In Greek, παράνοια

the root words are para (outside, beside) and nous = (mind)

Clinically, this could imply any set of delusional beliefs. Poetically, it suggests a “mind beside itself.”

It was used in this sense by Salvador Dali when he described his creative process as the Paranoiac Critical Method.

An “outside mind” is also the basic concept of an “external memory” such as the such as the memex described by Vannevar Bush. In fact the term memex itself comes from a military style contraction of memory – external. Bush’s description of the memex is considered the foundation of hypertext, and therefore the genesis of the Internet and the World Wide Web. By extension, the Internet is, at it’s foundations, a paranoid machine.


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