Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 6

In chapter 8 of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, he mainly discusses the ideas of a man named David Shayler. He first starts off by telling the story of a woman named Rachel North who was in the carriage of a subway that exploded on July 7, 2005. He explains that because of the trauma it caused Rachel, she began to write a blog about it. This triggered many conspiracy theorists to comment and discuss how they thought this and even 9/11 were inside jobs. In Rachel's fight to explain the truth, she came across a man named David Shayler. He had been an M15 spy and believed in three main theories. He believed that the July 7th bombings were an inside job, that the 9/11 planes were really holograms, and that he was the Messiah. The first two ideas were well received, but the last was too extreme. This caused Ronson to question every person's madness and how the media affected this.

I found chapter 8 to be a little confusing because at first I didn't realized how Rachel and Shayler had anything to do with each other, and I also didn't know what M15 was. I found Shayler really strange. I thought it was interesting, though, that Ronson never accused Shayler of being a psychopath. It makes me wonder why he is even including this since his whole book is basically him trying to accuse people of being psychopaths. Then right away in chapter 9, he talks about the concierge at a hotel that Bob Hare claimed was a psychopath. I found his talk with Paul Britton to be really interesting. I can totally understand why he included this chapter. I think the point of having it in his book is to show how the ability to identify a psychopath can be a dangerous tool. During the criminal profiling of this case they discussed, the police wrongfully accused someone of being a sexual psychopath and a murderer. I also found this case to be quite like an episode of Law and Order, which I think allowed me to imagine everything more clearly. I think this chapter sent the message that identifying psychopaths can really be a negative power for someone to have.

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