Are we all crazy?

Are we all crazy?
Craziness involves a departure from reality due to flaws in thinking.  But that can’t be all of the definition.  There is a book on cognitive biases by Rolf Dobelli – The Art of Thinking Clearly – which shows that we often make mistakes due to correctable flaws in thinking.  But that doesn’t mean we are crazy.

Jonathan Haidt, who is a liberal Democrat, warns that a new “religion” of “social justice” is entrenching itself among students on America’s campuses.  It prosecutes blasphemy, it is very intense and passionate,   He says this: “It’s just a fact that as humans, we are really good at making something sacred. … When you do that, you bind yourself together, you trust each other, you have a shared sacred object and you go forth into battle…
In religion, people seen as heretics or blasphemers are not dialogue partners; they are simply to be silenced, punished, and ostracized. And that’s what’s been happening at many, many campuses.
He gives an example
There is no nuance, you cannot trade off any other goods with it….then when someone comes to class, someone comes to your campus, and they say the rape culture is exaggerated, they have committed blasphemy.
This is reinforced by an interview with Tuvia Tenenbom, who went undercover in the West Bank to talk to Palestinians, wrote a book about it, and is coming out with his next book, Don’t Quote Me about his talks here, in the U.S with Americans.   He says that
I start hearing free Palestine even in Republican states like Montana, the millennials especially and of course in colleges, this is one thing that’s happening and also in Israel, and in America as well, American Jewry minus the Orthodox, there is a huge self-hating that comes out, self-loathing and this passionate commitment of the jew to point a finger at the rest of the Jews as how bad they are, occupiers, racists and whatever.
In other words, social justice becomes a very emotional and not very rational cause.
Speaking of religion, recently a believing Muslim named Omar Mateen killed 49 people in a gay nightclub, and wounded many more.  The strangeness of this is his double standard.  He found their behavior filthy, but did not find the Islamic-State’s practice of sexual slavery at all filthy.  He complained about America bombing ISIS, but the fact that recently several Yezidi women slaves who decided to take a stand and not have sex with their captors, were burned alive by Islamic State didn’t bother him.  So there is a craziness here, if double-standards are evidence of craziness.  ISIS of course praised him.
pulseMassacre
Omar’s handiwork
Before Hitler attacked Russia, the head communist of Russia, Joseph Stalin, killed many of his military officers in a fit of paranoia.  Actually, his henchmen killed them for him.  This meant that Russia was without a competent military leadership when the invasion, which Stalin confidently said would not happen, happened.   Despite this and other evidence of incompetence and evil, Stalin was a hero to ‘progressives’ all over the world.
AlHamishmar
Leftist Israeli newspaper headline “The Progressive World mourns the death of Stalin” (Al Hamishmar was the very extreme)
This all seems very irrational.
Well, maybe those practical Chinese who are the “factory to the world” – maybe they are sane?  Not really.  They increased their total debt by 21 trillion dollars in the 7 years before 2014.  (The U.S. increased it own debt by 7 trillion dollars).  Elected governments all over the world who were in debt decided to solve their problems by getting into bigger debt (see “The Committee to Destroy the World” by Michael Lewitt (2016))
My family is conservative fiscally and politically.  Both parents have PhD’s,
and they are fairly practical people.  So they don’t fall for the above type of craziness.  Unfortunately, they didn’t fall for my type of craziness either, and they should have.  Let me tell you the story:
I claimed this:
For the past 32 years, a movie of “regrettable” behavior from my past has been loose across the land, and in other countries.
I was put in a mental hospital for believing that sentence.
StVincents
I spent 2 months in a locked ward in this hospital
Arguments I heard from my family were
  1. If there was a movie, we would have heard of it. The truth always comes out eventually.
  2. If there was a movie, it would be in the newspapers
  3. No behavior of yours, not matter how disgusting, would interest people.  They have their own problems.
  4. There are various famous actresses who have movies loose that they wish were not loose.  That may interest voyeurs.  But you?  Forget it.
After ten years of the movie, there was a new development. For the next 22 years, I told my family that my house, and later, when I moved in with them, their house, was entered on a daily basis by bad guys.  I said they had gasses that put people into sexual frenzies, that they have gasses that put people to sleep, and more.  I even said I heard them talking once or twice.
When I told a policeman that I had heard two men talking to each other in my house, he said “Ah, hearing voices!”

Counter-arguments I heard from my family were:

  1. If someone wants to get you, they will beat you up, or kill you – they will not enter your house on a daily basis to watch you, or to use drugs on you.
  2. Nobody has any motivation to bother you.  You are an insignificant failure at life, with obvious mental issues, and nobody cares about you, except your family.
  3. Entering our house would be a risk.  Nobody would keep taking that risk.
  4. You say you have loads of subjective evidence – vast numbers of experiences pointing to this “conspiracy” by this widespread criminal/ideological organization – an organization that includes people of all ages, races, etc.  But subjective evidence is worthless.
The interesting point here is that once a parent, or mental health professional decides that something is impossible, no amount of “subjective” experiences can budge them.
For instance, my subjective experience has had me hear quotes such as:
We will annihilate you” (from a black youth accompanied by another black youth)
You will end up in a hospital” (from a black youth accompanied by two white youths)
We’re going to f*** you, you f*** (inaudible)” (from a white guy with curly black hair in a van)
You’re so GAY” (from another guy in  a van as I bicycled around Greenwood Lake)
faggot” (I’m not gay)
Swine” (OK, I was a swine for a while)
I’ve been drugged and sexually assaulted at least three times that I know of, perhaps I am unaware of other attacks.
My father’s spine is damaged, my mother has to sleep large parts of the day, her back is damaged, I have a “compression area” in my spine, I have a damaged arch in my foot, both heels of my feet fell as if some destructive substance was injected into them.
I believe that this Mafia has drugs that can be sprayed at people to put people into a daze, so that their possessions can be stolen, or their computers and homes and offices invaded.  I believe that this Mafia has drugs that affect the sex drive.  They have poisons that damage the heart.  I believe that they have other drugs, perhaps even drugs that affect suggestibility.
I believe that they can get control with this type of technology – or at least shift things further to whatever agendas they have.
So am I crazy?
Or is society?  I have yet to see a policeman talk to me for more than five or ten minutes about this.   I have yet to see anyone test any of my assertions.
When you talk to a crazy person, and raise an objection, that person might react by making his worldview even crazier. For instance, if he believes that aliens from outer space have taken over the minds of his friends, and you explain to him that you are a friend and obviously no alien has taken over you, he might decide that – indeed they have taken over you.
Another aspect of craziness is that it is not falsifiable. How do you prove to this person that his friends have not been taken over by aliens?
So let us look at my beliefs with these two criteria.
Are my beliefs falsifiable? Obviously not. How can you prove, for example that there is no “movie”?
As far as coming up with wild explanations – well yes, if I drink a half open bottle of water in my refrigerator and get hit by the most intense sex urges that have ever hit anyone in the history of man, then I’m going to come to the reasonable conclusion that someone put a drug in that water, and when I speculate to make sense of it, there is no avoiding radical speculations.
So I fit both criteria.
And then there is the question of alternate explanations. I mentioned my parents both have bad backs. Well, so do many old people. I mentioned my mother has to sleep for hours every day. Well, that happens to some extent to some old people. So what is the big deal?
And as far as drinking that water – maybe I just had a coincidental hallucination that conveniently happened right after I drank it?   My brother even suggested I was a lonely middle aged male and that was the problem.
These arguments work both ways, however.  For instance:
If we talk about falsifiability – when you believe someone is crazy, can that belief itself be falsified?
In some cases it can be. During the holocaust. for example, some Jews found out that the witness who warned them of the danger was actually not crazy after all. It was too late for them when they found out, of course.  One survivor tells us of such a witness in the book “All Rivers Run to the Sea“.
In other cases, it might not be falsifiable, in practice. The truth does not always come out, and when it does, it does not always come out to everyone.
Also there is the idea that you reach wilder and wilder explanations to maintain your worldview. I have reported so many detailed experiences that point all to the same conclusion, and every single one becomes proof that I must be hallucinating right and left and center.
The fact that the experiences point in the same direction are explained away as my “experiencing what I expect to experience”.
The fact that my family has never seen me hallucinate is explained away as “the insanity is compartmentalized.”
So my family also has to dispose of many inconvenient experiences (of mine) to maintain the illusion that all is OK, except for a son who has a compartmentalized lunacy..
I have to admit that I’ve been wrong about quite a few issues in my life, before and after the onset of these “experiences”. And once anyone is in a situation like this, a part of his brain always wants to know what it can’t know. When any ambiguous situation comes up you want to be prepared for the worst case scenario. And so I jump to conclusions. Usually I realize I’m jumping to conclusions, and sometimes I can test whether I am jumping to conclusions. When I’m drifting off to sleep, my critical faculties seem to turn off, so I talk aloud as if I know things that I do not. I talk aloud because I assume that either there is a hidden microphone in my room, or the bad guys are nearby, or just because thinking is easier when talking aloud.
It can be quite embarrassing when I’m overheard.  Not as embarrassing as finding out about the movie, of course..I have no doubt that even making allowances for all of this, that there is plenty of unpleasant truth remaining. The question I started this post with was, “are we all crazy?”. If I’m not crazy, obviously to most people a debatable proposition, then this Mafia is somewhat crazy.I am told that all criminals are interested in is money. They would never be interested in me. But one conclusion I’ve drawn from years of reading books for this blog is that many people have strange motivations that a naïve view would not expect them to have.  In many people there is a totalitarian, or at least a busybody, screaming to get out.

I can speculate all I want to – that perhaps the Mafia is worried I would give away some information – but then a reasonable rejoinder is — then why do they allow me to post this blog? Or I could speculate they just enjoy persecuting people, or I’m an opportunity to study their drugs in action, or, as I have seen personally, there is a big animus, a belief, as one of them (a middle-aged female) said that “he must be kept DOWN”, and more. But it is all speculation. And that is an important final point. We have to be able to tolerate some ambiguity, and ignorance. I may never know more than what I know now.

One way to look at this is that–by being so abnormally weird and sickening for a fairly small part of my life, I became a magnet for attack by elements in society who normally want to stay below the radar. In the process, they stuck their heads above the radar.  This should have been a great opportunity for law enforcement.  But you have to look at the radar screen to begin with to see the signal.

If I’m right, then we all have a big problem.

Remember, a teen aged thug with a gun beats a middle aged doctor with an MD-PhD every time.

A Mafia with new types of drugs that can be unobtrusively sprayed out of cars, out of hollowed-out smart-phones, that can be smeared on door knobs, that can be inhaled when you get into your car etc is going to go to the races and win.  The rest of us are going to lose.

Of course I don’t believe the skeptics in my case are crazy.  But I do believe they depart from reality.

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5 thoughts on “Are we all crazy?

  1. Are we all crazy? I’m sure the experts would define sanity as accepting the consensus view of reality, in effect if not in those exact words. On the other hand, some people, the Sufis for example, would point out that “normal” people act and think, much of the time, in a totally irrational manner, believing in all kind of crazy ideas for no other reason than that other people do, or that they get some kind of reward for it. There is a neat story, “The day the waters changed,” that encapsulates the idea: a man receives a warning that the waters are going to change and drive everyone mad, and so he secretly stores up water. When the rivers stop flowing and the wells dry, and then the new water starts replacing the old, everyone but him goes crazy. He keeps drinking his stored water. They regard him as the mad one. After a while, the isolation and tension compel him to drink the new water; and then everyone else regards him as a madman miraculously restored to sanity.

    1. I read in a the book on clear thinking that I mentioned that humans evolved to survive, not to necessarily see reality. Maybe the two goals are incompatible sometimes. Like with the man who has to drink the new water just to fit in. I also read a few paragraphs recently on bipolar disorder, where the same person can at one moment be full of worries and racing thoughts, and be creative and optimistic, and in the depressive phase, hopeless, helpless, and pessimistic. Both phases are harmful though, because caution and judgement flies out the window in the manic phase. But which is saner? And the rest of us, whose moods fluctuate more normally – when are we the most sane? Or at least the most accurate? If experts would agree that consensus, rather than correspondence to objective reality, is the definition of sanity, then would it be insane to be a lone isolated wolf who hides when the rest of the pack decides to rum off a cliff? (excuse my metaphors)

      1. I suppose we are most sane when we can get some kind of objectivity into our thinking. But a lot of experts would claim that it is impossible to see reality, and that we can only use our reason to make deductions and theories about it. If you check out the Idries Shah Foundation site, you can read most of his 30-odd books free online, and you will see that the Sufis take the view that we have to develop a special perception of what is real rather than rely on logic or, more often, emotion.

        I’ve also been reading a couple of books, that you might have already read, that are quite eye-opening: Albert Speer’s book Inside the Third Reich, which details hundreds of conversations between Speer and Hitler and which gives a vivid picture of the leadership of the Nazi party before and during the war. Also The War on Truth — 9/11 ,Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. This gives a frightening insight into the sources of Islamic fanaticism prior to 9/11.

      2. I have not read Albert Speer’s book. I’m sure its informative. A biographer of Speer (who wrote the bio after Speer’s own book came out) said he had “won his battle for truth”, but some people feel he glossed over what he knew and what he did at the time.
        Nafeez Ahmed has made at least one dubious assertion. For instance, he cites a paper by Peter Gleick that the conflict in Syria is partly a water war, because it had its worst drought and crop failures between 2006 and 2011. Peter Gleick must have made this up, because the USDA Foreign Agricultural service reported on Syria in 2010 that “Syria appears poised to produce a record grain harvest”. The USDA goes on to talk about above normal rainfall in Syria etc.
        Personally, I have learned that there is a huge volume of articles you can cite that will all point in the same direction, and the direction will be the wrong direction. I haven’t read Ahmed’s book of course, but this is just a caution.

      3. Obviously Speer was partly trying to minimise his own role in the Nazi extermination campaign, if any, and his self recrimination was mainly that he should have realised what was going on, but was too much under Hitler’s spell. The picture he paints of Hitler and his gradual mental deterioration and loss of contact with reality is, however, very convincing and disturbing.
        Ahmed’s book is well worth a read, whether you agree with his selection of sources, especially for the verbatim (and apparently uncontested) quotes from US Intelligence sources.

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