Re: For Anders Sandberg Re:Sociopaths

Robert J. Bradbury (
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 05:55:18 -0700 (PDT)

On 25 Oct 1999, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> [snip]
> (Antisocial personality disorder actually seems to be the most biologically
> well-defined personality disorder).

Sure, you could postulate a faulty gene or two in the "face/emotion" recognition circuits and have a person that simply cannot "read" other people and is therefore insensitive to them. Doesn't take much to go from that to "antisocial" or sociopath.

> Some are likely easier to treat than others, but the main
> problem is of course that if you have a less-than-optimal personality
> you may not realise it is bad for you ("I'm all right, it is everybody
> else who are idiots!").

Or we (as a society) may not be organized to deal with the non-norms since our structures are organized for the "norm". Great article in the November 1999 Esquire (pg 143) about the people with Mega-IQs. For example Christopher Michael Langan with an IQ of 195. He works as a nightclub bouncer and makes $6,000 a year. His mother was "the black-sheep daughter of a wealthy shipping executive" and his father was an abusive control freak. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for some serious maladjustment to the norms in my book.

[Interestingly enough his crainial circumference is 25.5 inches, 3 std. deviations from the norm. Says something for the correlation between brain size and intelligence perhaps.]

> Usually people get treated for antisocial personality disorder because
> they got caught after some crime - *they* don't consider themselves
> sick in any way. There are likely plenty of antisocial people out
> there who are not ill enough to get forced into treatment but remain
> ill enough to mess up their own and others lives.

Yes, and its going to be very interesting when we start to uncover the polymorphisms in those genes and unravel their contributions to "mal-adjustment". ... Hey!, I'm not a mal-adjusted sociopathic little twerp, I'm just "being" me!