Thursday, June 30, 2011

Treatments for borderline personality disorder

A reader sent me this article in the NY Times profiling a pioneer in treatments for borderline personality disorder, who also suffers from borderline personality disorder herself. There are some interesting parallels and some good suggestions for anyone who is seeking to control their behavior:
She borrowed some of these from other behavioral therapies and added elements, like opposite action, in which patients act opposite to the way they feel when an emotion is inappropriate; and mindfulness meditation, a Zen technique in which people focus on their breath and observe their emotions come and go without acting on them. (Mindfulness is now a staple of many kinds of psychotherapy.)
“I think the reason [her therapy] has made such a splash is that it addresses something that couldn’t be treated before; people were just at a loss when it came to borderline,” said Lisa Onken, chief of the behavioral and integrative treatment branch of the National Institutes of Health. “But I think the reason it has resonated so much with community therapists has a lot to do with Marsha Linehan’s charisma, her ability to connect with clinical people as well as a scientific audience.”
I wonder whether someone will ever develop a treatment for sociopaths who have poor behavior control. I think it will happen, I just wonder what it will look like.

Social experiment

I've been thinking that it's been too long since we've done a social experiment. I maybe want to do something with Omegle this time, maybe a race/best to seduce? Or best mindgame? People can post their transcripts in the comments section or email me and I can post a winner? If you all don't have any suggestions, I'm sure I could come up with something, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More thoughts on the pleasure of power

I initially started thinking about power after talking to a friend about what I get out of a seduction. When I responded power, my friend asked me what is so great about power? As I started to explain, I realized that at a meta level, I actually didn't know what about power I find so appealing. I told my friend that I have to interact with people anyway, and so I would rather it always be on my terms. My friend wasn't satisfied with the answer and neither was I.

I could also say that my brain must be wired to reward power the same way that is is wire to reward eating, sleeping, and other "positive" bodily functions, but did it come that way? Or did I train it to have some sort of pavlovian response, the same way I could maybe train myself to especially crave gambling or other habitual thrills. But power is a special thrill, right? Take a straightforward thrill like riding in a speeding car. Isn't it more pleasurable to be the driver? And what is the difference there but power and control? I don't know. It's odd because I can blithely but truthfully say that I am most driven by the pursuit of power, but I still don't quite know why.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The pleasure of power

From Zhawq:
In your article The Art of Massage you posed the question:

"What pleasure does the seducer get then? Why go to all of the trouble? It's a good question without a good answer."

I think there is an understandable explanation to why psychopaths (and other manipulative people to some extent) tend to get pleasure from being active and the giver in a seduction event rather than being the receiver.

We like to give because of what we receive that way. This is true for all people - even Mother Theresa gained something from her martyrdom - but it is most of all true for psychopaths.

The neurotypical majority of people do tend find it slightly annoying, something to get over with so as to get to the pleasurable part. This is a common experience, and psychopaths can certainly feel just as bored with it as everybody else. Of course there're exceptions to this...

First of all, it isn't quite as unusual for neurotypical men to enjoy the giving role as it is for the women. There're also neurotypical people who simply enjoy the active giving role, it is part of their personality. The most common exception is when someone is in love with another and spontaneously like to cause that person pleasure.

It is very different for psychopaths. I find that psychopathic people's overall greater joy from being the active party, being the one who gives, has to do with the way we (psychopaths) experience the world.
One obvious reason is that we gain pleasure from being in control, and that to get in control you have to be the active part at least in the beginning.

But there's more to it than that...

The neurotypical majority of people always have a clear inner sense of what they feel, at any time and about anything, though very often not why. But they seem to have a two-part, or a 'split up' radar which monitors both their own feelings and the feelings of others. Their empathy may be what keeps them focusing on both others and themselves, but it may also be what keeps them from focusing on a certain outcome.

A psychopath's attention is not split in two and our focus is mainly outward (unless we're in pain or otherwise in an unpleasant state). We are very extrovert people and extrovert people are more likely to enjoy the active role when interacting with others. We generally enjoy having the dominant role.

Psychopaths do also not get our attention bend inward via empathy triggered emotions from those we interact with, because we largely lack the ability to feel empathy. We don't have the neurotypical person's common range of emotions, and the ones we have are often not clearly defined. And because we don't have the 'mystical link' (empathy) with other people and their feelings that neurotypicals have, we are pretty much left to gain an understanding of others by observing their behavior.

Our emotions aren't the only central element in how we (psychopathic people) experience the world. On the other hand, our senses - what we see, what we understand cognitively and intellectually, and what we can do with what we see, experience, understand - is the great and main part of life for us.

Neuro-science have been making discoveries that support the above. One could hope that the so called growing understanding of the human mind will lead to a better understanding of people like our host, M.E., like myself, Zhawq, and like many of our readers. But sadly I don't think that's the way it's going.

Habitual thinking and adherence to outdated dogma is a strong incentive to keep things at their status quo, and for as long as even the leading researchers use the easy way out and blame psychopaths for all wrongdoings in the world like a broken record about century witch hunt, there'll be build new concentration camps and Dr. Mengele types will induce their 'gene therapy' and 'brain chip implants' in the name of the greater good.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The art of massage

I am on vacation so posting may be light or intermittent for the next couple of weeks. While I was getting a massage, though, I was thinking what a good example of one-sided pleasure it is. There you are experiencing pleasure, or depending on the skill of the masseuse -- bliss, while the masseuse is hard at work. You are hardly aware of how hard the masseuse is working, what exactly they are up to, and with some of my best massages I almost forget that there is even a masseuse at all, I am just having an intense feeling of pleasure.

Seductions are like massages in these ways. Good seducers know just how to play their seducee. There is a skill and an art in granting pleasure to someone in a one-sided way. Like massage, most of the moves are rote, but based on years of experience and the feedback and visible pleasure of countless seducees, the seducer has learned what tends to work. Although everyone is different, most people are not really all that different and a stable of reliable techniques with a few tricks for variety are frequently sufficient for most tasks. Like a masseuse, the seducer starts gradually, attempting to acclimate the seducee to submission to a force outside themselves. The masseuse/seducer keeps escalating the intensity until the massage can become truly painful. Some recipients might balk at this pain and withdraw, but most will stay in the game because they trust the seducee/masseuse, they assume that whatever is being done to them is somehow necessary.

I say one-sided pleasure because the masseuse is presumably not getting pleasure. Some in a seduction might project their feelings on the seducee, assuming that the seducer is also in love, is also feeling the same or a similar connection/emotion. To do so is as wrong as to assume that your masseuse is also feeling a tingle down their spine as they shuffle their hands down your back. What pleasure does the seducer get then? Why go to all of the trouble? It's a good question without a good answer. The easy answer would be to say power and control, but it just begs the question -- what's so great about power and control?

But it's been a long time goal of mine to take some classes on massage, exactly because it gives the illusion of connectivity without needing actual connection.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Too smart

I have been thinking recently about what it means to be very smart. I always score in the 99th percentile of standardized tests. I have a job that is very prestige oriented, for which you have to be smart, brilliant even. And I'm actually very good at my job. Some of my friends that know about the blog and me being a sociopath wonder if maybe I'm not a sociopath at all, maybe I am just smart -- too smart to get caught up in the emotional muck that most people are mired in?

I don't know, it makes me wonder, and it sort of makes me anxious to think that my intelligence would have such a profound effect on the way I perceive the world, the way I move in the world.

I have mixed feelings about being so smart. It's sometimes hard to get out of my head and a lot of the time people don't really respect it, they look down on me for it unless they're prestige whores and then they're not the type of person I would even want to be impressed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seeing psychopaths for what they are

A reader sent this very long selection from "The Psychopath Test", which appears to have the most salient parts. Some selections:
Everyone in the field seemed to regard psychopaths in this same way: inhuman, relentlessly wicked forces, whirlwinds of malevolence, forever harming society but impossible to identify unless you're trained in the subtle art of spotting them, as I now was.
Becoming a psychopath-spotter had turned me power-crazed and a bit psychopathic. I was starting to see the checklist as an intoxicating weapon that was capable of inflicting terrible damage if placed in the wrong hands. And I was beginning to suspect that my hands might be the wrong hands.

I met up with Hare again. "It's quite a power you bestow upon people," I said. "What if you've created armies of people who spot psychopaths where there are none, witchfinder generals of the psychopath-spotting world?"
Journalists hardly ever made it to a DSPD unit and I was curious to see inside. According to Maden, the chief clinician at Tony's unit, it wouldn't exist without Hare's psychopath check-list. Tony was there because he had scored high on it, as had all 300 DSPD patients. The official line was that these were places to treat psychopaths with a view to one day sending them back out into the world. But the widespread theory was the whole thing was in fact a scheme to keep psychopaths locked up for life.
I wondered if sometimes the difference between a psychopath in Broadmoor and a psychopath on Wall Street was the luck of being born into a stable, rich family.
"Ever since I went on a Bob Hare course, I've believed that psychopaths are monsters," I said. "They're just psychopaths – it's what defines them, it's what they are." I paused. "But isn't Tony kind of a semi-psychopath? A grey area? Doesn't his story prove that people in the middle shouldn't necessarily be defined by their maddest edges?"

"I think that's right," he replied. "Personally, I don't like the way Bob Hare talks about psychopaths almost as if they are a different species. . . . I would also say you can never reduce any person to a diagnostic label. Tony has many endearing qualities when you look beyond the label."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


People frequently ask what I get out of writing the blog. There are a lot of reasons, but a major one is to be able to shape the debate about "the psychopath problem." I care about public perception of psychopaths because I believe that it will become increasingly difficult for sociopaths to stay hidden, perhaps through genetic testing, or even by identifying sociopathic patterns in personal information the same way that certain financial accounting practices make fraud easily identifiable. Under the headline "Upending Anonymity, These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone," the NY Times reports:
Not too long ago, theorists fretted that the Internet was a place where anonymity thrived.

Now, it seems, it is the place where anonymity dies.

A commuter in the New York area who verbally tangled with a conductor last Tuesday — and defended herself by asking “Do you know what schools I’ve been to and how well-educated I am?” — was publicly identified after a fellow rider posted a cellphone video of the encounter on YouTube. The woman, who had gone to N.Y.U., was ridiculed by a cadre of bloggers, one of whom termed it the latest episode of “Name and Shame on the Web.”

Women who were online pen pals of former Representative Anthony D. Weiner similarly learned how quickly Internet users can sniff out all the details of a person’s online life. So did the men who set fire to cars and looted stores in the wake of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup defeat last week when they were identified, tagged by acquaintances online.

The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.
There are already examples of websites dedicated solely and single-mindedly to outting sociopaths, Lovefraud comes to mind. Those sites don't scare me because no one serious takes them seriously. If sociopaths could be identified through internet or other activity, though, that could mean an entirely different way of life for most of us. For better or for worse?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The perverse inner world of babies

I find babies to be charming, but I also don't ascribe to them the innocence that most do, in fact this is probably why I like them so much. For being such little things, they can be so damn clever. Some of their more perverse behaviors are a good rejoinder to those who scream that psychopaths are murderous, manipulative, evil devil's span when it turns out, if those are your criteria for devil's span, we all are., "6 Shockingly Evil Things Babies Are Capable Of" includes lying, prejudice, defiance, getting high, stealing, and my favorite -- murder:
For a long time scientists had a theory that left handed people might have started out as twins in the womb. Their rationale was that in a set of twins one tends to be right handed and one left handed. Genetic and nurturing factors can also affect handedness, but they can't explain it completely in many cases. Maybe all lefties were the result of only one twin surviving the cage fight that is fetal development.

It wasn't until ultrasounds, and fearless cameras capable of surviving the uterus, that scientists discovered their hunch was right. Sort of. They were right in the fact that most lefties were once twins but they didn't go far enough. Scientists now think that a ridiculous one in eight people started out as two peas in a pod. Of course, only about one in 70 people actually is a twin. So what happened to your twin? You killed it and then absorbed it into your body. Yeah, those stories of adults finding teeth in their shoulder? Not urban legends.

Why Did I Do That?!
Because you're evil.

Not really. Chances are you were just the healthier fetus. Or you hogged all the blood if you shared a placenta. Or you grew faster and literally left your sibling no womb at the inn. If multiple pregnancies are really as common as they now seem, we evolved to be this way for a reason. Trying out two fetuses to see which one is more likely to survive is a pretty good plan evolutionarily. Unfortunately, carrying twins is very dangerous for the mother, meaning that our best bet as a species was to let one twin kill off the other early on in development. Just another reason lefties are a sinister, sinister group of people.
I trained my one-year-old relative how to carry a knife in her teeth commando style. It was hilarious. That babies must be trained to stop doing certain bad things, socialized to do "good" is not surprising. Of course they have a limited capacity to be good, at least a limited capacity to fight against what they have been evolutionarily programmed to do. This should not surprise us, as adults have similar difficulties in eschewing "evil" acts, but again for good evolutionary reasons. Does this suggest that we should reconsider how we define evil to exclude all evolutionary inclinations? And if so, how would the psychopathy fit in that equation? I guess the terms "humanize" and "demonize" are not the polar opposites that had been previously supposed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Human Toys

This is a very entertaining blog about seduction (presented as an account of an actual seduction occurring in real time, but even if it is fiction it is still entertaining and filled with seduction truisms). The first post:
Most people like to think that they are strong-willed. They will often describe themselves as "someone who knows their own mind" or "not one to be pushed around." It's an ironic description. People rarely know their own minds. Most are followers not leaders. They are weak-willed and full of exploitable frailties. They are there for the taking by those of us who know our own minds and get to know theirs.

There are a number of ways of getting people to do what one wants. Violence and blackmail can be effective and both have their place in a puppet-master's tool-kit. But it is much more effective and sustainable to get inside the mind of the subjects. One starts by tapping into explicit needs and desires. Then one moves on to the dark corners of the mind. Those needs and desires that the subject knows but dare not admit. The final step is to create new needs and desires, through careful and patient conditioning. What could be more rewarding than changing a person's perception of what is "normal."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Song: Mack the Knife

Apparently murder ballads were once all the rage. One of my friends memorized the English translations of the original German lyrics to "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" and recites them from time to time out of the blue -- "And the shark he has teeth and he wears them in his face and MacHeath he has a knife but the knife you don't see." It's both a charming and creepy habit.

An "illustrated" version:

And the shark, he has teeth
And he wears them in his face
And MacHeath, he has a knife
But the knife you don't see

On a beautiful blue Sunday
Lies a dead man on the Strand*
And a man goes around the corner
Whom they call Mack the Knife

And Schmul Meier is missing
And many a rich man
And his money has Mack the Knife,
On whom they can't pin anything.

Jenny Towler was found
With a knife in her chest
And on the wharf walks Mack the Knife,
Who knows nothing about all this.

And the minor-aged widow,
Whose name everyone knows,
Woke up and was violated
Mack, what was your price?

And some are in the darkness
And the others in the light
But you only see those in the light
Those in the darkness you don't see

But you only see those in the light
Those in the darkness you don't see

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tactics of manipulation

A reader sent me this video:

With this comment:
It is sad how some people do not understand us, but will try to anyways. He acts as if it is us (normal society) versus them (manipulators). He is also a hypocrite, everyone manipulates people. I found this video quite ridiculous. I think all of society manipulates, but sociopaths are probably especially good at it (or at least would like to be, and we also are aware of our ability).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Socio vs. Socio

A reader asked me what I thought of a particular sociopath versus sociopath match-up. I responded:
Socio vs. socio would be very interesting to watch. Do you know that I am a little afraid of going up against a fellow socio? Part of it is I am just so used to dealing with empaths that I feel like my skills are not well honed for socio combat. I'm sure I could improvise in the moment and that perhaps that would make the dance even more thrilling, but I am not at all sure that I would prevail -- probably 50/50 in my mind, which are not the odds I'm used to taking.
The other scary part is knowing deep down that I would stop at nothing to win. This makes me nervous in the same way that rage makes me nervous -- there is a loss of control and I would be worried about fallout.
I'm sure there's nothing to be worried about. I've gone up against a few socios before, been played for a fool, and actually learned quite a bit for my troubles, so I think that if I survived I would have gained something from the experience. Also sociopaths would probably be reluctant to engage in an all out war unless the stakes were high enough, and with so many other easier pickings to choose from I doubt that it would statistically ever come to that.
My previous altercations with sociopaths all ended in a détente after it became apparent that continuing to fight would harm much more than help either one of us. But I do sometimes worry about being in that sort of cold war situation and having something go wrong, or going up against a sociopath with a trigger finger or a bit of a death wish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sociopath quote: kindness

"One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing. But she would have soon found out that you were absolutely indifferent to her."

Oscar Wilde

Friday, June 10, 2011

In love with a sociopath (part 3)

The reader replies:
I do understand that I should never expect anything of him, and if he is being nurturing and sympathetic sometimes it's only because he enjoys the feelings which his rare sweetness awakens. I'm willing to go forward with this weird friendship. I'm not going to give up on him just because he is somehow different, after all he is a human being as well. Plus it gives some kind of drive.

I was thinking about sociopathy a lot lately and i came to a conclusion that such people are like tigers, wild animals, and trying to tame one takes skill. And the best part is that you will never fully tame one, today he loves you, and tomorrow he will bite your throat out. Being in this arena gives me a sense of life. I came up with a theory that people can be placed under 2 categories; the pets, and the wild animals. Sociopaths are more likely to survive -- I do believe they make good business people, because in situations where others would think twice before either breaking the law, or defying some other social norms (dont steal, dont cheat, bla bla) a sociopath wouldn't blink an eye. And they project a sense of power -- women are drawn to that. So maybe that's why I like the guy. For me its an honor to be within his close circle, and hopefully I can keep this place without being replaced. And I'm willing to become his perfect victim, and put him on a pedestal. Yes, this takes balls and courage, but I dont want to be replaced. He is free like the wind, and untamable, but he is my wild tiger, and I want to stay in the arena.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In love with a sociopath (part 2)

My response:

It's a pleasure to read such a thoughtful email about the realities of a relationship with a sociopath. I imagine my friends and family feel similarly about me, or at least I hope they do.

Sociopaths are odd people when it comes to relationships. They're "antisocial" but they can also get immense satisfaction in pleasing people. The satisfaction does not come from imagining how good the other person must feel, it comes from being able to provoke such a strong reaction in the other person. Because you are apparently charmed by the blatantly sociopathic elements of his personality, you are especially valuable to him because he can charm you, provoke you, thrill you and chill you without having to put forth any sort of effort. He may get some special pleasure in doing this all without wearing a mask (or at least not his usual mask), but probably it's less self-affirmation he is after and rather just an awareness of how singular a presence you are in his life. If you are not the only one in his life that he can be that way with, you are probably only one of a handful and he will not let you go easily because of this.

I wouldn't hold out hope for ever having a more intimate or committed relationship with him. He would never want to "have to" be supportive, nurturing, protective, etc. To the extent he does it now, he does it because you view those behaviors as a gift, not an obligation. And it's an unfortunate tendency for most people in relationships to feel like the other person somehow "owes" them something. If you want to try a relationship with him, I would focus on this aspect, never making it seem like you expect anything. Have you read "Washington Square"? The protagonist heiress is seduced by a gold digger. I'm paraphrasing here, but there's a passage about how she felt about his sporadic visits:
Whenever Morris Townsend had left the house, her imagination projected itself, with all its strength, into the idea of his soon coming back; but if she had been told at such a moment that he would not return for a year, or even that he would never return, she would not have complained nor rebelled, but would have humbly accepted the decree, and sought for consolation in thinking over the times she had already seen him, the words he had spoken, the sound of his voice, of his tread, the expression of his face. Love demands certain things as a right; but Catherine had no sense of her rights; she had only a consciousness of immense and unexpected favours.
It's a good book for someone in your situation to read though.

Monday, June 6, 2011


A reader linked to these selections from “Trickster: Trickster Makes This World Mischief, Myth, and Art,” by Lewis Hyde. From the review, the book appears to be an interesting account of some of the mythology that predates evolutionary biology with regards to how predator/prey relationships shake up the status quo. Although the selections are definitely worth reading in their entirety, here’s a taste of what it covers:
The trickster myth derives creative intelligence from appetite. It begins with a being whose main concern is getting fed and it ends with the same being grown mentally swift, adept at creating and unmasking deceit, proficient at hiding his tracks and at seeing through the devices used by others to hide theirs. Trickster starts out hungry, but before long he is master of the kind of creative deception that, according to a long tradition, is a prerequisite of art.
In Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence, Harry Jerison presents a striking chart showing the relative intelligence of meat-eaters and the herbivores they prey on. Taking the ratio of brain to body size as a crude index, Jerison finds that if we compare herbivores and carnivores at any particular moment in history the predators are always slightly brainier than the prey. But the relationship is never stable; there is a slow step-by-step increase in intelligence on both sides. If we chart the brain-body ratio on a scale of 1 to 10, in the archaic age herbivores get a 2 and carnivores a 4; thirty million years later the herbivores are up to 4 but the carnivores have gone up to 6; another thirty million years and the herbivores are up to 6 but the carnivores are up to 8; finally, when the herbivores get up to 9, the carnivores are up to 10. The hunter is always slightly smarter, but the prey is always wising up. In evolutionary theory, the tension between predator and prey is one of the great engines that has driven the creation of intelligence itself, each side successively and ceaselessly responding to the other.
After many stories of how Trickster accomplishes his tricks and the effects that Trickster has on “society”, a few words on what it all means for Trickster:

In all these stories, trickster must do more than feed his belly; he must do so without himself getting eaten. Trickster's intelligence springs from appetite in two ways; it simultaneously seeks to satiate hunger and to subvert all hunger not its own. This last is an important theme. In the Okanagon creation story, the Great Spirit, having told Coyote that he must show the New People how to catch salmon, goes on to say: "I have important work for you to do ... There are many bad creatures on earth. You will have to kill them, otherwise they will eat the New People. When you do this, the New People will honor you ... They will honor you for killing the People-devouring monsters and for teaching ... all the ways of living." In North America, trickster stepped in to defeat the monsters who used to feed on humans.

The myth says, then, that there are large, devouring forces in this world, and that trickster's intelligence arose not just to feed himself but to outwit these other eaters. Typically, this meeting is oppositional--the prey outwitting the predator. The bait thief suggests a different, nonoppositional strategy. Here trickster feeds himself where predator and prey meet, but rather than entering the game on their terms he plays with its rules. Perhaps, then, another force behind trickster's cunning is the desire to remove himself from the eating game altogether, or at least see how far out he can get and still feed his belly (for if he were to stop eating entirely he would no longer be trickster).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The pain of rejection

I've talked before about how I feel rejection acutely, and how this may be explained by our need to be social.

New evidence indicates that unlike most emotions, the brain interprets feelings of rejection the same way it interprets physical pain. From the New York Times, discussing findings of Social Rejection Shares Somatosensory Representations With Physical Pain,” by Ethan F. Kross, Marc G. Berman, Walter Mischel, Edward E. Smith and Tor D. Wager; from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
New research suggests that the same areas in the brain that signify physical pain are activated at moments of intense social loss.

Previous research had shown that while social rejection hurt, it did not activate parts of the brain associated with physical distress. But this team found that when the emotional pain was awful enough, those parts of the brain were affected as well, and in equal part. According to the authors, the emotional pain simulated in previous experiments (being told a stranger dislikes them, looking at rejection-themed paintings) wasn’t powerful enough to elicit a true-to-life response. “We were shocked because no prior research had demonstrated this same connection,” Dr. Kross said.

What the team doesn’t yet know is what region of the body feels the physical pain or whether it’s diffused.
I wouldn't be surprised if anger/rage was also somewhat unique, and possibly some other emotions that sociopaths seem to feel quite well, at least in comparison to others.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Emotion is weakness"

From a reader:
I recently went looking through my old schoolwork from ages passed and was somewhat surprised to find that the sociopathic vein in my writing was clearly expressed as early as sixth grade where I, in a possibly narcissistic move, took the time to keep a book filled with my quotes. One of the first quotes simply stated "Emotion is weakness." This was around the same time that I started receiving court-mandated therapy to cover any possible psychological side effects of my parent's divorce. Those therapy sessions were where I first realized that I was different. I saw these sessions from the viewpoint of a bystander, and marveled at how stupid my therapist was. I made sure to get on her good side, covering up my extremely introverted personality by bringing comic books (Calvin and Hobbes) and using the topics of different strips to control the flow of our discussion. In later meetings, I managed to use up most of the time by getting the therapist to talk about herself. Later, I eavesdropped on her reporting to my mother that I was charming, outgoing, and generally well adjusted. It was then that I decided that I never wanted to be normal, to be as blind and stupid as this woman. My mother became friends with her and I had to visit often. It was annoying until she died of cancer, a few years later.

I bought my first copy of The Art of War in seventh grade, Machiavelli's The Prince in ninth. By eleventh grade, I had a fully formed self-concept, complete with a self-diagnosis of ASPD, and took home the school library's copy of Mein Kampf, only to be disappointed by the obscuring emotion that riddled the work. Most of my time since sixth grade has been spent furthering my self-concept, and honing my skills. The Myers Briggs personality inventory classified me as a strong INTJ (The mastermind) with 20 out of 20 points in introversion. I had two close friends at the time, and both of them were also INTJ's (which only appear in 1% of the population), as well as being in the highest intellectual tier. I don't form complete social networks; I merely connect with the 'elite' and the 'delinquents' (My esoteric personality is largely ignored by the vast majority) who think as I do. From them, I had complete access to whatever I wanted.

However, problems arose at home, where my addictive personality resulted in major cracks in my mask, leading to a rift between my father and I; and causing a complete lack of trust between us. It was a major obstacle in my maneuverings until I left home. My method of theft from him had to be complicated multiple times until it became easier to simply get money in other ways.

During the last few years of high school, my relationship was so grating that I constantly had to seek catharsis, which led to increasingly risky activities. Fortunately, I still had enough peace of mind to think before acting and to plan out these releases, although the family dog almost died (luckily, the only bruises were on her neck, which could be explained away) and I was almost caught breaking into a nearby university at three in the morning (The night Janitor was there early, which I later learned was due to an event scheduled later that day).

During philosophical conversations with my inner circle, I was forced to defend my actions (as part of the argument, no one was offended, they’d done worse) so I stated my worldview something like this: I don’t care if there’s a god or an afterlife because either way, I won’t know until I’m dead. I believe that nothing exists for a purpose, and the only meaning in this world is the meaning we create for ourselves. My ultimate goal in life is something to give meaning, something almost impossible to achieve (I chose world domination because I could play it off as a joke if anyone asked). Long-term hedonism is good, but the will to power saves one the time of making reasons, because it is a reason in and of itself. Live life with one principle, to regret nothing.

Those are all the answers I need.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Diet and exercise

Here are some links readers sent regarding the importance of diet and exercise to regulate some of the negative symptoms of sociopath:

Fish oil to mitigate violence

Exercise improving focus and other attentional problems.

Some have suggested the ZoneDiet or other protein heavy diets. I like swimming for the white noise -- very calming.

Any others suggestions?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Der Hölle Rache

This is such a great vengeance song. Look at her mouth as she maneuvers through the coloratura passages. She is actually mouthing different vowels for what should be the same syllable -- singing different vowels gives different harmonics (singing an ee sound has higher, more piercing harmonics than an ah sound), allowing her, a lone singer without the aid of a microphone, to cut through the orchestra. (For an interesting ends-justify-the-means justification of this distortion, read this). Slight alterations make all the difference to her power and accuracy, and the audience is none the wiser to the illusion. The act of hiding one's skill and effort, of making something contrived seem natural and effortless, is the icing on the cake of any manipulation -- without it the cake is hardly palatable.

Hell's vengeance boils in my heart;
Death and despair blaze around me!
If Sarastro does not feel the pain of death because of you,
Then you will be my daughter nevermore.

Disowned be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Shattered be forever
All the bonds of nature
If Sarastro does not turn pale [in death] because of you!
Hear, gods of vengeance, hear the mother's oath!


Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet um mich her!
fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
so bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr.

Verstoßen sei auf ewig,
verlassen sei auf ewig,
zertrümmert sei'n auf ewig
alle Bande der Natur
wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!
Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bias and the PCL-R

I might have spoken too soon about Dr. Robert Hare. From this unique and conspiracy theory oriented review of Jon Ronson's "The Psychopath Test," selections from the book:
"Serial killers ruin families." Bob [Hare] shrugged. "Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies."

This--Bob was saying--was the straightforward solution to the greatest mystery of all: Why is the world so unfair? Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty? The answer: psychopaths. That part of the brain that doesn't function right. You're standing on an escalator and you watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren't all the same. We aren't all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are psychopaths. And psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They're the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond. (p. 112)

"If some political or business leader had a psychopathically hoodlum childhood, wouldn't it come out in the press and ruin them?" I said.

"They find ways to bury it," Bob replied. "Anyway, Early Behavior Problems don't necessarily mean ending up in Juvenile Hall. It could mean, say, secretly torturing animals." He paused. "But getting access to people like that can be difficult. Prisoners are easy. They like meeting researchers. It breaks up the monotony of their day. But CEOs, politicians ..." Bob looked at me. "It's a really big story," he said. "It's a story that could change forever the way people see the world." (p. 118)
[Hare in response to a criticism that he speaks of psychopaths as if they are a different species:] "All the research indicates they're not a different species," said Bob. "There's no evidence that they form a different species" ...

Bob looked evenly at me. "I'm in the clear on this," he said. There was a silence. "My gut feeling, though, deep down, is that maybe they are different," he added. "But we haven't established that yet." (p. 268)
I've always gotten the feeling that he talks the talk of the objective scientist, but when push come to shove he pushes back with what looks inordinately like personal bias, and I'm not the only one that thinks this.
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