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

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at news.widomaker.com
Wed Apr 10 15:41:57 EST 2002

In article <m3adscdbup.fsf at localhost.localdomain>, Charles R Martin wrote:

>> 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.)
> I'll go a step further with this: I've wondered (eg with conspiracy
> theorists) if there isn't some kind of "subclinical schizopheria"
> involved.  Schizophrenia appears to be pretty completely an organic
> problem now; the last I read anything about it, the theory that it was
> caused by some malfunction of NDMA glutamate receptors was popular, or
> more loosely by some kind of limbic defect.  As such, it's entirely
> likely that there's some kind of "spectrum" there; it'd be easy for
> there to be subclinical manifestations of the same _kind_ of defect.

Don't rule out a more simple explanation of this and many other
disorders: stress.

We are quite literally driving ourselves mad right now.

I've read some interesting and scary papers about mass psychological
problems, and how they can be masked and hidden by individual problems
that they cause.

In any case, I generally dislike psychology's penchant for trying to find
a defect as the cause of illness, when it's entirely possible there is
no internal defect at all.

Also, some of the paranoia isn't entirely unjustified, which only adds
to the problem.

It *is* interesting to view Usenet and the WWW to see evidence of
problems, both of individuals and groups, and large populations as well.

We all do and accept some really crazy things at times, some things all
the time.

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