The flaw detector is a small background process running in our cognitive machinery, originally installed to keep us safe in a world filled with peril. In the early days of humaning, those that had more advanced flaw detectors were able to avoid poisonous plants, big cats, and dangerous tribesfolk, resulting in the production of offspring with equally developed flaw detectors.
Although we might not be running from beasts at this lifecycle of the game, our flaw detector is as active as ever, and still quite useful. It makes heavy use of the pattern recognition module, which is great because it ensures that we are able to detect the most subtle flaws in our environments as they change rapidly throughout our lives.
Unfortunately, issues can surface when we promote our flaw detector to a first order process. Some of us were trained to do this at a young age and others did it out of necessity. Regardless how it happens, the state of vigilance required by the detector can cause extensive damage to our self image and/or our relationships with others as we continue to seek out imperfections.
Maybe we should occasionally audit some of the automation we’ve put in place throughout our lives to ensure it’s actually serving us.