Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary film maker. His books, Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats were international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare At Goats was adapted into a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.He's written the popular "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary" columns for The Guardian, where he still contributes features. He currently writes and presents the twice Sony nominated BBC Radio 4 series, Jon Ronson On...For Channel 4, Jon has made a number of films including the acclaimed five part series the Secret Rulers of the World and the multi-award-winning Tottenham Ayatollah. His most recent documentaries are Reverend Death (Channel 4), Citizen Kubrick (More4) and Robbie Williams and Jon Ronson Journey to the Other Side (Radio 4). In the US, he is a contributor to Public Radio International's This American Life.

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I thought about my own overanxious brain, my own sort of madness. Was it a more powerful engine in my life than my rationality? 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.
Suddenly, madness was everywhere, and I was determined to learn about the impact it had on the way society evolves. I’ve always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn’t? What if it is built on insanity?
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He realized that if you engage with therapy, it’s an indication you’re getting better, and if you’re getting better, they have the legal right to detain you, and so if he took no therapy at all, he couldn’t get better, he’d be untreatable, and they’d have to let him go. (As the law stands in the UK, you cannot indefinitely detain an “untreatable” patient if their crime was a relatively minor crime like GBH.)
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“What if the wife of a psychopath reads this?” I asked. “What should she do? Leave?”
“Yes,” said Martha. “I would like to say leave. You’re not going to hurt someone’s feelings because there are no feelings to hurt.” She paused. “Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there’s not much left except the will to win.”

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