One of the things you learn from reading these books on high altitude climbing like Everest, is how the lack of oxygen at this altitude (even when using supplemental oxygen) completely messes with their brains and slows down and muddles people's thinking to the point where they are not thinking properly at all.
The manifestation of that phenomenon doesn't seem to be restricted to just a very high-altitude phenomenon though, as it has also been observed and documented as happening with people who were breathing oxygen at sea-level at the time it was manifested, and even though they may have sometimes been taking an elevated "high-level view" or "helicopter view" of things.
There was a rumour going round that I read about that supposed that the problem may be genetic in some way
and lay with a class of folk who were deemed to be genetically "undesirables", or something (no, I don't think it was a reference to Hitler), but I couldn't possibly comment. So, whilst high-altitude oxygen starvation or (say) any state of diminished ability to absorb oxygen at the "normal" rate of absorption may
be a causal factor in muddled thinking, it's not necessarily the whole story nor the only
It is thought (Brinkley, et al
) that this strange phenomenon was originally encapsulated in about 1934 by the renowned Yorkshire pigeon fancier, ornithologist and inventor of "blogging", Prof. Fred Bloggs, who, when, attempting to discover the reason as to why some of his prize-winning homing pigeons seemed to occasionally lose their way during races and lose him the race, he declared obscurely, but (in hindsight) with penetrating insight:
"Them as is 'igh oop cannot allus see tut'way forrard clear. There's now't so queer as folk."
People initially thought that he had been referring - possibly unkindly - to the race judges who had cost him the loss of the annual Nantes - Oldham
race, which he had won for 5 years running, because one of his birds was judged to have arrived a minute too late due to a timing error, but when he was later asked to explain he said:
"If'm yew got yer 'ed oop in't clouds, allus yew c'n breathe an' allus yew c'n see is tut'clouds an' when yer sh#t yew dun't know nor care 'oo it's fallin on."
On the shoulders of giants.