Bugged about this post May 28, 2006 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Jessamyn, Matt, you might want to specially watchguard this thread.

Assuming the poster is not trolling for his own amusement, then it'd be useful to remove the mocking posts out of it, especially if this guy thinks the whole world is out to get him.
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 8:55 PM (196 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

It was nice of you to also post this message in the thread. To be sure no one would miss it.
posted by smackfu at 8:59 PM on May 28, 2006


Agreed. Hoax or not, the snarks outweigh any earnest replies.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:00 PM on May 28, 2006


PLEASE! PLEASE Moderate this thread.
posted by johnj at 9:04 PM on May 28, 2006


I was going to recommend that he watch the excellent television show The Wire, available from Home Box Office and his local cable television company—available for a small monthly fee which will bring him hours and hours of top-quality entertainment!

Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:21 PM on May 28, 2006


The guy is being accused of being paranoid and jumping to conclusions, because he probably is being paranoid and jumping to conclusions. He should be made aware of this, and should be encouraged to give more information. That's what most of the comments in the thread are doing. I don't see a problem.

p.s. the guy is paranoid and jumping to conclusions.
posted by bingo at 9:39 PM on May 28, 2006


newsfilter. everyone knew three weeks ago that the NSA is bugging your cellphone.
posted by quonsar at 9:41 PM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


The NSA cellphone bugging doesn't actually work though, imho. If the terrorists know they are being bugged, they will just move to forms of communcation that are nearly impossible to bug. Calls made from one-time-use disposable cellphones to other one-time-use disposable cellphones are going to be pratically impossible to trace. No amount of data mining is ever going to be able to pull useful data from these types of calls.
posted by yeoz at 9:46 PM on May 28, 2006


the guy is paranoid and jumping to conclusions

The joke's on you. I've been bugging his phone since November.
posted by cribcage at 9:51 PM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


He's got one question to ask (this one...)...and zero comments/posts everywhere else.
posted by filmgeek at 10:03 PM on May 28, 2006


Remember that guy that posted one question about how random people on the street were calling him a fag? Then he posted another question about how there was a camera watching him in his bedroom?

What ever happened with him?
posted by puke & cry at 10:11 PM on May 28, 2006


He asked too many questions, puke & cry.
posted by Jimbob at 10:30 PM on May 28, 2006


uh-oh.
posted by puke & cry at 10:35 PM on May 28, 2006


The guy's not trolling, he emailed me about it before he posted it, because he couldn't figure out how ask mefi works. I suspect he's more paranoid than anything else though.

I removed half a dozen jokey comments.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:38 PM on May 28, 2006


Jesus Christ. Why do I get the distinct impression Optimus Chymne needs to be taken out for beers?
posted by scarabic at 10:45 PM on May 28, 2006


Or maybe locked at home and fed veggie lasagna for 40 days and nights...
posted by scarabic at 10:45 PM on May 28, 2006


I'd like to note that my comment was not trolling. I really am concerned, and was merely following the guidelines established on this website. I'm not sure that a direct contradiction of someone's beliefs, in this case, is the best way to lead that person to proper help.
posted by LimePi at 10:47 PM on May 28, 2006


I agree with LimePi's reasoning.
posted by zaebiz at 10:54 PM on May 28, 2006


So 10jubilee, after you find all the bugs, what are you going to do about the brain implants the government uses to read your thoughts? You know all the doctors are in on this or they lose their licenses so they always refuse to even acknowledge the implants, and they show you phoney x-rays so you won't see the implants. Resistance is futile. Take the Soma. (Why did the government edit this advice out of the AskMe thread? 10jubilee, take the Soma, relax, your friends will be here soon to take you back to the institute. Hurry. I think Matt and Jess are in on it too.)
posted by caddis at 11:05 PM on May 28, 2006


Ceiling Cat is watching 10jubilee.

It had to be said.
posted by wendell at 11:23 PM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. Is it psycho day on AxMe? Or has AxMe finally jumped the shark? First we get a question about poisonous teakettles, then we get a pothead scheme to cool the earth, and now we've got paranoid schitzophrenics? Sheesh.
posted by SpecialK at 11:25 PM on May 28, 2006


I think the give-away here is that anybody who was not ill, and who had a modicum of self-awareness would understand what most people's reaction to the way the posting was phrased would be and would preface it with something like "I know some of you are going to think I'm just crazy but ...". (e.g. "Don't know how they were able to bug my last apartment but it was"). Mentally ill people are often quite intelligent and can skilfully rationalize away highly improbable causations.
posted by zaebiz at 11:28 PM on May 28, 2006


SpecialK: I think it's just that time of the year. Between 10jubilee and the ceiling cat post and the ten thousand youtube posts we're averaging every day...
posted by blacklite at 11:40 PM on May 28, 2006


I'm going to assume that everyone that posted a snarky reply in the AskMe thread and this one are totally, 100% ignorant about mental illness, or are totally, 100% sure the poster is not having paranoid delusions. Otherwise your childish responses have totally wasted a potential call for help.

Everyone is keen to jump into a health thread when they hear something worrisome about someone's physical health and tell them to get to a doctor ASAP, but when it's a potential mental health condition, it's fair game to tease, taunt, and encourage the poster. Hi, stigma.

As zaebiz points out, people with some mental health conditions lack insight, that is, they have no idea that what they're saying makes no sense or is utterly impossible. You can't play logic with it.

I'm glad none of you are constantly terrified all day long by the idea that you're being bugged, that your every word is being recorded, no matter what you do, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. And you truly believe this, no matter how illogical it may sound; it is your reality. Man, wouldn't that be a living hell?
posted by gramcracker at 11:41 PM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, by the way-- 10jubilee is definitely a paranoid schizophrenic. The reduced vocabulary and incorrect syntax (not to mention unexplained persecution by some shadowy something) are classic symptoms.

This is seriously a ripper moment. Are you going to do something to help, or are you going to push him further down the spiral?
posted by LimePi at 11:43 PM on May 28, 2006


I'm going to assume that everyone that posted a snarky reply in the AskMe thread and this one are ... 100% sure the poster is not having paranoid delusions.

quite the opposite
posted by caddis at 11:53 PM on May 28, 2006


Frankly, we are on our way to the summit and nothing, I mean nothing, not even 10jubilee's sanity, will stand in our way of reaching the summit.
posted by caddis at 11:55 PM on May 28, 2006


10jubilee is a gangster!

I doubt he's a fucked up loser trying to impress irc friends by taking lots of drugs.
posted by puke & cry at 11:58 PM on May 28, 2006


I'll be honest, I'm having some problems with the question being in AskMe. The dude has obvious mental problems. People who are playing by the rules and "just answering the question" are encouraging this poor fellow's delusions. Too many people in the thread (including, I suspect, some of the people offering "serious answers") are just hanging around for the "slow down and look at the traffic accident" appeal, or are otherwise having fun playing the "lets be hypothetical" game, a la the famous zombie muscle thread.

Look at all the people who have marked the thread as a "favorite." Doesn't anyone else see something wrong with this? This guy is experiencing severe pain and anguish. Why should that be one of your favorite threads?

I don't know what the proper solution to this is. I want the guy to know that he needs to seek help, however, I think that people who are actually addresing his question are actually making things worse for him.

Should AskMe really be a place where we say, "Glad you asked. Now here's a shovel to dig yourself in deeper with."

And yes, Matt, this question is addressed to you (and others).
posted by Afroblanco at 12:06 AM on May 29, 2006


So, uh. Watchguard isn't a verb. It's not even a noun.
posted by blacklite at 12:07 AM on May 29, 2006


and yet you understand exactly what it means, right?
posted by vacapinta at 12:10 AM on May 29, 2006


I doubt he's a fucked up loser trying to impress irc friends by taking lots of drugs.

No, his problem is he failed to take the drugs.
Help is on the way
posted by caddis at 12:14 AM on May 29, 2006


Sure, vacapinta, but it's so awkward. We're just one step away from an FPP telling us to vouchsafe our dry goods.
posted by blacklite at 12:23 AM on May 29, 2006


Anyone here ever had that experience where you turn around or turn the corner and get the fright of your life 'cause there is someone standing there you had no idea was there? Well, that's the life of a schizophrenic.

A schizophrenic, just like anyone else, is a reasonable sane person that has the sudden fright, "Jesus! You scared me!." experience EXCEPT, 1) the person around the corner or behind you is GENERATED by the person's brain and, 2) the suddenly fright - from fear to chemical reaction - is a constant state of being.

So, to the snarkies, I say this:
Next time you are in the market, going about your biz, reading a cereal box or looking for whatever, just going about your routine, and you have that sudden fright, pretend the person you didn't know was there is in fact imaginary. You'd laugh it off. You're a sane person right? Your not crazy.

Now imagine that it happens over and over and over and over and over again, even though you know it's just your imagination. How long would it take, being mistakenly frightened like that, for you to begin to break down? Oh, you'd still be sane but you would be sanely trying to deal with what is not sane. Trying to deal with something that is taking over your entire existence.

Let's say that is your life and for some miraculous reason, you're actually courageous enough to ask for help. Now imagine you get one of those idiotic, ridiculously stupid and uninformed and trite jokes you feel so good about your self for having contributed as help.

***

For those of you that have shown even the smallest kindness to the poster, thank you. You are what brought me to Metafilter in the first place and, at the time, made it a worthwhile on line community to be a part of.

For those of you that have shown any other reaction, you are pathetic and have turned Metafilter in to the "crap talk at the lockers between classes in junior high school" kind of place it has become. I pity you.


Blessed Be
posted by johnj at 12:28 AM on May 29, 2006 [10 favorites]


asking to find the bugs is not asking for help
don't eat the brown acid
posted by caddis at 12:30 AM on May 29, 2006


Have you ever known anyone with schizophrenia, caddis? It's tragic, and for those of us who've known people with the disease your answers come across as cruel and callous.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:18 AM on May 29, 2006


I have to agree with Afroblanco - this poster clearly has... issues... and this question isn't particularly one anyone here will be able to answer, since there's a 99% chance that it's all in his head. Us saying "It's all in your head, don't worry about it" won't help him, and us saying "Here's where you can buy bug detectors" won't help him (since there probably AREN'T any), so the question will just sit there unanswered.
posted by antifuse at 2:37 AM on May 29, 2006


mathowie and jessamyn fell down on this one. Unless you believe the poster may have been actually bugged, the right thing to do was delete the question and send the poster a couple of links to health professional info.

Favorite thread, huh? Hope everyone had fun laughing at the crazy person.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:49 AM on May 29, 2006


Did everyone miss Matt's comment about him emailing Matt beforehand?
posted by divabat at 5:16 AM on May 29, 2006


It's not only unfair to expect Matt/Jessamyn to positively identify a question as particularly requiring mental health guidance but there is a distinct possibility that empathetic responses (if this is indeed a call for help) may have been beneficial for the poster. Sure, we don't know, but snarky/mocking responses in this sort of situation aren't helpful other than to give those commenters their own petrified turds over which to snicker and preen. Not a glowing endorsement for the team this one.
posted by peacay at 5:24 AM on May 29, 2006


Speak for yourself, crouton. As a schizophrenic, I found caddis's comment to be both amusing and quite accurate. Speaking from experience, let me tell you: bad acid and schizophrenia are an evil combination.
posted by mischief at 5:58 AM on May 29, 2006


Marking a thread "Favorite" does not necessarily indicate a desire to mock the OP.
posted by amro at 6:41 AM on May 29, 2006


Trouble is, in my experience, you can't tell people like this that they're not being bugged and it's all in their head -- that just identifies you as being another member of the "other", the nebulous group that's trying to destroy them or convince them they're crazy.

The newsgroup alt.peeves has been made almost uninhabitable by one such, who's now convinced that various peevers are responsible for every misfortune in his life, are monitoring every aspect of his life, and are paying people to make seemingly innocuous comments on the street, which relate to his life. His worldview, what parts of it he's ranted about, is detailed and highly structured. It's also as mad as a bucket of monkeys.

Saying "get help" is at best taken as an insult, at worst as a threat.
posted by Hogshead at 6:52 AM on May 29, 2006


I actually think he is just a prankster and that's why I exercised so little restraint. Larry T if you are in fact a paranoid schizophrenic then I apologize for poking fun at you and please take everyone's entreaties to seek treatment to heart and go see your doctor. If you are a prankster - neener, neener.
posted by caddis at 6:55 AM on May 29, 2006


Wow, AskMe doesn't handle diagnosing mental illness well. Who'd have thunk it. But I don't see that the folks who took the question at face value and offered info about phones and bugs did anything wrong. That's what we're supposed to do, and the fact that the poster is asking for help in the wrong place was picked up by enough folks who made the point. The folks, like jellicle, who suggested things like covering the walls with aluminum foil, however...

I actually think he is just a prankster and that's why I exercised so little restraint.

Now *that's* comedy.
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on May 29, 2006


filmgeek writes "He's got one question to ask (this one...)...and zero comments/posts everywhere else."

Could be a long time member who singed up an alter-ego to remain anonymous.
posted by Mitheral at 7:12 AM on May 29, 2006


You are right, covering telling him to cover the walls with aluminum foil was perhaps irresponsible; copper foil works much better. However, some people can't afford copper foil. How can you be so insensitive?
posted by caddis at 7:14 AM on May 29, 2006


What I think is funny (aside from my typos) is that little blurb in the lower left corner of this page:

« Older WHAT THE FUCK MATT?...
posted by caddis at 7:16 AM on May 29, 2006


"like covering the walls with aluminum foil"

I have a good head start on this myself because I have covered all my windows with aluminum foil. I hate light.
posted by mischief at 7:25 AM on May 29, 2006


« Older WHAT THE FUCK MATT?...

... and wiser!
posted by mischief at 7:27 AM on May 29, 2006


I love the certainty people seem to feel about their ability to diagnose mental disease based on a 53 word question.

I'm not saying it's not true, I'm just thinking that throwing around certainties is a little premature, no?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:30 AM on May 29, 2006


I love the certainty people seem to feel about their ability to diagnose mental disease based on a 53 word question.

What if that 53 word question included words like "lately I've been hearing voices" or "I often see people that aren't there?" Obviously AskMetafilter =/= a mental health professional, but I don't see why you'd be so shocked at the conclusions people are reaching based on the question and the context.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:35 AM on May 29, 2006


I think of Metafilter as a community of peers. The comments on AxMe egging this guy on in his paranoid delusions make me ashamed.
posted by Nelson at 7:36 AM on May 29, 2006


I may be touchy because I have a cousin who is a paranoid schizophrenic, but people are being a bunch of assholes in that thread. dlfemingdotorg, believing you are being watched, spied on or listened to in the absence of any plausible reason why this might be happening is a pretty textbook symptom and I think there have been posters in that thread who have had concerned and appropriate responses regarding the poster's possible metal illness.

It's never pleasant to see another person grappling with something that is likely to cause them a lot of embarassment and emotional trauma. It's also pretty unpleasant watching people taunting that person. If it's a troll then leave it alone. If it's not a troll then leave it alone unless you have something helpful to add.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:42 AM on May 29, 2006


He's yanking MeFi's chain, IMHO.
posted by bim at 7:48 AM on May 29, 2006


Hey, quonsar, you really think "stop drinking and you won't see insects anymore" answers the question?
posted by mediareport at 7:53 AM on May 29, 2006


The guy could still be a troll--who happened to need help to post to askme.
posted by bleary at 7:53 AM on May 29, 2006


and if he isn't trolling, it's highly unlikely he'll get help from the forum since his delusions will prevent him from trusting most anyone.
posted by bleary at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2006


There are people in these two threads that I'll have a hard time ever respecting again. Some of you really need to take a good hard look at the kind of person you've become.
posted by empath at 8:03 AM on May 29, 2006


Hey, quonsar, you really think "stop drinking and you won't see insects anymore" answers the question?

it's a distinct possibility. and far more helpful than anything the ax wielding terror librarian with the schizophrenic cousin has offered.
posted by quonsar at 8:05 AM on May 29, 2006


I emailed the poster directly, actually.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2006


We know nothing of this person's private life. Perhaps they have a jilted lover, or an vengeful ex-spouse? Perhaps they work as a military contractor, or study biological agents? These days, it's easy as heck to spy on someone. It doesn't have to be the gubment, or the Illuminati or the Free Masons that have infinite resources available to them.

The reasonably saavy person can go online and buy something that logs your keystrokes (passwords, bank account information, etc.), or reads your mail without you knowing, or eavesdrops on your conversations, your telephone calls, and your cellphone calls.

I don't think it's unreasonable to entertain the possibility that he/she may actually be telling the truth. Furthermore, it would be a lot more interesting for posterity's sake to see a series of replies suggesting counter-surveillance techniques than a bunch of "get help, dude" posts.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2006 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ. Why do I get the distinct impression Optimus Chymne needs to be taken out for beers?
posted by scarabic at 10:45 PM PST on May 28


Wait, what? I didn't post in that thread. I've haven't even been here since Friday.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:18 AM on May 29, 2006


The comments on AxMe egging this guy on in his paranoid delusions make me ashamed.

Ditto. I'm really hoping he's a troll now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:24 AM on May 29, 2006


Civil_Disobedient, yes the person could have plausible reasons to be under surveillance. When I was a kid, my parents actually did have my phone tapped because the police were collecting evidence on my boyfriend. And my parents were worried about me so they read my snail mail.

But the person could also be paranoid at the same time and still need help to deal with the paranoia and anxiety.

It's good that jessamyn emailed him. If he is delusional, she might have enough credibility in his mind due to her public persona to be able to help him get help.
posted by bleary at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2006


Oh yeah, and one final word about "I think he's a prankster."

It may be easy for you to dismiss someone who is showing such obvious signs of mental disabilities. You may think to yourself, "His symptoms are so stereotypical, there's no way that he could be for real." Well, guess what? The reason that these sypmtoms are so often depicted in film and print is because they are actual, real symptoms of actual, real disabilities!

Just because you spend your days on snarky little blogs where these people are ridiculed doesn't mean that they don't exist or need help.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2006


anything the ax wielding terror librarian with the schizophrenic cousin has offered.

that was uncalled for and i'm sorry i posted it jessamyn.
posted by quonsar at 8:35 AM on May 29, 2006


apology accepted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:45 AM on May 29, 2006


If it's a prank, sincere and compassionate responses will do no harm. If it's not a prank, snarking is cruel at best, and possibly harmful. There are plenty of places on the intarwebs to exercise your particular brand of humor. AskMe isn't one of them.
posted by theora55 at 8:46 AM on May 29, 2006


But the person could also be paranoid at the same time and still need help to deal with the paranoia and anxiety.

There's a third possibility: the person is being monitored, but because of this is now acting paranoid about any and all possible ways they could be "bugged."

A.k.a., Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

The problem I have with the post, as I mentioned in my second response, is that the possibility of their cellphone being "tapped" is so outrageously small that it calls the entire post into question.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:54 AM on May 29, 2006


terror librarian
accepts apology
drops ax
posted by found missing at 9:00 AM on May 29, 2006


Most people use "tapped" to mean "being listened to." That's not the part that calls the post into question. As someone said earlier, it's the lack of "hey, this might sound crazy but..." Coupled with the fact that if you postulate than someone has managed to bug your house(s) and your phones, it seems unlikely you would know about it. Coupled with the prevalence of "I'm being bugged" as a common manifestation of delusion.
I don't think telling the guy to leave the country is terrifically constructive.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:01 AM on May 29, 2006


Afroblanco, I have the 9/11 thread as a favorite, and I'm quite fond of Ingmar Bergman's films, so I suppose in your book that makes me the kind of chap who slows the car to rubberneck an accident. It doesn't mean I'm laughing at the people or feel superior to them, though your post seems to imply it does. All it means is that there's something about it I find interesting and want to remember. You can interpret that, or misinterpret that, however you wish; and maybe I'm wasting my time trying to explain, as I can see from your tone above that you have rather definite opinions about it.
posted by Tuwa at 9:07 AM on May 29, 2006


As someone said earlier, it's the lack of "hey, this might sound crazy but..."

No, it's not, actually. Because as that same someone else mentioned, people who are delusional are also very good at constructing logical scenarios to support their conclusion. In other words, prefacing their question with a "I know this sounds crazy" doesn't prove jack about their mental condition.

I don't think telling the guy to leave the country is terrifically constructive.

If you have a better suggestion for getting the feds to stop tapping your cellphone, I'm all ears.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:09 AM on May 29, 2006


Her-r-r-re's Jessamyn !

Having seen the gusto of her bowling, the ax wielding terror librarian part of the description is not beyond imagination.
posted by y2karl at 9:15 AM on May 29, 2006


Quonsar, I don't at all mean this to mock you or your apology, which actually did blur my screen for a few moments when Jessamyn accepted, but I quite like the idea of Jessamyn as the Terror Librarian Wielding an Ax.

It's like an Aspect or an Emanation; I can imagine her rising over MetaFilter like the constellation Orion, or shaking the ground here the way Pele does the Islands.

Jessamyn, I am so sorry for what happened to your cousin and your extended family. It sounds like a tragedy to tame Aeschylus.
posted by jamjam at 9:20 AM on May 29, 2006


I really don't think it's any of those things that make the guy seem delusional. It's more the garbled phrasing of the whole thing and the lack of any kind of specific evidence or explanation to clarify the rather bizarre-sounding claims, particularly the line "Don't know how they were able to bug my last apartment but it was."
posted by ludwig_van at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2006


Tuwa - I'm willing to accept that, in your case, "favorite" just means "thread that I'm tracking." However, I get the feeling that some people are actually enjoying the thread, and that the thread really is one of their favorites on the site. Thus, my comment stands.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:32 AM on May 29, 2006


He hasn't responded in the thread. Has he gotten back to anyone via email?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:57 AM on May 29, 2006


Tuwa - I'm willing to accept that, in your case, "favorite" just means "thread that I'm tracking."

Do we all have to make our case? I think you're being presumptuous. Everyone favorites for their own reason.
posted by vacapinta at 9:59 AM on May 29, 2006


George W. Bush is watching you shit.


posted by dgaicun at 10:01 AM on May 29, 2006


i have a few concersn about this question. assume that it's not a troll for the following scenarios:

1. under what circumstances would a sane person claim that their entire surroundings are bugged by an unnamed "they" and beg for help detecting and eliminating these bugs from a site like askme?

2. if the person is mentally unstable, what are the chances of them receiving any real help from askme?

3. that said, are those chances comparable to the chance that they will receive some answer that (innocently or otherwise) inspires them to do something harmful/unwise to themselves/others?

4. if the person is suffering from the kind of delusion that many of us believe, do people suffering that way ever find and latch onto a particular individual they feel capable of helping them?

5. does this ever turn into anything resemble stalking, obsession or compulsion?

6. wouldn't it be possible for this to occur as a result of this askme?

I honestly don't know what to do here. I'm glad I don't have to worry about whether or not this question gets deleted. But I have to say that the merest possibility of this guy using this thread as a reason to either hurt himself, someone else, or obsessively latch onto a mefite has me rather frightened. I'm honestly not too sure that the "if we just give sympathetic answers, then everything will be fine" logic has any real merit to it.

Of course, if he's disturbed enough to hurt himself or others, chances are something else will set him off if not askme. but then, does that mean we should put ourselves in that position, just because if we don't someone else will?
posted by shmegegge at 10:01 AM on May 29, 2006


I'm with civil_disobedient. We don't know what's going on in his life, and explaining what it is he's doing that makes him worth keeping an eye on him would be stupid.

Tapped to me means "listened to." Perhaps it means that to the poster as well.

I'm still annoyed that LimePi's pseudo-clever phone number post is still there but mine got deleted, but I'll repost the gist of it: phone surveillance isn't rare or hard or unusual. For instance, if you're active in EarthFirst or ELF or anything similarly terrorist, there's a good chance someone's checked out your conversations.

If the poster was saying that someone was stealing his mail would you all have leaped to your DSM book looking for mental illnesses? I am not competent to diagnose the mental state of most askme posters, and neither are the majority of you.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:12 AM on May 29, 2006


shmegegge, I've already thought of one unintended consequences from some of the replies. Is he going to spend a lot of money following the advice in the thread?

If the poster is suffering from a psychotic episode it's likely that he won't be able to support himself for much longer (if even now).

The poster says that he's changed addresses and phone numbers--usually doing stuff like that incurs a lot of expense. Did he break a lease? Did he hire movers? Did he break a phone contract? Did he buy a new phone?

The guy could end up in some serious debt.
posted by bleary at 10:15 AM on May 29, 2006


Anyone making such a post, should have been savvy enough to know exactly the kind of dubiousness that it would be met with, and took the proper measures to clarify and justify himself. The poster should have been right there immediately to answer questions. As it stands, obviously the best response is to treat it as mental illness. It was irresponsible for Matt to approve it without a) further inquiry to judge if it was mental illness. And, if so, Matt shouldn't have approved it. b) if judged not to be mental illness, laying out some guidelines for the poster such as those stated above to prevent the inevitable trainwreck.
posted by dgaicun at 10:24 AM on May 29, 2006


So Matt's supposed to diagnose mental illness now? This isn't his job. It isn't our job.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:39 AM on May 29, 2006


Tuwa - I'm willing to accept that, in your case, "favorite" just means "thread that I'm tracking."

Do we all have to make our case? I think you're being presumptuous. Everyone favorites for their own reason.


It's a visceral reaction. I see a thread like that, and see that so many people have marked it as a "favorite," and I think, "callous bastards." I'm disgusted with the way that many people have addressed the issue, and, personally, I would be embarrassed to have this thread show up as one of my "favorites."

Maybe Matt shouldn't use the word "favorite" for thread tracking, as it implies that you really *loved* the thread. "Bookmark" would probably be a better term.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:44 AM on May 29, 2006


Maybe Matt shouldn't use the word "favorite" for thread tracking, as it implies that you really *loved* the thread. "Bookmark" would probably be a better term.

That's not a bad idea at all.
posted by jack_mo at 11:01 AM on May 29, 2006


Maybe Matt shouldn't use the word "favorite" for thread tracking, as it implies that you really *loved* the thread. "Bookmark" would probably be a better term.

wouldn't it just be easier for you to remind yourself from time to time that not everyone uses it to mark it as their favorite thread?
posted by shmegegge at 11:03 AM on May 29, 2006


Matt shouldn't use the word "favorite" for thread tracking, as it implies that you really *loved* the thread

The feature is explicitly for keeping tracks of threads you're interested in reading, not for voting on which threads you like. Do you favorite a site in IE only if you really really liked it? Sheesh.
posted by kindall at 11:26 AM on May 29, 2006


So Matt's supposed to diagnose mental illness now? This isn't his job. It isn't our job.

Right, his job is to moderate the community. He deletes chatfilter noise, and presumably he should delete/not allow noise questions about how to catch Napolean with a magic penis whistle.

Matt isn't making a medical diagnosis for this guy, he's making an AskMe diagnosis for us.
posted by dgaicun at 11:34 AM on May 29, 2006


Matt shouldn't use the word "favorite" for thread tracking, as it implies that you really *loved* the thread

Anyone familiar with Livejournal can surely see a parallel to the socially-charged concept of "friends" lists.
posted by Zozo at 11:40 AM on May 29, 2006


It's a visceral reaction. I see a thread like that, and see that so many people have marked it as a "favorite," and I think, "callous bastards."

Maybe you should rethink your reactions. As for what I think when I read what you think, I'll keep it to myself.
posted by languagehat at 11:48 AM on May 29, 2006


Ok, whatever. I think that "favorite" is a misnomer, but I also think that the debate over the meaning of "favorite" has dragged on long enough.

And yes, the meaning of "favorite" aside, I still think that there are people in that thread who are rubbernecking or are getting off on "playing the hypothetical game." Maybe some are like Civil_Disobedient and are trying to "make the thread more interesting for posterity's sake." (Gee, what a noble cause, dude. I sure would hate for you to have a sub-par blogging experience in order for someone to actually be helped.)

Why not address the rest of my comment?

Specifically, what do you think we should do about questions like this, where (A) there is the potential for us to help the OP but (B) actually answering their question is likely to do more harm then good?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:50 AM on May 29, 2006


How would one catch Napoleon with a magic penis whistle, anyway?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:51 AM on May 29, 2006


well, first you have to put a wellie over your willie ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:54 AM on May 29, 2006


You know, now that I think about it, I think that I need to step. away. from. the keyboard. for a while. I feel myself getting emotional about this, and I think that a break is necessary in order to avoid a flameout.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:56 AM on May 29, 2006


It was irresponsible for Matt to approve it without a) further inquiry to judge if it was mental illness. And, if so, Matt shouldn't have approved it. b) if judged not to be mental illness, laying out some guidelines for the poster such as those stated above to prevent the inevitable trainwreck.
posted by dgaicun


You have got to be fucking kidding, right?

Matt is supposed to inquire whether posts are done because of mental illness and disapprove those that he deems pathological? Give me a break!
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:57 AM on May 29, 2006


I agree with zaebiz. It's the old adage that only a sane person wonders if they are crazy. A mentally ill person is quite good at rationalizing to themselves and attempting to convince others what they think they experience is real. In their minds there is no doubt...and you're crazy for not believing them. If he's a troll, then he deserved to be poked fun at. But if he is indeed serious, I think it's in very poor taste to ridicule him. The poor guy probably is a paranoid schizophrenic, and those people live very scary lives indeed. With treatment and medication some are able to live normal lives, but they are the exception. Many schizophrenics still can't completely escape the fearful imprisonment their minds have built for them.
posted by crypticgeek at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2006


Matt is supposed to inquire whether posts are done because of mental illness and disapprove those that he deems pathological? Give me a break!

What about this is controversial to you? The guy wrote Matt requesting whether he could post his insane fucking nutty-ass question to Askme. The real question is why should Matt say 'yes'?? I would have, at the very least, asked a couple of more questions or set a couple more ground rules before giving the green light to this particular question from this particular questioner. For the sake of this guy and for the sake of AskMe.
posted by dgaicun at 12:57 PM on May 29, 2006


I've mentioned before that my use of the term "my crazy ex-wife" has been officially authorized by several psychiatric professionals, two hospitals and the Social Security Administration, so I can speak from experience that taking the paranoid schizophrenic delusions exhibited by 10jubilee seriously is the WORST thing you can do. It reinforces their delusion and drives you crazy. And attempting to demonstrate rationally that their claims are physically impossible is the ultimate exercise in futility. I discovered way too late in my ex's case that the delusions were mostly a deeply narcisistic way to buoy up her self-importance and attract attention and sympathy. If I had known then what I know now, I would have responded to her with the accumulated snark of the MeFi community and we would both be better off today.

IANAPsychiatric Professional, just a guy who wasted 16 years of his life on someone like 10jubillee. Snark on!
posted by wendell at 1:26 PM on May 29, 2006


Hmm, just what is the marital batting average around here, anyways ?
posted by y2karl at 1:44 PM on May 29, 2006


I suspect there is a high concentration of MeFi members who made the classic mistake of "sleeping with someone crazier than themselves", but it is more of a sub-clique than representative of the membership as a whole, y2karl, you asshat.
posted by wendell at 1:52 PM on May 29, 2006


please don't marry 10jubilee, wendell
posted by matteo at 2:00 PM on May 29, 2006


I've not known anyone with this disorder but I have read a lot of case studies of schizophrenia. My only comment is that it's interesting how all the news these days about warrantless wiretapping not only play into fears of being watched, they provide a much more plausible delusion than "mind control rays" and other extremely wacky memes quite common among the afflicted.

You gotta feel some pity for the guy. People ARE being illegally surveiled in the US. He's probably delusional, but there's plenty of real information around to feed and reinforce his delusions.
posted by scarabic at 2:04 PM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


I agree with Wendell--I'm surprised that there isn't an uprorar over the MeFites who are encouraging and enabling the (obviously disturbed) poster with corroboration and advice about wiretapping. That seems to me to give him the imprimatur of a whole community behind him. I'm sure it will help this guy out a whole lot when he refuses to talk to his family unless they also use disposable cellphones and then moves out of his apartment. Honestly, though, I don't know what the best thing to do with a post like this would be--if it were up to me I probably would have deleted it.

I do think, however, that theere is way too much judgmental attitude flying around on this thread. Obviously this is an enigmatic post and there is no one right or obvious way to respond to it.
posted by josh at 2:14 PM on May 29, 2006


My ex is an untreated survivor of sexual abuse (both her father and her uncle though neither knew of the other) and all that that entails. I'm just fucking nuts. Our 13-year-old is the only normal behaving one in the family.
posted by mischief at 2:25 PM on May 29, 2006


Adding to the personal anecdote = authority on subject theme:

When my uncle, who was a little batty and paranoid at the best of times, started accusing his wife of poisoning him, we said all the usual things: Poison? Why do you think she would poison you? How would she do it? You know, humor him. Get him to see it isn't logical.

Guess what? She really was poisoning him.


None of us know what's going on in 10jubilee's life. What is bizarro in these threads is the panicked, borderline hysterical insistence that 10jubilee is insane, which is based on one short, non-detailed question, posted by someone whose life we know nothing about. Why has his question touched a nerve? Given the patronizing and belittling tone of the you-are-crazy "advice," helping 10jubilee isn't the motivation for posting. So what really is?

Jessymyn, fine- delete the noise. But currently it looks like you're only deleting noise you disagree with. Using your personal experience as rationale to censor what you don't agree with is not cool.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:27 PM on May 29, 2006


Too many people take the instruction to limit comments to answers to the original question far too literally and narrowly without any regard for the consequences of their answers. If Hitler came here asking how to most efficiently exterminate the Jews someone would answer him and someone else who complained about the morality of the answer would be shouted down. If Larry is really paranoid schizophrenic I don't think we have answers for him here. The joking answers are no worse than the instructions on how to avoid bugs, and may in fact be better for him. I continue to maintain that Larry is more likely some bored college student messing with Matt's head. All the sanctimony about this is pretty funny though.
posted by caddis at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2006


Jessymyn (sic), fine- delete the noise. But currently it looks like you're only deleting noise you disagree with.

Amen. For crying out loud, you deleted my simple comment to stop using the phone. That wasn't snark. Sheesh. That thread was a wreck from the start, and your so called editing only made it worse. Just delete the whole thing and be done with it.
posted by caddis at 2:38 PM on May 29, 2006


Jesus Christ. Why do I get the distinct impression Optimus Chymne needs to be taken out for beers?

Wait, what? I didn't post in that thread. I've haven't even been here since Friday.


I think he was referring to the fact that 10jubilee marked you as a friend out in meat-space.
posted by dgaicun at 2:41 PM on May 29, 2006


"I'm surprised that there isn't an uprorar over the MeFites who are encouraging and enabling the (obviously disturbed) poster with corroboration and advice about wiretapping."

C'mon... How about this? People are really having their phones tapped. People really are being surveilled. There really is an out-of-control Department of Homeland Security, whose budget varies inversly with its competence.

I commented with a two-fold answer and saw it deleted by the swift sword of sanctimony. The first part was about how with burst-transmissions, a nigh undetectable bug could still function (I've built a bulky one with a pal— too big for real bugging, but good enough to capture audio files, store 'em and send 'em asyncronously). And a semi-serious note that if someone with a big enough budget was truly interested, a sub-dermal bug would be possible.

I don't know this guy. If he's nuts, any of my advice is likely useless no matter how compassionate. If he's really being watched, it might be helpful. If he's trolling/hypothetical/writing a novel, it's still vaguely useful.
posted by klangklangston at 3:08 PM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to interepret y2karl's or matteo's comments to/about wendell as something other than asshole-ish entirely without provocation? Or am I missing something?

My earlier irreverent comment was not intended to mock the questioner. It was just banter in a distinctly different thread. I did really think about The Wire because the police will actually bug your phones as much as they can if they think they need to and they can get a court to agree. It helps, though, if you're a drug kingpin or one of his minions.

Also, I thought about mentioning before, but did not, but now will, something about a schizophrenic I knew briefly. I had checked myself into a hospital for severe depression for a couple of weeks and most of the other patients were also depressives. (The more extreme patients were in a different ward.) A few people were withdrawing from alcohol. But one young man, about 19 or so and a college sophomore, had started hearing first provocative sounds in white noise that had become increasingly distinct over a year or so until they became fully articulated and distinct voices that came out of nowhere talking to him, saying things about him, telling him to do things. The thing was, he'd gotten help early enough in the process of his disease that he was fully aware of what was happening to him. Even so, it was becoming harder and harder for him to ignore the voices and to see them as things happening in his own mind.

I was absolutely blown away by both how terrifying his story was, and how sad. And he was sinking into something he couldn't claw his way out of way while he watched himself do it.

That provided me a glimpse of this sort of mental illness that moved it a long way away from being uncomfortable at the man talking to himself in the street. This kid was like anyone else at 19—maybe a bit brighter than normal, a university engineering student. Someone that could have been me, or you.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:09 PM on May 29, 2006 [2 favorites]


Is there a way to interepret y2karl's or matteo's comments to/about wendell as something other than asshole-ish entirely without provocation?

It could just be interpreted as my failure to keep my usual distance from the shitstorm. Even with Al Roker holding my ankles, I couldn't stay standing upright.
posted by wendell at 3:29 PM on May 29, 2006


I have to agree that without knowing more, he may have a plausible reason to believe his phone's been tapped. Maybe he's overracting and freaking out, but sheesh, people do have their phones tapped, even by entities other than what passes for US intelligence. Stalkers, identify theft, accusation of criminal conduct (legit or no)...
posted by desuetude at 3:59 PM on May 29, 2006


(I've built a bulky one with a pal— too big for real bugging, but good enough to capture audio files, store 'em and send 'em asyncronously).

Funny how the people who actually have some experience with the ease of which one can build and implement surveillance methods are the ones refraining from the "you're crazy" bandwagon. For example, the remote laser-listening device I mentioned above? I built one that could eavesdrop on conversations a football field's length away behind office windows when I was 15. That was back before the internet. These days, it's got to be easier.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:21 PM on May 29, 2006


Though I agree with what Wendell said in the thread: if you really do have your cellphone tapped, you've got bigger problems than being called a loon by a bunch of strangers. Problems that would probably have been better-left off public (and popular) internet sites.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:22 PM on May 29, 2006


I have to agree that without knowing more, he may have a plausible reason to believe his phone's been tapped.

If that were the case, don't you think he'd provide that evidence in the question? Or at least allude to the fact that there is evidence, rather than saying things like: "My apartment has been bugged , don't know if it still is since I have moved. Don't know how they were able to bug my last apartment but it was."
posted by ludwig_van at 6:18 PM on May 29, 2006


As one of those people who marked the thread as a favorite for reasons other than gawking or laughing at somebody, I'm irked by some of the reactions about it being marked as a favorite.
But those of us who marked it as favorites, we knew it was public. We just went through all the concerns about it being public might have on May 16.
The gist of it was ass sweat and genital warts.
Best wishes to 10jubilee.
posted by Iamtherealme at 6:58 PM on May 29, 2006




Well, personally I don't think there is anything wrong with giving a person advice on how to detect bugs and taps, but the people egging him on, and caddis for making fun of him seem bizarrely cruel.

I can't understand what's funny about someone suffering from schizophrenia, or why you would make fun of them. That's like making fun of someone who's been paralyzed for being paralyzed, or someone who's been blinded in a freak accident for bumping into things.
posted by delmoi at 7:08 PM on May 29, 2006


I imagine the only people who make fun of schizophrenics are those who have not interacted with a schizophrenic.

I have, and I found it very disturbing. What those poor schlubs experience is reality for them. It is very sad.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:18 PM on May 29, 2006


have there been any arguments made for leaving that thread up, yet? I've been following this thread, don't remember seeing any, but i might be forgetting some and i'm too lazy to go read all this again.

if not, then... why is it still up?
posted by shmegegge at 7:47 PM on May 29, 2006


it's a pre-approved mattinum thread.
posted by quonsar at 7:48 PM on May 29, 2006


No one whos cell phone, land line and home is actually tapped or bugged needs to ask what to do about that in a public forum, even in this lame-ass modern world that is a simple fact. Rationalize all you want, 10jubilee is showing classic signs of delusion, be it of the schizophrenic or manic varieties.

Matt and Jessamyn: I know that neither of you signed up to be crisis counselors, but that is the nature of the beast and for all the happy re-unions and solved mysteries there are going to be people reaching out for help, knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes there is not much help to be offered really, but you can make an effort and you have to shoulder that burden I think. Make a plan.

For everyone else:

Kindness to those in need is not a gold coin you can put in your fucking pocket for later, but then again neither is being a prick or a facilitating shithead to someone exhibiting classic signs of delusion. Everyone here is a real person. Some of you who commented in that thread should review that thought or go lick a dogs ass till it bleeds, maybe both.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:19 PM on May 29, 2006


I favorited the thread cuz I wanted to see if the poster came back and posted anything else or what came of it. I knew it was possibly just a troll but answered it like it wasn't since I didn't know for sure one way or the other. *shrug*
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:30 PM on May 29, 2006


Metafilter: you who commented in that thread should review that thought or go lick a dogs ass till it bleeds, maybe both.
posted by Balisong at 9:16 PM on May 29, 2006


Yeah, you know, I really think its safe to stop talking about the favoriting thing now. My misunderstanding came down to this - I've always used the favorite feature in the context of "I like this thing, it's one of my favorite things on the site, I'll mark it as such." However, other people use it in the context of "I want to keep track of this thing, so I'll mark it as a favorite so that it shows up in my profile page."

In other words, I use the word "favorite" in the dictionary sense, whereas others use it in the "Internet Explorer" sense. (And since we're picking nits, kindall, I don't like the way that IE uses the word "favorite" either. But that's neither here nor there.)

I'd like to apologise to anyone that I offended with my commentary on favoriting. There was a symantic misunderstanding. I got emotional here and in the thread because this subject hits close to home for me.

Anyway, if you look back to my comments here and in the original thread, you'll see that the favoriting thing wasn't the main thing that I was pissed off about anyway. I was pissed off because people were encouraging 10jubilee's delusions of being watched, and then backing up their contributions with sophistic arguments about how "he really could be tapped." I suspect that one or more people were "just answering the question" because it's "fun" to play at hypotheticals, even when somebody's life and sanity is at stake.

Finally, I posed the question, "How do we deal with a situation where we have the opportunity to help the OP, but the very act of 'just answering the question' could make their situation worse?" A question that, I might add, nobody's really even attempted to answer.

In closing, I'd like to send a big, fat, "fuck you" out to anyone who left jokey comments in the thread, and a double "fuck you" to all the people who assumed that the poster was a troll and then proceeded to treat him like a troll. Why were you willing to take the risk in assuming that they were a troll? Is it just that important to you to get in just one more snark? Or is snarking just a knee-jerk reaction to you, something that you don't even have control over?

Fuuuuuck... This shit has gotten old. I'm going to bed. G'night, all. I hope you never wind up in such a bad situation that you need to rely on strangers to set your head straight. Sweet dreams!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:32 PM on May 29, 2006


"Or is snarking just a knee-jerk reaction to you, something that you don't even have control over?"

Snark keeps many of us within visual contact of reality.
posted by mischief at 10:35 PM on May 29, 2006



posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:12 PM on May 29, 2006


I don't envy the Matt or Jess.
Leave it, and get criticized for indulging a bad AskMe, while giving credence to the delusions.
Delete it and possibly reinforce the Asker's belief that 'they' are out to get him.

>Is there a way to interepret y2karl's or matteo's comments to/about wendell as something other than asshole-ish entirely without provocation?


Yes, but the comments would have to have been made by people other than y2karl and matteo for it to work.

>For crying out loud, you deleted my simple comment to stop using the phone. That wasn't snark.

Well, at least 10jubilee can take comfort in knowing that he isn't the only delusional and/or troll here.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:25 PM on May 29, 2006


The Matt?!? Urm, I meant to do that.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:29 PM on May 29, 2006


Or am I missing something?

you always miss something, EB, that's a given. you just try to make up for it with the disheartening length of your comments.

since wendell -- who, as he knows, is one of my favorite users here -- often sprinkles his comments with anecdotes regarding his ex-wife, including in this thread, my (and, I guess, y2karl's) comments seem to be OK to me.

but then being accused by, of all people, Ethereal Bligh, of being unfunny is priceless. (involuntary) comedy gold.
posted by matteo at 12:45 AM on May 30, 2006


Why did no one think to ask Senator Doctor Frist for a diagnosis?
posted by Cranberry at 1:36 AM on May 30, 2006


Because he only works on gorillas
posted by atrazine at 2:40 AM on May 30, 2006


Afroblanco -- In closing, I'd like to send a big, fat, "fuck you" out to anyone who left jokey comments in the thread, and a double "fuck you" to all the people who assumed that the poster was a troll and then proceeded to treat him like a troll.

Well fuck you and the horse you rode in on! What a long winded and pompous twit.
posted by bim at 3:23 AM on May 30, 2006


You all are seriously funny! Post after post about all the nasty shit being done by Bush and company, then someone comes along and says they think they are bugged, and you declare him delusional!

Are your heads so far up your asses you can't see the irony in this? Or do you simply not care? Is your political commentary so much bullshit? Are you all just so many people who think it's cute to parrot a leftist party line, which you really think has no meaning beyond fashion?

FAVORITE THREAD: Simply because, I, for one, would enjoy some real information on current thought at bug detection/elimination. It pays to be informed. But, oh dear, I must be schizophrenic to even think such a thought.

I read about old ladies that are on the no-fly list. But the poster is 'delusional'. It is impossible that he is mistakenly linked to some nasties. Or maybe he is correctly linked to some highly dangerous war protesters, who seek to smother the world in peace. OMG! Yet we hear of such people being bugged and/or spied upon.

Given the guide lines of AskMe, why the hell should the poster feel he has to justify his question? Why should he expect anything other than legitimate answers?

I had a friend who was clearly paranoid. A major case of nearly life-long PTSD (having lived through wwII while avoiding the nazis, her being a German of mixed heritage, which included Jewish, and looking it). She told stories of her phone having been bugged (in the 60's). I never took that seriously, until one day, she explained why. The explanation had her well covered. Even the paranoid can be right, sometimes.
posted by Goofyy at 4:11 AM on May 30, 2006


After you filter out the snark, approximately half the real advice people are giving is wildly innapropriate. The trouble is, we don't know which half. If 10jubilee is schizophrenic all the advice about how to detect bugs, encrypt your conversations & anonymize your websurfing is not going to do anybody any good. If 10jubilee is really being bugged, all the advice about seeking professional help is less than useless. We can speculate about which is more likely, but the evidence (one short post) is pretty thin to make any conclusive judgements either way.

This is one of those things that tests who we are as a community & I have to say I don't think we get a passing grade on this one. But I think it's as much a failure of the format as the people; metafilter just isn't equipped to handle problems as extreme as this.
posted by scalefree at 5:38 AM on May 30, 2006


Civil_Disobedient: I trust you've seen The Conversation (one of my favorite movies).
posted by languagehat at 5:38 AM on May 30, 2006


Those were pretty pedestrian insults, matteo. But thanks for confirming your iclination to assholery.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:42 AM on May 30, 2006


Goofyy, I think it's more the way the post is worded that makes people think the poster could be mentally ill, rather than just the idea that someone could be bugged.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:45 AM on May 30, 2006


Goofyy, I think it's more the way the post is worded that makes people think the poster could be mentally ill, rather than just the idea that someone could be bugged.

You just can't diagnose somebody's mental state from the unusual wording of a post a couple sentences long. Maybe English is not the poster's first language. Maybe it is, and he just writes oddly. (Remember thomcatspike?) And maybe, since it's been established that the poster wasn't familiar with AskMe, he didn't realize that it's populated almost exclusively by people who consider themselves masters of remote psychological diagnosis and that he would have to justify his fucking sanity by revealing the (possibly compromising) reasons he thinks he's being bugged in order to get a straightforward answer.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:53 AM on May 30, 2006


You just can't diagnose somebody's mental state from the unusual wording of a post a couple sentences long.

I agree. However I think that in this case the suspicions of mental illness were not unreasonable. Mostly I was disagreeing with Goofyy's "you're all hypocrites" schtick. I don't think that people considered mental illness a possibility solely because of the suggestion that someone might be getting bugged.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:58 AM on May 30, 2006


If that were the case, don't you think he'd provide that evidence in the question? Or at least allude to the fact that there is evidence, rather than saying things like: "My apartment has been bugged , don't know if it still is since I have moved. Don't know how they were able to bug my last apartment but it was."

If he's really being bugged, he should also be sophisticated enough to properly word his AskMe? Huh?
posted by desuetude at 6:05 AM on May 30, 2006


That's obviously not what I said, desuetude. I think that suspecting a possible paranoid delusion, based on the portion of the question that I quoted, is not unreasonable.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:10 AM on May 30, 2006


seriously, i think the idea that he might be delusional didn't come from the fact that he thinks he's being bugged. it came from the idea that he put out a desperate plea for help from an unknown "they," gave none of the reasons that he believed he was being bugged, and (more than anything else, to my mind) because he came to ASKME to find out what to do about it.

sane-sounding example of an askme on bug detection:

"i hear peculiar clicking noises on my phone that the movies tell me are typically associated with phone bugging. i've recently severed ties with an exceptionally secretive and ruthless corporation which i believe capable of keeping tabs on me. is there a way i can find out if they may have bugged me? alternative question: am i freaking out over nothing?"

not so sane-sounding example:

"they're bugging me. they got my last apartment, don't know how but i think they got my new one. my phone is definitely tapped. what do i do to get away from their phone taps?"

see the difference?
posted by shmegegge at 6:23 AM on May 30, 2006


Sorry for my tone..I didn't mean to come off as sounding so flip. But the whole world doesn't know Metafilter. If a not-internet-savvy guy was panicking and ran across a site of "ask any question and get answers," I can imagine such a naive post.
posted by desuetude at 6:53 AM on May 30, 2006


"I told my husband my first boyfriend was such and such nationality a few days later a man called asking for someone not in our house, and I asked my husband who was it he said it sounded like a spanish guy the nationality I said my first boyfriend looked like."

This is not helping the poster's credibility.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:11 AM on May 30, 2006


I can imagine such a naive post.
I can, too. I also did not get "you're all hypocrites" from gooffy's comment - he said it was ironic.

The Frist parallel also occurred to me. Any actual psychologist or psychiatrist who posted a comment diagnosing the questioner would be violating his or her professional ethics. Anyone else is speaking through their chapeau.



Metafilter: Masters of remote psychological diagnosis
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:21 AM on May 30, 2006


Okay, all the people who thought she might have been sane need to read the thread again. The woman is clearly deeply disturbed and needs help right away.
posted by empath at 7:36 AM on May 30, 2006


Sweet weeping Sanity Clause,
I would rather a million errors on the side of caution and empathy
and botched assumptions as to someone's mental state than this detached and myopic insistence that some random schmoe would be under constant surveillance and therefore advocating sleeping in shelters and under bridges and getting fake I.D's and so on, that is advice that can literally throw someone in a bad paranoid state into a world of hurt. It's also bad advice itself, watching fucking enemy of the state does not a counter-surveillance expert make.

Are you all just so many people who think it's cute to parrot a leftist party line, which you really think has no meaning beyond fashion?

Dumbass. The "Leftist" (aka Constitutionalist aka American Patriot aka small c conservative aka Libertarian aka every sane person in America who has above an eighth grade education) party line is that warrantless and ubiquitous wiretapping of US citizens is illegal, anti-American and counter-productive to actual security and is merely another techno-fetishist money grab by the kleptocrats in power. If you are going to merely SCAN the Bazooka joe comics where you are apparently getting your current events from it might be best to not flop around on the floor with quite that much vigor and mouth foam.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:43 AM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I would rather a million errors on the side of caution and empathy

Exactly.
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on May 30, 2006


Gooffy
That came off as way too angry, I think. I'm sorry for that, I read you as a war-horny troll, my mistake.

If someone is being surveiled because they are linked to war protestors they would either:

A) Know that and make a public stink about it in an appropriate way, this would probably be the tactic of the naively innocent.

B) Know that and not make it know to the world so they could practice actual information security.

C) Not know and not ask.

Grannies for Peace and the like do get attention paid to them by the feds and local cops, but it's never gonna be black helicopters and Flowers By Irene vans and 24 hour taps on all the phones and bugs planted in their houses, Red Squad tactics are used to intimidate for the most part.

Personally I have no doubt that the poster is suffering some sort of delusion (although I know not where on the DSM-IV it falls) but I'm happy to be wrong, I just think it matters quite a bit that compassion and common sense be practiced in at least a minimum amount.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:56 AM on May 30, 2006


That came off as way too angry, I think. I'm sorry for that

Classy retraction, without even being prompted. Well done. And your revised statement (with the ABC) is an excellent summary.
posted by languagehat at 8:08 AM on May 30, 2006


Divine_Wino, will you marry me and talk to me like that to me on our wedding night?

/not a snark ;)
posted by johnj at 8:17 AM on May 30, 2006



This is not helping the poster's credibility.

posted by mbrubeck at 7:11 AM PST on May 30 [+fave] [!]


Sure it is. It sounds like she's had a keylogger installed on her PC.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 9:29 AM on May 30, 2006


There is the possibility that both: (a) the poster had psychiatric issues; and (b) someone is messing with the poster, knowing that she has psychiatric issues.
posted by Mid at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2006


The real question is do all these otherwise lucid seeming MeFites defending the sanity of this question with specious reference to the NSA have some sort of mental illness as well?

Is horrendously poor judgment something that can be medicated? Perhaps with das boot in the ass?
posted by dgaicun at 9:37 AM on May 30, 2006


"I told my husband my first boyfriend was such and such nationality a few days later a man called asking for someone not in our house, and I asked my husband who was it he said it sounded like a spanish guy the nationality I said my first boyfriend looked like."

This is not helping the poster's credibility.


Oh, I know. I flagged it as offensive because of the repeated use of 'don't know no' and general disregard to English.
posted by pieoverdone at 9:44 AM on May 30, 2006


Disregard for English? Please hope me.
posted by pieoverdone at 9:45 AM on May 30, 2006


Reading all these comments on MetaTalk, I'm still ashamed. Someone with profound mental disorder came to AskMe and exhibited their illness. And all we can do is retread the same old political debates, argue about theoretical chances about whether the poster is who she appears to be, etc.

Ask Metafilter is not an effectice place to help people with serious mental illness. That seems inevitable to me, but it's still upsetting to see individual MeFi members demonstrate so publically why it's not a helpful place sometimes.
posted by Nelson at 9:53 AM on May 30, 2006


Yikes. Color me convinced. Time for the batshitinsane tag.
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 AM on May 30, 2006


I would rather a million errors on the side of caution and empathy and botched assumptions as to someone's mental state.

Agreed. That's the lesson here. I think the mods responded quite well in this case. There wasn't a lot of evidence to go on and they mostly took the side of caution, than of populist disregard.
posted by zaebiz at 12:09 PM on May 30, 2006


Hmm, just what is the marital batting average around here, anyways ?

My question was from an idle thought--everyone here seems to have an ex and I wondered what is the marital batting average for members and how it compared to the population at large? While I doubt there was much difference between the two groups, I do see many references to ex-wives and husbands. And the horror stories do tend to stick in one's mind.

I meant no insult to Wendell. He is, as he well knows, one of my favorite members here. As always, I look forward to his comments and I meant no snark on his relationship with his ex-wife whatsoever. The thought came to mind and I typed it. So it goes.

Metafilter: Masters of remote psychological diagnosis

Speaking of which--Ethereal Bligh, for all the unctuous wringing of his sweaty and boneless fingers elsewhere about how everyone here always assumes the worst possible intent on the part of other members, always seems to read the worst into comments of the people he dislikes and call them names on the drop of a hypocritical pin. The guy just loves to call out people by name.

Well, for the record, and not to put too fine a point on it, I find him to be a pompous, sanctimonious blowhard and a passive-aggressive beady eyed grudge holder, to boot--in short, a creep.

Now there's a comment that needs no long distance telepathy to interpet, or so I should hope.
posted by y2karl at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2006


There wasn't a lot of evidence to go on and they mostly took the side of caution, than of populist disregard.

I think there've been some interesting cases made in this thread, so far, to show that non-deletion of the thread is NOT necessarily the side of caution in this instance.
posted by shmegegge at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2006


"How do we deal with a situation where we have the opportunity to help the OP, but the very act of 'just answering the question' could make their situation worse?"

Assuming "how do we" means "how SHOULD we", I think the question contains its own answer. If the answering worsens the situation, the best response is silence. Maybe this means more people flagging and asking Matt to remove it. Assuming the poster is mentally ill, the thread -- as it stands -- is like a hundred people rushing a delusional guy and all yelling different things at once.

But I am totally baffled by the armchair psychology here. Based on a few lines of text, the majority seem to KNOW that the guy is mentally ill. Yet I can't imagine a single mental health professional who would ever make such a rapid diagnosis. This surety scares me. It reminds me of that "Dingo Ate My Baby" movie with Meryl Streep. Once people get an idea in their head about someone else's psychology, it quickly becomes Law.

I say all this, even though I think it's likely that the guy IS mentally ill. That's the first thing I thought when I read his question. If I had to place a bet, I'd put my money on it. So maybe I'm just arguing about phrasing. Maybe some of you -- when you talk about the way the guy "IS" -- mean the way you SUSPECT he is. If so, I feel for you. I'm not a fan of vague writing. I like strong, assertive statements that aren't watered down with "I suspect" or "I kind of think." But in this case, we're dealing with someone's life and sanity. Don't say you know something for sure unless you know it for sure.

I see many possibilities (not necessarily mutually exclusive):

1. He's mentally ill.
2. He's screwing with us.
3. He was tripping when he posted.
4. He's a sane person with a crazy belief.

Regarding #4, there are many such people. This reveals my biases, but to me, anyone who believes in UFOs, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, psychic abilities, God, free will and objective morality fall into that category. But I would never label most of those people insane.

We live in a world in which it's very easy to grow up uneducated about all sorts of things. And we're currently in a climate rife with news stories about the government spying on us.

I'm a reasonably intelligent, well-educated guy, yet I know nothing about the phone system. If an authoritative person -- who seemed to know what he was talking about -- tried to convince me that my phones were tapped, I'd give him a 20% chance of succeeding. If I hadn't spent years of my youth reading The Skeptical Inquirer, I'd give him a 50% chance.

I've been describing this thread to various SANE non techies that I know, and each of them has said, "Maybe his phones ARE tapped."

My vote STILL goes to "mentally ill," but that's only if I'm forced to vote.
posted by grumblebee at 2:02 PM on May 30, 2006


grumblebee: Since you say "he" I assume you haven't read 10jubilee's followup, which clarifies her gender as well as (in my opinion) her mental state.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:47 PM on May 30, 2006


I just read it. It DOES make me lean even more towards "mentally ill," but I'm not a psychiatrist (and I doubt you'll find one who will risk a diagnosis based on online text).

It's funny. This thread seems to be a sort of magnet that pulls personal agendas out of our heads. Mine is psychological assumptions. MeFi is rife with them: you're clearly trolling, you just want attention, you are acting passive-aggressively... As humans, we have an amazing ability to read each other, but we should temper that with knowledge that our readings can be wrong.

When I was in my 20s, I felt I had a gift for "seeing through people's bullshit." About ten times a day, I would say, "Oh come ON, we all KNOW he's lying/crazy/passive-aggressive..." In my 30s, I had several humbling experiences in which I learned that my psychic ability is less than perfect. Now, whenever I get that "Oh come ON..." feeling, I stop and examine the evidence. And I realize that ANY call about what's going on in another person's head is a GUESS -- maybe an educated guess -- but still a guess.
posted by grumblebee at 2:57 PM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't say you know something for sure unless you know it for sure.

I tend to kind of think that strict application of this rule of thumb would make for quite possibly few if any comments.
posted by y2karl at 3:01 PM on May 30, 2006


There are some interesting "clues" in the followup. 10jubilee abuses punctuation and grammer. Why? Is this a sign of illness, lack of education or both? I can spin it either way. I can imagine a mentally ill woman, spewing her stream of consciousness online. Or I can imagine an uneducated woman -- someone who doesn't know much about technology or even logical thinking -- who is in the middle of some sort of feud and is getting confused between what she's read in the media, cruel tricks played by friends, and her imagination.
posted by grumblebee at 3:01 PM on May 30, 2006


I tend to kind of think that strict application of this rule of thumb would make for quite possibly few if any comments.

And that's bad because...?

And why should it lead to fewer comments? All I said was "Don't say YOU KNOW SOMETHING FOR SURE unless you know it for sure." That doesn't stop people from saying, "I think", "I suspect", "It seems like," "Maybe", etc.

I thought empath's comment was perfect:

10jubilee: I am not a phone security expert or a doctor, and neither is anybody in this thread. I am concerned about you, though. You might be bugged, I don't know, but your story has a lot in common with the kinds of things that happen to paranoid schizophrenics. Your problem may not be that you are bugged, but that you are seeing connections between things that may not be there.


When you tell someone you KNOW they are insane, you're putting them into a box and it's very hard for them to get out of it.
posted by grumblebee at 3:06 PM on May 30, 2006


No matter what her mental state, or what one might think of her mental state, there's simply no reason to be mean. Even if she had been a troll, there's no reason to be mean. I think many here tend to forget that.
posted by occhiblu at 3:09 PM on May 30, 2006


I am so strongly in agreement with you, occhiblu, I can hardly contain myself.

Whenever we have controversial threads, some mean people excuse their mean-ness by saying stuff like, "well, I'd assumed it was a troll, which is why I made the snarky comment. If it actually was a mentally ill person, I apologize."

The underlying assumption is that there are times when it's okay to be mean. Occhiblu, I don't think you or I can prove that wrong. I that's someone's world view, that's his world view. But it makes me sad. And the mean-ness breeds more mean-ness, until finally you get a full-out flame war.

To me, snarkiness, cruelty and bullying is ALWAYS wrong. Even when the other person "deserves it." Which is not to say I'm better than anyone else. I definitely am capable of cruelty. I have been cruel and I'm sure I will be cruel in the future. But I can't justify it.
posted by grumblebee at 3:17 PM on May 30, 2006


Time for the batshitinsane tag.

Um, that tag is considerably less amusing when used to refer to someone who does appear to be in a spot of bother, sanity-wise. (Nor is this comment amusing; I hope 10jubilee doesn't find this thread.)

there's no reason to be mean

Quite so.
posted by jack_mo at 3:26 PM on May 30, 2006


Somebody posted "I call BS on this. You're one ridiculous troll" and I replay along the lines of "calling someone with schizophrenia a troll is like calling someone asking for help with a broken arm a troll" and it's MY comment that gets deleted? What the fuck, over?
posted by Justinian at 3:37 PM on May 30, 2006


I've seen too much crazy shit in my life to dismiss 10jubliee just because her story is outside the normal range of experience. For instance, take the story of my friend Paulette Cooper. Her life was turned into a living hell by a group that set out to discredit her, drive her insane, into prison or suicide. However infrequently it happens, stuff like this does happen in the real world.

That said, in this case the evidence seems to be tilting in favor of illness. Either that or a wide-ranging conspiracy to discredit her, drive her insane, into prison or suicide but without any apparent beneficiary such as an insane nut-cult as in Paulette's case.
posted by scalefree at 4:39 PM on May 30, 2006


I just read it. It DOES make me lean even more towards "mentally ill," but I'm not a psychiatrist. . .There are some interesting "clues" in the followup. 10jubilee abuses punctuation and grammer. Why? Is this a sign of illness, lack of education or both? I can spin it either way.

YAAAAAAARGHHH!!!!



Jaysus Christ, some of you people are thick. Did somebody here order the biggest benefit of the doubt in the history of mankind with extra cheese? Are you sure, because this is definitely the address I got right here.


On preview:

I've seen too much crazy shit in my life to dismiss 10jubliee just because her story is outside the normal range of experience

YAAAAAAARGHHH!!!!
posted by dgaicun at 4:43 PM on May 30, 2006


I trust you've seen The Conversation (one of my favorite movies).

Excellent flick. Reading 10j's follow-up post made me think of the final scene when he's tearing the apartment apart.

Maybe someone is fucking with her. Maybe she's already feeling a little paranoid and somebody knows it and is manipulating the situation. Maybe she's got the language skills of a 13 year-old who's just discovered stream-of-consciousness writing. That's a lot of maybe's, though. After her last post, I'm going to have to side with the peanut gallery on this one.

First I said to my husband during a itimate time his name in a sexy way and it was repeated at work, when I did work, they have also bugged our apartment.

So she said her husband's name and someone repeated that name at work. That could possibly be because names aren't unique to each of us. You know how many other Civil's are out there? Thousands and thousands.

I said to a friend her sons name on a corded landline phone, and they called one of my children saying this is Stephen

There are a lot of Stephen's out there.

My friend and I got the same newspaper article mailed to both of us with our names at the top written down.

It's a handwriting font, used by impersonal companies to trick you into thinking that they actually took the time to write your name out with pen and paper. Like this.

I told my husband my first boyfriend was such and such nationality a few days later a man called asking for someone not in our house, and I asked my husband who was it he said it sounded like a spanish guy the nationality I said my first boyfriend looked like.

...etc. I don't think anything else really needs to be said here. These are coincidences, that's all. Seeing a pattern, and taking that pattern as a sign of persecution, is a big warning sign of schizophrenia.

For instance, I got glasses when I was in 5th grade, and all of a sudden I started noticing that so many people also wear glasses. I never really noticed it before I got them myself, but for at least a couple of months after that I kept seeing glasses everywhere.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:51 PM on May 30, 2006


I must agree that the thread should have been removed. If she is in tip top mental shape then, worst case she is sane and being spied upon. if she follows some of the advice in the thread and is not sane, bad things could occur for her or her family.
posted by Megafly at 4:58 PM on May 30, 2006



From : matt@haughey.com
To : jhinckley@yahoo.com
Subject : RE: Askme Request

John,

Thanks for asking. Yeah, go ahead. I sure don't see any pointless craziness here.

Matt

> -------Original Message-------
> From: jhinckley@yahoo.com
> Subject: Askme Request
>
>Matt,
>
>I have a consuming crush on a well-known actress, and I was
>thinking that maybe I could impress her or get her attention,
>possibly by hurting myself or perhaps a well known public
>figure. Or something, I don't know. Anyway, would this be
>an appropriate question to air on Askme?
>
>John
posted by dgaicun at 5:26 PM on May 30, 2006


"I meant no insult to Wendell. He is, as he well knows, one of my favorite members here. As always, I look forward to his comments and I meant no snark on his relationship with his ex-wife whatsoever. The thought came to mind and I typed it. So it goes."

I was very influenced by wendell's response, which seemed hurt, and then matteo's immediate response to wendell with a joke. In context, given wendell's reaction, it seemed like your comment was willfully insensitive and matteo's was piling-on. But I was wrong. That's why my comment was a question with qualifications. Even though my impression of what had happened was very strong, I very deliberately qualified it in my comment and was honestly asking for more information, if there was any available...although it's true that I mostly had you in mind and your notoriously thin skin. Anyway, revealingly I think, both you and matteo felt the need to not only correct me, but write very directed, very deliberate insults. Oh, well. I cared about it for a couple of minutes then reminded myself that both of you are the way you are and sparring with you over it solves nothing and is, for the most part, dead boring to everyone else.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:29 PM on May 30, 2006


dgaicun -- Screw you! She's all mine, I tell ya ... all mine!!!
posted by ericb at 5:31 PM on May 30, 2006


possibly by hurting myself or perhaps a well known public figure

Wow, that's totally the same thing. Dick.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:46 PM on May 30, 2006


Jeezus. What a spectacle this has been.

MeFi isn't responsible for or capable of solving 10jubilee's problems.

So quit assuming the world turns on the responses of a bunch of over-educated over-analyzing MeFites (myself included).

Get real. Let 10jubilee and her husband sort this mess out -- if in fact a mess even exists.

I still suspect that this is a troll -- one who has played MeFi perfectly. Congrats on a job well done.
posted by bim at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2006


bim - I believe that it is you who are the troll, sir.

I can't believe this thread is still going. It's like the gift that keeps on giving me reasons to despise humanity
posted by Afroblanco at 6:06 PM on May 30, 2006


Oh yeah, and while I'm at it, I'll add another species to my "fuck you" list : anyone who used this poor person's life as an opportunity for political diatribing. Don't get me wrong, I am just as opposed to the NSA's illegal wiretapping as you are. However, this wasn't the time nor the place, and I think you know that.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:14 PM on May 30, 2006


That's m'am to you, afroblanco.

And refer to my previous comments as to your being a pompous twit. It still applies.

And after your nine comments -- yes, that's right NINE -- in this thread, it's really chutzpah that you object to anyone else speaking. God forbid they disagree with you.

And if you despise humanity, that's your problem. The world will keep turning. So stop your hand wringing and whining and and self-absorption. You're too old to be a crybaby.
posted by bim at 6:20 PM on May 30, 2006


Wow, that's totally the same thing. Dick.

Don't kill the messenger, that's a real email exchange that I intercepted.

I don't think it's unreasonable to entertain the possibility that I may actually be telling the truth.
posted by dgaicun at 6:35 PM on May 30, 2006


Great, now she's marked as "best answer" the clowns who told her to get rid of her phones. That'll be helpful when her family tries to locate her.
posted by Mid at 7:36 PM on May 30, 2006


I don't think it's unreasonable to entertain the possibility that I may actually be telling the truth.

No, it's totally impossible that someone could ever intercept an email. It's so beyond the realm of possibility as to be batshitinsane for someone to even suggest the faintest notion of it ever occuring.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:49 PM on May 30, 2006


In context, given wendell's reaction, it seemed like....

Babelfish translation: blah blah woof woof ad anuseam squared
posted by y2karl at 8:05 PM on May 30, 2006


oink fart meow honk honk coitus scott bakula interruptus
posted by dgaicun at 10:30 PM on May 30, 2006


Having just finished reading both threads, I have to agree with any and all above posters who stated that none of the comments would particularly help a schizophrenic. (If said poster is perfectly lucid and someone really is tapping her phones, then God help her. And some of the advice, in that case, was solid.)

I have a close relative who is a paranoid schizophrenic. Or at least we think she is. The whole process of going to see a doctor and receiving a diagnosis fits very neatly into the frame of her delusions. I would assume that the general idea of "help" plays right into lots of schizophrenics' paranoias. Well-intentioned, but ultimately useless. Had internet forums existed when my relative's mental health was at its nadir, it's not far-fetched to think she would have been bouncing the legitimacy of her delusions off of them.

I think - there's maybe a psychological phenomenon that fits this situation - this person will use people's answers to get whatever she wants out of this situation. She marked as best answers the tips on how to discard phones, et cetera. She ignored all of the advice suggesting that she get help. If she really believes that they are out to get her, then they include any forms of help. And yes, it is entirely possible that she might follow some of the advice and skip town (or the country), start going through phones, you name it (see: my schizophrenic relative).

I think the only way that this thread might help this person (again, presuming they are schizophrenic, which all of my personal experience points to) is if it were somehow forwarded to someone in her real life. This is supposing that they were unaware of her illness or in denial; sometimes hard evidence is the kicker.

That said, getting in contact with someone she knows brings up all kinds of incredibly complicated issues on what one's rights are when one is mentally ill. (Should they be forced to take medicine? Is it acceptable for their relatives to force treatment upon them?) Your opinions may vary.

I'm in no way suggesting this as a course of action, but I don't think any single comment will help (or hurt).
posted by anjamu at 12:50 AM on May 31, 2006


Point, Civil_Disobedient.


On the other hand:
I have to agree with any and all above posters who stated that none of the comments would particularly help a schizophrenic.

Just what comments on an online discussion board would help a schizophrenic, and why aren't you making those helpful comments?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:04 AM on May 31, 2006


i would just like to say that dgaicun's comment above is fucking hysterical.
posted by shmegegge at 6:41 AM on May 31, 2006


none of the comments would particularly help a schizophrenic

Well she did highlight my answer about Richard McLean who was a paranoid schizophrenic and is now reaching out to help others. So that's a good sign I think.
posted by zaebiz at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2006


Same shit, different day. [via Projects]
posted by cribcage at 2:34 PM on June 8, 2006


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