“on being sane in insane places”


“Trapped like rats in mazes for the cheese
Every natural resource is here, we don’t really need money
But certain people need power over people
They act like that cause they’re trapped inside their EGO-sphere
And now you can’t feel free
Without material possesions, you can’t just be
And without ’em you’re left stressin, so anxiously
So you grab the Smith & Wesson, then aim, then squeeze
To get what’s comin to ya
The block’s so hot, it blew the top off the thermometer
The rush for drama is more appealing than a plain life
Cause life is insane, so insanity is a sane life”

The video game industry has long overtaken all other forms of entertainment in annual revenue.  Even then, it is still only a part of a larger pattern of the industrialization of entertainment.

What do the personal lives of video game programmers/designers look like?  What are their sleep patterns?  Social habits?  How is their personal hygiene?

To what extent are they representative of an immunity to technological addiction or are they the computational equivalent of the meth addict with their own meth lab?

What percentage of our society spends the majority of our workday staring at and interacting with the world through an electronic interface?

What percentage of our society spends the rest of their free time on an electronic interface at home, or staring at the TV (inc. watching movies, writing blog posts, etc)?

Never mind the immediate economic and social catastrophic consequences — what would happen to us on a psychological or an emotional level if the electricity just…stopped?

What would we be able to accomplish — as a society, as humans, as artists — if we didn’t need to be, or feel the need to be plugged in?  A massive reallocation of most of the hours of our lives spent interacting with the world in a different way.

Have you ever tried to unplug someone who was hooked into an electronic interface?  What if most people are part of a society of systematic and normalized technological dependency and addiction?

Would the abnormal person who is suggesting that we “unplug” be viewed as the “crazy one?”


On being sane in insane places (excerpt)

The first part involved the use of healthy associates or “pseudopatients” (three women and five men) who briefly feigned auditory hallucinations in an attempt to gain admission to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in five different States in various locations in the United States. All were admitted and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. After admission, the pseudopatients acted normally and told staff that they felt fine and had no longer experienced any additional hallucinations. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and agree to take antipsychotic drugs as a condition of their release. The average time that the patients spent in the hospital was 19 days. All but one were diagnosed with schizophrenia “in remission” before their release. The second part of his study involved an offended hospital administration challenging Rosenhan to send pseudopatients to its facility, whom its staff would then detect. Rosenhan agreed and in the following weeks out of 193 new patients the staff identified 41 as potential pseudopatients, with 19 of these receiving suspicion from at least 1 psychiatrist and 1 other staff member. In fact, Rosenhan had sent no one to the hospital.

The study concluded “it is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals” and also illustrated the dangers of dehumanization and labeling in psychiatric institutions.


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