[ExI] A Small Request

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Feb 10 22:48:57 UTC 2008

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 10/02/2008, Amara Graps <amara at amara.com> wrote:
>> While they are in the middle of it, I would agree. There's glimpses when
>> they are passing in and out of mental illness, however, that something
>> is not quite right. I don't know how long that phase is, though, if it
>> is long enough to be useful to the family and friends around to do be
>> able to do something constructive with the ill person in that time.
> It varies in every case. Some patients are fully aware that their
> symptoms are due to an illness and actively seek out treatment, just
> as they would if they had a distressing physical symptom. Others can
> never see it, even when they are better: the voices haven't stopped
> because of the medication, they stopped because the devil decided to
> leave me alone for the moment. Lack of insight is not just a
> side-effect of being psychotic but a specific neurological symptom
> (anosognosia) that is found in other neurological disorders in
> addition to schizophrenia. 
Lack of accurate insight into the sources of ones opinion's and 
interpretations, especially deeply cherished beliefs and self image, 
seems to be part of the human condition.   To a more clear-sighted 
person or AGI most of us would likely appear rather mad and dangerous to 
ourselves and others.  Should the more clear-sighted intelligences then 
go out of their way to cure us or at least protect us from ourselves?    
This will become an increasingly poignant question.

> For example, patients with lesions to the
> visual cortex causing blindness sometimes deny that they are blind and
> walk around stumbling into objects, making up excuses when they fall
> over, for example claiming that someone pushed a chair into their path
> at the last moment. This is called Anton's syndrome, and for obvious
> reasons sufferers will not seek out treatment.  Are there readers who
> would prefer to be left alone to walk into traffic if they developed
> this condition, because the thought of involuntary treatment is so
> much worse?
>> BTW, we had this conversation before, but the extropy archives don't
>> go back to 2000. I'll paste several posts from my records.
> Thank-you for that. Every country/state will have its own laws
> relating to involuntary treatment of the mentally ill, and in some it
> is easier to do than in others. 
Are those with seriously life limiting and dangerous memetic infections 
effectively mentally ill?  Or is what is numerically average good 
enough, the "normal", that it should be accepted regardless of how in 
many respects un-sane it may be?   And what of those quite significantly 
outside the norm that are arguably better?

- samantha

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