Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sociopaths in news: Anonymous

A reader sent me this article featuring Barrett Brown, one of the faces of anonymous. It's an interesting portrait of the man and the organization.  I saw some things that suggested sociopath to me, but it's so difficult to know what is really going on in someone else's head.  Under the teaser: "From a tiny Uptown apartment he's organizing a worldwide collective of hackers that brought down HBGary and helped overthrow the government of Tunisia."


Finally, there is the inscrutable topic itself. Anonymous is sometimes referred to in the mainstream media as a group or a collective—the Christian Science Monitor went with “a shadowy circle of activists”—but Anonymous, per se, doesn’t exist. It has no hierarchy, no leadership. So even though Bloomberg and others have called Brown a spokesman for the group (which, again, isn’t a group at all), Brown denies having any position within Anonymous. 

“Anonymous is a process more than it is a thing,” Brown tells Isikoff. “I can’t speak on behalf of Anonymous, because there’s no one who can authorize me to do that.”

When he explains Anonymous to a newbie, Brown relishes the inevitable confusion and will toggle between sincerity and irony to heighten it. Until you’ve spent some time with him, it’s hard to know what to believe. When you’ve gotten to know him better, it’s even harder. 

“You have to remember,” Brown says, reclining in the green lawn chair, one arm slung over its back, a cigarette dangling between his fingers, “we’re the Freemasons. Only, we’ve got a sense of humor. You have to wield power with a sense of humor. Otherwise you become the FBI.” Here Brown is half-kidding. 
***
Brown wrote the following in an essay titled “Anonymous, Australia, and the Inevitable Fall of the Nation-State”:

“Having taken a long interest in the subculture from which Anonymous is derived and the new communicative structures that make it possible, I am now certain that this phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social developments to have occurred in decades, and that the development in question promises to threaten the institution of the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human organization.”
***
As Brown paces and recounts some of the highlights he’s amassed in just 29 years, it’s tempting to brand him as a fabulist. He’ll begin an anecdote with “I once had to jump out of a moving cab in Dar es Salaam.” But then he mentions that he went to Preston Hollow Elementary School with George W. Bush’s twin daughters. My mother taught the Bush twins at Preston Hollow. I tell him this, and he remembers my mother.

“I was the poet laureate of Preston Hollow!” he says. 
***
Later that night, I call my mother, who taught him art. “Do you remember a kid named Barrett Brown from Preston Hollow?”

“Barrett Brown? Oh, my God,” she says, instantly recalling an elementary student she taught more than 20 years ago. “I don’t remember them all. But I remember him. Yes, he was the poet laureate. I don’t have it anymore, but I kept that poem for years.”

Having now had several corroborative conversations like the one with my mother, I am forced to conclude that most of what Brown says is accurate—if not believable. 

I also like this part (it reminds me of my own shockingly flat learning curve, as manifest by things like my inability to figure out how to mail a package):

He wears the same outfit every day. He owns a dozen identical blue pin-striped oxford shirts. He wears only boots because he hasn’t bothered to learn to tie shoelaces properly. (When Nikki Loehr told me that being Brown’s girlfriend can be exhausting because she must work to keep him on track, citing as one example of Brown’s ADD-powered absent-mindedness his inability to “tie his own shoes,” I thought she was kidding. She wasn’t.)

It was hard to pick representative selections from the article that would lead me to armchair diagnose him with even a semblance of accuracy (even for armchair diagnosis).  He does seem like an interesting guy, though, and I think it is helpful sometimes for people to realize that not everyone thinks like them.  That some people do things just because.  Or for their vanity.  Or because they need much more stimulation than a normal life would provide.  And that they will do whatever it takes.  The caption to the photo of him reads, "'He demanded that this story mention he outgrew his Ayn Rand phase when he was 17. He said, 'If you don’t put that in there, I will personally DDoS the f--- out of you.'"

110 comments:

  1. looks like i'm anonymous2
    (and 1st)

    ReplyDelete
  2. do you recognize others like you if you can't read or play them?

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  3. Anonymous are immature morons. Their technical ineptitude is beyond words. All they ever do is Ddos, they tried the same approach on an onion routed network and the stupid fucks had absolutely no idea how it worked (and as a result the attacks would fail dismally). To save face they made up entirely fabricated logs not even thinking about the fact that many on that network are smarter than the average bear. Not so much smarter - now that it's so easy to access - but smarter nonetheless.

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  4. (((Hits snooze button and goes back to bed)))

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  5. Interesting article, ME. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. are you the real monica? i have a question for you. you asked me if i was here because did i think i was a sociopath. so what if i was one? you said the sociopath and empath can be a perfect fit. so we could learn stuff from each other that we can't learn anywhere, no? so what can you learn from e if i am a sociopath?

      Delete
    2. i have to go to class soon. are you going to be here soon so we can talk?

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    3. i'm going to class no monica. i'll be back on later to talk to you ok? i hope you have an answer for me when i get back.

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    4. chill anon 1 you sound like a fucking stalker

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    5. monica said she was busy. what the fuck is your fucking problem. respect fucking boundaries, shithead.

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    6. i'm not sounding like a stalker. i think monica is right that you others are just jealous of us trying to have a real conversation. monica has not asked me to leave her alone she just has stuff going on. she can talk to me when she wants to. i'm not going anywhere so she has to talk to me eventually. i don't give up so easy at all.

      Delete
    7. Anon 1
      I think you are a Regular trying to mess with me. If you are not, I am sorry, but I am here to truly learn about the subject matter. I have no interest the drama around here. So, I don't care to talk any more. If you are a serious seeker, please get help someplace. Take Care

      Delete
    8. I saw yesterday that someone thought this anon is me. It is not, trust me. You are too pathetic and weak to even mess with at this point, and I'm busy with other things, and I don't want to give you the satisfaction of thinking it's me. Even the attention I'm giving you right now is too much. The orgasm yesterday was pretty classic though.

      Delete
    9. I consider myself touched by the Pope's ring that Ukan talked to me. Thank you, Ukan

      Delete
    10. i am a serious seeker and why can't i talk to you or get help here. if i am a sociopath this is the place for helping that, no? why are you acting so different now? you wanted to talk to me really good at first. i think you just believe to well what everyone else says. you said that we should be a perfect fit in communication. why are you judging me? what happened to the enlightened witness you told me about?

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    11. you told me that if i wanted to share my heart with you that you were game to talk to me. i have been following your rules not to ask you more of those other questions just like you said not to. now you are telling me you are too serious and busy to talk to me at all and to seek help somewhere. why do you keep changing the rules? i am willing to share my heart with you. tell me why that's not good enough for you now?

      Delete
    12. I told you Anon 1. I don't play the games around here and I think you are gaming me. If you are not, I am sorry, but I have to go with my gut on this. Take Care.

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    13. gaming you? i want an example of how i am gaming you. give me a quote from this place where i game you. how is gaming you when all i ask are questions and answer questions? it is odd how you keep saying "Take Care". all those other monicas that you said were not you kept doing that also. i don't think you are the real monica. i will keep talking until the real monica answers me.

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    14. please don't ignore me monica. i still have so many questions about you in my head. do you run away from me because i'm so interested in you? would it be better if i were mean and acted like i did not care? you don't like people who are nice people is that what is your problem? you want a asshole sociopath that will abuse your mind? you were more interested in me when i was being a hot shot interrogation but now when i'm being more nice you run away from me. i don't give up so easy. you will have to talk to me eventually. :)

      Delete
  6. For a laugh, check out an anonymous troll spreading scandalous, baseless lies on yesterday's board. Zhawq's gonna be pissed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zhawq. Why don't you just post with your own name. Are you a child ?

      Delete
    2. Zhawq is a hurting unit. It has to resort to Anon trolling of this site. Pathetic attempt on the last Blog page Zhawq, I laughed so fucking hard i puked!

      Delete
  7. Themes for SW RegularsFebruary 9, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    Event Series

    Monica to Anon 1



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmGqbOxzAwg

    ReplyDelete
  8. Theme Songs for SW RegularsFebruary 9, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    Theme Song for Monica Moo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylQMhYqSntk

    ReplyDelete
  9. The only reason a sociopath will protest.

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly9mw1Mav81r7yvteo1_500.jpg

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  10. Thanks Themes! I just saw your song for me yesterday. I'm not a fan of the artist but a lot of the sentiment is right on haha.

    Overprotected, though? Maybe of myself. Not by anyone else though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Themes for SW RegularsFebruary 9, 2012 at 6:44 AM

      Yes Haven It was overprotective of yourself <3

      Delete
    2. Then it is really quite perfect. <3

      Delete
  11. Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deception. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others, and are disproportionately responsible for violent crime when in a violent emotional state or situation. Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as average individuals by feigning emotions and lying about their past.

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    Replies
    1. and they are good looking2

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    2. I heard that too. And a HUGE cock !

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    3. I have to ask, how huge?

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    4. My thoughts EXACTLY! How huge is your cock, chosen?

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    5. They have average cocks. They are just skilled at manipulating the perception that their cock is huge.

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    6. Turn around and bend over Anon, so I can shove my massive imagination up your bum!

      Delete
  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Miyazaki

    ReplyDelete
  13. Let me out !!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

  14. Anonymous are immature morons. Their technical ineptitude is beyond words.

    Interesting that 3/4 of your comments are dedicated to discrediting someone who is seen in any kind of extrordinary favor. Anonymous has caused enough chaos as to be on the international map of major players in world events. If they were inept their actions wouldn't be on international news on a constant basis. They are being chased by various intelligence services, have debates on nighty news shows centered around them, caused a major security firm's director to resign, and had the Los Zetas cartel release one of their members just based on threats of releasing information about government officials they were paying off just for starters. Has your work seen such recognition? Doubtful. You are jealous of anyone seen above your unimportance.

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  15. Not to change the subject, but that guy has sexy lips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah dried up chapped lips are real sexy

      Delete
  16. Dried up? Don't be so fussy, Anon. His lips are yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. are you the real monica? my monica? please don't ignore me. i just want to know you and how is that so bad? what is in your gut to make you not want to talk to me?

      Delete
    2. puffy, pouty, a little pursed. narcissist lips.

      Delete
    3. That's her fave. Yummy!

      Delete
  17. slow day around these parts. hello sw from frankfurt

    ReplyDelete
  18. Themes for SW RegularsFebruary 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Event Series Monica is being stalked


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DQmwA7chtY&feature=related

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm not stalking monica. stop making her feel scared of me. we were doing so well before you others stepped in to it with us.

      Delete
    2. she said to go away. that means fuck off, dip

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    3. no she didn't say it like that. she's thinking i'm gaming her. so what is so wrong with me proving i'm not gaming? i can be serious with her like everyone.

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    4. what about get lost don't you understand?

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    5. i don't give up so easy. let her tell me very specific that she wants me gone. but i will still do only what i like. she liked me before and i'm the same person still.

      Delete
    6. she told you she wanted you gone, dip. do you need a tire iron smashed on your head?

      Delete
    7. how are you going to do that? this is only a internet blog and i am a anonymous person. so? how can you make me stop doing what i want here?

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    8. so? how are you going to stop me anon? monica is nice to me even when she is telling me she is thinking i'm gaming her. i think she will be ok with me. so how will you stop me?

      Delete
    9. nobody can make you, jerk. you just look like a fucking fool.

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    10. and if i'm a fool to you? so what? why are you so mad about it? do you want to be with monica or what? is she your belongings? i don't think she is. so what. i'm a fool. i'm still going to talk to her when she gets here.

      Delete
    11. suit yourself. just giving some friendly advice, buddy.

      Delete
    12. is giving me friendly advise calling me a jerk? i don't want it if that's it.

      Delete
    13. Hi Anon 1. I'm sorry, I was not being myself earlier. It is not easy, trusting people, around here. We can talk if you are serious. Just do not be so irritating, OK? LOL

      Delete
    14. ok monica but please don't trick me anymore. what do you want to talk about next? did you read my question to you from this morning? what do you think?

      Delete
    15. Anon 1 Let me think about it and get back to you. You can ask me a different question, if you want. :)

      Delete
    16. ok monica. i'm just very thrilled to be talking to you. i was thinking i need to better understand how to talk to people. i think feelings are a bad communication for me. how do you learn to talk with your feelings? if you are numb you can't talk with your feelings anymore i think. do you think i'm numb like you?

      Delete
    17. Why are you interested in me Anon 1? I am not very interesting, and I feel constipated, by my feelings. I eat a lot of laxatives to make them come out. Understand Anon 1?

      Delete
    18. *Groan*. This is almost as bad as being forced to sit through a romantic comedy. I cant believe I'm reading this shite, lol

      Delete
    19. i'm confused. are you still the same monica that wants to talk to me again?

      Delete
    20. I just have so many, feelings Anon 1. I get constipated by them, Understand?

      Delete
    21. ok monica maybe we could talk tomorrow? you seem still odd about things. i will give you a break until tomorrow ok? i hope you have a good evening for yourself. nite monica. :)

      Delete
  19. haven come out and play with me, tonight. love frankfurt f

    ReplyDelete
  20. Alterego. Sarah. vm. sweetcheeks. Missus Kanny. Misanthrope. Wheatley. PMS. Zoe. Sceli. Jason. David. Soulfulpath. Hank. Harv.

    Who else will be on this list?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was kind of random M.I.A

      Delete
    2. TCO... You ain't missing, LOL
      :-)

      Delete
    3. Not missing. Just not much to say. Except the twitter comment about empathy = goodness is a retarded oversimplification.

      Delete
  21. What about Frank?

    ReplyDelete
  22. what about the cleaning lady cosette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my little friend cosette. :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Zoe What day do you need Cosette?

      Delete
  23. what about bible anon. did anyone care about him or is it good riddance, fat boy?

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi haven. i am getting some geek wine. it is so sweet i can puke but so what?

    ReplyDelete
  25. what do you guys think of MK ultra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXDASDDrDkM&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uupPpopZ0mo&feature=related

    ReplyDelete
  26. TCO. Ukan. Medusa. Alterego. Zoe. Raven. MHM. Haven. Frankfurt

    Which one will leave for good?

    ReplyDelete
  27. The asymmetry of dude's eyes in that pic is KILLING ME!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Theme Songs for SW RegularsFebruary 9, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkdhtb9DVWQ&feature=fvst

    Event Series

    Theme Song for Monica running away from Anon 1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. horrid song^ dead giveaway

      Delete
  29. that is a great song, Anon. what don't you like about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dead giveaway #2^ hit reply

      Delete
  30. Do sociopaths mock people on their looks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they do, and so do many other types of people. Even *gasp* regular people without disordered personalities, do it.

      Delete
  31. Anon here.
    Srs, old skool (circa 3/07) Habbo, Chanology, 4chan+808chan+ebaums+gaiafag Anonymous posting.
    Barret Brown is a nigger faggot lulzcow troll.
    BB speaks only for BB.
    So says the Hivemind.
    That is all.

    ReplyDelete
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