BBC Sherlock, sociopaths and the INTJ confusion

http://www.sociopathworld.com/2015/01/sherlock-sociopaths-intjs.html

A reader writes on the relationship between sociopathy and the Myers-Briggs personality type, INTJ:

In short, I think a lot of people take MBTI too far. They base huge decisions about life direction on a general tendency to think in a specific way and use their psychological reserves in a particular direction. It isn’t a horoscope, the MBTI is supposed to be used to branch out into other styles and become a well-rounded person. No one is a pure type, and INTJs can be arrogant about their perceived purity of rationality, which, ironically, isn’t what a rational person would think. The website LessWrong is a pretty good breakdown of the kind of self-regulation a high-minded personality type requires. I type as INTJ myself and can’t help but facepalm over the self-appointed geniuses who never created a damn thing in their entire lives. It’s a potential, not a promise.

Personality typing is complicated when you bring in certain disorders. INTJs, being a hermitic type, are often judged for that literal and mental distance. The two common slurs are Aspie and Sociopath. What do these have in common? Blunted affect. Or so it seems.

There’s very little written on the connection between certain personality values and mental abnormalities (I mean that in the mathematical sense of rarity). It’s largely speculation and from what I studied at Uni, it’s imprecise. Like throwing at a dartboard and hitting the same place twice it may happen, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. 

The similarities I can see between sociopathy and INTJs are best described as coping mechanisms. Both types of person deal with copious amounts of information on a daily basis and some form of filtration is required to thrive. Both types tend to live in their heads and this can fairly freak normal people out. The pressure release valve of INTJs is easily upset by undue amounts of stress in a short period of time, causing them to lash out. On the surface, this might appear a sociopathic 0-60 in temper. 

Neither is automatically trusting and these belief systems about testing the world, changing things and treating the world like a gigantic experiment can appear manipulative in a damaging way, as many people are socially-oriented before ideas. The dark sense of humour in expression make it sound worse than it is. “I wanted to see what you’d do.”

INTJs and sociopaths value truth above socially-proscribed norms and among the common herd this can make them enemies. I agree with those who type BBC’s Sherlock as INTJ because his deep, alarmingly sharp processing of information screams INTJ to me. 
http://sherlockcharacterconfessions.tumblr.com/sherlockholmesprofile 
That isn’t to say the guy is without faults. He’s full of inconsistencies, being the product of many writers, and one outright declared he isn’t a sociopath although “he wishes he was.” With all due respect, that guy is full of shit. If we place the INTJ typing aside, the Sherlock they wrote behaves in a sociopathic way. Whether it’s for dramatic effect and whether he intends to are irrelevant. SEASON 3 SPOILER ALERT: A person with no sociopathic bent could never shoot a guy in the head at point-blank range in cold blood. On a practical level, their fight/flight response would make it impossible. What annoys me about the character’s recent outings are the typical attempt to make him cuddlier and in the process lose the veracity of the Sherlock Holmes brand. 

Those personality traits don’t need to be fixed, they’re valuable to society. However, sometimes the person who embodies them needs to branch out for personal reasons and that is to be encouraged. 
If a pure INTJ met a pure sociopath, the latter would be irritated because the former would see them as a big puzzle and the latter would see somebody with a good theoretical brain being wasted on impractical goals. They overlap where they think: yeah, I know the social rules, I just don’t care.

ah who knows mystery shrug eva green pfft haha

 

The science of the mind palace

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-brain-storage-capacity-memories.html

Cerebellum heavy.

“We investigated whether these memories overlapped across some rooms, but all of the memories were completely independent,” said the paper’s first author, Charlotte Alme. “This indicates that the brain has an enormous capacity for storage. The ability to create a unique memory or map for every locale explains how we manage to distinguish between very similar memories and how the brain prevents us from mixing up events.”

Alme says their findings also help explain why a specific memory trick called “the method of loci” works. This technique involves making a connection between things that you want to remember and places that you know quite well. By associating individual memories with different rooms in your house, for example, you can more easily recall what you need to remember by mentally walking through your house and visiting each room.

“Our paper shows that (and most likely humans) have a map for each individual place, which is why the method of loci works,” she said. “Each place (or room in your house) is represented by a unique map or memory, and because we have so many different maps we can remember many similar places without mixing them up.”

…that the findings were important for understanding episodic memory, or memories that are formed from autobiographical experiences.

Tease.

Video: Hidden Psychopathy + Sherlock/Moriarty

I’m going to do something here I’ve never done online before. This is how I pick up on stuff.
A casual linguistic analysis, an excerpt from this video, transcribed by me. And pop culture comparison for fun.
Key: Bold and italic, by me too, note for tone. (round bracket) implied, covert or omitted. [sq., clinical note, overt presentation]

Of note, ~9:00 in:-

(serotonin amelioration explanation)
…so Psychopaths will get very angry but they’ll stay angry. …I said when I get mad, I don’t show it to anybody. I said I could be furious at you and you’d never know. I show no anger whatsoever. I don’t show anxiety. I said first of all, you’ll never know. I can sit on it for a year or two or three or five. But I’ll get you. And I always do. And they don’t know where it’s coming from. They can’t tie it to the event and it (seemingly) comes out of nowhere. And something dramatic happens in their life but I’m very careful, almost pristine about it, that’s a fair response. So if somebody does something [DS: note linguistic distancing] you can do a lot, you know. [DS: linguistic hedge, appeal to popularity/commonality]. You can say anything to me and I won’t get mad, really. [superficial] Those things don’t get me mad. [unique triggers] Somebody’s trying to get me [challenge, disrespect] , it’s like another psychopath or another (…) you know, someone’s trying to mess with me [perception of threat]. I have uh, I have a high (standard) threshold [pattern-seeking, repetition of slight required], so many things really don’t get me mad. You can just about do anything. I’m pretty cool that way. [rarely emotionally involved personally or socially] But if you really do [personal attack, repeated or major, provocation] then I always get even [balance scales, sense of justice] and I’ll make sure [intellectual control] it’s the same sort of intensity [proportion, category] that their initial damage (caused). …I can stay cool and it’ll happen (inevitable) and they’ll look around –
What happened with their job, what happened with their family, what happened [I happened. Person as event/God.] they won’t know. [stealth] And they both said that’s psychopathic. That’s exactly it. …..
Really when I saw Dexter, I absolutely understood it, because he was being fair, he was being fair to the universe [moral code, higher power appeal] and the world of ethics of the universe he was absolutely fair. Morality wise not so much [minimisation] but I could really understand [empathise] that behaviour. [decision-making process]
……..It was always the most selfish behaviour. ….It gets worse than that. ….It would extend to everything I was doing. [global traits] …Everything I’m doing is maximally selfish. (tries to change) I said you know I don’t really mean it. My wife goes I don’t care. ….I couldn’t believe it. I thought, you see, I had taken the whole thing of empathy and meaning beyond what people behaviourally are asking for [deep, higher processing, sincerity in social observance of norms] … people said you’re trying and that’s all that matters. This really blew me away and I really still don’t understand it [DS: it’s interpersonal respect, respect for observance of norms]….

This is the living example of a successful sociopath (non-criminal, prosocial psychopath).
BBC’s Sherlock, continually selfish, would also meet this (before they made him mushy and weak for the fangirls in Series 3).

a-friend-an-enemy-oh-which-one bbc sherlockMan, how many people do you piss off???

Despite the writer’s insistence they haven’t written one, he is. He totally is. They’re just reading sociopath as a criminal. No no, ‘successful sociopath’. Successful. High-functioning, almost. If you were to apply functioning criteria to this condition, yes.

And this bundle of characteristics, as it were, makes them so dangerous. Calculating, ruthless, precise. Think Moriarty. No doubts over that one, but aren’t they similar?

I listen in for linguistic cues and quirks like this at cocktail parties, with surprising results.
This is why successful sociopaths are best in business. It’s the ideal set of traits. Look out for these clinical markers I pointed out in conversations with high-flyer types. Sometimes I announce to them on the quiet that I know what they are. Good times, good times.

no one ever gets me bbc moriarty sherlockCome on, it’s transparent as a pane of glass.

Drugs #101: Addiction and Physical Dependence

They’re completely separate things.
A drug is a typically organic substance that can impair physiological functioning or kill when given to the healthy population and a drug as medicine is a chemical composition that will repair your improper bodily functioning or you will die without it in an individual body, long term. Addicts may develop non-medicinal physical dependence but medically-obligated physical dependents are not addicts per se.

A drug user with medical physical dependence only can take a processed form of their medicine without the psychological effects (commonly a high) very happily whereas an addict would require the high, the specific form of drug is merely a trigger for the brain created by past memories of use by the amygdala. These extreme-intensity usage memories create many of the symptoms of withdrawal (psychosomatic) and delude the brain into believing it genuinely needs the drug e.g. claims marijuana is as healthy as a vitamin and the push to normalize (the societal danger of addict populations, social contagion and acceptability).

The sole cause of addiction beyond a doubt is beginning use in the first place. It is impossible to be addicted to (or physically dependent on) a substance the body (and brain) has never experienced. This is a self-selecting type of stupidity (hubris/arrogance) regularly found in teenagers (immature prefrontal cortex) because such users do not think or disbelieve their mind could be compromised by addiction. Their brains already create this illusion to necessitate the anticipated reward (high) prior to initial use or they wouldn’t take it (such as the processed form with no high). The foolproof layman method to test for addiction is simple: substance deprivation for a year. Prepare for a list of excuses.

A physical dependency is often created by doctors to treat patients with chronic conditions, usually chronic pain symptoms (ongoing). Addicts try to ape this category (some sincerely, others deceptively) but are increasingly thwarted by processed (reward-weakened) variants of their poison. Specific advocates for drug legalization ignore the essential fact of escalation and compensation. As part of the brain’s hedonic treadmill, it craves increasingly more of the reward from use, compelling drug users to harder toxins (harder reward, creating deeper addiction and physical damage) and this is the biological component of addiction that makes the habitual behaviour of use so challenging to physically extinguish from the brain.

Physical dependency creates withdrawal symptoms too but the patient’s individual physical needs (inc. not dying) and substance type distinguish this from addicts e.g. insulin to a diabetic.The human brain is connected to facilitate the reward response feedback loops because they are evolutionally guided by the basic needs to survive (food, water, sex) and this is why there is no such thing as a food addict, water addict or sex addict, merely people with impulse control issues seeking a social ‘displacement of responsibility’. Beyond these essential elements for the sustenance of our individual life and species general, anything chemical creating a vacuous boost in the reward system is a drug, whether you like it or not. Drug users resent the stigma for their activities whether or not their poison is legal (ethanol/alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine etc) because the positive emotional response loop (dopamine, serotonin release) caused by their usage memories creates defensive dissonance when challenged by non-users. Even polite persistent enquiry can sometimes trigger a psychotic episode where the patient is completely detached from reality and VERY DANGEROUS. This is why trained professionals intervene. In the latter stages, the drug/s become integrated into personal identity and extraction or therapeutic measures become unlikely to resolve the issue without constant medical care (rehabilitation facilities). Moreover, this reduces the risk of sudden death caused by the somatic shock of going ‘clean’ and allows overall physiological strength to be built up (reverse what the drugs did) while the problem is gradually resolved.

If a substance exists in a natural form within, say, a foodstuff, it is not addictive because food reward circuits are natural and normal and can never be extinguished. This is why milk (dairy), sugar, chocolate, chilli, coffee and caffeine ‘addiction’ is a misnomer. However, a person habitually needing a purified artificial version of these may constitute a non-medical physical dependence or perhaps a behavioural addiction e.g. alcoholism. Behavioural addictions require holistic (whole life) perspective for diagnosis e.g. someone who works online cannot be an internet addict if those hours online constitute their occupation (add to their success and life) and they can easily disconnect for a while. Behavioural addictions where they do exist are more accurately termed compulsions and relate to personality disorders or obsessions created by unmet needs. Substitution is the norm where one behaviour is broken, another is taken up. Social contagion is a significant factor for poor impulse control. Behavioural or result-based addictions when positive are discounted for lack of stigma nor bodily harm e.g. ‘high’ grades, promotion (power/status boost), painting. However, they can display withdrawal symptoms from endogenous neurotransmittor levels e.g. low serotonin creates acute compulsiveness completing the cycle to repeat a rewarding behaviour and low dopamine creates psychomotor agitation including pacing and fidgeting, also apathy, chosen social isolation and anhedonia (nothing is enjoyable and everything fast becomes boring).

 

By most definitions, Sherlock Holmes is not an addict. However, he qualifies as an addictive personality with a high arousal threshold and high need for cognition.

By most definitions, Sherlock Holmes is not an addict. However, he qualifies as an addictive personality with a high arousal threshold and excessively superhuman high need for cognition.

Related terms: Dosage Response Curve and (innate) Arousal Thresholds causative of addictive personality tendency.

Post inspired by this video, Sherlock Holmes’ withdrawal symptoms

Mark the positive addiction withdrawal symptoms from endogenous behaviour-triggered stimulation.

And yes, you can be addicted to love.

Fearing Stupidity and the Serial Killer in You

You: “What a weird title, why would I fear stupid people, unless they’re in charge?”

Ah, there you go, reading into it. Stupidity: the practice (and some get in their 10,000+ hours) of deliberately making stupid decisions. Certainly it may concentrate in some individuals, and surely you can think of beautiful examples to passive-aggressively link this article to, but that isn’t enough, is it? (Is it?)

I'm allowed to promo my own shit.

I’m allowed to promo my own shit.

What frightens us about serial killers?

back to work
You: “They seem just like everyone else.”
No, that shifts the focus of the question toward us, what constitutes normal behaviour in society, the falsehood of social norms and away from them, the focus of the question. Try again.
You: “The acts they commit are atrocious…” *riff on that theme*
Good. Well, no, actually… better.
Ignoring the emotional impulse for a moment, psychotic episodes, the common psychiatric explanation for multiple murders, involve a stark disconnect from reality.
You: “You make it sound like a rational problem.”
In a sense, yes. It is a problem bundled up with what is rational given a perception. However, the disconnect is jarring for the psyche (any psyche) and the emotional impulses seldom allowed free reign (remember your first answer?) go …. insane.

Suffering on their part is optional

They’re suffering a paucity of rationality.
You: “How can you say that?”
We have a moderate example. What makes some sociopaths kill and others abstain?
You, if you’re dumb: “The law.”
Go play in the sandpit and think about what you’ve done.
You, if you’re smart: “Choice” or a riff, like Values with a capital V.

Murder isn't an answer to everything

Ted Bundy lived content with the knowledge he could slaughter any person he came across. He didn’t have the backing of the law when he had a Bad Day. If you’re clever, you’ll notice plenty of people are allowed to be serial killers under the law. I don’t want to be put on any more lists so I shall omit a list this time.

You: “Who can fully understand what they think? They’re irrational.”

No, don’t do that. Don’t try to use “irrational” as a dead end STOP sign for your brain cells, or as us scholars say, a thought-terminating cliche. Humans are animals and animals are irrational; if p=q and I’m fairly confident in saying that here it does, all humans are irrational. Saying irrationality equates to stupidity isn’t enough either. What is logical for an animal differs from the machine logic often implied by the term. What you are saying isn’t what you mean. Language is oblique. What do you mean? All human actions are in some part irrational but that doesn’t make them stupid, do you understand?

Maybe?
Good enough. Moving on —

Inside the brains of most People

Inside the brains of most People

Question: does understanding stupidity make you stupid?
A model theory of the brain implies yes, you must “lower yourself” to orchestrate a similar circuitry. Again, this falls short in descriptive power.
Why do people resist a truth or a ‘logical’ choice in spite of evidence or compulsion?
The only possible explanation is fear.

You, incredulous: “What could I fear from stupidity? That it’s contagious?!”

Yes stupidity is contagious

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Great modelling, you have real potential. I bet you didn’t have to question your entire life up until this revelation or anything.
Beyond a point, the innate irrationality of Man contaminates.
Evidence?
Every grand, stupid gesture in History. We fear that potency of pricks. When we see one example of stupidity, we have a herd impulse in our fuck-fight brain to shame and ostracise that person. i.e. “Fuck you!” In a tribal society, this has the convenient effect of isolating them from resources, mating opportunities and likely killing them.

We become the serial killers.

American Psycho is the best satire of the 20th century