📝 Compartmentalization and the Space for Conflicting Ideas

I have started reading Cory Doctorow’s novel, Attack Surface. A novel that explores the stories that we tell ourselves. Central to this is the notion of compartmentalisation:

Compartmentalization is a subconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.

Compartmentalization allows these conflicting ideas to co-exist by inhibiting direct or explicit acknowledgement and interaction between separate compartmentalized self-states.

Masha is constantly reorganising her mental space to stay on top of things.

Far as I could tell, there was nothing underneath Ilsa but more Ilsa. It was amazing. I wanted to be like that someday. In one of my compartments, anyway. In another compartment, I hated her and myself for that.

“You realize that you’re compromised now.”

I shrugged. Compromised is only a few letters away from compartmentalized.

It has me thinking about Gilles Deleuze and the concept of multiplicity:

A multiplicity is an entity that originates from a folding or twisting of simple elements. Like a sand dune, a multiplicity is in constant flux, though it attains some consistency for a short or long duration. A multiplicity has porous boundaries and is defined provisionally by its variations and dimensions. Deleuze and Guattari redefine as multiplicities many of the key terms of Western political theory—including race, class, gender, language, state, society, person, and party. Their method aims to render political thinking more nuanced and generous toward difference.

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