Bc I couldn't find a better thread* on ILX to post this link:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html
He wasn’t fast enough. Seeing the video playing, Michael gave a keening scream, then scanned the room for the guilty party. His gaze settled on Allan. Grabbing a wooden chair, he hoisted it overhead as though to do violence but paused for several seconds, giving Miguel a chance to yank it away. Shrieking, Michael ran to the bathroom and began slamming the toilet seat down repeatedly. Dragged out and ordered to bed, he sobbed pitifully. “Daddy! Daddy! Why are you doing this to me?” he begged, as Miguel carried him to his room. “No, Daddy! I have a greater bond with you than I do with Mommy!” For the next hour, Michael sobbed and screamed, while Miguel tried to calm him. In the hall outside his room, Miguel apologized, adding that it was “an unusually bad night.”
Also cause it's a topic that interests me in general.
*Found this thread: My wife is telling me that I'm a sociopath
I really enjoyed this Ronson book too: http://www.amazon.com/The-Psychopath-Test-Journey-Industry/dp/1594488010
― Mordy, Friday, 11 May 2012 23:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Appropriately enough, everything the kid said reads like Cartman dialogue.
― You Don't Throw Oranges On An Escalator (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 11 May 2012 23:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
I like to think that with sufficient practice and dedication, anyone can be a psychopath.
― i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 11 May 2012 23:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
I believe that it's a psychological disorder with possible (hopefully one day treatable) genetic markers.
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
kid sounds scary. this is what bags, rocks and rivers were made for.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
kid sounds scary. this is what bags, rocks and rivers were made for.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer),
Seriously! Terrifying story.
― improvised explosive advice (WmC), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
The parents have him seriously monitored and in counseling. I don't know whether it can be treated through behavioral psychology but early intervention is really powerful.
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Magnetic resonance imaging on the brains of adult psychopaths has shown what appear to be significant anatomical differences: a smaller subgenual cortex and a 5 to 10 percent reduction in brain density in portions of the paralimbic system, regions of the brain associated with empathy and social values, and active in moral decision making. According to James Blair, a cognitive neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, two of these areas, the orbitofrontal cortex and the caudate, are critical for reinforcing positive outcomes and discouraging negative ones.
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
no pressure, parents!
― obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
and these are parents who actually care enough to get doctors and testing and carefully monitor their own behaviour as parents
― obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
lol serendipitous thread; i just got drunk and impulse-kindled robert hare's WITHOUT CONSCIENCE
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
i haven't read it. tell me if it's good?
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
the thing that interests me most about psychopaths is the contempt they (apparently, i'm told, i am not an expert, plus one of the books i've read on this totally reeked of pop-psych and i've decided to just disregard the whole thing, like a jury) feel for normals, who are insultingly easy to manipulate and do all kinds of stupid irrational things based on stupid irrational attachments to other people; i imagine (although perhaps i am being romantic) that for some psychopaths this contempt comes not just out of a sense of superiority but of a kind of jealousy? since it must be apparent to them that the nonsensical and counterproductive empathy and love the people around them feel for each other is nevertheless a source of great joy and satisfaction (we need the eggs, etc) -- which psychopaths can only get temporarily, from victory and power (apparently if you're a successful, concealed psychopath your biggest problem is boredom). so to grow up this way -- even though your lack of empathy allows you to do all kinds of stuff that (particularly in the good ol capitalist west) can pay off very well for you -- is on some level to have your nose pressed against the glass of life, forever. PLUS isn't the christian conception of hell to be alone with yourself, disconnected from god, disconnected from the universe, isolated in the outer dark? i feel like at least some psychopaths must realize that there is something, some source of happiness, going on for the whole rest of humanity that they have for some reason been excluded from, and i can't imagine it makes them feel any better-disposed towards us.
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
xp i will!
(ignore the TED stuff, his book is terrific)
― Vini Reilly Invasion (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
wr2 youngish psychos: i wouldn't be comfortable w/ the idea that i would be training a real-life Dexter Morgan.
― Boris Kutyurkokhov (Eisbaer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
dlh, that's a really interesting theory that i've never thought of or heard.
the thing that's always compelled me about them is their skrull-like ability to hide it from ppl (tho ppl have mentioned feeling uncanny feelings around psychopaths that they couldn't otherwise explain). like you could know a psychopath casually and never know it.
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
well put, DLH
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah, knowing the notes but not the music, and all. but people are so eager to be paid attention to and loved i guess it's not too hard to make them feel like they are.
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah your "romantic" theory is an interesting take, difficult, esp. with the hell analogy.
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 01:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
that was a great post, dlh. not sure i'm totally sold by the "nose against the glass" metaphor, cuz i don't know how often the recognition of loss via alienation/incapacity really overcomes the contempt, but it's an interesting notion.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 01:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
in dealing with psychopaths, i've experienced a lot more contempt than self-awareness of that sort, but i'm hardly an expert
i love to hear psychopath stories hinthint
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 01:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
I find this stuff really interesting too! I like your nose-against-the-glass story, DLH
I read somewhere that a psychopath behaves similarly to a color-blind person who has learned societal techniques to mask their inability to see color. That resonated quite a bit with me personally, being colorblind myself. Not that I'm a psycopath lol but I understand the 'masking' behaviour and stress of trying to fit in and be 'normal' when you have a physical inability that can let you down in very public and humiliating ways that aren't apparent until they're pointed out to you by a very disapproving public. I've thought about it a bit, and have tried to parse it out somewhat, thinking that perhaps at some point that burden of conformity either becomes so soul-destroying, deadening your sense of self over time, and if you encounter a particularly stressful period of your life then maybe it's more than you are physically able to handle to maintain the mask under such stress so it just gives way, and cracks....or alternatively, the resentment of having to maintain the facade just fosters your resentment of the people you're 'performing' for, and the desire to show your true self becomes a private dream/ambition/wish, and left unchecked the resentment and desire to punish slowly replaces the mask
Or something. I dunno, I am a bit like DLH, and very selfconscious of my 'airy fairy' theories that are not really grounded in anything much beyond speculation.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 May 2012 01:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
mordy, the only person that springs to mind right away for me is a friend from high school. i always used to predict to our mutual friends (only half-jokingly) that he would end up in white collar prison at some point. just googled him and he appears to be an extremely successful financial advisor these days.
i was good friends with him at one time... i dunno, maybe he was just a garden-variety asshole? the last time i saw him was in college... he had joined a frat and told me that he was taking acid on a daily basis. on that occasion he was disconcertingly phony towards me, and then a few months later when i ran into him he was almost disconcertingly upfront, saying something like "well, i would say 'hey let's go hang out and get a drink sometime' but people always say shit like that and let's be real, we both know that'll never happen". when i was close to him i remember him liking the idea of being manipulative towards people and even being a little sadistic. i knew he was not the kind of person it would be good to confide in. but who knows? maybe he has matured into a really sweet guy.
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 02:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
also is it just me or does the Dad, Miguel, seem particularly interesting in that article.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 May 2012 02:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh yeah, definitely. u have to wonder whether he's embellishing his own childhood to give himself false hope about his kid, or whether someone who might register as a child psychopath really can right themselves at some point. his line about a force coming from outside to modulate your behavior was really fascinating
― Mordy, Saturday, 12 May 2012 02:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
and that quote at the end, like "repress-repress-repress, son, it's the only way" was kind of scary and sad and...yeah. I dunno. Either way, he is going to have to be 100% right with himself to be handle what Michael has in store for them.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 May 2012 02:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
re-reading my post up there it sounds like i am really downplaying the possibility of my friend being a p'path. not only do i want to think the best of him but also i just saw a picture of him-- the first time i've seen his face in 20 years, and with that came a flood of memories of doing fun stuff with him
anyhow, the reason why i always predicted him becoming a white collar criminal: my other high school friends, most of whom were far from being saints themselves, upon hearing of his latest enterprise (at different times he was booking shows, selling records, selling drugs...) would always immediately say "oh, well with 'x' you know it's gotta be something shaaaaady", and in fact there usually was an angle to it.
this was a kid who you got the idea was more into booking shows for the wheeling and dealing aspects of it and the money he could potentially pocket for himself as opposed to the sheer fun of being able to see his favorite bands play in town. this was a kid whom i hung out with and talked on the phone with every day but who would charge me just about the highest price he could get away with if i were buying a record from him. he was the kid whose parents were ridic loaded, but who stole money from his employers if he had the opportunity to do so.
another thing that sticks in my mind about him-- in senior yr of hs he had a girlfriend for the first time. that summer he went out of town for a couple of wks on a family vacation. when he came back into town he met up with the girlfriend at a party. apparently when he walked in the door she ran up to him, threw her arms around him, saying "'x'!! I've missed you omg!" etc... and his reaction was to say something like "yeah yeah, let's go upstairs. i've been out of town for two weeks. i haven't had sex for TWO WEEKS!". i just remember hearing this story at the time from his friends, who were all sort of assholes in their own way, but were all shocked by how coldly he had behaved towards her. again this was his first girlfriend of any sort, ever. it wasn't as though she was just another in a long line of drunken hookups or whatever.
over the years whenever i've read about psychopaths he always came into my mind as a candidate. one of the things that always gave me pause about mentally labeling him as one, though, involves a memory of him telling me how the first time he took acid he started crying and couldn't figure out why, until he realized that it was because he happened to be in a part of town which unlocked a buried memory he had of a sad experience from childhood involving his family. i'm not sure that a psychopath would confide in such a way-- i'm guessing that would mean too much vulnerability. i should add that at the time he told the story i didn't have any sense that he was trying to be manipulative or produce some reaction in me-- he was just trying to explain what his experience of the drug was like.
anyway, now i am super-curious as to what he is like these days. i should put on my best millionaire's voice and call his office.
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 03:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
thanks for posting this, mordy, really quite fascinating. the quotes from the kid made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, i really can't fathom what it must be like to parent a child like that. do anne and miguel lie awake at night wondering if he's going to try and kill them? or his brothers? idk this seems like a horrifically stressful and scary situation to be in.
as to the dad - one thing they didn't address in the article, that i wondered about, is the possible guilt miguel has, like does he feel responsible for the way michael has turned out, bc of the genetic link?
― just1n3, Saturday, 12 May 2012 04:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
del, wd love to hear yr millionaire's voice.
― World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 12 May 2012 05:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
An hour later, after the boys were finally asleep, Miguel and I sat down at the kitchen table. Growing up, he said, he had also been a difficult child — albeit not so problematic as Michael. “A lot of parents didn’t want me around their kids, because they thought I was crazy,” he said, closing his eyes at the memory. “I didn’t listen to adults. I was always in trouble. My grades were horrible. I would be walking down the street and I would hear them say, in Spanish: ‘Ay! Viene el loco!’ — ‘Here comes the crazy one.’ ”
According to Miguel, this antisocial behavior lasted until his late teens, at which point, he said, he “grew up.” When I asked what caused the change, he looked uncertain. “You learn to pacify the rough waters,” he said at last. “It just happens. You learn to control yourself from the outside in.”
I've never been a psychopath, but this resonated with me because I had behavioral problems as a kid that alienated me from other kids & it seemed to dissipate magically within a few months towards the end of puberty.
― crüt, Saturday, 12 May 2012 06:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
was in school with a dude like this from middle school through the end of high school. he killed his parents in college. :-/
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 06:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
I don't feel like I have quite enough sense from that article on just how those kids have been raised. they might be getting enough attention, and are disciplined sometimes, but maybe the parents aren't raising them to have a moral sense... which would perhaps develop naturally, or by example, for some kids, but for kids with Michael's condition, maybe there needs to be a moral framework to explain the actual significance of compassion and reciprocity. a lot of parents seem to just think as long as their kid is happy and equipped for success in the world, then they're doing their job, without really teaching them to actually be nice. and in my experience with sociopaths and emotionally irresponsible people, they were never really given that kind of lesson or example. I kind of get the sense that Miguel is bit aloof about it all... 'oh, he'll figure things out'... while the mom maybe just disciplines without explaining why this kid should bother giving a shit about other people
― Chris S, Saturday, 12 May 2012 08:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
afaict, a lot of people raised in fucked environments don't suffer from serious, tragic, organic mental disorders. and a lot of people raised in safe, loving homes with a coherent "moral framwork" do. hesitant to blame the parents psychotic kids, though obviously bad/inept parenting can lead to all sorts of problems, too.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 08:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
...the parents of psychotic kids...
well, there are exceptions, and I'm not suggesting it's the whole story, but actually I'm trying to think of even one sociopathic type I'd known growing up that didn't have a distant/cold/lazy upbringing. you could always trace it back, in part, to having absolutely no example to build on, or if there was it was more 'life's a game'. I'm not suggesting everyone with inept parents end up that way, but if someone's chemistry is off it's probably worse that they're coming up in this meaningless suburban context getting their sense of others through screens
― Chris S, Saturday, 12 May 2012 08:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
I was involved for a few years with a guy who I suspect was borderline psychopathic. He was deeply manipulative and had this calculated, smirking way of doing really horrible things to people - mostly me, at the time. Lying about having ever borrowed money or something and twisting recent events around and accusing you of being forgetful and stupid. Subtle implications and dropped comments to imply all his friends hated me. Werid acting out. Completely forgetting/denying shitty things he'd do, the next day. He was adopted and he was SO HORRIBLE to his parents, who were older, and seemed to really try their best (and you could tell had always struggled), and he hated his sister because she wasnt an adopted child.
Hes dead now, and I dont know what from. Probably alcoholism. Ive never known anyone as intensely, deeply spiteful, malicious and *delightedly* so as that guy could be.
― Pureed Moods (Trayce), Saturday, 12 May 2012 08:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, the psychopath in my life also died young, but not before possibly getting away with murder. It was a super complicated act of manipulation, probably nothing any jury could ever convict on, and I cannot and will not get into the details, but a very close relative of his whom he despised got DNRed under very strange circumstances. He did the terribly dutiful family member bit very publicly afterwards, grieved beautifully, but I saw him hissing coldly to his victim "I wish you would hurry up and die already" a month or two before, while other family members were talking loudly and friendlily in the same room and thus not paying attention. He saw that I saw, and didn't care.
― Three Word Username, Saturday, 12 May 2012 09:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
― the late great, Saturday, May 12, 2012 2:50 AM (5 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
I know someone who killed his parents, too, and although I didn't go to school with him, I was part of the same church youth ministry and later had some college classes with him. I don't know if he was a psychopath, but he was, on reflection, a weird guy.
Mordy, have you read Dave Cullen's "Columbine"? It makes the clearest, most well-argued case I've seen that Eric Harris was a psychopath, and that there were people in his life who should have recognized it.
― i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Saturday, 12 May 2012 12:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
My favorite part in The Psychopath Test was his meeting with Toto Constant. I think about it all the time.1. Toto Constant had a roomful of happy meal toys he'd collected.2. At one point Constant tells Ronson he's glad Ronson likes him. Why? "If people like me, I can get them to do what I want." (paraphrase) I think about this when I'm irritated someone doesn't like me. Do I really want to be like Toto Constant, though?
― Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Saturday, 12 May 2012 16:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
the eric harris journals are fascinating if you're interested in this kinda stuff: pages of total contempt, sometimes icy and sometimes enraged, for the deluded people around him who think there's a point to life besides power and are so easy to lie to. helped me understand nazism better: that eugenic worship of power and disgust at weakness.
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 16:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 16:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
i have two enduring memories of this guy (who was an AP student and went to a competitive engineering college)
1) in junior high school, telling everyone he could get the pr0n if they wanted (videos or magazines) because his dad supplied him with pr0n (i believe this was true) ... afaict everyone was creeped out by this, kids starting teasing him by giving him the nickname MISTER P, and this followed him through the end of high school
2) in high school, senior year, he played frisbee in the lawn on the quad at lunch every day, and sometimes when a throw would go wide, he would go charging after it at a full sprint, yelling "HEADS UP" and "LOOK OUT" and literally running through circles of seated freshmen on the grass to get the frisbee, sometimes almost kicking girls in the head in his rush to catch the damn disc
so basically lack of understanding of social conventions mixed w/ total disregard for others' well-being
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
he murdered his parents because
-- he flunked out of the prestigious engineering school he was at
-- he forged transcripts to transfer into berkeley, which they figured out, leading to revocation of his successful transfer
-- he forged enough paperwork to convince his parents he was transferring to berkeley, and managed to get like $10k off them for it
-- his dad figured it out, confronted him about it one evening at the family business, and he murdered his dad with a handy pipe wrench that was sitting on the table
-- his mom showed up at the office as he was trying to clean up the murder scene, and so he murdered her too
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
they interviewed his next-door neighbor on the TV news, who was also in our high school class, and iirc he said something to the effect of "well, you always hear people say i couldn't believe he'd do such a thing, but honestly if there was anybody in our high school i would think would do this it would be him"
and sadly enough everyone from high school i've ever talked to about this has said something to the same effect
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
i have two enduring memories of this guy (who was an AP student and went to a competitive engineering college)
if you had just mentioned these bits without the murdered-his-parents part, I would have just assumed the kid was autistic/asperger's. :/ which, i think, just shows how hard it is to diagnose someone as a psychopath before they actually do something horrible.
― Roz, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
, in which 'Roz' shares their wisdom
― nakhchivan, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Roz, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
except all of my autistic / aspergers kids in my classes tend to be very introverted and would be sitting by themselves looking at pr0n or sitting as far away from other kids as possible making lists of types of frisbees
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 18:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
he had those weird sadistic dinner parties where he made everyone drink way too much but that's in the twilight of his rule when he's genuinely starting to come unhinged and seems like pretty standard-issue Absolute Power madness.
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
the most psycho-like guy i ever spent real time with was a dude named l____ with whom i lived for about a year. this was during the early 90s, in a large, cheap and deliriously scuzzy rooming house full of drug & street casualties in seattle's university district. he was a smelly, perennially shirtless young hippie who inhabited a nice, expensive room upstairs with his girlfriend, while i lived in a dismal basement closet for which i paid $50 a month. l____'s girlfriend was sweet, smart and seriously cute.
l____, otoh, was completely insane. he said everything with a weirdly challenging smirk, so you could never tell if he was being sincere or just fucking with you. he was prone to proclamations of his own divinity and fits of furious anger in response to minimal provocation. while he could be decent, in a strangely childlike, moon-eyed way, he often expressed total, withering contempt for everyone around him, including his girlfriend. he seemed to reserve a special contempt for "social fictions" like love and friendship, and was quite up front about the ease with which he was able to manipulate others (including his long-suffering girlfriend, who fled back to massachusetts after a few months).
anyway, i spent a lot of time with l___ because we were both unemployed, creatively dedicated and heavily into weed. we slept until the mid-afternoon and spent days into weeks on end smoking out and painting in his room, going out dumpster-diving or just running around being crazy at night. i've never done better work than during that year. l____ believed that the forces of nature communicated to him through the movements of animals and the patterns of glowing lines he saw everywhere, and he tried to represent this in his work. his extrasensory perceptions mostly made him wrathful, and he often talked about doing harm to the government figures supposedly for responsible for this or that building. he was really pissed about the arrangement of municipal buildings.
i remember hanging out with him on the roof once, watching birds come and go, and he told me about killing animals when he was a kid. squirrels, cats, dogs, etc. he related this with a creepy sort of dispassion, so i asked if he still did it and how he felt about it now. he said no, that he didn't want to kill animals anymore, that he felt bad about it and knew they deserved better. i got the impression, though, that this is what he felt he should say as a good hippie-shaman-type, that none of it really meant much of anything to him. while he was too obviously delusional to be a pass-for-normal psychopath, there was some really dark shit in there that he mostly kept hidden.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
I only mention it because I'm reluctant to blame kids these days when I'd rather yell at their parents.
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
like the idea of social skills dates back to the 30s and 40s but i don't think people were really doing actually empirically studying it until the 50s so there's really no data set to look at
also it's an interesting question to ask what exactly are social skills and interpersonal skills and empathy defined as in societies that did or do things we think are really unthinkable like own slaves or force women to wear burqas or practice human sacrifice
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
what kind of social skills did these people have
would they be good at tumblr?
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
tbh I would prefer if a lot of parents my age would stick to playing with iPhones if it meant I wouldn't have to listen to their drivel.
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
as far as The Terror goes i think beria was probably a psychopath. he made stalin's wife's skin crawl from the moment she met him (and stalin back then was not totally dismissive of his wife) but he was a talented enough sycophant that he got to hang around the dacha all the time anyway.
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
tbh I would prefer if a lot of parents my age would stick to playing with iPhones if it meant I wouldn't have to listen to their drivel
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
(plus i think svetlana has a story about playing in the garden and running into beria's feet and looking up and seeing him smile down at her and for a moment just being really fundamentally freaked out in a way she couldn't explain.)
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
(but she blames him for everything cuz she can't bring herself to put it on her dad.)
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
recommend me a good book about stalin, this all sounds v v interesting and is something i know zilch about
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
tbh i think most of what i know about stalin is inferred from "animal farm"
all my juicy stuff here has come from this one; it is also suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper interesting to read svetlana's memoir twenty letters to a friend, even if she's obv not the most objective source. then there's conquest's the great terror for a dryer and less personal but totally exhaustive and horrifying analysis of the purges. the montefiore book also has a prequel called young stalin where he's running around being dashing, writing poetry, robbing armored cars for lenin, etc..
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
whoa at contenderizer's story . jeepers
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
social skills are entirely context-dependent, so theirs were probably somewhat different than ours. i'm inclined to think, however, that social skills have always existed, whether or not they were defined as such. some people seem easily able to observe, absorb and make use of the complex social environment they inhabit (whether or not they do this consciously). others are almost catastrophically unable to do this. a lot of western literature, going back to shakespeare at least, concerns the application of social skills to achieve personal ends.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
Conquest's book is wonderful.
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
contenderizer did you get the impression that the guy was telling the truth about having killed the animals?
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah, he seemed pretty reflective in that moment
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
― dell (del), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
i know. that was when i realized i couldn't really be his friend (though his treatment of his gf should have warned me off earlier). i started getting worried he was gonna push me off the roof or something.
― 10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
my uncle's son has asperger's, he is super good at school and very very smart (he's in 10th grade and doing calculus) and does everything like a normal person (eating, dressing, hygiene, etc) but basically has no interest in anything but video games, particularly sims like farmville and pokemon-type rpgs, but if you want to he is glad to have a two-hour adult-level conversation with you about those topics that even though he is 15. he understands social norms and whatnot and will like get up from his pokemon to help his younger brother if he falls on his face (which he does a lot since he's a rambunctious kid who loves doing this like jumping off furniture) but he would really just rather play pokemon than make friends - except he has a ton of online friends and a few IRL friends who are also super-into pokemon and gaming and they do friend-type things like have little parties that revolve around those interests
i'm not trying to undermine the story at all nor resort to cliché, but srsly aren't mebbe 50% or more of teenagers like this? i was quite a bit like this (green screen game boy 4 lyfe) and my two younger brothers were a lot more so like this, lots of my friends were like this, etc
― pet tommy & the barkhaters (darraghmac), Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
it's hard to explain w/o actually spending some time w/ these kids and of course everyone has hobbies they fixate on to the exclusion of socializing (lol ilx) but really (like any other "deviant" syndrome) it's a matter of degree and consistency
― the late great, Saturday, 12 May 2012 20:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
re conversation upthread comparing autism to sociopathy, obv one connection between the two is undeveloped empathy. i kinda want to read this which i believe deals with the topic of comparing the two: http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Evil-Empathy-Origins/dp/0465023533
― Mordy, Sunday, 13 May 2012 00:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
very creepy excerpt from the hare book i mentioned upthread, context not really necessary:
Later Russell worked out several scenarios for handling his problems with his wife and wrote them down on a piece of paper: "Do nothing"; "File for Paternity/Conciliation Court"; "Take girls w/o killing"; "Take girls killing 4"; "Kill girls and Justin."
it was the "w/o" that got me, for some reason
― their private gesture for bison (difficult listening hour), Sunday, 13 May 2012 05:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.” (The proportion at large is 1 percent.) Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law.
― dayo, Sunday, 13 May 2012 17:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
I sent the article in the OP to my mom because she has always been interested in psychopaths, and she told me that it reminded her about the kid who used to live across the street from her, the older brother of her friend. she said he would laugh all the time, like when he was being punished, or yelled at, and he acted out A LOT so he got punished A LOT. he punched holes in doors and stuff like that. so she told me about how he would sneak up behind her silently and then start laughing. stuff like that, really menacing.
so she read the article, and we were talking this morning after she read it, and she was like, "yeah, and he was so cute" and i said wait a second, you never mentioned that he was cute...and she said OH YEAH he was cute and proceeded to describe him like some kind of suburban new jersey adonis. she then reconfirmed that she thought he was a psychopath and never knew what happened to him, but assured me that if he had become a murderer, she would have heard about it by now...
― former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 14:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
― omar little, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 17:42 (11 months ago) Permalink
mental health expert Jon Ronson
― A++++++ would deal to again (Matt #2), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 17:52 (11 months ago) Permalink
― too cool graham rix listening to neu (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 17:56 (11 months ago) Permalink
reading these stories, and talking with some friends about that psycho kids article, it's made me think: is there an opposite to psychopathy?
if psychopathy is basically a human tuned toward self-empowerment at the total expense of feeling for others, is there a problematic state going the other way? or is that just sainthood.
― goole, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:29 (11 months ago) Permalink
― horseshoe, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:29 (11 months ago) Permalink
― the late great, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:29 (11 months ago) Permalink
no i'm just kidding but yeah, i definitely think the opposite state is a problem. don't know if there's a diagnosis. martyr complex?
xp oh yeah, good call
― horseshoe, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:30 (11 months ago) Permalink
if you look at the depression thread that's pretty much what it is - people feeling guilty and awful and beating themselves up about shit that's not their fault, trying constantly to live up to some normative ideas about being a good or productive person or making their families proud or whatever that they can't ever live up to
― the late great, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:31 (11 months ago) Permalink
i don't know if depression necessarily includes feeling for others at the expense of oneself, though?
― horseshoe, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:32 (11 months ago) Permalink
that's kind of where i was going, but psychopathy seems like a constantly painful state as well (i'm brewing another post on this)
― goole, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:34 (11 months ago) Permalink
well i think depressed people tend to blame themselves when other people do hurtful things, not sure if it necessarily leads to empathy but there is a common thread of "oh that person was an asshole to me, no wonder, i am an unlikable loser and they probably have better things to do" rather than "oh f them they're assholes anyway"
my understanding is that there's a part of your brain that helps you give up. otherwise, we'd never learn to not do anything, and we might kill ourselves trying to reach that same frustratingly distant banana on the end of that branch, or alienate the other members of our monkey tribe by being all "me first" all the time. and your brain does similar things when its frustrated / giving up as depressed people's brains do all the time. i imagine an impulsive person or a psychopath might have the opposite brain make-up
but who knows, i am kinda suspicious of evolutionary psychology and i know that in neurobiology its frustratingly hard to separate cause and effect in the way you want to.
― the late great, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:40 (11 months ago) Permalink
of course i am not a doctor, but, my experience with people who fit the dsm markers for psychopathy really leads me to believe it is a disorder of fear and anxiety, fwiw.
as a basic set of statements, everyone has some kind of mixture of fear and hope when dealing with any stranger (politeness and basic social norms govern these) and some mixture of will-to-pleasure and sympathetic connection to others in your life. ime the borderline-types have their fight-or-flight responses jammed always to fight, over basically nothing. it seems like a really extreme form of self-protection. they can't bear to give anything or to place themselves in a position of weakness for a second, and have to struggle to maintain dominance in all situations, no matter how trivial or short-sighted. the unknown is always trying to fuck you over, and everyone is always unknown to some degree.
i guess this could be a learned (or, uh, beaten in) variety of the disorder as the examples i had in mind had some really rough and, importantly, arbitrarily horrible experiences while young. what i'm describing is not a soul-deep understanding of the human world as being pathetic and weak, but being sneaky and hostile.
― goole, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:41 (11 months ago) Permalink
right, and that squares w/ the accepted idea that depressed people are basically constantly in flight / withdrawal mode
― the late great, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:43 (11 months ago) Permalink
it is important though to recognize the social norms involved - a psychopath might be very disruptive to the lives of the people around them, but a depressed person can be the same (by not getting out of bed for several days, to use an example i'm acquainted with). we tend to think of the former as much worse than the latter but i'm not sure that's true.
― the late great, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:45 (11 months ago) Permalink
― omar little, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:51 (11 months ago) Permalink
― fancy poodle (latebloomer), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 18:54 (11 months ago) Permalink
goole, what you're describing does not sound to me like psychopathy
― Mordy, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 19:19 (11 months ago) Permalink
my understanding is that there's a part of your brain that helps you give up.
Don't I fuckin' know it.
― Guess what? They crucified him. (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 19:25 (11 months ago) Permalink
Thread relevant but pretty terrible article about how we can all learn some good tricks from psychopaths:
― Mordy, Sunday, 14 October 2012 01:08 (7 months ago) Permalink
I think maybe more interesting as Exhibit A on the pop cultureization of psychopathy.
― Mordy, Sunday, 14 October 2012 01:10 (7 months ago) Permalink
What would you think if somebody started trying to make deals with somebody you didn't get along with about you behind your back online , then openly announced they'd done that to a whole chatlist you were on?
Just been wondering about this for a while.
― Stevolende, Sunday, 14 October 2012 08:06 (7 months ago) Permalink
also if after a rather psychotic flame had been posted about putting an individual's child in the microwave, somebody reposted the flame message to show how it was punctuated?
― Stevolende, Sunday, 14 October 2012 08:32 (7 months ago) Permalink
― Kiarostami bag (milo z), Thursday, 9 May 2013 20:32 (1 week ago) Permalink
i'm distrustful of that magazine on the whole but goddam
― goole, Thursday, 9 May 2013 20:48 (1 week ago) Permalink