Re: For Anders Sandberg Re:Sociopaths

Anders Sandberg (
25 Oct 1999 11:57:08 +0200

"Clint O'Dell" <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> >Actually, the basic cortical circuit is the same with minor variations
> >across the entire cortex, including in the prefrontal lobes and the
> >occipital lobes. The inputs and outputs are usually mainly the thalamus and
> >other cortical areas, which ones depending on location. The difference is
> >mainly which inputs each patch of cortex get. Even in the "highest" parts
> >of the frontal lobes there are cells
> OK. I now see how people can have an inability to learn or act from social
> programming, thus developing into a sociopath. But, that doesn't explain
> variences of social disorders, UNLESS they have other mental symptoms as
> well.

It is not just an inability to learn social programming, it is something deeper. After all, if they just lacked social programming they would still act rationally in most situations, but antisocial personality disorder implies a lack of self-control which is irrational - it constantly puts them in trouble, trouble which would have been obvious for normal people ("If you steal your boss' car, he will fire you").

> Classifying someone as a sociopath minimizes isolating the problem.
> Such a classification would definately indicate brain damage (putting aside
> it may be the philosophy of a normal brain) and I would look toward
> medication and/or surgery along with cognitive therapy.

There are many kinds of personality disorder, and it is not obvious how much each is based on brain pathology or bad experiences. I would guess it is usually a mixture - a vulnerable brain gets subjected to something that sets up a bad self-reinforcing pattern (Antisocial personality disorder actually seems to be the most biologically well-defined personality disorder). Borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder... 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!").

> Before doing so though, I would definately MAKE SURE they lack
> ability. How do you test someones ability, mental reflexes?
> Especialy someone who's uncooperative or may be lying to you (always
> need to expect that)?

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.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y