Jay Cross
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Unintended Consequences (2)
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Last April, I posted an entry entitled The Schizophrenia of Blogging that said, in part:
...blogging suffers from multiple personality disorder induced by timeframe. Some of us think short-term, others think long-term, and most of us do a crappy job of trying to keep a foot in both camps. Is your blog near-sighted or far-sighted?

Some bloggers record current events. Others collect information for reference. The first is like publishing a daily newspaper or keeping a journal. The second is akin to maintaining an online reference book or content management system. The two personalities are at odds with one another.

  • The Blog as Journal. If my purpose is maintaining snapshots in time of current events as they seemed when I wrote them, I'd never change an item after the date it was written. I agree this is the way the New York Times, the "newspaper of record," should behave.

  • The Blog as Reference Book. If my objective is to provide my current view on a variety of topics, including those I wrote about last year, I'll be going back in to change items that have become dated, to supplement old entries with new insight, and to correct errors when I find them. Otherwise, readers might confuse obsolete opinions that what my current take on things.
In my relentless search for visual stimulation and humor, I included this image:

This morning I received a call from a woman in Pennsylvania who was upset with me because I was perpetuating the myth that schitzophrenics are dangerous and also suggesting that schitzophrenia and multiple personality disorder are one and the same, and they are not. While I could have blown this off as yet another crank call, I realized that her complaint was more legitimate than the suggestion earlier today that a guy in a ski mask might be an international terrorist.

I asked where one might go to get a better understanding of schitzophrenia and what we once called "split personality." One person in a hundred suffers from these, so this could effect you personally.

For information on Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder-MPD), check out the Sidran Institute. Most people with DID were repeatedly traumatized before the age of nine.

According tp NAMI, Schizophrenia interferes with a person's ability to think clearly, to distinguish reality from fantasy, to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others.
Most people with schizophrenia suffer chronically or episodically throughout their lives, and are often stigmatized by lack of public understanding about the disease. Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. A person with schizophrenia does not have a "split personality," and almost all people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent towards others when they are receiving treatment. The World Health Organization has identified schizophrenia as one of the ten most debilitating diseases affecting human beings.
The woman who called is webmaster of a new website called The Sloth Spot. From the home page:
This site is dedicated to all the capable, ambitious, perfectly-lovable people who feel like they've been reduced by mental illness to three-toed sloths. You may feel lonely and isolated, but we want you to know that you are not forgotten. Also, we hope to entertain you a bit while you're unwell.


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