Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)

phil osborn (
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 17:26:42 PDT

>From: "Clint O'Dell" <>
>Subject: Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)
>Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 15:17:16 MDT
>>Anyway, in a recent edition of the local paper there was a report on a
>>particular syndrome that has been identified as genetically based.
>You will have to post the abstract of this research for me to believe it.
>Sounds like total bullshit to me.
>>Some researchers want to classify it as a form of autism, while others
>>object that since the sufferers do not have nearly the extreme version of
>>the symptoms that are typical of the autistic, it should not be lumped in.
>The problem with mental illness classifications in the psychiatric industry
>is they try to sum up a bunch of symptoms found commonly with people of
>certain personality characteristics and call it a disorder. These people
>don't have a f***ing clue. You can not diagnose a mental condition as if
>it were small pox. Until people realize this, there will be very little
>>The typical behavioral symptoms are things like inability to respond
>??!? inability ??!? I think everyone already knows my view on this.
>in social settings, misinterpreting social signals completely,
>look into their childhood upbringing. Meet their bizzare parents.
>>failure to abide by social norms of dress and grooming, often accompanied
>>by strange physical gait or tics. They noted that many such people are
>>highly intelligent and productive and that a high percentage of the
>>afflicted are in fact considered top computer programmers - so-called
>>"super-programmers", who can work at blinding speed for long intense
>>stretches of total concentration, but are useless in social settings.
>Sounds like some reporter just made this up. How many people are effected
>aparently? And where are the records?

Like I said, I just spotted it in the local newspaper a week or so ago and forgot to set it aside. Perhaps I will run across it. However, if you were to attend an SF con, you would definitely notice people in high concentrations that fit the profile precisely. In fact, when I send normals - not "mundanes," the fannish term - who are sf enthusiasts but not "FAN"s to a con, I always go to great trouble to warn them in advance to be very, very careful about how they phrase questions or statements, or they will find themselves in endless iterations of explanations, trying to get the FANs running registration to simply sell them a membership. The slightest ambiguity is pounced upon. FANs are notorious for this. However, the people so afflicted are also oblivious to their affliction, since they lack the fine discrimination that makes it stand out instantly to normals. There are other syndromes for which a fairly clear genetic basis can be identified. For example, the true "type A," who lacks a particular functional gene involved in the parasympathetic nervous system, as I recall. In situations where other people simply ignore a problem - a line breaker, a movie talker, etc. - the true type A literally cannot ignore it, because the relaxations response never cuts in.

Get Your Private, Free Email at