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Seriously Demented

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It's past midnight. The cacophony of the city still bounces off the facades. A lonely shadowy figure appears under a dim streetlight, walking slowly, looking behind every few strides. A parka hood hides his visage, making him look to anyone walking his way like the Unabomber.

Suddenly he stops, backs into a doorway, and peeks out in both directions. The street is empty. He leaps into the street and races to the other side, checking in either direction. The street is still empty. He approaches a doorway, pulls a key out of his pocket, unlocks the door, and moves through without a sound. The portal closes then opens again, and a face with wild suspicious eyes again scans the street. It's still empty. The door closes.

The coast is clear - for now. It's a good time to take up the war against the secret conspiracy out to destroy Apple Incorporated.

Welcome to Seriously Demented.

Daniel Eran Dilger used to be a NeXT fan. He used to drive by their headquarters every day and dream of being in on their groundbreaking business. NeXT became part of history, 'merging' with Apple; Dilger became a militant Apple freak.

Dilger works much the same way as his precursor Gruber. The latter knows how to get hits and sell ads and t-shirts: wait until someone attacks Apple on convincing grounds to the extent the fanboys start shaking in their boots and proclaiming the sky is indeed falling after all. Then formulate the inevitable conclusion of the article - namely that Apple can do no wrong - then string the logic together to the beginning so it all sounds plausible. Gruber doesn't sell truth - he peddles calamine notion.

Dilger's a bit different: he too starts with the conclusions and then tries to retrofit the facts. But whilst Gruber is clever and cunning Dilger is only mad. Mad is in clinically insane mad. No one can point to exactly where Dilger went off the edge but more and more readers are reaching this conclusion on their own: Dilger lost a screw somewhere and all the king's horses and all the king's men have been unable to find it.

Dilger really believes there is a worldwide conspiracy against Apple. The conspiracy involves almost every journalist at every major media organisation anywhere. From the San Jose Mercury News to the Washington Post to pundits on Wall Street to Wired. From his own private correspondence it's obvious he doesn't know a lot about these conspirators but facts aren't an arbiter: an unfailing instinct is. And they're all secretly plotting to topple Apple.

It's an interesting tack if it's only a way to make money but it's not. Dilger's already been banned from Digg for malfeasance; something is loose upstairs.

Recently he attacked Charlie Miller, the NSA security researcher who demonstrated how to hack the iPhone. He called Miller literally every dirty name in the book. This site protested, carefully warning Dilger as others had done that his irrationality was going to undermine his own best interests. Dilger responded with hostility - in the world of Seriously Demented you're either in complete agreement with him, need a few more facts to reaffirm your alignment with his beliefs, or you're an enemy.

One of the most nagging complaints about Dilger is no one knows where he gets his facts from. He cites wild claims left and right and peppers his articles profusely with hyperlinks but these hyperlinks only lead to his other articles. There are no external sources. Try writing to him about it and asking where he got his information and he'll tell you 'it's online'. Dilger doesn't have sources but HE KNOWS.

Dilger's lost it. More and more he's an embarrassment. His readership is abandoning ship, aware something is really really wrong. Dilger's mind is unraveling at a frightening pace.

He might hang onto dear life another year or two but the white van with the friendly blokes in their white coats are for all practical purposes already parked at the front door, ready to take him to a more secure location far from the dangers of the world.

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