Sunday, May 2, 2010

The case for delusions of grandeur

An anonymous reader who refers to Wikipedia articles on delusional disorder, grandiose delusions, and megalomania, writes:

The open question in this case is whether the man is a charlatan, i.e., has knowingly pretended abilities or achievement to advance himself, or is delusional, i.e., actually believes that he moved from a successful career as an engineer to make fundamental contributions to physics which go unrecognized due to his nationality. (Or perhaps whether he began as a charlatan and only later became delusional.)

There is evidence that he is truly delusional -- how else to explain why he would so publicly flout various norms of professional propriety as editor of CSF, show up at 't Hooft's birthday party, and generally make public statements that are so easily disproven. But it's also important to recall that he began playing this game before the widespread availability of electronic resources for fact-checking of modern con artists, so he may have been lulled into a false sense of security in his ability to operate under the radar. Many of his generation have figured out it's a different world now in that regard from two decades ago, but he may not have fully adapted to it.

This is an excellent point, and one that has been under-emphasized on El Naschie Watch. I'd add that such successful public deception as El Naschie has carried on for years entails living the lie so deeply that the line between actor and character becomes blurred.

Translate English to Arabic
محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى

1 comment:

  1. There is substantial evidence that he is a con-man/charlatan and not, strictly speaking, delusional. Notice that he has not tried to publish his work in journals other than his own, which would provide the greater recognition he supposedly yearns, because he understands at some level that the work is content-free. He does not speak at real conferences about his work, again because he knows at some level that he would be exposed as a fraud. So he stays safely in his own little fiefdom, where he is king, surrounded by sycophants, risking nothing. He can go to 't Hooft birthday party-like events, posing as a "respected" journal editor and token representative of physics in the developing world, precisely because none of the major players have ever heard of nor recognize him. He tells transparent lies on arabic language television, not yet realizing that the videos may find their way into the larger internet world and reappear with multi-language subtitles.

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, ... and that is usually sufficient."