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

Kragen Sitaker kragen at pobox.com
Wed Apr 10 20:15:28 EST 2002

(spoilers ahead)
"Geoffrey A. Landis" <geoffrey.landis at sff.net> writes:
> 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).

I'd like to learn more about the real story; where did you?

Well, it was crucial to the movie's effect that it not be clear to the
audience what was real and what was not --- just as it was not clear
to Nash.  Unfortunately, schizophrenia impairs your ability to tell
what makes sense and what doesn't; if you tell a non-schizophrenic
audience about the belief system and experiences of a schizophrenic
person, they are likely to be able to see that the experiences don't
justify the belief system.

So the delusions had to be made more realistic in order to bring the
audience into Nash's mind.  A compromise of realism, sure, but less of
a compromise than making it obvious he was delusional.

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