Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sociopaths in the media: Mark Zuckerberg, Lisbeth Salander

One "non-fictional" sort of, the other fictional.

I haven't seen it yet, but my friend says that the protagonist in The Social Network is "clearly some sort of path." This guy agrees:

"Punk. Genius. Traitor. Billionaire." So says the ubiquitous poster for The Social Network (aka the Facebook film) of the service's founder. There's one more word they don't use but should have: Sociopath.
The Mark Zuckerberg of David Fincher's masterful film is angry, lonely, vindictive and vengeful. He's the classic outsider looking in, an unlikable anti-hero with only one redeeming feature – a superb brain. He's a variation on Tyler Durden, the central character of Fincher's Fight Club, with just a shade of Kevin Spacey's John Doe from Fincher's earlier Se7en. As played so brilliantly by Jesse Eisenberg, this Zuckerberg simply doesn't like people much. How ironic, then, that he should end up, as another poster for the film puts it, with 500 million friends.
I actually had an idea for my own social networking site. It involved spying on other people's IM conversations. It never got funding, unfortunately, but it's not that much of a stretch to believe that Mark Zuckerberg leans socio. Moving target privacy policy, anyone? But what about his charitable works? I think you can file those under "maintaining image" right next to Angelina Jolie.

Curiously, the game platform that hopes to be Facebook's biggest competitor is actually named SocioPath.

I love Scandanavian film, for obvious reasons. I haven't read the books, but I love Noomi Rapace's rendition of the very sociopathic Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She's bisexual, she just does things, not necessarily good, not necessarily bad, she makes her living as a fringe criminal, outside the box thinker, and a seductress. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but a victim using rape as an offensive weapon? Very creative! Worth seeing.


  1. The more I read the posts on this site, the more I believe sociopathy/psychopathy is another "spectrum disorder"...because everyone I have ever known is a sociopath/psychopath according to the definitions here, myself included.

    There's no rule that says all sociopaths like each other, is there?

    Or maybe I need to widen my social circle. Whatever.

    Just give me the drugs I like.

    I might have missed something, but is there something that all 'paths hate? And is there a collective noun for sociopaths?

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed The Social Network. Fincher’s Zuckerberg is definitely a ‘something’. When I left the movie, I actually thought malignant narcissist. The movie portrays Zuckerberg as being intolerant of other people’s status, especially his very few friends and confidants. He was so intolerant that the movie ‘hints’ that he actively sought to bring them down a peg or two using lovely underhanded tactics.

    I have yet to jump on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo bandwagon. I keep hearing the books and the Denmark movie are excellent entertainment however. I’ll have to check it out. As for Wall Street 2, it was a mediocre movie over all, but it was still worth the price of admission to see Gordon Gekko back in action. I’ll be sure to check out Solitary Man when I get time as well.

  3. I rather think what's NOT covered, and can't be covered, is what Mark really thinks when he sits back, relaxes, and marvels at his own invention as how he managed to get people to enslave themselves. Mark is definitely going places!

  4. I'm actually watching Solitary Man right now.

  5. Not a great movie. Worth watching, I guess, for the folks around here.

  6. Medusa I am trying to say "I'll take your word for it." The trouble is that I can't decide which word to take.

  7. Speaking of Scandinavian films, films such as Let the Right One In beats North American horror/vamp flicks any day.

    Hollywood is full of shit these days.

  8. Also Reykjavík-Rotterdam. If you only watch one Icelandic movie, watch that one.

  9. trailer looks good; will definitely check it out.

  10. Don't know what I was expecting from a Michael Douglas/Danny DeVito movie.

    Romancing the Stone for aging sociopaths.

  11. In terms of Danny DeVito and sociopaths, I much prefer It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

    His best role ever, even better than Taxi.

  12. oh i love danny devito, he's so short.

  13. I loved the character study that was The Social Network (which is what it really was, for me at least).

    Mark, from what I could tell, is without a doubt empathy and conscience deficient. As far as what spectrum he falls under, I don't think that really matters. What does matter is his lack of social filters. I'm sure he knows how to use them, but a lot of the dialog in the film is akin to my own immediate thoughts on responding to people. What comes out is usually vastly different, but when I neglect to do it, I become unnerving, just like he was in the film.

    I found the Napster co-founder (forgot his name) to be an obvious Narcissist. I wonder why he hasn't even been mentioned (yet).

    Ego is a great and terrible weapon, one which I think all sociopaths have exorbitant supplies of. Facebook is the most profound proof of this in probably the last several years.

    Tom was just a pushover, anyway. Pfft.

  14. I second the notion on drugs. I am also interested in hearing more about the effect of drugs on a sociopath.

    I suspect I may be a sociopath. I've realized there is something different about me, like I have a missing circuit in my brain(if you will imagine two electrical poles, one sending signals to the other; the other being dark and turned off, unable to receive the signal)and I've noticed I seem to have a different reacition to drugs than most people. I have a high tolerance to most drugs, except alcohol, which is odd considering I am a 110 lb female. Adderall makes me extremely horny, literally all I can think about is fucking someone ha the opposite desired effect for a college student (the side of effects of adderal claim to lower the libido) and nearly everytime I take adderall I have an extreme mental breakdown and cry for hours when I come down. I stopped taking adderal because of the breakdowns.

    I want to hear more about the effects of MDMA, shrooms, and LSD on a sociopath. A person, whom I suspect to be a sociopath/psychopath, told me rolling for him was more intense than tripping. Is this true for sociopaths? I was intruiged by what he said, I've rolled several times and tripped on shrooms once. When I rolled I was very chatty and more interested in talking to people, but I never felt increased empathy towards others, in fact empathy wasn't on my mind at all. I actually felt in-inhibited to recognize and call out other people's intentions with thier actions and words while rolling, something most people don't respond well to. Not to mention I was also more vulnerable to the trickery of others who were not rolling, something I didn't much care for. I've also felt sad several times and almost cried when I was rolling. I thought rolling was susposed to just make you happy? When I took shrooms I had a bad trip and consider it the single most horrible experience of my life, therefore I'm not fit to properly judge his statement. However, since the second time I met this person I have noticed there is something off about him, a bit frightening even. We have exchanged several wide eyed gazes where I can't recognize the look on his face, unusual for me. And based on the way we treat each other, like were invovled in a power struggle, I believe he's noticed something off about me too. Do most S's recognize each other, or at least recognize there is something off about the other person that most people don't see?

  15. Look through ME's previous posts and you'll find that most of your questions have already been addressed.

    Also, why would you want a label based upon a faulty dichotomy?

  16. I can't comment on E, but I can on weed, inhalants, LSD, alcohol AND caffeine.

    I despise the little bird in the back of my head telling me that I'm vulnerable and useless. It drives me up the wall and weakens my desire to frequently indulge. I don't have issues that promote self medication.

    Now, caffeine was put in bold font for a reason. Legitimate caffeine highs are frightening in hindsight, but amazing while you are experiencing it. I've heard it is similar to meth (something I will never try). I feel unstoppable, like a god among men, capable of anything if I simply try. That nagging background noise that says, 'Maybe you shouldn't do that' when being drunk, that's completely gone on a caffeine high. Couple that with a lack of conscience, and you can imagine some of the things I've done. The only problem is, caffeine highs are very difficult to get (and apparently dangerous, too).

    LSD was a one-time experience. I got mad and left my neighbor's Halloween party, only to sit on the crapper and trip balls when I thought a swarm of bugs were trying to eat me. I think I'll pass.

    I don't like to feel sub-functional. I realize just how messed up of a world I live in, and to let my guard down is something I'm very hesitant to do. Constant Vigilance.

  17. The notablepath

    I've never taken LSD but I have taken shrooms. The main experience of the shrooms trip was me seeing the world how it is. Continuously coming to the conclusion there is no escape from pain and suffering in this life, something my mind is hard wired to work around.

  18. A continuation of the first post...

    A couple months ago I was hooking up with a guy who had a girlfriend( I don't feel bad for the girl at all, never. I know it's sounds bad but I don't. If anything I'm jealous of her because her boyfriend is so hot and she gets to fuck him whenever she wants. bitch.) after a line of bs he fed me in which I couldn't figure out his motivation I realized his only motivation was to screw with my head for his amusement, that bastard, and realized he was a sociopath. Some of his actions confused me for months, after I concluded he was a sociopath everything made sense and I knew exactly what his intentions were for everything. Interesting enough, the fact that he was unpredictable is the main reason I was so attracted and ,probably, blind to him, however now I know how he thinks the only thing unpredictable about him to me are his limits. At this time I evaluated the other people in my life that may be a sociopath. Since then, I've heard increasing evidence to support one of my suspects, not to mention he's made strange comments to me in the past; such as, calling me evil, lol, telling me I have a machiavellian mind, and telling me I'm plotting when I'm quite. Is he hinting at something?

    I am interested in hearing a more detailed description on MDMA, shrooms, and LSD for a sociopath. Such as specific examples on how your thoughts differed while on the drug, and for MDMA what were your thoughts on mood the day after taking it?

    I also want to add, I found out the guy who I hooked up with mother has cancer...ha karma bitch, was my reaction. However, I've told him, "I'm sorry to hear about your mother.":( Haha.

    ...maybe I'm a Narcy? who knows

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. @Anon 8:25: When I realized they weren't real, I got annoyed and crawled into bed. Even when I closed my eyes, I saw strange, morphing colors that were completely fantastic. I think I was too occupied with them and their seemingly tangible forms, as if they were ethereal sea slugs, to really think about anything else.

    You make life sound so dramatic~. I think pain and suffering are too strong of words in my case. More, disappointment and annoyance. Then again, I have a high tolerance for shit, as I've dealt with a lot of it from a very young age.

    @Anon 8:40 (if a different person) I've recently run into someone who turned out to be a sociopath. We're quite chummy, as it is rare to run into someone so open about it. I talked about it here.

  21. Notable, please tell me what a legitimate caffeine high is and how it is obtained. I'm not sure I've heard of this.

  22. Well, I thought I explained sort of what it was... As to how it is obtained, I guess it is curtailed to your overall caffeine tolerance, but I will try and divulge how I get one once in a while (along with a caveat)

    I've had it, roughly, 3-4 times in my life, and for good reason, moderation for the sake of self preservation. Caffeine can be toxic and dangerous, causing greatly increased heart-rate and the handful of issues that go with that.

    I would usually triple to quadruple my typical caffeine intake for a given session, and I'm not talking about a friggin' Mountain Dew here. The quickest way seems to be copious amounts of espresso, with the bitterness eased by citrus. You get shaky, jittery, warm and your heart-rate seems to go through the roof, but there's a sort of rush that goes with it. Not like being drunk/high in the classic sense, but as if, as I said above, you feel unstoppable and infallible. Nothing you do is wrong (at least for me), impulse control is out the window, and I become a veritable motor-mouth (which is just the opposite of how I usually am while actually speaking). Bashing cars, theft, assault, vandalism, and even climbing up buildings for shits and giggles are just some of the few offenses I racked up whilst being caffeine buzzed. Thankfully, none led to prison.

    I enjoy it, yet it terrifies me in hindsight that I lose complete self-control. I wouldn't put it past myself to End someone if provoked while having a caffeine high. I basically toggle on Predator mode, and if attacking someone for fun ended in bruises and blood, imagine actual fighting words/actions. Yeah, scary.

  23. Oh, Espresso. The only other thing I could think of was coffee enemas.

  24. This is pretty much what I was saying.

  25. I'm pretty much the opposite when it comes to caffeine. I feel more like I could "end" someone when there's no coffee. I have 125-150 mg.of caffeine in a sitting and would have 300 mg. at a time more frequently than I do if it weren't for how it affects my bladder.

  26. When you say you love Scandinavian movies, are you thinking about "Antichrist" by Lars Von Trier?

    He's made some interesting movies, and I guess some would call them great. But there isn't much else coming from that part of the world ... unless I've overlooked something.

    Danish movies, and Scandinavian movies are generally not entertaining in my opinion, except for a few Swedish movies - thinking about Ingmar Bergman who made a great b/w movie about medieval times, Max von Sydow plays chess with the devil (I wish I could recall the name; I'd like to reacquire it on DVD).

    A Swedish TV series for children named "Pippi Long-(something)" is good, Astrid Lindgren who wrote the book it's made over is one of the best children's book writers I know of.

    Danish movies are mostly about teenage relationships - you often see boys showering naked in the guise of it being a sociological study.

    But they've made one movie in later years which is actually great: "Nightwatch", that's a small streak of genius right there, but there's SO far in between them.

  27. Nightwatch (Ночной дозор) is a Russian film. I quite liked it.

    Unless there's some other foreign film called Nightwatch.

  28. I know an aspie that gets intense caffeine highs from having litres of soda.

    He acts exactly as someone would if they were on any illicit drug.

  29. I hope Hi5 succeeds. It's a great idea.

    Your own idea, M.E., yeah, I had it too, but we've been beaten to it long since. I don't recall where, but I've seen ads to a program you can buy and download that claims to do exactly what you describe.

  30. Oh yes, Medusa, that's it: "Det Sjunde Inseglet" in Swedish (I may be spelling it wrong, but that's the sound of the title).


    There is also a Danish movie by that name ... but, in Danish the title was "Nattevagten" (it means the Night-Watchman" or something like that), "Nightwatch" is the American remake. But I'm not surprised to hear there's a Russian movie with the same title, it's a catchy title that can fit a variety of plots as long as they're centered about 'Watching during Night hours' ... I'd name a movie this if I was a promoter.


    On the topic of drugs...
    I have written a response to this debate about my experiences with drugs. But it became too long for a comment on someone else's blog, so I'll refer to my blog instead... :)

  31. Oh great, another internet club for self-diagnosed sociopaths. Most of you are probably just assholes with delusions of grandeur. Get over yourselves... :-P

  32. Zuckerberg, has mild Aspergers in real life. He is obsessive and seems uncomfortable in his own skin. He great with computers, because of his highly logical way of thinking. The movie is a work of fiction and should not be taken at face value. However, I think that higher functioning people with Aspergers are often what pop culture thinks of how sociopaths act is more in line with higher functioning people with aspergers. When you think Sociopath think less misunderstood genius, think more Paully D.

  33. Anon from 10.4.12 is right - Zuck is an Aspie. He's also obviously an asshole. Here in Sili Valley those of us w/out blinders can't stand him. He married that former special ed teacher who's now a pediatrician. Duh, total Aspie's asshole - he's just far less interesting in person than in the film. I live near him and always let our dogs do their business in his front business.

    As for Sean, the Napster narcissistic dickwad, he just had a wedding that fucked too much with Mother Nature.

    What about Steve Jobs? He was also a piece of shit, as far as his humanity was concerned.


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