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February 23, 2006

aaob.blogspot.com — 'Plug that will probably be deleted by Joe'


Guess you don't know me as well as you thought, eh, Paul?

Paul is a "40-something" masters runner whose blog (aaob.blogspot.com) faithfully records his training efforts as he prepares for the main event: the National Masters Indoor Championships coming up on March 26, 2006.

Sure hope he doesn't stroke out when he pays his morning visit here, what with his advanced age and all....

You just never know with me.

I remember reading the riveting 1996 book "Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit," by John E. Douglas, who worked at the FBI for 25 years.


Yes, the TV show "Profiler" was a result of the book, in case you're wondering.

Anyway, the part that struck me and the only thing I remember from the book was Douglas's description of the bureau's worst nightmare, a person agents described as a "Random Actor."

The problem with Random Actors is that they are, in fact, random: past performance is unrelated to what they might do in the future; pattern recognition becomes useless and, in fact, a hindrance.

When I read that description I instantly recognized myself.

The only difference between me and all those feared criminals is that I'm not a criminal — rather, I'm pretty much a goody two–shoes.

But my thought processes are extraordinarily nonlinear, simultaneously both my most appalling and appealing characteristic — or so I've been told on so many occasions I lost count decades ago.

February 23, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Never Doubt Joe.


I also read 'Mindhunter' and found the subject fascinating. The section where he explains what psychics are probably doing to make their uncanny 'visions' seem so, well, uncanny, makes 'Medium' seem like a different program now.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 23, 2006 12:53:34 PM

Not on subject, I know, but after I read "Mindhunter" I was so intrigued that I went and read a few more of John Douglas's books, equally if not more galvanizing - "Journey Into Darkness," "Obsession," and "The Anatomy of Motive." Those aren't the same material of the first book just rehashed, either, but deeper territory. And like that wasn't enough, I also read the excellent "Whoever Fights Monsters" by Robert Ressler, and "The Evil That Men Do," by Roy Hazelwood, both ultra-experienced ex-FBI guys. It's not the sensational or lurid nature of the subject that I find so fascinating but the evolvement of what I guess would be "profiling" in its relatively early days. Obviously, not everybody's ideal reading material. And not to be read before bedtime.

Posted by: Flutist | Feb 23, 2006 11:51:01 AM

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