Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jon Ronson Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jon Ronson.

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Jon Ronson Quotes 1821177

Do not go to that place of horror with elevated spirits, and gay hearts, for death is there! Justice and judgment are there! The power of government, displayed in its most awful form, is there . . . The person who can go and look on death merely to gratify an idle humor is destitute both of humanity and piety. — Jon Ronson

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Bad liars always think they're good at it. (quoting Michael Moynihan) — Jon Ronson

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I'd been beguiled by the new technology - a toddler crawling toward a gun. — Jon Ronson

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But on the extremist side I didn't get any rejections at all. Everyone agreed to talk to me. — Jon Ronson

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An apology is supposed to be a communion - a coming together. For someone to make an apology, someone has to be listening. They listen and you speak and there's an exchange. That's why we have a thing about accepting apologies. — Jon Ronson

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Fiction seemed all about harnessing infinity. In fiction, when you walk into a restaurant and you sit down, there's nobody there and the restaurant doesn't exist. The restaurant is a horrific, never-ending nothingness. So you make scattershot decisions about what the restaurant might look like and the person you might be sitting with. — Jon Ronson

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The justice system in the West has a lot of problems," Poe said, "but at least there are rules. You have basic rights as the accused. You have your day in court. You don't have any rights when you're accused on the Internet. And the consequences are worse. It's worldwide forever. — Jon Ronson

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I favour humans over ideology, but right now the ideologues are winning, and they're creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas, where everyone is either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. We can lead good, ethical lives, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all - even though we know that's not how we should define our fellow humans. What's true about our fellow humans is that we are clever and stupid. We are grey areas.
And so ... when you see an unfair or an ambiguous shaming unfold, speak up on behalf of the shamed person. A babble of opposing voices - that's democracy.
The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people. Let's not turn it into a world where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless. — Jon Ronson

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Sometimes labeling is only useful, like with OCD. Once you're labeled you can be treated. On other occasions labeling leads to tyranny, like with childhood bipolar disorder in the U.S. — Jon Ronson

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I kept remembering something Michael Fertik had said to me at the Village Pub in Woodside. 'The biggest lie,' he said, 'is "The Internet is about you." We like to think of ourselves as people who have choice and taste and personalized content. But the Internet isn't about us. It's about the companies that dominate the data flows of the Internet. — Jon Ronson

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We journalists love writing about eccentrics. We hate writing about impenetrable, boring people. It makes us look bad: the duller the interviewee, the duller the prose. If you want to get away with wielding true, malevolent power, be boring. — Jon Ronson

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I heard a story about her once,' said James. 'She was interviewing a psychopath. She showed him a picture of a frightened face and asked him to identify the emotion. He said he didn't know what the emotion was but it was the face people pulled just before he killed them. — Jon Ronson

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[W]e need to think twice about raining down vengeance and anger as our default position. — Jon Ronson

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Aplomb. I had managed to portray myself as a good Jew and, — Jon Ronson

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The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association that sells for $99 ... There are currently 374 mental disorders. I bought the book ... and leafed through it ... I closed the manual. "I wonder if I've got any of the 374 mental disorders," I thought. I opened the manual again. And instantly diagnosed myself with twelve different ones. — Jon Ronson

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The New York Times, baffled by Delaware's obstinacy, tried to argue the state into change in an 1867 editorial. If it had previously existed in [the convicted person's] bosom a spark of self-respect this exposure to public shame utterly extinguishes it. Without the hope that springs eternal in the human breast, without some desire to reform and become a good citizen, and the feeling that such a thing is possible, no criminal can ever return to honorable courses. The boy of eighteen who is whipped at New Castle [a Delaware whipping post] for larceny is in nine cases out of ten ruined. With his self-respect destroyed and the taunt and sneer of public disgrace branded upon his forehead, he feels himself lost and abandoned by his fellows. - QUOTED IN ROBERT GRAHAM CALDWELL, Red Hannah: Delaware's Whipping Post — Jon Ronson

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Others took exception to being forced to wear little-girl-type dresses (a psychopath-devised punishment for noncooperation in the program). — Jon Ronson

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I learned, the field of interest was a man from Wales who could recognize all his sheep as individuals but couldn't recognize human faces, not even his wife, not even himself in the mirror. — Jon Ronson

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The self-esteem of psychiatry got very low as a result of it. It had never really been accepted as part of medicine because the diagnoses were so unreliable, and the Rosenhan experiment confirmed it." Spitzer's — Jon Ronson

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After the interview ended, Stone and I were ushered out. Alex had an interview with Ted Nugent to conduct. In the elevator, Stone scrutinized me. "When we try to assess threats," he said, "the kooks are almost always wearing snowsuits in 90-degree weather. — Jon Ronson

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This was truly to be a radical milestone: the world's first-ever marathon nude psychotherapy session for criminal psychopaths. Elliott's raw, naked, LSD-fueled sessions lasted for epic eleven day stretches. The psychopaths spent every waking moment journeying to their darkest corners in an attempt to get better. There were no distractions - no television, no clothes, no clocks, no calendars, only a perpetual discussion (at least one hundred hours every week) of their feelings. When they got hungry, they sucked food through straws that protruded through the walls. As during Paul Bindrim's own nude psychotherapy sessions, the patients were encouraged to go to their rawest emotional places by screaming and clawing at the walls and confessing fantasies of forbidden sexual longing for one another ... — Jon Ronson

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[ ... ] we will turn this place around, and a new civilization can be born that does not know boundary lines but knows better how to live in the garden and knows that we are one thought away from paradise. — Jon Ronson

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I just want you to know that it makes me feel like shit to do this." "And Jonah paused," Michael told me. "And then he said to me, no joke, he said, 'You know, I really don't care how you feel.'" Michael shook his head. "It was icy. — Jon Ronson

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I was much crazier than I had imagined. Or maybe it was a bad idea to read DSM-IV when you're not a trained professional. Or maybe the American Psychiatric Association had a crazy desire to label all life a mental disorder. — Jon Ronson

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That's an incredibly depressing thought," I said "that if you're in a room and at one end lies madness and at the other end lies sanity it is human nature to veer towards the madness end. — Jon Ronson

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I didn't want to write a book that advocated for a less curious world. Prurient curiosity may not be great. But curiosity is. People's flaws need to be written about. The flaws of some people lead to horrors inflicted on others. And then there are the more human flaws that, when you shine a light onto them, de-demonize people who might otherwise be seen as ogres. — Jon Ronson

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In fact, ever since I first learned about confirmation bias, I've been seeing it everywhere. — Jon Ronson

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We're living in post-nuance online times. — Jon Ronson

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Shall we go?' he murmured, perhaps regretting his decision to show me his army of plastic cartoon figurines. — Jon Ronson

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The killer's name was Michael Stone and he was a known psychopath. He had previous convictions. But the law stated that only patients whose mental disorders were considered treatable could be detained beyond their prison sentences. Psychopaths were considered untreatable and so Michael Stone had to be free. — Jon Ronson

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Is Obama satanic?" he asked me. I was grateful for the conversation starter - I consider anything that staves off social awkwardness to be a blessing - but I couldn't lie. — Jon Ronson

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I should be campaigning for his release in print in a way that appeared crusading but actually wasn't quite effective enough to work. Like planting barely noticeable seeds of doubt into the prose. Subtle. I — Jon Ronson

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We're creating a culture where people feel constantly surveilled, where people are afraid to be themselves. — Jon Ronson

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You remain with the person you've just been yelling at until the resentments fizzle. That's how wounds heal. — Jon Ronson

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I consider it somewhat psychopathic to label someone from afar as a psychopath. We love nothing more than to declare other people insane, especially people we don't like. — Jon Ronson

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Faking mental illness to get out of a prison sentence, he explained, is exactly the kind of deceitful and manipulative act you'd expect of a psychopath. — Jon Ronson

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Ignominy is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death . . . It would seem strange that ignominy should ever have been adopted as a milder punishment than death, did we not know that the human mind seldom arrives at truth up on any subject till it has first reached the extremity of error. - BENJAMIN RUSH, "AN ENQUIRY INTO THE EFFECTS OF PUBLIC PUNISHMENTS UPON CRIMINALS, AND UPON SOCIETY," MARCH 9, 1787 — Jon Ronson

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Bryna is convinced her children are bipolar, and I wasn't going to swoop into a stranger's home for an afternoon and tell them all they were normal. — Jon Ronson

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At the end of our conversation she (Martha Stout) turned to address you, the reader. She said if you're beginning to feel worried that you may be a psychopath, if you recognize some of those traits in yourself, if you're feeling a creeping anxiety about it, that means you are not one. — Jon Ronson

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People who are normal (i.e., sane, sensible) don't try to open lines of communication with total strangers by writing them a series of disjointed, weird, cryptic messages. — Jon Ronson

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The alt-right's small gains in popularity will not be enough to win Trump the election. This is not Germany in the 1930s. All that's changed is that one of Alex's fans - one of those grumpy looking middle-aged men sitting in David Icke's audience - is now the Republican nominee. But if some disaster unfolds - if Hillary's health declines further, or she grows ever more off-puttingly secretive - and Trump gets elected, he could bring Alex and the others with him. The idea of Donald Trump and Alex Jones and Roger Stone and Stephen Bannon having power over us - that is terrifying. THE — Jon Ronson

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She chuckled to herself, pressed send, and wandered around the airport for half an hour, sporadically checking Twitter. "I got nothing," she told me. "No replies." I imagined her feeling a bit deflated about this - that sad feeling when nobody congratulates you for being funny, that black silence when the Internet doesn't talk back. — Jon Ronson

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A strange thing happens when you interview a robot. You feel an urge to be profound: to ask profound questions. I suppose it's an inter-species thing. Although if it is I wonder why I never try and be profound around my dog.
'What does electricity taste like?' I ask.
'Like a planet around a star,' Bina48 replies.
Which is either extraordinary or meaningless - I'm not sure which — Jon Ronson

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In the midst of a burning-hot shaming, calling for patience and context and understanding and empathy can really land you in trouble. — Jon Ronson

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We should be like dogs. — Jon Ronson

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At what point does querying diagnostic criteria tip over into mocking the unusual symptoms of people in very real distress? — Jon Ronson

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In 1996 Hubacek had been driving drunk at 100 mph with no headlights. He crashed into a van carrying a married couple and their nanny. The husband and the nanny were killed. Poe sentenced Hubacek to 110 days of boot camp, and to carry a sign once a month for ten years in front of high schools and bars that read, I KILLED TWO PEOPLE WHILE DRIVING DRUNK, and to erect a cross and a Star of David at the scene of the crash and to keep it maintained, and to keep photographs of the victims in his wallet for ten years, and to send $10 every week for ten years to a memorial fund in the names of the victims, and to observe the autopsy of a person killed in a drink-driving accident. — Jon Ronson

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On social media there's this thing where on many occasions, there's a single proscribed way of acting. Like if somebody dies, everyone has to say "R.I.P.! R.I.P.!" Basically they're saying, "Don't hurt me, I'm a good person." — Jon Ronson

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Serial killers ruin families,' shrugged Bob. 'Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies. — Jon Ronson

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He did another experiment, the Startle Reflex Test, in which psychopaths and non-psychopaths were invited to look at grotesque images, like crime-scene photographs of blown-apart faces, and then when they least expected it, Bob would let off an incredibly loud noise in their ear. The non-psychopaths would leap with astonishment. The psychopaths would remain comparatively serene. Bob — Jon Ronson

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Feeling no remorse must be a blessing when all you have are your memories — Jon Ronson

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Clive's point was that the criminal justice system is supposed to repair harm, but most prisoners - young, black - have been incarcerated for acts far less emotionally damaging than the injuries we noncriminals perpetrate upon one another all the time - bad husbands, bad wives, ruthless bosses, bullies, bankers. — Jon Ronson

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The quest for seizing that amygdala moment, those crushing seconds of unbearable, incapacitating shock, seizing these moments and not letting them go, dragging them out for as long as is operationally necessary, that, said Sid, is the aim of the Bucha effect. — Jon Ronson

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The judge took one look at it and threw it out. He said the honey trap was "deceptive conduct of the grossest kind"; the idea of "a psychological profile being admissible as proof of identity in any circumstances [was] redolent with considerable danger." And — Jon Ronson

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It may very well be that the frotteurist is a helpless victim in the clutches of his obsession, but it's equally possible that he's simply a bored creep looking for a cheap thrill. — Jon Ronson

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Only a handful of therapeutic communities inspired by his Massachusetts ones exist in American prisons today. But, as it happens, one of them is situated on the top floor of the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny, New Jersey. And it is being quietly run by the former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. — Jon Ronson

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A terrified-looking bystander, a nerdy man in a sweater, calls the police and stammers into the phone: 'A huge group of people are fighting and there's pepper spray and superheroes and I don't know. — Jon Ronson

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They can't shit on us," said Alex. "That's really what I'm saying. You can't shit on us anymore." There was a silence. "I just want them to stop shitting on us," said Alex. "OK," I said. "Sorry. — Jon Ronson

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This place is packed with beautiful hipsters. While the Coney Island bombast radiated sincerity, everything here seems more ironic. When someone in the crowd ironically chants, 'USA!' someone else ironically chants back, 'Mother Russia. — Jon Ronson

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What a brilliant cover story. In a success-obsessed society like this one, what's the best rock to hide something under? It's the rock called failure. — Jon Ronson

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If anyone should change their behaviour, I thought, it ought to be those doing the shaming. — Jon Ronson

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Remember that the crazy people are not always to be found on the outside. Sometimes the crazy people are deeply embedded on the inside. Not even the most imaginative conspiracy theorist has ever thought to invent a scenario in which a crack team of Special Forces soldiers and major generals secretly try to walk through their walls and stare goats to death. — Jon Ronson

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after his lawyer argued that given the passage of time, he wouldn't have a fair hearing. He became a pariah in the offender-profiling world. Now, — Jon Ronson

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He blamed psychopaths for the brutal excesses of capitalism itself, that the system at its cruelest was a manifestation of a few people's anomalous amygdalae. — Jon Ronson

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We see ourselves as nonconformist, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conservative age. — Jon Ronson

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Ask a victim to look at the positive things and she'll say, 'I can't. My eyes are swollen, — Jon Ronson

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For the first hundred years, as far as I could tell, all that happened in America was that various people named Nathaniel had purchased land near rivers. — Jon Ronson

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It's not a remarkable note except for one thing. The typeface Tony used to print it is the exact typeface Kubrick used for the posters and title sequences of 'Eyes Wide Shut' and '2001'.
'It's Futura Extra Bold,' explains Tony. 'It was Stanley's favorite typeface. It's sans serif. He liked Helvetica and Univers too. Clean and elegant.'
'Is this the kind of thing you and Kubrick used to talk about?' I asked.
'God, yes,' says Tony. 'Sometimes late into the night. I was always trying to persuade him to turn away from them. But he was wedded to his sans serifs. — Jon Ronson

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I remembered those psychologists who said psychopaths made the world go around. They meant it: society was, they claimed, an expression of that particular sort of madness. — Jon Ronson

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maybe the American Psychiatric Association had a crazy desire to label all life a mental disorder. I — Jon Ronson

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As soon as the victim steps out of the pact by refusing to feel ashamed," he said, "the whole thing crumbles. — Jon Ronson

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I love the way you talk. You just let it flow from you as if you own all the words in the world. They're your personal property and you make them dance for you. — Jon Ronson

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But we know that people are complicated and have a mixture of flaws and talents and sins. So why do we pretend that we don't? — Jon Ronson

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Trying to prove you're not a psychopath is even harder than trying to prove you're not mentally ill,' said Tony. — Jon Ronson

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I did feel like they were telling me that something like that was going to happen. Not specifically - not that planes were going to be flown into the World Trade Center or anything like that - but in the general sense. — Jon Ronson

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My worryingly paradoxical thought process could be summarized thus: Thank God I don't believe in the secret rulers of the world. Imagine what the secret rulers of the world might do to me if I did! — Jon Ronson

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In our line of work the more humiliated a person is, the more viral the story tends to go. Shame can factor large in the life of a journalist - the personal avoidance of it and the professional bestowing of it onto others. — Jon Ronson

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This is bizarre," Dan said. "I find it really strange - the way you're approaching this. You must be one of the very few people who have chosen to come on Twitter and use their own name as their Twitter name. Who does that? And that's why I'm a little suspicious of your motives, Jon. That's why I say I think you're using it as brand management. — Jon Ronson

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Many kids who would have been called eccentric, different, were suddenly labeled autistic." I — Jon Ronson

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I once asked a car-crash victim what it had felt like to be in a smashup. She said her eeriest memory was how one second the car was her friend, working for her, its contours designed to fit her body perfectly, everything smooth and sleek and luxurious, and then a blink of an eye later it had become a jagged weapon of torture- like she was inside an iron maiden. Her friend had become her worst enemy. — Jon Ronson

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Bedlam: an institution with a history so fearsome it gave its name to a synonym for chaos and pandemonium. — Jon Ronson

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If I had a spouse and two kids to support I certainly would not be telling 'jokes' like he was doing at a conference. — Jon Ronson

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I suppose that when shamings are delivered like remotely administered drone strikes nobody needs to think about how ferocious our collective power might be. — Jon Ronson

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Justice departments and parole boards all over the world have accepted his contention that psychopaths are quite simply incurable and everyone should concentrate their energies instead on learning how to root them out using his PCL-R Checklist, which he has spent a lifetime refining. His was not the only psychopath checklist around, but it was by far the most extensively used. — Jon Ronson

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There is nothing I dislike more in the world than people who care more about ideology than they do about people. — Jon Ronson

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All over the world, famous people began declaring themselves LeBon fans. Like Mussolini: "I have read all the work of Gustave LeBon and I don't know how many times I have reread The Crowd. It is a capital work to which, to this day, I frequently refer." And Goebbels: "Goebbels thinks that no one since the Frenchman LeBon has understood the mind of the masses as well as he," wrote Goebbels's aide Rudolf Semmler in his wartime diary. — Jon Ronson

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if you get between the lawyer and his goal, you're going to get hurt. — Jon Ronson

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Sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges. — Jon Ronson

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Shame internalized can lead to agony. — Jon Ronson

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The NSA is looking for terrorists. They're not getting psychosexual pleasure out of their schadenfreude about you. - — Jon Ronson

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It's not a good idea to define the boundaries of normality by tearing apart people who are outside of it. — Jon Ronson

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But with social media, we've created a stage for constant artificial high drama. Every day a new person emerges as a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. — Jon Ronson

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I saw at least one analysis of the experiment where the author seemed to find it perfectly plausible that if a person was overcome by a violent madness he'd involuntarily start to sound like someone from Louisiana. — Jon Ronson

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Well, I had nightmares when I was doing the Klan story all the time. I had a recurring nightmare of basically being exposed as a Jew inside the Klan compound. — Jon Ronson

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Their puffed-out cheeks are beetroot-red, making them resemble sweaty, meat-smeared squirrels. — Jon Ronson

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The days that followed passed slowly. I lay in my hotel room and watched the kind of strange European TV that would probably make perfect sense if I understood the language, but because I didn't, the programs just seemed dreamlike and baffling. In one studio show a group of Scandinavian academics watched as one of them poured liquid plastic into a bucket of cold water. It solidified, they pulled it out, handed it around the circle, and, as far as I could tell, intellectualized on its random misshapenness. I phoned home but my wife didn't answer. It crossed my mind that she might be dead. I panicked. Then it turned out that she wasn't dead. She had just been at the shops. — Jon Ronson

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In regular circumstances, 60 percent of criminal psychopaths released into the outside world go on to re-offend. What percentage of their psychopaths had? As it turned out: 80 percent. The Capsule had made the psychopaths worse. — Jon Ronson

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Twitter hates tabloids, but Twitter is constantly acting like a tabloid, repeating the mistakes of the things we're hoping to better. — Jon Ronson

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Shameworthiness lies in the space between who we are and how we present ourselves to the world — Jon Ronson

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(What Jim had seen tallied with studies conducted after the Second World
War by the military historian General S.L.A. Marshall. He interviewed thousands of American infantrymen and concluded that only 15-20 per cent of them had actually shot to kill. The rest had fired high or not fired at all, busying themselves however else they could. And 98 per cent of the soldiers who did shoot to kill were later found to have been deeply traumatized by their actions. The other 2 per cent were diagnosed as 'aggressive psychopathic personalities', who basically didn't mind killing people under any circumstances, at home or abroad.
The conclusion - in the words of Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman of the Killology Research Group - was: 'there is something about continuous, inescapable combat which will drive 98 per cent of all men insane, and the other 2 per cent were crazy when they got there'.) — Jon Ronson