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Author Topic: Nation Tunes In To See Which Sociopath More Likable This Time  (Read 1331 times)
Arto
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October 18, 2012, 10:41:02 AM
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HEMPSTEAD, NY--According to reports, millions of viewers across the country are expected to tune in to tonight's town-hall-style presidential debate at Hofstra University in order to determine which complete and utter sociopath they find more likable this time around.

"I'm very curious to see which one of these two clinically sociopathic individuals will present the most convincing and authentic approximation of an actual human conscience tonight," said Cincinnati-area voter Miranda Harrick, 40, adding that both candidates, like all successful politicians, were undeniably skilled at such calculated artifice. "I think whoever is able to best manipulate me into thinking they experience normative emotional states such as empathy and regret will probably have my vote come November, so I'm excited to see what happens."

The debate figures to be especially important for undecided voters, 91 percent of whom said in a pre-debate poll that they were still waiting for one sociopath to win them over with the perfect combination of superficial charm, deluded grandeur, and pathological lying.

According to polls, viewer consensus following the first debate suggested Mitt Romney had performed a far more convincing impersonation of someone with real feelings and a capacity for human compassion. Voters praised the former governor's ability to conceal his complete social disconnection and underlying hostility behind a wall of colloquial rhetoric and an approximation of warmth they described as "much more realistic" than Obama's.

"Last debate, Romney was a great sociopath," said Florida voter Jeff Yu, 28, who remarked that the Republican candidate's impressive ability to simulate the appearance of caring had improved markedly since the beginning of the campaign. "He looked very comfortable and confident up there, even against a seasoned sociopath like Obama. He really helped me ignore the reality that to him, as to any politician, social interaction is nothing but a never-ending game of deception and psychological subterfuge, the only object of which is personal gain."

Following Obama's noticeable hesitancy during the first debate, many of his supporters expressed worry that he was struggling to effect emotional normalcy with the same single-minded cunning and feigned humanity he exhibited in 2008. They agreed the pressure is now on the president to show that he has not forgotten how to callously manipulate the American public into thinking he is anything at all like them.

"I want to see that same beguiling sociopath who, four years ago, conned me into believing his psyche was somehow differently wired from every other charming, sociopathic politician who had ever lived," said Obama supporter Phoebe Greenwald, 43. "What happened to all his seemingly earnest, though of course meticulously contrived, rhetoric about hope and change that made us all like him and think he was in some way psychologically healthy and well-adjusted, which of course no human being in the history of modern politics ever has been?"

"Obama just needs to do what [sociopathic Vice President] Joe Biden did last week," Greenwald added. "I mean, he masterfully out-sociopathed Paul Ryan, which is no easy task, believe me."

No matter the outcome of tonight's debate, sources agreed that the most talented sociopath will likely be elected in November and, depending on what kind of support he might receive from like-minded sociopaths in Congress, will then spend the next four years satisfying his malformed brain's ceaseless thirst for power and glory.

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October 18, 2012, 12:43:21 PM
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There is a difference between sociopaths and psychopaths. Read The Sociopath Next Door to learn more about the former:

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people--one in twenty-five--has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know--someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for--is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

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October 18, 2012, 01:48:03 PM
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There is a difference between sociopaths and psychopaths. Read The Sociopath Next Door to learn more about the former:

Hmm, I've seen those wikipedia articles before and it still gives me the same suspicions as before. It seems there's a lot of money being made by the US medical industry for coming up with huge lists of vague symptoms where 1) there's "something for everyone", 2) it's basically incurable, but 3) some symptoms can sort-of be managed on an ongoing basis, and 4) everyone else better watch out because the nearest one is probably in YOUR neighbourhood! Wink
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October 18, 2012, 02:09:55 PM
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Hmm, I've seen those wikipedia articles before and it still gives me the same suspicions as before. It seems there's a lot of money being made by the US medical industry for coming up with huge lists of vague symptoms where 1) there's "something for everyone", 2) it's basically incurable, but 3) some symptoms can sort-of be managed on an ongoing basis, and 4) everyone else better watch out because the nearest one is probably in YOUR neighbourhood! Wink

You are referring to psychiatric diagnosis, and you're quite right about the many problems plaguing that, to the extent that one might hesitate to call it an actual science:

The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan in 1973. It was published in the journal Science under the title "On being sane in insane places." The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis.

[The study] was done in two parts. The first part involved the use of healthy associates or "pseudopatients" (three women and five men) who briefly simulated auditory hallucinations in an attempt to gain admission to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in five different states in various locations in the United States. All were admitted and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. After admission, the pseudopatients acted normally and told staff that they felt fine and had not experienced any more hallucinations. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and agree to take antipsychotic drugs as a condition of their release.

The second part of his study involved an offended hospital challenging Rosenhan to send pseudopatients to its facility, whom its staff would then detect. Rosenhan agreed and in the following weeks out of 193 new patients the staff identified 41 as potential pseudopatients, with 19 of these receiving suspicion from at least 1 psychiatrist and 1 other staff member. In fact Rosenhan had sent no one to the hospital.

The study concluded, "It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals".

Another good read on this is Bruce Levine's recent article on why anti-authoritarians are diagnosed as mentally ill by psychologists and psychiatrists. Certainly many reasons for concern.

However, if you are suggesting that sociopaths don't exist, you're quite mistaken. I refer you to the book I mentioned earlier, which will prove very enlightening on this point. I'm certain you can find a pirate copy of the book on the various torrent networks if you'd like to browse through it.

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October 18, 2012, 02:21:59 PM
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They're people whom lack control of their ego.

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October 18, 2012, 03:35:16 PM
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There is a difference between sociopaths and psychopaths. Read The Sociopath Next Door to learn more about the former:

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people--one in twenty-five--has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know--someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for--is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.


I think conscience can be conditioned out of someone based on situation.  In fact, in believe that in certain job roles it's impossible to operate without giving up some amount of shame and guilt.

Which would make me believe that the best at certain jobs are the natural sociopaths.  Depending on setting I believe the 4% is a low estimation.
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October 18, 2012, 03:37:42 PM
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I think a good analogy is the movie industry.  Rich guys get together to make more money by hiring actors who people will pay money to look at.  The only difference is the amount of money involved.

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October 20, 2012, 04:49:11 PM
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The history of politics is the history of psychopathology - from Genghis Khan to Hitler.
The only people in society who should be under 24 hour surveillance are politicians and anyone who has an interest in becoming a politician.
The most evil people who have ever existed were all politicians and we need to fucking tag them.
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October 21, 2012, 03:28:31 PM
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The history of politics is the history of psychopathology - from Genghis Khan to Hitler.
The only people in society who should be under 24 hour surveillance are politicians and anyone who has an interest in becoming a politician.
The most evil people who have ever existed were all politicians and we need to fucking tag them.

I've heard that many times, but ironically if we take your argument to it's logical conclusion, then you're either being too cynical, or society is better off with a dictatorship or monarchy.

Monarchy = a family of rich slaves who are expected to lead, even though they don't want to.

Dictator = a leader who emerges from the rubble of earlier conflicts/coups/"humanitarian aid", and is typically very competent -- and ruthless -- exactly what everyone wants in a harsh chaotic environment! Pot-smoking Anarchists, take note.

No, we just need to tag them and record them 24 hours a day - let's have politicians, but let's control them. Let's remind them how evil they are - remind the president or prime minister that he is responsible for more innocent deaths than Harold Shipman. Ask him how he feels about it at every opportunity.
Dictators and Monarchs are politicians too - they use their political skills to stay in power.
We have democracy so let's use it to control these psychos.
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October 22, 2012, 05:20:05 PM
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...
No, we just need to tag them and record them 24 hours a day - let's have politicians, but let's control them. Let's remind them how evil they are - remind the president or prime minister that he is responsible for more innocent deaths than Harold Shipman. Ask him how he feels about it at every opportunity.
Dictators and Monarchs are politicians too - they use their political skills to stay in power.
We have democracy so let's use it to control these psychos.

OK you've got a point there. So, who's we? And how do we implement your plan? Cheesy

Me and my friends (not real friends; people from the internet who have been kind to me) - we have made banners (in gif format) and we have a chant:  'stop being psychopaths! it just makes people shit their pants'.  
Let's do this!
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