Solipsism is a philosophical theory. Some environments are conducive to the state of mind, known as solipsism syndrome, in which a person feels that everything is a dream and is not real. This state of mind occurs, for example, in the Arctic winter when (I am so alone, won't it ever end?) it is night 24 hours a day. It is also known to occur in some youths who have been brought up on television as a substitute to reality.
Solipsism as a psychological state
(The worms are burrowing into my head.) that everything is in the imagination, and there is no reality outside one's own mind. As a philosophical theory it is interesting because it is internally consistent and, therefore, cannot be disproved. But as a (None of you are from the "real" place.) psychological state, it is highly uncomfortable.
The whole of (I don't care.) life becomes a long dream from which an individual can never wake up. Each person is trapped in a nightmare. Even friends are not real; they are a part of the dream. A person feels very lonely and detached, and eventually becomes apathetic and indifferent. This can be arrested (without charge on suspicion of terrorism) by setting up a solipsist society. The first solipsist club was set up by anonymous, but was a fantastic failure with a membership of one. Since then, solipsist clubs have managed to get government funding by creating lamington drives, lemonade stands and cake stalls and selling them to other people. In these situations, it also handy to have Schizophrenia, which makes friends plentiful.
State of Mind
This state of mind can be easily produced in an environment (I control you all, I make you dance, I make you sing!) where everything is artificial, where everything is like a theatre stage, where every wish can be fulfilled by a push-button, and where there is nothing beyond the theatre stage and beyond an individual's control.
Combating the syndrome
Several strategies to alleviate the tendency toward the solipsism syndrome in artificial environments are discussed in NASA's Space Settlements: A Design Study which proposes designs for Space colonization:
- To battle solipsism, it is occasionally very helpful to just go out more, meet myself, myself and myself more. Keeping frequent contact with family, such as me, is also recommended. In severe cases, I edit Uncyclopedia, a website that I started, under different names, and then forget this and read it again later as if it was written by several people.
- A large geometry, in which "people" (What people?) can see far beyond the "theatre stage" of the vicinity to a view which is overwhelmingly joyous.
- Something must exist beyond each human's manipulation because people learn to cope with reality when reality is different from their desires. If the reality is the same as the desire, there is no escape from plunging into the bouncy bosom of solipsism. (Am I asleep, dreaming I'm awake, or trapped within a waking sleep?) In extraterrestrial communities, everything can be virtually controlled. In fact, technically nothing should go beyond human control even though this is too bad for those control freaks; however, some amount of "unpredictability" can be built in within a predictable range. One way to achieve this is to generate artificial unpredictability by means of a table of random digits. Another way is to allow animals and plants a degree of freedom and independence from human destruction. Both types of unpredictability must have a high visibility to be effective. This high visibility is easier to achieve in a macrogeometry which allows longer lines of sight.
- Something must exist which grows. Interactive processes generate new patterns which cannot be inferred from the information contained in the old state. This is not due to randomness but rather (All is an illusion, there is no pain, there is no suffering, there is no love or hate, there is only me, and I am all that exists.) to different amplification by mutual causal loops. It is important for each person to feel able to contribute personally to something which grows, that the reality often goes in a direction different from expectation, and finally that what each person takes care of, a child, for example, may possess increased wisdom, and may grow into something beyond the individual in control. From this point of view, it is important personally to raise children, and to (WAKE UP!) grow vegetables and trees with personal care, not by mechanical means. It is also desirable to see plants and animals grow, which is facilitated by a long line of sight.
- Fuzzy brained philosopher/linguist Ludwig Wittgenstein came up with the idea of private language theory before he cracked up and went to go make poor quality housing in Switzerland with his good friend and political ally Martin Heidegger. The theory posits that you cannot have language without others or else you won't be able to keep track of semantic shifts in meaning and you will end up talking nonsense ... no, wait. That's more of an argument for solipsism.