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linuxrocks123's Journal: Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

Journal by linuxrocks123

A recent Slashdot article about CIA reclassification prompted a lot of comments suggesting that a majority of Slashdot posters may have some sort of mental illness. Like, maybe, paranoid schizophrenia. The idea seems to be that all large corporations and governments are absolutely and intractably evil. They think every other law is unconstitutional and that the Bill of Rights is meaningless today. Oh yeah, and China is going to kill the U.S. economy because it holds some U.S. bonds. That's another good one.

Of course, this isn't true; the government does some good things, businesses are subject to a LOT more regulation than they would like (and thus aren't in control of the government), free speech still exists in the U.S. (Why else is Michael Moore not in jail?), the Supreme Court still finds laws unconstitutional from time to time, and the worst China can do is stop buying our bonds, which would have a barely noticeable impact on the U.S. economy (China can't "call in our debt." Bonds don't work that way).

Posters also commonly conjure up images of a mythical medieval era, where kings reigned viciously over their subjects, but "things were done differently" with regard to the law, the principles of which were somehow nobler. They'll talk about some ancient legal principle (usually one that has become irrelevant to modern practice) or the wording on a subpoena and build an entire story out of it. I've seen this on Groklaw too, where it's even more scary. They're history is often wrong, and I don't know why they bring this up on a technology site. Perhaps it's another sign of a widespread delusion among the afflicted posters.

This isn't to say that these posters are stupid. Many intelligent people are also insane, and those skilled in mathematics seem particularly prone to mental illness (consider Cantor's fate). It's just a little scary to find that many in this crowd think so irrationally. I often find that the Wall Street Journal's arguments are orders of magnitude more well thought-out even when I don't agree with them.

Any comments from other posters noticing this bizarre phenomenon are welcome. Rants from those posters afflicted with some form of mental illness are also welcome, though not necessarily encouraged.

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Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

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