Re: virus: Strange attractors and meta-religions (was God and Level-3)

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 11:19:55 -0800 (PST)

On Fri, 4 Apr 1997, Mark Hornberger wrote:

> >That's a good question. Why do we pity schizophrenics? I don't pity
> >there condition as much as the way we, as a society, treat them because of
> >that condition. I pity the fact that we have forced them into "their own
> >little world" by not creating a niche in ours for them in which they can
> thrive.
> I think schizophrenia is largely a medical problem, one of chemical
> imbalance or whatnot, rather than just a coping response to a hostile
> world. Even for those whose withdrawal is just a response to a world they
> don't feel comfortable in, I would say that having a 'thin skin' is also
> something of a personality problem. There are a great number of
> basketcases walking around out there, and I don't think we can blame all,
> or even most, of them on society.

Then why don't we find schizophrenics in "traditional" societies? The
definitions for a schizophrenic are very loose (by medical standards) and
largely based on the way the person interacts with society. I could
define an illness based on peoples inability to walk up stairs,
Stairophrenia. I would find a reasonable group of people that fell into
that category, the disabled. I would discover through research that they
all shared certain physiological traits (inability to support their own
weight, lack of lower-body motor skills, etc.). An could declare:

> Someone with an inability to cope effectively with everyday life (the
> Stairophrenic) does in fact have a problem, and that's just it - it
> doesn't indicate that society is so incrediby horrible, but rather that
> this person has a problem coping with reality.

And I would be right. To a point. But which one of us is in a better
position to remedy the "coping" problem of the Stairophrenics, the
Stairophrenics or the society?

-Prof. Tim