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.

Game Theory: Rock Paper Scissors

I came across a theory of Rock, Paper, Scissors I think it prudent to share.

  1. Rock: Power, brute force

    Littlefinger would own you at Rock Paper Scissors

    Weakness: dissolution of size and reduction of intensity.

  2. Paper: Money, covert force

    What happens to people who suddenly land a windfall

    Weakness: flexible personalized trickery to impose harsh limits on their gains.

  3. Scissors: Intellect, adaptive force

    Cutting remarks are the forte of the intellectual badass

    Weakness: arrogance of believing a quick cognitive reflex compensates for a strong standing or presence where physical limits are imposed.

This analysis of weaknesses explains the puzzled reaction to the rule that Paper beats Rock. Ideas carry a power all their own and the fractional fiat currency is a very big idea, isn’t it?

I could take the easy route and spout platitudes over old misquoted sayings… For the record, it is absolute power that corrupts absolutely, the love of money (above virtue) which is the Biblical root of all evil and there are no good quotes about intellect which don’t end in accusations of madness. Sherlock Holmes’ “I am a brain” is the closest, purist quote in circulation.

You could read into which is better but it depends largely on the cause of the problem and one’s personal strengths in approach. Intelligent people develop their minds at the expense of other abilities, powerful people develop into tyrannical brutes if given all they desire and we know the ways having money and holding it for a legacy can go wrong by idiom. Truth be told, there is a place for them all, and the wise person would build a passing familiarity with their weakest techniques and least preferable tactics for the much the same reason we’ve each done fire drills in the early hours.

Games are generally an exertion of adversarial forces intended to mimic war. Hence, chess is considered the Ultimate Game. It is deceptively simple, compared to point-and-press FPS fantasylands with unlimited ammo. If you lose your King, game over.

I like the idea of apparently ‘nice’ child games like RPS containing hidden significance.