Defense against a psychopath: The dead man’s switch



While psychopaths and other animals share behavioral traits, the smartest psychopaths can be nearly as intelligent as the smartest emapths.  Here is the danger in thinking that psychopaths are illogical, hateful or cruel for fun.  Every human is different, but for the most part they are using the tools they have, the best they can.  They don’t want to lose the competitions they create, they just aren’t as good at deciphering complex or distant outcomes as empaths are.  With too many variables, every choice looks like a roll of the dice to them.  Logic breaks down with scale.

Fortunately there is a way to express natural long term risk to them in an immediate way.  The dead man’s switch.  Simply model the predictable negative outcome, and create a switch that with the absence of your attention will create the appropriate response.  You have created a contest and won it before they even knew it existed.  Now they are allied to you in preventing the negative outcome for them which is a foregone conclusion should you become incapacitated.  Don’t feel guilty about this.  They have no real concept of how friendship works, and are most comfortable operating as transitory allies.  Something that is now possible with less fear of seemingly random aggression.

Here are some examples of dead mans switches for illustration.

An informational dead man’s switch.

A physical dead man’s switch.

A warning.  Unlike shunning, reserving judgement, or forgiveness this tool isn’t inherently moral.  It can be used in very immoral ways.  It is up to you to determine a technically accurate switch, resulting action, and impact should the switch be triggered.  As a rule using general moral principles (murder is wrong, envy is usually self destructive, etc…) should minimize collateral damage and create a positive outcome for moral agents left behind.  As a good test, should you be incorrect about their intentions or psychopathy, there should minimal negative consequences for them when the switch is triggered.  Ideally in the case of a incorrectly aimed switch, any damage should be reversible.

The key to successful use is to implement multiple switches.  Do not indicate exactly how many switches there are.  That way there is no sudden jeopardy should a switch be discovered, and the existence of some switches can be announced if needed.  Informational switches are the best like simply indicating a negative on a web page and that the web page may be removed some day (implying the positive)  Remember Narcissists and ASPD stage psychopaths already face a formidable enemy in the legal system (paying taxes in a city with a capable homicide detective is a dead mans switch) so the real problem is sociopaths.

Sociopaths are psychopaths who dedicate themselves to not getting caught (acting like a psychopath) so this indicates a remedy.  Presenting clear evidence of their sociopathy or makes an excellent dead mans switch.  Also such a switch could create new evidence, for instance, jealousy in your aggressing sociopath demonstrating their nature in public.  A well designed situational switch is superior to a static informational one as the fresher the data, the less likely the sociopath has concocted a script, or accumulated the favour, territory, or allies to counter it.

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