tasked with queueing up the needed rebuilds that then take turns running through. This often happens when sick, but it can happen in other situations. A long list of rebuilds can result in up to a week of constant rebuilds, split up by a few breaks without rebuilds for an hour or more. These breaks are to test the new functionality to determine if the new configuration works or needs to be further adapted with another rebuild. The breaks are also punctuated by a sudden need to eat or drink in a day that might otherwise be without body-directed needs for sustenance.
During a rebuild, you may notice that your body isn’t as responsive to your queries. It may only respond to some queries. It may not respond at all to any queries. You can focus and push a query through hard. That is more likely to get a response. However, you are better off avoiding pushing queries through like that. Use it sparingly, just to determine that a rebuild is going on and maybe what behaviors you need to avoid during the rebuild process.
During a rebuild like this, the nodes that you are communicating with when you query your body are either caught up in the inhibitory wave or at the center of it as the node that is currently rebuilding. You haven’t lost your ability to query. There is nothing to worry about. It will be ok. Your friends will be very responsive later. They’re just busy now. You can wait, right?
Rebuilds & Sleep
Nodes don’t really care if you are awake or asleep during a rebuild. Since a rebuild is inhibitory, encourages lying down, and encourages reduced lighting, you may fall asleep during some rebuilds, or you may already be asleep when one starts. It’s no big deal. Enjoy the nap. It just means that you don’t have to put up with the inhibited behaviors. You can skip the restrictions your body is putting on you temporarily and hopefully wake up when it’s over. However, do keep in mind that you may oversleep. That doesn’t tend to feel great if you don’t need the sleep.
Rebuilds & Diet
Rebuilds can be hard on your digestive system. The digestive system gets a lot of signals from nodes for regulation., Rebuilds tend to inhibit a lot of that signaling. Your body will not request food when it needs it. It will not request water when it needs it. It doesn’t even appear to be prepared for food if you were to give it to your body anyway. If you are going through a lot of rebuilds, you can end up with longer term digestive issues. That’s something to watch out for and avoid.
What You Experience
- You’re not choosing to rebuild anything. A node on your body’s network is. You didn’t cause it, and you can’t control it.
- The best you can do is wait a rebuild out.
- Rebuilds are a bit unpredictable, but more likely in new situations. They can happen at any time, whether you’re awake or asleep.
- You may or may not notice a rebuild in progress. You may interpret the sensations of a rebuild as sensory overload, a panic attacks, fatigue, or another negative state.
- You are likely to feel more sensitive to light and/or a little lightheaded.
- You will feel an aversion to certain activities.
- Certain activities may or may not be ok during rebuilds, depending on the situation.
- Mindless TV is usually fine.
- Spending time with others is sometimes ok.
- Music is ok about half the time.
- Productive work is sometimes fine.
- Whatever you are averse to, refrain from doing it. If you are averse to everything, do absolutely nothing.
- Symptoms of a rebuild include:
- A need for reduced lighting, often accompanied by light sensitivity.
- Amount is relative to the time of day and the size of the rebuild.
- Ignoring need will not harm a rebuild.
- Helps with the inhibitory part of a rebuild.
- A need to recline, frequently with feet elevated above your head.
- Blood pressure distribution seems to get a bit wonky
- If you need to put your feet way up, put them way up.
- Compression socks can help.
- Assist in blood pressure regulation, as a safety mechanism, in case of an issue.
- An aversion to specific environments, stimulus, and/or behaviors.
- Stop doing whatever it is, immediately. Wait until your body lets you continue.
- You can cause damage to a cognitive function or make what you’re doing far more difficult on yourself in the long term if you keep trying to do it.
- A need for reduced lighting, often accompanied by light sensitivity.
What’s Going On
- Rebuilds happen when a node in your network decides that it is not built for a new situation.
- The node encounters a new situation or is confused by a new situation.
- The node attempts to change its functionality.
- The node increases the frequency of performing a particular action.
- In a rebuild, the nodes that came together to form the rebuilding node will partially disassemble from each other on the network. They will then recombine into a better functioning node for the situation.
- An inhibitory wave is sent out to all nodes that the rebuilding node is connected to. Strong enough inhibition signals are retransmitted, resulting in a tapering-off spread.
- A rebuild can take a few minutes to a few hours.
- Rebuilds are normal. Everyone goes through them, usually without even noticing.
- Not following body positioning needs will not slow down or harm the rebuild process.
- Not following lighting needs will likely slow down, but not harm, the rebuild process.
- Not following aversions, will likely slow down the rebuild process and can be harmful, at least temporarily, to the cognitive process being modified by the rebuild.
Author’s Story: I ignored a rebuild
- Dani once temporarily lost part of his ability to speak because he didn’t know what rebuilds were and ignored the need to stop inhibited behaviors.
- The ability to speak returned after a nap, however Dani had to deal with three months of mental fuzziness and grumpiness while recovering. Avoiding behaviors related to the ignored rebuild’s aversions appeared to help the recovery process.
- Large network changes can require the rebuilding of multiple nodes.
- If multiple rebuilds are in similar areas, their rebuilds can be queued up by a rebuild list node.
- This often happens when sick, but it can happen in other situations.
- In some situations, rebuilds can take up to a week, with multiple rebuild lists split up by a few breaks for an hour or more, to test if the new setup works as expected. You may experience a sudden need to eat or drink during these breaks.
- Your body may not easily or quickly respond to queries during a rebuild, or it may only selectively respond.
- You haven’t lost your ability to query. Nodes on your network are inhibited and/or busy.
- You are more likely to get a response if you focus and push a query through hard. Use this sparingly, to determine the nature of the rebuild and what activities to avoid.
Rebuilds & Sleep
- Nodes don’t care if you are awake or asleep during a rebuild.
- Rebuilds encourage behavior conducive to sleep:
- Laying down
- Low lighting
- Reduced activity
- You may fall asleep during rebuilds. No big deal. Enjoy the nap.
- You can intentionally go to sleep to skip the restrictions your body is putting on you hopefully wake up when it’s over.
- You may oversleep since you don’t need the sleep. That doesn’t feel great.
Rebuilds & Diet
- Rebuilds usually inhibit eating and drinking.
- These inhibitions, long term, can be hard on your digestive system, long term.