### Plans

In the old days, when I had OCD, I hated to plan. That might seem counterintuitive, since if you’re obsessive-compulsive, a plan might seem a good thing. After all, once made, you can obsessively follow it, which might be soothing. Right?

Yeah, well, uh…not at all.

How come? Because a plan had to be followed exactly. Deviation was anathema. And yet, it was clear that a plan made at time $t$ would be based on a certain set of information, $i$. Yet, information is always coming in. So $i$ is constantly being updated. By the time the plan is put into motion, $t+1$, $i$ has morphed into $i+1$. And that’s unacceptable. Because it is not right. The plan is wrong. It is obsolete before it begins.

So I just quit. No planning. At all.

This was a funny aspect of OCD I haven’t read about in “the literature.” (Not that I’ve read that much about it—a couple books and articles is all.) The knowledge that there was a right answer made things worse for me. Because it made me realize I might not get to it.

So I was, for instance, psychologically incapable of estimating. It drove me crazy to think about $32 \times 11$ being “about” $320$. Accordingly, I gravitated toward things where there was no right answer (art). But then that drove me crazy. So I gravitated toward things where there was a right answer I could (I thought) find without difficulty (philosophy, simple first- and second order logic, simple computer programming).