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Enter the Brave New World of Internet Psychology

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The internet is full of crazies, which is to say people crazier than you are, which is to say everyone. Swing a mouse and you'll hit dozens of people exhibiting symptoms of severe mental illness, such as unwarranted hostility, being a complete jackass all the time, and liking stupid movies that only stupid people like.

The question is, how can you help these people? More specifically, how can you help them shut the hell up? Obviously, the same way you help anyone else: You tell them what's wrong with them.

However, you're caught in something of a Catch-22. The main symptom of a severely damaged person is that they don't agree with you, so how can you convince them you're right?

Clearly, you need the weight of authority behind you. People might be able to ignore the fact that you were a guild leader until those jerks all left, or that you helped port NetHack to Windows CE, but they can't ignore the diagnosis of an actual psychologist!

The two problems with traditional psychology are that it takes years to get a degree, and that the powers that be expect you to actually listen to people and ask them questions before you diagnose them. Given that you already know what's wrong with that guy who keeps saying third edition was the best version of Shadowrun, talking is a waste of time (never mind the whole school thing).

That's why I'm starting the Westbester University College of Internet Studies, the only degree-granting university that exists entirely in my office. You can get a Ph.D in internet psychology in little more than the amount of time it takes to send me $200 using PayPal.

Best of all, the brand-new science of internet psychology disposes with the rigorously boring standards of the DSM-IV in favor of a method of diagnosis that can be performed entirely over the internet without the voluntary participation or even knowledge of the patient. Simply order a copy of my Internet Pathology Diagnosis Manual ($70), and you can perform easy, quick diagnoses like the following:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Forum-Stalking Axis Patient exhibits two or more of the following symptoms for a period of more than two postings:

* Keeps replying to you on a public forum even though you've told them you're not going to respond to them.

* Brings up something you said months ago, as if it has anything to do with anything.

* E-mails you after you e-mailed them telling them not to e-mail you.

* Is a complete jerk.

Narcissistic Disorder Patient exhibits two or more of the following symptoms:

* Thinks they're right all the time.

* Doesn't shut up even though they're obviously wrong and you proved it.

* Is a complete jerk.

Furthermore, your internet psychology degree entitles you to present a diagnosis of Aspberger syndrome without any formal analysis because you can just tell, OK? You've got a degree!

Best of all, an interent psychology degree allows you to think up and register entirely new disorders for the completely reasonable price of $100 (plus a $20-a-year renewal fee). Tired of listening to people saying how cool Firefly was when Stargate: Atlantis was much better and also it didn't get cancelled after one season, just saying? Just diagnose them with Whedon Derangement Syndrome and you can dismiss anything they say as the product of a diseased mind.

Why settle for being right when you can get a degree in being right? Register with the Westbester University College of Internet Psychology and start the enrichment process.


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