Another in a series of nodes on:

How to tell if you are crazy

Making tangential associations are a sign of creativity and intelligence, in theory (hence exams like the Miller Analogies Test). This database, and the whole concept behind hyperlinks, is based on the idea that one thing leads to another in our minds. Most of us think this is fun, even if friends and relatives may poke fun and describe us as being "flaky" and characterize our attention spans as being "hamster-like."

In the field of mental health, certain psychotic people take this to an unhealthy extreme. Imagine talking to people whose idea of association is as follows:

Well, I used to visit the beach and I was there a lot, on the beach, on the sand, like an hourglass, with time flying, you know time moving on, I was moving all the time, Mr.UHaul they called me. I was around, not fat really, just around and they put me on a diet and I said I wasn't dead, just sick and they sent me to a hospital for help and they said they didn't need help and I should come back later.................

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