"Only the paranoid survive." ~ Andy Grove
The complete quote from Andy, who was a huge influencer of the semiconductor industry and worked for many years at Intel:
Andy escaped the Nazi occupation of Hungary by taking on a false identity, so I imagine this man knew something about paranoia. Also, as a business-trained person, I have too-long occupied spaces where words like "success" and "complacency" were dogmatized. Success is/was the ultimate goal, and complacency (meaning smugness, self-satisfaction, a sense of security Thesaurus) lead to inertia, trust ... things that did not lead to success. Certainly the opposite of trust is skepticism, and taken to an extreme, that skepticism might look like or even become paranoia.
The word "paranoid" is a slur in modern times; perhaps it always was. It conveys a tendency toward delusion or disorder. Per the dictionary, the current definition says it all in its negative connotations:
a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.Similar: persecution complex, delusions, obsession, megalomania, monomania, psychosisExample:
suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification."the global paranoia about hackers and viruses"
Hopefully the review can show that paranoia is not just a disordered mental state but is part of a normal and evolved human psychology that responds to the specific environment we find ourselves in.