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  • James 20:25 on March 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , logic, panic,   

    Ooh, terrorism, everyone panic! 

    Yesterday, there was a terror attack in my capital city.

    Let’s face it, only five people were killed. Okay, that’s slightly unusual in the UK, and in Europe, because the gun laws are more sensible here, so mass killings tend to be due to terrorism rather than local nutters playing around with firearms. All the same, 5 individuals out of 8 million (London’s population) is not really very many, is it? Far more Londoners die of natural causes every day.

    And yet, it’s still the top news story here. It accompanies the story of a tighter restriction of electronics (including laptops) entering the UK and USA on flights operated by certain Middle Eastern airlines. The timing is a bit suspect, isn’t it?

    If this seems a callous reaction to the ‘terror’, I apologise, but however you look at it, 5 deaths are negligible in the grand scheme of things (i.e. they fit well within the average daily mortality figures), and utterly disproportionate to the news coverage afforded to them. You might as well just turn international news into one long eulogy, if you’re going to mourn every death that happens in a city the size of London.

    My recommendation to Londoners, Britons and brothers and sisters around the world: get a grip. Ignore these feeble attempts at ‘terror’, and ignore the alarmist news stories that surround the acts and usher in ever more draconian ‘security’ measures. Get a grip on reality, and keep calm and carry on.

    Update: 24th March 16:40: Last week, the US Air Force accidentally destroyed a mosque in Syria. The target was apparently the building next door (funny how these laser-guided strikes never quite seem to get it right, when Google Earth can find an address anywhere in the world in seconds), but the Pentagon still claimed it managed to kill ‘dozens’ of Al-Qaeda members. Rather lucky for a bungled mission, don’t you think? Meanwhile, at least 45 worshippers were killed and around 100 others left injured, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. If you want to see real terror, that’s what it looks like.

     
  • James 13:39 on May 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , I believe in Nessie, logic, , , porridge, , ,   

    No True Psychopath 

    It was inevitable. You give an English person a mouthpiece and an audience, and he will use it to rip on the Scots.

    I was recently talking to somebody about being psychopath (as you do) and he asked me if I can feel happiness. I responded in the affirmative, because who on this planet is actually incapable of feeling happy? When he pressed me for an example of something that makes me happy, I said I like music. I hope we’re all in agreement that although they are undoubtedly some weirdos who hate music, the vast majority of humans do like it and that it is not inconceivable that even some of the more antisocial members of the species find something to appreciate about it.

    However, I also admit there are some good reasons to (wrongly) believe that no psychopath likes music. “Their brains are completely different from ours” and “if they can’t empathise, how can they care about slushy love songs?” are two possible Very Good Reasons Indeed to believe psychopaths can’t like music. They’re wrong, but they are at least reasonable. However our little friend (we haven’t yet given him a name, which I feel is very unhelpful for us gossiping about him like this. Let’s give him some really horrible, revolting name that makes you want to vomit blood, and rams home the idea that he’s the villain of the story) did not have such a good reason. No, our little friend Gabe had a very poor, ill-thought-out reason to believe that psychopaths are incapable of liking music. Gabe said, and I quote:

    “How can you enjoy music then?? If you have no emotions??!! Wtf”

    Sigh. But didn’t I just say that I am capable of feeling happy. Therefore that must mean I do have some emotions? Gabe’s response:

    “Real psychopaths do not feel happy, in order to feel happiness you must first feel pain so you can distinguish between the two emotions. So go away and and dont act like you are a psychopath. Idiot”

    Gotta love it when somebody who can’t spell or reason logically gets off on calling other people idiots! And what about that reasoning? Aside from the fact that pain had not already been mentioned so it had not been established whether or not psychopaths can feel pain (and we know they can, don’t we?), what I’m really interested in here is his opening words. “Real psychopaths do not feel happy”.

    If you know about philosophy or logic, or if you have that one annoying friend who’s always telling you why your logic sucks (or maybe you are that annoying friend), you will have heard of the No True Scotsman fallacy. The basic narrative of the fallacy is a Scotsman, McDoogle, proudly declaring to his friend McClutterbuck that no Scotsman sugars his porridge. But McClutterbuck disagrees: “I am a Scotsman. I’m from Auchtermuchty, born and raised, like you. I always sugar my porridge, och aye”. McDoogle then watches on in horror as McClutterbuck proceeds to tip the bag of sugar over his bowl of porridge and begin to devour his breakfast like a starving man. “Well”, he fumes, enraged like a true Scot by being proven wrong, “no true Scotsman sugars his porridge!”

    What does all this mean? In order to defend his claim that no Scotsmen put sugar in their porridge, McDougle has resorted to redefining what it means to be a Scotsman. He has rejected McClutterbuck’s evidence that some Scotsmen do sugar their porridge by denying him his Scotmanship (what a lovely word). In the same way, in order to save face against my assertion that psychopaths can be happy and listen to music, Gabe has in effect moved the goalposts to make it impossible for me to contradict him, because no matter what I say, if it doesn’t fit within his changeable definition of a ‘true psychopath’, he won’t accept it.

    “Great”, you might be thinking, “So I have just read 600 words of a butthurt little pussy trying to prove a stranger wrong days after the fact.” And wouldn’t that suck? Fortunately, there is a point to all this. You see, Gabe’s little brainfart is just one of many recent examples I’ve seen of people attempting to control what is and is not possible within psychopathy by invoking the No True Scotsman fallacy. Many of these people’s ideas are based on the assumption that psychopaths have no emotion whatsoever. Maybe that’s our own fault for faking emotions, but it’s still retarded to think that any human can be completely emotionless without being seriously, utterly, irreversibly goo-coming-out-your-ears level of brain-damaged. Anyone who dares to suggest that psychopaths may be capable of some level of emotional depth will, at some point, be subjected to a brain fart saying “no true psychopath experiences emotion”. Go ahead and look at the comments for The Hidden Suffering of the Psychopath, they’ll be there. Even more absurd is the common reaction, usually on some kind of Q&A forum, to threads such as “Am I a psychopath?” or “I think I’m a sociopath, can anyone advise?”.  There will always be one of Gabe’s cerebrally-flatulent friends in the thread asserting that the “OP can’t possibly be a psychopath because true psychopaths don’t know they’re one” Uh huh, go and tell that to that to James Fallon, or to M.E. Thomas, or to one of the many psychopathic blog authors out there.

    So there you have it folks. Stop going into discussions with too many pre-conceived ideas. Listen. Be prepared to get it wrong. And for god’s sake, read up on the No True Scotsman fallacy and don’t keep unwittingly using it just because you can’t bear being wrong.

    With that request in mind, I will of course very humbly accept any comments or criticisms you have. I would especially love to hear from somebody who thinks everything I just wrote is utter shit. So what are you waiting for?

    Annoyed that the name of the fallacy isn’t No True Irishman, because I would have so put this song up top:

    Seriously, you guys, please do take a moment to leave a comment. If you don’t, you’ll only have me thinking I explained everything perfectly, and that will play havoc with my ego.

     
    • Amaterasu Solar 15:35 on May 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      [smile] I agreed with the whole, so perhaps I’m not the One You want comments from.

      Liked by 2 people

    • awareb4 19:54 on May 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi James,

      I agree with you that Psychopaths can feel happiness but, I believe it is a different type of emotional connection. I feel as an empath, an overwhelming happiness that is hard to describe but, I will try.
      It’s different from ‘physical’ happiness that comes with an adrenaline surge of pleasure that you might get when you accomplish or win something etc…you know, that ‘sense of achievement ‘happiness that we all have at different times.
      Emotional happiness is a deep seeded warmth that floods your body & brain & is a mixture of happy, joy, love, compassion & pleasure etc….it’s not tangible & it can be overwhelming or just mild depending on what invokes it.
      I think a psychopath is more likely to experience ‘pleasure’ happiness rather than ‘love,joy,compassion’ happiness. Does that make sense?
      As for the Scotsman’s porridge & being of Scottish decent, I like it with or without sugar! 😉
      Mainly because, sugar makes you fat! 😉
      Thanks for your thoughts & blog.
      Awareb4.

      P.S. I love the ‘Brainfart’ & will use that one!

      Liked by 2 people

      • James 03:57 on May 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hi there,

        Yes, I think you’re right that there are different degrees of happiness. Would you count contentment as part of your second ‘deeper’ kind? I feel a sense of ‘achievement’ happiness every time somebody comments, likes or shares one of my posts, so I must thank you for doing at least one of those.

        Thanks for stopping by 🙂

        PS: You may not use “brainfart” unless you pay me royalty. You already owe $5 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • James 15:39 on May 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I think my previous reply was rather poor, mainly because I was very tired and a bit confused.

        Anyway, many thanks for sharing your experience of deeper happiness that it an alien emotion to me, as far as I’m aware. I’m not sure how happiness and joy really differ, though I think a normal person would say they do. It certainly looks different on people’s faces. As for love and compassion, well I don’t know why they would be a part of happiness (maybe a reason for happiness…) but that goes toward proving your argument.

        To elaborate on my question of contentment, when I am doing something that I enjoy greatly (a solitary ramble in the countryside, a long and beautiful meal, listening to music), I feel something akin to what you’re describing, though it is a self-directed emotion.

        Don’t say you’ve inherited that Scottish temper too 😉

        Like

        • nowve666 14:30 on June 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          WAH! Is this blog closed to comments? But I found one. “I Was Only Joking” by Rod Stewart. Perhaps more ASPD than Psychopathy but pretty classic anyway.

          Like

          • James 11:06 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

            We’re never closed, I just don’t check in much anymore. Love Rod, thanks for that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • nowve666 10:09 on November 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

              There really is no more button to add comments but I’ll get my in this way. Would you believe it? My first serious sexual relationship which was with a flaming psychopath, excited my masochism. This song evoked my masochism and highlighted his psychopathy. I was 17 and he was 30 at the time, but, being a speed freak, he seemed a lot older. The song is supposed to be humorous but it was a lot more to me:

              Liked by 1 person

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