Monday, June 23, 2003

Depressive Induction

Government sources today were cock-a-hoop at the success of their latest mass control strategy, known as PDI, or public depressive induction. Involving a surreptious London-wide release of thin gas containing mild serotonin-inhibiting neurotransmitters, the government has received results back suggesting a four-fold rise in reported depression amongst Londoners in the four weeks that the gas has been circulated. Since doctors are estimated to only see around 5% of depressive episodes - since most people dont necessarily see the doctor as an answer for their symptoms - this figure suggests that close to 65-70% of London's population suffered a tangible and negative response to the gas release, a wildly successful figure for this type of activity.

However, the whole project has been criticised because despite the evident success of the gas, the actual results of increasing depression in the capital are more difficult to establish. It is well known that many people react differently to mild depression, only some succumbing to the desirable langour whilst others engage in all sorts of unpredictable behaviour in response. In this light, the popularity of depressive-inducers as a tool of public governance is quite courageous and unexpected. Some experts suggest the rather cynical idea that once the mild form is easily created, the more serious and predictable form could be used. Of course, powerful depression, whilst a potent inhibitor of public disorder, is frequently responsible for suicide, which is frowned upon by the industry and treasury ministries. However, the government report which first recommended the experiment, seems to be content with the results purely from mild depression induction. We have exclusively obtained a copy and excerpts are reprinted below.

"Mild depression is useful to be able to cause, because it tends to make people choose from a smaller pallette of options. Because it is generally quite prominent, even in mild form, in the sufferers consciousness, it will force the person very quickly to make otherwise unnecessary changes to their plans and habits. The form that these changes will take are dependent on several factors, but are quite easily split into four groups. These are 1) langour 2) hyperactivity 3) religious observance 4)alcoholism. The problem is, of course, that which of these four any one person will choose is not easily predictable. Even if one person has a tendency to choose one, another may be chosen with no apparent or obvious causation involved. Of these 1,3 and 4 are perhaps best suited for this public policy although both 3 and 4 can have severe downsides, involving typically violence and/or terrorism. 2 is too dangerous to be seriously used in this public policy, due to the unpredictability which is in its nature, although as it tends to affect less than 25% of those affected, it may be felt a reasonable price to pay.

"In so far as the unpredictability makes the experiment useless, we take the view that since largely the results will follow statistical predictions, chaotic individuality is not to be a major concern. This is the why, of course, such a policy is better suited to large urban areas where statistics have a chance to off set each other, instead of small villages and towns, where individual cases may have a far greater impact on the result of the entire experiment. For this reason we dont recommend the use of this policy on conurbations with populations smaller than 500,000 (five hundred thousand), and preferably not less than 1,000,000 (one million).

"The purpose of causing mild depressive instances in the general public is three fold. Firstly the immediate effects, which have been detailed above. Secondly, the unexpected and unattributable cause of the instance (to the sufferer) greatly enhances his impression of self-uncontrol and of insecurity. This is clearly beneficial to any serious public policy. The third effect is to coincidentally undermine any alternative treatments being sought for non-government-induced depression, since the sufferer will be certainly be distracted by the apparent failure of the treatment to prevent the episode. Whilst initially only a knock-on effect, this may yet play a very important role in the longer term public policy, in that pulling the wood out of the fire of alternative and independent treatment facilities will certainly be beneficial if and when a full mind control facility becomes available."

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