Monthly Archives: May 2015

Is civgene just apophenia? Why don’t you run an experiment?


I was asked a variant of the above question, here is my response.

Proof is expensive, and hard.

I estimated finding the psychopathy gene would cost be about 30-50 million dollars.   Not to mention if I’m correct I’d need at least a few political favors from powerful government figures to keep it from being shut down.  If I am correct it is certain some people ‘in charge’ are psychopaths, know it, and don’t want to be caught.

Here’s the link I sent you a while back.

Which includes the following.

That’s where the 30-50 million comes from.  Proof may well cost 100 million dollars.  That’s why.  If a study is funded, I’ll help anyway I can.  Of course I’d love to hear flaws in how such a study might work versus my suggestions.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it’s apophenia.   But here’s how to convince me it might be.  Use logic or good data to disprove one of these axioms.  I’ll be happy to elaborate more on the ‘weak spot.’

  1. Copernicus observed and theorized.  Adam Smith observed and theorized.  Darwin observed and theorized.  Observation and positing theories is how new science is done.  It just happens in this case I didn’t need a huge grant from the NIH simply make the observations.  The details were hidden in plain sight.  Now I would like one to prove the theory they provide.  I noticed them partly because I have such a strange group of perspectives and interests.
  2. All people have some ‘good’ in them is incorrect.  Some (not all) people will never revert to behavior that is a mean benifit to humanity.  This is based on Hare’s psychopath work.   BTW his work is used to parole (or not parole) convicts.  Ignoring this science not only refutes the science he helped create but is passing a blind eye to real peoples hurt (no parole) resulting from the bad science.  Our perception that they need ‘one more chance’ is a projection of who we are onto them.  (this last point is illustrative)
  3. Hare’s work, specifically the psychopathy checklist has endured not only scientific peer review, but judicial review in multiple countries.
  4. Psychopaths display no behaviors that can’t be found in the body of mentally healthy adult humans.  The reverse is not true.  Most humans display regular symptoms of a conscience (perhaps with periodic omissions or exceptions in the form of psychopathic behavior), psychopaths never do.
  5. People are out to get you, but they are not working together.  To me this draws the line between authentic apophenia/paranoia and reasonable caution.  There is an argument against this, but interestingly you need to assume at least part of civgene is true to make it.  As another illustrative point, I have had some success with speculation on science trends in the past (open source.)
  6. Game theory or selfish logic, fails in the real world.  Most people help each other, at least sometimes, even when there is no benefit.
  7. Economic explanations of the foundation of civilization are muddy, overly complex and incoherent.   Archaeological remnants of civilization appear suddenly indicating a rapid change in behavior with technologies at their onset.
  8. Many facts about psychopathy are brand new.  There was no coherent definition of it until the 1970s.  So it’s the right time for these ideas.  Modern science of psychopathy couldn’t have happened without microcomputers, a pre-requisite for the MRI, a prerequisite for some repeatable experiments.  So… the earliest it could have happened was the 1970s.
  9. Psychopaths know they are different.  A psychopath knows they function and operate differently than the people around them, even if they don’t know they are a psychopath.  Psychopaths are relatively indifferent about lying and are highly competitive so they are VERY unlikely to admit they are sick or strange unless they think it provides them a competitive advantage somehow.  All these facts come directly from Hare’s work.  They are critical to crafting the psychopathy checklist.

These are key points that formed civgene.  Since then I’ve been just using the new lens to bring events into focus.

Because some of the most powerful stand to loose their most prized possessions (money, power) if civgene is proven, it’s important to proceed to remediation of the damage without the proof.  I lay this out in the type on civilization paper.

That’s why I didn’t just stop at civgene.  No they can’t trust each other or work together, but many callous people have a common interest.  To prevent civgene from being fact.

BTW I also have a paper on how to falsify civgene specific theories.

And why I think this fell on me.

You may disagree, and I may be a nut, but that doesn’t prove I am wrong either.  Thank you for your points.