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Old 05-04-16, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Albany, OR
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Not a big fan of CGOAB. First off, the name of the site is insulting to mentally challenged people. Plus it puts bicycle tourers in a bad light.
Fwiw, I chose the name at the time for a couple of reasons. First off, I had been reading a book called "The Essential Crazy Wisdom" by Wes Nisker (, and his definition of "crazy" really resonated with me as it related to a quest for knowledge and enlightenment. "Crazy" in his context isn't talking about mentally challenged, but rather about how thinking in unorthodox ways, which can seem "crazy" to most people, can give insights on life and our purpose here. In a nutshell, "crazy wisdom" refers to "some of the teaching methods and insights of some of the most radical masters of The Way" (Taoism and Buddhism). There's much more, and much more eloquently put, the book is well worth reading. From the introduction:

A special kind of wisdom is loose in the world. This wisdom is difficult to codify or categorize; and it refuses to be institutionalized. It is called crazy wisdom. And so it is, both crazy and wisdom.

Crazy wisdom is the wisdom of the saint, the Zen master, the poet, the mad scientist, and the fool. Crazy wisdom sees that we live in a world of many illusions, that the emperor has no clothes, and that much of human belief and behavior is ritualized nonsense. Crazy wisdom loves paradox and puns and pie fights and laughing at politicians.
A prime example of this seemed to me to be quitting a well-paid job on Wall St to go ride my bicycle across the country. Talk about crazy!

You can also find other references to the term, e.g.

I admit that I also used the term to refer to myself sometimes when I had been out in the sun too long on my trip - I did indeed start to go a little crazy from the heat and constant traffic. That is no aspersion on mentally challenged people, "going crazy" is just a term that we use to talk about when we are getting a bit unhinged. Being mentally challenged is not the same thing at all, and I don't think anyone who comes to the site sees it in that way. In fact, trying to reserve the word "crazy" for just referring to the mentally challenged is probably more offensive, since it marginalizes that population and enforces the notion that those people are unhinged. In fact, being mentally challenged can simply mean that you are developmentally delayed, and it doesn't have to have any negative connotation with regard to your being hinged or otherwise.

And finally, I chose the name because even back in 2000, all the "good" domain names already seemed to be taken, and so I decided for my own journal (which is what the site initially was), I would choose the most long, comically unwieldy name I could think of. A long, multi-word phrase like "crazy guy on a bike" just seemed to hit the mark. And I have to say, the response from people over the years has been universally positive. People like it because it's playful, memorable and kind of funny (faux political correctness aside).
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