Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Am I being paranoid?

Talk about paranoia! Why should one look askance at the so called pathological cases in psychiatric institutions, the guys who think they are being persecuted because they are Jesus Christ, or that the police are after them, or that the world in general is out to get rid of them. Yesterday when Blogspot began to act up and my page refused to show on my screen, I actually found myself wondering if Blogspot was out to get me. I even thought it might be because I mentioned the pope in an irreverent context.

Later, when I visited another site at which I have been occasionally stopping and which belongs to a would be author, who is almost through with writing a book in science fiction. ( http://misadventuresinwriting.blogspot.com/ ) I discovered that I couldn’t get any comments through on it! Even the ones I had previously left were wiped out. At least I couldn’t see them on my screen any more. At this point I had the feeling that the whole world was out to get me. All because I made a little fun of the pope. Until Suresh suggested I try refreshing my page and at first I thought what the heck? How’s that going to help! But at least I did trust him a bit and to my surprise and bewilderment, when I refreshed the page, I discovered that everything I had written was still there and finally concluded that the world of HTML was too alien for me to digest. OK the paranoia has disappeared. I can see clearly. I don’t think the world is out to get me any more.

But these kind of experiences if you bother to look at them more closely, do help you to understand how a person who happens to be a bit more wobbly in the head could easily tip over into insanity and end up in a mental asylum.

There are times of course when you begin to wonder if the world isn’t some kind of mental asylum in which everybody is mad, including the doctors and nurses supposed to be looking after the inmates. Paranoia of a certain sort seems to be built in to our society today. There are very few people around you trust. We seem to mostly work on the principle that people ARE untrustworthy until they prove themselves worthy of our trust. (Which goes a bit against the constitution, according to which a man is innocent until proved guilty).

The question really does surface from time to time in my mind, as to how healthy or even feasible it is in the long run, to live in a society where trust is so limited. But I think that is a subject for another post.


Sharat's said...

Am writing from the Timbaktoo collective office. Will be writing more about my experiences here when I get back.

On being paranoid, I agree with you that there is really a thin line (if any) between being normal and so called metally unbalanced.

I have gone through this feeling of being watched and conspired against inumerable times and almost always felt I was not ok once the feelings cleared or something happened to make me look at things differently.

Jules said...

Hi Uma, As you know I have this problem in the family but when I look around I see people who are worse especially people affected with neurosis which can become very aggressive if not as spectacular as the schizoids. In fact I wouldn't change my husband for any of the men round here.
By the way I'm sure the Pope has a sencs of humour and would not have been offended by our 'irreverence'.

suresh said...

Hi Uma,
It has been interesting reading what you said in an earlier writing here, that you would choose the goats and seals (Nature! I Know!) over "the part to do with technology"(the buzzing traffic and fast-paced life). And yesterday I was greatly amused when you said on the blog that "Blogspot was out to get you" - (I actually wanted to say, it is the Vatican CIA).

But I do think that your paranoia such as these are very relevant, what with the ever increasing control of technology over us and our lives. Infact, it is a horrifying fact in America today, the country that sets the example for others to follow. Try watching the Movie "The Net" starring Sandra Bullock and you will get a hint of what I am talking about.

And didn't you read the recent news item about a new technology- a versatile transceiver, that can send and receive data and do much much more..!

Called a Bio-Chip it is being marketed as a tamper-proof means of personal identification, which when embedded under the human skin, would track down your location and every movement . So the Big Brother (the Govt, police etc. ) would soon be able to watch whatever you do! It could soon be a common thing in the future, even enforced by Law.

Among the various benefits that the manufacturers (NASDAQ) proclaim are : It can provide a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced business security. It can locate lost, missing, kidnapped individuals or criminals, it can monitor the medical conditions of at-risk patients !

'Others believe the device could lead to the erosion of personal liberty, particularly if government chooses to adopt the technology for various uses, such as the monitoring of military personnel and civilian identification.'

Now you know..