The Synchroniser Bug - A layperson's hypothesis

"Before John and I met we both used Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice activated software and Peter looked after our computers. John and I formed an informal computer club where we share our limited knowledge about computers. The morning Peter returned my computer with Windows 7 installed, John's laptop would not start. Peter looked at it, unplugged it from the mains and removed its battery. He then started it knowing it would not start without any power. He replaced the battery and turned the computer on in the normal way and it started and was fine. John and I were puzzled and asked him what he was doing.

'Sometimes the laptop gets confused when it shuts down. Trying to start without any power clears the problem. It's quite a rare problem', he explained.
When I woke up next morning what Peter had done to John’s computer was on my mind and resonated with something I’d read a few years previously when I was doing an Open University course. The book, Where Wizards Stay up Late: The Origins of the Internet was still on my bookshelves. I thumbed through it until I found the section at the end of Chapter 4 headed 'The Bug'.
It wasn't John's computer I was thinking about, but maybe 'The Bug' was the analogy I was looking for to explain to my doctor what I was experiencing and why I had to lie down frequently for twenty minutes with a mask over my eyes. And it wasn’t a mental health problem.
The Bug was a synchroniser bug. The book’s authors explained that a computer has to have a means of regulating its many functions synchronously. They wrote,
'In a communications system, messages arrive unannounced; signals interrupt the machine asynchronously. Like a telephone call in the middle of dinner, an incoming packet shows up on its own schedule ... and says, “Take me now”.' [3]
A computer has to be designed to handle such interruptions. Synchroniser bugs are unusual but when the computer's operating system doesn't respond properly to an incoming call a computer can crash leaving only a ghostly trace for the computer diagnostician to find. Perhaps a crash caused by a synchroniser bug happened because the synchroniser or computer had gone into a metastable4 condition, and being barely stable, confusion arose.
Before my appointment with Neurologist D, Community Matron A suggested I had an eye test. During the test I closed my eyes every time the optician changed the lenses to prevent weird sensations and dizziness. He commented that my visual processing seemed to be affected in a manner often associated with dyslexia.
Whatever was going on with my visual processing it seemed to trigger other problems if not managed well. I had ceased watching television, avoided looking at websites where there was movement on the screen and was having great difficulties when in a moving vehicle.
I don’t know what the physiological equivalent is to a computer’s synchroniser, but there must be some neurological and biochemical means of managing the huge volume of inputs and outputs from the brain. Perhaps a metastable brain state triggers emergency and survival functions to kick in causing physiological symptoms that have similarities with normal flight/fight responses, including a racing heart.
Over stimulation of my brain and nervous system, often caused by pain and processing visual and audio stimuli, and the resulting metastable state of my brain distressed me until I found the 'synchroniser bug' explanation. My incomplete, layperson's hypothesis is that by lying down blood flow to my brain increases which helps clear spent neuro-chemicals and boosts the oxygen supply, and brain activity is reduced because I’m resting and have covered my eyes.
Being asked questions during a ‘synchroniser bug’ attack makes my symptoms worse. I’ve yet to see a health professional during such an attack to know if I’ll handle their questions better now I have the synchroniser bug hypothesis. The hypothesis is helping me prevent and manage attacks better."
Spinning the Warp: A personal story. Judith H Morrison. ELSIE books 2011. pp220/2

[The extract below is to explain the way healthcare professionals are named in my biography.
"Many names have been altered. I’ve used letters in place of doctors’ and psychologists’ names, because I feel changes, both to the structure of the system in which healthcare professionals work, and in attitudes generally, would help those facing complex situations."
Spinning the Warp: A personal story. Judith H Morrison. ELSIE books 2011. pviii]

[3 Hafner, Katie et al, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The origins of the internet. p133.]

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