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alt.thinking.hurts FAQ

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Archive-name: thinking-hurts-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1997/04/11
Version: 1.3

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The alt.thinking.hurts FAQ v1.3
12 March 1997
by Fred Burke
please send ideas for revision to:
this FAQ is housed at the alt.thinking.hurts home page:

1) What is alt.thinking.hurts?

2) What *isn't* alt.thinking.hurts?

3) Where did alt.thinking.hurts come from?

4) What is thinking?

5) Why does thinking hurt?

6) When will thinking stop hurting?

7) What is this "SOCIETY of the SPECTACLE" stuff?

8) Is this FAQ for real?

1) What is alt.thinking.hurts?

"Common sense is an aftereffect of 2000 years of
philosophical scar tissue."
                                     --Tom Price

Alt.thinking.hurts is a Usenet Newsgroup for discussing the effect of 
worldviews on personal identity and society. Relevant topics include: 
memory and how it shapes personality; prevailing societal myths; the 
structure of the psyche; neuro-chemistry and its relation to identity; 
psychological disturbances such as paranoid schizophrenia and obsessive 
compulsive disorder; the impact of metaphysics on the mind; how media 
shapes "reality"; subjectivity vs. objectivity; omniversal theory; 
metaphor; the interaction of individuals and society; the nature of the 
imagination; the search for self.

Alt.thinking.hurts is home to a certain brand of thoughtful, personal post 
which seeks to expand and enlighten. Such posts can be found all over 
Usenet, but their impact is diluted by the necessity of weeding through 
chatty threads. Alt.thinking.hurts attempts to distill such thoughtful 
posts on a variety of personal and societal issues into one, easy-to-access 
newsgroup. Cross-posting into and out of alt.thinking.hurts is 
encouraged--but only with appropriate subject matter. 

2) What *isn't* alt.thinking.hurts?

Among topics touched upon but not embraced by alt.thinking.hurts, are:
* physical pain to the head (try
* stupidity (try alt.stupidity)
* your shitty life (try alt.bitterness)
* what your shitty life *means* (try alt.angst)
* how your shitty life is bound to get better (try
* fluoxetine hydrochloride and its cousins (try
* speedy techniques to alter conscious identity (try alt.psychology.nlp)
* surreality (try alt.religion.kibology or talk.bizarre)
* world mythology (try alt.mythology)
* the potential truth in paranoid delusion (try alt.conspiracy, 
alt.religion.scientology, or
* the perception of "meaningful" synchronicity (try alt.lucky.w)
* Jung and his Archetypes of the Unconscious (try alt.psychology.jung)
* sudden flashes of enlightenment (try alt.religion.gnostic or 
* why you should get to do whatever you want (try alt.individualism)
* why you shouldn't get to do whatever you want (try alt.politics.correct)
* chemically induced reality changes (try alt.psychoactives, alt.drugs, or 
* how to "clear" the reactive mind (try alt.religion.scientology or 
* how to change who you are (try alt.self-improve)
* the legal and ethical aspects of the individual in society (try 
* epistemology (try sci.philosophy.meta or talk.philosophy.misc)
* Science vs. Religion (try
* the exact nature of conscious thought (try alt.consciousness)
* psychological theory (try alt.psychology.personality or 
* the workings of the brain (try sci.cognitive)
* what to do when it's all too much (try

3) Where did alt.thinking.hurts come from?

When I purchased this newsgroup from the salvage company, it had been
dormant (spam-bound, truth be told) for over a year. I had no idea what it
was originally for, but I liked the name, and I took it from there. 

Notes Barry Berard ( "Years ago this group was
mostly about painful alternatives to thinking.  e.g.  The importance of
having a large brick or mallet handy whenever the urge to think actually
presented itself. Since I'm not the original creator, and I'm not a cyber
paleontologist, I couldn't tell you what it was originally for.  I do
remember joking about it back when DECNet and GEnieNet were first
starting up though.  Excuse me while I kickstart my rocker...

"I know that some of the residents did eventually switch to discussions
of preventing deep thoughts.  The need to avoid being a conscience of
society and objecting to things that did not meet certain people's
ethical standards came heavily into play.  As time went by, avoidance
took the form of self inflicted abuse.  I try not to think about it
(ouch!).  Starting with small rocks, it eventually evolved into an art
form using heavier and harder substances.  Like nomadic tribesman,
these previous residents may have migrated to"

All of us at alt.thinking.hurts would love to know the deep background on 
this historical newsgroup. 

4) What is thinking?

Webster's New Collegiate:
n 1: the action of using one's mind to produce thoughts

[ME thenken, fr. OE thencan; akin to OHG denken to think, L tongere to 
know--more at _thank_] 
vt 1: to form or have in the mind
1 think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision
shared meaning element: to form an idea of something in the mind
2 think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate
shared meaning element: to use one's powers of conception, judgment, 
or inference

5) Why does thinking hurt?

	"Do I contradict myself?
	Very well then I contradict myself,
	(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

				Walt Whitman

"Lockdown." That's a very apt description of most of conscious life.
There's so much to do, see, be, feel that it overwhelms. In order not to 
succumb to information overload, we build blind spots. We lock
down. But in the process of limiting ourselves, we create pain.

6) When will thinking stop hurting?

Good question.

7) What is this "SOCIETY of the SPECTACLE" stuff?

For the next, oh, year, I'll be periodically reprinting each paragraph -- 
in order -- of "Society of the Spectacle," a public domain work. "La 
societe du spectacle" was first published in 1967 by Editions 
Buchet-Chastel (Paris) and reprinted in 1971 by Champs Libre (Paris).

This English translation was first published by Black & Red in 1970 and 
was revised in 1977, "incorporating numerous improvements suggested by 
friends and critics of the first translation."

Guy Debord was editor of the journal _Internationale Situationniste_ from 
1958 to 1969 and instrumental in the 1968 student uprisings in Paris.

Impatient? Write to Black & Red, P.O. Box 02374, Detroit, Michigan 48202 
-- and remember to let me know if they're still in business.

8) Is this FAQ for real?

For now, it seems to be more of a fond wish than anything else. 


Fred Burke
current proprietor of alt.thinking.hurts
For your own reconditioned and low mileage used newsgroups,
visit Froggy's Usenet Salvage Company! Used newsgroups
are the ecologically sound and economical choice! 
Froggy's Usenet Salvage Company is conveniently located at, in the heart of the* hierarchy. 

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