The Delusion of Not Being Deluded

Ever came across someone who wanted to show off how independent and free their own thinking was? I have, many times. Discussing with these people is an amusing and yet wretched event. It’s like goping to a funny dentist. She may be funny, but she’s still going to bore a deep hole in your tooth. And boy, will it hurt! At least one of you will be laughing, right?

I happen to know a couple of people who have got such strong conviction of their own uniqueness in being free from delusion that they cannot avoid being delusional themselves. Both are on this righteous crusade to extricate people from their self-foisted enslavement in the hands of evil Apple. Wait, what? Yes, that’s right. From Apple! Apparently to some people, the operating system or the phone we use is the wrong one and we are pulling the wools over our own eyes into thinking otherwise. Fortunately for all of us, there are these cavaliers in shiny armor who will rescue us from ourselves. Dude, seriously? How much more fucked-up delusional can one get?!

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I don’t know if those guys did too much role-playing in their lives (and I don’t mean in bed) or it’s just too much World of Warcraft. I don’t really know. But if there is one thing I do know, it’s that it’s delusional. Why is this so? It’s really a synthesis of a couple of things —

  • Belief that one is right about something. Being fair, we are all like this. If you ponder about it, this is the very definition of having an opinion. Nobody thinks they are wrong about their opinions.

  • Self-aggrandizement. Again, to a variable degree, we’re all like that. We all love to think we are more than what we really are. Probably a defense mechanism. Without that, we’d all have killed ourselves by the time we reached puberty. Or maybe not all of us, because I am super awesome.

  • Strong illusions.

What exactly is a delusion? A delusion is the belief that an illusion is real. We all have illusions, but a few go farther. They have such strong illusions that they begin believing in them.

These people actually believe that there is a war going on. A struggle between good and evil. A conflict between freedom and slavery. And let’s face it, everyone wants to be one of the good guys. Except supervilains. Supervilains want to be on the wrong side. Always.

Once you are set on the idea that (a) there is something like black-and-white good and evil, and that (b) the fucking clash is on, there’s really no stopping you. You need to fight to Good Fight. But since there really isn’t a war going on, the only way to fight it is by making up stuff as you go. So you pick your villains (say, Microsoft and Apple) and your heroes (say, Google and GNU) and you go out saving us ignorant civilians. From ourselves. And from Apple. Because Apple is, like, super evil. Ah, if everyone was like Google…

Holy. Shit. People. Grow the fuck up!

Let’s all pretend for a moment that there really is a war going on. That Google is out there fighting for our rights to free goodies in exchange for nothing at all. That Microsoft really owns the world’s Secret Cabal and Bill Gates sits down everyday to plan what evil deed needs to be done that day. Let’s say all of this is real. Wouldn’t it be a lot more productive for you to focus on your enemies and leave us civilians alone? Go ahead, wear your fancy penguin costume and take pictures of yourself peeing on the Microsoft logo. A lot of people will love that. And more importantly, you will feel like you’ve finally accomplished something! You won a battle for the good guys! Hooray!

But please leave the rest of us alone.

-rst.

P.S.: a friend just sent me this picture, which says a lot. I think the message is: Dude, don’t be a fag!

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Roberto Selbach
Roberto Selbach
Software Engineer

Ever-learning gopher at HashiCorp.