Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cool headed

How many can relate?

video

My source: https://twitter.com/holdmyale/status/863725509674496001/video/1

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Trickster's path

A reader has published a book, with this description:

About the Author

Alcibiades Anon is the pseudonym for a highly functioning sociopath that likes to hear himself speak even while remaining silent.  Anon has spent a lifetime exerting his influence over the world and now, as he gets older, he had a whim to teach his thoughts to the young sociopaths around him.  The ongoing knowledge and tools he wishes to impart are his last great gift to humankind.  Anon often rambles and dreams and loves a good tangent but the quality of his lessons are apparent for those that can see them.   Anon dreams of a world where he and those like him do not need to hide what they are, while believing even in that world he would likely remain hidden.

Description of the Book.

The Trickster’s Path is one sociopath’s attempt to understand himself and others like him.  The Trickster’s Path uses the theories of experts and other sociopaths to describe what exactly a sociopath is.  The Trickster’s Path goes further to break the different areas of sociopathic tendencies into attributes.  Anon uses those attributes to describe how he has remained functioning in the world he finds so alien.  The book rambles and takes multiple tangents as Anon self discovers what he and those like him are.  The Trickster’s Path is an honest portrayal of one person’s attempt to understand himself and deal with the world around him.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Resconstructing ourselves

A reader gives an update on the child with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) who was featured in the documentary, Child of Rage, discussed previously on this blog here. I always avoid using her name, but you can read the details on the link (and it's always a little shocking to me that they used her name in the "documentary" featuring her, a minor, in what seems a pretty exploitative way, showing her actual therapy tapes? How did her parents allow this?).

There is a happy ending! She recovers from the reactive attachment disorder in a big way and becomes a happy and contributing member of society. The link for the update on her life is here. The quick summary is she is a nurse, she seems to still have a good relationship with her family, and she seems like just a normal person living a normal life.

As I was looking for the documentary I stumbled upon some other child mental disorder documentaries that seemed just a little less exploitative, and then finally a clip of a "news" show interviewing a young, attractive teacher that got busted for sexual relations with a 14 year old student. She was saying that it was a mistake and she had done it because of a troubled past, including mental illness, but scrolling through the comments -- every single person continued to vilify her. Out of the millions of views, not a single one would accept her apology, either as being sincere or as her being capable of change or worthy of forgiveness.

I know that the urge to ostracize and shame others runs deep in humanity's evolutionary past, but (and I've said this literally dozens of times before, including the penultimate post) society's willingness to let self-righteous feelings to dominate their rational capacity and/or empathy to continue to persecute people for something that they did or said in the past... I just struggle to understand why it's still such a problem, and one that is rarely discussed as such. As much as you hear about anti-bullying campaigns, there seems to be an unspoken understanding amongst most people that bullying is absolutely ok if the person you're bullying is a bad person. I hear even intelligent people whom I respect defend the shaming and the shameless poor treatment of their fellow humans for real or imagined wrongs. What society does with its social undesirables is basically one step away from tattooing them with their convict number and hounding and persecuting them through the rest of their lives.


But I sometimes think, what if we talked about more examples of recovery and more stories of people being dynamic and capable of change, maybe we could educate the evolutionary impulse a little so it's not so prone to mob mentality and see our fellow humans a little more accurately -- people that weren't really the same person decades ago and won't really be the same decades from now. Like NPR's Invisibilia piece on the myth of the static personality featuring the story of Dan, a rapist turned good guy: "I'm forever going to be a criminal," he says, "which I'm not. I've become a completely different human being at this point." "I have to atone for my crime. But I realize now I'm just paying for someone else's debt. The person who committed the crime no longer exists." How can we adjust the way we deal with people who we don't want to associate with (for whatever reason) so there can still be an appropriate level of accountability or precautionary measures while also more accurately reflecting the dynamic nature of who humans are?

"Maybe we're not thinking right about who we are and what we could be," says Walter Mischel [author of the famed marshmallow study]. "People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations," Milgram says. "To reframe them. To reconstruct them. To even reconstruct themselves."

(The Invisibilia piece oddly excepts sociopaths from this ability to change, assuming the myth of sociopathy to be incurable without questioning it as most do. But baby steps.)
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