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A Beautiful Schizophrenia [was: Re: AI Eureka!]

Geoffrey A. Landis geoffrey.landis at sff.net
Mon Apr 8 09:54:13 EST 2002

> use.my.name at acm.org (jimirwin) wrote:
> > After seeing "A Beautiful Mind" I've begun to wonder if some of these
> > "cranks" are merely deluded.

I've recently been struck by the fact that great parts of Usenet (and
the web) are uncannily similar to the conspiracy ravings of paranoid
schizophrenics.  It occurs to me that there's no prohibition against
schizophrenics buying computers, and many of the wacky parts of the web
probably *are* the work of paranoid schizophrenics.  (Unfortunately, the
web seems to serve as an amplifier.)

howard at brazee.net wrote:
> I loved that movie - but it was a movie.  Delusions don't work the way we
> saw them in the movie.

In some ways yes, but in one way it was quite accurate: Nash's delusion
about being the crucial player in a vast conspiracy of urgent import was
a realistic paranoid delusion.

Nash's actual delusions, however, were screwier, more convoluted, and
made less sense.  (And also didn't show up as tangible-but-imaginary
people, of course: voices are more common).

Geoffrey A. Landis

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