Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Are you me? Here's a test: read the following paragraph, and monitor your response:
A report in the medical journal Psychopathology notes that psychotic delusions increasingly concern the internet, suggesting high-technology can fulfill the role of malign 'magical' forces often experienced in psychosis.
a) If you had to stop reading to sound out the word "psychopathology," you are not me at all.

b) If you started but had trouble finishing the paragraph, you are hardly me.

c) If you were mildly interested, you are marginally like me.

d) If you though this was neat, but did not click on the link, you are probably very interesting, but only somewhat like me.

e) If you clicked on the link, you are starting to show signs of me, and may want to contact a medical professional.

f) If reading this article immediately made you think about cyberelves, then what you see in the mirror looks a lot like me. (But gee, aren't we handsome?)

g) If you started hopping around the library grinning like a madman, saying "this explains everything!" and only then clicked on the link to read the actual research, then please give me my brain back, because I need it to apply for this part-time job in the learning skills program.

Thank you for playing. Please come again!

posted by boyhowdy | 3:23 PM |

The CIA is controlling my mouse with radio waves
I failed to read your instructions correctly, and so messed up the entire test. How does that score?
Hmm. One respondent who believes his hardware is malevolent (the article only says "internet" and I honestly wouldn't characterize a mouse as "high technology"); the other admits she cannot follow the most basic, foolproof instructions (which did you get wrong, honey -- reading or monitoring?).

My diagnosis: you both have ADD like me, but as it doesn't manifest identically, neither of you would seem to be me...

Actually, I find it fascinating how people read. Few read in exactly the same manner - it's interesting to ask one person to read a paper, and another to watch what's happening with their eyes, and discuss / record the actual process of reading.

I find it difficult to read top to bottom, left to right. I tend to read the first line of a paragraph ("Are you like me?") then skip forwards twice, at random, then retreat to an earlier line to add context.

Effectively, it meant the second and third lines of your post were the last I read, once I *knew* from the final ones that I'd messed it up.

Mainly, it means I read fast. The skipping back repeatedly usually gives people the erroneous impression that I read accurately.
You should see how long it takes me to get through anything where you really have to pay attention. Effort of will.

I think I left the topic somewhere way over there ----->

No, it seems I am not you.
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