Monthly Archives: September 2013

Psychopathy nurologically based.

about-me

If you have spent any time here this headline isn’t new.   Not too bad as mainstream articles go.  Turns out psychopaths can imagine pain from a physical injury fine for themselves, just not for others.

Hare’s psychopathy test get’s a hat tip too.

Nice for a study to reenforce the conscience as the sole missing piece.   Even if the article wasn’t explicit in that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/psychopaths-empathy-neurological-basis-brain_n_3984515.html

Violence is not a solution

two-brains

It could be said that there is no problem that can not be solved with violence.   I would concur that some problems can be solved with violence, but problem is the solution is always temporary.  Philosophies, even bad ones, are ratified in the blood of their purveyor.  Populations become more fearless as they cornered and become more threatened.   Natural resources and lives are wasted in conflict.  Psychopaths are no exception.

It seems that the lack of the civilization gene is not dominant.  Everyone has the warrior gene, if there even is such a single gene.  The behaviors it promotes are observed in all higher mammals.  Past civilizations have routed psychopaths.  To them all they had was a hammer so every problem looked like a nail.   They thought the effectiveness of their campaign would end their rein forever, not realizing their yet unborn child could be the next psychopath, through no fault of their own.  The best tool we have had until the 1970s, was a system that focused their aggression, drive, and selfish logic on the public good, a capitalist republic.

But we live in a different world now.  With work we can positively identify psychopaths with use of an MRI AND written tests.  With known pools of genetic material we can search for the civilization gene.  Once we have it we can screen.  Without the risk of intelligent test takers providing the answers the test expects.  Simply knowing what an ethical course of action is does not indicate an intent to follow it.

The ethics of screening are clear.  Law enforcement agencies already do it.  So do parole boards.  So corporations.  There is no outcry.  No once says this is unfair to the psychopaths.  We have already signed off on screening, so why not be effective at it.

It is insane to leave these tools on the table unused.  The clock is ticking and we will reach some critical mass of waste.  Once that happens the economy will fold and the empaths loose the opportunity to screen rather than exile and murder.  Probably forever.

A vote for no action is a vote for violence.  If we are lucky, which I doubt, it will simply land us right back where we are right now one day.  In the nuclear age it seems to me to be a pointless risk.  A temporary solution is no solution at all.

Goodbye Dexter

dexter

Goodbye to Dexter and his code.  While this show did not particularly influence me, it’s assorted writers did a great job of being both entertaining and not straying terribly far from what was possible.

The premise is simple and brilliant.  What if a viciously brutalized psychopath was actively given a ‘code’ from early youth to supplement their lack of a conscience.  In Dexter’s case the code is to take violent urges out on vetted serial killers.  Attempting to make a positive from his violent past and his brewing anger.

My biggest gripe is that it may have popularized the idea that all psychopaths are violent killers.  Most are not.  It largely has to do with social access to people who understand how they work, intelligence, and how brutalized they themselves have been to date.  A subtle point, and one easily lost in the drama.

If you do pick the series up.  Clear your calendar.  You won’t want to stop watching.

Help! There is a psychopath in my life.

scream

There is a reasonable chance you have landed here because you were searching personal solutions.  The first thing is don’t panic.  Seriously, that can make things worse.  If they really are a psychopath calling them on it will not cause some sort of guilt trip.  Even if they could change they will not feel bad enough (or feel bad at all) to change their behaviour for your benefit.

The first thing you need to do is see a psychologist.  No this does not mean it’s your fault or that you did anything wrong or failed in any way.  They can really help.  Psychologists help you map out your emotional reactions.  Everybody is different and it can be tricky for an untrained person to suspend their own emotional reactions when discussing unconscionable acts.  Psychologists ARE trained in this hence their advantage in helping you know yourself.

Please know that you are not doomed if you are isolated if you can’t afford or reach one.  Your path may just be more difficult.  After a good college try you can skip to the next step.

Read Without Conscience, and Puzzling People.  Seriously it’s important that you read them for the next step.  Both of these books detail extensively what psychopaths are and how they work.  Both go so far as to provide tests to determine if a particular person is a psychopath.  I would use Sheridan’s (Puzzling People) 1-5 scale with both Sheridan’s and Hare’s (Without Conscience)  psychopath tests.  Do not just rate the psychopath.  Apply the scale to the closest people to you in you life, including at least a couple of people you are sure are not psychopaths and yourself.  This is important as a reality check.

Be warned you may be surprised at who turns out to be a psychopath.  All people can project their own flaws on others.  Psychopaths use this technique heavily to stay hidden.  Share the results with your psychologist.  They will likely NOT confirm your assessment of the psychopath (no matter how obvious or accurate the test result is) but that does not mean it is not valid.  They have a moral obligation not to assess anyone that they don’t directly spend time with.    What they can do is help you figure out answers to particular questions.   They can help answer a question like ‘does aunt Petunia’s persona change when she becomes intensely angry at a third party and switches back again.’

Once you have completed the tests you will all the pieces in place you need to take action.  You will know who the psychopaths in your life are, and you will have  the moral support you need.   At this point you don’t need to get fancy.  Come up with a plan to quickly shut them out, both of power over your material world, and influence over your personal feelings.    If you can just walk away, do.  In the more likely event that you can’t you can’t because of a marriage or children or family, begin a regimen of shunning.

Shunning is simple and effective.  It essentially is turning your back on someone socially.   Just don’t talk to them anymore.   If you must you can practice basic manners (hello, goodbye, bless you), but keep it to a minimum.  Yes of no answers and a quick exit are called for if they (themselves or through someone they influence) try to force you into a conversation.  That’s it.  Sooner or later, they will just fall off and move on.  Keep track of the things they say to try to force you back into a destructive relationship with them.  These may be emotional triggers (weaknesses) of yours.

Good luck, but if you truly follow these steps you won’t need it.  :)

The cost of inaction

fukushima_plume

There is no way to dress it up.  The indication of self limiting psychopaths is bad, real bad.   Since they breed faster than non psychopaths, they will grow in numbers until their host society can no longer support them.   The corruption is to great and the civilized specializing empathic humans simply fold their arms and stop participating.

In the past this worked like a charm.  The psychopaths were more easily spotted in small local societies, and cast out and shunned.  After a while, numbers would dwindle and a new economy would rise up.

Before 1945 the resulting economic collapse would usually be local to a country or region.  But after 1945 two things changed.

  • Society has become completely global
  • The globe has hundreds of nuclear power plants.

Before this realization, that economic collapse is inevitable, I supported nuclear power.  But as if in some brutal, global teachable moment Fukushima happened.

Now I know that nuclear power plants will quickly melt down without constant attention to the spent rods which are almost always kept within walking distance of the active reactor.  Attention must include physical maintenance of equipment, a constant supply of liquid fuel or electricity, security, and supervision.  All of these things are very difficult to do without stable money and a very large economy of scale to build parts, train specialists, generate and deliver electricity, etc.

Surely economic collapse means intermittent power grids.  And as we know from the Soviet Union’s collapse, some nuclear stock piles went unguarded.  People who can’t protect or feed their families don’t go to work.

If we do nothing a handful of the hundreds of nuclear power plants could meltdown, the rest will likely follow.  The globe will be contaminated for tens of thousands of years (not months or years like nuclear weapons.)  It will certainly mean the end of civilization.  If  humanity is lucky and survives somehow, it will be as people having children at ten years old and dying of cancer at twenty.   I don’t any 10 or 20 year olds capable of cleaning up a nuclear accident, do you?  Think of the Eloi, from H.G. Wells ‘Time Machine.’

The good news is, if we approach this problem from this perspective it is solvable.   Hands off fuel rod maintenance is possible to set up everywhere.  And we will be rewarded with non linear economic prosperity if we do rout out corruption at it’s psychopathic source.  It’s time to stop thumbing our noses at history and treat nuclear power as it really is.  Needing to be resilient against meltdown in the face of long term neglect and isolation!

 

Knowing yourself is key.

All humans are psychopaths when they are infants.  That’s why we are so cute, we need to be.  :)    As you age you begin to form complex emotions from the emotional primitives despair and bliss.  This is the creation of your conscience.  Your conscience is essentially a relational database.  It recalls not only what feelings are associated with a memory but what memories are associated with a feeling.  An adult is naturally overwhelmed with a flood of memories when the complexity of this structure that encompasses the entire brain (more or less) pops up and says ‘hi’ and they do not know why they feel what they do.

Why is this important?  Many people have trouble knowing why they feel something.  Getting to the root of a feeling is what modern psychology is all about.  It’s important too.  Many people envy psychopaths because they are not overwhelmed with feelings or memories in many stressful situations.   If psychopathy was a choice (it’s not) it would be as if they threw away a great volume of useful information.  Overall, tossing away volumes of context rich information does not make someone more adaptive to change.  The conscience isn’t just a nanny, it’s your intuition and your imagination too.

So we need this information, but we need to stay rational when we retreive it right?  Know yourself.  If you know WHY you have a particular feeling at a particular time, you can eliminate it’s surprise and minimize the debilitating effects caused by that flood of emotion.

It’s a difficult road and one with a big surprise.  As you get close to goal of knowing yourself, you may find yourself having unconscionable thoughts.  This is literal as you have negated the superego’s effect on your behavior.  That’s what knowing yourself gets you.  Don’t be disappointed.  You STILL have the information from conscience, but it does not rule your actions.  It can be part of a rational AND conscionable decision.  You have the wisdom of an empath, but rational composure of a psychopath (in most situations.)  You have all of their strengths without their weaknesses.

Racisim: Hypocritical social critiquite of other empaths emotional triggers.

zimmerman

We are blind to our own cultures handling of psychopaths. The nature of our emotional triggers in the superego which are of course played by those without a conscience in our own society make us so. But when we see another society with different triggers we more easily spot their psychopaths. We dance and follow our own pied piper, but shake our head in condemnation when we see our counterparts do the same. This is the basis of racism.

In this explanation racists are responding rationally, but with incomplete information.  They are seeing legitimate behaviour aberrations as emotional triggers are pulled for empaths.   They can see the these triggers (as opposed to the ones they ignore for their own racial society)  because they are unimportant to them.  But they are actually seeing the psychopaths in the ‘other’ race, and the emapth’s irrational emotional response to them.

What do you think?