First go at writing something for the blog, hopefully I’ll be able to make a series of it, although I’m ready to admit it’s not the most original piece and I’m not entirely certain where it’s going from here.
“Madness, it is said, is an affliction and a disease of the mind, that it assaults and weakens the psyche; I do not believe this. History has shown the strength of insanity, from the towering empires of the Romans and the terrifying rage of the berserker to the little man with his big gun who carves his way into urban legend and the genius whose madness changes the world forever. It is this essence I have worked to isolate, to refine madness to its purest form, to create the very spirit of twisted brilliance. In so doing I will bring in a new age of enlightenment, not through the bland study of the world and its working, fruitless dead ends and empty theories, the endless hours of ridiculous counting and measuring. My vision will let men release themselves from the bonds of the rational and set themselves free to explore the great expanse of the mind without limitation, no longer will they be restricted by the belief that one plus one must equal two. They will be free to define themselves through their own minds, not through the outdated words of the men who went before them.”
That speech had been a week ago and as a result he’d been laughed out of the university, it was only his tenure that prevented him from being removed all together. He sat at his computer and typed furiously, running over and over the same document; writing and rewriting obsessively while chain smoking as though the tobacco could burn away the humiliation. He had long suspected that he himself was on the verge of insanity, constantly under pressure to produce testable results from his theoretical works, never able to quite make the connection that would validate his hypothesis. He needed physical testing, that’s what it was; actual subjects to test on. The university was full of students constantly on edge, torturing themselves through academic obsession, it was the perfect place to find candidates but the faculty would never approve human testing and animal testing was completely out of the question. He went to take a drink of his coffee and for the third time realised that he’d drunk it all some time ago. Leaning back in his chair and exhaling smoke like a steam engine, he pondered about how he could get subjects; if he just studied them, took a few measurements from them, asked a few questions then he could probably get the data he needed without actual experimentation, after all, he only needed to make the hypothesis testable, he didn’t need to go into the real physical side just yet, that would come later after he’d proved his work was sound.
Nathan could never decide why exactly he was doing what he was doing, he was easily led and that bothered him immensely; he was certainly intelligent, exceptionally so, but he was also very credulous. He’d taken most of his courses based on what his father had told him because “that’s what the up and coming generation would be relying on”. He wondered about the practical applications of acoustics, Byzantine studies and meteorology when he really wanted to work in electrical engineering to help make electric cars more practical and affordable. He wandered the university halls as he always did at lunchtime and secretly bemoaned his easy nature; as he walked past the notice board outside the student’s common room he noticed a brightly coloured A4 sign which read
‘ Subjects wanted for analysis on the psychological effects of university life and study methods
Please contact Prof. W. Williams, psychology’
Nathan shrugged as he decided ‘why not?’ it might help him make sense of everything.