What Does An Imperial With ADHD Look Like?

Well, they might look like Frieren does…

…seriously, she needs a muse. Or an elf-to-human translator. “He’s showing affectionate/flirtation behavior with you, and I recommend mild reciprocity and making a decision this decade…”

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In all seriousness, I’m toying with creating a muse to aid my own struggles in this area

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They probably wouldn’t call it ADHD though. I’m sure whoever has chosen to have such a large ratio of processing power to working memory chooses it for a very specific reason to fit the lifestyle / goals they want

IIRC, the modal (math-speak for most common) Imperial would probably get tagged as monomanic in modern Human terms. Not bipolar/Manic-depressive, because they don’t have the depressive swings.

And honestly, since one of the markers of ADHD is reversed response to stimulants (caffeine makes you slow down), I suspect that the Imperials have done the work to make everyone’s brain work the same way in regards to neurotransmitters.

I believe I’ve seen it described as specifically hypomanic somewhere, but I forgot where… Probably not fully manic, and AFAICT they’re usually not single-focused enough to count as monomanic.

(Being quite hypomanic myself, I find it funny to imagine the Imperials as having temperaments similar to mine. Though I assume they’re probably actually a lot less outwardly cheerful - plausibly appearing as stoic to humans. Vaguely recall that being discussed somewhere as well, and again I forgot where…)

I agree that they’d probably make sure to unify that kind of thing!

My own (possibly mistaken) impression is that they’d probably make sure to avoid too much neurodivergence-compared-to-average in earlier times, then as sophotech evolves they’ll start experimenting with new interesting neurotypes - but probably mostly not in the specific directions corresponding to the kinds of neurodivergence that occur naturally in humans.
OTOH it’s possible that the time window between “enough sophotech to fix neurodivergence” and “enough sophotech to make interesting new neurodivergence” would probably be quite short if existent at all, and between that and the likely holdouts against the former, it’s possible that we could end up in a situation kind of like the one with the eldrae phenotypes, where the pre-existing options as of whatever time the ability-to-change-it-at-will becomes common get enshrined as the usual defaults.

…as a side-note, most of the above applies specifically to the eldrae, and the many many non-eldrae Imperial species would of course have completely different standards for what qualifies as neurotypical and consequently as neurodivergent. (Though I suspect that most of them would be even less human-like in that regard.)

that sounds very un-Imperial in the way it flattens out diversity of thought. I’m pretty sure the more likely outcome is that they wrote the manual on exactly how to tweak ones’ neurons’ neurotransmitter response curves the way one likes, and work contracts the Worlds over started including neurochemistry competency clauses

It’s one thing to tweak how responsive your brain is to the standard signalling chemicals.

It’s a whole different issue to have the some Imperial brains operating the exact opposite of the majority in response to certain chemicals (stimulants make the ADHD mind slow down, depressants make it speed up). That is just grossly complicating your medical work, when it is not safe to give the ADHD the usual meds!

I believe that falls under the category of “one’s own damn business”, as far as medical effects are concerned. If a soph wants to be bass-ackwards as far as medical physiology is concerned, I’d think whatever constitutes a medical authority kindly prints them out a list of potential consequences and does a collective shrug.

Besides, not safe is kind of an exaggeration, isn’t it? From personal experience neither coffee nor alcohol nor ritalin have reduced me to irrationality or zeroed out my executive function

And what happens with emergency treatments, and now we’re dealing with reversed reactions on top of whatever put you into the ER?

No thank you.

If we can edit our uptake profiles so that I can turn on the hyperfixation on details at will, I want my neurochemistry reacting the same way to stims and depressants as the modal human.

Sure, but that’s like, your opinion man.

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The eldraeic default temperament would usually read to humans as surfing a wave of euphoric hypomania - expressed somewhat differently in areas because of fundamental differences in psychological structure, but close enough for a first-order approximation.

(Of course, norms are relative, so effectively this is another way to say that humans read to them as basically being marsh-wiggles on Mogadon.)

Ah, sort of, and I feel that this is one of those areas where my portrayal has been less than adequate. Although the best is perhaps the discussion of the paradox of passion and reason.

To sum up: Imperial culture prizes self-control, for reasons which, in their historical ultimate, boil down to “people in possession of great personal power much of which is of a kind that translates the will directly to the deed cannot, absolutely cannot, afford to lose it”. And the virtue of talcoríëf teaches reason, and not allowing your passions to override your ability to think. (But when you have made a reasoned decision, your passions should then empower you in its execution.)

In times of stress and difficulty, what they teach is the good old stiff upper lip. But that’s not really Straw Vulcan-style stoicism; the stiff upper lip and all that is a defense mechanism against fear and despair that works by making light of them and their causes and not letting them become a contagion.

But there is not a general stoic aversion to emotional expressivity, and indeed I’d argue that they’re much healthier about that than Earth culture is. The grieving may grieve uncriticised, and the joyful may express joy and delight without fear of a culture that demands things only be enjoyed with your ironic detachment card on display. (See the famous C S Lewis quote on childish things, and the post I have not got around to making, Considering Cringe Considered Cringe.) People are allowed to feel, and express feeling, just not to be unreflectively controlled by it.

Although not a universal one. Goodness knows the two of us in my household are poster children for adult-ADHD diagnoses and neither of us can be more than approximately functional without a good old mug of wake-up juice.

That said, Universal Noetic Architecture did do this in the process of converting brains into virtual machines capable of executing mind-states in such a way that you could download without taking hours to slowly shuffle synapses around and teach neurons how to fire.

Insofar as there was a consensus position on neurodivergence, it’s that the blind idiot god of evolution is continuing to try to make a better brain by flailing around and trying things at random. It is therefore vitally important to study these things lest you accidentally pick the wrong answer to the very important question: is this one of the failed experiments, or is this one of the ones which added two and two and got superpowers?

(I mean, even schizotypal disorders are products of brain evolution trying to invent better pattern recognition and creativity, both of which product high returns right up until you pass the critical point at which improvement tips over into elaborate proofs that the moon men are using chemtrails to spread COVID-19, opposed by the European lizard-monarchies who want to mind-control you with their 5G-powered nanite vaccines.)

((One imagines that ISS/Admiralty intelligence used to occasionally hire these types as “pre-analysts”, on the grounds that they’re awesome at pulling faint patterns and anomalies out of large data sets. It’s just that that’s when you have to hand them over to the neurotypical analysts before you start launching operations to infiltrate the London Underground.))

But you don’t want to accidentally throw away anything useful

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…I’ve seen A Beautiful Mind and I imagine it probably looks a lot like that. Minus the whole self-injury thing, and probably with better safeguards against going too deep into self-deception.

…so, which particular Directorate would get in trouble with SOE Q Division, aka The Laundry, about how the London Underground’s actual layout is something that shouldn’t exist in any way, shape or form…

I’d think probably the fifth - “elder gods” seems to fit the remit of the doom PWG very well

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“May we interest you in purchasing some reality engines?”

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