The Three Main Forms of Virtue Signalling

The difference between virtue signalling and a genuine desire to help is that virtue signalling doesn’t demand any kind of sacrifice

Virtue signalling is when a person (usually male) makes an effort to signal to any prospective mating partners within earshot the quality of their reproductive virtue. Like a stag bellowing as loudly as it can during the roar, much of the communication made by the human male is intended specifically to let nearby females know about his reproductive capacity. This essay looks at the specific forms of it.

The female of every sexually reproducing species attracts the male through signalling her fertility, which is perceived by the male as beauty. The male counterpart is virtue signalling, in which he signals that any offspring produced by him would successfully be able to compete with those of other males. There are three basic virtues that a male can signal to attract a female: strength, intelligence and moral rectitude.

Strength relates alchemically to iron, and is mostly a function of height and weight. This is why men with a poor posture habitually straighten their backs up when they see an attractive woman walking in their direction. After all, a man is not very strong if he doesn’t even have the muscles to hold his body up straight.

What any given woman finds attractive along these lines is mostly a function of what physical qualities the men in her ancestry needed in order to survive. And so European women are attracted to strong arms, Asian women to a steady nerve, and African women to fast-twitch muscle fibers. All women, however, are attracted to a physical body that looks as if it can survive the rigours of life on Earth – one that metaphysically represents iron.

But strength is only part of the equation. It may be the most important factor for the majority of sexually reproducing species, because most of these species assert a right to exist primarily on the basis of their physical strength, but sheer physical strength is less frequently the prime determinant of success in humans (unless they are savages).

Intelligence relates alchemically to silver, and this could be considered the next level of virtue signalling. Many intelligent men have realised that, for the human animal, intelligence is a better predictor of future success than mere physical strength, and this has led many men to make displays of their mental health and strength instead of displays of physical health and strength.

Silver is softer than iron, and consequently the men who virtue signal their intelligence tend to be more subtle than those who virtue signal their physical strength. The usual way to go about it is to show off who knows the most about any given subject, or who has the greatest range and depth of general knowledge.

Another way to do it is by wearing glasses.

This form of virtue signalling often leads to petty arguments, in which the participants are unwilling to concede that their opponents have made any valid points because of a fear that this will be taken as a concession that those opponents are more intelligent or knowledgeable. Since the point of virtue signalling is to demonstrate to any observing females the reproductive quality of the signalling male, there is very rarely an incentive to concede a point to an opponent, because this will merely make them appear more attractive at your expense.

Humans are ultimately a social species, and no single individual is capable of dominating the collective. This means that an ability to get along with other humans and to behave correctly is the virtue that most strongly predicts reproductive success in our modern societies. The result of this is the importance of moral rectitude.

Moral rectitude relates alchemically to gold, because of its rarity, value and malleability. In this context, virtue signalling refers to when men act as if they are much kinder than they really are. Here a man might claim to have a will to perform a certain act in a certain situation, or to have a certain belief about the correct ordering of society, when the reality is very different.

One of the most common examples of this moral virtue signalling in 2017 is the expression of a desire to let refugees into the country, to be taken care of by general taxation. Inevitably the intent of this is to signal to all observing females that the male is kind and decent and morally upstanding. In other words, that he is in possession of the gold of being able to understand the Will of God as expressed through morality.

The reason why this is virtue signalling is that the males in question almost never have a genuine desire to look after these people. Those who virtue signal the most about refugees almost never live in the kind of neighbourhood that refugees are dumped in, and they almost never work the sort of jobs that are impacted by a sudden increase in the supply of unskilled labour.

Other common examples are going on about having a black friend to signal that one is not racist, or pretending to support women’s sport to signal that one is not sexist.

The whole point of all of this virtue signalling is to demonstrate reproductive fitness, which is why men will often end up fighting and arguing over who is the strongest, the smartest or the most good. Essentially there’s no real difference between a couple of rams butting heads in rutting season and two men trying to demonstrate that each is the most virtuous by claiming to support various political causes.

If Speculative Fiction Genres Were Psychoactive Drugs

Every genre of speculative fiction has its own signature atmosphere: often a combination of fantastic, awesome, terrifying and bizarre. So do psychoactive drugs – and the two match up. This article looks at which drugs give a vibe that best matches the vibe from a genre of speculative fiction.

High fantasy fiction matches up to cannabis. Lord of the Rings contains a couple of sly allusions to cannabis use, most notably when Saruman admonishes Gandalf for his “love of the halfling’s weed” while explaining how Gandalf missed a clue that he should have noticed. The scene in the film Fellowship of the Ring where Gandalf and Frodo sit above the drunken revellers and smoke some magical substance from a pipe is one familiar to most stoners.

Some of the experiences that Elric has in the Stormbringer series of novels by Michael Moorcock were also very likely to have been cannabis-inspired. There’s something about Elric’s experience of having an extremely powerful ally that couldn’t really be trusted that speaks to the paranoia that sometimes comes with the cannabis experience.

The sword and sorcery style of low fantasy matches up with psilocybin mushrooms. It’s unlikely that Robert E Howard took any magic mushrooms before writing any of the Conan the Cimmerian stories, but the protagonist’s many adventures in dark, subterranean caves and inside fantastic towers and castles are reminiscent of the depth and range of sometimes terrifying personal insight that often comes with mushrooms.

The Forgotten Realms universe of Dungeons and Dragons adventures, with their massive, dark forests full of elves and goblins also relates closely to the vibe of the psilocybin mushrooms experience. The reason why magic mushrooms enthusiasts are encouraged to try taking five grams in silent darkness is because it leads to exploration of a fantastical inner world, and going down into the subterranean to arise wealthier at some later point is a regular theme.

Most of what sells as science fiction could have been inspired by LSD. Stories like The Demolished Man, with a very strong psychological content, harken to the disintegrative effect that psychedelics can have on the personality. The main character of The Demolished Man, somehow between protagonist and antagonist, ends up having his personality completely demolished (and then rebuilt) as punishment for his crimes, reminiscent of how the psychedelic experience can destroy a person and then build them back as something stronger than before.

This sense of twisted psychology comes through also in the writings of Philip K Dick, who had himself tried LSD. Psychedelics might have inspired the plot of Ubik, in which the character Glen Runciter experiences a believable but bizarre reality while his physical body is “on ice” in a cryogenic chamber. Wondering if you’re really dead or alive is the kind of thing that LSD can make happen to you.

The almost schizophrenic belief in a hidden real world outside of this merely simulated one is a mainstay of cyberpunk literature, and is similar to the impressions one gets on DMT or salvia divinorum. For thousands of years, human shamans have been having experiences of dying to the physical world and being reborn to the real one, like Neo did in The Matrix. In that regard, The Matrix is really a retelling of the ancient mystery school teaching of death and resurrection, reclothed in 21st-century technology.

A description of what might be the spirit of the DMT experience is given in the ANZAC cyberpunk novel The Verity Key. In the chapter Mindknife, the protagonist Jonty Gillespie has his perception altered by ingestion of a drug called Cinque Nuevo, which briefly blasts his consciousness out of his physical body and into an entirely external dimension that is occupied by beings that take the form of balls of light, while mechanical constructs that might be metaphors churn around him.

The datura experience is pretty similar to what befell many of the unfortunate researchers in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft. A disquieting sense of things not being quite as they should be grows into an intense paranoia that leaps at every shadow and from there to total psychological collapse at the raw horror of reality itself. Alien beings that seem to have come to Earth just to torment you is the kind of thing you’re dealing with in either case.

Datura is also the kind of drug that fits the background of weird horror stories such as those in His Master’s Wretched Organ. Talking to grotesquely deformed entities like Mr. Creamfeather and eating tobacco cakes are the sort of horror that, once experienced, leaves a person never quite the same again. The concept of ordeal rituals that leave you wiser for having suffered come to mind here.

Others are arguable. The steampunk of The Rocketeer might suit opium, the boo-yah aggression of Starship Troopers might suit mescaline, and the gritty military noir of the Altered Carbon series might be the old classics of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

It might be hard to read any speculative fiction on most of these drugs, because a person on them is more likely to be occupied with the inner theatre of the thoughts in their head than a book in the external world. However, it might be possible to have a richer experience of reading speculative fiction after having tried some of them, because they could open your awareness to realms of thought previously unimagined.

Writing the Schizophrenic

The literary medium offers vast scope for portraying the perceptual and cognitive oddities characteristic of schizophrenia

There are a tremendous number of misconceptions about schizophrenia – a combination of a cultural reluctance to confront the reality of mental illness and prior inaccurate portrayals in popular media. Avoiding these misconceptions and cliches is crucial to creating a believable and engaging schizophrenic character.

Perhaps the most glaring misconception is the belief that having schizophrenia means having multiple personality disorder. Many people still seem to believe that having schizophrenia is like Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which a powerfully suppressed evil nature sometimes breaks through to the surface and takes over the mind of the patient.

It’s certainly possible that a schizophrenic might have powerful struggles with inner demons, but they are not werewolves. A psychopathic alter ego is more characteristic of the psychopath. Powerful mood swings might make the schizophrenic seem like different people, and might make them difficult to deal with, but the characteristic of multiple personality disorder is that the personalities are not aware of each other, and schizophrenics are not afflicted by this.

It’s also not true that a schizophrenic will just babble nonsense all the time. Although psychological disorganisation is characteristic of schizophrenia, and although this disorganisation makes it more difficult to speak and converse coherently, speaking in word salad is more characteristic of an acute state of psychosis. This is a common state for a schizophrenic to fall into, but is different to schizophrenia itself.

Schizophrenics usually spend much more time in non-psychotic states than psychotic ones because it’s extremely difficult to maintain the state of acute agitation necessary to become psychotic. This state requires so much emotion and energy that in practical cases the sufferer either wears themselves out or ends up becoming convinced (or forced) to take medication.

So it’s relatively rare for a schizophrenic to act truly crazy all of the time.

What is characteristic of schizophrenia are what is called positive and negative symptoms. These don’t mean ‘good’ and ‘bad’ symptoms but whether the loss of touch with reality is the result of something being added to the “normal” experience of reality or something being taken away from it.

Dramatic visions, delusions and hallucinations, such as those portrayed in the film A Beautiful Mind, fall under the rubric of positive symptoms. The most common form of positive symptom is that of hearing voices. This is very difficult to imagine for anyone who has not experienced it, but a character who suffers this symptom might think that someone is talking to them when no-one is really there.

Sometimes when a schizophrenic appears to be rambling, they are having a coherent conversation with someone who doesn’t appear to be there. This naturally sounds like rambling to an outside observer although the schizophrenic themselves might believe that they are having a perfectly reasonable conversation with someone right next to them.

Likewise, when a schizophrenic appears to be staring into space, it may be because they believe themselves to be in a part of the Great Fractal that is different to where the outside observer is. Much like in a dream, the material world might not be making much of an impact on the consciousness of the schizophrenic.

This means that writing a story from the perspective of the schizophrenic is likely to be a cross between surreal and terrifying. Because what other people take for granted as firm laws of reality do not seem to apply to the conscious experience of the schizophrenic, it’s very difficult for any other character to understand what the experience of a schizophrenic is like.

It’s also terrifying because having original ideas about the nature of reality brings out some powerful emotional responses in other people. It isn’t easy to have other people profoundly disagree with you about things that you take for granted. Experiences like this might go some way to explaining why a schizophrenic character would also suffer from negative symptoms.

Disengagement with society, flattened emotions and an inability to maintain routines are the characteristic negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and if you can present realistic positive symptoms to your reader then some of these negative symptoms should be easy to believe.

For example, the reader might understand why a schizophrenic character feels the need to disengage with society if they read about how frustrating and frightening is to constantly be told, by everyone that character meets, that reality is actually very different to how that character perceives it.

Likewise, they might understand why schizophrenics have flattened emotions when they read about how a schizophrenic character has to compensate for the apparent fact that many of the things they perceive to exist aren’t really there. There are good reasons to not react strongly to things, even when those things are extremely bizarre or unusual, if one ordinarily sees a series of bizarre things that aren’t really happening.

The experience of being unable to maintain routines is a natural consequence of having an unusual amount of chaos in the mind, and it could be the routines in a character’s life falling to pieces that gives the first sign to those around them that a mental illness is developing.

Generally speaking, schizophrenia is an extremely difficult condition to portray accurately because of its complexity and because the experience of a schizophrenic is often fundamentally different to the experience of other people. Often the schizophrenic character will react reasonably and logically to the impressions that come into their mind and it is how those impressions get there which is the truly strange thing.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

The Limits of Inclusiveness

Gay people are categorically unwelcome here

With news that Queensland Islamic authorities are urging their followers to vote “No” to same sex marriage, the levels of cognitive dissonance among many on the left are starting to become painful. It’s now undeniable that a grand coalition of everyone who isn’t a rich, straight white male is an untenable concept. This essay examines why.

For the past couple of decades, leftist groups across the world have looked for solidarity on the basis of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This logic has inspired the “tolerant left” to make a show of solidarity towards any and all groups that had a grudge against the people running the world – commonly agreed to be rich, straight, white men.

This has led to the left adopting the idea of inclusiveness as a moral virtue. Any and all alliances with people who hated the Establishment had to be entertained. It didn’t matter if they were women, gay, black, Muslim or anything else, just as long as they wanted to overturn the status quo.

However, this grand political dream to remake the world in one’s image fell apart, as such schemes inevitably do, because it ran into inexorable silver laws of psychology.

It can be stated as a psychological rule that, the larger and more diverse any given group, the weaker the bonds of solidarity that hold it together will be, and the smaller and more pure any given group, the stronger those bonds of solidarity will be.

This is obviously true if we look at the extremes. At one far extreme we could consider the nuclear family to be the smallest group with the strongest solidarity. Parents are often ready to kill if that is necessary to protect their offspring, and “brother” is used as a gesture of common bonds in all kinds of ideological movements, so it’s easy to see how this small, extremely exclusive group has the highest solidarity.

The reason why you can’t just let a random person into your family and have them considered one of you is because this would increase the degree of diversity of the group to the point where such extremely strong bonds of solidarity are no longer tenable because the necessary level of trust isn’t there.

The obvious reason for this is because the already existing members of the family have next to nothing in common with a random person, so there’s no special reason to trust them.

At the the other far extreme we could consider the human species to be the largest group with the weakest solidarity. Indeed, we can see here that people generally don’t care at all if they hear that someone on the other side of the world died, unless that person had something in common with them, such as a native language or racial origin.

Further evidence for this can be observed if we place the nation states along a line with a familial level of solidarity (highly discriminating and strong) at one end and a universal level of solidarity (undiscriminating and weak) at the other.

Here it can be seen that the nations that cast the net of citizenship over an extremely broad set of different people (USA, Brazil, South Africa, Russia) have the lowest levels of solidarity, measured by the unwillingness of the wealthy to contribute to the communal welfare in the form of taxes, and by the willingness with which the poor use lethal violence on other citizens.

It can also be seen that the nations that cast this net more exclusively, such as only over a small, homogenous ethnic group (Scandinavia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Canada), have the highest levels of solidarity, measured by an egalitarian culture and low levels of interpersonal violence.

Fitting this trend, countries with moderate levels of diversity (Argentina, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Chile) are in the middle.

There’s no escaping this silver law: the more inclusive the group, the weaker the bonds of solidarity, and the less inclusive the group, the stronger the bonds of solidarity.

The idea of trying to include as many people in the wider group as possible is essentially a feminine idea, and this is why it is generally associated with the left. It’s a form of horizontalisation that seeks to remove all distinctions from people in order to homogenise us into an easily malleable ball of putty.

However, we can now see the limitations of it. The motivation behind this idea is ostensibly to avoid making people feel bad on account of being excluded, but the flipside of it is that no-one ever feels good on account of being included.

This has led to a situation where Muslim immigrants, considered by the trend-setters among the left to be allies on account of a mutual Christian enemy, will vote against the rights of other leftist allies if those allies are homosexuals. It is a tremendous irony that these religious fundamentalists, allowed into the country because of a desire to display the virtue of tolerance, do not share the belief in the value of that tolerance, and so are now acting to maintain intolerance towards groups they consider outsiders.

With the recent wave of immigration having made our societies much more diverse, we have correspondingly lost much of the solidarity that used to provide us with a sense of society and community. The net has been cast so wide, thanks to a fanatical ideology that believes it can erase all human uniqueness, that it cannot keep hold of what it covers.

In other words, the inevitable consequence of trying to treat everyone like your brother is that your brother can no longer count on a brotherly level of exclusive solidarity from you, and will have to settle for much less. People who believe that inclusiveness is necessarily a virtue might therefore want to be careful what they wish for.

Stockholm Syndrome and Modern Society

Victims of Stockholm Syndrome might be a lot more common than is usually appreciated

44 years ago, two Swedish bank robbers took four hostages during a failed robbery attempt at the Kreditbanken in Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm. Although the robbers kept the hostages for six days and forced them to endure psychological torture, the hostages declined to testify against the robbers when freed and even went as far as raising money for their defence. This phenomenon gave rise to the term “Stockholm Syndrome“.

The psychological literature defines Stockholm Syndrome as “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” It appears to have similarities to battered wife syndrome and to learned helplessness, and is otherwise known as “capture bonding”.

This phenomenon appears strange to neutral onlookers because the expected emotional consequence of subjecting someone to the trauma of being taken hostage is hatred. Because one loses one’s ability to move and talk freely on pain of being shot dead, it could reasonably be expected that a hostage would feel, at first, fear and anger, and then hatred.

Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t only occur in cases of botched robberies. The specific phenomenon is probably related to behaviour that naturally occurs in dominance hierarchies – in other words, Stockholm Syndrome is a manifestation of a specific submissive strategy that probably had frequent application in the brutal biological past of the human species.

For the vast majority of the history of the human species there have been no laws, and nothing even approaching a justice system. The first ever code of laws is thought to have been introduced by the Babylonian King Hammurabi almost 4,000 years ago, which means that for 96%+ of our existence the only thing that passed for justice was what you were physically capable of beating out of other people with your fists.

Because humans are a social species, this environment of easy violence meant that a large range of behaviours relating to how to show aggression and how to show submission evolved over time. Of course, many of these behaviours would have evolved long before humans ever became a separate species, and many of them are so old that their expression is more subconscious and instinctual than a deliberate attempt to manipulate.

Stockholm Syndrome is similar to the phenomenon of learned helplessness, in which a creature that has been brutalised without hope of escape for long enough comes to “learn” that no escape is possible, and can consequently fail to take an opportunity to escape when one does arise. In this sense it could also be considered similar to clinical depression.

What most people don’t realise is that we, the people of modern Western societies, have also been brutalised into submission by our own ruling classes, and so badly that our relations to them are akin to a hostage with Stockholm Syndrome towards their captor. In the middle of an election campaign – as we can see all around us – it’s possible to observe the abject state of emotional submission to which the populace has been reduced.

This is partially achieved by the kind of sadism that is common in primary school students. Like Winston Smith in 1984, who had a form of Stockholm Syndrome deliberately inculcated in him by the sadistic O’Brien, we have been meticulously brutalised by a control system that has had 5,000 years to perfect its tactics for manipulating the peasantry.

From childhood we are forced to get up early in the morning so that we can be most efficiently conditioned into a life of factory work. Anyone who has not received enough sleep by this time, for whatever reason, is severely punished. Absolute submission to authority is rewarded, on a daily basis, for over a decade, and all instances of failure to submit are punished mercilessly.

After a decade, it’s generally assumed that the brains of the victims have been tenderised enough for the teachers to hand us over to the employers, with whom we remain until it’s time to throw us on the scrapheap.

If at any time during this period of servitude we get the idea that we would like to smoke a medicinal flower to take some pain away, or to take some magic mushrooms in order to bring us closer to God, then members of a group of enforcers specially chosen for their willingness to follow orders will come and put us in a cage with rapists and murderers.

It will not be possible to reason with this enforcer class. One cannot argue, for example, that this enforcer class has no right to put you in a cage for simply trying to heal yourself physically, emotionally or spiritually. If you resist you will be attacked, and if you continue to resist you will be killed.

Neither can one count on the support of your fellows to resist such laws. The vast majority of the people has been conditioned to bow their heads and shrug their shoulders when they hear stories about the crimes that the enforcer class have committed against them. Ideologies of freedom, like anarcho-homicidalism, are mocked and rejected.

Such arbitrary laws, against medicines and sacraments that have been used by humans since before the Code of Hammurabi, can only have the effect of demoralising the people who fall under their whip.

Most of the people who don’t find the current state of affairs appalling are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, where they are the hostages and the ruling class are the captors. Essentially they are those who have been brutalised so hard that they have lost all will to resist and can be directed by the ruling class as easily as sheep can be led to slaughter.

We can see them being led to the voting booths right now in order to show their consent to the whole ghastly procedure. Here we can see that the emotionally mutilated citizenry will not only cast a vote in favour of the Establishment that mutilated them, they will also cast a vote to give that Establishment permission to emotionally mutilate their children too.

That a random person suffers from Stockholm Syndrome is not the exception but the iron-fast rule in our modern societies.

Writing the Narcissist

Portraying believable narcissistic characters in your creative writing poses a set of challenges that are similar to those posed by writing psychopathic ones. This is because both types of characters are extremely selfish, but there are many differences nonetheless. This article looks at the typical qualities of the narcissist so that a creative writer can most realistically portray such a character.

In that the narcissist is arrogant, self-absorbed and exploitative they are similar to the psychopath. Where they are different is that the psychopath seems dead inside to those that really know them, whereas the narcissist is full of emotions and life.

For example, narcissists are highly prone to strong feelings of envy. If the protagonist of your story achieved a major personal milestone, and received adulation from all around them, this could be the plot point that drove a secondary narcissist character into action.

That character might feel so bitter about the positive attention received by your protagonist that they began to scheme to bring them down. This could result in anything from gossip, to spreading false rumours, to a false accusation or even to violence. The more likely it is that the narcissist would step into the shoes of the protagonist if they took them down, the more strongly the narcissist will be motivated.

Narcissists also have a marked tendency towards magical thinking. If the narcissist makes a mistake, or lets someone down, or has an embarrassing failure of some kind, they are likely to use all kinds of implausible and bizarre explanations to escape any feeling of shame. Often they will simply distort reality rather than admit to being at fault for anything, and distortions of reality can lead to all manner of problems.

They are also likely to project their failures onto others, as a way of dealing with the internal feeling of shame. They are extremely reluctant to admit to either failure or weakness, and experience admitting such things as very humiliating. An intelligent character will be able to use this tendency as a way of determining the narcissist’s secrets, because they tend to accuse other people of what they themselves are guilty of.

Perhaps the defining characteristic of the narcissist is grandiosity, which manifests as a deep sense of superiority. This frequently becomes difficult for other characters in short order, because in the mind of the narcissist this sense of superiority gives them the right to treat others with contempt or disdain.

For this reason, narcissists tend to upset other characters. The more narcissistic those other characters are, the more they are likely to get upset – which is why it’s often dynamite when two narcissists meet. The coming together of two narcissist characters could make a fitting climax to any story or comedy.

Similar to the psychopath, the narcissist is capable of engendering powerful feelings of hate in other characters. These other characters are bound to feel that the narcissistic character is arrogant and rude, and the narcissistic tendency to be completely oblivious to the damage they cause only makes it more aggravating.

The narcissist is also capable of engendering powerful feelings of hate in themselves. Not being the centre of attention and adulation can be extremely damaging to the self-esteem of the narcissist. They might find meeting someone like a famous politician or distinguished intellectual to be an extremely unpleasant and belittling experience, enough to cause them depression for a while.

A narcissistic character will not necessarily bring misery into your story world, and this is another major way they are different to the psychopath. They may have found a way to sublimate their narcissism into bringing a lot of joy to people, such as becoming an actor or professional sportsman. Such a character might struggle with the excesses of their narcissism at the same time as mostly succeeding in bringing people joy.

Usually, however, narcissists do bring misery to those they encounter. The nature of the narcissist demands that they try and get the most adulation possible, and this means that they are prone to aggressively seeking high-status positions, even when there is another candidate who is obviously better qualified (a narcissist is not likely to realise that someone else is better qualified).

The narcissistic character might have an unpleasant early history that partially explains why they themselves are not a pleasant person. Many theorists believe that narcissism in adults is frequently caused by a lack of empathy and respect towards them when they were children, leading them to overcompensate as adults.

Frequently the narcissist will have one, or both, parents who did not seem to treat them as valuable when they were children. This lack of a normal, healthy level of positive attention in childhood is what makes the narcissist so desperate to receive it in adulthood. The narcissist might reveal, in their behaviour and actions, the resentment they feel towards perceived neglect.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Fellas – It’s (Almost Entirely) A Question Of Demonstrating A Capacity For Resource Acquisition

If you have the health, the strength, the brains or the will to do this, then you can get laid

Countless reams have been written about the question of what women really want. This question has bedevilled great minds going all the way back to antiquity, and not even Sigmund Freud had a clue. Recent advances in evolutionary psychology have given us an answer from a biological perspective – but only for those who dare to read on!

In the animal world from which we have climbed, survival is primarily a matter of meeting metabolic needs. Every creature that lives has a need to eat, because only by eating are most animals capable of acquiring the necessary nutrients to keep breathing, to stay warm, and to have the energy to keep moving and find a breeding partner.

This is why the animal world has been described as “red in tooth and claw”, but there’s more to it than that. Whether a creature eats or dies, and therefore whether its genes are selected for in the next generation, is primarily a question of its capacity for resource acquisition.

Getting laid is all about demonstrating a capacity for resource acquisition. Why? Because this is by far the most accurate way for a female onlooker to determine if your genes are likely to produce offspring that are themselves capable of acquiring resources – in other words, if your genes are likely to produce offspring that can survive.

Whether an individual woman realises it or not, the females of every sexually reproducing species don’t care about anything else – and why would they? Compared to the need to gather resources to meet your metabolic needs, there’s little else that really matters for a sexually reproducing creature.

If one thinks about it, almost all of the qualities that women find attractive in men relate directly to his capacity for resource acquisition, and, by extension, the capacity for resource acquisition of any potential offspring.

There are four major ways that women determine a man’s capacity for resource acquisition, and all four of them correspond directly to major evolutionary challenges in the biological past of the human species (they also correspond to the four alchemical stages of clay, iron, silver and gold).

The first is to be healthy. After all, ill health in animals is often a consequence of not getting enough food, because without enough food it’s difficult to maintain an immune system that can keep the body free of diseases.

Having diseased skin or a rancid body odour will turn a woman off faster than anything, which is why men spend so much time washing and showering before they go into town. Both of those things suggest strongly that the man in question has failed to acquire the necessary resources for maintaining healthy bodily function. In other words, they appear to be dying, and nothing is less sexy than that!

The second major quality is to be tall and strong. Everyone knows that women are attracted to this, but fewer have thought it through to the next stage. Being tall and strong is extremely advantageous to the degree that resource acquisition has historically been dependent on the physical strength of the male in question.

This is apparent when one considers that males spent most of their time in the biological past hunting, which sometimes required hitting animals with sticks and bones or throwing rocks at them, and then carrying the prey back to the rest of the tribe on his shoulders, which are all matters of physical strength.

Arguably even more important is that fact that height and strength correlate very strongly with a male’s position on the social dominance hierarchy, which is the prime determinant of future mating opportunities. The stronger a man is the easier he will be able to defuse threats to himself, to his breeding partner or to their offspring.

The third major quality is to be intelligent. Not everyone appreciates the intense degree to which women are attracted to intelligence in breeding partners, which is probably because most people don’t really understand what intelligence is.

In the biological past, humans were able to acquire resources far more effectively if they were intelligent enough to notice and memorise certain patterns of nature. For instance, the first humans to figure out that large herbivores frequented watering holes were able to ambush those large herbivores, club them to death and thereby feed the entire tribe.

Ancient bushlore contains thousands of little patterns like this, unique to each locale in which they developed, but all with one thing in common – whoever possessed this bushlore was more effectively able to predict when and where the food was going to be.

The fact that intelligence has historically been an extremely important indicator of a man’s capacity to acquire resources can be seen from the manyfold increase in brain capacity in hominids over the past few million years, which is evidence of an extremely strong selective pressure in favour of it.

The fourth major quality is to be brave. This quality relates alchemically to the level of gold. Like the gold it is more subtle than the other qualities, and because of its rarity not quite as obvious.

Bravery relates to resource acquisition in ways like not letting another man take away the food that you have successfully hunted, or not letting the size of an animal scare you away from trying to club it to death. Essentially it’s the quality that allows a man to reduce the fear that makes him weaker and less intelligent.

In the modern world, resource acquisition has basically been reduced to having a job. If you have a job, chances are excellent that you have the capacity to acquire the necessary resources to feed a wife and children until those children are themselves capable of acquiring resources.

This is why being unemployed is extremely unattractive to women. Most women will naturally assume that a man without a job is either too lazy, too weak, too stupid or too cowardly to work or to hold down a job, and all of those four things correlate very poorly with the capacity to acquire resources.

Chris Rock joked about this in a stand-up comedy special, when he said “Fellas! If you lose your job you will lose your woman.” The reason why he had observed this pattern play out in his social circles is because a man losing his job has also lost his capacity for resource acquisition.

The other major quality that a man can possess to demonstrate his capacity for resource acquisition is to own a house. Females of all territorial species intuitively understand that the creature that dominates any given territory naturally controls all the resources within that territory, and so a man that controls a house appeals to very deep and powerful instincts.

Essentially, if a man is unable to get laid he needs to either become better looking, stronger, smarter or braver, because those are the qualities that correlate with a capacity for resource acquisition and are therefore the qualities that woman have evolved to select for in their breeding partners.

The Closer the Election Gets, the More Degraded Political Discourse Becomes

We’re fortunate that no campaigning is allowed on Election Day – if there was, it would just be the candidates throwing feces at each other

There’s a psychological heuristic about the effectiveness of logical arguments compared to emotional ones. In essence, rational arguments weigh more heavily in the long term, often producing permanent changes, but emotional arguments weigh more heavily in the short term, often producing immediate action. This simple rule explains why the quality of political discourse has degraded so sharply in recent weeks, and why it will degrade further in the next two.

This human tendency was demonstrated with a study that examined tooth brushing habits. Two groups listened to two different lectures from dental health professionals. The first lecture used calm, reasonable, logical arguments to explain why people should brush their teeth, the second used fire and brimstone and tried to scare the listeners into doing so.

Although people who heard the first lecture only made a small increase in how regularly they brushed their teeth, the change in behaviour lasted for a long time. This was in stark contrast to the emotional lecture. People who heard this one made a sharp increase in tooth-brushing behaviour immediately after the lecture but, over the long term, this then fell away to much lower levels than the people who had heard the logical arguments in the first lecture.

Our political class and their advisers, highly sophisticated in the art of psychological persuasion, know all of this and are using this knowledge against the plebs right now. The rule they are operating by is: the closer we get to the day of the election, the less effective logical arguments become, and the more effective emotional arguments become.

One year out from an election, there’s no real reason to get emotional. The voters themselves have not yet been whipped into hysteria by the mainstream media, and so any politician that noticeably becomes emotional will look unstable and lose support.

That far out, it’s much better to focus on calm, logical arguments that a potential voter can ruminate over at their leisure before making a solid commitment to a party on the basis of reason. This is because, as with the toothbrush study, this influence will be minor but permanent.

The day before an election, by contrast, is not the time for calm and logical arguments. It doesn’t make psychological sense to aim for a moderate but long-term gain when the election is the next day and the preferences of voters in one year’s time doesn’t count for shit. At this point, it only makes sense to appeal to the heart (and almost always to fear), in the hope that this wave of raw emotion will not have subsided by the next day.

Right now, two weeks out from Election Day, fewer logical arguments are being made. “Let’s Do This!” is not a logical argument, and that is why we have seen expressions of it much more often over the past week. Neither is whipping up fears about being taxed into the poorhouse.

Here the political discourse can already be seen to have degraded, but things will only get worse over the next two weeks as the miserable calculus of persuasion shifts the balance ever-further towards whipping up hysteria and fear.

In two weeks’ time, the discourse will have degraded so far that National supporters will simply be yelling “COMMUNISM!!!”, Labour supporters will be screaming “SOLD DOWN THE RIVER!!!”, New Zealand First supporters will be bellowing “NEOLIBERALISM!!!” and Greens supporters will be shrieking “POO IN THE WATER!!!”

And it will take us three years to get over the shame of how low we all stooped before we can do it again.

Writing The Psychopath

Psychopaths make for fascinating characters in creative writing because they are dangerous, ruthless and unpredictable

The psychopath, sociopath or person with Antisocial Personality Disorder has for centuries been one of the most interesting subjects for creative writers. Something about their nature reliably invokes a sense of horror in the reader – perhaps the ruthlessness, perhaps the callousness, perhaps the deep and smouldering hatred for life. This article looks at how you can believably portray a psychopathic character in your own creative fiction.

It’s important to note that ‘psychopath’ and ‘psychotic’ are two entirely different things. A psychopath is seldom a madman – there is usually a distinct logic and methodology to their actions, even if those actions are considered abhorrent by the majority of people around them.

Psychopaths are primarily characterised by a lack of shame or remorse. Essentially this means that they don’t feel bad about causing suffering to other sentient beings. If they do cause suffering to another person or animal they will rarely accept that they shouldn’t have done so, and even when they do they are never sincere.

A striking lack of remorse after the psychopath did something that harmed someone might be the clue that lets other characters realise that they’re dealing with someone who is a bit different up top. The psychopath might be unaware that they’re supposed to feel remorse (depending on their level of sophistication) and may appear to become confused when another character acts as if remorse would be expected.

Lying is another essential characteristic of the psychopath. From the perspective of the author, this presents an interesting challenge, because the characters that interact with the psychopath are unlikely to realise (at least, not initially) that they are being lied to.

This isn’t just a question of telling a lot of lies. Psychopaths are good at lying as well. They stay cool when telling lies – even if initially disbelieved, and this means that the microsignals that people subconsciously use to detect liars are present less often.

A character who encountered a psychopath might find themselves slowly figuring out that they’re being lied to. They might be so taken in by the glib charm of the psychopath character that they are reluctant to accept that that character has been misleading them, and only by thinking hard about the facts do they realise that something doesn’t add up.

These two traits combine as well, in remorseless lying. The psychopath does not care about the consequences of telling lies, neither when it comes to the suffering caused or the risk of being caught out. The lack of shame means that even if they are caught with indisputable proof that they are lying, they might continue to insist that their accuser must be mistaken, possibly mentally ill, or that they should just “get over it”.

These characteristics might be of more interest to psychological fiction than a psychopath who is just a remorseless killer. Although, if they are a remorseless killer, they no doubt will have developed a fantastic web of lies to divert attention from the fact. Keep in mind that some serial killers were even able to keep their streak of murders a secret from their own wives!

Another personality trait that typifies the psychopath is a constant need for stimulation. It seems that psychopaths do not derive the same satisfaction from everyday activities that non-psychopaths do, and this has leads to an increased incidence of risk-taking behaviours, such as sexual promiscuity, violence and drug use. The psychopath tends to be impulsive, on account of that they don’t have much in the way of inhibitions.

This means that a psychopath character will almost certainly not practice meditation, for example. Neither will they be fond of long walks on the beach, hiking, chess, Test cricket, gardening etc. They wouldn’t be able to sit still for long enough to partake in pastimes such as these.

A history of irresponsibility also characterises the psychopath. It’s common for psychopaths to be incapable of holding down a stable job or relationship because of the need for constant stimulation and because their lies and callous behaviour tends to limit social opportunities. Some other characters in your story might find this history a warning sign.

Another decision that the author will have to make is whether their character is a psychopath or a sociopath. Although both conditions generally fall under the rubric of Antisocial Personality Disorder, there is a distinction in that psychopathy is innate whereas sociopathy is a learned condition from the environment.

Depending on the needs of the story, the character might have been “born bad” or they might have lost their natural empathy as a consequence of massive physical, sexual or psychological abuse. The author will have to decide this once they decide what emotional reaction they want to reader to have, because a character who has had everything good beaten out of them in childhood will be more engaging to some readers, particular those with a higher demand for psychological realism.

Taking these considerations into account when writing a psychopathic character should allow the author to make an accurate portrayal of someone with the condition while avoiding the common cliche of mindless, uncalculating sadism.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto X

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 776-847), titled “A Declaration of Pre-emptive War”, Breivik discusses how “Christian/conservative/nationalist” forces can organise themselves to best resist the coming chaos. Here he is particular about making sure that the work is seen as hypothetical and fictional, apparently for the reason that he is concerned about potential legal consequences from being too explicit.

Here again Breivik demonstrates that he is not a neo-Nazi, at one point by demanding that the national governments of Europe issue a statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression, at another by calling Hitler a “twisted mass murderer.”

Here also he holds European politicians accountable for every single crime committed by Muslims in Europe, a crime rate that he describes as “an average 1000 atrocities per 100 000 Muslims annually.” The line of reasoning Breivik pursues here is that, without Muslims being in Europe, none of these crimes would ever have happened. This is perhaps the most untenable of all the claims in this document.

Although it’s literally true that none of the crimes committed by Muslims against Europeans would have happened if there were no Muslims in Europe, the absolute numbers of crimes in a particular country is primarily a function of the absolute numbers of people – after all, America manages to maintain an extremely high rate of crime (by developed world standards) with far fewer Muslims than Europe.

Breivik tends to conflate all genuine criticism of European traditions and institutions into the category of the great Marxist/feminist conspiracy against Europe. He does this with the nature of the Church’s influence on European society – here Breivik can not tolerate any criticism of the Church on libertarian or humanist grounds. All criticism of the Church is a Marxist plot to destroy Europe.

The paranoid nature of some of the earlier parts of the document resurfaces when Breivik details a media-led conspiracy to deny the truth about historical Islamic violence. This also misses the mark.

The media doesn’t educate anyone, ever – it sells advertising. Breivik considers it a kind of bias for the media to be silent on, for example, the genocide of Hindus and Buddhists in the Hindu Kush, but that degree of historical detail is reserved for special and academic interests, not for a mainstream media which speaks to a twelve-year old intellect.

There is an eerie foreshadowing of the future when Breivik cites Jefferson as saying “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Indeed, later on in this section he goes as far as declaring that “The time for dialogue is now over. The time for armed resistance has come.”

The legal measures suggested in this section are those that Breivik appears to believe should be instituted by any genuinely patriotic European front, should any take power. Curiously, one of the policy points allows for the immediate release of all “patriotically-minded” individuals from Western European jails.

Perhaps Breivik himself, incarcerated as he is for life, is counting on such a policy in order to get out of jail himself.

When he writes that “Norway and Sweden are two of the world’s most repressive Marxist regimes,” he echoes a sentiment that is common among Scandinavian conservatives, especially Christian ones. This sentiment is grounded in a disbelief that the conservatives are in a genuine minority. Where majority opinion does not agree (and it’s far from agreeing with Breivik’s demands that all Muslims be deported on pain of execution), this is considered evidence of brainwashing.

Interestingly, Breivik lists all of Communism, Cultural Marxism, Islam and Nazism as “hate ideologies” which must be opposed by any European male who wishes to be accepted into what he hopes might become a renewed European chivalric order.

It’s apparent that anyone who thinks like this in contemporary European society is bound to experience a certain degree of social isolation. This might ultimately help to explain the reasoning that led Breivik to take the actions he did.