REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The role of pyschopathy in modern society.

POSTED BY: FREMDFIRMA
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 17:20
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 3331
PAGE 1 of 2

Friday, August 22, 2008 5:29 AM

FREMDFIRMA


I put this one up especially for HKCav, cause this is something we've been pondering and picking at for quite a while, but I think it to be very informative and worth sharing.

Twilight of the Psychopaths
http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/01/02/02073.html

Barrett does a good job of tying the various elements together into a coherent whole which exposes the depth of the problem.

It's worth a read, even if ya don't agree with him 100% - I don't, but overall his points are pretty damn good.

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:56 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I found the article truly enlightening... So much so, I copied it here. I dispute several points, but agree with the premise: our society is psychopathic.

Twilight of the Psychopaths
Quote:


by Dr. Kevin Barrett

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.” – John Lennon, before his murder by CIA mind-control subject Mark David Chapman

When Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization he said it would be a good idea. But that oft-cited quote, is misleading, assuming as it does that civilization is an unmitigated blessing.

Civilized people, we are told, live peacefully and cooperatively with their fellows, sharing the necessary labour in order to obtain the leisure to develop arts and sciences. And while that would be a good idea, it is not a good description of what has been going on in the so-called advanced cultures during the past 8,000 years.

Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and “warfare.” Incidentally, the latter term is a euphemism for mass murder.

The prevailing recipe for civilization is simple:

1) Use lies and brainwashing to create an army of controlled, systematic mass murderers;

2) Use that army to enslave large numbers of people (i.e. seize control of their labour power and its fruits);

3) Use that slave labour power to improve the brainwashing process (by using the economic surplus to employ scribes, priests, and PR men). Then go back to step one and repeat the process.

Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse. The inventor of civilization — the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers—was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies — especially military hierarchies.



Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers — unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

In On Killing, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history, to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology, than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species. The true “Revolution in Military Affairs” was not Donald Rumsfeld’s move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall’s discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20% of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: “Those (80-85%) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges” (Grossman, p. 4).

Marshall’s discovery and subsequent research, proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers — the 5% who are natural-born psychopaths, and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitators—did almost all the killing. Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths. (This cannot be good for humanity’s genetic endowment!)

Marshall’s work, brought a Copernican revolution to military science. In the past, everyone believed that the soldier willing to kill for his country was the (heroic) norm, while one who refused to fight was a (cowardly) aberration. The truth, as it turned out, was that the normative soldier hailed from the psychopathic five percent. The sane majority, would rather die than fight.



The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiers’ behaviour in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of society’s perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.

How could that be? In Political Ponerology, Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths.

So-called conspiracy theorists, some of whom deserve the pejorative connotation of that much-abused term, often imagine that secret societies of Jews, Jesuits, bankers, communists, Bilderbergers, Muslim extremists, papists, and so on, are secretly controlling history, doing dastardly deeds, and/or threatening to take over the world. As a leading “conspiracy theorist” according to Wikipedia, I feel eminently qualified to offer an alternative conspiracy theory which, like the alternative conspiracy theory of 9/11, is both simpler and more accurate than the prevailing wisdom: The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.



Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as that power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld—the criminal syndicate or overlapping set of syndicates that lurks above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it. In 9/11 and the 9/11 wars, we are seeing the final desperate power-grab or “endgame” (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men, economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops experts and PR specialists—in short, the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared. It was their terror of losing control that they projected onto the rest of us by blowing up the Twin Towers and inciting temporary psychopathic terror-rage in the American public.

Why does the pathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon, December 1992, “If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.” Given that Bush is reported to have participated in parties where child prostitutes were sodomized and otherwise abused, among his many other crimes, his statement to McClendon should be taken seriously.

Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others’ emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and for the normal human being — a civilization without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths especially flourish — militaries, intelligence agencies, large corporations, and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate this knowledge, and the will to use it, as widely as possible.

Above all, we need to inform the public about how psychopaths co-opt and corrupt normal human beings. One way they do this, is by manipulating shame and denial — emotions foreign to psychopaths but common and easily-induced among normals.

Consider how gangs and secret societies (psychopaths’ guilds in disguise) recruit new members. Some criminal gangs and satanist covens demand that candidates for admission commit a murder to “earn their stripes.” Skull and Bones, the Yale-based secret society that supplies the CIA with drug-runners, mind-rapists, child abusers and professional killers, requires neophytes to lie naked in a coffin and masturbate in front of older members while reciting the candidate’s entire sexual history. By forcing the neophyte to engage in ritualized behaviour that would be horrendously shameful in normal society, the psychopaths’ guild destroys the candidate’s normal personality, assuming he had one in the first place, and turns the individual into a co-opted, corrupt, degraded shadow of his former self — a manufactured psychopath or psychopath’s apprentice.

This manipulation of shame has the added benefit of making psychopathic organizations effectively invisible to normal society. Despite easily available media reports, American voters in 2004 simply refused to see that the two major-party presidential candidates had lain naked in a coffin masturbating in front of older Bonesmen in order to gain admission to Skull and Bones and thus become members of the criminal overworld. Likewise, many Americans have long refused to see that hawkish elements of the overworld, operating through the CIA, had obviously been the murderers of JFK, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr., Malcolm X, ChÈ, AllendÈ, Wellstone, Lumumba, Aguilera, Diem, and countless other relatively non-psychopathic leaders. They refuse to see the continuing murders of millions of people around the world in what amounts to an American holocaust. They refuse to see the evidence that the psychopaths’ guilds running America’s most powerful institutions use the most horrific forms of sexualized abuse imaginable to induce multiple-personality-disorder in child victims, then use the resulting mind-control slaves as disposable drug-runners, prostitutes, Manchurian candidates, and even diplomatic envoys. And of course they refuse to see that 9/11 was a transparently obvious inside job, and that their own psychopath-dominated military-intelligence apparatus is behind almost every major terrorist outrage of recent decades.

All of this psychopathic behaviour at the top of the social hierarchy is simply too shameful for ordinary people to see, so they avert their gaze, just as wives of husbands who are sexually abusing their children sometimes refuse to see what is happening in plain view. If deep, deep denial were a river in Egypt, American citizens’ wilful blindness would be more like the Marianas Trench.

But thanks to the power of the internet, people everywhere are waking up. The only obvious non-psychopath among Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul, also happens to be the only candidate in either party with significant grassroots support.

If “love” is embedded in the Revolution Ron Paul heralds, that is because Dr. Paul — a kindly, soft-spoken physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies — implicitly recognizes that government is the invention and tool of psychopaths, and therefore must be strictly limited in scope and subjected to a rigorous system of checks and balances, lest the psychopath’s tools, fear and hatred, replace love as the glue that binds society together.

The decline in militarism since World War II in advanced countries, the spread of literacy and communications technology, and the people’s growing demands for a better life, together represent a gathering force that terrifies the pathocracy, (those alternately competing-then-cooperating gangs of psychopaths who have ruled through lies, fear and intimidation since the dawn of so-called civilization).

Since nuclear weapons have made war obsolete, the pathocracy is terrified that its favourite social control mechanism — ritualized mass slaughter — is increasingly unavailable. And if war was the great human tragedy, the pathocrats’ pathetic attempt at a war-substitute — the transparently phoney “war on terror” — is repeating it as sheerest farce.

Truly, we are witnessing the twilight of the psychopaths. Whether in their death throes they succeed in pulling down the curtain of eternal night on all of us, or whether we resist them and survive to see the dawn of a civilization worthy of the name, is the great decision in which all of us others, however humbly, are now participating.





---------------------------------
Any idea, no matter how much you may agree with it, can be radicalized and employed as an excuse for violence. There is no such thing as a righteous or untouchable philosophy, and when you start thinking that there is, you have become an extremist.- Finn Mac Cumhal

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:10 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


Um, ok. So if thats truly the problem... Then whats the solution?

Sorry, getting a little tired of all the talk about whats wrong, without anyone acctually saying how to fix it.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:33 AM

FREMDFIRMA


The solution concept is mentioned in the Truancy thread, but if you want more and specific details, just ask.

Solving this problem has been the lifes work of a lot of folk, so there's plenty of info to be had, so much of it that you need to refine your questions so I can provide the most relevant.

-F

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:54 AM

RUE


I think as a species what we are seeing is the clash between our evolution and our invention.

Referring back to Jane Goodalls's inadvertent chimp experiment: in order to get a look at chimps (who, up to that point had been frustratingly hiding in the jungle) she enticed them into her clearing with a large pile of fruit. And she spent about a year documenting all sorts of dominance behavior where the largest and most aggressive males would viciously fight to corner the pile. Meanwhile the females, juveniles and more timid chimps cowered in the background. Some tried to cage favor of whomever they thought might win, or might like them, with subservient, appeasing grimaces and cowering behavior; some to thieve errant pieces; and the rest just tried to avoid the widespread fray and protect themselves and their young from random attacks.

Sounds all to human, doesn't it ?

But then she had the good sense to realize that it was abnormal behavior caused by a singular abnormal condition - the highly prized pile of riches in one "easily dominated" (her words) place. Realizing that this was unlike anything found in nature, where fruit is sparse and scattered, she spread the fruit around. And the abnormal behavior disappeared.


Agriculture and subsequent economies are like that pile of fruit. They create an abundance concentrated in one easily dominated pile.

If there was no abundance there would be no problem. If that abundance was scattered there'd be no problem - everyone would have equal access and be replete and happy. But agriculture changed it all, and later agriculturally-based economies are simply following the original model.


We are simply chimps who've created a highly abnormal situation and are now living in it. And it will take at least a few tens of thousands of years for natural selection to solve the problem for us by giving us new mental tools to respond to that pile (or humans will crash and burn before then, and probably carry most of the planet with us).


And here is where the sociopath comes in. Though you can make a sociopath out of some people, not all sociopaths (authoritarians - manipulators) are made - some are born. And though you can make a henchman, not all henchmen (authoritarians - followers) are made - some are born. You can see this in the chimp observations.

What our tasty-pile economies are doing is fostering, rewarding and enforcing abnormal behavior.



But all is not lost.

And I refer to SignyM's recounting of the baboon troop where all the nastiest most aggressive baboons cornered the food dump which contained tainted meat - caught TB from it - and died.

It was a society reborn.

The death rate of females and juveniles dropped dramatically. While males competed with each other they no longer took their aggression out on the helpless and weak. And furthermore, new baboons - even highly aggressive males from other troops - learned that things were done differently in that group, and tempered their behavior accordingly. Even more remarkable, this new society has been passed down generation to generation. As baboon societies go, it's a baboon paradise.

As SignyM has mentioned, societies are sensitive to large non-personal conditions. And they can be remade by reframing those conditions.

Sometimes it happens by revolution. Sometimes by evolution. And I'll leave it to everyone else to come up with the conditions they think might benefit humanity as a whole. (I have some ideas of my own, which I haven't yet concluded - they are an ongoing process.)


But for the history buffs out there - I'd like to test-drive my ideas about modern democracy in the grand scheme of things. My impression is that Canada and the European democracies are much more, well, democratic than the US. I used to think it was b/c they had parliaments which kept the governments on their toes at all times. And, by having actual power over their governments, people were more involved, leading to better democracy ... and so on. I still think that might be a consideration. But I now wonder if it had something to do with historical accidents. In those countries democracies were growing vis-à-vis a declining force, which was the landed aristocracy. But in the US there were two special conditions. One is that to some extent the democracy was deeply divided over the role of the common man and the large landholder or businessman. Originally, representation of the 'common man' was indirect or infrequent, or both. The 'ruling class' - not a hereditary aristocracy but the wealthy - had a larger role by design. For all the pretty words about men being created equal, the structure of government was notably unequal. The other problem is that representation of the people like you and me grew up in apposition to business-acquired wealth - a growing force, not a waning one. And by their initial advantage and growing leverage, the wealthy/ business-class have acquired and retained their over-representation in the US's supposed democracy. The more nearly sociopathic elements have a greater role in running the show.

Well, that's all I have on that.


***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:21 AM

SWISH


Good post, Rue.

Interesting article, especially about the insanity of the military, and how our "civilization" promotes some pretty scary behavior. The thing that worries me is how it makes a clean separation between those who are righteous and those who must be stopped, as if there aren't enough of these divisions in the world! The article even seems to suggest tests. Witch hunt much?

I picture something like Scientology's e-meter. You measure less than 3.6 on the psychopath scale and we'll cut your head off! But who's giving the test? And who do you suppose is going to figure out how to beat it?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:30 AM

FLETCH2


I'm still thinking that with Europe it has more to do with being forced to live together. The American ideal of the empowered individualist is practical because America has the resources and space to support it, the food pile is big enough if you will. Elsewhere people are forced to cooperate more than compete because the resources are not there. In the absence of abundance learning to accept a smaller garenteed share is more logical than bidding to take it all knowing that if you lose there will not be the resources for you to try again. If this is the only food pile there will ever be is it better to work with otherst to garentee you get a share (and thus not starve) or to go out on your own and risk losing everything?


Also European wars killed too many people, over time people got fed up of it. By contrast the US had only one modern war on its mainland

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:37 AM

PIRATENEWS

John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed PirateNew.org wooHOO!!!!!!


Dr Kevin Barrett Muslim Non-Jew for Congress
www.barrettforcongress.us

Dr Kevin Barrett Radio Show
Mondays and Fridays, 4-6 p.m. ET
www.gcnlive.com
Wednesdays 8 - 10 pm CT
www.wtprn.com
Archives:
http://mp3.wtprn.com/Barrett08.html
Pacifica 7 days a week, at 6:55am, 8:55am, 10:55am, 4:55pm, 6:55pm, 7:55pm, 9:55pm and 11:55pm CT
www.noliesradio.org
RBN Archives:
www.republicbroadcasting.org/index.php?cmd=archives.year&ProgramID=25&
year=8&backURL=index.php?cmd=archives


Quote:

Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers — unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths.

The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.

The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon, December 1992, “If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.”


CIA agent George Bush Sr in Dealey Plaza for another coup d'etat
www.jfkmurdersolved.com/bush2.htm



Less than 20% of soldiers in World War 2 actually pulled a trigger to kill, even when enemy troops were were shooting bullets and killing US troops.

Not enough soldiers were hunters, butchers, boy scouts or NRA members.

Churches did too good a job brainwashing the sheeple to lay down for the psychopaths in their own govt, and censored Biblical authorization to kill in self-defense. Moses delivered the 10 Commandments, after he killed an Egyptian cop. Even Jeses told his disciples to trade their plows for swords.

So DARPA.mil got in the entertainment business...


Visit your local Psychopaths R US store in your Victim Disarmament Zone

And why DARPA made robot Reapers.


MQ-9 Reaper Hunter/Killer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

As Dr Barrett points out, robots attacked USA on 9/11, due to a shortage of psychpaths.


British BAC 1-11 robot drone airliner

Pilotless passenger jet flown remotely by British Royal Air Force
www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/defencenews/equipmentandlogistics/pilotless
passengerjetflownremotelybyrafinworldfirst.htm

http://piratenews.org/killer-robot-jetplanes.html
http://piratenews.org/flight93.html
http://piratenews.org/911con.html

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:14 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Kids may be hardwired to 'share and share alike': study

(Until we teach them greed is good)
Quote:

PARIS (AFP) - Humans are selfish in earliest childhood but by the age of seven or eight are keen to share equally, a developmental change so sudden that it can only be explained, at least in part, by genes, according to a study released Wednesday.

Behavioural scientists and sociologists have quarrelled for decades as to whether generosity and selfishness are inherited or result from social conditioning. But new experiments with 229 Swiss children between the ages of three and eight suggest that Homo sapiens is probably somewhere in between: humans look out for No. 1, but also express, if not outright generosity, at least an aversion to inequality. The study, published in the British journal Nature, could help explain how humans developed the ability to cooperate in large groups of individuals who are unrelated, the researchers say.

The children were asked to take part in three different games. In each game, the child was confronted with two options as to how to distribute portions of jelly beans and other small sweets. He or she was faced with another kid, shown only in a photo to avoid complications arising from face-to-face encounters.

One of the options was the same in all three games: divide the sweets equally. In the first game, the child had the alternate option of keeping a single portion of sweets for himself and giving nothing for the other child. In the second, more sweets were added, and the child had the option of giving the other child two portions and keeping one. And in the third game, the child had the choice of taking two portions and leaving the other child empty-handed.

Lead researcher Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich said the three- and four-year-olds were consistently motivated by self-interest, with almost no regard for the well-being of the other. The next age bracket was almost as selfish.

"But if we look at the seven-to-eight year olds, a different picture emerges," Fehr told AFP.

In the first game, nearly 80 percent of the older kids made sure the other child got the same amount of sweets rather than none at all. And in the last game, more than 40 percent of them refused to let the other go away with nothing even when they had the opportunity of gaining a double portion by doing so.

By comparison, less than nine percent of three- and four-year-olds were willing to do the same. But generosity had its limits. In the second game, the older children were reluctant to let their counterpart have twice as many as themselves.

'If I can't have more,' their actions seemed to say, 'I don't see why he or she should.'

In an e-mail exchange with AFP, Fehr said the results suggest that Nature and Nurture jointly shaped behavioural responses, although the study was not designed to calculate the share of each influence.

"I think that both genes and culture play a role," Fehr said. The results, he added, suggest that "social norms of equality can come into being even without extended forms of cultural transmission. Nobody would dispute that the sexual maturation of children is driven by biology and genes, so why should other phenotypes -- like those associated with fairness behaviour -- not also be driven by biology and genes?", he asked rhetorically.

At least one result was unexpected, said Fehr: children with no siblings were more, rather than less, generous.

Also, I think this coincides rather interestingly with the concept of the "age of reason". (You Catholics out there would know what I'm talking about.)

---------------------------------
Any idea, no matter how much you may agree with it, can be radicalized and employed as an excuse for violence. There is no such thing as a righteous or untouchable philosophy, and when you start thinking that there is, you have become an extremist.- Finn Mac Cumhal

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:30 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Interesting, but to me, unsurprising.

You know though, isn't is *fascinating* how every time one of these studies is done by folk outside of the american Gov and Education systems, the conclusion is radically different ?

At first blush one might take that to mean americans and their kids are shitheads, which is an entirely plausible theory with a lot of empirical evidence behind it, sure...

Till you start checking into the scientific method of such "studies" and realize that there basically isn't any, IF an actual study was done at all, instead of some slackwit with a degree just quoting their prejudices.

Case in point, the Sembler-Lichfield "All children are lying manipulators" myth.

Firstly, especially amongst the very young, children have a more nebulous distinction between fantasy and reality than us adults do.

Second, the very idea of such manipulation presumes not only deceitful intent, but harmful intent, and implies the ability to remember the falsehood and remain perfectly consistent over a period of time.

And if you buy that, I got some Arizona swampland for ya, cheap.

Most "Behavioral Studies" done here in the States by Gov, Education, or Big Pharma, usually some combination of the three, have a pre-conceived conclusion and mean to damn well reach it in spite of the evidence, scientific method notwithstanding.

I mean, come on, when a "behavioral study" of "problem kids" done by an affliate of the manufacturer of Ritalin concludes that the primary thing wrong with them is that they need to be prescribed Ritalin - wouldn't YOU be a bit skeptical ?

The Swiss, on the other hand, seem to be real sticklers for proper scientific method, and even the British have done some of their own good work on this, finally realizing that, yes virginia, there IS a link between some food additives and behavioral problems in susceptible children....

Something "studies" done by the companies that make them over here say otherwise, but again, doesn't that make you a little skeptical ?

Anyhows, ranting aside, every decent study on this has pretty much gone to support the belief that "Human Nature" is actually fairly benevolent, and that it is the external influences of a society intent on warping/crushing it, and succeeding, which is causing the problem....

Although Nature has her ways too, we've started to see medication-resistant kids recently, and kinda I figured that was only a matter of time.
Quote:

And I refer to SignyM's recounting of the baboon troop where all the nastiest most aggressive baboons cornered the food dump which contained tainted meat - caught TB from it - and died.

The French actually actively TRIED that once, it didn't work out to well in reality, but the concept was there.

I find it ironic to be reminded of that, when I am more or less advocating we exterminate the NeoCons, which amounts to prettymuch the same thing, neh ?

On the idea of Born vs Made...

I don't accept that some children pop out fully formed and functional sociopaths, it just doesn't work like that, and anyone who says so either doesn't understand the subject or is perpetuating a false myth to avoid the hassle of early intervention, in spite of how critical we know it to be.

That's not saying that there are not children born with a predisposition toward such behavior, which is, let us be very clear - NOT the same thing.

If provided with alternatives and encouraged to make use of them, they can turn out completely different, but yes, it does take the investment of more time and effort than simply writing them off, but doing that is in my opinion a boomerang of the meanest form, cause it comes back to haunt us all, doesn't it ?

Likewise, there's been some discussion about "compensated sociopaths" who display a lot of the behaviors, but are neither completely amoral or antisocial, and I have done a bit of my own research on this, because of certain downright fascinating discoveries.

See, conventional wisdom is that these are also born that way, just not fully sucked into the void - and in empirical research, I have found this to be untrue, compensated sociopaths are not created from the inside out, but rather the outside in.

Under a pseduonym I've written a paper titled "Learned Sociopathy as a Defense Mechanism" which goes into more detail on this - but essentially a lot of the folk who qualify as compensated sociopaths are simply exercising a learned set of traits garnered by emulating the most successful and popular people around them, which in our society would be... sociopaths.

And since that is a learned behavior rather than innate, that CAN be undone.

One of the primary keys is the lack of genetic and physical factors concurrent with known sociopathic individuals, such as a low grey matter count, altered HPA axis fight-flight chemical response, and a MOAO (Monoamine Oxidase A) structure that is indicative.

If the person in question is displaying that behavior WITHOUT any of the related genetic, biological and physical construction factors, you're looking at someone who was *taught* to be a sociopath - and once I figured that out, I started looking for where that might have happened.

And guess where the finger points ?

The American Public Education System.

This is not to say other factors don't have a high incidence, emulating the behavior of similarly trained parents and siblings, an abusive/neglectful home environment and other factors do not apply, but the primary stressor found in every single case of compensated sociopathy is that one thing, and it's impact cannot be denied.

So as one can imagine, I do not hold that particular education system in high regard given that set of facts on top of my own bad experiences with it.

As for those poor misbegotten souls who DO have all the primary keys ?

If you get to them early enough, you won't wind up with a sociopath.

Mind you, by common standards they ain't likely ever to be what ya might call "Normal" but they'll get by, and having an effective emotional detatchment, extremely rational thought process and near immunity to stress and fear, such individuals make excellent trauma personnel from doctors all the way down to firefighters and ambulance drivers because they are mostly immune to the emotional burnout relative to the job.

They also make pretty good lawyers, although true sociopaths sadly make better ones..

One final note, on the related history and how these dipshits wound up in charge.
Quote:

Originally, representation of the 'common man' was indirect or infrequent, or both. The 'ruling class' - not a hereditary aristocracy but the wealthy - had a larger role by design. For all the pretty words about men being created equal, the structure of government was notably unequal. The other problem is that representation of the people like you and me grew up in apposition to business-acquired wealth - a growing force, not a waning one.

Opposed by Anti-Federalists, Anarchists, and Unionists - all of whom failed rather thoroughly in large part to lack of any popular support, media demonisation, and government sponsored repression and harrassment.

So, next time you see the black banner fly, think kind thoughts of us, will you ?
Cause we been gettin our ass kicked for freedom for over a hundred years now.
Where DID that forty hour work week come from, ehe ?

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 3:12 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Where DID that forty hour work week come from, ehe ?



As well as lunch hours, breaks, vacations, paid overtime, bereavement time, etc.

Next time you get paid time-and-a-half for working more than your 40 hours, or you get paid time off to attend your father's funeral, be sure to thank a union member instead of spitting on him.




Mike

"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence[sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero, Real World Event Discussions

I can't help the sinking feeling that my country is now being run by people who read "1984" not as a cautionary tale, but rather as an instruction manual. - Michael Mock

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 5:12 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Gotta do it.

Someday I want to run away
To the world of midnight
Where the darkness fill the air
Where it's icy cold

Where nobody has a name
Where living is not a game
There, I can hide my broken heart
Dying to survive

There, no one can see me cry
The tears of my lonely soul
I'll find peace of mind
In the dark and cold world of midnight


.....
It's from Episode 15 of Black Lagoon, the end of a seriously disturbing arc that's actually related to the subject of this thread.
(WARNING: *NOT* for the faint of heart)

Having just watched it, I wanna say something, but ain't sure how - the arc covers everything from how they come to be, to how dangerous they are, all the way to how much of a heartbreaking waste it is for folk to let it happen.

It's a mark against us as human beings that in the real world, such stories are not as rare as they should be.

-Frem
It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8:09 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

If you all don't mind me advocating for the devil, I'd like to propose that what you are referring to as sociopathy and psychopathy sounds a lot like:

"People who can do what is necessary to achieve their objectives and/or thrive in difficult circumstances."

In which case, 'sociopathy' and 'psychopathy' sound a lot like survival traits to me. Seems to me the French and the Soviets might have benefitted from a 100% fire rate rather than a 20% fire rate amongst its front-line riflemen when fighting off a Nazi invasion. It might have saved them a lot of grief.

When you bandy about words like 'sociopath' and 'psychopath,' you end up creating an impression of ruthless evil, but you may actually be describing efficiency in action.

I would like to propose that there may be people who can do what is necessary to survive and thrive, who seem to meet your definition of sociopath and psychopath, but who do not actively seek the course of greatest human suffering.

I honestly believe that the military (and indeed society at large) contains efficient killers who are also great husbands, fathers, and friends. People who can execute a perceived threat, but would prefer to be shaking someone's hand rather than chopping it off.

I think there are people who might be labeled a deviant personality by an indiscriminate observer, but who simply have the valuable capacity to set aside their emotions long enough to take the actions necessary for their survival, and the survival and well-being of their people.

Is that possible?

Because it seems to me that the 80% of soldiers who were incapable of firing their weapons even to save themselves and their friends... they are going to be selected for removal from the gene pool if they ever encounter a threat that can't be reasoned with.

--Anthony

P.S. It is actually heartening to me to hear the theory on 'learned' sociopathy or psychopathy. It suggests that those of us without the predisposition might be able to learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones in the face of violence, hopefully without self-destructing our sanity.

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:16 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

The French actually actively TRIED that once, it didn't work out to well in reality, but the concept was there.

Hardly. A revolution is a way of one frustrated ruling class subjugating the desires of the downtrodden to replace the current ruling class. Violent revolutions tend to produce poor systems in practice simply because they're instigated by the same sort of people that they're replacing.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:12 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Anthony - Ya might wanna do a bit more research on the topic, cause what defines a sociopath as opposed to someone who, as you say "can do what must be done", is a lack of emotional attachment to other human beings, in fact the lack of even that ability.

As is well known amongst army "five percenters" there's no encouragement to support their fellow troops for this reason, and while they are capable of mercilessly cutting down the enemy, unspoken military SOP is NOT to promote known five-percenters to command positions due to the really obvious potential for disaster looming there.
Quote:

I think there are people who might be labeled a deviant personality by an indiscriminate observer, but who simply have the valuable capacity to set aside their emotions long enough to take the actions necessary for their survival, and the survival and well-being of their people.

Is that possible?


Absolutely, but those people are not by any definition sociopathic, simply by merit of the fact that they have those emotional capabilities.

And that is the key difference, a true sociopath is pure predator, by a combination of physical, chemical, genetic and environmental factors, utterly incapable of feeling emotion for another human being.

What defines is for me behaviorally is the intent to advance their own cause regardless of harm done to others, or even delighting in the harm done to others, because those others... are just mere objects to them, they don't have a concept of "people", it's alien to their way of thinking, all they see is potential resources, which they move to exploit, or potential resistance, which they move to eliminate.

But they don't never, EVER see you as a person, they can't, it's just not in them.

Now as for compensated, there's a couple ways that splits.

Firstoff, you have folks with most of the physical, chemical, genetic and environmental factors present, but not a sufficiency to cause this, and usually some internal or outside factor in place early enough to cause an alternate development.

Most have a damaged or crippled ability to bond with other humans, but due to the perversities of human nature, that lack often causes them to try all the harder, and much of their aberrant behavior comes from feelings of frustration and alienation rather than avarice or malice.

They also tend to be emotionally stunted, which may cause they to react differently to emotional events, that's highly dependant on the individual, of course.

Second, you have folks with just a few of the factors present, and barring any intensive-trauma "trigger" events during the developmental period, generally wind up as "normal" as anyone really does, barring an odd quirk of behavior here and there.

And third, you have folks with NO factors present whatever, who are displaying the classic behavior because that it what they have been "taught", regardless of whether it was intentional or not, is the proper behavior to be admired, respected and successful in our society.

It's that third group that concerns me the most, since public school seems to produce them in droves, all it takes is one popular sociopath allowed to roam free cause they are popular or have wealthy, politically/socially connected folks, and you get a whole pack of emulators, who's behavior DOES calcify significantly in the post-puberty ages.

Side note: Why "gangsta" culture is so dangerous is also directly related to that same phenomena, learned sociopathy included.

There's a huge difference, Anthony, between doing what one has to in order to survive, and doing harm to others for personal gain or even entertainment.

It's that critical difference, which the deciding factor.

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:17 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

A revolution is a way of one frustrated ruling class subjugating the desires of the downtrodden to replace the current ruling class. Violent revolutions tend to produce poor systems in practice simply because they're instigated by the same sort of people that they're replacing.

I don't buy that - while I admit that this is often the case, I will not accept that it is ALWAYS the case.

Counterpoint: Anarchist Catalonia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia

Very complicated situation, true - but when fighting what (to them) amounted to a five front war, they did pretty well, all things considered.

One might take that as every other faction being wanna-be ruling classes, freaking out at the dire threat of people who wanted NO ruling class.

Sure explains why even their "allies" turned on em, doesn't it ?

-Frem

Dame Vaako: "You don't pray to their god, you pray to no god, or so I hear."
Aereon: "Elementals... we calculate."

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:45 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
I don't buy that - while I admit that this is often the case, I will not accept that it is ALWAYS the case.

Counterpoint: Anarchist Catalonia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia

Very complicated situation, true - but when fighting what (to them) amounted to a five front war, they did pretty well, all things considered.

One might take that as every other faction being wanna-be ruling classes, freaking out at the dire threat of people who wanted NO ruling class.

Sure explains why even their "allies" turned on em, doesn't it ?


Now explain to me where I said always rather than tends too.

Specifically you mentioned the French Revolution, after which France ended up as a what?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:34 AM

RUE


AnthonyT

If a sociopath is a person who does what must be done in order to survive - then sociopaths should all be super-cooperative.

Somehow when the issue of 'survival' comes up it automatically gets assumed to be about deadly competition between individuals. But survival - especially of the next generation, and the next, and the next ... (which is where evolution functions) - can be enhanced by cooperation and mutualism.

***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:06 AM

RUE


You know Frem, there's a lot of good research coming out of the US on social cooperation. It took me no time at all to find these, I could have posted more, but I'm on my lunch break.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041007085415.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020718075131.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319142358.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051220182334.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041129111632.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080501163455.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070121162756.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614151757.htm

OTOH, many EARLY US studies which you cite were based on even earlier European studies and theories - alpha males, social Darwinism, Freud and his theory of the id, to point out a few.

It wasn't until the 1970's that social cooperation began to be examined by serious academics pretty much anywhere. And that led to game theory and mathematical modeling on the survival benefits of cooperation, on searches for brain areas and functions that specialize in cooperation etc.

Which is not to say that some other societies aren't more cooperative than the US. But the US isn't the exclusive purveyor sociopathy, and those other countries aren't the exclusives purveyors of cooperation and trust, either. If you look back at the authoritarian paper, you'll see that even pacific Canada has its share at the end of the bell curve.


***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:19 AM

RUE


And a final reply for now - anyone who says homosexuality is a human social condition just needs to look at the research and observations of animal homosexuality. And there you will see its biological roots.

The same could be said about sociopathy. Now, we will never be able to go up to a chimp and ask - and how did that make you feel ? But there are wild chimps that seem to be randomly violent to the weak and helpless, to the point of appearing intentionally cruel. And they will do that even when peaceability would gain them so much more.

As for the other chimps, if the miscreant is smaller, he (I've only seen males behave like that though there might be females as well) will be marginalized. If he's big and strong and somehow attains 'leader' status he'll be -- overtly endured and covertly undermined. Yep, those females and other males will sneak off for quiet time together.

The main difference I see between us and chimps is that we set up structures that carry forward beyond any individual. Their sociopathy doesn't die with them. But that gets into the topic of the baboons and what does it take to revamp a society, which is too long for me to go into now.


***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:42 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

OTOH, many EARLY US studies which you cite were based on even earlier European studies and theories - alpha males, social Darwinism, Freud and his theory of the id, to point out a few.

Yeah, that whole "better men" and "born bad" crap that drives me so bonkers, prettymuch theoretically unchanged from the days of european nobility, bleh.

Thanks for the links, btw.. fascinating, though unsurprising, mostly.

Oh, and Cit ?

The French Revolution was one of them things that start for the best of reasons, but ran into that whole pesky unintended consequences thing - and from my understanding of it, about 2/3rds of the way through they realized the folks they were about to replace the nobility with were indeed just as bad and started lopping THIER heads off, and then it just became total chaos...

But you know, in the end, I bet they did manage to kill off a damn lot of the most warlike among them, which, given the historical record of French military conflicts, probably did them a favor.

The only thing worse than a warmonger, is an INCOMPETENT warmonger.

(Yes, that whole bit was just a wee lil bit sarcastic.)

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:16 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

So, what about the 80% of soldiers on the front line who could not bring themselves to fire their weapons, even when it was a really good idea?

Are we concerned at all about that statistic?

It seems to me that having a 5 percent Wolf population would not be so scary if 80% were not Sheep. (Apparently, 15% could become Wolves as needed.)

I'd love to believe that peaceful cooperation is the singular exclusive trait of survival for the future of the human race, but I frequently observe situations where judicious use of violence would be helpful. I see people sitting here worried about a minority who use violence without discrimination, and are glossing over the majority who are incapable of using violence even to save themselves.

If one extreme is an aberration, isn't the other extreme equally bad? Shouldn't we be worried about the crippled majority?

--Anthony



"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:02 PM

RUE


AnthonyT

There is a whole body of analysis on the role of 'cheaters' - those who don't live by the cooperative norm, who feed without remorse on others. The most recent mathematics - which I don't pretend to understand - indicates that due to the existence of 'durable goods' it's possible for cheaters to thrive on the goods left behind by cooperators, until there are so many of them (the cheaters) who are unwilling to maintain the system that the system itself crashes.

The outcome is a boom and bust cycle for economies, cultures and civilizations. Looking at history, I think there's ample evidence that such cycles occur. SOME civilizations figure a way out of that - some examples are given in the book Collapse, authored by Jared Diamond.

But the end result is that the capability to BE a cheater remains embedded in humanity at low levels. It never quite dies out. So it's up to society - that's us - to be smart enough and keep the cheaters from being empowered to - start wars for example.


***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:04 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

I'd love to believe that peaceful cooperation is the singular exclusive trait of survival for the future of the human race, but I frequently observe situations where judicious use of violence would be helpful. I see people sitting here worried about a minority who use violence without discrimination, and are glossing over the majority who are incapable of using violence even to save themselves.
I've long wondered if the downfall of the human species will come about NOT because we're so "warlike" but because we're TOO willing to believe what others tell us... as opposed to the evidence of our senses. It's a blessing and a curse. It allows us to build on abstract/ useful concepts like "electrons", but also on abstract/ dysfunctional concepts like "corporations".

After all, if 99% are getting screwed over (and I believe we are) then why are the 1% still in power?

---------------------------------
Any idea, no matter how much you may agree with it, can be radicalized and employed as an excuse for violence. There is no such thing as a righteous or untouchable philosophy, and when you start thinking that there is, you have become an extremist.- Finn Mac Cumhal

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:07 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Interesting point, Rue.

Alas, one of the "durable goods" that cooperators create is "language".

---------------------------------
Any idea, no matter how much you may agree with it, can be radicalized and employed as an excuse for violence. There is no such thing as a righteous or untouchable philosophy, and when you start thinking that there is, you have become an extremist.- Finn Mac Cumhal

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:56 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Oh, and Cit ?

The French Revolution was one of them things that start for the best of reasons, but ran into that whole pesky unintended consequences thing - and from my understanding of it, about 2/3rds of the way through they realized the folks they were about to replace the nobility with were indeed just as bad and started lopping THIER heads off, and then it just became total chaos...

But you know, in the end, I bet they did manage to kill off a damn lot of the most warlike among them, which, given the historical record of French military conflicts, probably did them a favor.

The only thing worse than a warmonger, is an INCOMPETENT warmonger.

(Yes, that whole bit was just a wee lil bit sarcastic.)


Sure, but doesn't that kinda prove my point?

The next century of French history is them lurching from one military dictatorship to another...



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:58 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
I've long wondered if the downfall of the human species will come about NOT because we're so "warlike" but because we're TOO willing to believe what others tell us... as opposed to the evidence of our senses. It's a blessing and a curse. It allows us to build on abstract/ useful concepts like "electrons", but also on abstract/ dysfunctional concepts like "corporations".

After all, if 99% are getting screwed over (and I believe we are) then why are the 1% still in power?


Corporations aren't so bad. It's the mistaken belief that Markets should be completely deregulated because they always produce optimal results that causes the problems, a fact most economists seem to be realising.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 5:57 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Sure, but doesn't that kinda prove my point?

The next century of French history is them lurching from one military dictatorship to another...


Ayeah, and run by the least warlike remainder of a folk that was militarily incompetent in the first place, meh heh heh...

The French do love their irony, don't they ?

Also, Anthony ?

There's a difference between someone defending home and hearth, willing to bust caps over it - and a draftee forced under threat of arms to serve in a foreign country in a war they do not necessarily believe is a good idea, busting caps at people under orders.

You might find, at least in the vietnam war, that many of the folk unwilling to pull a trigger on the NVA, were in fact more than willing to pull it on their own officers had they thought it possible to get away with it.

That's one of the better reasons for not using conscripts, actually, and I am sure the practice had a great deal to do with folks unwilling to fire at people they might have had less of a gripe with then their own nominal superiors.

Worth a second thought, that is.

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:49 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Ayeah, and run by the least warlike remainder of a folk that was militarily incompetent in the first place, meh heh heh...

The French do love their irony, don't they ?

I'm not sure about that, Napolean was far from 'the least warlike remainder' nor 'militarily incompetent'. In fact it was his military genius that very nearly swept Europe aside in a conflict only matched by the First and Second World Wars over a century later.

It took a coalition of every surviving major European nation led by the British to halt Napolean. His namesake of the Third French Empire in the 1860's wasn't all that much better either.

As for Irony, I find it ironic that it was the success of the American War of Independence, something probably not possible if it weren't for French Assistance, that gave the French the idea in the first place. An early form of political foreign policy blowback perhaps?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:45 PM

RUE


So, to move on forward ...

WHY doesn't revolution help humans quite so effectively as eliminating violent baboons did ?

Well, I think that it's because humans build languages, ideas, impersonal social structures and rules, and even physical goods. Unlike baboons and chimps, with these we humans carry the past into the future even after the sociopath is gone.

And as I mentioned above, the capacity to be sociopathic resides at a residual level in our genes. If we didn't have the genes for it, it would be impossible. It would be like expecting a species without eyes to see.

So the genetic endowment is there in at least some of us, and simply getting rid of the sociopaths doesn't work over the long haul.



There was another study which I found interesting. In it people from 'non-monetary' societies were asked to play a sharing game. These societies ran the gamut - from small independent family groups in sharp competition with other families in the jungle, to small villages of herdsmen jostling with fellow villagers for status but quite eager to share with people from other villages who couldn't threaten their standing, to fishing communities competing with other fishing communities for food resources, to African villages where hunted food was shared equally no matter who did the hunting and the sharing was enforced by everyone in the village, and so on. The game was partly to see what was considered 'fair'.

But among the background facts was that the researchers could find NO correlation between physical economy and social structure. What mattered to people in terms of how they divided up resources was WHAT THEY TOLD THEMSELVES 'PEOPLE' WERE LIKE. In fact, while all sorts of economic arrangements were equally viable, each group lived by what they considered to be the model of 'human nature' and 'what the world is like'. So I find arguments based on 'human nature' to be irrelevant. (That includes social Darwinism arguments for capitalism which claim that it's 'natural'.)

What we tell ourselves we are like is more important than anything else.



And I'll have to get back to this later.


***************************************************************
Global warming - it's not just a fact, it's a choice.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:53 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

That last statement reminds me of a quote I heard somewhere, but cannot attribute:

"You are what you pretend to be."

--Anthony

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, August 29, 2008 4:37 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

"You are what you pretend to be."



Vonnegut.

Mike

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, August 29, 2008 6:25 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Goes right back to one of my favorite things to say...

"I don't care what you BELIEVE, I care what you DO."

Usually followed by the less common, but still heartfelt...

"What you do, is who you are."

It is by a persons conduct that we determine the truth of them, not intent, not belief, or what they say - in the end, it's what they DO, that matters.

That's kinda how I wound up with the UU, but that tale for another time.

-F

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, September 5, 2008 6:43 PM

RUE


It's been a while since I've been here, but it wasn't for lack of interest.

My idea lies somewhere between "man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal" (Heinlein) and "we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be" (Vonnegut).

There are limits to thought. Roughly 90% of what goes on inside us isn't accessible by thought. And no matter how much we pretend, we'll never sprout wings and fly. On the other hand, what we tell ourselves the world is and who we are - our paradigms - determines whether we'll rip the still-beating hearts out of captives to sacrifice to the gods, or be able to entrust our children to strangers on the sidewalk while we shop in the store.

What I hope I was doing was bringing up the problem with paradigms.

And here is where I'm going with that - paradigms are like species. They originate from pervasive and therefore imperceptible environmental characteristics - the drift of continents, the invention of agriculture; from very immediate and trivial influences - the color of a feather, the presence of a particular leader; and anything in between.

But once formed, we humans imbue our paradigms with permanence: humans do these things we do because of reincarnation, or the gods, or god, or because it's human nature, or that's the way the world works. Always has been, always will be, forever and ever, amen.

And we live by them, support them, teach our children them, kill and die to defend them - clueless to the fact that they are near-random in their origins, and that pretty much anything in the full range of human behavior is equally possible. We are like horses with blinkers on - useful, tractable and not free.

Anyway, I'll need to get back to this later.


***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, September 5, 2008 7:06 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

That's kind of beautiful, the way you eloquently stated your case there.

It actually reminds me of Dianetics. Please don't become angry or offended by the referene. I had the pleasure of reading a very old copy of Dianetics before I learned it was the Bible to a wacky religion. Some of the details of Dianetics are poppycock, but there's an underlying philosophy that's right on.

In the book Dianetics, the concept exists that we humans are like robots, fulfilling programming that we're not even aware of. The idea is that throughout our lives and perhaps especially in the early years, we are exposed to experiences that shape us. Not all of these experiences are positive, and most of their effects are subconscious. We are often not even aware of the plethora of programming that drives us, and so we find ourselves helpless to direct the course of our lives.

The basic premise of Dianetics, and here I strip away the weird details and psychological missteps, is that we need to figure out what is driving us, acknowledge it, and discard it if it isn't helpful. The Dianetic ideal is to be a person of reason, 'clear' from all the subconscious drivers and programs directing our behavior, so that we can choose, free for the first time, what it is exactly that we wish to do.

It's too bad Dianetics didn't stick to that basic idea, instead descending into pseudo-hypnosis and wacky theories and apparently eventually devolving into a religion about Mr. X from Planet Y and the Alien people Z and using a tricorder to read your hoopla, etc.

--Anthony



"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 6, 2008 1:20 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Same basic premise as me banging the "question all that you perceive" drum alla time.

My niece is especially helpful in this, as children don't have a lotta preconceptions that adults do, and is quite fond of the phrase...
"That doesn't make any sense!"

Outta the mouths of babes, I tellya.

-F

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 3:16 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:

...It's a blessing and a curse. It allows us to build on abstract/ useful concepts like "electrons", but also on abstract/ dysfunctional concepts like "corporations".

After all, if 99% are getting screwed over (and I believe we are) then why are the 1% still in power?




The 1% are still in power because they have the 'money' (GOLD) , the Guns , and the Gorramned Lawyers...

Heck , a LOT of 'em ARE Lawyers !

BTW , Frem , I still want to ask...Just WHAT IS 'Piss-Shop-athy' , anyway ?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 4:01 PM

RUE


Hi SignyM

In your one post are you referring to the study of human children and chimps (?) where the chimps quickly figured out which actions were bogus while the children kept doing the same things over by rote, even when they could see that certain actions were pointless ?

Also, I think that science has an essential difference from other paradigms. It requires that you test and check your ideas against reality in different ways. In that way it differs from belief.

And still, despite that, the person who sees what everyone else sees but in a new way is the one who makes the breakthroughs - Newton and gravity (though he didn't discover what gravity is, he mathematically described the motion of two objects toward each other - the apple to the earth, and the infinitesimal motion of the earth to the apple); and Darwin and natural selection magnifying small differences into distinct species.


***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 4:32 PM

RUE


To continue on forward ----

I think that it's pretty obvious to everyone at this point that I find the unexamined paradigm to be the major human failing.

As I mentioned in another thread, the overwhelming human history has been one of societal extinction - of families, groups, tribes, villages, cultures and civilizations. Over all the millennia of humanity nothing is left but the most recent versions. Societies however large or small may go on for 100 years, or 500, or 1000, but they then fail, usually leaving nothing behind, occasionally empty skeletons and, very rarely, rubble or buildings. But of their culture, there is no remnant in current society. And so we don't honor Isis, or Hunab Ku. Their ideas died with them.

In his book 'Collapse' Jared Diamond examines the factors contributing to societies that collapsed - and compares them to societies that didn't. But the distinguishing feature of the successful societies is that instead of marching to their cultural drummer right over the cliff, they followed their paradigms up to the edge ....... and stepped back. They realized that they couldn’t go on in the same way indefinitely. They had to reexamine core values and assumptions, and change them in order to survive. And they did.

Now, in Diamond's book the failed paradigms weren't necessarily sociopathic, sometimes they were just mal-adapted (real Greenlanders keep dairy cows and don't eat fish !). But in the US I see a lot of pernicious paradigms fueling our culture and economy, that one way or another aren't sustainable and will lead us over the metaphorical cliff, if we chose to follow them.

I've been working on a list, but it's not complete, and it's late, so it will have to wait for later.

But I really hope other people chime in on this whole topic.


***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 5:46 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I'm not sure I can agree with the idea of societies dying without a trace.

When a society dies from anything other than an all-sweeping instantaneous disaster, the people from that society move on and create a new society.

That new society, being made by people from the last society, carries on and evolves the culture of the last society. They no doubt adapt beliefs and practices to their new environs and situation, but I doubt they forget everything they ever knew or believed when they are starting over.

--Anthony

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 7:18 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Many... prolly most... societies have disappeared w/o meaningful continuation. Thousands of native american cultures disappeared and the only trace they left behind was quaint place-names like Cheektowaga and Miami and Ohio.

---------------------------------
Any idea, no matter how much you may agree with it, can be radicalized and employed as an excuse for violence. There is no such thing as a righteous or untouchable philosophy, and when you start thinking that there is, you have become an extremist.- Finn Mac Cumhal

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 7:35 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Many... prolly most... societies have disappeared w/o meaningful continuation. Thousands of native american cultures disappeared and the only trace they left behind was quaint place-names like Cheektowaga and Miami and Ohio.




Or , Miami of Ohio...

http://www.miami.muohio.edu /

" Miami to add Tibetan study abroad program...

Miami University has signed a memorandum of understanding with The Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) and the College for Higher Tibetan Studies (CHTS) to establish a semester-long study program for Miami students in Dharamasala, India. "

College for Higher Tibetan Studies ?

Wonder if they do field trips on the Tibetan Plateau ?

That's pretty high in the first place...

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 7, 2008 7:53 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

That's true. But then there are other types of societies that still persist because their people moved on, reformed, adapted, resettled, and changed as needed... but also carried on some aspect of what they were. One might say their respective societies didn't die, but rather evolved.

The Middle East seems to have some examples of this, with Jewish and Muslim societies that carry on from ancient sources. Farther East, places like India still carry on customs and practices from before Christ. Even though the Modern India and Israel and Palestine are not the same as their ancient ancestral nations, can we not say they are the continuing evolution of those ancient societies?

And so, isn't every nation with a strong Christian heritage also carrying on some ancient Jewish traditions, preserving a part of an ancient society?

And even if Germany were to mysteriously disappear tomorrow, wouldn't we be carrying on a small part of their culture every time we bite into a Big Mac or a Bratwurst?

Don't we recall traditions from ancient Greece and Rome when we go to a Ballpark, Football Game, or Concert Hall?

While I wished that ancient societies and civilizations were better preserved, I can't buy into the fact that they vanish without a trace. We are them. Even most genocides were incomplete (although the Spanish tried *hard* here in the Americas.)

If anything, human society, during its short existence, has proven resilient and adaptive, and I think we do see echoes of ancient lost societies even in our present lives.

--Anthony

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 8, 2008 8:50 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

In your one post are you referring to the study of human children and chimps (?) where the chimps quickly figured out which actions were bogus while the children kept doing the same things over by rote, even when they could see that certain actions were pointless ?

Could y'all get me a copy of or link to that study ?

I wanna look it over, cause I have found that while many humans may react that way, SOME do not, and those do seem to be the vessels for such sea changes that you speak of...

Be useful to know if there was some early identifying characteristics, yes ?

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 12:45 PM

RUE


Hi AnthonyT

Sorry for the confusion.

Some civilizations do indeed die out by having all or most of their people die - for example the Greenlanders who went extinct, or the Easter Islanders who were reduced to very low numbers surviving in part on cannibalism.

But the broad sweep of history shows that cultures die out without a trace.

For example, the Egyptian Empire in the form we know it - with hawk-faced gods and mummies and so on - lasted from about 2300 BC to about 900 BC. That's a long time. And it still existed a short while ago, relatively speaking, only 3000 years more or less. But if you were to look at Egypt today for some trace of that Egyptian culture, I'm not sure you could find it. No one worships those gods (they are now Muslim mostly Sunni 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%), speaks that language, writes in hieroglyphics, builds pyramids, or obeys a pharaoh.

And it's a similar story for the thousands on thousands of cultures that have ever existed over the entire time of the human species.

So my point is that our ideas of the world and ourselves, which we tend to think of as coming from some universal permanent place (the gods, human nature), are insubstantial temporary things.

With that in mind, it might be helpful to examine them in that light.


***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 10:26 AM

RUE


I haven't forgotten to post a list of our dangerous unexamined paradigms - but in the meantime I've been diverted by a secondary idea that I don't have time to pursue in a rigorous way (if only I was retired ...)

For anyone who's familiar with modeling or knows something about it ... (SignyM, Finn, Citizen) ... a very crude type of modeling is simplex optimization. It seems to me simplex optimization has a lot in common with evolution: the result can be influenced by starting point (existing species in a static system), discreteness of steps (both are discreet), size of step (small existing variations in a population v major mutation), direction of step (toward or away from optimum), number of dimensions (both accommodate n dimensions or in the case of species evolution, many characteristics), and most importantly, given the above factors, the greater or lesser chance that the result will settle on a local optimum rather than the maximum.

I did a quick search and couldn’t find any studies about this topic directly. Any thoughts on the usefulness of a variant of simplex optimization as a model for evolution ?


***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 11:26 AM

SWISH


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
I did a quick search and couldn’t find any studies about this topic directly. Any thoughts on the usefulness of a variant of simplex optimization as a model for evolution ?

Uh... I don't know about that, and I'm not even sure what this thread is about, but I must butt in to say that some years back I wrote a genetic algorithm to solve an optimization problem. So, the evolutionary process served as a basis for a computer program to do inverse modeling. It was cool. Geek heaven.

http://www.obitko.com/tutorials/genetic-algorithms/ga-basic-descriptio
n.php

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 12:01 PM

KIRKULES


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:

for example the Greenlanders who went extinct,



That's what they say about Neanderthal Man. I still don't believe it.
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-neanderthal9-2008aug09,0,25
05489.story


Tonight 9:00pm National Geographic Channel
Neanderthal Code
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/neanderthal-code-3228/Ov
erview?sicontent=0&sicreative=2606220592&siclientid=804&sitrackingid=44778626&source=sem_ngc_83


NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 12:11 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Kirkules:
That's what they say about Neanderthal Man. I still don't believe it.
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-neanderthal9-2008aug09,0,25
05489.story


Tonight 9:00pm National Geographic Channel
Neanderthal Code
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/neanderthal-code-3228/Ov
erview?sicontent=0&sicreative=2606220592&siclientid=804&sitrackingid=44778626&source=sem_ngc_83



Well, the fact that the Original Norse settlers on Greenland died out isn't in the slightest open for dispute. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have missed a couple of Vikings running around Greenland.

Don't believe what you like. I don't see any Neanderthals running around, and your cites support that position.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 12:29 PM

KIRKULES


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Quote:

Originally posted by Kirkules:
That's what they say about Neanderthal Man. I still don't believe it.


Well, the fact that the Original Norse settlers on Greenland died out isn't in the slightest open for dispute. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have missed a couple of Vikings running around Greenland.

Don't believe what you like. I don't see any Neanderthals running around, and your cites support that position.


I think I understand what you're saying. It's like when all the Russians moved out of the Chernobyl site after the accident, that makes Russians extinct. It's not impossible for a culture/society to move without becoming extinct. Just like it's possible that Neanderthal interbred with modern man instead of going extinct. I realise that the evidence is pointing the other way, but the possibility still exists.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Getting fit by 3mins of exercise a week?
Thu, July 24, 2014 20:22 - 85 posts
Running of the Bulls 2014
Thu, July 24, 2014 20:19 - 20 posts
Meanwhile in Gaza.
Thu, July 24, 2014 19:06 - 2 posts
Isis 'orders female genital mutilation' for women in Mosul
Thu, July 24, 2014 18:25 - 19 posts
DICK Cheney is the single worst thing to ever happen to our country.
Thu, July 24, 2014 18:19 - 30 posts
‘PHONY SCANDAL ALERT!’ Disbelief after IRS claims Lois Lerner emails have been ‘lost’
Thu, July 24, 2014 18:14 - 47 posts
This Gal Really Really Needs Her Abortion Rights, Really!
Thu, July 24, 2014 18:11 - 91 posts
NOAA Quietly Changes Warmest Year Back to 1936 Without Comment
Thu, July 24, 2014 17:56 - 93 posts
US: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military
Thu, July 24, 2014 17:29 - 7 posts
Benghazi II?
Thu, July 24, 2014 17:01 - 12 posts
65 Outrageous Lies By Barack Obama
Thu, July 24, 2014 17:00 - 11 posts
DOJ finally decides to investigate !
Thu, July 24, 2014 16:56 - 12 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL

OUR SPONSORS