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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
The World for People who Think


The Unburdened Mind of the Psychopath


In the public imagination, a "psychopath" is a violent serial killer or an over-the-top movie villain, as one sometimes might suspect Frank to be. He is highly impulsive and has a callous disregard for the well-being of others that can be disquieting. But he is just as likely to be a next-door neighbor, a doctor, or an actor on TV - essentially no different from anyone else who holds these roles, except that Frank lacks the nagging little voice which so profoundly influences most of our lives. Frank has no conscience. And as much as we would like to think that people like him are a rare aberration, safely locked away, the truth is that they are more common than most would ever guess.

Eye 1

Psychopaths Among Us

Robert Hare

"Psychopath! psychopath!"

I'm alone in my living room and I'm yelling at my TV. "Forget rehabilitation -- that guy is a psychopath."

Ever since I visited Dr. Robert Hare in Vancouver, I can see them, the psychopaths. It's pretty easy, once you know how to look. I'm watching a documentary about an American prison trying to rehabilitate teen murderers. They're using an emotionally intense kind of group therapy, and I can see, as plain as day, that one of the inmates is a psychopath. He tries, but he can't muster a convincing breakdown, can't fake any feeling for his dead victims. He's learned the words, as Bob Hare would put it, but not the music.

Better Earth

Cosmic Winter - A Lecture by Victor Clube


Moderator: In introduction, I just should say that Victor is the author of two extremely intriguing books. The first is The Cosmic Serpent which was published in 1982, and the second is The Cosmic Winter, published in 1990 in collaboration with astronomer Bill Napier. And I think that today Victor is going to present a talk illustrated by slides which will continue along the lines that he developed in The Cosmic Winter, which is a book that I urge all of you to read if you can.

Better Earth

The Nature of Punctuational Crises and the Spenglerian Model of Civilization


Abstract: Mankind's essentially untroubled state of mind in the presence of comets during the last two centuries has been fortified by the overall relative brevity of cometary apparitions and the calculated infrequency of cometary encounters with planets.

During the course of the Space Age, however, the fact of cometary splitting has also become increasingly secure and there is growing appreciation of the fact that mankind's state of mind can never be altogether relaxed. Indeed a watershed in the modern perception of cometary facts has evidently been reached with the most recent and devastating example of cometary splitting, that of the fragmen­tation of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 and its subsequent bombardment of planet Jupiter.

Thus there is a recognized tendency now amongst comets, especially those in short-period orbits, due to the occasionally excessive effects of solar irradia­tion, planetary tides and small body impacts, which gives rise to individual swarms of cometary debris, and it is the resulting repeated penetration of such dispersed swarms by our planet which apparently increases the danger to mankind from time to time.

The danger comprises global coolings, atmospheric pollution and super-Tunguska events, the cometary debris being responsible for both high-level dust insertions and low-level multimegaton explosions in the Earth's atmosphere along with a generally enhanced fireball flux.


The Sky Is Falling

The odds that a potentially devastating space rock will hit Earth this century may be as high as one in 10. So why isn't NASA trying harder to prevent catastrophe?

©Stéphane Guisard, www.astrosurf.com/sguisard

Breakthrough ideas have a way of seeming obvious in retro­spect, and about a decade ago, a Columbia University geophysicist named Dallas Abbott had a breakthrough idea. She had been pondering the craters left by comets and asteroids that smashed into Earth. Geologists had counted them and concluded that space strikes are rare events and had occurred mainly during the era of primordial mists. But, Abbott realized, this deduction was based on the number of craters found on land - and because 70 percent of Earth's surface is water, wouldn't most space objects hit the sea? So she began searching for underwater craters caused by impacts rather than by other forces, such as volcanoes. What she has found is spine-chilling: evidence that several enormous asteroids or comets have slammed into our planet quite recently, in geologic terms. If Abbott is right, then you may be here today, reading this magazine, only because by sheer chance those objects struck the ocean rather than land.


Quality of Life: French smokers abandon bars, clubs and restaurants for private parties

Private smoking parties have flourished since the public ban came into force

Smokers in France are uniting to beat a ban on lighting up in public by organising open-house parties where they can puff on their Gauloises until the early hours.

The parties, held in flats and houses but also in clandestine clubs, often draw dozens of people for a drink, a chat, a dance and a cigarette. Some are paying, others are free, but all welcome the smokers who are deserting bars, bistrots and night clubs.

The movement has flourished since the introduction of a smoking ban in all public places on January 1, and has been compared to the speakeasies that secretly served alcohol during the Prohibition in the US in the 1920s. Internet networks have sprung up to link the partygoers and inform them of planned festivities.


Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation, Part VII

The Trip
Occult imagery from the film The Trip.

"As all halfway-decent managers in the rock era have done, [Jim] Dickson worked on seducing the in-crowd and creating a buzz around [The Byrds] ... The timing was perfect ... LA's baby-boomers were mobile, getting around, looking for action. And now they were joined by the hip elite of Hollywood itself, from Sal Mineo and Peter Fonda to junkie comic Lenny Bruce."
Barney Hoskyns, Waiting for the Sun

As important as the Freaks were to building an audience for the new Laurel Canyon bands, there was another group that played a key role as well: Hollywood's so-called "Young Turks." Like the Freaks, the Turks became an immediate and constant presence on the newly emerging Sunset Strip scene. And as with the Freaks, their presence on the Strip was heavily promoted by the media. Locals and tourists alike knew where to go to gawk at the Freaks and, as an added bonus, quite possibly rub shoulders with the likes of Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and Warren Beatty, along with their female counterparts like Jane Fonda, Nancy Sinatra and Sharon Tate.

Many of these young and glamorous Hollywood stars forged very close bonds with the Laurel Canyon musicians. Some of them, including Peter Fonda, found homes in the canyon so that they could live, work and party among the rock stars (and, in their free time, pass around John Phillips' wife to just about every swinging dick in the canyon, including Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Warren Beatty, Roman Polanski, and Gene Clark of The Byrds). Some of them never left; Jack Nicholson to this day lives in a spacious estate just off the portion of Mulholland Drive that lies between Laurel Canyon and Coldwater Canyon. Not far west of Nicholson's property (which now includes the neighboring estate formerly owned by Marlon Brando) sits the longtime home of Warren Beatty.

Comment: Continue to part VIII

Alarm Clock

Bush is a Psychopath


Bush is a Psychopath I

What Does that Tell Us About Us?

It is true that many of our leaders and CEOs could be labeled as psychopaths or having many psychopathic tendencies. Bush does seem to be one of those psychopaths.

Psychology as we know is not an exact science. But the hard sciences don't seem to be so exact anymore. As we study quantum physics we see matter not behaving in exact ways as we used to believe from a Newtonian perspective. The Quantum world also points to consciousness interacting with matter in ways that would never have been expected.

I worked in a mental health facility and had to diagnose with the DSM, it can be helpful, but it always seemed a bit of a mislead. Many patients would have several diagnosis from different therapists. Some of the diagnosis seemed close to the mark and then others seemed off. I really didn't like having to label people (put them into a box that didn't fully describe them) but it is mainly done for insurance and government reimbursement. As school counselor, I try not to label in my head any of the children that I work with. After awhile they flower, and if I were to label them initially and treat them as a disease or a problem then I am sure the results would be somewhat different.

Black Cat

Friday the 13th not so unlucky

UNLUCKY for some? Dutch statisticians have established that Friday 13th, a date regarded in many countries as inauspicious, is actually safer than an average Friday.

Stuffed Black Cat
©Stuffed Ark
Forget about evil black cats, here's a Soft & Cuddly plush stuffed Black Cat! Just what you need for good luck on Friday the 13th!


"A Legacy of Greatness": the Morality of a Psychopath

bush legacy

Andrew Sullivan, writing about McClellan's new book is most taken with the fact that McClellan claims that Bush intentionally ignored the WMD evidence, saying "if the president intentionally ignored data refuting the existence of Saddam's WMDs, he should be impeached."

Frankly, the fact that Bush did this is old news; and impeachment is the least of the appropriate responses -- a war crimes trial would be called for. (I sort of thought Sullivan was farther along than this, actually.)