Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tween sociopath?

From a reader:

Hi. This may not interest you in the slightest, but I have a question.

I am only 14 years old. This statement probably has already made you roll your eyes, saying, "Ah yes, another special snowflake teenager."

But I can't go to any of my family for things like this. They won't understand it, and they'll get angry at me for me believing that I display some sociopathic tendencies.

Here are a few things about what I've noticed about myself:

To begin with, I can't think of a time that I have ever felt guilty, remorseful, or ashamed of any of my actions. In my mind, they are completely justified. There have been many times where I've betrayed a friend for my own personal gain, and I've never felt bad, because I am benefitting. I don't care. My closest friend for eight years has recently told me that she sometimes can't stand being around me, because I can be very two-faced.

I didn't feel bad. I apologized, of course, but I didn't mean it. I just didn't want to start drama. It'd stress me out, as I have school and other things to worry about aside from maintaining appearance.

I lie a lot. I don't do it to get out of trouble, but I want to see how far it can go. I want to see how much I can make someone believe something with just my expression and words. It's interesting. I want to see who can spot out my lies, and who can't. How to better myself. These lies tend to be rather extravagant at first, and then I use smaller ones to build up a sort of story around it, backing up evidence.

I'm very intelligent. I skipped a grade in school, and am now a sophomore in high school. My research on this subject says that most sociopaths are highly intelligent.

People who know me say that I'm very attractive in the sense that I provide a comforting aura. People find it easy to tell me things. I'm not much good at maintaining friends, per say, but I have strings of acquaintances who find me a good secret keeper.

I'm not good at branching out myself, and I feel that I have to conform to fit in with other people.

I have been working for the past year to pass up the one girl who may be top of my class, instead of me. I can't stand not being better than everyone. I have recurring dreams in which she's gone. I don't know how, but I do know that I take the spot that I rightfully deserve: first.

That may sound petty. Maybe it's a teenage thing to want to be the alpha dog.

The only person I know that thinks even a little bit like how I do truly believes that she's the most, 'damaged, mentally unstable, different' girl in the world. Last year, I called her out on all of her theatrics. She burst into tears.

I walked away. Hearing people cry is annoying.

I've never really romantically loved someone. Then again, I'm 14. What do I know of such things?

I'm not worried about finding out that I'm a sociopath - if I am one, and not just some girl with a strange personality and odd habits. It's just piqued my curiosity.

It'd be fantastic if you could tell me if these were things you struggled with as a child, and if you think I may be a sociopath.


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  2. You sure sound like a sociopath in the making. You probably have one or more sociopaths in the family (a parent or grandparent at least). I'm not a sociopath but looking back if my life was more "normal" at 14 onward I almost certainly would have been one, if not completely psychopathic. I'm beyond grateful to God that He saved me. A comfortable, easy life is the worst thing for someone with a predisposition to sociopathy and I'm glad (now, I used to be mellow about it) I didn't have one. I'm going to be the boring "adult" figure not because you're a kid but because unlike most of the crowd here I'm always honest here. It's going to be exciting and empowering being you for a time but you'll realize how empty and soulless your existence is in time. The more you indulge your sociopathic tendencies, thr harder it will be to recover your true self. If you take nothing else from this just trust me on this: pray and ask God to protect you from going too far.

    "I'm very intelligent. I skipped a grade in school, and am now a sophomore in high school. My research on this subject says that most sociopaths are highly intelligent."

    You actually do sound very intelligent but I don't think it's true of sociopaths in general. They just give the aura of intelligence by their calm, confident presence. Personally I know incredibly stupid sociopaths who would do much better relying on empathy and I know some genuinely intelligent sociopaths who have become morons and are oblivious to that fact. Whatever intelligence you have will steadily be stunted by pathological lying. You'll eventually become so cynical that you won't be able to see objective reality anymore - only that which makes sense to your own mind via experience. Also sociopaths have a good understanding of how people are OUTWARDLY but remain oblivious to their true nature - it's really sad the delusion they're in when you think about it. It's like a child who gets a candy everytime he smiles: he may think he's so clever all he has to do is give a facial expression and his stupid parents throw goodies at him. He is incapable of realizing that his smile brings such joy to them. That's not intelligence, it's ignorance.

    Good luck.

  3. You sound like one. Very intelligent, confidence, no remorse, lying, getting what you want by any means. I would say you are.

    1. I definitely agree. It seems very clear.

      So welcome to having figured out something about yourself. Also ignore Jonaid, he's the local religious nutter.

      Oh and about beating the first girl - you may be able to do it, even do it easily, but it's only really going to be worth it for a little while. Things like that are only great in the moment - the hunt and the kill, metaphorically, afterwards it's hard to sustain enthusiasm.

      Not saying don't do it, definitely show her who's the best (plus it would look good on your record), just be prepared for the aftermath.

  4. Lets not be quick to label this one yet. Most of us display these qualities at the young age of 14. It's actually incredibly easy to find sociopathic traits in teenagers. Hell, at 14 most of my friends and I were already extorting money and breaking into cars/houses. I don't see any intelligence or confidence in this post. Nor do am I convinced. I hope the ones on this page who eagerly welcomed this teen are not truly sociopaths; because if you were it wouldn't take any effort to notice the flaws and lack of proof of this post. Coming from a diagnosed "psychopath" this person seems like a completely normal teenager doing edgy teen things. Sorry to burst your special little snowflake bubble, but maybe try tumblr instead. You'll fit in wonderfully.

    1. I honestly don't think it really matters - if she is and we tell her she is, that's just some saved time she'd have wasted figuring it out. If she isn't and we tell her she is she'll still try to move forward with the confidence, aggression and coldheartedness that exemplify stereotypical portrayals of sociopaths.

      Sure, maybe she'll crash and burn, but whatever. At least she'll try to be tough for a while. So I stand by my post.

  5. I agree with you, Colossus.:) I believe that is why, they don't like to diagnose sociopathy, before a certain age. Is it 18, 21, 25?

  6. "To begin with, I can't think of a time that I have ever felt guilty, remorseful, or ashamed of any of my actions. In my mind, they are completely justified. There have been many times where I've betrayed a friend for my own personal gain, and I've never felt bad, because I am benefitting. I don't care. My closest friend for eight years has recently told me that she sometimes can't stand being around me, because I can be very two-faced."

    This is what classifies her as sociopathic or likely to be sociopathic. It's not the actions which necessarily makes one a socio but how one feels and thinks. The kid clearly said they don't feel these normal human feelings.

    As for Scarlet telling you to ignore me: if you're really intelligent like you claim, you can read, understand and judge for yourself who's telling you what you want to hear and who's telling you actually think. After that it's your choice of course.

    Good luck kiddo.

    1. ^ * who's telling you what they actually think *

  7. "My research on this subject says that most sociopaths are highly intelligent."

    Most sociopaths _think_ they are highly intelligent. There is no connection with sociopaths and intelligence. There are smarts ones, and dumb ones. Just like in regular people.

    Same as people think that all narcissists are successful, smart super manipulators. No they are not. Most of them are complete looser.

    And why wouldn't they be? They have severe disorder. They are less, than an healthy individual. More limited in what they can choose to do.

  8. Most people do not bother expose your lies, they just think you are maybe a bit stupid. Most socios\narcs lie so compulsively and ofte really poorly. That the only people who actually believes it, is them self. They are the ones who need the lies to uphold their self image.

    Its really important to understand the difference between how sociopath/narc sees himself and the how others see him. There is usually a big gap there.

    Anyone can lie, and people will believe it at first. Simply as people are not customed to doubt everything they are told.

    Its not a superpower, its just short sighted. This is why smarter people do not do it. As they understand it does not benefit them in a long run.

    This is what intelligence is, ability to do smart choices in LONG-TERM. Thus i would not call sociopath smart. As the whole long term thing is what they struggle.

    If you have these tendencies, try to work them out. Do not fall in to the stupidity of thinking they are awesome supermanlike qualities. You are failing the reality test if you do so.

  9. The lying part is i think the most funniest, i have had couple of female friends who are socios or narcs. They lie so much, and so poorly. That i actually told one of them that you do not need to lie so much. Im ok in what you are.

    It took me some time to realize, that they are lying to themselves mostly. They need to feel like they can con people. To feel superior. As there was no other practical reason for the lying-in. It told to her that you can just ask.

    The lying can really reach comical proportions if you hang out long enough. Best think to do is just play along, as they really live in a fantasy world.

    Always remember that there is nothing in sociopathy or narcissism that actually gives you superpowers, if you think so. You are failing the reality test. Its a defense mechanism to protect fragile or non existent ego.

    1. Anonymous 6:37, 6:52, 7:05

      You're right on! Nice to see another sane and honest person here! You said some points than I think I have. Well said and true.

    2. * some points better than I think I have *

  10. There is nothing special about me, or my sociopathy. Any feeling of specialness is simply a telltale sign of an inflation of one's own ego. My personality creates a pattern of thinking, and that thinking leads to taking actions that fits the tastes of my personality and is nothing more than that. It's not a superpower, it is just another reoccurring personality type in humanity. If it is a naturally reoccurring personality in people then in someway perhaps we're necessary for the propagation of our species. We make the hard decisions for survival.

    ESTP Sociopath

    1. ESTP Sociopath:
      I like your explanation of thinking patterns giving rise to behaviours.

      I also agree sociopathy is a naturally reoccurring personality type. From this point my reasoning differs a little - I hope you'll indulge me.

      By the fact of ongoing existence, sociopathy is an equally valid mode of human operation.

      This is actually a very potent shift because it draws various neurotypes onto equal footing in a particular way. From this platform, we are free to look at the functions of patterned behaviour in different neurotypes and come to a richer understanding of the human species. (As an example, I have previously postulated some explanations for how sociopaths achieve normalisation without the aid of the secondary emotional tools of empathy, guilt and shame.)

      There's probably insufficient evidence to say sociopaths are necessary for propagation of the species because they make the hard survival decisions*. That sounds a bit like rationalisation. My proposal, however, does not require justification of existence.

      *Science explains what is, not what should be.*

      * there may be more data on sociopaths' sexual selection success, at least this is another common hypothesis for prevalence of the personality. There are an increasing number of papers on the topic but it's not my particular concern and I haven't read them. No doubt science will eventually answer the question, but I don't think it's necessary to I weave the threads of why before we can benefit from the alternative lens sociopathy offers. We get a very stark view of elements of the human condition we have previously taken for granted.

    2. I'm keen to hear your thoughts

    3. I said what I had to say on the matter because I naturally assumed because if sociopathy is indeed a naturally reoccurring personality in humanity, that we serve some greater purpose in the bigger picture of reality. Who's to say what purpose sociopathy, or humanity, even has? Is it to propegate our species and compete to be the ruling force in our world? Sociopathy includes traits to do those kinds of things, such as sexual promiscuity and the proclivities to compete for resources and power.

      I may have more to say later, but I'm enjoying the company of a beautiful woman and some really good kush.

      ESTP Sociopath

    4. Oh, I don't subscribe to any view of overarching purpose or abstract reality. I don't see any evidence for it beyond a psychological tendency to fix our dopamine systems upon things we think are beneficial AND to have a sense of belonging as the members of a social species that we are.

      We *prefer* to know "why" before we invest energy - that's what we mean by purpose in the short term.

      Thanks. Have a lovely evening.

    5. It is not a "naturally occurring phenomenon." People who sell themselves and adopt the worst traits are obviously going to raise their children in a manner that will predispose them to sociopathic tendencies. They may also pass genes which increase the likelihood - make them start off with a lesser default empathy than a "normal" person. So just because a person can be born predisposed to a higher chance of developing a condition doesn't mean it's "naturally occurring." Humanity reaps what it sows.

    6. "Oh, I don't subscribe to any view of overarching purpose or abstract reality. I don't see any evidence for it beyond a psychological tendency to fix our dopamine systems upon things we think are beneficial"

      I agree with this line of thinking, we only have as much purpose as we are willing to define for ourselves. I, as a sociopath, perhaps meander through life with ambitions of climbing the social ladder, to be a recognized by many as an affluent individual, to live nights of excess filled with bodies thickly dancing together at a night club and partaking in dark fantasies. Loosely I believe my purpose is to live a life pursuing total liberty and freedom and to make my life into a work of art, because when I look back upon my life I want to see something beautiful.

      ESTP Sociopath

    7. I like the idea of life as a work of art.

      "bodies thickly dancing together at a night club and partaking in dark fantasies."

    8. ESTP-That was a very short "being alone" hiatus.:)

    9. ESTP-Also, I know what you are talking about, although I've never heard it referred to as "kush" before.:)

  11. North-What does "sociopaths' sexual selection success" mean?

    1. It means sociopaths often employ successful short term mating strategies :D

      "Sexual selection is a "special case" of natural selection. Sexual selection acts on an organism's ability to obtain (often by any means necessary!) or successfully copulate with a mate.

      Selection makes many organisms go to extreme lengths for sex: peacocks (top left) maintain elaborate tails, elephant seals (top right) fight over territories, fruit flies perform dances, and some species deliver persuasive gifts. After all, what female Mormon cricket (bottom right) could resist the gift of a juicy sperm-packet? Going to even more extreme lengths, the male redback spider (bottom left) literally flings itself into the jaws of death in order to mate successfully.

      Sexual selection is often powerful enough to produce features that are harmful to the individual's survival. For example, extravagant and colorful tail feathers or fins are likely to attract predators as well as interested members of the opposite sex."

      Although now you mention it, weren't we discussing bisexuality / fluid sexuality on the other thread. I don't know if there's actual data, but I have read of this hypothesis quite a few times.

      Ah, here on Tillier's Review of Psychopathy (

      "Jonason, P., Li, N., Webster, G., & Schmitt, D. (2009). The dark triad: Facilitating a short-term mating strategy in men. European Journal of Personality, 23(1), 5-18. doi:10.1002/per.698 This survey (N=224) found that characteristics collectively known as the Dark Triad (i.e. narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) were correlated with various dimensions of short-term mating but not long-term mating. The link between the Dark Triad and short term mating was stronger for men than for women. The Dark Triad partially mediated the sex difference in short-term mating behaviour. Findings are consistent with a view that the Dark Triad facilitates an exploitative, short-term mating strategy in men. Possible implications, including that Dark Triad traits represent a bundle of individual differences that promote a reproductively adaptive strategy are discussed. Findings are discussed in the broad context of how an evolutionary approach to personality psychology can enhance our understanding of individual differences. . . . Our study indicates a connection between the Dark Triad and more positive attitudes towards casual sex and more casual sex behaviours. To the extent that lifetime number of sexual partners is a modern-day marker of reproductive success (Kanazawa, 2003; Nettle, 2005), and given that the Dark Triad traits are heritable (Vernon, Villani, Vickers, & Harris, 2008) and exist in different cultures (e.g. Foster et al., 2003), we speculate that these traits may represent one end of a set of individual differences that reflects an evolutionarily stable solution to the adaptive problem of reproduction."

  12. All Sociopaths/Psychopaths-Speaking of sex-do any of you identify as strictly heterosexual? I asked a related, but slightly different question before, and received responses from ESTP and Scarlet.:)

  13. North-I don't know why, but reading "sexual selection success", made me giggle.:) That makes perfect sense, though!!! Thank you, for the information!!!

  14. PS North-Was your socio strictly heterosexual, to your knowledge? Or, did you know him to be bi and/or homosexual, as well? Just curious...

    1. Haha, look he never mentioned having a male partner but he was operating under a mask. I always wondered whether or not he was with a particular male colleague though. That wouldn't have surprised me at all. He was largely interested in chasing "taboo fantasms."

    2. Haha, look he never mentioned having a male partner but he was operating under a mask. I always wondered whether or not he was with a particular male colleague though. That wouldn't have surprised me at all. He was largely interested in chasing "taboo fantasms."

    3. In the name of God, The All-Merciful, The Compassionate.

      Alif. Lam. Mim.﴾1﴿

      This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).﴾2﴿

      Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;﴾3﴿

      And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter.﴾4﴿

      These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.﴾5﴿

      As for those who cover up (the truth), Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.﴾6﴿

      God hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.﴾7﴿

      And of mankind are some who say: We believe in God and the Last Day, when they believe not.﴾8﴿

      They think to beguile God and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.﴾9﴿

      In their hearts is a disease, and God increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.﴾10﴿

      And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.﴾11﴿

      Are not they indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not.﴾12﴿

      And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe? are not they indeed the foolish? But they know not.﴾13﴿

      And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock.﴾14﴿

      God (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy.﴾15﴿

      These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided.﴾16﴿

      Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see,﴾17﴿

      Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not.﴾18﴿

      Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, God encompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance, His omniscience and His omnipotence).﴾19﴿

      The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If God willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! God is able to do all things.﴾20﴿

      O mankind! worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil).﴾21﴿

      Who hath appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to God when ye know (better).﴾22﴿

      And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside God if ye are truthful.﴾23﴿

      And if ye do it not - and ye can never do it - then guard yourselves against the Fire prepared for those who cover up (the truth), whose fuel is of men and stones.﴾24﴿

      Quran 2:1-24

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. "Above, it isn't bright. Below, it isn't dark.
      Seamless, unnameable,
      it returns to the realm of nothing." ~Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

    6. North-Thanks for the reply-I was just curious.:) You mentioned he had a wife, a girlfriend who showed up in France, you, etc. It sounded like from ESTP and Scarlet, that bisexuality is fairly common, so I wondered if he had some males, too.:) He sounds like "The Energizer Bunny"!!! Keeping that many people serviced, has to take A LOT OF ENERGY!!!

    7. Yes, but the trick is that he hooks us properly and then he's set.

      It would probably help for me to talk about it.

    8. North-I completely understand!!! If you find someone who is hot, knows how to use their "assets", and is fun-you're pretty much "hooked"!!! They may think that is funny or dumb, but it's really hard to find someone who is hot/capable/fun!!! A true "diamond in the rough"!!! Maybe we were victims, but we were with a hot/capable/fun person!!! That is such a rarity in this world!!! Some people never find that, in their lifetime!!!

    9. Anonymous132, do you care to share your story?

      I read somewhere that after a relationship with a sociopath you have to make your peace with going back to regular/dull life.

      Has this been your experience?

    10. Oh dear god yes,

      And the good news is... I just found someone super hot and super capable and super fun. Wow.

      Just thought I'd share ;)

      "Has this been your experience?"
      I really like your astute observations and pertinent questions.

      It is my experience, OldAndWise, and there are so many questions for me about what my natural cadence is. The fact is there are many ways he couldn't keep up with me. But the height and depth of that emotional experience was too much and I've learned to disperse the energy horizontally - creating a vast and rich life. Slow going, of course. I don't know what things look like - I'm feeling my way as I did snowboarding in a blizzard, just the edge in the snow and a faint sense of motion in a complete whiteout. But it's my edge in the snow, it's my direction, my "mistakes".

      "He was not a very careful person as a mathematician. He made a lot of mistakes. But he made mistakes in a good direction. I tried to imitate him. But I've realized that it's very difficult to make good mistakes." ~ Goro Shimura on Yutaka Taniyama

      as related in the highly recommended TED Talk Trial, Error and the God Complex

      Good one for Jonaid to watch. Humility and curiosity are such useful tools for novel situations and for solving problems.

    11. I thought I might as well. If I listened to this 6 months ago I would have just thought "he's right" and moved on. Now I listen carefully and think "so what's his actual argument?" There is none - he has a point of view which he is trying to sell using sensationalism and sophistry at a famous public forum. This was frivolous to say the least.

      You should use your reason objectively and not listen to that which makes you happy but doesn't have any substance.

    12. And it's not humility it's thr height of arrogance to label his misunderstandings as the "God complex" and proceed on to discuss anything but God. It's also very deceptive which probably explains why you posted it.

    13. Jonaid, you know full well that I am female. You did the same thing to A: it doesn't bother me but it does make you look a clown.

      Did you watch the video? I doubt it. It's about the human tendency to oversimplify complex and novel problems and how trial and error produces good solutions.

      What's frivolous in my post? Does my experience offend you? My post is in keeping with thread content.

      What's deceptive in my post? Are you really so blind as to think that anyone whose viewpoint disagrees with yours is being deceptive.

      A was right: you are too weak. There's nothing in your words. Poo-coloured fairy floss.

    14. Was he referring to the speaker in the video?

    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    17. Yeah, maybe he was.

      But why is it sophistry? Why is it frivolous? Tim Hartford presents a clear argument - with examples - for the human tendency to oversimplify complex problems.

      It doesn't actually have anything to do with God. Just that humans tend to think we understand problems completely when we don't.

      Tim Hartford explains exactly why he will continue in his own life to advocate for trial and error as a problem-solving method including within schools and he hopes for a politics that encompasses the approach rather than offering pat and comforting policies that imply understanding.

      How is that frivolous?

      This is why I have difficulty understanding Jonaid's point. He has not demonstrated but merely labelled the argument (whether mine - it wouldn't be the first time - or Tim Hartford's) as sophistry.

      Jonaid's model is one-size-fits-nothing. He neither adapts it nor successfully defends it; yet any model that runs counter to his is labelled 'deceptive'. And this is the root of my rejection of Jonaid's model and approach and why I stand by my statements.

    18. Agreed. The speaker makes an important point and illustrates it with interesting examples. Jonaid's assessment IS bizarre.

    19. I was referring to the speaker and he was frivolous - I didn't say that about you although your convenient misreading of my posts again and again is making me think the same about you.

      He starts off talking about a holocaust victim who apparently did something heroic but completely unrelated to "God complex." Then he extrapolated from one common sensical test by the guy an entire talk about "trial and error" and the problem of the "God complex." Why call it a God complex if it has nothing to do with God? And who on earth denies trial and error? It's just not always needed. His talk was nothing but sensationalism but without a single shred of evidence for his massive claim.

      Think analytically without a prior position you'll see this was a waste of 18 minutes.

    20. "convenient misreading of my posts again and again"
      Because I disagree with you? I always articulate why - you simply never respond satisfactorily. You've taken more effort here and so I shall respond to your points.

      "He starts off talking about a holocaust victim who apparently did something heroic but completely unrelated to "God complex."

      He is speaking about Archie Cochrane, a Scottish doctor who advocated for randomised controlled medical trials. The anecdote referred to in the video concerned his discovery of a treatment produced through such a randomised trial process.

      ***Your first objection***
      "Why call it a God complex if it has nothing to do with God?"
      *Cochrane* coined the term "the God Complex" as a way of characterising the human tendency to believe we understand the nature of complex problems ourselves ie that we consider ourselves as knowing as God might be in a particular problem domain (I scarcely believe it's necessary to explain this to another adult.)

      He cites many examples of human tendency to behave in this way and I could add to the list.

      Why is this important?

      Because the human social and technological environment is supercomplex - we can model only a small number of variables and have limited control. We have extremely minimal control over the physical universe. So good problem solving methods - rather than acceptance of oversimplified solutions for example as proposed by politicians - means ultimately smarter resource allocation.

      "And who on earth denies trial and error? It's just not always needed."
      You're a business man. I don't know if you are acquainted with Agile practices at all but if you are, you may have encountered the Cynefin framework, proposed by Snowden et al in 2007 (see link below)

      The model is a view on the evolutionary nature of complex systems and the uncertainty inherent in them.

      Our understanding of the nature of the problems we face - arising from our exponentially increasing depth and breadth of knowledge (sometimes referred to as supercomplexity in higher education) - is only now being explored. And the implications are that we develop and teach better problem solving skills.

      It is no slight to anyone that they do not know the answer to a particular problem. There are no correct answers to be found in many of the environments in which humans operate. Debate has its place, as does trial and error. Having a better grasp of our environment and techniques for understanding problems and then solving them means we reach better contextual outcomes. Harford is aiming for this evolution in technique.

      "His talk was nothing but sensationalism but without a single shred of evidence for his massive claim. "
      Okay - let's take "massive claim" first. In your previous sentence, you completely deny Harford's claim is "massive" - instead you ask who denies trial and error. You can't have it both ways.

      Next: Harford presents both anecdotal evidence and statistics to support his claims. Perhaps you would like a transcript; please see here:

      I will cite one example for you:


    21. "But, heh— five thousand products— that’s
      still nothing. Five thousand products— imagine
      counting every product category in Cesar
      Hidalgo’s data. Imagine you had one second
      per product category. In about the length
      of this session, you would have counted all
      5,000. Now, 18. imagine doing the same
      thing for every different type of product on
      sale in Walmart. There are 100,000 there. It
      would take you all day. Now imagine trying
      to count every different specific product
      and service on sale in a major economy such
      as Tokyo, London or New York. It’s even
      more difficult in Edinburgh because you have
      to count all the whisky and the tartan. If you
      wanted to 19. count every product and service
      on offer in New York— there are 10 billion
      of them— it would take you 317 years.
      This is how complex the economy we’ve
      created is. And I’m just counting toasters
      here. I’m not trying to 20. solve the Middle
      East problem. And this is— the, the complexity
      here is unbelievable. And just a piece
      of context— the societies in which our brains
      evolved had about 300 products and services"

      Further to this, I will furnish you with some additional personal material. I first watched this video as part of a training course. After watching this video, we were tasked with solving a mini complex problem using trial and error techniques. I can tell you most groups performed poorly. Trial and error is NOT a well practiced technique for solving problems but CAN be very useful in the context of complex problems. Programmers often proceed this way, as an example.

      I gained insight from this video AND developed useful practices as a result and was happy to share it as it continues to be of benefit from me in creating my own vast experience of life in the aftermath of my difficult experiences. I have watched that video three times.

      Jonaid, on a personal note, I would like to say to you clearly that I am not a minion or the basest of psychopaths or a sociopath simply because I disagree with you. I am a neurotypical person who is interested in sharing and learning. I like discussing these topics. If you wish to continue discussing them with me on reasonable grounds, I am more than happy to do so. I hope you can understand why I in particular do not treat your posts with generosity: your behaviour was offensive in the extreme and I am wary of you. Please continue on reasonable grounds. A difference of opinion is no insult or even threat to you. Those are my terms of engagement.

    22. "Because I disagree with you? I always articulate why - you simply never respond satisfactorily."

      So you're neurotypical and reasonable? I admit I did not read the rest of your post and won't bother to unless you first prove your "reasonable" by 1) admitting you misread (to be generous) me as attacking you when I was clearly speaking about thr Ted Speaker, 2) A simple apology for suggesting I look like a clown because of that and then persisting on as if I lied and you never misread anything.

      Thank you.

    23. There's no such thing as a "truce" when it comes to fact / fiction, truth / falsehood. Here I'll help you out: if I ever said anything to you or about you that was unfair and wrong I'm sorry. Now if you want me to take you seriously from now on you should acknowledge the obvious in thr previous post and apologize. If not, I'll assume you don't think it's worth corresponding with me - I'm fine with that.


    24. Jonaid, I offer a truce. I am not demanding apologies from you. I am looking ahead.

      Certainly we can have robust discussions about what is and what is not. I do not accept personal attacks, neither will I make them.

    25. As expected no integrity. I really have nothing to discuss with you. I don't think you're capable of that. May God make you capable and open your heart.

    26. I don't accept your labelling, your judgement or your prayers.

      I'm a flesh-and-blood human and have no ill will against you.

      So be it.

    27. And I note you have yet again been unable to construct or defend a reasonable position.

      Duck, weave.

      I will keep calling you on this because it helps me more clearly elucidate my own position.

    28. North, I am surprised you still read jonaid. Energy misspent as far as I am concerned.

      You have better things to do. Get back to work soon and spend the energy on bettering yourself. Spend time on your boys and nephews.


    29. We all have our own methods and styles, OldAndWise, and our own energy to work out in our own ways. There's no one correct way.


    30. Jonald, you may think you are "special", "enlightened", but all you do is gently dismiss others arguments and viewpoints, and continue to write the same pseudo-spiritual charismatically aggreable "arguments" that "make sense", over and over again.
      Not only are they rife with logical fallacies, void of any real depth and substance, and they reek of religious propaganda.
      You come off as condescending, your attitude radiates " holier-than-thou", you shift the blame on others, you accuse others when they accuse you, your ego is the size of a whale, you think you are superior because you are "enlightened" and above the "common rabble". Hmmm, I wonder what this could mean... Hint: it starts with a capital S.

      Lemme make a guess:
      You consider yourself a "true believer", you are active in the church community, visit holy places, do long praying sessions multiple times a day, have a lot of holy pictures and crosses around your house, you think all metal and rock is "satanic", you think god wants you to spread his word 24/7, you consider "miracles" are all the proof you need. Should I go on?

      Cut the crap. You are as transparent as a Jehowah's witness. The only thing you are is an annoying, insufferable, irritating, arrogant son of a bitch who thinks religion is the "be all-end all" of human experience and transcendence.

      Your "kind" always interferes with everyone's lives and personal space.
      You just WON'T FUCKING STOP until you "enlighten" everyone around you. I despise you and your shitty hypocritical attitudes. And I am more than happy to return the favor. With interest.

      Get it through your thick skull: nobody asked for your "help". Get the fuck out with your crap. Nobody cares.

  15. Wtf is Jonaid talking about?

    1. Jonaid has his own definitions of sociopath (= liar but potentially redeemable) and psychopath (= psycho, minion of the devil, evil.)

      He's hear to save us from *our choice* to be evil.

      Of course, 'evil' by Jonaid's definition is disagreement with Jonaid, which makes me 'the basest of psychos' even though I'm neurotypical.

      He's rude and domineering and stands in judgement on everyone who writes here.

      So Scarlet is perfectly appropriate in advising the OP to ignore him as a religious nut.

    2. Gerard-You crack me up!!! I believe psychopaths/sociopaths did Jonaid wrong, and he can't get back at them, so he is passive-aggressively taking it out on everyone here. In the process of getting screwed over, he found whom he believes to be God, and is attempting to convert everyone, to his religion. If anyone had considered his religion before, I think they have changed their minds, by now. I scroll past Jonaid's posts...

    3. PS Gerard-Several people on this blog, have attempted to make Jonaid go away. Obviously, it has not worked. I say we ignore him, and see if that works!!!

    4. I'm glad I am not alone in my feelings about Jonaid. He seems to be the only unconstructive presence here on the blog.

      I sincerely hope that he will realize the futility of his mission and leave the blog in peace. We are not "evil" as he suggests. We are just different than empaths. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for empaths to villainize us.

      -Fellow Sociopath

    5. In other words:

      We're not "wrong" in our approach. We are just different from people who do things the right way.

      We're not "sick" people we're just different from people who are healthy.

      We're not deceivers and manipulators, we're just different from people who are honest.

      We're not conceited and arrogant, we're just different from people who are humble.

  16. A couple of footnotes for my last post (12/30 at 10:38pm):

    "Alif. Lam. Mim." = Arabic letters. Some chapters of the Quran start off with these. No one really knows why or what they mean.

    The word "surah" mentioned in verse 23 means chapter.

  17. Happy New Year folks. I wish you all the best and a safe journey out of sociopathy!

  18. Do you want to be a sociopath or are you just curious what name society has picked to call your group of people, whatever group that may truly be? Some people want to be a sociopath because they're confusing their desires of power, intelligence, and success. That life path is much sexier to read about than the reality that there's a wide spectrum. Make sure you know what you're really saying. If it's the power/success/intelligence aspect, then by all means don't let anything stand in your way of getting where you want to go in life, and be happy doing it without a false label with immense negative stigma attached. If you indeed are a sociopath, then congratulations on skipping years of trying to put your finger on just exactly what's different about you from others. Here's a small inconsequential quiz for you to think about over time: do you give a flying fuck that society despises sociopaths? Would it bother you to be so overwhelmingly hated and misunderstood? (Btw, I saw what you did there once or twice. Don't do that. Be you, you'll do much better in life by being true to your own mind rather than another's, however fleetingly)

  19. I remember once in middle school I kept an outrageous lie going because I found it interesting and hilarious to watch another classmate's reactions.

    At some point in class I heard "who's getting heart surgery?" I immediately turned around and said "I am." For months I kept the lie going. When I fessed up that the surgery was a lie, I couldn't stop laughing. Though, looking back, I realize the classmate was legitimately angry with me.

    Your story seems similar to mine. But I did not realize I'm a sociopath until recently, when a socio friend pointed it out. I wish you the best and I encourage more self-discovery. It is beneificial for you to realize your own personality so early. :)

    1. Since I plan on sticking around this community, I figure I will start signing my posts. :)

      -Fellow Sociopath

  20. If you're into self-delusion and want to stunt your growth follow these two suggestions posted above (pseudo and anon 10:10 am). It's a good way to show you're not as bright as you think you are and prefer conceit over genuine knowledge.

    1. I reckon it would be helpful if you had a little signature block that includes your definitions of 'sociopath' and 'psychopath'. That will help avoid some confusion, especially for new blog participants.

    2. I think that's a good suggestion.

    3. Jonaid,
      What was my suggestion? My only suggestion was for this person to think about who they really are and not pay attention to false distractions from either side of the issue. That doesn't seem delusional at all. If they lack the capacity to truly think, not just ponder, then they're almost certainly not a sociopath anyways.

  21. This is a great talk for the kid who wrote to M.E. and anyone else really but especially her since she's in High School right now:

  22. I love this guy I've been following him since I was 12/13. Even as an atheist I listened to him regularly and I had no idea why. I'd search the latest from him, listen to it and then ignore it (because he's religious). If I were in CA I'd definitely drive to Berkeley and meet him.

  23. Hello there...
    I know that I may be very late in responding to your blog but I felt that I needed to say a few important things to you.
    It's obvious that you are a very intelligent girl and I am sorry that so many adults have responded to your blog without keeping in mind that you are still only 14 years old ( regardless of how mature you may seem in your writing or not.) When I was your age adults use to confuse the crap out of me, and just as most of them have done here in their comments to you, managed to beat down my self esteem and confidence.
    Honestly, you sound like a normal 14 year old girl to me. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your specific situations where you betrayed certain "friends" or " didn't feel guilty about this or that..." I would say that your no different than "MOST" teenagers, or as the call you nowadays "TWEENS". ��
    I HAVE A 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER MYSELF... By telling you this information I am just letting you know that as a Mom/ Parent/ Use to be a Tween/Teen... I am very aware of how teens today act and think and the way that they are so self centered and completely and selfishly self absorbed. That's ok. We all have gone through our own self centeredness at one time or another in our younger years. Some of us remember those years, others not so much, and yet others have completely forgotten them altogether. As for my my teenage years were very difficult, just like it is for most teens. It's hard trying to balance between "Who you are", "Who you are in the world", " Who you are in the eyes of everyone else ( friends, your parents, coaches, teachers. Friends, neighbors, spouses, extended family, etc.)", " Who you want to be","the direction your going in", while dealing with interferences like... "peer pressure, being classified in school to be in a specific group or class of people like jocks, preps, nerds, popular, not popular, class clowns, bangers, kickers, etc.... plus your still developing physically and going through the transition from being a child to a young lady without yet being a full grown woman. ( hormone changes, puberty, periods, boobs, hair, boy crazy, etc.) On top of that people expect more from you and so naturally we all just go through the " fuck it, whatever, I done care faze.) And a lot of times we don't, because as a teen we are so absorbed with ourselves. We care for others but not genuinely....
    All in all baby doll you sound like a pretty normal, teenage, brat who has little care or empathy for others. You will learn empathy and how to care for others real soon. Life happens and we all grow through what we go through!!! Life hasn't made you experience the worst of it yet. When it does you will learn how to think of others before yourself, care about everything, and be aware of how much pain life can really bring into your life. Then and only then will you start to notice people and the world around you and stop focusing so much on self. Experience good or bad, is the realist teacher and the only teacher that truly forces us to change from the inside out.
    Your normal my friend, and yes you are intelligent. Your writing skills I believe are a beautiful talent you already have that could take you a long way in life if you choose to pursue a career in blogging or writing. Either way don't allow these bone heads to mix your mind up. Just be you, be happy, be talented, be beautiful, and set positivs goals for yourself that are REALISTIC TO REACH and pursue them.

    Love your teenage years the rest will come. Have fun and God Bless you baby girl.

    Best Wishes


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