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April 13, 2009


So, are there any reliable tests for ascertaining the rationality of "paranoid" belief and behavior? If you are running a cutting edge technology firm, then perhaps you can rationally and profitably live by the motto that only the paranoid survive (a la Andy Grove). That's different from the case of social systems where individuals live in a state of fear and mutual mistrust. In that case, people are paralyzed by mistrust. On the other hand, in business, a realistic ongoing assessment of the profound uncertainty and extreme competitive pressure may allow one to stay empowered, even to the extent of anticipating inflection points of structural change.

"Just because you're paranoid / Don't mean they're not after you"

That buckshot really made you scatterbrained:

"don't mean they're not out to get you"

but the definition of paranoia (both colloquially and clinically) specifically entails a baseless or unwarranted suspicion of the ill will or machinations of others. thus if one is accustomed to living in a situation where government clandestine surveillance and general backstabbery are the norm, one's concerns are not then "rational paranoia" but merely "rational" (if perhaps excessive? but then, better safe than sorry if you live in a police state, no?).

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