The Mindset of Jared Lee Loughner
Grammar, Literacy, and "Logic"
Posted: January 10, 2011
One set of subjects Loughner seems often to try to address are "grammar" and "literacy." For example, in a YouTube video titled "Hello," composed of screen shots of typed remarks, Loughner tells his audience that his hope for them is to be literate: "If you're literate in English grammar, then you comprehend English grammar. The majority of people, who reside in District-8, are illiterate—hilarious. I don't control your English grammar structure, but you control your English grammar structure."
Some viewers have interpreted these remarks as being potentially anti-immigrant in nature, suggesting that Loughner referred to Hispanic immigrants when he mentioned illiterate people. However, this may be a misinterpretation, because Loughner repeatedly calls people illiterate, including whites. For example, when he sent a link to one of his YouTube videos to all of his Myspace "friends"—who consisted largely of younger, white women—he introduced the link by saying "Hello, I know you're illiterate!" In a "goodbye" message he posted on Myspace in January 2011, he asked his friends not to be mad at him and stated that "The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven't talked to one person who is literate…" In a post on the "Above Top Secret" Forum in July 2010, user Erad3 similarly criticized another person's post and suggested that the other poster had not been taught literacy in school.
Similarly, on his YouTube profile, Loughner stated that his favorite interest was reading and that he "studied grammar." In one of his videos, he seemed to claim that the government was brainwashing people by "controlling grammar." In an April 2010 comment he left on someone's Myspace profile, he asked and answered an odd question: "Dude! What is the best part about 9/11? WE DIDN'T HAVE CORRECT GRAMMAR!"
Loughner had a similar interest in what he considered to be inductive and deductive reasoning. "This is the point of starting a thread," user Erad3 stated on the "Above Top Secret" forum. "To post about certain topics in inductive and deductive arguments." Erad3 repeatedly referred to inductive and deductive reasoning in his posts on the forum.
This fascination may have even affected the way Loughner wrote, which repeatedly employed a sort of pseudo-logical three-sentence style. The first sentence typically would typically postulate that if A were true, then B would be the case. The second sentence would invariably flatly assert that B was indeed the case. The third sentence then asserts that A must be true.
To take one example of many, in text accompanying one of his YouTube videos, in which an unidentified figure burns a flag, Loughner stated:
"If there's no flag in the constitution then the flag in the film is unknown.
There's no flag in the constitution.
Therefore, the flag in the film is unknown."
Similarly, user Erad3 on the "Above Top Secret" forums, in a thread on the space shuttle program, wrote:
"If the design of the NASA Space Shuttle keeps the black body temperature of −454 °F from the outside orbit then the NASA Space Shuttle is at a temperature for human life.
The NASA Space Shuttle isn't at a temperature for human life.
Hence, the design of the NASA Space Shuttle doesn't keep the black body temperature of −454 °F from the outside orbit."
It is in part Loughner's repeated use of such pseudo-logical structures that makes his posts so difficult to follow and made it nearly impossible for other "Above Top Secret" members to engage user Erad3 in meaningful conversation, often to their frustration.