CIvgene can be complex and confusing, but if you’ve got an hour, I lay out the basics in a simple way. Good way to get started.
Video explaining how you can derive objective morality from civgene.
You can use behaviours unique to empaths to derive objective morality from science itself. Non-psychopathic behaviours are like atoms which in turn can be used to build rights, much like molecules.
More to come.
Edit 3/25: Updated video. Clearer and more concise edits with clips.
Found an interesting question in the civgene comments from Julia, part of a junior scholars program.
“If psychopathy is blamed on the brain, people may feel less morally responsible for their own psychopathic tendencies and therefore may be more likely to display those tendencies. We will also assess public recognition of these potential negative consequences of neuroscience communication.”
Very interesting premise. Before you dig too deep you should look at ‘century of the self’ A BBC special. It points out that the only people who’s behavior are reliably predictive by game theory are economists (Aware of the studies conditions) and psychopaths. Also consider Hare and many others work that there is NO behavioral technique alone that makes actual psychopaths better.
I’d say that your study has merit only if people falsely believe they are psychopath, when they are in fact not one. An actual psychopath will remain the same. So first you’ll need to know if your subject is a psychopath, or be prepared for a wider range of error. Also please read the warning at the end before you proceed.
As part of the premise of civgene I think all people have the entire psychopath behavioral set available to them, but the conscience is not voluntary so must be malformed, underdeveloped, manipulated or otherwise stymied for psychopathic behavior to increase it’s share of realized behavior.
Shunning is the healthy reaction to known psychopaths and it simulates conscience for the psychopath externally. If your subjects (false psychopaths) are tested under conditions of shunning and only shunning, they should not react with increased psychopathic behavior. In fact they may become far more humble and introspective.
If you charge your subjects up with emotional energy, it may dampen or otherwise drown out the messages from the conscience, and yes psychopathic behavior will increase. Like an overstimulated young child.
Please keep in mind there are special risks with narcissist stage psychopaths, should the actual psychopaths not be successfully screened out. I think that psychopaths progress though logical stages with similar attributes to id, ego and superego. A narcissist (the first stage) may react to being called a psychopath with violence against what they see as a misbehaving projection. This is known as narcissist rage. If you can’t be certain you have screened out all psychopaths from the subject pool, security will be necessary.
Thanks to Julia I am interested in how it turns out. Please stay in touch.
Some mental illness may no longer need to be diagnosed through social tests. While the United States busys itself with corporate protectionist legislation like the TPP to protect the major drug companies, some of the world is experimenting with the new precise, cheap and repeatable gene editing method known as CRISPR.
In the past gene editing was hit or miss. Practiced more like chemistry, it was more like a million misses to a marginal hit. Identifying a gene was not enough, splicing it became a major endeavor for companies like Monsanto. Experiments on human DNA (except perhaps if you count our GMO diet) was effectively impossible.
As of 2015, the CRISPR technique, takes a precise strand of DNA and inserts it, reliably, in a larger DNA strand, precisely where it is told to insert it. This is the holy grail of both nano scale assembly, and made to order DNA. The mind reels. Designer babies are eminent. Greatly reduced aging is possible. DNA based nanites can built to both manufacture on the table top and enhance human attributes.
These are in the future (AFAIK), but before all that, apparently we have already begun to use it verify genetic disease. The technology is not even a year old and Chinese scientists have already implanted a suspected autism gene in monkeys, to see if their behavior varies. It does.
The implications are huge for all illness from athletes foot to cancer, but it’s important that the first study is on behavioral disease. If the civilization gene is correct and psychopathy is genetic, we could be close to a completely different world. There are no suspect genes (other than the debunked warrior gene) at the moment, but it is possible to find, were the right people to take interest. Now, a new way to verify that first study is readily available.
Conversely should some mental illnesses become officially understood to be genetic, psychopaths should be easier to diagnose. Psychopaths are the highest functioning mental illness. ASPD stage psychopaths are well known for feigning other mental illnesses to evade detection. A narrower field of patients through genetic screening for other disease means less misdiagnosis, and more understanding of the social consequences of widespread psychopathy. That ultimately means real targeted help for the psychopaths.
Lately there have been a flood of articles on what a psychopath vs sociopath is. This seems to coincide with a swell of public criticism of sociopathic behavior in both political and financial spheres. I use the term sociopath here regularly so I think it’s time to address this.
From about 2010 to about 2012, before I wrote ancient breed and started this site, I was hunting around quite a bit for more information on psychopaths. One thing I noticed right away, even in scholarly articles and books was the tendency to bounce around between sociopath and psychopath in the text. This also happened in similar but different texts with the term Narcissist. Conversely I noticed that APD or ASPD was not used in this way but stood alone. I did not really get it until I read ‘Without Conscience’ by Dr. Robert Hare.
Dr. Hare if you don’t know is sort of the Sigmund Freud of psychopathy. He plowed through the many many conflicting definitions of what a psychopath was and created a demonstrable test known as ‘the psychopathy checklist.’ or nicknamed ‘the Hare.’ This test which is used in courtrooms and jails worldwide, was used to vastly solidify the APD standard. Let me repeat that, he has accomplished a court tested body of work used to write the standard on what psychopathy officially is. He is as close as we can come to an authority on psychopathy.
The reason such a concerted effort was put into the relatively new APD definition was exactly because there was no consensus on what behaviors a sociopath, narcissist or psychopath displayed or why they displayed them. APD is a strictly defined guideline of outwardly measurable symptoms, specifically as a legally defensible platform. It is an official admission that there is no agreement on psychopath related labels.
“A term that was supposed to have much the same meaning as “psychopath” or “sociopath” is antisocial personality disorder, described in the third edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III, 1980) and it’s revision (DSM-III-R; 1987), widely used as the “Diagnostic bible” for mental illness” — Dr Robert Hare “Without Conscience”, 1993
There is something strange about anyone claiming a sociopath CAN’T be a psychopath.
I strongly suggest that there will be a great many ‘diagnosed’ sociopaths who lack the civilization gene once a test is created.
Why is this important to Civgene?
APD is a strictly defined guideline of outwardly measurable symptoms. Some immutable background checking is used, but does not score high enough alone to define someone as a psychopath. This creates a problem. Some psychopaths like to hide, and an intelligent psychopath (they display the full range of intelligence) could simply read the Hare and prepare the needed answers in advance.
This is not a bad thing. In fact it’s the key to the next step. This was the pivot point by which we can extract the development of psychopaths. Outward facing symptoms indicates a lack of awareness of contextual self. This, plus a personal bout with a fit of narcissist rage helped me to realize APD or ASPD refers to the ego stage.
id -> ego -> superego
Here is the the original article. Also I wrote a follow up article here. Just like other humans in Freud’s model, psychopaths are not robots. They all display some behaviors from ALL three groups. THAT’s why the definitions are so vexing. It’s a development model. Narcissist and sociopath define social stages of psychopaths.
It very well may be, the idea that sociopaths are just the most stealthy variation of psychopaths partly originated here. With civgene. From the 2010 versions of what narcissists and sociopaths were and were not. How they all lack conscience, but display different, sometimes dovetailing behaviors.
Language is a moving target and I recognize that the ‘sociopath’ may officially move on from where it was in 2010. I have a solution. The generic self division and progression that covers both empath and psychopath (and possibly others) follows.
Wants -> abilities -> limits.
This self progression of intelligence is wholly original language to civgene and will retain it’s meaning. If the term sociopath is officially redefined from what it meant in 2010, I will cease calling the most cunning and self aware psychopaths sociopaths, and begin to call them Limits stage psychopaths or Limits psychopaths.
I don’t see why it would change and I think this would be a terrible mistake. Sociopath characterizes a subtly self serving and unrelenting psychopath determined to rise above the risk their lack of conscience creates for them, through the accumulation of power and rejection of liability, perfectly. It would be a shame to throw away decades of wisdom and framework for a trend with no new data.
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.
Psychopaths in all stages (narcissist, ASPD, sociopath) sometimes need to pretend they have compound emotions that they don’t really feel. Being ideological makes us vulnerable to their scripts. The more ideological you are the more they can manipulate you with your own cognitive dissonance. The inverse is also true. If your logical mind uses rationalization to know your subconscious self, wasting mind power on defending your ideology becomes unnecessary, freeing valuable mind power to detect anomalies in your own conscience. These anomalies are often a sign someone is trying to manipulate you.
Here are a few examples of manufactured empathy designed by psychopaths to manipulate you.
Celebrity gossip: Psychopaths love to chat about the stars. Particularly if a celebrity has a great misfortune that many people are in consensus about. The card trick is simple. Turn on the teevee and consume every perspective on the awful fate befalling some star. Then at a convenient time regurgitate word for word the script that was read to them.
The clue: Look for a similar but distinct situation with a neighboor or friend (who is not on social media) and ask them about that. They’ll hem and haw.
Pet perversion: Psychopaths know that people project all kinds of irrational love and trust on their pets. They will profess astonishment at an abused cat on the TeeVee but then beat, ignore, or experiment with their own dog behind closed doors. ‘Isn’t it awful’ they’ll say.
The clue: The animal is just a prop to them. They’ll talk it up but it will be malnourished, untrained, or allowed to run loose. They just as soon throw it in front of your car to trade an animal slave for a human one.
The one true ism: Sociopaths drool over the prospects for enslaving whole populations with a clever qip. Be it nationalism, racism, religious fundementalism, feminism, etc. You name it. If it pushes one group over another, the world has a whole lot less peers and a whole lot more masters and slaves, and making their their need for rank and file more rationial with each recruit. Healthy idiology is both personal and contextual. Empathic humans expound joy and revel in enlightenment and realization.
The clue: Do the ‘betters’ in your favorite idea act more like children sharing a new skill they’ve discovered, or zookeepers? Are they teaching you what they’ve learned about fishing or simply throwing you some fish to keep you well fed, for now? Don’t be passive. Ask questions until you stump them. They will slip and show themselves. Trust your gut. Then you will know if it’s just a handout (a Pavlovian training mechanism) or a hand up (the compassion of a peer).
The children: ‘but what about the children’ It’s a cliché. It almost goes without saying. But there is a subtle point which may assist you. Psychopaths do actually care for their children. Almost all animals do. It’s not the same as the love we show but it’s just as real to them.
The clue: Psychopaths turn to their own experience as children when parenting. A combination of harsh punishment and public denial would have protected them during their ASPD episodes, so they impart the same on their children psychopath or not. They may let their children run amok and only punish them when they are caught. The real lesson is not emotional programming of the conscience (pointless to them) but instead the simple logical message ‘don’t get caught.’ This results in some radical hypocrisy, especially for those in public life.
Anything you care deeply about: If you wear your heart on your sleeve they will use the knowlage to chain you up and clean you out.
The clue: If someone depicts them self as an emotional match that is simply too good to be true, it probably is. Know yourself emotionally (internal or external psychotherapy) and the distortion of the manipulation attempt should send your conscience reeling.
This is not even close to comprehensive, but gives you some examples of how fake empathy can be used to open your mind just enough that your metamind falls out. Explore your mind to discover your own ideas. The isms that truly suit your mind will always have an element of faith. It greatly behoves you to operate on a hunch. That’s what your conscience is for! That is how you become your own leader. You must be your own leader to truly treat your peers as equals.
As I mentioned in the BSA and Catholic Church child defense review, an intelligent sociopath stage psychopath may show no signs until a golden opportunity presents it’s self. Without genetic screening how do you protect yourself? Actually there are quite a few things you can do. They may require permanent life changes, but it’s well worth it. You won’t need to wait until society catches up to enjoy the benefits.
The key to happiness is a commitment to enlightenment. Once you know how to know yourself, then making the world a better place becomes the obvious goal. The key to both of these stages is knowing who to trust. If you know who to trust, everything else falls into place. It’s all about conserving energy for endeavors that first help yourself, and ultimately strengthen your ability to help others.
Ending the madness
Once you know who to trust your following actions should be a fairly easy decision. It may be difficult to walk the path, but please persevere. Shun all psychopaths. Interact with them as minimally as possible.That way the next time they see a golden opportunity, you won’t be involved. If must interact with them be sure you have a trusted witness.
Unless you are comfortable and skilled as a meta-psychopath, you should not remain in a society with known psychopaths. Instead focus on local societies. Use the rules of the societies to rout them, or find/form societies that have not yet been infiltrated and controlled.
If you are financially involved with a psychopath, minimize interactions to business, record everything, and make a plan to exit the relationship as soon as possible.
One day I will expand and revise this list. Of course I am open to suggestions. I hope this helps.