I just found the name of a sickness I have. I knew I was not the only one, but I now have a confirmation, and I am relieved. Michael Crichton, in a great 2002 speech at the International Leadership Forum, called it “Gell-Mann Amnesia”. It was actually his invention, and name of a Nobel prize only served to confer imore authority to the malaise. To me is therefore Crichton Amnesia.
So, I suffer from Crichton Amnesia. These are the symptoms, in four steps.
- I read a newspaper article, or listen to some news on the radio or tv on a topic I know in detail (for example, something related to physics, EE, research, academia).
- I realize than the author/speaker has no understanding of what he/she is describing and of what really happened. He/she does not put any effort, and swaps cause and effect.
- I decide that journalists are totally unreliable, and that one should never believe what they say.
- A few seconds later, I forget my resolution, and I start reading or listening very carefully the next piece, on a topic I have no direct knowledge of, such as Middle East, the financial crisis, China, the prison system, and millions of other things. Indeed, it is amnesia.
I tried to cure myself in 2012, following as little news as possible. Going to the original sources, when the news was really important and time allowed.
But my complete recovery is still far away, and the cure will take a lot of time and effort.