Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Evolution of Trust

Sorry, I truly forget whether I have posted about this, but a friend sent it to me again. I remember going through the entire game and finding it very interesting, and also a good explanation for trust. All sorts of people talk about how empathy was necessary to build tribe cohesion, etc. so that people could trust each other to stop killing each other and cooperate, but I wonder. Try the game out and let me know what you think.

Also, don't forget I'm in Oregon in May and Hawaii in June, if anyone wants to meet up.

Here is the game:

For some background on game theory, including perhaps the most popular, the Prisoner's Dilemma:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sociopath son kills his sister

One day a thirteen year old boy wakes up having the urge to kill someone. He settles on killing his three year old half sister because she is the easiest prey. He had plans to also kill his mother (perhaps out or revenge for when she relapsed on a heroin addiction for a year and during which, according to him, she put her addiction ahead of him and his sister), but decided against it when he discovered how difficult killing turned out to be.

The mother of the sociopath son (he was too young to be diagnosed, but his examining psychologists said he would qualify if he had been 18 when they met with him) talks about what it is like to continue to love and interact with him, albeit while he is in prison.

In a NY Post article interview her, she details what had happened:

A prison rights activist, she keeps Ella’s memory alive while frequently visiting her now-24-year-old son in jail. He is serving a 40-year sentence (the maximum in Texas for a juvenile for murder) and will be eligible for parole in 2027.

“I have forgiven Paris for what he did, but it’s an ongoing process,” explains Lee. “If he was free [from captivity], I would be frightened of him.

“The fact that he is incarcerated gives me peace of mind, but I worry about his own safety.”
After his sentencing, an assessor told Lee she deserved to know that her son was a sociopath. Psychiatrists whom she hired when Paris was 15 agreed that, had he been 18 and old enough ​to qualify ​for the label, they would have diagnosed him as having anti-social personality disorder​ (sociopath​y​)​.​ He confessed to having had homicidal thoughts since the age of 8, often expressing them through violent and disturbing drawings.​
While Lee describes him as “manipulative” and “narcissistic,” she is quick to explain how her maternal instinct means she puts her love for her son above her anger.

“I sometimes have to say to myself [during visits]: ‘Okay, Charity, take a breath, you know how Paris is wired,’ ” she says. “But I am not going to be that parent who abandons their kid.”

She also talks about how since she had her third child she has wondered what she would do if her murderer son was allowed to meet the toddler (he's prohibited from having visitors under age 17 due to the nature of his crime).

Of course few sociopaths are murderers or ever feel a desire to kill like this. But having both sociopathy and for whatever reason a desire to kill or pretty bad rage and impulse control issues does seem like a danger.  Still I think it interesting that perhaps the person most victimized by this crime apart from the small child is an advocate prison rights. In visiting all of these bad places in my recent travels (more on the Gulags and Auschwitz later) and learning of the ways that everyone reacted regarding these -- prisoners, guards, government, passive people allowing it to happen, families of victims -- I find that I am across the board most impressed the most by people who didn't allow their circumstances to dictate how they behaved. I don't mean to say that I judge the rest, because who knows their circumstances, their heart, or how they were "wired" or shaped by early socialization. But if I were to aspire to a certain way of being, it would be to treat people consistently with the same amount of compassion regardless of who they are or what they've done. I have forgotten where I heard this, but I like it -- we treat people according to who we are, not according to who they are. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Coachella, Oregon in May, and Hawaii in June

For people who want to meet me, upcoming trips I have planned are Coachella first weekend, Central Oregon in May, and Hawaii in June. Let me know if you'd like to try to schedule a meet up.

Also, a little bit of advance warning, central Europe in August or September probably. I have to be in Southern Germany and Northern Italy, so those two places for sure, but I can try to schedule in other stops.


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