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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why doesn't sociopathy spread like wildfire?

A commenter, "GT," noticed that Casey Anthony had broken her silence recently and posted a link to an article about her on the post about her here.

He mentioned that she is "still 100% grade A sociopath," and gave some examples to prove his point.

I agreed, and pointed out that my favorite line in the article he linked was:

"Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total badass" [said Anthony.]

I then pointed out that Anthony was actually right: a girl whose only influence is her sociopathic mother is almost certainly going to turn out to be a sociopath herself, and Caylee probably would have been a badass.

GT then asked an interesting question:

I hope for Caylee's sake her grandmother would have provided a positive female role model. Caylee's grandmother was the one that reported her missing when the mother (Casey) kept making excuses about her daughters location. I could envision that Caylee would have grown up looking for a mother's love but never finding it.

On to a more specific point that I have been thinking about for awhile. If sociopaths are created, which I think in the vast majority of cases they are, what keeps the sociopathic population at 3%? It seems that it would start to snowball after awhile; like a virus. A sociopathic father or Mother could create several sociopathic offspring and so on and so on... Would love to hear your thoughts.

I agree that sociopaths are for the most part created by their environments, so I completely agree with the premise of GT's question.

I wrote here about how sociopathy is in fact evolutionarily adaptive as long as they're a small fraction of the population to fly beneath the radar. So one force that keeps sociopathy in stasis is that if they ever became a sizable fraction of the population, people would get wise to their ways, and they wouldn't be able to get away with their devious tactics as easily.

But how exactly does the proportion of sociopaths in a population stay in check? Part of the answer must lie in the strong natural maternal instinct: unless that instinct is somehow abused and twisted at an early age, it will emerge. It seems quite possible for orphaned girls to feel affectionate and protective toward their children even if they themselves did not receive much love as children. We see that protectiveness throughout the animal kingdom, and if that instinct were not powerful, species would simply go extinct.

Mankind's natural state simply doesn't seem to be sociopathy. Only extreme circumstances can foster it. Even if you have one parent who is a sociopath, having another who is not could conceivably prevent it.

Another part of the equation is that those females -- like Casey Anthony -- who lack the maternal instinct are less likely to have children who survive to reproductive age themselves. You needn't even be murderous for that to happen; merely careless and neglectful.

We're lucky that sociopathy does not generally spread beyond 3% of the population, but in fact, it's not just luck. Nature has predisposed us -- especially mothers -- toward empathy, and that's what keeps the proportion of sociopaths at a relatively manageable level.

Evolution gave us certain instincts for good reason; and the same instincts which help us survive as a species seem to keep sociopathy to a minimum.


Jokah Macpherson said...

A man can produce thousands of offspring in his lifetime while a woman can produce at most only a dozen or two. That's why I don't understand why the proportion of people who are men stays in check at around 50%.

Anonymous said...

It seems like a comparison could be made to the mother and daughter of Hillary Clinton. In reading about Hillary's background it appears that her mother was a sociopath, Hillary of course exhibits sociopathy, not sure about Chelsea yet.

In spite of her upbringing by a sociopath and with all the negative media attention and her probable knowledge that she is not Bill's daughter, she seems like a well adjusted thoughtful person.

Maybe over time with the influence of an attentive father figure the effects of sociopathy can be dimimished in females.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I have not gotten the impression that Chelsea is well-adjusted and thoughtful, to be honest. And her father, or father figure, is a sociopath himself. I think that Clinton marriage is one of the rare cases where two sociopaths married each other. I wrote about Bill here:

Anonymous said...

It can't be purely genetic of course. But I do wonder why it seems so unbroken historically especially with tyrants. Why would Ghengis khans descendants take part in atrocities, its not like every single child a sociopath has will be a sociopath that will birth more sociopaths. But we keep seeing tyrants having tyrants as children too consistently. I talked about Kim Jong Un with my mom and asked about sociopathy. She said "Sociopaths include 1-4% of the population, but if you are talking about people who are just really messed up like Kim Jong Un that's like 10% of everyone).

John Craig said...

Anon --
Yes, tyrants do seem to beget tyrants. Papa Doc Duvalier had Baby Doc Duvalier. Saddam Hussein had Uday and Qusay, and as you point out, Kim Jong il begat Kim Jong un. You're right, the list goes on.

By the way, I'm not sure I'd include Genghis Khan among those types of sociopaths. The Mongols were particularly fierce warriors, and Genghis was their leader, but when taking over new Chinese cities he would generally avoid bloodshed when he could. And if you look into his life, he was regarded as a wise leader if not always a benevolent one. In the past 850 years his name has become synonymous with bloodthirstiness and gore, and he was certainly capable of being rapacious, but he was also a great man inches own way. I've always thought that the famous quote from him, about how man's highest job is in conquest, may have been said for effect, rather than a reflection of how he really felt. (Better to have your enemies fear you, that way they won't put up resistance and you won't have to do battle with them.)

Anyway, to your point: I'm not surebwhat your mother meant by "really messed up," but yes, some of this seems to be situational. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If I were somehow magically given absolute dictatorial powers somewhere, and I could do whatever I pleased without fear of consequence, would I be well behaved? I can almost assure you, the answer to that is, no, I wouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

Evidence shows that when performing a task and thinking about money, it makes people less generous. Narcissism can have a genetic basis, but there is a basic level every human may have that can be acquired with enough wealth or fame. Of the cluster b conditions, I suspect narcissism has the greatest environmental basis (though there is a genetic component probably). Had an uncle, wasn't narcissistic, but then he became super religious and suddenly became a textbook example. The others are more genetic, but I still have no clue what histrionic is.


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
It's always been my impression that the Cluster B conditions are mostly environmental in origin. (And I believe mostly in a genetic basis for practically everything else, including intelligence.) If you look at the personal histories of serial killers, for instance, there's almost always abuse early on. And many times it's really horrific abuse. And it's also always been my impression that while outright abuse from the parents is likely to create a sociopath, mere neglect is likely to cause narcissism (if your parents don't love you, then you end up "loving" yourself in a blind way). These are obviously not hard and fast rules, and I've seen plenty of exceptions, but there does seem to be a correlation.

I've always seen narcissism as sociopathy's "baby brother." (A very unscientific, over-generalized way of looking at it, but also sometimes helpful.)

Anonymous said...

I read some conspiracy articles about how some of the wealthiest elite families or people in high positions deliberately torture and abuse their children, locking them in cages, beating them, cutting their backs with blades, sexual abuse, in order to mind control them into becoming one of them. It then gets a little strange when some try to tie it in to satanism or reptillian aliens, the illuminati and such. But what do you think? Is sociopathization going on on purpose somewhere?


Anonymous said...
A video about it, I actually burst out laughing at the part where Alex Jones goes on about maggots and vomit art bought by the rich and wealthy. It's so stupid its hard to believe, and I am more likely to believe they do this because if they even do, because it seems edgy and is what's "in style".

Stupid romanticization of being a depraved bastard has been going on for ages, from De Sades works to modern "art". The difference is De Sade was actually ordered to be arrested by Napoleon since he read one of his books and was so pissed off he had him jailed, but we have all this pseudo occultism and "art" nowadays being done for its own sake if it is.

If any sort of satan worship is going on, it is done with fake blood and manuscripts created by a madman a few decades ago passing it off as a tomb from 5000 BC, it is not done by people who believe Satan literally exists as a person, but people who want to believe they believe he exists and they are partaking in something so unusual that they are really some supernatural elite rather than a bunch of losers with power they happened upon through earthly means and chance.


John Craig said...

Ga --
that's the first I've heard of that, and to tell the truth, it seems unlikely to me. I've never heard of sociopathy being cultivated by design anywhere.

John Craig said...

Ga --
That's a 38 minute video, I'm not going to watch the entire thing, but I did see the first four minutes and it struck me as ridiculous. Yes, there are some rich people who have noting to do and get bored and think they are somehow being "outre" and maybe even artistic with their perverse pretensions, but they are rare. And dysfunctional people pop up in all sectors of society, for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about Alex Jones? He is right on some things, that there is plenty of stupid corruption and horrific evil by many powerful people in secret (I think about pizzagate), but the satanism? If there is a pizzagate, maybe it's done because they are a bunch of perverted pedophiles indulging themselves for their own pleasure, not because "lucifer hath commanded thy kin to carry my seeds of evil which shall be fueled with blood sacrifice" or "the reptillians are to harness our evil psychic energy to fuel their intergalactic conquest for more resources".
Alex Jones probably doesn't believe in lucifer or reptillians, but I think he may believe that the elite falsely believe in those things and do it because of that.

A quote by alan moore:

"The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy
theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting.
The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is
not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot
reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more
frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless."

"Yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of
conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those
conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns.
If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing
to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody
on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead.

It is true there are conspiracies to do evil by many governments, pedophilia rings among the elite, and plans to manipulate us. But it's been going on for ages, and many of the people who engage in such horrible scheming are not all united under some banner, many even compete or get in eachother's way.

If there is one overarching conspiracy for the entire world, they either are doing a poor job with all the setbacks and confusion meaning they aren't in total control, or they would be doing such a good job there would be fewer traces so we wouldn't know who they are.

Simplest answer is humans with too much power just become huge assholes. And the world is chaotic and rudderless with so much bad happening because of incompetency and deluded beliefs. When you look at many suicide bombers, there is an element of stupidity behind their motivations. The belief they will be literally rewarded with 72 virgins. Some of the people in charge no doubt are psychopaths, but it can only be sustained with stupid beliefs or it will all fall apart if any of them wisen up.

Hanlon's Razor: don't assume malice when stupidity is an adequate explanation. At least, not the first time.

During WW2, Chiang Kai Shek, the Chinese general in charge was retreating with his forces from the Japanese after they kept capturing town after town, city after city, he was hoping he could delay them long enough for the US and Soviets to win the war for him. He ordered a dam to be broken to slow the Japanese down, it ended up killing 800,000 people since the water flowed in the wrong direction and the Japanese were still chasing him just as fast. Stupidity killed a ton of people.


Anonymous said...

"I was reading this morning on nbc news about the sultan of oman...buying artwork, buckets of maggots...they love buckets of maggots...images of dead children covered in maggots...crystal skulls...formaldehyde with cows covered in gold....jesus covered in maggots...they'll spend ten twenty million a piece...they'll spend 99 million on one of them...and the artists all have names like Damien, and have body modifications, these chicken necked cowards flutter in there an all the elite flutter in and buy...that's who rules things, that's who runs things...imagine having a JAR OF MAGGOTS! covered in some rotten flesh, or dead babies covered in maggots, but because of laws they'll say they are all fake babies covered in maggots...images of demons eating babies...images of maggots covering everything...maggots and cans of human feces...for millions of dollars a piece...and they'll tell you "we buy 99 million dollars buckets of maggots because we appreciate the maggots"...they are the rotten flesh maggot cult!"

So if Obama, Hilary Clinton, the Queen of England ever invite you to their house, decline if they want to show you their art collection in the back room.

Alex Jones, a very interesting person with an undiagnosed chronic phobia of insect larvae.
Also does part time as an unintentional comedian.


John Craig said...

Ga --
I just read the Wiki entry on Alex Jones. I hadn't really been aware of him before, though I'd been to Infowars a couple of times. I believe that conspiracies exist, sure, but I don't think that Sandy Hook was one of them. To deny all conspiracies is simply to be naive, and whenever someone is guilt of colluding with someone in some sort of plot they can dismiss the allegations against them by calling whoever is accusing them a "conspiracy theorist" to make him sound like a nut. But when you think about it, lots of things are conspiracies, they just aren't called that. Every Presidential campaign is essentially a "conspiracy" by a bunch of people to elevate someone to the highest office in the land, and much of what they do is not made public, least of all their underhanded tactics. So, technically, those are all conspiracies.

Yes, I agree, there are incompetent people everywhere who derail their own plans. Plus, as always, luck has a great deal to do with outcomes.

John Craig said...

Ga --
BTW, I wasn't sure what to make of Pizzagate. I talked to people who said they thought it sounded ridiculous at first, but the more they heard, the more real it sounded. I didn't follow it closely. The media sure showed absolutely no interest in it other than to dismiss it peremptorily, a 180 degree difference in their attitude from anything Trump-connected.

Anonymous said...

You only need to see the first 15 seconds of these videos to get an idea of what kind of guy he is. (Maybe it's an act?)

Alex Jones is strange. I wonder if something heavy hit his head when he was a child.

Pizza gate is more believable if you look at it as just a pedophile ring by a bunch of perverts (which there are many of, and many more that are far more competent, possibly with less deliberate "outre" symbolism, and bigger/organized as a business than a past-time, like the human child sex trafficking in southeast Asian countries which could dwarf pizzagate's victims by x100).

Not part of a satan worshipping/illuminati/reptiloid indoctrinated cult. The mainstream media had done a good job of highlighting the fringes who believe in pizzagate having some satanic, new world order, or alien dictatorship involvement as a necessity.

If you easily show that there isn't a big gay red 10 foot tall red guy with horns and goat hooves is going around mind controlling people to make them into pedophiles, then you can destroy that strawman created. Like a mock trial to satisfy viewers.

If you try to approach pizzagate without satanic or illuminati involvement, well, more people will believe it happened. It doesn't help that if it were true, that many members of it are the kind who think they are satanists (even though they are not, I really don't think a literal Christian Satan exists). The word "outre" I just learned from you sums it up. Deliberate "outre" at most.


Anonymous said...

What is with Alex Jones though? Jone's lawyer claimed it's all an act during a lawsuit to which he denied and went on about how he is absolutely legit and the people behind the lawsuit are part of big brother out to get him. His ex wife has described him as very unstable.

He also sometimes launches into gigantic paranoid rants on his show directed at no one in particular, not arguing with anyone in person but just shouting at the people he claims he is out to expose.

So either it's all an act, or he has something wrong.. I have no clue what. He doesn't seem to have any hallucinations nor is he unstable enough to not be able to hold down his radio channel, and most people with a schizo disorder are cold and blank, flat, apathetic, while he is often quite overly emotional when he talks and has a following, but he is still paranoid and has fantastical beliefs.

Maybe a very very mild case of schizoaffective (sorta bipolar or a mood disorder plus the negative symptoms of schizophrenic disorders, so no hallucinations but some of the other stuff like speak abnormalities, social dysfunction, and irritability)

Or......he is just a freaking weird person, there are plenty of weird people in this world.

Now I know what it was like when you tried to figure out Kim Jong Un.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Yes, watching the Alex Jones shows, he does seem to be full of it. The thing that bothers me about all this is that mixed in with a lot of his more ridiculous theories is some stuff that's true, and because it's said by people like him, the true stuff gets discredited along wth the ridiculous stuff.

I've long been a believer that bigfoot is real. Most people just dismiss this out of hand, without ever having looked at it. And I agree that on the surface, the idea that a nine foot tall undiscovered hominid is out there in the forest of North America sounds crazy. But if you look closely at the evidence for it, it's actually pretty overwhelming. And generally, the more people look into it, and the smarter they are, the more convincing they find the evidence. At the same time, I tend to be a cynic/disbeliever in most of the crazier stuff out there, like believing in the Loch Ness monster and so on, with which bigfoot tends to get lumped in. It's all sort of embarrassing.

John Craig said...

Ga --
Yes, Kim Jong Un, good comparison. I think there's a distinct possibility that Alex Jones IS playacting, but I don't know enough about him to know for sure. And it's always possible that he's genuinely paranoid. At the same time, it's also true that SOME of the stuff he says is true. So where does that leave us in terms of analyzing him? Nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Well I finally figured out what he has! He has the only case on earth of bipolar syndrome with intervals of mere seconds! Wow!