Fabio: >> What is paranoia? The typical example is the leftist >> who believes that the FBI is out to get them, or is >> behind every wrong in the world.
Fred Foldvary wrote: > The former is paranoia; the latter is not.
Because it's true?
> The latter is a conspiracy proposition.
Paranoia, it seems to me, is (at least in part) a hypersensitivity to patterns. We are pattern-finding machines; surely we've all had the experience of seeing a random arrangement of leaves as a face. Now imagine cranking up the sensitivity, or equivalently weakening the filters. Everything that happens around you seems to be related, but nobody will admit to seeing the obvious.
This idea came to me in ~1993 when I used to get phone calls from a libertarian in England who wanted to apply for US asylum because people were trying to get him to take his pills again. He would pour a flood of curious details about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and ghod knows what else, and expected me to understand what it all meant.
(I saw Dianne Feinstein's face in the WTC smoke, but never mind that.)
-- Anton Sherwood, http://www.ogre.nu/