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  1. #1
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    Suicide Note: The Manifesto of Mitchell Heisman

    After the Virginia Tech incident, I figured this kind of thing was gunna keep happening, and it was gunna keep getting bigger. It was going to evolve.

    Hell, when you really think about it, the Virginia Tech incident was just the evolution of the Columbine incident: people (young men, really) looking for recognition, and doing something ridiculous (killing other people) in order to get it.

    This case is different, however: this guy, Mitchell Heisman, didn't kill other people; he killed himself...

    In this way, there's nothing nearly as ignoble about what he did as the idiots who killed other people.

    Moreover, he published a 1,900-page suicide note that, from just a cursory glance (I've only read the Introduction, the Tables of Contents, and the Bibliography), seems to be coherent (at least for a 1,900-page suicide note), and possibly even intriguing (I won't know about its potential merit until I've read more of it).

    So, anyway, among the various instances of this kind of behavior, this particular manifestation is by far the most interesting.

    Depending on whether this manifesto is any good, it could end up becoming very popular, and potentially inspire a bunch of copycats (which would likely be lame)...

    Anyway, here's the guy's website: suicide_note

    I might read a chapter or so a day of it, and I figure, if there actually is any merit to the work (or even if not), we could discuss it here.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure that he was of sound mind.

    Reading some of the content and the chapter headings on that website I tend to think there's some traces of "My Genius" and "higher purpose" narcissism.

    I'm not sure that Norman conquest was as definitive a moment as is made out, the many wars or religion which followed where probably as significant, the toleration acts and attempts at peaceful co-existence of rival religious communities probably has as much to do with the development of liberal democracy.

  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    It reads a bit 'bipolar'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not so sure that he was of sound mind.
    Maybe this is the case, maybe it is not.

    The much more relevant question is: do his ideas have any merit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Reading some of the content and the chapter headings on that website I tend to think there's some traces of "My Genius" and "higher purpose" narcissism.

    I'm not sure that Norman conquest was as definitive a moment as is made out, the many wars or religion which followed where probably as significant, the toleration acts and attempts at peaceful co-existence of rival religious communities probably has as much to do with the development of liberal democracy.
    I have to say that I do agree with the "My Genius" and "'higher purpose' narcissism" stuff -- it seems to be the classic Ni+Fi loop kinda stuff we see in INTJs...

    I also agree that these other issues you've pointed out may very well have plenty to do with the development of liberal democracy...

    Nevertheless, have you read all 1,900 pages and given him an honest chance to argue his thesis?

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    It reads a bit 'bipolar'.
    It reads a bit INTJ to me...

    ***

    The best comments I've found from a blog covering the story:

    reader machajew said... ►1
    Holding a degree in psychology, referencing Nietzsche or Socrates, and using high sounding intellectual jargon does NOT constitute intelligence. Mitchell Heisman's manifesto is unintelligible and is very clearly the work of a very well-read, but a (very sadly) mentally unstable person. This isn't a work of genius that will be ignored by the 'ignorant masses.' There is (unfortunately, although it would fit all too well into a movie about some tortured genius who made giant philosophical strides and then cryptically terminated himself) nothing of real intellectual substance in its pages. It is thousands of pages of meandering, often completely incoherent writing. There is no 'wisdom' in its pages, only academic words strung together that sound like they might constitute a philosophical treatise.

    Even skimming the pages of this work reveals an unbelievable story however: this is a work that obviously required a tremendous amount of time and effort, and it is fascinating that it materialized out of such a troubled and unstable man. We don't often associate mentally unstable people with arranging massive and meticulously laid out (albeit incoherent) manifestos and websites.

    The saddest part about this is that it appears this intelligent and obviously earnest man didn't have anybody in his life that could have picked up on this and gotten him the help he needed. I got the impression from the Harvard Crimson article that he was very secluded, with commentary only from his 76 year old mother and an 'acquiantance.'

    I have to admit, though, that I knew while reading this that it will get precisely the kind of attention that this blog is giving it...That is, elevating it to the work of a marginalized and justified genius that will be ignored because all the people out there won't give it the attention it so righteously deserves. Unfortunately, there is nothing in these pages to be remembered, and I only hope that not too many people jump on the pseudo-intellectual misfounded-self-righteous-cynicism that tries to ascribe the writing off of this text to some kind of social injustice born out of ignorant public understanding...The only tragic injustice here is that this man didn't have somebody around to help him get control of himself.

    Sep 23, 2010 1:42:00 AM ...


    reader steve sailer said... ►2
    At Luke's suggestion, I've skimmed over a 100 pages or so. He could have used an editor and a proofreader, but, at times, it reminds me of the first chapter of Camille Paglia's "Sexual Personae," which is pretty high praise.

    Sep 23, 2010 10:02:00 AM ...


    reader bbear said... ►3
    What Machajew said. And especially his picking up on Heisman's exquisite loneliness. There's some similarity to the Unabomber (Kaczynski), a Harvard math PhD who went from a faculty position at UC Berkeley to living alone in a shack in the Montana woods mailing bombs to people he'd never met. But Kaczynski's Manifesto, while not great, was both shorter and more coherent than Heisman's opus, while, of course, Heisman didn't hurt anybody but himself...

    Some readers may remember that years ago there was a crazy woman who kept breaking into the home of television comedian David Letteman. The police would arrest her but eventually she'd come back and break in again. In the end, she killed herself by stepping in front of a train in a particularly desolate part of western Colorado. I thought of her when I saw the Mitchell Heisman thing, the same inner desolation, the empty silence inside buried beneath a snowfall of 1905 pages...

    Sep 23, 2010 5:33:00 PM ...


    reader the author said... ►4
    Let's not be harsh here. Has anyone read all 1905 pages? I knew Mitch. I think we all need a little more time to absorb what he's written before we get too carried away in our comments.

    Sep 23, 2010 11:44:00 PM ...


    reader the author said... ►5
    I knew Mitch. He was not the Unabomber. Don't be so quick to compare a lonely guy to a murderer. He had good qualities and didn't kill anyone. Also, has anyone read all 1905 pages yet? Can we try and absorb what he's written first before we start making conclusive comments?

    Sep 23, 2010 11:46:00 PM ...
    These comments accurately sum up my thoughts on the matter...

    The last guy says it all...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Is it as good as Kaczynski's manifesto?
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    if there actually is any merit to the work (or even if not), we could discuss it here.
    It reminds me of a sixteen page suicide note I have here from my friend Alan.

    Alan had a Phd from MIT in Physics. His Phd thesis led to an invention that was bought for a large sum by the USA military. But Alan spent all the money on a futile attempt to create another invention. So broke, but with a Phd in Physics from MIT, Alan returned to his home State of Tasmania, Australia. He built his own house, married and had two children. But one day there was a knock on the door and two policemen told Alan his wife and two children had been killed in a car accident. As a reaction to this intolerable blow, Alan went to live in the Tasmanian Bush where he had some kind of religious experience and he decided to devote the rest of his life to helping people.

    So Alan enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University, Canberra. And after four years he graduated with Honours and from then on did mostly pro-bono legal work for the poor and disadvantaged, with occasional highly lucrative cases across Australia.

    Alan married once again but would not have any more children and he was elected to local government which he loved.

    But his wife wanted children and so left him and at the same time the voters failed to elect him to Council. So Alan went down to Tasmania to say goodbye to his mother, he came back and booked into an expensive hotel in Canberra, left a note on the door to the cleaners to not come in but to call the police, and stepped into a warm bath, put a plastic bag over his head and took sleeping pills.

    And left a sixteen page suicide note.

    He would never tell me his middle name but on the death certificate I discovered it was Vasco.

  7. #7
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    This could be interesting. A highly interesting challenge.

    I start today.
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    This could be interesting. A highly interesting challenge.

    I start today.
    Spare your precious free time, young Sister! Go bowling! Go skydiving! Live!!!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    This could be interesting. A highly interesting challenge.

    I start today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Spare your precious free time, young Sister! Go bowling! Go skydiving! Live!!!
    What if this is an extremely enlightening and productive use of Antimony's time?

    And how is he/she to know this without actually reading the piece?

    Interestingly enough, my first thought upon reading Heisman's introduction is that the real issue about our society is not so much what Heisman is arguing (that his piece/socio-biology will be actively suppressed in a liberal democracy), but that, even if there is merit to the socio-biological argument, it will often tend to be passively ignored.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    This reminds me of Philipp Mainländer.

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