Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nurture trumping nature

I have posted before about James Fallon, neuroscientist, University of California, Irvine, professor, psychopath expert, and successful psychopath (?) before.  I thought this video was worth posting as well because it targets more the personal experience of what his family thinks about who he is and his childhood was instrumental in Jim not developing into a killer, despite his brain and genetic predispositions.




6:55: His mother tells him about how Lizzie Borden is a cousin of his.  On one line of his family there were at least 16 murderers.

7:54: He decides to check the brain scans and DNA of his family members for the brain signatures and genes linked to psychopathy.  He discovers everyone is normal except for him, who has the brain scan signature of a killer and all of the genetic markers predisposing to impulsivity, violence, etc.

10:05: Reaction from his family "I knew there was always something off.  It makes more sense now."  "Everything that you would want in a serial killer he has in a fundamental way."  "It was surprising but it wasn't surprising."  "He's always had a standoffish part to him."

11:00: Jim is honest with himself "I have characteristics or traits, some of which are . . . psychopathic." he gives the example of how he could blow off an aunt's funeral.  "I know something's wrong, but I still don't care."

11:40: Why wasn't he a killer?  "Whether genes are triggered or not will depend on what happens in your childhood."

12:28: "It turns out that I had a unbelievably wonderful childhood."

I think this is an interesting and accurate portrayal of what a high functioning psychopath might look like.  I think people expect to see very obvious differences, but frequently they're not obvious or they're not really visible.  It's like this response from Jennifer Kahn, author of that NY Times Magazine article on psychopathic children, when asked about whether the child's behavior was more or less extreme than she expected:

I think I expected Michael to be more immediately extreme. When I arrived, he was on his good behavior, but he did get extreme later in the night. Something that Waschbusch said he struggles with is that it is hard to define what is prepsychopathic behavior and what is behavior caused by a different kind of problem — it does tend to cross different diagnoses. It wasn’t the screaming or fits or slamming the toilet seat that struck me; it was the calculated coldness and the flip between emotional states. But I had expected it to be more obvious. When I entered the house, of course, I was thinking of adult psychopaths who have led criminal lives for decades, which is normally how they come to our attention. I was maybe expecting a child version of that, but of course that’s kind of ridiculous. Even among adult psychopaths, that would be a small minority.




140 comments:

  1. FIRST!! Yeah baby. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They tried to make him look evil. The truth is that empathy is the source of evil, without it good people will not do bad things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We shouldn't oversimplify: Empathy is not the source of evil; absence of empathy isn't either. Evil lies in details, evil is contingent, as ourselves, has no origin, it just happens to be there. There is no way to recognise it, no way to predict it, no way to protect yourself from it, unless you struggle all the time to have a 360º vision, which of course a single person or a small community can't afford.

      Delete
    2. Fallon doesn't have empathy. He talks about it in other videos he's in.

      Delete
    3. Fallon is a corageous person who's exposed himself openly and crudely to a narrow thinking society, and he deserves a lot of credit for this contribution. I express here my admiration for him. We need a lot of people like him to dispel superstitions and manic name-calling from self-righteous people that think they are "good"

      Delete
    4. He might not have empathy, but that doesn't mean he acts out or treats people poorly. People don't seem to understand... a person can laugh at ones misfortunes, and still be a "good" person in society. They just don't get all caught up in emotions.

      Delete
    5. It takes guts to look people in the face and tell them that you don’t feel like them, that you have no feelings to share with them, although you have proved you have a lot of other things to share, like your personal effort, the results of your hard work and the general aim of getting a society with a place for everybody, no matter if they can feel what they are told to feel. Those are very important things to share, much more important than feelings, if you want my opinion.

      Delete
    6. Without empathy, guilt, remorse etc people wouldn't be fooled a dictator. Remember Hitler didn't kill anyone after WWI but people with empathy felt what he felt and felt guilty and some responsibility to society so they they did what they were told. Needless to count all religious wars and tortures that were carried out by "empathies" "guilt" feelers. People like Stalin, Hitler and Mao wouldn't have had the power to do anything if it wasn't for "empathy and guilt" that turned people into sheep.

      Would a sociopath really risk his/her life for someone whom he/she has never met and doesn't care about? Will a sociopath kill, torture and prevent scientific development because of some invisible friend? Will a sociopath prevent the development biomedical science because of remorse and pity for animals?

      Imagine a world without these sheep people. There would be no wars, no cults (religion), no barriers to science, art and business.

      How dare these lower life forms call us evil. The law of risk and reward is a fundamental law of nature. Mankind require people who can take risk without the fear of consequences. Much more people fail than succeed but the ones that succeed end up benefiting us all. These people are the invisible heroes. Guess which group in society takes the most risk? Sociopaths. We are the future of the Earth. The lower life forms have ruined civilization over and over again. Eventually evolution will weed them out and one day the world will be free of the iron chains of empathy, guilt, remorse, and fear.

      Delete
    7. I perceive a lot of emotion in your words, Wet. Speaking about low life, etc. That doesn't sound very cold, really, I hope you are not just proposing an inversion in values. Sure, I agree, without emotions dictators would have no chance, but glorifying socios or psychos is no better than glorifying empaths.

      Delete
    8. Wet
      WHAT A SPIN!!!

      Delete
    9. Fallon was fortunate enough to have had a happy childhood that put his warrior gene in check but that
      was not the case with Dalmer. Dalmer states that he
      was not abused as a child but it was not a happy childhood. Evidently, that is the key; having joy
      in that childhood? Fallon lucked out and, yes, luck
      played a part in it.

      Delete
    10. luck plays a part in everything, and a big one, for that. But then Fallon's been lucky, doesn't need to come out and show the world his genes, his brain scanner... why do it? That's the big issue for me. I see here a deep moral action, much deeper and ADVANCED in fact than the one shown by core defenders of good name, honour, and privacy.

      Delete
    11. Yes, Fallon is an outstanding human being, very admirable. I agree!

      Delete
    12. Yes, Fallon has revealed this at the end of his life.

      Delete
    13. What do you mean"the end of his life?"

      Delete
  3. you can't spell empathetic without pathetic

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whoa my beeps just fucked my brains out. Soooooo hot! Thanks Sweets. See you tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. He only comes here now to announce his trysts with sweetcheeks. They're both lame. Especially her. How much you want to bet she dumps her kid, and runs off with this idiot?

      Delete
    2. Wait, so these fools are actually together? Is he the hairy jewish looking guy who was dressed like a failed indie musician in a record store?

      Delete
    3. Yes. Can you believe how fucking pathetic some women are?! I knew she was a flake, but to actually end up with that dude...

      Delete
    4. Yes, leave the Jews out of it.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, leave the jews out of it.

      Delete
    6. You need to pick better friends, Raven. It may rub off on you.

      Delete
    7. What are you talking about?

      Delete
    8. Well I think your cat picture is cute, and find it sweet that you think your girl is so hot that you feel compelled to crow about her publically every now and then.

      Don't listen to all the single ladies, just keep loving that hot beep of yours as best as you can. :)

      Delete
    9. Well I think your cat picture is cute, and I find it endearing that you are so enamored of your gf that you feel the desire announce it every now and then. Don't listen to all the single scrooges; just keep loving that hot beep as best as you can.

      And leave the Jews out of it.

      Delete
    10. Alter... you are so clueless sometimes.
      I know the situation. Clearly, you don't.

      Delete
    11. No, I don't, lol. What's the situation?

      But come on. The cat pic is cute, yeah?

      Delete
    12. Sure it is, and it worked on you.
      vm is speaking of sweetcheeks. You don't remember.
      20 something. Married to a narcissist. Has a 6 yr old son . Her and vm started hooking up after meeting each other on SW. They probably on knew each other a month or two, and now she's fucking the dude.

      He's supposedly a sociopath, but acts more like a narc, and the only charming thing about him is... um... nothing. More than likely her child is being drag along to this weirdos house, or dumped on someone else so she can have an her affair, and not have to worry about the kid ratting her out to her ass hole husband.

      She's nothing but a weak minded bitch, and a skank.

      Delete
    13. What's more is he's not coming here to proclaim his love for her. He's just bragging.

      Delete
    14. Well then. You sure know how to ruin a girl's sunshine and giggles, lol. I wrote that in a burst of goodwill towards... the cat, actually. :)

      And when I admonished him to keep "loving" her, I was referring to the physical act of "love"... Know what I'm sayin'? *wink wink*, *nudge nudge*.

      But I revoke my statement. Cheating sucks. Back to prowling, growling, and snippy sarcasm... HA! ;)

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. James Fallon--what an incredible person. I am always on the search for self actualized people as they are so few. You may meet a handful in life or know of a handful who are public figures. I would rate him as one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can empathize a lot with people without using any feeling at all. It is a very simple question of perceiving what the other feels (it takes observation, it takes knowledge and understanding, but not necessarily "feeling")and trying to make them feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point, Jose. Where have you been all my life?

      Delete
    2. Sometimes here, sometimes there, I used to travel a lot, I'm Afraid, Monica. Travelling teaches you to put feelings in the last place when it comes to understanding your fellow human beings. Concrete, momentary feelings change from one place to another, from one time to another but problems, happiness and suffering remain the same.

      Delete
    3. Well said, Friend.

      Delete
    4. @jose javier
      Were you ever diagnosed with having a lack of empathy?

      Delete
    5. Never so far, but I used to ask for reasons to feel this or that, and I think that sounds suspicious, doesn't it?

      Delete
    6. @jose
      ^And in reading your posts

      Delete
    7. try to justify yourself is the contrary to simplify yourself.

      Delete
    8. @jose
      Sociopaths never take responsibility for their actions. They blame others. Simple, enough

      Delete
    9. Do you think empaths will take responsibility for their actions if they don't think it's an advantage for them, in the short or long run? No way. With socios or psychos, it's the same. Speaking about a serious offender you will tell me what's the advantage for him to take responsibility for his crime, satisfy public opinion maybe?

      Delete
    10. The key is that expression "simple enough": people need moral issues to be "simple enough" but they seldom are.

      Delete
    11. Yes, I have seen people taking responsibility for their actions and when it was not advantageous for
      themselves. And they became better people for doing
      so. It's a shame that you have not seen this or not
      in believing them.

      Delete
    12. These people you speak about might well have been socios or psychos. You don't think a psycho would never sacrifice himself for the sake of the country or the group, do you? I happens very often. Many heros are psychos at the same time.

      Delete
    13. @Jose
      A nobody? Coming from a phony like you - means nothing!

      Delete
    14. ^Was meant for the 9:16 post.

      Delete
    15. @8:58
      A minute few.

      Delete
    16. I recommend reading the story of Gilles de Rais, a hero, a follower of Joanne D'Arc, a Maréchal de France, a serial Killer, a devote Christian...

      Delete
    17. Since,Joan of Arc written by Mark Twain is one of
      my favorites (which he researched for over a decade)
      But rest assured I wouldn't take your word for truth
      about anything. Can you comprehend that?

      Delete
    18. Le Marquis de Sade himself was a courageous soldier, he fought for his king, and earn a reputation in the Seven Years war.

      Delete
    19. ^His he your mentor? LOL

      Delete
    20. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    21. The list of heroes/villains reaches up to the moon. Most people are a mixture hard to sort out. Distinctions between good and evil are full of hues.

      Delete
    22. But it’s not up to anybody to find their way in that region. It takes a little more than just talking to a rabbi, or a priest, or a psychologist

      Delete
    23. How quickly you respond to take care of your image.
      hmmmmmm

      Delete
    24. You guys are so terrible to one of the best posters who ever came on SW lol

      Delete
    25. Shut up, Monica.

      Delete
  8. Are people innately good or bad - why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so but maybe the answer lies in the choices we make. It appears that the more good that
      the good people do - they become better people; and this can be said about the bad - they become evil. I
      believe our choices make the decision of good and bad.

      Delete
  9. We haven't got a sixth sense which will tell us what's right and what's wrong. We learn it, and we cannot learn it from someone who's never felt those distinctions as something of their own.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @jose
    Your talking about a certain group?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^Have you ever tried studying under a GOOD Rabbi?
      It has worked for some...........

      Delete
    2. I don't feel I've got something to fix, buddy. Rabbis can be as confused as everybody else when it comes to tell good from evil. It's far from evident, more often than not.

      Delete
    3. Jose, people fuck with you on here. xxx

      Delete
    4. Hey, Jose, first of all I'm not your buddy and it's
      apparent that I raddled your cage but I would listen
      to a Rabbi before I would embrace your ramblings.

      Delete
    5. @Jose
      Finally, your true personality came forth!

      Delete
    6. If I were you I would worry about myself first, buddy, talking to rabbis can be a very curious obsession (I call you buddy because you are nobody-anonymous and there are too many of those around here)

      Delete
    7. Bullshit

      Delete
    8. An action, any action, may have dozens, hundreds, even thousands of consequences. You should know all of them to decide if it is right or wrong. Nobody is in the position to control them all, that's why ethics, moral is such a twisted issue.

      Delete
    9. any event happens inside a network of connections. It's then nothing until all the connections are put to use. This is unpredictable, this is reality.

      Delete
    10. Jose, you are right up on the arrogant, nonsense spouting, guru wannabe list. You try to sound so wise and insightful, but really you just want a bunch of fucked morons like Monica to follow you around and tell you what an original thinker you are. How they've never seen a person so 'deep' and enlightened and handsome... It's getting old.

      Delete
    11. You jealous, GREEN eyes? lol

      Delete
    12. Maybe Monica is sick of the low functioning sociopaths who get old pretty fast.

      Delete
    13. You got me.. of course I am jealous, I want Monica all to myself. Such clever use of my name, too. You make me swoon, you clever anon, you ;)
      Can't really blame Monica for being sick of sociopaths. I mean, it's hard not to when even low functioning sociopaths are revolted by what you did.

      Delete
    14. I do get jealous when I see people who have achieved real things in life. AA teaches me to be honest about myself. Keeping it real.

      Delete
    15. ^ LOL, too good. Except sweetheart, I wouldn't be caught dead in AA, not even if it had the hottest priests in town. I do, however, get very jealous of people who achieve such heights of wit and vim as yourself. Imitation, even if very badly done, is still flattery. Bravo.

      Delete
    16. ^ I have an imitator.

      Delete
    17. green eyes
      AA teaches you to be honest? Take Monica

      Delete
    18. I have a hard time being honest. I do admit that LOL

      Delete
    19. ^Keep Coming Back, green eyes.

      Delete
    20. Anon, you didn't seriously think the idiot posing as green eyes 5:07, 5:29 and 6:07 is really me, did you? Gotta give them points for trying, though. After all, it would be much harder and less pathetic to actually put his/her own name to such ramblings. The level of retardation and spinelessness involved does make me think of Monica. It's almost uncanny.

      Delete
    21. green eyes, you don't have anything to be ashamed of. You are anonymous.

      Delete
    22. AA is not a sign of weakness, green eyes.

      Delete
    23. You're right, I don't have anything to be ashamed of. "Je ne regrette rien" is my favourite song for a reason.
      I never said AA was a sign of weakness. If it works for people, why the hell not. I'm not a drinker, so it wouldn't be of any benefit whatsoever to me, though.

      Delete
    24. OK green eyes

      Delete
    25. I hope you learned something, green eyes.

      Delete
    26. Oh yes. I've learned that weak, pathetic people can be very passive aggressive and impersonate a person (badly, may I add), instead of actually having the courage to post their own opinions under their own names. If he/she disagrees with me, wouldn't it be far less juvenile and pitiful if they simply came out and said so openly? I love to discuss things like rational adults, not using passive aggressive bullshit tactics or hiding behind the title 'anonymous'.

      Delete
    27. Keep coming back, green eyes.

      Delete
    28. Oh, I will, don't worry. I bet you, though, that my little imitator will never admit who they really were. My money's on Monica, but she's far too cowardly to admit it. If I didn't find her so repugnant because of what she's done to her own flesh and blood, I might even pity her.

      Delete
    29. Green Eyes
      What did she do to her own flesh and blood? Now's your chance.

      Delete
    30. It's not up to me to tell you, anon. You can always go on the forum and look up this week's threads. Monica is the Ami everyone speaks of. You'll see who she REALLY is.

      Delete
    31. Everyone is everyone around here except Ukan who is Ukan.

      Delete
    32. green eyes
      who were you?

      Delete
    33. Ukan RecapituateMay 17, 2012 at 4:14 AM

      I can be ten people and know one will know. I have even talked to myself as three people.

      Delete
  11. Hey everybody, I was reading a book and it made me wonder: what kind of dreams do you have?
    Acording to book psychopaths (aguess it fits to sociopaths too) dream in black and white, or don't dream at all. Maybe I got the color part wrong, because I am sure, that my dreams are colored :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the colour of evil? Red? Black? Yellow?

      Delete
    2. What's up with "evil"? Evil can be in any color, right? Sorry, I don't really understand you :(

      Delete
    3. As I see it, there's no such thing as good or evil. There are actions. If you pick the right act you get a reward, if you fail you go to jail. Good/Evil is only for enterntainment, to make films/books stories more interesting.

      Delete
    4. Agree with you, but then how can dream colours tell something about the emotions of the dreamer?

      Delete
    5. I have no idea, that's why I wanted to check it :) so can your dreams be colourful?
      "But even if psychopats succeeded to dream something, everything in their dreams was black and white" - sth like this was in a book :D

      Delete
    6. Well that's an enigma to me.

      Delete
    7. It would be great if someone else would right about it here :)

      Delete
    8. I only see colours in my dreams when colours are important or mean something in the follow up. Rest of the time they are not black and white or in colour, they are "beyond colour"

      Delete
    9. Mee
      Black and white can mean many things. Difficult time
      in our lives; a nightmare, perhaps. Aren't dreams
      wonderful and puzzling?

      Delete
    10. Dreams are puzzling, and wonderful, and sometimes they leave a trace, and sometimes they go away without leaving a memory. You dream what you have to, inside the dream you are no longer you. It's another being, smaller than you are, weaker than you are, subject to everything that happens, that cannot change anything.

      Delete
    11. Yeah, I know, I just took the phrase "black and white" literaly... Silly Mee :)

      Delete
    12. Mee
      You fooled Jose

      Delete
  12. How To Heal a PDMay 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Throw away everything you learned about Psychology. Throw away all you learned about being a good person, moral, mature, kind, decent etc etc

    A sculptor gets a slab of stone and sculpts it into a person. When you have a PD, you frozen as is that stone. Under the stone is a person. How to get under there is the question. However, just knowing that you are under there helps some, I think.

    If you never had access to your feelings such as if you were abused from infancy forward, this is not related to your situation as we going BACK to discover ourselves. We are not creating a person who was never there. That would need a different solution but there is one, so don't despair if you are the latter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How To Heal a PDMay 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      The healing of a PD is in the emotional realms. With the healing of a PD, the intellect is the servant of the emotions. The intellect, in many people with PD's, is exceptional. It is the emotions which are fragmented and disoriented.

      So, one of the first steps to healing a PD is to reconnect with our childlike emotions. Think of the emotional range of a child. The emotional range of an emotionally adult is wide and varied, as well.


      With a PD, one has narrowed it down to a small spectrum of emotions. The rest is lost or greatly obscured. This is one of the hallmarks of a PD. This is where you need to start to heal one. The starting point is to notice the whole array of your emotions. Be mindful of them. Watch your emotions as one would watch a bug under a microscope. I would love any comments from those to whom this resonates.

      Delete
  13. There are those who know, and feel insecure, and those who believe they know, and feel certain. The second kind derives their certainty from feeling, not from thinking. Feeling will never encompass the big picture, but always a very small and simple one. When it meets the big one it is annihilated, and all certainty vanishes.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anyone here familiar with genetics and how children get there looks, and from which parent? Or how it works?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Is jose reincarnation of soulful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way. Soulful was as cogent as wet dream.

      Delete
    2. cogent: clear, logical, convincing.

      hardly how I'd refer to wetdream, but then again also hardly how I'd refer to soulful. I guess you're being sarcastic, and I never get sarcasm.

      Delete
    3. some cultures are sarcastic all the time. are those the more intelligent ones?

      americans don't resort to sarcasm much. As achieved as they are it sure is the top 10% (majority of which are the psychopath)s who are behind the system creation, the remaining 90% avoids sarcasm and political in correctness at all cost.

      I am often politically incorrect and never sarcastic, so quite paradoxical to both the ten % and the remainder 90%.

      Delete
    4. Anon 5:43! Did you know that 100% of people who invent inane statistics are 10% naive and 90% stupid? It's true! I am 100% sure of it. :D

      Delete
    5. Anon 5:43! Did you know that 100% of people who invent inane statistics are 10% naive and 90% stupid? It's true! I am 100% sure of it. :D

      Delete
    6. Anon 5:43! Did you know that 100% of people who invent inane statistics are 10% naïve and 90% stupid? It's true! I am 100% sure of it. :D

      Delete
    7. Anon 5:39
      I can't imagine how it would be not to get sarcasm.

      Delete
  16. do sociopaths envy some people on their looks or are they always happy with themselves?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Depth of feelings:
    Well, there is no difference in depth from one’s feelings to others’. The only difference is how many times you can repeat the same old feeling inside yourself or the ease with which you can get rid of it. That is the actual border. In Spain there are songs that glorify the capacity of feeling. If someone is in love with a worthless person, and continues so in spite of one hundred negative experiences she is admired for that! (curiously enough, the admiration goes for women, not for men in the same situation)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sounds like another macho society male domination creation. keep screwing women and as they stick around despite all the bs praise them so they never step away.

      good thing men take it out on men more often than not, they deserve killing each other.

      Delete
    2. josita
      No, Jose just talks them to death. It's called gaslighting

      Delete
    3. I'm speaking about folklore, Josita, as an example of depth of feelings. In spanish traditional floklore, all the empathy is on the side of the woman, and all the violence on the side of the man. Useless to explain you that this is myth, fiction, Josita. Real people behave differently.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. interesting piece. nothing I haven't heard before, but still, a worthwhile watch.

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

.

Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.