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(Telegraph)   Embrace your inner sociopath for a better life for all. Well, no. But for you, sure   (blogs.telegraph.co.uk) divider line 28
    More: Scary, Patrick Bateman, Make It, silent majority, sociopaths  
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10416 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jun 2013 at 3:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-12 03:12:50 PM
4 votes:
Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.
2013-06-12 03:16:02 PM
3 votes:

AGremlin: Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.


I disagree. It's given out too easily but still attached to people with no regard for anyone else. However these are mostly assholes. Not actual sociopaths.
2013-06-12 06:18:17 PM
2 votes:

dopekitty74: If you think you MIGHT be a bit sociopathic, but feel vaguely guilty about it, what does that make you?


www.blastr.com
2013-06-12 03:35:01 PM
2 votes:
I don't find anything exotic about sociopaths. About half of the people in prison for violent crime are sociopaths. Alot of them were ADHD in childhood. Despite what the press tells you they tend to have low IQ. Many of them were raised by crappy parents and are in turn crappy parents themselves. They have impulse control and drug abuse problems. Most of them have ruined credit (financial irresponsibility is one of the criteria). The sociopath driving around in a suit and BMW convertible is the exception to the rule.

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/2/118.long
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11989987
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22581200
2013-06-12 03:28:59 PM
2 votes:

bugontherug: AGremlin: Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.

"Psychopath" and "sociopath" are not now and have never been clinical diagnoses. Not in the United States, anyway.

"Psychopath" is more often used in a legal context to determine how the state will treat certain offenders. Some states have, for example, "sexual psychopath" laws which, if an offender meets the statutory definition of it, mandate harsher treatment for them than for other offenders.

I'm not aware of the use of "sociopath" in any legal context.


It was in DSM IV as Antisocial Personality Disorder.
2013-06-12 03:15:00 PM
2 votes:

Somaticasual: It may not be good for society, but business runs on sociopathy at the higher levels..


In his book Snakes in Suits, Dr. Hare foresaw the problem that corporations might use the psychopathy checklist he developed to recruit them rather than screen them.
2013-06-12 03:08:27 PM
2 votes:
It may not be good for society, but business runs on sociopathy at the higher levels..
2013-06-12 05:55:52 PM
1 votes:
Are we talking about religion (or Religion, if that's your bag) as that is the basic premise of every Theistic organization (even Scientology, the ultimate sociopaths). "My god tells me what to do and therefore, whatever I do is better than anything you do because I am the representative of the only true god."

If that's not sociopathic behavior then please, put your Liberal Arts/ Sociology Major to good use and make your parents proud by refuting/trolling my interpretation.
2013-06-12 05:39:23 PM
1 votes:
I've been scorched by Krusty before. I got a rapid heartbeat from his Krusty brand vitamins, my Krusty Kalculator didn't have a seven or an eight, and Krusty's autobiography was self-serving with many glaring omissions. But this time, he's gone too far! -- Bart, ``Kamp Krusty''

Sociopathy may have some survival value in chaotic, violent times and places, so it is probably preserved at low levels by the interplay of various forces, evolutionary, biological, social, political, economic, etc.

Societies have always been used by and have used sociopaths, particularly in military and poltiical situations where a normally constituted person would be hesitant or ineffective.

But society is ultimately built on trust and trustworthiness. Conservatives have their own system of trust--where who you are matters more than mere competence and in-groups and out-groups are more sharply defined. Liberals tend towards a more open system where more lose and abstract rules are more important and are thus more liable to trust out-groups more and embrace rather than exclude variety and diversity of various forms.

But where you are hawk or dove, grudge-holder or forgiver, aggressive or passive, sociopaths violate the very fundamental basis of trust--they can not be trusted--they have no internalized societal or innate evolved compassion, empathy, or sympathy for any other person, not even their closest kin and allies.

No liberal really sympathizes with this sort of amoral ruthlessness, nor does any conservative. The sociopath is pathetic, which is to say sick, from the Greek pathos, disease. Even if you have no absolutist or fixed system of moral values, the sociopath simply has no moral values or even pity or fellow-feeling.

The true sociopath enjoys harming others and has no reason to refrain from harming others. They can be socialized (learn the rules, play by the rules as long as they please or as long as necessary) but in the end, there is something totally missing.

It's not a problem that should be framed in terms of "ethics" or "morality., not a problem that can be framed in terms of "lack of guilt or remorse". A totally ethically person could in principle be remorseless, as remorseless and guilt free as a saint or angel doing God's will so that does not distinguish an angel from a devil. A totally gentle and kindly person can live without remorse or guilt and do good.

But a sociopath can do good, talk a good game, look as innocent as a flower, and be the serpent under it.

There's no check and balance there at all, however, and they can do heinous evil, talk pure lies, and be worse than any poisonous think the next moment.

This sociopath's memoirs are just as full of glaring omission and self-service as the memoirs of that other sociopath-tending person, Krusty the Klown.

She writes:

My view of morality is instrumental. I abide by conventional dictates when it suits me, and otherwise, I follow my own course with little need for justification.

Precisely. When it suits her, she can be nice or "moral". When it doesn't, she can do things that would make a great sinner blush and a devil flee. There is no system of checks, except convenience and her own pleasure. She might not chew your head off if she doesn't like the taste, or she is afraid of breaking a tooth.

The fact that ethics and morality have many grey areas does not mean that they are invalid attempts, any more than the vagueness and contradictions of scientific positions mean that Science is Bunkum. It's not the same thing to be immoral and to be amoral. An immoral or moral man might kill you for the wrong reason, or despite knowing that he shouldn't, but a machine will kill you without thought, feeling, or reason. It will kill you because you are there. And so will a sociopath.

Her arguments are designed to mislead you and to rationalize her disease. And to some extent, so are the author's arguments regarding the acceptability of this disease.

The author of this article is apparently a conservative in that he is blaming liberals for something that is not peculiar to liberals and which is not solely the fault of liberals (conservatives are just as easily manipulated by sociopaths, which is why so many sociopaths are posing as conservatives--it's fun and easy to mislead conservatives because they are creatures who fear the Other). And his five point plan for normalizing sociopathy (and homosexuality, allegedly) is exactly the same rhetorical progress used by religious and political conservatives to normalize their beliefs.

1. 1.5 billion Muslims can't be wrong!
2. If I'm wrong about the existence of God, no harm done, but if you're wrong about the non-existence of God, you're going to my Roman Catholic God's Hell, guy. So why not join the winning team (Pascal's Wager).
3. I'm a fanatic and a racist bigot am I? You liberals are the real fanatics and racist bigot!
4. All the cool kids are Scientologists! Don't you really want to be a scientologist, too? Here's Tarintino, Chef from South Park, and our trained dwarf to convince you!
5. Join us, Father! It's bliss!

Because I am a liberal I chose not to pick on one religion in particular, and I don't need to, because they ALL do this, ALL political parties do this, we all do this a little but not necessary a lot because we're not very rational and logical a species of monkey. The missing link between apes and rational humanity is yet to be born.

I've been scorched by more than one type of Krusty the Klown before. I read about half of Richard M. Nixon's voluminous autobiography and I believe implicitly that Krusty the Klown's autobiography was either modeled on it or simply is an autobiography, and that they are all apologia pro vita sua in the same way, which is to say that all autobiographies are works of fiction and belong in the fiction section of bookstores.
2013-06-12 05:31:52 PM
1 votes:
shortymac: Quite frankly, I think everyone is born like this (to varying degrees) and have to be taught to curb that behavior and think about others.

I hired her as a favor to a friend to try to get her on her feet. We're only now figuring out the context for some of the things that happened with her in the path, and I would love to think that this can be "untaught", but even at 16, there was reluctance to give her a driver's license because when she was warned that she nearly ran over a group of people, she said something like "if they don't get out of the way, that's their problem". I do believe she might have been enabled throughout childhood, but I also think there's something deeper that's wrong with her.

I think that she quit not because she is embarrassed by the breakdown, but because she realized that I couldn't be manipulated by her crying (she appeared to capable of turning the tears on and off as the subject changed) and because I insisted that her parent (my friend) is being entirely reasonable and reminded her that I knew some of the things she was saying to be factually untrue, giving her enough breathing room to avoid an argument by framing it as a misunderstanding rather than a lie on her part. Now *we* clearly don't "see eye to eye" either, so she can't be around me anymore. Anyone who she can't manipulate is cast aside with remarkable speed, and she has expressed a general hatred for "people", as near as I can tell, because most people react badly to the way she acts.

We're only now figuring out just how damaged she is. Unfortunately, she doesn't want help or view her situation as a problem. She has no real work history, no education, and seems to be systematically manipulating her therapists with elaborate stories which utterly renounce any form of culpability for her own situation. Based on some things she said during her crying fit, she seems to interpret getting through life by manipulating a few bucks out of the poor slobs she can con into taking her in as victory over all the terrible people who expect her to do things that inconvenience her and want her to have a better life.

Girl ain't right.
2013-06-12 05:11:09 PM
1 votes:
Had a sociopathic boss for a few years. Sucked, but once I had him pegged he knew well enough to pick on other people.

My guess is that there are a lot of sociopathic middle managers. Their disorder helps them claw up to that first level of power, but keeps them from rising much higher. Their 24/7 assholery probably tends to get them in enough minor scrapes that they get passed over for promotions.
2013-06-12 05:03:00 PM
1 votes:

gglibertine: I called this one a couple of months ago, but I can't find the post now. Color me utterly unsurprised.


You predicted someone would link an article about sociopaths? I am whelmed.
2013-06-12 04:38:02 PM
1 votes:

AGremlin: Decillion: AGremlin: Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.

I disagree. It's given out too easily but still attached to people with no regard for anyone else. However these are mostly assholes. Not actual sociopaths.

I read your response multiple times and can only conclude that you agree with me.

And possibly don't understand the meaning of disagree.


Your definition is wrong. Nobody labels someone a sociopath because they 'do things you don't like or agree with'.  They think other things of these people. Ass, idiot, etc. but not sociopath.
2013-06-12 04:33:14 PM
1 votes:

wildcardjack: He actually cared about things.


Sociopaths care about things. It's been too long since I've seen the movie (and I never read the book) so you might be right in your assessment of the character...but sociopaths can and do care very much about many things.

Best analogy I've come up with is think about playing Super Mario Bros (or any video game). You don't feel bad for the turtles you're stomping. You don't feel bad for the plants you fireball. You can play games and empathize with NPCs (or any fictional character) but there's plenty of times where we *don't* form that empathy because we realize they're not agents. (They're not a being that has a mind that is capable of experiencing suffering). I've never lost a night's sleep on all the thousands upon thousands of virtual NPCs I've slaughtered. In fact, I find it pleasurable. There's no remorse, and the concept that there would be is almost funny. That's the closest I think a non-sociopath can come to understanding what is a very alien state of mind.

A sociopath has impaired empathy attachment. That doesn't mean they never care about another person, they can and do care very deeply about some people. They simply don't form empathetic attachments. The love they have for others is an extension of self. Family typically, an extension of themselves (which is why they can sometimes be bizarrely abusive to family, not intentionally or with mean intent...but because they don't empathize with them as a separate entity.)

And they like to win. They like control (even the lazy ones who are parasitic, they still exert tremendous control). And they can have very rigid internal rules or codes. I don't mean in a Dexter-y way (never got into the show, am familiar with it tho) but in a code of honor type of way. This again is NOT empathy in any way, shape or form. It has to do with how they seem THEMSELVES. All self driven. An example would be a violent sociopathic male being very proud that he always provided food for his family, and never murdered a woman. He may have beaten his wife terribly. He may have neglected his children emotionally. But within their internal rule context, they have kept to specific rules. And they can feel something close to shame, intense anger and disappointment in self for violating those rules.

They've had to get along with the other monkeys. Their quirks have allowed and continued to allow them to succeed in a variety of areas. Some of these are beneficial to the group, some are not. Whether or not that matters to them varies. You cannot appeal to emotionalism, or a sense of feeling bad though. You cannot use the tools of shame or guilt. And whereas most monkeys have intense feelings, and once that passes...so does the intensity of the anger/hate/fear/etc. that is not typically true of a sociopath. Sure they get the burst of anger at strangers which pass. But they keep score with people they know. Lots of people do this of course, but they're masters of it.

Grants them some advantages and a lot of disadvantages.
2013-06-12 04:30:50 PM
1 votes:
Ayn Rand was definitely a sociopath. So was L Ron Hubbard and Aleistar Crowley.
Ant
2013-06-12 03:39:51 PM
1 votes:

Hayes: If the author's problem with sociopaths is that they don't recognize an objective moral system, he has a problem with a lot more people than he thinks.  That's a philosophical position that is not all that frightening.


There is a difference in not having an objective moral system, and thinking it's perfectly OK to fark people over to advance your own interests.

I actually believe in a somewhat semi-objective morality, for lack of a better term. I think there exists a set of moral beliefs that are shared across cultures by the vast majority of people, and that these moral instincts are intrinsic to most humans, though many of them reserve their empathy for an extremely small circle of people.

I guess a sociopath would be someone whose empathy circle consisted of only themselves.
2013-06-12 03:36:32 PM
1 votes:

dopekitty74: If you think you MIGHT be a bit sociopathic, but feel vaguely guilty about it, what does that make you?


A jerk?
2013-06-12 03:30:15 PM
1 votes:
I'd rather not, particularly after reading The Psychpath Test. People who are pathologically manipulative and incapable of empathy are terrifying.
2013-06-12 03:29:28 PM
1 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: An asshole will forget a date with you, a sociopath will purposely not go so they can get it on with someone else, then lie about where they were and guilt you into feeling sorry for them.


The most dangerous sociopaths would not go as part of a campaign to lower your self-esteem to make you more easy to manipulate. A campaign enhanced both by an intuitive grasp and studied understanding of human psychology.
2013-06-12 03:24:44 PM
1 votes:
If the author's problem with sociopaths is that they don't recognize an objective moral system, he has a problem with a lot more people than he thinks.  That's a philosophical position that is not all that frightening.
2013-06-12 03:24:40 PM
1 votes:
2013-06-12 03:24:03 PM
1 votes:

Decillion: AGremlin: Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.

I disagree. It's given out too easily but still attached to people with no regard for anyone else. However these are mostly assholes. Not actual sociopaths.


I read your response multiple times and can only conclude that you agree with me.

And possibly don't understand the meaning of disagree.
2013-06-12 03:18:33 PM
1 votes:

Decillion: AGremlin: Sociopath is thrown around so much today it has virtually lost all meaning.  It used to be and should be a clinical diagnosis.

Definition is now: People who do things you don't like or agree with.

I disagree. It's given out too easily but still attached to people with no regard for anyone else. However these are mostly assholes. Not actual sociopaths.


This is true

An asshole will forget a date with you, a sociopath will purposely not go so they can get it on with someone else, then lie about where they were and guilt you into feeling sorry for them.

An asshole won't pay you back money, a sociopath will manipulate you to feel sorry for them so you feel obligated to ask them not to pay back.

I could keep going, but I say this as a confirmed true sociopath.
2013-06-12 03:17:45 PM
1 votes:
Really, all that makes them at all interesting IS the fact that not many people know about them and what they are. Once they are well known, they will be less interesting than the average person.
2013-06-12 03:14:34 PM
1 votes:
2013-06-12 03:13:53 PM
1 votes:

Somaticasual: It may not be good for society, but business runs on sociopathy at the higher levels..


And government, and seemingly any group of humans larger than, say, 20.
2013-06-12 03:13:30 PM
1 votes:
Rule 106:  There is no honor in poverty
Rule 113:  Always have sex with the boss
Rule 242:  more is good, all is better
Rule 51: never admit a mistake if there is someone else to blame

/and so on
2013-06-12 03:09:31 PM
1 votes:
They tend to frown on you driving across three states wearing a woman's head as a hat
 
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