May 22, 2012

5 Signs Your Child Is a Psychopath, According To The NYT

psychopath dragon nyt.jpg
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WTF

The New York Times Magazine has a story describing a 9 year old boy who has been diagnosed as a psychopath. "Oh my God, that was such a moving article."  Shut it.

Strangely/not strangely, they spend very little time describing the kid's psychopathy, and a lot of time on describing everything else from which you are to infer his psychopathy.  It's like badly written female erotica, which is exactly what the New York Times Magazine is, penis never goes in vagina, it's all innuendo and mood and words words words words...

Here are the 5 signs of a child's psychopathy, according to the New York Times.


1. Ethnicity


You know how at the beginning of these profiles they always write, "In order to protect the privacy of the subjects, the names have been changed"? They don't have that here.  Instead, to protect their privacy, they use the real first names.  And where they live.  And the name of their doctor.

Why would they use the real names?  Employers/suitors already look at your drunken bikini pics and judge you hopefully favorably, shouldn't this kid's story be a little better protected?


Maybe the real names are important: there's Anne, the mom.  Boleyn?  No.  Oh.  Michael's the psychopath. Myers?!  No. Dammit.   Dad is Miguel.... oh. 

As there are 10 million psychopaths living within 60 blocks of the NYT offices and another 200 inside the NYT offices, it's odd they needed to travel all the way to Florida to interview one.  Maybe this psychopath is really interesting?  Nope.  Kill anyone?  Nope.  Cosplays The Ring?   Nope.  Started a hedge fund?  Nope.  Weird.  Long way to go for boring.


2. Feet

If this kid had a swastika carved in his forehead or a tooth ring you can bet they'd photograph it, privacy be damned.  No such luck, Michael refuses to look disfigured or appear black.  So instead of his face you're getting a picture of his feet.  Yikes.


psychopath kids nyt feet.jpg

Feet?  I suppose kids' feet are interesting to some readers (e.g. psychopaths) but there's probably another reason for the photo.  "It shows he's standing separate from everyone."  Yes, but you put him separate, right?  To tell us that he's separate?  You also told everyone to take off their shoes.

So other than obvious staging of this crime scene, the NYT wants you to know either  a) they're gypsies; b) mom's got 3 tattoos on her feet.  One's a star.  Do you know what a star tattoo means?  It means what you are about to read is her fault.


3. Hands:



psychopath kids NYT.jpg

Well, that could be a picture telling us he has reddish hair and no swastika on his forehead; or it could be a picture telling us his mom has a thumb ring and Lee Press On Nails.   

"Hey, no one's saying she's a bad mother!"  No. You're just saying it all makes sense.






4.  This:



psychopath dragon nyt.jpg

This is a picture of a blue dragon breathing blue fire.   If the TSA saw this laying on a flaming  bag of plastic explosives they would all go on break, so compellingly normal and safe and ordinary this drawing is.  It is so normal that I've given it to babies in the NICU for comfort.  They giggle.  Here, I made it more scary: 




psycho dragon 2.jpg



and even now Downy wants to make it the new symbol of freshness.  I don't know how the hell this implies Michael is a psychopath.  Does the Times now include a blotter acid insert?  Should I lick this?

 
5. Science:

The New York Times loves science, LOVES it, especially the kind with no numbers and frequent appeals to authority, especially ESPECIALLY if those authorities are from the cast of Freakonomics.  Here are the seven most important sciences according to the NYT:

1. Sociology
2. Political science
4. Climate science
5. Science fiction

7. NPR

8. Law

So when you see this:

Michael was almost two standard deviations outside the normal range for callous-unemotional behavior

and

One study calculated the heritability of callous-unemotional traits at 80%

you can be sure they have no idea what it means and have no expectation their readers do either, which is why they wrote it like that, in those words.  NB: "One study"= it must be true.  The readers think of genes as cluster bombs, if the father drops it into the mother her vagina explodes with untoward consequences. If you try to explain gene expression and interaction they start to glaze over, and by the time you hit imprinting all they hear is the theme to Dancing With The Stars.   Whenever you read the word "genetics" or "heritability" in the popular press as it relates to kids, it means one of two things:

a)  It's not your fault.


or


b)  it's your ex's fault.


To reinforce this to the target demo, the genetic link of psychopathy, in Michael's case, is through the hispanic guy. 




BUT DOESN'T MICHAEL SOUND LIKE A PSYCHOPATH?


In fairness to the Times, I will admit they list, explicitly, several psychopathic behaviors that Michael exhibits:


he threatens his brother with a chair

he says he hates his brother

he watches Pokemon

he can go from perfectly calm to full rage, and then calm again

rages include punching toilets, though not people

his mom is exhausted

his dad is exhausted, but less so

he erases the dumb reporter's digital recorder

he goes to psychopath summer camp, and doesn't like it


Because these aren't terribly diagnostic by themselves,  the article is quick to mention the horrendous accomplishments of other child psychopaths.  One kid chopped up a cat's tail.  Another kid named Jeffrey Bailey drowned a toddler in the pool just because he was curious. Therefore, Michael is crazy.  "Dude, that makes no sense."  Dude, I'm just telling you what the article says.  "Some, including Michael, were actually worse; one had begun biting the counselors."  Wait, what?


Is Michael a psychopath?  I have no idea, but I do know that the purpose of the story isn't to describe psychopathy, but to entertain a demographic that has nothing else to do on Sundays now that Desperate Housewives has been canceled. Have you learned anything you didn't already know from this article?  "Don't let Michael date my daughter."  Check.  "Or my son!  You never know, it's wrong to assume!"  Double check.  And mate.  And I'm moving.


Scroll through the 631 deranged comments in the article, the two themes are "they need to remove the kid from the home for the family's safety!"  which is totally ok when it's suggested by a deranged Manhattanite with no understanding of who "they" is, but everyone gets all Founding Fathers when George Bush tries it. "What gives him the right?!"  Duh, you did.   The other popular theme is "My heart goes out to these parents, what they must be going through!" but you only ever say such things when you're not at risk; and since the article lets you know it only happens to certain kinds of other people, your patronizing condescension is encouraged.  "It is terrible, isn't it, but I guess it's true that other people are different from me."  I will observe that no one feels bad for Michael even though this is supposed to be genetic= "not your fault" and he hasn't actually hurt anyone, which is precisely the kind of psychopathic prejudice I expect from the NYT and its deranged readers.  Does anyone have any other suggestions besides extraordinary rendition or military academy?  No?  Then shut it.  The kid is nine.  You derangetons are 40 and still shamelessly retain the fantasy that your decaying mind and body will someday pull something off, meanwhile you're wrapping up shooting on his movie before puberty even hits.


Of course there are 9 yo psychopaths and of course you intervene early if you feel something's amiss and maybe Michael after all is one; but they sure haven't made a great case for it or the predictions for his future which, of course, are only implied, but you know. 


Here's one explicit prediction-- and it is the Hail Mary of psychiatric predictions, offered without the benefit of conclusive research but you meet me at the bus stop at 3:30 if you want to fight about it-- one of the most significant causes of psychopathy is being told, at age 9, that you are a psychopath, and that the New York Times Magazine wants to do a ten page story about you.  Yeah.  Oops.


---


http://twitter.com/thelastpsych --- live tweeting the butchery that is Fifty Shades Of Grey tonight (May 22) during the finale of Dancing With The Stars.









Comments

Everyone in the media is no... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 10:38 AM | Posted by Steve : | Reply

Everyone in the media is now infatuated with psychopathy. It's the new autism. It's a fad.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 47 (57 votes cast)
Poor boy! :-(... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 11:33 AM | Posted by Deborah: | Reply

Poor boy! :-(

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (20 votes cast)
I bet he's a narcissist too... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 12:36 PM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

I bet he's a narcissist too.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 32 (48 votes cast)
Foucault would be proud.</p... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 12:56 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Foucault would be proud.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (20 votes cast)
"Almost two standard deviat... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 1:42 PM | Posted by Jay: | Reply

"Almost two standard deviations away from normal" means "more or less any classroom will have a kid or two like this".

Also, do we know anything about the test's validity? If the kids take the test next year, will they get similar scores? Ten years down the line, do these scores have any predictive value?

As far as I can tell, the kid has a serious case of being a little boy. It'll pass.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 70 (82 votes cast)
Hey, Alone.Can you c... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 1:55 PM | Posted by gatekeeper: | Reply

Hey, Alone.
Can you cover something beautiful, something good? Just anything, whatever you happen to find in public media.

Can you still see beauty in the world?

Because if you can't... I don't trust you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -31 (123 votes cast)
SINGLE TEAR RUNS DOWN LEFT ... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 2:03 PM | Posted, in reply to gatekeeper's comment, by Shaun Grey: | Reply

SINGLE TEAR RUNS DOWN LEFT CHEEK

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 51 (71 votes cast)
Can you cover something ... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 2:07 PM | Posted, in reply to gatekeeper's comment, by Joe: | Reply

Can you cover something beautiful, something good? Just anything, whatever you happen to find in public media.

Can you still see beauty in the world?

The world isn't the New York Times Magazine or the public media.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 48 (74 votes cast)
Alone is right. The irrespo... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 2:28 PM | Posted by I like Alone: | Reply

Alone is right. The irresponsible media contributes to discrimination, not awareness, of the psychiatric and psychosocial problems in our society.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 44 (48 votes cast)
"he erases the dumb reporte... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 2:41 PM | Posted by brian: | Reply

"he erases the dumb reporter's digital recorder"

lol, that's what i'd do too.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 86 (98 votes cast)
<a href="http://www.nytimes... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 3:19 PM | Posted by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html?comments#permid=423

Hook, line, and sinker. There oughtta be a law...

I was impressed at how many of your favorite things that scientists have discovered and studies have shown are mentioned in the article, and at your restraint in focusing the bigger picture.

And I can't recommend the comments enough.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html?comments#permid=420

I'm all for exploring alternative explanations/solutions, but damn.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (17 votes cast)
from the NYT article end, "... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 4:04 PM | Posted by suomynona: | Reply

from the NYT article end, "Jennifer Kahn teaches at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. This is her first article for the magazine."

school of journalism? not school of the criminally insane? ah, but Berkeley... practically the same thing.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (30 votes cast)
Is Michael a psych... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 4:07 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

Is Michael a psychopath? I have no idea, but I do know that the purpose of the story isn't to describe psychopathy, but to entertain a demographic that has nothing else to do on Sundays now that Desperate Housewives has been canceled. Have you learned anything you didn't already know from this article?

Amen, so true. The whole Sunday Times is dedicated to bored, white middle class liberals with ennui and existential angst.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 30 (44 votes cast)
" Is Michael a psychopat... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 6:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

" Is Michael a psychopath? I have no idea, but I do know that the purpose of the story isn't to describe psychopathy, but to entertain a demographic that has nothing else to do on Sundays now that Desperate Housewives has been canceled. Have you learned anything you didn't already know from this article? "Don't let Michael date my daughter." Check. "Or my son! You never know, it's wrong to assume!" Double check. And mate. And I'm moving."

Is this supposed to be your typical psychopathic liberal Manhattanite's inner dialogue (the one who needs to be entertained on Sundays)? Since the rhetorical question comes right after your beloved demographic's description, I guess it is not unreasonable to assume that the answer is yes. What is tragic of course is that the hollow "one must not assume" attitude you are attacking is a million times better than an authentic assumption that your kid is straight even though he is not. I wish you and your bagel friend could get over your mild homophobia sometimes...
Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -56 (86 votes cast)
Roughly 3% of Americans are... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 8:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by M dot: | Reply

Roughly 3% of Americans are gay. Consequently, roughly 97% are straight. When you hear hoofbeats on the prairie and automatically think "zebras!" That's a perception problem. The hoofbeats are more likely to be coming from horses. Since horses on the prairie vastly outnumber zebras there. Do you get my analogy? Or do you find it "mildly homophobic?"

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 53 (87 votes cast)
Oh you think you are such a... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 8:53 PM | Posted, in reply to M dot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh you think you are such a genius with your prairie full of horses and zebras, huh? I am sure predictions regarding your equine friends can be important in some contexts. However, when it comes to humans, having an inclusive attitude that can protect 3% to 5% of American children from psychological harm is more important than your (yes, definitely homophobic) brain can apparently appreciate!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -46 (92 votes cast)
I, for one, am relieved at ... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 9:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by M dot: | Reply

I, for one, am relieved at the tone you're taking. Since Whitney Houston's untimely passing, I was unsure of who was going to step in and take her place in the "I Get So Emotional, Baby" department. You, sir or madam (wouldn't want to assume!) have done just that. Kudos.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 17 (43 votes cast)
Thank you. And I would rath... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 10:11 PM | Posted, in reply to M dot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you. And I would rather "get so emotional" than compare gay kids to zebras and horses. It is not my forte, but I'm sure there are many psychopathic singers you can fill in for with that "callous-unemotional" tune of yours as well.

It is so unfortunate, Alone. Perhaps you do not intend for it to happen, but your blog oozes with homophobia. It is not too dissimilar to the way liberal media promotes anti-religion sentiment, either.
Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -62 (76 votes cast)
I've been reading your blog... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 10:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I've been reading your blog for a few years now, and you've always struck me as mockingly flippant (more so lately). But wading through all your bullshit has generally been profitable, particularly when it comes to your insightful comments regarding recent (and not so recent) pharmaceutical trials. Lately, however, you've become a bore. You expect your sarcastic observations to make your arguments for you - derogatory labels are used as stand-ins for reasoned judgment. Your posts are less about education and illumination and more about trying to convince the rest of us that you're smarter than everybody else in the room. Yea for you!

This most recent screed is some of your best work yet. Seriously? There's an ethnic angle here because the kid's dad is named Miguel? You aren't saying shit here. You're not even pretending to say anything of value here. You're just pointing at how smart you must be because you noticed some connection, some pattern, some meaningless nothingness that nobody else saw a bit of significance in - nobody who isn't as smart as you, anyway.

Tattooed feet, thumb rings, press on nails, cryptic observations all . . .(your resulting insinuations and predictions wholly unsupported by the actual article) disgorged in paroxysms of sarcastic innuendo designed to imbue hidden meaning into the meaningless. It takes a genius like you to help us make the connections. Just don't suggest any of us read the articles.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (95 votes cast)
Thank you to the last comme... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 11:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by I agree: | Reply

Thank you to the last comment. I totally agree. It was a stupid article, fine. The "ethnic angle" is non-existent, and you also chose to ignore the many comments that completely agree with you about how normal this kid seems.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 18 (28 votes cast)
From the looks of things, m... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 11:18 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

From the looks of things, mommy didn't find much "joy and happiness" in raising children until her "normal" children came along; also, she sounds afraid of her son.
Her 9 year old son.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (15 votes cast)
Just how normal is this kid... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 11:36 PM | Posted, in reply to I agree's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Just how normal is this kid really? Let's take a closer look at the article and various behaviors this "normal" kid displayed that got his parents (who really don't sound like latte sipping manhattanites by the way) worried enough to consult with a cadre of mental health professionals:

1) "At 8, Michael would still fly into a rage when Anne or Miguel tried to get him ready for school, punching the wall and kicking holes in the door."

2) "Left unwatched, he would cut up his trousers with scissors or methodically pull his hair out."

3) "He would also vent his anger by slamming the toilet seat down again and again until it broke.

4) "Seeing the video playing, Michael gave a keening scream, then scanned the room for the guilty party. His gaze settled on Allan. Grabbing a wooden chair, he hoisted it overhead as though to do violence but paused for several seconds, giving Miguel a chance to yank it away.

5) “What you saw, that was the old Michael,” he continued. “He was like that all day long. Kicking and hitting, slamming the toilet seat.”

6) "One night, while Michael watched his Pokémon video, Allan climbed up to sit in the chair next to him with the strap end of a Beyblade launcher dangling from his mouth. Michael looked at him with hatred, then calmly turned back to the computer. Thirty seconds passed. Suddenly, Michael pivoted, grabbed the strap with vicious force and hurled the launcher across the room."

7) (After the summer camp) "At home, Miguel said, Michael had become slyer in his disobedience. “He doesn’t scream as much,” he told me. “He just does what he wants and then lies about it.”

This does not sound like any of the normal kids I have seen. And I completely agree with 10:25 that this is probably one of the emptiest pieces I have read on this blog (for the same reasons 10:25 lists). It is funny, the moment I read the NYT article, I knew Alone was going to write about it. Unfortunately he did and botched it, too.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 47 (57 votes cast)
I love your blog, but I agr... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2012 11:38 PM | Posted by Miguel: | Reply

I love your blog, but I agree with one of the above posters that your posts lately have seemed angrier and not quite as salient.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 20 (22 votes cast)
You accuse writers of seein... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 12:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You accuse writers of seeing homophobia everywhere, yet your knee jerk response was to see homophobia in a response that harbored nothing but an analogical model for discussion. This web site is definitely for you, not so much the comment area.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (28 votes cast)
I am not sure who is accusi... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 12:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I am not sure who is accusing writers of seeing homophobia everywhere? The so-called analogical model suggested that since 97% of the kids are straight, it is perfectly fine to assume that all of them are (and treat them as such). Needlessly to say, it is extremely pretentious or naive to think that an attitude of non assumption should be based on statistics and not the heteronormative attitude's potential harm on the remaining 3%. One thing I appreciate about the openly bigoted homophobes is that there is no pretension in their world; what you usually see is your good old irrational hatred. On the other hand, the point that was made in passing by the author (and later was defended by M dot) is far more insidious and infuriating. It is the idea that we should not bother entertaining the possibility that our children can indeed be gay, because that is reserved for latte sipping psychopathic manhattanites who just want to feel cooler than everyone else and why bother considering such a small possibility anyway? What is this if not a covert invitation to exile the 3% of the society's children from their parents' consciousness into the invisible abyss nearly every gay teenager is familiar with? Do you realize what a callous, harmful, idiotic stand is this? Perhaps you don't and perhaps that is because you never had to go through the extraordinarily painful experience of coming out to your mother who never ever thought that you could be gay. I bet "Alone" and "M dot" did not have to go through that, either. This is also why the commentators on this blog can coolly talk about brain deformities underlying homosexuality and feel offended when homophobia is compared to Antisemitism. So, instead of advising me what to read/write, please take your pick and make an argument instead. I am listening.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -16 (36 votes cast)
I am confused by those comm... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 1:40 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am confused by those commenters who complained about Alone's "recent writings". It is not like Alone seeked our opinion on his "writing style", or we pay for a subscription to read his blog entries. Maybe we should all be grateful for the priviledge of reading such awsome articles. There is always a "x" box you can click if something is unpleasant to your eyes......

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (44 votes cast)
And there's probably a func... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 1:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

And there's probably a functionality on the website that would allow Alone to disable comments. So maybe he should be grateful for the feedback he is receiving so that he can improve the quality of his posts and maintain his site traffic and ad revenue.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (24 votes cast)
Loyal followers of Alone, u... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 4:36 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Loyal followers of Alone, unite!

Drive back the heathens!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (36 votes cast)
Meh. Better somebody writes... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 5:58 AM | Posted by Oelsen: | Reply

Meh. Better somebody writes a blog about how stupid paper X is, than setting cars on fire because of unresolved inner stress. Besides that, every troll here should at least to be thankful once for the work those bad blogs do in training the metacognition.

This boy is seriously ill, but in a more whack-and-work environment this human would be shoveling dirt somewhere and *sometimes* he would smack a supervisor with the shovel. I bet the coworkers would agree.

Why is it that every time a story like this comes up the kid is in front of a screen and not playing or fist fighting outside? Either there is an unconscious effort of the media establishment to drag new media into the mud or there is indeed something to alienation and desocialization by too much screen time.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (13 votes cast)
we're all seriously fucking... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 6:22 AM | Posted, in reply to Oelsen's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

we're all seriously fucking ill. without religion most of us are lost, socially and emotionally. some days it's all i can do not to blow something up.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -22 (44 votes cast)
I have to agree with you An... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 6:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Tim: | Reply

I have to agree with you Anon. Some months back there was a sudden change in tone, which suggests to me that Alone either sold the blog, or began writing in charecter.
I think he got a lot of traffic from an angry comment about black cinema goers, and decided he rather liked it. The blog changed from being a 'private public place' for him to write his less acceptable thoughts about work and life, to a soap box for him to try and fix the world (or at least make ad revenue).
AndAnotherThing. I'm sure Alone looks at his Alexa traffic stats, the ones that tell him what kind of person visits the blog. He has a pretty large young female audience, they are the biggest segment. Wonder why he writes as a father? I suspect they come here looking for one.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -9 (31 votes cast)
"without religion most of u... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 9:06 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by not ill: | Reply

"without religion most of us our lost" - are you f'ing kidding me? Skyfairies are supposed to make me feel found? For me it's the exact opposite.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (41 votes cast)
You know, the foot tattoos ... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 9:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

You know, the foot tattoos were a little hard for me to see, but I saw that purple shirt, thought about how my homophobic 9 year old self would have felt about wearing it, and assumed this kid was a proud member of the 3%.

BTW, how does the proper treatment of a homosexual 9 year old differ from that of a heterosexual one?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (15 votes cast)
@ gatekeeper:"Can yo... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 12:41 PM | Posted, in reply to gatekeeper's comment, by shakingfist: | Reply

@ gatekeeper:
"Can you cover something beautiful, something good? Just anything, whatever you happen to find in public media."

Which one do you want? To cover something beautiful and/or good in the world OR something beautiful and/or good in the "public" media?

A related question, who owns the "public" media?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (6 votes cast)
"...However, when it comes ... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 12:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by shakingfist: | Reply

"...However, when it comes to humans, having an inclusive attitude that can protect 3% to 5% of American children from psychological harm is more important than your (yes, definitely homophobic) brain can apparently appreciate! "

I can't speak for everyone else who hasn't asked you the same but please don't bother trying to protect me or my family.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (17 votes cast)
OMG "Anonymous" - quit bein... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 2:18 PM | Posted by meistergedanken: | Reply

OMG "Anonymous" - quit being such a Fag!

Queer hissy-fits fail to convince rational people or persuade them to change their views - just a suggestion [not that you will take it].

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (33 votes cast)
Sure, please give me your n... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 2:35 PM | Posted, in reply to shakingfist's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Sure, please give me your name, phone number and address. I will make sure to put you and your family members on my personal "do not protect" list.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -14 (18 votes cast)
Queer hissy fits? Fag? Dude... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 3:00 PM | Posted, in reply to meistergedanken's comment, by yawn: | Reply

Queer hissy fits? Fag? Dude, seriously? What's wrong with you? This is exactly what Anon was criticizing. It really is appalling to see how much homophobia people spew on this blog. In your case, perhaps internalized?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (29 votes cast)
Has anyone noticed that the... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 8:32 PM | Posted by Cambyses: | Reply

Has anyone noticed that the writer lapses into omniscent narration:

-"Grabbing a wooden chair, he hoisted it overhead as though to," where the author infers the child's intentions.

-"scanned the room for the guilty party," where again the author magically knows the child's intent.

-"Michael looked at him with hatred, then calmly turned back to the computer. Thirty seconds passed. Suddenly, Michael pivoted, grabbed the strap with vicious force and hurled the launcher across the room." He looked "with hatred"? How do we know the meaning of this look without asking the child? How does one "calmly" turn? Then is the force "vicious" or the child?

Is this author describing a child or constructing a character?

She answers this question for us, "When I first met Michael, he seemed shy but remarkably well behaved." The "remarkably" tells us that the moment she met this kid, she already had an idea in mind of who he was, that there was a verification bias at work. He never stood a chance. She needed a story, like Dr. Waschbusch (wash-bush?) needed a case-report, like his mother needed a reson why she was a psychology major... then a teacher... then working in food service, like we all need another excuse to argue about homosexuality. The boy has become a proxy for our own concerns.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 45 (51 votes cast)
Sure, the kid is poorly beh... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 8:59 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Jay: | Reply

Sure, the kid is poorly behaved for an 8 year old. Some of that probably has to do with his parents splitting up, and some probably has to do with the dislocations that came when his mom kept changing jobs, and some of it is probably just good old fashioned lousy parenting. But it's one thing to be a brat of an 8 year old, and another thing to be Hannibal Lecter. This kid still has plenty of growing to do, and is likely to turn out normalish.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 14 (24 votes cast)
This post bears little conn... (Below threshold)

May 23, 2012 11:27 PM | Posted by Micha: | Reply

This post bears little connection to the actual article. It is stunningly disturbed misrepresentation that could only fly with a lay audience that doesn't have a clue about this complicated, wrenching subject.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (22 votes cast)
OK, I am a mere graduate st... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 2:05 AM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

OK, I am a mere graduate student. Compared to a lot of folks, I don't know crap. But I do know these things:

1. Sociopathy and Psychopathy are not the same per some major researchers in the topic (despite what the author wrote) - they are subsets of Antisocial Personality Disorder, which isn't something that is diagnosed prior to the age of 18 because shit, lack of empathy and violence in a kid isn't necessarily abnormal.

2. Behaviorism as a treatment doesn't work all that great for a lot of adults with psychopathy, so what makes these guys think they can treat kids who they've "diagnosed" with this personality type in this manner?

2. a. However, it does not mean that behaviors in a child fail to be reinforced. These kids know they'll get a reaction, they get some satisfaction out of the reaction, and they continue to do it. Behaviorism 101.

2. b. Bookshelves on conduct problems in kids? Yeah, that's not going to give a child a complex.

2. c. I don't care what your mental health background is: it is unlikely that you will be able to remain objective with your own kid. Lord knows I couldn't be.

2. d. Corner a child psychologist who primarily provides therapy and ask them if it is the caregivers' fault. They will say it frequently is. Having chatted with a few of them, as well as a psychiatrist or two, they will often say there is something wrong with the family dynamic. Granted, it's not necessarily malicious on the caregivers' part - but they do reinforce things. Reinforcement isn't always about time outs, groundings, extra chores, and apologies - quiet comments, coldness, and facial expressions can really affect a kid.

3. Parents need to be on the same page when it comes to child rearing. Psychopathology or not, kids will capitalize on a divide much in the same way a vampire bat will capitalize on a flock of sheep outside in the middle of the night.

I have worked with kids and adults. Early labels have places - insurance forms and research papers. I've seen how the beginnings of "bad behavior" influence late childhood and beyond - it can lead to abuse, foster care placements, harsher punishments than what a kid without a diagnosis would get, and a sense of not being able to change so screw it.

I am a parent. Being a parent is draining. Parent of a child with special needs is especially draining. But for the love of all that is holy, watch yourself around your kids and try to keep the psychopathologizing to a minimum. As much as the author, the family, and their therapists assume, we have no clue why this kid is the way he is - his grandfather could be raping him, he could have a brain tumor, he may sincerely feel bad about what he is doing but he has the emotional range of an aquarium snail and doesn't know how to show how he feels. Who knows. I certainly won't discount the fact that kids can have psych issues, because I've seen that too. But I'd be curious to see if there was any sort of physical examination on this kid - pediatricians and busy psychiatrists sometimes drop the ball on these things, unfortunately.

I think his dad has the right idea - awareness and willingness vs. willfulness. We do this with people with Borderline diagnoses, and in multiple ways with dang near every other diagnosis in the DSM. And hey, while it doesn't work for a lot of folks, there are many who benefit from these ideas and there isn't much to lose in teaching them. Heck, not only are these notions found in contemporary psychological practices, but in several religious traditions.

And of course, there is definitely something to be said with talking to someone who has been there, done that, wore the t-shirt.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 41 (47 votes cast)
When I read this post the f... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 3:16 AM | Posted by Phil A.: | Reply

When I read this post the first time, I agreed that it was pretty lame. Then I read the lengthy NYT article. And then after that I reread this post and then I liked it, and furthermore some things that my brain glossed over (because I had no idea what TLP was talking about) became clearer.

My theory for why this post is singled out as being awful is because most people are reading it in isolation, and it definitely depends (IMO) on the reader having read the article it references.

Or maybe it really does suck. Whatevs.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (17 votes cast)
Just guessing here... no on... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 10:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just guessing here... no one has tried spanking the kid.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (42 votes cast)
I had exactly the same thou... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 11:02 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Trimegistus: | Reply

I had exactly the same thought. Even if he _is_ a "psychopath" rather than a cranky little boy, he will adjust his behavior to avoid getting his behind paddled.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -14 (30 votes cast)
This post... is stunning... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 12:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Micha's comment, by anti-Micha: | Reply

This post... is stunningly disturbed misrepresentation that could only fly with a lay audience that doesn't have a clue about this complicated, wrenching subject.

Micha appears to be another all-knowing genius that only posts here to show us all how much smarter he/she is than the rest of us, including the blog author. I actually found the post a stunningly undisturbed representation that could fly with any audience, nor do I find the subject overly complicated, nor wrenching.

Being a psychopath myself, I can clearly see we are merely dealing with an undisciplined brat.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (28 votes cast)
If he _is_ a psychopath, th... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 3:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Trimegistus's comment, by Phil A.: | Reply

If he _is_ a psychopath, then negative stimuli might not be enough to correct his behavior. They did tests to prove that psychopaths don't have the same physiological and apparently mental responses to negative stimuli the way normies do.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 14 (14 votes cast)
If the TSA saw this layi... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 6:35 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If the TSA saw this laying on a flaming bag of plastic explosives they would all go on break

So would I. Setting C4 on fire doesn't detonate it (US soldiers in Vietnam used to set it on fire to cook over it), nor does shooting it, dropping heavy objects on it or ingniting a bowl of thermite on it (termite burns at 2500 C). Only blasting caps will do it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (13 votes cast)
Sought.... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 12:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Zo: | Reply

Sought.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
i agree with the last comme... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 5:49 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

i agree with the last commenter, i also noticed the narration was kind of weird, and that there was a lot of BS over-interpretation of the kid's actions.

i think there is a case to be made here that the mother is actually narcissistic. this narcissism could have contributed to attachment problems. indeed, the issues that Michael has presented with suggest a severe attachment problem; he may have been neglected/abused as a very young child, or not handled in the right way by his caregivers.

a couple of things that stuck out to me as weird, and possible indicators of this. number one, the father seems strangely detached from the whole situation. the mother seems kind of over-involved, in a less-than-loving way.

second, and this what i really thought was weird, were her comments about her son (Michael). first of all, about Michael developing a "larger skill set of manipulation" -- the kid is nine for fuck's sake. not to mention that when it comes to the therapists, they are people who are used to dealing with manipulative patients, and expect this sort of behaviour; they won't be fooled. this sounds like projection more than anything else, not to mention the notion of her child being able to fool trained psychiatrists (this particular research group specifically sensitized to this sort of manipulation) being kind of silly.

second, "he knows how to get what he wants" sounds strangely cold and accusatory for someone speaking about their child whom they supposedly love. there seems to be a lot of anger in the subtext of that statement. where's the empathy, the compassion for one's own?

also, this comment struck me as particularly out of place and weird -- probably the strangest line in the article: "I’ve always said that Michael will grow up to be either a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer." this hints at his mother's desire to use him to gain fame, or, short of that, infamy, vicariously. this was the line that got me onto this line of thinking initially; it's quite a strange thing to say. the 'awkward laugh' just before that statement also hints at something going on in terms of defense mechanisms.

what is more, she probably played a central role in her kid being a story in the NYT. certainly she would have had to have given her approval -- one wonders how you could really do this if you gave half a shit about your kid (especially one who is struggling as much as Michael is). turning him into a spectacle for all the world to gossip about.

furthermore, there seem to be hints of her having control issues, as is suggested in the descriptions of her parenting style, though it is hard to zero in on this since there isn't much said about it.

so it seems that the mother may indeed be narcissistic, and this could indeed contribute to a lot of attachment difficulties for Michael.

also quite interesting is the issue of the girl, L. not much is said about it, but this also hints at an attachment problem -- Michael is reaching out to someone (specifically someone female) for some kind of emotional validation, some kind of caring, albeit in his own broken, disordered way. this is actually hinting at reactive attachment disorder, i think, but then again i am no trained professional and could be off-base with this.

and as for his diagnosis, one wonders how it could possibly be true, since he has never been violent towards animals (or humans), hasn't burned anything, hasn't wet his bed, and, importantly, some of his most violent acts have been directed at himself and his stuff (pulling his hair out, cutting up his clothes). we really need to ask ourselves something here, which is - do psychopaths deliberately hurt themselves? as far as i know, the answer to that is a flat-out 'no' -- unless there is borderline PD comorbid with the psychopathy, i guess. anyway, Michael seems to have a lot aggression, but from the article's description it comes out most strongly when he directs it at himself, the other expressions are more passive. hitting stuff shows anger, but it does not show psychopathy. it shows someone really angry about being hurt. and he generally seems to have a lot of trouble with healthy emotional expression and regulation (something else that would be a symptom of shitty caregiving) -- he isn't cold and without affect.

as for him being very volatile and his 'problem' being hard to pin down, i'd bet on this being another symptom of a very disorganized attachment.

another thread to consider is the father. not much is said about him, but when he talks about his maturation process, frankly, it sounded like he just repressed all of the dark feelings that he had. this suggests that this stuff could have come out in some way against Michael when he was very young, or abuse could still be ongoing. Michael's comment about having a 'stronger bond' with him than his mother hints at something weird going on there. on the other hand, this notion of a 'stronger bond' might also indicate that his father actually cares about him more, and has more compassion for him than Michael's mother does. hard to say.

anyway, kind of hard to believe the kid's a psychopath, it's a real stretch.

and, as long as we're assigning personality disorder diagnoses to nine year olds, why not also suggest borderline as a possibility -- the symptoms map onto it a lot better, based on what i read.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 27 (35 votes cast)
yeah, because hitting child... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 6:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tim: | Reply

yeah, because hitting children (i.e. abusing them) has been shown to be linked with healthy psychological development.

oh wait, it's actually just the opposite.

some people are so incredibly dumb/ignorant...

not to mention lacking compassion.

i was spanked as a child by my father, and this set the tone of our relationship in a way that we have never been able to come back from. i feared him as a child, instead of being able to love him. and i never felt his love as anything but hollow because of these experiences. and there is no love in fear. and these were disciplinary punishments mind you, he didn't do it randomly. but it still scared the hell out of me and made me hate him unconsciously.

hitting the people you love is not healthy, ever. end of fucking story, it is that simple, full stop.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (35 votes cast)
wrong -- completely, totall... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 6:17 AM | Posted, in reply to Trimegistus's comment, by tim: | Reply

wrong -- completely, totally wrong.

child abuse tends to cause anti-social behaviour, not curtail it.

durr.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (23 votes cast)
I don't think it is reasona... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 6:35 AM | Posted, in reply to yawn's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't think it is reasonable to accept homosexuality without accepting "homophobia", defined here as using the word fag and gay as derogatory terms.

I mean, same sex sex okay, using the word gay and faggot as a slur not okay? What sort of reasoning is this. But mostly what I think it's the most stupid is thinking that if homosexuality is normal, then homophobia is not, while nothing excludes that the two can be true simultaneously. Let's start a homophobia acceptance movement

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (20 votes cast)
>> some people are so incre... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 7:00 AM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

>> some people are so incredibly dumb/ignorant...

Oh, Tim, you are so right about that. Like the people who take one data point, and extrapolate that to an absolute Law of Nature for All Humanity.

>> not to mention lacking compassion.
Compassion, of course, being defined "how I want others to behave"

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (21 votes cast)
Anon 6:35: "I mean, sam... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 9:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anon 6:35: "I mean, same sex sex okay, using the word gay and faggot as a slur not okay? What sort of reasoning is this. But mostly what I think it's the most stupid is thinking that if homosexuality is normal, then homophobia is not, while nothing excludes that the two can be true simultaneously. Let's start a homophobia acceptance movement"

You seem to belong to the openly homophobic group with the irrational hatred, so it is highly unlikely that you would respond to any kind of rational argument. All I can do is to thank you for being open and direct. Barring a mild distortion (nobody claimed the word "gay" is homophobic, that's something you must have dreamed about) you are out in the open showing your true colors (instead of hiding behind zebras and horses or witty criticisms of the liberal elite). For the readers' sake however, let's re-read your post, but slightly modified:

I don't think it is reasonable to accept Judaism without accepting "Antisemitism", defined here as using the word kike and jap as derogatory terms.

I mean, going to the synagogue okay, using the word kike and jap as a slur not okay? What sort of reasoning is this. But mostly what I think it's the most stupid is thinking that if judaism is normal, then antisemitism is not, while nothing excludes that the two can be true simultaneously. Let's start an antisemitism acceptance movement.

And this one:
I don't think it is reasonable to accept blacks marrying whites without accepting "Anti-miscegenation", defined here as using the phrases race - traitor and nigger-lover as derogatory terms.

I mean, a black man having sex with a white woman okay, using phrases race - traitor and nigger-lover as slurs not okay? What sort of reasoning is this. But mostly what I think it's the most stupid is thinking that if a black marrying a white is normal, then anti-miscegenation is not, while nothing excludes that the two can be true simultaneously. Let's start an anti-miscegenation acceptance movement.

and the list goes on... Alone must be very proud of his readership now.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -12 (22 votes cast)
You know, you're right to c... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 9:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

You know, you're right to call out that jackass (assuming he wasn't a sock puppet), but then you ruin it with your reflexive guilt by association. Somebody once said something about cognitive kill switches...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
what exactly is your point?... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 10:29 AM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

what exactly is your point? instead of being cryptic, how about being upfront in your hatred?

hitting your child is abuse. this is no longer controversial, it is now accepted as common knowledge by most. there is nothing humane or human in it. also, the fact that abuse is linked with most psychic problems is worth noting, as what you are advocating, in spite of your glossing over the fact, does indeed do real damage to real people, and destroys actual relationships in the real world. and your attempt to trivialize these facts reveals not much more than your own cold heartedness.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (21 votes cast)
am anon at 10:29just... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 10:40 AM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by tim: | Reply

am anon at 10:29
just wanted to make one additional comment.

you know full well that this has little to do with "one data point extrapolated into a law" as you asserted. the claims i am making are well-supported by virtually the entire psych literature on raising children, so my statements are hardly controversial, and hardly could reasonably construed as projection or as getting careless with interpreting data points.

not to mention the fact that the proposal that child abuse is/would be considered universally wrong in a moral world is hardly a crazy one either.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (17 votes cast)
Probably the most ridiculou... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 2:06 PM | Posted by gral: | Reply

Probably the most ridiculous and funny thing about the linked article is the idea of predicting "psychopathy" among still-forming _children_, while ignoring the more obvious socially destructive, misanthropic and death-loving acts of Our Social Leaders. Of course it's absurd for me to expect the Grey Lady to examine her own role in social disarray, the role of her readers, or the role of her advertisers and boosters. That must not be done! Instead, we must try to predict malign behavior among children. "Minority Report" obviously is the goal for the dipshit liberals and progressives who cower in their McMansions (or McM wannabe hovels) while "edifying" themselves by reading the pap and pablum of the Grey Lady's fictions.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (12 votes cast)
Some cognitions should be k... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 3:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Some cognitions should be killed using the most appropriate short cuts, Gabe. I, for one, can't afford spending my mental energy on trying to reason with evil and hatred. And, trust me, Alone pushes those cognitive kill switches quite often, (e.g. see above when he makes fun of this hypothetical parent for momentarily entertaining the idea that his son could be gay). What is nauseating about all this is that whereas the author (and his minions, of course) claim a divine right to truth, his writing is full of the same cognitive kill switches, innuendo, cryptic associations, and derogatory labels he pretends to expose. It is a shame, because the blog had the potential to be so much more...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -5 (15 votes cast)
Did you know that Einstein ... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2012 6:36 PM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Did you know that Einstein said arguing from authority is a logical fallacy? And as you conflate a swat on the rear with child abuse, all I can say is that people who make that logical mistake are murderers.
It’s also common knowledge that that all my assertions are facts, and all generalizations are false.
But then, what do I know? I am, by your definition, a serial child abuser full of hatred. Because I disagree with you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -5 (19 votes cast)
"Did you know that Einstein... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 4:58 AM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by tim: | Reply

"Did you know that Einstein said arguing from authority is a logical fallacy?"

...you must be joking. I am no longer going to take your posts seriously. pathetic troll.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -6 (16 votes cast)
The only thing I've gathere... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 12:57 PM | Posted by Coming to us: | Reply

The only thing I've gathered from the article is that American society is now so f****, it can't tell a normal boy from a raccoon.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (17 votes cast)
Few things are more disturb... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 1:05 PM | Posted by It's almost here: | Reply

Few things are more disturbing than what people call mentally ill children these days.

My brother set fire on his mattress and chased me around with a knife a few times. I think he also stole an ice-cream once.

Amazingly enough he's in his fourth decade of life, happily married, gainfully employed and hasn't been in jail or made jackets out of human skin yet.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (16 votes cast)
[snip] List of 7 things... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 3:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by We're scrood: | Reply

[snip] List of 7 things

This does not sound like any of the normal kids I have seen.

This is a fairly classic behavior of children who have anything but a "normal" family life. In fact I've met much worst. All of them had a messed up home environment and/or completely clueless parents.

7) (After the summer camp) "At home, Miguel said, Michael had become slyer in his disobedience. “He doesn’t scream as much,” he told me. “He just does what he wants and then lies about it.”

This is the saddest part about the entire story.

The ones I knew who were like him, turned out pretty much ok, certainly better than the "perfect" kid who left a wonderful family once he finally decided that he was a homosexual after all.

BUT those kids were NOT treated like sick. People would say "he just needs a firm hand" or "he'll find his way."

And guess what, eventually, they did.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (15 votes cast)
just saw something i though... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 3:22 PM | Posted by tim: | Reply

just saw something i thought was insighgtful about this on another blog, worth re-posting here:

"Maybe it is not a coincidence that 'sociopathy' is characterized by unknown causes and a vague definition. It is a term that refers to failure of empathy in others, but we use it when we cannot figure out why someone else did what they did. The irony is inescapable. I submit that irony is usually worse when it happens to children."

kinda strikes a nerve.

(link: combatblog[dot]net/?p=3744)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (10 votes cast)
Hmmm, explain it! Why didn'... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 3:39 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hmmm, explain it! Why didn't I pay enough attention (and think) to get the information from it. I'm sure it was caused by your anger. Or that what you wanted to look like anger. Lemme think for a few days .....

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
You're my all time favorite... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 4:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

You're my all time favorite concern troll. Your sorrow sounds so sincere. But I don't think you understand what I'm talking about.

Tim, I'm pretty sure he was being ironic, and your the guy equating spanking with child abuse and declaring it settled scienc (i.e. being trollish) I don't plan on spanking my daughter, but if it ruined children for life I don't think humans would still be running the planet.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -7 (19 votes cast)
nothing about what i said w... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 8:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by tim: | Reply

nothing about what i said was 'trollish'. i was not being insincere.

hitting children doesn't tend to produce good mental health outcomes. i'd really love to see some good empirical evidence indicating the contrary. i mean seriously, are you people from the 50s or something? get real.

"discipline" is also often used as a justification for abuse.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (19 votes cast)
what's more, humans may wel... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2012 9:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by tim: | Reply

what's more, humans may well be "running" the planet (whatever that means) but this will not last long -- since with civilization, it's more like "running into the ground".

and i didn't say it 'ruined children for life' -- being spanked does not make one a sociopath -- but it certainly does nothing to help the development of a healthy self. it can only hinder it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (17 votes cast)
Yeesh.I'm not a fa... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 2:16 AM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

Yeesh.

I'm not a fan of spanking as a means of discipline for my kid. My kid dropped out of the womb incredibly sensitive - and yeah, I'm sure I reinforced that further. She's still a little young for corporal punishment anyway - time outs seem to drive the point across well, and I'm going to roll with that as long as possible since it's simple and effective.

Studies for or against corporal punishment as a means of childhood discipline are actually pretty mixed. I've had a professor or two who have studied the subject, and spanking doesn't seem to do anything harmful. By spanking I mean the parent uses an open hand, uses just enough force to elicit a reaction, and tells the kid what they did wrong. I do not mean using hard objects out of anger or frustration, leaving marks, slapping across the face, hitting genitals, etc. - ya know, abuse.

Spanking is effective provided the kid doesn't have a mental health problem (like the supposed future John Wayne Gacy the NYT featured) and the family dynamic is otherwise healthy. If the kid has a mental health problem, spanking may make it worse or just not be effective. If there's an issue with the family dynamic, no form of discipline is going to work. I can't see using spanking as a method of punishment working with the kid in the article - it would make things worse.

Spanking when utilized correctly does what every other method of reinforcement or punishment does - it sets a boundary between the kid and the parent. Spanking becomes a problem when the boundary is unhealthy.

I think what gets some parents in trouble is they don't have their anger in check, they can't see where their family dynamics are screwed up, and they aren't particularly consistent with punishment. Sometimes when you fix these issues, spanking doesn't seem necessary. But sometimes nothing else seems to work on kids, and when you're a parent you do what works.

There are methods of discipline that do not involve spanking that seem to work just fine. I think the spanking vs. non-spanking crowd confuse each form of discipline to have screwed up boundaries - the spankers are cold, and the non-spankers are fluffy and let their kids run their households. Generally this isn't the case.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (17 votes cast)
I knew a couple of Danish p... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 2:41 AM | Posted by Under a rock: | Reply

I knew a couple of Danish parents who used to talk with their eyeballs. Seriously. All they had to do was give their kids The Look.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (7 votes cast)
and what is the likelihood ... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 4:09 AM | Posted, in reply to Elizabeth's comment, by tim: | Reply

and what is the likelihood of parents who are able to navigate that rather precarious balance are also going to be the ones who consider spanking an option, especially given the generally negative view of it..?

the problem here is that this is a really fuzzy line between abuse and 'properly administered' punishment.

and when the punishment comes with verbal threats of more punishment made with a dark look on the parent's face, this is not healthy (again, anecdote, but I think it's relevant.)

what's more, hitting that 'doesn't hurt' is still assaultive to the child -- still violates their personal space/boundaries, and teaches them that power and domination are the way that life works -- and will have ill effects, likely buried in repression.

and frankly, there's also the issue of the fact that, whether spanking is or is not "child abuse" -- it is certainly something else -- lazy parenting. and that is abusive, even if 'hitting your child lightly' (how hard is too hard? who makes that kind of judgment call?). if you need to hit your child to get them to behave, you're making a shortcut to something that you could do by talking to them, but that's more difficult, and requires empathy for the child, something that has to be built from day one to work in the future. and it helps to teach children empathy and understanding rather than violence and domination as a model of healthy mediation of relational conflict.

there is no love in fear.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (17 votes cast)
in last para, second senten... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 4:11 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by tim: | Reply

in last para, second sentence should read: "and that is abusive, even if 'hitting your child lightly' (how hard is too hard? who makes that kind of judgment call?) is not."

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
Tim, since I was too "crypt... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 8:57 AM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Tim, since I was too "cryptic" for you the last time, let's try it again: You are an ignorant fool.

>>and what is the likelihood of parents who are able to navigate that rather precarious balance are also going to be the ones who consider spanking an option, especially given the generally negative view of it..?

In my case, the probability is 1.0.

>>especially given the generally negative view of it..?

You wrote: "the" You meant: "my" There is a difference, even though I doubt you can see it.

>>the problem here is that this is a really fuzzy line between abuse and 'properly administered' punishment.

But you just said it was always child abuse! Now the line is "fuzzy". Make up what you call your mind, please.


>>and when the punishment comes with verbal threats of more punishment made with a dark look on the parent's face, this is not healthy (again, anecdote, but I think it's relevant.)

Oh, for Pete's sake.... "this is not healthy" (yet another assertion pretending to be a fact) followed by "an anecdote" which "you think is relevant."
Please go look up the definition of "fact" and "assertion", and see if you can spot the difference. Then, compare and contrast the word "evidence" with the word "opinion". See if you can find a hint somewhere about how to make a rational argument for your position. (Hint: "position" does not equal "truth")

Oh, but before you do that:
**Please tell us all about your wonderful children**
(you do have children, yes?).
Tell us how you managed to raise them without any "dark looks", "threats of future punishment" or, God forbid, a smack on the behind.


Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (17 votes cast)
lol.no, i am not a... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 11:25 AM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by tim: | Reply

lol.

no, i am not a parent, i am barely yet an adult. i have made no claims to parenthood, nor does that bear on anything, since apparently anecdote is not in any way relevant whatsoever. how typically masculine and juridical of you to declare all anecdote totally bullshit and inadmissible, save your own parenting experience. and to ignore the importance of relationality in all aspects of life as the cornerstone of real fairness.

i am currently doing therapy for reactive depression, and i am in my early 20s, in the middle of college, taking some time off to recover mentally. my comments came from a good place and you feel the need to cut me down. that's real cute, great human spirit you have there. your comments are vaguely amusing, most especially for the incredible condescension that they show. not to mention a lot of...oh i don't know... defensiveness and self-justification. but hey, i guess it struck a nerve.

what's more, your language is unnecessarily adversarial and combative, like you are trying to pick a fight. perhaps you have forgotten that this is an internet blog comment thread, not a schoolyard. you need to chill the fuck out.

but hey, at least you're being 'less cryptic' in your hatred now.

(i think i was upfront with mine from the start.)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (14 votes cast)
Why does Stephen Greenblatt... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 11:29 AM | Posted by gral: | Reply

Why does Stephen Greenblatt post as "Gabe Ruth"? Why can't he post as Stephen Greenblatt? More importantly, why does Stephen Greenblatt think he is an expert on anything except Ivory Tower Pretense, which is the only thing his life's work shows to be a skill. All else is bafflegarb, puffery and (you'll like this, Stevie) masturbation.

Come on out of the closet Stevie. You're in your 7th decade, it's time. The anger welling within you isn't really the fault of everyone else. It's your own fault.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
Dan C, your blind spots are... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 11:34 AM | Posted by gral: | Reply

Dan C, your blind spots are obvious to everyone but you. Your arrogant belief that beatings = discipline reveals the blind spots and isn't some kind of proof that you have latched onto a truth of human development.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (7 votes cast)
"It is a shame, because the... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 11:39 AM | Posted by gral: | Reply

"It is a shame, because the blog had the potential to be so much more..."

The blog is not written by a shrinker and is full fiction, 100%. It's some immature-but-passably-bright asshole's ticket to "revenge" on everyone who made him/her feel less than Superhuman in childhood, youth and young adulthood. Draw them out then mock them. Write a book about the sad saps who comment at the fictional blog.

He's doing a Zuckerberg.

Don't play into it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -9 (15 votes cast)
i don't think Alone has cla... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 12:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tim: | Reply

i don't think Alone has claimed a 'divine right to truth' anywhere on this blog. he is merely describing the world as he sees it, through his eyes. i don't think that this blog is offered up as any kind of be-all, end-all, or Ultimate Truth and to claim that is unfair to the author and somewhat disingenuous (kind of a strawman).

as for your pointing out his supposed hypocrisy -- excuse my...capslock but

THAT IS KIND OF THE POINT OF THE WHOLE THING. it's deliberately, ironically acting out exactly the sorts of things it is criticizing. this is part of the nature of postmodern media and expression, it is kind of hard to get around it, although in this case i think we have every reason to believe it is fully intentional. a lot of what he is writing is more rant than essay, and it should be taken with a certain amount of lightness. and it is this intertextuality/self-referentiality that is actually part of what makes Alone's writing so good, not 'self-defeating' as you are proposing (well, it is, but in this case that is actually the point). it's part of what gives his writing its charm.

also, his recent Zizekian/Derridean/Lacanian turn indicates that this sort of postmodern thinking is perhaps what undergirds all his writing, especially the stuff on culture, media, and social life. not to mention the Nietzsche quote at the top for indicators of post-modernist influence.

i find Alone's writing refreshing because it shows a post-modern influence -- without simply abandoning meta-narrative altogether and submitting to the fragmentation of socio-cultural life.

this post was not his best work. but it was decent, and more importantly it pointed out a few things that weren't obvious to me, even on a second reading (most notably the ethnic thing and the names, which I hadn't considered, and I think indeed is relevant, in spite of some readers' denials). and it highlighted the NYT's scientism/statisticism in an amusing way.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (12 votes cast)
my previous comment is addr... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 12:25 PM | Posted, in reply to gral's comment, by tim: | Reply

my previous comment is addressed to you, as well.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (4 votes cast)
and, thinking on it again, ... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 12:46 PM | Posted by tim: | Reply

and, thinking on it again, i am compelled to add a bit of a modification to what i said in my previous comment. Alone's writing isn't exactly self-defeating. it is hypocritical, somewhat (again, intentionally, i think). but it maintains metanarrative, it does not collapse like a house of cards like so much PM cultural criticism does. indeed, it maintains an ethic that is written between the lines of pretty much every post on this website.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (6 votes cast)
While it is possible that T... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 12:54 PM | Posted, in reply to gral's comment, by Smackdown: | Reply

While it is possible that TLP is not a real psychiatrist, that fact is unknown as long as he continues to write anonymously without indication of another occupation. Is your post--a sort of "revenge" on the author--your own reaction to feeling "less than Superhuman"? Is this scarcely populated blog so significant to you that you have taken the time to analyze its contents, commenters, and intentions simply to strike them all down to expose the readers' naïveté and the author's neurosis? Enjoy your projection.

While I think it's possible Alone is not a genuine MD, many of his posts remain insightful. If this whole thing were just a farce, what would stand out as saddest to me would not be readers taking Alone seriously, but him taking himself seriously. To craft years worth of writing simply to poke fun at readers and express youthful angst would be far more pathetic than us "playing into it" by checking this place out once in a while.

And there's nothing that says being board certified precludes you from being a vengeful asshole anyway...We just don't know.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (10 votes cast)
also, in regard to the 'sup... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 2:32 PM | Posted, in reply to gral's comment, by tim: | Reply

also, in regard to the 'superhuman' part -- might i suggest: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/01/supermans_a_baby_but_hes_still.html

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Alone is a real psychiatris... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 3:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Smackdown's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone is a real psychiatrist who practices in Pennsylvania.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (7 votes cast)
Maybe TLP writes these piec... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 9:51 PM | Posted by el baboso: | Reply

Maybe TLP writes these pieces purely for the entertainment that the comments must surely bring him?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (4 votes cast)
tim, I wish you well in the... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2012 10:22 PM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

tim, I wish you well in therapy. You need it.

el babaso - Indeed. People can get pretty intense during blog replies. Sometimes it makes me wonder what folks act like outside of the Internet. I can't say I've met anyone who behaves like what I've seen on blogs on forums in my regular life.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (6 votes cast)
Ha-ha! My brother put salt ... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 2:11 AM | Posted, in reply to It's almost here's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Ha-ha! My brother put salt in my eyes when I was a baby and then stuck a pen in my eye on a different occasion. He also hung me by the neck once, and he used to hit me when he'd get mad as a child. Also, before starting high school, he had problems at school: couldn't sit still, goofed around, fell under his desk on purpose over and over again, ect. If we lived in America during his childhood, he'd be on meds or something. But we moved to the US when he turned 14 and I was somewhat younger.

Now, he is an even tempered, very productive 30 year old who put himself through college in one of America's most elite universities using the GI bill and has a high paying job in his field of interest. He has friends he is close to and he has had 2 relationships that lasted half a decade each with young women who still have nothing but good things to say about him. He is also one of the few people I can count on and trust, no matter what.

When he was 11, I used to scream at him that he's a psycho and he'll get the electric chair someday. What the hell did I know? And how the hell can these assholes judge a kid of 9?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (12 votes cast)
Am I the only one here who ... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 5:35 AM | Posted by Reversal: | Reply

Am I the only one here who thinks it isn't child abuse if it isn't a hard strike, doesn't use excessive force, etc?

My parents hit me when I was a kid, because I was a nuisance. It seemed to have worked pretty well (yes, anecdotal). Notice I said they hit me, not beat me. I'm talking about open hand, no belt, no rolling pin, on the shoulder/arm/back/etc. Sometimes my mom would twist my ear, hard enough that it hurt while she was doing it, but neither of my parents ever hit me hard enough to leave a mark or do any kind of damage.

I see nothing wrong with ear twisting or hitting on the arm or spanking (although I was never spanked)...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (8 votes cast)
no, you're not the only one... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 9:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Reversal's comment, by anon: | Reply

no, you're not the only one that thinks that discipline isn't child abuse. My own son makes the kid in the story seem like Beaver Cleaver and sometimes a good swat is the only thing that keeps him from hurting himself or others. The modern alternative is to ply him with drugs, a chemical lobotomy, and in my opinion, part of the problem in the US today. That is the real child abuse.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (14 votes cast)
Interesting--although multi... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 10:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by commentator: | Reply

Interesting--although multiple people could write on this blog, with similar voices. Or the person writing as "Alone" may have changed along the way. Or the author could be a Samoan hermaphrodite writing from a cave with a online degree in psychology from University of Phoenix, for all I know.

I'd enjoy the essays without putting too much stock in the identity of the author(s), because it's bound to disappoint you somehow if/when it comes out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Tim, Your obfuscat... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 1:01 PM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

Tim,

Your obfuscations notwithstanding, it's really not that fuzzy of a line. I think Elizabeth's point is a good one: the state of the relationship is more of a determinant than the method of communicating boundaries, rules, and authority. But you do make one excellent point, that if it comes to spanking, there's a good chance that there is another area where you are not getting through or otherwise doing a poor job, and you should do some soul searching to figure that out. But I don't think this is always true, and I think there are times when corporal punishment is appropriate. As to who makes the decision, grow up. People will use (and misuse) corporal punishment, whether it's treated as scandalous by the great and good or not. We'll muddle on somehow. Your conflating everyone who touches their kid with those who actually are abusers will do even less good than calling CPS when you see some lady smack her kid's bottom at the super market.

You keep saying there is no fear in love. But can a child feel fear of an act done for love? Is the child's immediate understanding authoritative? It's important, no doubt, and if the fear leads them to doubt your love, absolutely corporal punishment should cease. But if the relationship is in good shape, appropriate corporal punishment won't be a problem. I was spanked when I was a child, and now I can pass for Stephen Greenblatt (true story, I attended Stephen's wedding, but I didn't realize how big a deal he was at the time).

Your comment on Alone's purpose is excellent, and I agree. I think he's got a couple of things he's trying to do and say (some more obvious than others), but one of them is trying to save what is good in post-modern thinking from nihilism (this project has some parallels to what Kant tried to do, for similar reasons). His "real identity" doesn't matter a bit. Even if I didn't think he was insightful and right about many things, I enjoy the writing (though I think he has lost some focus; I find the older stuff more consistently excellent) and it's free, and even if it is masturbation, it beats the alternatives.

Elizabeth,

You're just not hanging out in the right bars. Also, the medium is the message. But you should get out of the commenting fray, because you're too bright and well-adjusted to come down to this level (as you did in your last comment).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (8 votes cast)
The article mentions it, bu... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 3:48 PM | Posted by leon Jesmanowicz: | Reply

The article mentions it, but it can't be over stated, publications like the NYT write these articles for "entertainment" of the masses. THey may fear that if the article gets too "technical" it may turn away the average reader. Unfortunate.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
The article mentions it, bu... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 3:48 PM | Posted by leon Jesmanowicz: | Reply

The article mentions it, but it can't be over stated, publications like the NYT write these articles for "entertainment" of the masses. THey may fear that if the article gets too "technical" it may turn away the average reader. Unfortunate.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
The kid is clearly bipolar.... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 5:12 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The kid is clearly bipolar.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (8 votes cast)
and you're presenting it as... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2012 7:13 AM | Posted, in reply to anon's comment, by tim: | Reply

and you're presenting it as though there's a choice between these two options, and that corporal punishment is clearly the superior one. except that this is bad reasoning, since we know that there are other ways to get children to behave.

there is also the anti-modern alternative, perhaps the ancient alternative if you like, or even (ironically) the savage alternative to corporal punishment. that is, a real engaging with the kid such that these kinds of conflicts come up less and can be resolved without resorting to hitting (which frankly shows nothing more than an immaturity in one's own emotional expression), by actually talking to the child. sure, that is asking a lot of caregivers, and most of them cannot do it due to the other priorities of a (post) modern world.

but it's funny that we often view corporal punishment (especially in its more extreme forms) as 'savage' or 'primitive' -- when nothing could be further from the truth. it is indeed quite 'civilized' (in the neutral, technical sense of the word).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (5 votes cast)
well, right out of the gate... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2012 11:43 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

well, right out of the gate and already you start with the ad hominem. you sure didn't waste any time.

so apparently 'i'm obfuscating' because my feelings on this topic are still being figured through, and i re-worked/clarified my point as the discussion developed. this is a transparent personal attack -- nowhere was i deliberately being unclear, deceptive, disingenous, dishonest, etc. that is to say, nowhere was i obfuscating. sorry bud.

and yeah, i'd sure be rushing to call up the state on someone to take their kids away. give me a friggin' break. again, a lame personal attack, not an argument. you don't know anything about me except a very vague description. your claim to know how i would act in that situation is a load of bullshit, pure and simple. spare me the cheap shots, i've had more than my fair share of them. as for the issue of the state, i consider myself to be some sort of anarchist. certainly not in favour of the security state.

what you said here was basically a total non-sequitur. how about actually having a discussion instead of engaging in pointless mud-slinging? yeah, thanks.

moving on to content...

first, when you state that "I think Elizabeth's point is a good one: the state of the relationship is more of a determinant than the method of communicating boundaries, rules, and authority" you miss the rather obvious fact that the "state of the relationship" and the "method of communicating boundaries, rules, and authority" are not discrete or isolated from each other. the "state of the relationship" is in fact acted on by the "method of communicating boundaries, rules, and authority". and if this method is not conducive to love, the "state of the relationship" will indeed suffer, even if the 'state' was previously good, and the 'state' may even persist to be good, since this notion of the 'state of the relationship' is, in many ways, kind of a surface evaluation that doesn't look at whether there is, for instance, repressed hostility towards the caregiver in the child (since this isn't going to come up until the child is a lot older anyway), or indeed, repressed hostility towards the child in the caregiver (also a possibility, especially when the parent decides it's a good idea to hit their child, regardless of the force). indeed, this lack of depth is what makes this notion of "state of the relationship" as taking into account any of these issues particularly problematic.

if there is fear or anxiety experienced in the child in reaction to this treatment, the chances that this is going to be immediately and clearly communicated to the caregiver are greatly reduced by this same feeling of fear. and if the child does express herself, she may cry, oppose, act out, but the parent might very well dismiss this as a narcissistic reaction to punishment (not entirely unreasonable, but if this perception is wrong, it can really hurt the child to ignore their feelings.

as for my supposed "conflating everyone who touches their kid with those who actually are abusers" -- this is not what i claimed, ultimately, although i suppose you could (mis)read my posts that way. what i was really interested in, and pointing to as problematic, is the line between what constitutes abuse and what constitutes properly administered punishment, and the apparent lack of clarity (fuzziness).

you've told me that i'm wrong about this lack of clarity but you didn't actually say why, other than to offer a few statements peppered with "I think..." -- not exactly a strong set of claims. i am thoroughly unconvinced.

also, if the 'state of the relationship' is good, i'm wondering why exactly a child needs to be hit in order to get them to behave. those ideas do not map onto each other properly. if the state of the relationship is good, you relate to the child as a person, you don't hit them the way you'd swat a mosquito (i'm not meaning to imply that the hitting is particularly forceful with this analogy, just the opposite, but my main logic here is the issue of empathy). it's inherently objectifying and anti-relational, and the people disagreeing with me here are likely in denial about that. and you (not just Gabe, a more general 'you' here) can accuse me of similarly having my own defensive-mechanism reactions that are shaping my perceptions here, fine, whatever. i still think it's true.

what is more, i'm sorry, but i just can't countenance your claim that the public perception of child abuse, and of what does or does not constitute abuse, is insifignicant. of course it matters. if i have to explain why, i'm not even sure why we're having this discussion. i also have to disagree with your notion that it doesn't matter because the 'great and good' will be alright. such thinking hints at elitism, something that i have never given any quarter. it should be axiomatic that the mental health of everyone counts, and counts equally, not just that of the 'great and good'.

"You keep saying there is no fear in love. But can a child feel fear of an act done for love? Is the child's immediate understanding authoritative? It's important, no doubt, and if the fear leads them to doubt your love, absolutely corporal punishment should cease."

actually, i said 'there is no love in fear' -- there is a difference, and you'd do well to quote more carefully, especially something that i 'keep saying' (with my supposed repetition, you'd think you'd get it right).

that point notwithstanding, i'll attempt a response anyway.

this counterfactual you've proposed seems well and good, seems dandy, but that's because you aren't looking past the surface. (the counterfactual being that "corporal punishment should cease" if the fear leads the child "to doubt [the parent's] love"). the problem with this proposal is that you're assuming that it's hypothetical. the thing is, when a child really fears their caregiver, deep object love cannot ever develop, because it's constantly being blocked by the fearful reaction.

"But can a child feel fear of an act done for love?" -- why you're even asking this ... i really don't know. for one thing, ask any therapist this question and they will respond with a resounding 'Yes'. again, why the answer to this isn't relatively obvious is unclear to me. your question presumes that all parents express their love of their children in appropriate ways at all times, and that this never gets confused. and further, it presumes that the child knows the intentions of the parent when this is often not the case (especially with younger children who wouldn't really be able to understand or empathize properly with the parent in order to see this). this is an incredibly idealized view, and these presumptions are simply false; they fall apart upon cursory examination.

furthermore, asking the question of whether the child knows the intentions of the caregiver or not (really, really doubtful, especially in younger children) really misses the point, since whether they do or not, there is intrapsychic conflict being sown reflexively at the unconscious level that can't necessarily be mediated/mitigated by a conscious overlay of 'they're doing it because they love me' -- sometimes this works, but not always. and again, with younger children -- they simply do not have that reasoning and empathizing ability, so the complicated reactions that can form are almost entirely pushed into the unconscious, down into repression. and the result can be feelings of repressed ragefulness, anger, aggression, etc. -- all of this emotion, because it is repressed, often cannot really be expressed properly, and ends up coming out in other ways -- usually through aggression directed at the self (depression), or at less threatening objects out in the world (outwardly aggressive disorders). surrogate targets are used because it's too scary to get angry at the parent (at least in the child's mind, and these dynamics often persist, though sometimes the child does eventually fight back -- not a good outcome either). these reactions are perfectly understandable in biological terms, since in the wild, when we get hurt/hit by something, to survive we (may) need to hit back, and certainly to at least protect/assert ourselves.

the reality is that many parents and children (and indeed, people generally) get confused about their emotional expression from time to time. of course the level of confusion can vary from person to person, and its measure is one of the indices employed to identify psychological problems. given what i just said, this notion that we all know exactly how we're feeling, and we know how our parents/other loved ones are feeling, and exactly the right way to express these feelings (as at least seems to follow from the question you raised)...is simply untenable.

as for "It's important, no doubt, and if the fear leads them to doubt your love, absolutely corporal punishment should cease." my first thought upon reading/thinking about that statement is this: when exactly does fear of a parent not lead a child to doubt the parent's love? the answer is a simple 'never'. love and fear are polar opposites -- they cannot occupy the same space, the same relationship, the same situation, the same inner psyche, simultaneously. this is true both if we think about it using our analytical reasoning ability, and if we look at the basic biology of it. fear and love are opposites at the most basic level of our being. we have two basic reactions to stimuli (that is to say, two basic emotions), at the hormonal/phyisological level (whose effects cascade up into the unconscious and finally into the conscious mind). threatening stimuli cause an increase of stress hormones -- adrenaline (acute response) and cortisol (longer-term response). soothing or reassuring stimuli cause an increase in the calming hormone, specifically, oxytocin (also the love hormone). these really are the two basic emotions, everything else flows from them. and these hormonal responses cannot happen simultaneously. one wonders, also, how exactly one would feel both love and fear simultaneously; even simply considering it on an analytical or logical level, we can see that it simply wouldn't be possible to experience both at once. (and feel both true love and real fear). love and fear are our most primal emotions; all other emotions flow from these two and are subcategories of them. this seems theoretically robust. the idea is certainly not without its currency (kind of an understatement), as quick google search will attest.

to give oneself over to this denial (unconsciously) of this basic disconnect between fear and love, actually smacks especially of narcissism. narcissists thrive on mixing fear and love into an incongruous and indefinable feeling of 'crazy' in their victims that destroys their identity as the narcissist tries to define them. and narcissists' own love (to the extent that they feel love) is also wrapped up completely in fear -- that is why they are insecure and controlling (which is how they express their 'love', which is obviously abuse to any reasonable observer). i am explicitly not implying this about you (i have no way of knowing at all), just making a general comment, which seems germaine given the topic of the blog.

actually, one thing that can happen with parents who hit their children is that they can develop an anxious attachment pattern where the child feels loved some of the time, but feels afraid of the parent because of the way they are punished. this sets up a kind of ambivalence and conflictedness that can colour the whole relationship, and if the attachment bond is the primary one, it can colour the child's understanding and way of relating to his whole world. even if it isn't the primary attachment bond, it will still likely play into any potential intrapsychic conflict in significant ways.

and, another thing that stuck out to me as interesting was this piece, altogether conjecture at the end of the day, but i thought i'd add it anyway. you wrote "I was spanked when I was a child, and now I can pass for Stephen Greenblatt (true story, I attended Stephen's wedding, but I didn't realize how big a deal he was at the time)." when one needs to tell a joke about this stuff, this at least hints at, or suggests, that there is actually an inner psychic feeling of insecurity and conflictedness over these experiences. one does not make light of such things very often without it indicating some kind of unconscious defense mechanism reaction happening (especially given the context of this particular discussion -- it's quite a serious topic). again, purely speculative, but i thought i'd add it just the same. so, perhaps your attempt at making light of this is actually proving my point. perhaps not.

and, one last point, sort of an overarching comment -- you criticize me and bash me as a person in the first paragraph (implying that i'm deceitful ("obfuscating"), i'm paranoid (i'd call up CPS), and a lot of other negatives that go along with that). and then on the other hand, you superficially praise something i wrote a few paragraphs down, apparently without a hint of irony, because you agree with it. ad hominem on one hand (hey, i think your hate is showing, oops), and a lame attempt at agreeableness on the other. you can't spit in someone's face and then tell them you like the same movies they do. kind of a strange disconnect there.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (12 votes cast)
Whoa, you should start your... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2012 6:57 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Fast: | Reply

Whoa, you should start your own blog.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (10 votes cast)
Just keep the poor child aw... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2012 8:18 AM | Posted by Drama: | Reply

Just keep the poor child away from watching Pokemon! How hard can it be? Man...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (7 votes cast)
Well, get ready for some mo... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2012 8:30 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

Well, get ready for some more cognitive dissonance, buddy.

That was an impressively argued case for your position (all corporal punishment is abuse, and even if it weren't it's counterproductive), minus the whining (See how I did that? Want to give another shot at a diagnosis?). I say that sincerely (

Also, the internet is the schoolyard, and the comments are the corner where the maladjusted kids hang out.

As ad hominems go, mine tend to be pretty tame, but I will attempt to restrain my childishness hereafter (

- "discipline" is also often used as a justification for abuse.

- hitting that 'doesn't hurt' is still assaultive to the child -- still violates their personal space/boundaries, and teaches them that power and domination are the way that life works -- and will have ill effects, likely buried in repression.

- being spanked does not make one a sociopath -- but it certainly does nothing to help the development of a healthy self. it can only hinder it.

- hitting your child is abuse. this is no longer controversial, it is now accepted as common knowledge by most.


Don't see alot of reworking, clarifying, or evolving going on here, just cognitive kill switches.

I did indeed mangle your phrase, for which I apologize. But your original wording presumes the fear, and makes the obvious point that love cannot grow until the fear is allayed. So are we talking about adoptive parents of feral children here? It would certainly be a bad idea to start out that relationship with a heavy hand. Otherwise, I'm having trouble understanding how fear becomes primary (besides by bad parenting, at which point the effect of corporal punishment is pretty much beside the point, though I will admit it can make a bad situation worse).

"if the 'state of the relationship' is good, i'm wondering why exactly a child needs to be hit in order to get them to behave"

This is a little hard to believe. I'm not saying corporal punishment is always or even usually a good idea. But you're the one with the extreme position. It'd be nice if every kid popped out with a perfectly functioning logic board that would immediately respond to gentle Socratic questioning whenever there was a divergence between the parent's and child's respective wills, but they don't. Does your anarchist attitude extend to domestic matters? Should children not listen to their parents if they don't feel like it and the parents cannot adequately explain the reasons for their position?

I'm glad to hear you aren't on board with CPS aggressively taking kids at the drop of a hat. I was using it as short hand for what the powers that be will do when your attitude becomes conventional wisdom. As something of an anarchist, surely you can appreciate the danger of such a world.

And as for the charge of elitism, I may be guilty, but you've misunderstood my meaning. I didn't mean the elite will muddle on while everyone else is condemned to an emotionally stunted existence by their abusive parents, I meant everyone will muddle on. The elite may or may not benefit from adopting your enlightened attitude. I doubt it will have an effect either way (and if they go too far I'd bet it will be harmful). If anything, I think your worries about who makes the decision to spank a child betrays some elitist presumption.

One last twist for ya: thanks for that link, that blog looks interesting.

Now for Heaven's sake don't take any of this emotionally or personally. I've got no special knowledge, as I'm sure you can discern. I don't hate you. I just think you're wrong about a specific point. I'd like you to convince me if you can, because I really don't want corporal punishment to be on the table if it is really harmful to kids. But that case has not been made.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (9 votes cast)
"teaches them that powe... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 2:41 AM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by Somewhere: | Reply

"teaches them that power and domination are the way that life works -- and will have ill effects, likely buried in repression."

Yes, that's a lesson we need in a world, where power and domination are the way that life works. It's an honorable thing you're lecturing, though.

What am I saying then? I think children are individuals. They cannot be pigeonholed into some generic idea of a child. There are those that are easy going, then there are those that are not.

I was a problem child. I hurt myself alot when I was a child. At the age of 3 I propably had over 100 stiches in my head. I lacked any kind of fear of pain and self preservation. First time I saw a lake, I jumped into it. When I grew older, I started having temper issues and black outs from rage. I was out of control at the age of 6. I punched people, threw a desk at my teacher. And as I grew, it got worse. Of course there was alot of stress from the home and it wasn't a happy childhood, but my mother was all the time on the edge with me. I think there's no way she could have pulled it off without physically disciplining me. And she really hated it, felt quilty about it and it ate her inside. Still does. My sisters were completely different though.

Today they would have drugged me to be "a better citizen". I'm so happy I'm not born today, since I really think it was all worth it and I did learn to cope with myself in the end. If I had been drugged to docility, I'd propably be like the rest of them: As person, nowhere. And I don't talk about material things, but you can't grow as a human being, if you never face it.

Now I have a son, and he's just amazing child really. He's calm, happy and careful. I could easily start boasting about how there's no physical discipline needed, but I think it would be outright stupid, since like I am and like he is, we're all individuals who need different kinds of discipline.

And drugs aren't discipline. They're an escape coat from responsibility. Medication is child abuse. I'd take a punch any day rather than prozac.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (7 votes cast)
God damn kids these days...... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 5:45 AM | Posted by Veryon: | Reply

God damn kids these days...them n their newfangled mental diseases. hell I remember when they invented bipolar, and ADD. and then autism...What's the drug we need this time?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
I was certainly not advocat... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 5:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Somewhere's comment, by tim: | Reply

I was certainly not advocating medication as an alternative to discipline. But again, we need to ask ourselves whether these are the only two choices. The answer obviously is 'no'. The notion that some children have a 'temperament' that requires this sort of treatment remains unclear. There is still a debate in the literature over the validity of the notion of 'temperament' (i.e. as something inherent, not born of socialization) as a reliable and stable aspect of personality anyway.

And I'm also not ruling out other forms of discipline, either. I think it would be best if we didn't have to discipline at all. Hunter-gatherers don't do it, so it is not a natural behaviour, it is a social overlay. But I'd be skeptical about the ability of a child to function in post-modern, statist, late-capitalism without some experience of discipline in the home. On the other hand, healthy adults have empathy as a hedge against inappropriate acting-out against others, as well as a variety of other tools for self-control, none of which draw necessarily from an experience of being disciplined as a child.

I also wouldn't rule out physically restraining a child if they were hurting themselves or another, obviously, but this is a lot different from hitting them. Stopping hurt and not causing more of it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
the word you're looking for... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 7:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Somewhere's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

the word you're looking for is 'scapegoat' not 'escape coat'. odd how we can mishear things sometimes, and not realise it for a long time. i've definitely had similar experiences, though i can't recall a specific one off the top of my head.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (5 votes cast)
1.>>"Well, get ready... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 9:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by tim: | Reply

1.
>>"Well, get ready for some more cognitive dissonance, buddy."
Dissonance? lol, dream on. This is not about me. You seem to keep forgetting that. Speaking of cognitive kill switches...

>>"That was an impressively argued case for your position ... minus the whining (See how I did that? Want to give another shot at a diagnosis?)...."
You were using logical fallacies, and being disrespectful. I called you on it, and now you accuse me of "whining" -- how cute. This is yet more ad hominem from you. As for the issue of 'diagnosis', I was not diagnosing anything. To presume to know that would be ridiculous. But we all have these sorts of inner psychic dynamics, and they come out in different ways. That is nothing less than normal. And, I maintain, as I specified originally, it's conjecture, take it with the grain of salt that it was intended to be taken with.

>>"Don't see alot of reworking, clarifying, or evolving going on here, just cognitive kill switches." [sic]
The reworking I was referring to was in the topic of conversation, not in my position, which hasn't changed, and I made no real claim that it did. These are not 'cognitive kill switches' -- I am not attempting to shift the discussion from the content here to the identity of either you or I. I don't see the connection at all. I am expressly discussing the content and debating the issue. Just because my position is extreme does not make it wrong, or a 'cognitive kill switch'. To suggest that all forms of extremism are wrong all the time is actually to set up a ridiculous false equivalency in everything -- a kind of extreme relativism where no strong, unambiguous normative claims can be made about anything. Also, you are selectively quoting, and you ignored posts further down that were previous to the one you were replying to, so your claim is null.

>>"I did indeed mangle your phrase, for which I apologize. But your original wording presumes the fear, and makes the obvious point that love cannot grow until the fear is allayed. So are we talking about adoptive parents of feral children here?..."
No, I was not talking about feral children, or else I would have said so. That is an exception that wouldn't add much to the conversation. My original wording presumes the fear because fear is the reaction (conciously or not) we have to being hit by our caregivers when we are children. I say this based on psychoanalytic/dynamic theory, but there's no doubt evidence from other areas as well.

>>"... I'm not saying corporal punishment is always or even usually a good idea. But you're the one with the extreme position. It'd be nice if every kid popped out with a perfectly functioning logic board that would immediately respond to gentle Socratic questioning whenever there was a divergence between the parent's and child's respective wills, but they don't."
Gentle Socratic questioning is empathic now? And Socratic questioning is gentle? Neither of these notions is true. Socrates may have been a skilled debater, but he had a certain nasty streak in him that caused him to act the way he did, in my view. There's a kind of condescension that undergirds the whole process, an implied domination that is inappropriate, certainly, to a parent-child relationship. How about a hug? What an idea. And this is more specious reasoning -- you claim, in effect, that kids need to start with a "perfectly functioning logic board" (we're animal, not machine, so this is nonsensical) in order to be able to respond to anything other than being hit (when they are acting out). Obviously this is false, it's barely even an argument.

And anarchy applies to the home for me as well, yes. This does not mean that I would let my children "not listen" to me. How exactly is that building an empathic relationship again? Derp. You're assuming that one needs to hit one's child in order to get them to listen (once in a while) but you haven't explained why -- and the burden of proof is on you (although I will be happy to provide extensive evidence regardless, since I know you won't accept this simple fact).

As for extremism, a proposal to extend the prohibition against assault and battery in our society to our children is hardly extremist, in spite of your claim to the contrary. It's pretty much the opposite of extremism. Actually, the notion that we should preserve this exception is the extremist position here, and is what needs to be justified, and it hasn't been.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (10 votes cast)
3.I've also gotta lo... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 9:12 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

3.
I've also gotta love this old post, in light of what I referred to above.
>>"Tim, I'm pretty sure he was being ironic, and your the guy equating spanking with child abuse and declaring it settled scienc (i.e. being trollish)" [sic]
Not so trollish, am I? Oops. Actually, now that I think about it, all of the name-calling and ad hominem that you have engaged in is exactly the kind of 'cognitive kill switch'-ery (like Carrie Prejean's accusations of Larry King's 'inappropriateness' -- that is, ad hominem) that you were accusing me of. Making it about the identities in the conversation, trying to put me on the defensive, and shift the conversation, whereas my focus has almost exclusively been the content. I wouldn't even be saying this if you hadn't engaged in the ad hominem to start with, but I am not going to just ignore it, either, since expecting respect is reasonable and doesn't need to be explained.

>>"And as for the charge of elitism, I may be guilty, but you've misunderstood my meaning...."
Fair enough, I see the distinction. But I still have to dispute the notion that we'll 'muddle on' -- culture I suppose will continue (that is, if we can deal with the impending crises our species faces, but that is another topic altogether). But mental illness rates seem to actually be increasing. The WHO has predicted that by 2020, depression will be the number two health problem in the world, to refer to just one index among many. So somehow, I don't think we're doing so well. And parenting is a big piece of that. When our attachment is insecure, this has all kinds of negative effects that will spill over into the culture.

>>"Now for Heaven's sake...."
I am not taking it emotionally or personally. These are internet comments. I was merely demanding simple civility and pointing out your faulty reasoning, and your implications to the contrary are somewhat disingenous and sort of a personal attack again, implying that I can't take criticism, and that I'm trying to shift the conversation, and this was why I disputed your bad logic.

"I really don't want corporal punishment to be on the table if it is really harmful to kids. But that case has not been made."
Don't you? Because you seem pretty unwilling to be convinced that it is harmful. As for your claim that the case hasn't been made, you've provided exactly zero basis for that assertion. You've failed to critically engage with most of what I wrote in any meaningful sense. Actually, you wrote a bunch of assertions down, but you have virtually no evidence for any of them.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (5 votes cast)
Note to alone: please de... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 9:20 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

Note to alone: please delete the other two versions of this post that I thought weren't showing because I posted them too quickly but now I'm realising that it's probably because my post is full of hyperlinks, which I have converted back into simple text using [dot]'s. Again, sorry about this.

2.
What is more, you are ignoring the fact that there actually has been a paradigm shift in this question in the last decade or two, strongly against corporal punishment, even in mild forms. I was going to do some research, do a few ProQuest searches on the topic, and see what the literature says about it, as quoting each other back and forth and arguing is a bit pointless. A cursory examination does actually back up my claims, quite indisputably. But that isn't even necessary, since I can simply quote what childcare professionals' associations have to say about the question.

First up, the American Academy of Pediatrics, link here: pediatrics[dot]aappublications[dot]org/content/101/4/723[dot]full
From the abstract: "Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior."

Second, the National Association of School Nurses, link here: www[dot]nasn[dot]org/PolicyAdvocacy/PositionPapersandReports/NASNPositionStatementsFullView/tabid/462/ArticleId/20/Corporal-Punishment-in-the-School-Setting-Revised-2011
"It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that corporal punishment should be legally prohibited in all states and that alternative forms of student behavior management be utilized in the school setting."

Third, the Canadian Pediatric Society, link here: caringforkids[dot]cps[dot]ca/handouts/guiding_with_positive_discipline
"The Canadian Paediatric Society strongly discourages the use of physical punishment on children, including spanking. Physical punishment can physically and emotionally hurt your child. There are other, more effective ways to discipline children." Emphasis in original.

Last, the American Psychoanalytic Association, link here: apsa[dot]org/About_APsaA/Position_Statements/Physical_Punishment[dot]aspx
"The American Psychoanalytic Association condemns the use of physical punishment (corporal punishment) in the discipline of children and recommends alternative methods which enhance children's capacities to develop healthy emotional lives, tolerate frustration, regulate tensions, and behave in socially acceptable ways.

"Physical punishment is a serious public health problem in the United States, and it profoundly affects the mental health of children and the society in which we live. Studies show that over 60% of families use physical punishment to discipline children. Yet, the research shows that physical punishment is associated with an increase in delinquency, antisocial behavior, and aggression in children, and a decrease in the quality of the parent-child relationship, mental health, and the child's capacity to internalize socially acceptable behavior. Adults who have been subject to physical punishment as children are more likely to abuse their own child or spouse and to manifest criminal behavior (1).

"Spanking is a euphemism for hitting. One is not permitted to hit one's spouse or a stranger; these actions are considered domestic violence and/or assault. Nor should one be permitted to hit a smaller and even more vulnerable child. Hitting a child elicits precisely the feelings one does not want to generate in a child: distress, anger, fear, shame, and disgust. Studies show that children who are hit identify with the aggressor and are more likely to become hitters themselves, i.e., bullies and future abusers of their children and spouses. They tend to learn to use violent behavior as a way to deal with disputes."

"Read through these pages, and you'll see that virtually every single one of my claims is valid, unequivocally. So much so that it has become the conventional wisdom. A lot of research has been done in the past 20-30 years that has pretty much all but totally invalidated the notion of corporal punishment as an effective way of disciplining children. These professional groups' positions are a reflection of this fact. And I could easily keep going with these quotations; I'm willing to bet that practically every professional association that has childcare workers as part of its membership has issued a similar statement."

This is unambiguous. Hence why I thought it was common knowledge.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (7 votes cast)
whoops, the second last par... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 9:23 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

whoops, the second last paragraph in my post previous to this shouldn't have quotation marks around it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
Elite school? You failed. R... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 3:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Elite school? You failed. Read the whole blog again.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Dear Alone,Will yo... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 9:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Dear Alone,

Will you post about the recent "zombie like" killings in the news- one man in miami ate his victim, another disemboweled himself and threw it at police officers, and now a third where someone was eating his victim... (I know the second is slightly different) but I'd like to know your thoughts on these gruesome killings... I included a link below to the most recent, but it references the previous 2 within the article. Preemptive thank you if you choose to write about this one! :)

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/bs-md-ha-dismemberment-follow-20120531,0,4066697.story

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
>>National Association of S... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2012 11:07 AM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

>>National Association of School Nurses

What? The NASN is against spanking? My God, man, why didn't you say so earlier! How could ANYONE question such an authority?

You have a some journals on your side. I have a hundred centuries of human progress on mine, almost every bit of it made by those who were spanked as children. Funny what us "abuse victims" can accomplish....

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (11 votes cast)
You're flat-out wrong here,... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2012 5:12 PM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by tim: | Reply

You're flat-out wrong here, end of story, as I said from word one.

I have supported my claims, and you've engaged in lame straw man-ing critiques, offering no valid basis for your claims beyond a few platitudes and sentiments -- not the hallmarks of a well-constructed argument.

I like how you singled out that one insignificant little detail to make a fuss about, offering nothing at all in the way of rational critique. Pediatricians and psychologists are too... -- well, let's be honest about it, since you're not -- too male and too educated to be open to easy critique. What exactly is wrong with nurses again?

And I do not have "some journals" on my side -- I have a scientific consensus on my side. Dismissing this as just a few voices in the wilderness is disingenuous, and hints at denial, defensiveness, and self-justification as I said above.

I never claimed that abuse victims don't accomplish anything. Rather, I pointed to the scientific fact that abuse victims are more likely to accomplish the wrong things -- that is, both anti-social and self-destructive behaviors. This is a simple and clear distinction.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (7 votes cast)
also, I can't help but noti... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2012 10:33 PM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by tim: | Reply

also, I can't help but notice that you're under the impression that 100,000 years of "human progress" is attributable to the fact that parents abused (your term) their children. I think you are mistaken.

humans have been employing corporal punishment for at most the last 10,000 years or so (since domestication begun). hunter-gatherer societies that have not flirted with the domestication process do not show these tendencies, and their children have absolutely no "discipline problems" to speak of. this is what the anthropology literature (that is to say, the relevant science on the topic) indicates.

what is more, the notion of using corporal punishment on children to get them to behave likely was drawn from the idea that discipline seemed to be an effective tool for getting livestock to behave (i.e. to domesticate them). that child abuse was practiced before civilization took hold of the earth is highly unlikely.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (5 votes cast)
hmm, my math sucks. that sh... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 12:05 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

hmm, my math sucks. that should be 10,000, not 100,000. in any case, the notion that child abuse has driven 'progress' might well be true, but I don't see why we should view that as anything other than an indictment of said 'progress'.

sure, abuse has made civilization possible. one could make a rather convincing case that it is implicit in, and at the heart of the whole process. but again, why is this a good thing? because our lives are more complex than they used to be? that seems like a strange metric to choose, as opposed to physical and mental health, sense of security and wellbeing, ability to self-actualise, and so on. and hunter-gatherers outdo their civilised counterparts on all of those metrics.

not to mention all of the other contradictions and schizophrenias that are part of our supposed 'progress'. the fact is that this is not a one-way, linear process, and there is little besides human triumphalism that actually says otherwise.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (5 votes cast)
Yes, I might make errors li... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 3:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Somewhere: | Reply

Yes, I might make errors like that, since English is not my mother's tongue.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
You are right, there's alwa... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 3:58 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You are right, there's always more options than two, it's just easier to make arguments like that and have point being made. I don't want to write a book.

I think parents - instead of doing what they would do in a perfect world - do what hey can with the resources and time they have. You can't promote ways that people can't cope with. I've seen so many single mothers with couple of kids trying to "Force hug" their impossible son every time he becomes impossible and in the long run giving up and start enabling the behavior.


I propably would have gotten an ADHD-diagnose, but the diagnose didn't exist. I had luck though, a good choice of friends and I was always aware what I was experiencing was somehow fucked up compared to an idea of a normal person. It's not easy to try to control bursts of uncaring rage, but I sure did have it easier than most. Alot of people like me end up being violent and locked up, or find a way to medicate it, an addiction that'll kill them rather sooner than later.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
You've got to love how the ... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 3:59 AM | Posted by Lexus Liberal: | Reply

You've got to love how the article doesn't even mention Macdonald triad or dark triad. I also despise when articles fail to differentiate between psychopathy, sociopath and antisocial behavior.

The boy seems to be more ADHD with a little Borderline or bipolar disorder than "psychopathic".

If he truly is one, then he doesn't seem to be a very high functioning type since one of the first ability of being a psychopath is being able to hide it well through false displays of emotion and cunning lying.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
the thing about the dad's h... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 6:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tim: | Reply

the thing about the dad's homophobia is a joke, and you're missing what is obvious to pretty much everyone who reads this.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
Poor kid... ... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 10:20 AM | Posted by Lorii Abela: | Reply

Poor kid...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
Poor kid... ... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 10:21 AM | Posted by Lorii Abela: | Reply

Poor kid...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
My brother set fir... (Below threshold)

June 3, 2012 10:12 PM | Posted, in reply to It's almost here's comment, by jonny: | Reply

My brother set fire on his mattress and chased me around with a knife a few times.
My brother put salt in my eyes when I was a baby and then stuck a pen in my eye on a different occasion. He also hung me by the neck once, and he used to hit me when he'd get mad as a child.

My brother and I were tight up until I was 5 or so (he was 7). I remember the day it all changed, when I imagined killing him for the first time. He was looking at me in the queerest way. It made chills race up my spine. I knew he was imagining what it would be like to kill me.

Strange coincidence, us both thinking about killing each other for the first time, at the same time?

Not really. It was a Sunday, if that helps? Someone was reading a very disturbing story, for our benefit. Chances are, you wouldn't have heard this story. Almost no children ever get to benefit from its value. The story is quite graphic but this is it, in a nutshell: "There are two brothers, named Cain and Abel. Cain kills Abel." That's it.

I've read that scholars have pondered the meaning of this story, and that widely-published authors have written novels inspired by this peculiar tale. If that is true I was brighter than those dimwits when I was 5 years old.

I know why that story is told to children.

I know why they've printed 8,000,000,000 (eight billion) copies of that book in over 3000 dialects.

I know why that book is full of stories about sociopaths and why it goes into such depth, explaining how sociopaths feel.

I knew all of this at 5 years old, when my brother and I simultaneously gasped before looking away, in horror and shame. We didn't end up killing each other, but we came close a few times in the struggle for power that followed. Eventually, he was forced to submit to my superior cunning.

He had only himself to blame for losing; I read the rest of that Book and he didn't. It took a few years, more than a few tears, and I almost died a couple times before (with help from that Book, and its Good advice on how to gain advantage over humans) I eventually managed to negate his size advantage. I destroyed him in the end, and made him beg for mercy.

I read the whole Book and that's why he lost and because he lost, that means I WON.

Now I'm 31. We've barely said a word to each other in two decades and it's been nearly a quarter of a century since I forced him to lose. At some point, I imagine someone will tell me what I've won. Though I often hear grownups assert that "boys will be boys" and that "it's normal for brothers to want to kill each other" the truth is I haven't been a boy since I was 5. And we only started playing at Machiavelli after we heard a sweet story about a boy who killed his brother for no reason and then, one can deduce, had sex with his Mom in order to give birth to humanity.

Well he wasn't going to be able to mate with a niece? He was not his brother's keeper. And the logical corollary was that he had to kill him. It's funny. That insanity is the high point for logic, in the entire fucking Book.

But it's not very Good, is it? It's just thousands of pages of stories about sociopaths and how they feel. Lots of demented Rules or Laws or Commandments suggesting to children how they can feel.

Here is some insanity that you could feel.

BUT DON'T DO IT...!! Why? Because it's naughty, that's why.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (14 votes cast)
what a ghoul.... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2012 9:10 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

what a ghoul
.
.
.


hope this is a troll.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (5 votes cast)
As a 60 year old parent of ... (Below threshold)

June 5, 2012 11:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Elizabeth's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

As a 60 year old parent of a currently 38 year old son who received these tags as a child/adolescent, I was hoping to find some insight in either the article or comments posted on this topic. Elizabeth, you are the only commentator on topic, even the original article misses sorely.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Last Psychiatrist jumps the... (Below threshold)

June 5, 2012 8:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Last Psychiatrist jumps the shark.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (5 votes cast)
Write a new post already, T... (Below threshold)

June 6, 2012 7:59 AM | Posted by Phil A.: | Reply

Write a new post already, TLP. I'm sick of checking the website and seeing the damn drawing of the dinosaur. This is one of the few websites that I look forward to reading at work.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (10 votes cast)
I wonder if the gist and co... (Below threshold)

June 6, 2012 8:43 PM | Posted by 8 year-old psychopath: | Reply

I wonder if the gist and conclusions of this article were 'borrowed' at least in part from our many many discussions on the subject at sociopathworld.

Especially the last sentence, which sounds eerily like a re-write of a couple of my own.

If not, well, perhaps you should have a look-see. Coincidences do happen, and despite what some of the sheep in wolves clothing that hang around here believe, very few ideas or insights in this world are truly original.

Oh and hey! Not all psychopaths are male. Wow!

To whoever came up with the idea that Alone is showing his homophobia in this article with the "one should not assume" stuff has shown himself to be a closet sexist/misogynist. Funny, that. Talk about assumptions!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (5 votes cast)
I wonder if the gist and co... (Below threshold)

June 6, 2012 8:44 PM | Posted by 8 year-old psychopath: | Reply

I wonder if the gist and conclusions of this article were 'borrowed' at least in part from our many many discussions on the subject at sociopathworld.

Especially the last sentence, which sounds eerily like a re-write of a couple of my own.

If not, well, perhaps you should have a look-see. Coincidences do happen, and despite what some of the sheep in wolves clothing that hang around here believe, very few ideas or insights in this world are truly original.

Oh and hey! Not all psychopaths are male. Wow!

To whoever came up with the idea that Alone is showing his homophobia in this article with the "one should not assume" stuff has shown himself to be a closet sexist/misogynist. Funny, that. Talk about assumptions!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (6 votes cast)
Before making the assumptio... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2012 2:45 PM | Posted by Neurofeedback: | Reply

Before making the assumption that your child is a psychopath, make sure that it is just not brain instability causing the symptoms. Please find a Neurotherapist who uses evidence-based neurofeedback to assist you with your child.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Before making the assumptio... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2012 2:47 PM | Posted by Neurofeedback: | Reply

Before making the assumption that your child is a psychopath, make sure that it is just not brain instability causing the symptoms. Please find a http://Neurotherapist.info who uses evidence-based neurofeedback to assist you with your child.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Nice article. <br ... (Below threshold)

June 12, 2012 1:47 PM | Posted by La la la, doves with olive branches, la la la la: | Reply

Nice article.


Cardinal sins:

1. called him a racist although I thought that was mainly a criticism of his readers which is kind of blameless, really. Sorry- you’re not a racist, which you don’t need to hear from me.
2. called him a POS
3. called him a homosexual who uses terms like ‘distressed’ as it applies to home décor correctly (homosexuality is fine, I live in Boystown, but distressed as it applies to home décor *is* annoying, I’m sorry)
4. said he was writing about things that were non-issues
5. said he was a grouchy conservative
6. said he was a little too overt possibly
7. Forgot to firewall my computer appropriately and used an insecure network because it is FREE internet access

Sorry. Sort of. I guess I figured you’re a grown adult who could certainly say something if you had a problem, maybe even as it happened and not as a protracted passive-aggressive rant that hurt *my* feelings, pretty badly. I think we can say it’s even. The POS remark was probably wrong but I’d have to look at context which I’m not doing under the circumstances. I’m at times to the right of Kubla Khan so grouchy conservative is not really a criticism as long as nobody goes and becomes a Republican over it. Overt is certainly superior to whatever it is you’ve done lately. I think I also said you like Allan Bloom whom I also happen to be quite fond of but I suppose there’s something wrong with that as well. We actually have a lot in common. It’s tremendously insulting to deal with someone who won’t even talk to you like you’re a normal person or act like one around you

Would you please stop being an asshole? Even an asshole in the best and nicest possible way it's just getting to me. I would imagine you can be nice and normalish. Even I can be nice and normalish. I'm not saying (God help me) that you're *not* nice and normalish--- in a way it is really so that it's not you, --oh Jesus. Would you just please stop being an asshole? Pleeeeese?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (4 votes cast)
Where I come from, these sy... (Below threshold)

June 12, 2012 5:16 PM | Posted by grasseater: | Reply

Where I come from, these symptoms are now called "ADHD"...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Have the parents been teste... (Below threshold)

June 13, 2012 6:01 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Have the parents been tested also? Could it be this boy is learning this behaviour at home?
I don't think they had their son's best interest at heart when they decided to go public with his story and agreed to be photographed. I wouldn't have a problem recognizing any one of my neighbors just by seeing the lower part of their bodies. I suspect he won't be invited to many birthday parties from now on.
I agree completely: "one of the most significant causes of psychopathy is being told, at age 9, that you are a psychopath..."

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
Thanks for posting the link... (Below threshold)

June 13, 2012 7:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Gabe Ruth's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thanks for posting the link! It makes one wonder why the parents embrace this diagnosis more then the other 7 they've gotten previously.
"Michael seized the opportunity to grab the recorder and press the erase button. (Waschbusch later noted that such a calculated reprisal was unusual in a 9-year-old, who would normally go for the recorder immediately or simply whine and sulk.)"
I would also seriously question the diagnosis of a doctor who believes 9 year olds don't normally plan their moves.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
I agree completely... (Below threshold)

June 13, 2012 7:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I agree completely: "one of the most significant causes of psychopathy is being told, at age 9, that you are a psychopath..."

Why did you think Christians do this with every child they were permitted to scream at, across the entire world.

Predisposed to Sin. Original Sin. Humanity is weak / pathetic / silly. Sociopath behaviour is slick. It's pedophile catering.

But JESUS SAVES.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
jesus may save, but does he... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2012 5:50 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by what a coincidence, i save too: | Reply

jesus may save, but does he invest?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (8 votes cast)
Babies are born psychopathi... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2012 10:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Babies are born psychopathic. No baby can understand, let alone empathise with the outside world. All other humans the baby has contact with are there to serve it. Empathy (steering away from pschopathy) is learnt primarily in the first ten years. Hence it is said if someone has not learnt to be moral in their first ten years then they probably never will be.

On the other hand, pschyopathy is overrated - most criminal are NOT pschyopaths and most psychopaths are NOT criminals. After all, true pschopathy means you can't empathise with others. Most criminals can understand the suffering of the victims but enjoy it because it gives them power. Hence pschopathy isn't a good predictor of criminal behaviour.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (4 votes cast)
"Babies are born psychopath... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2012 11:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Babies are born psychopathic."

Nope. Totally false. Where's the evidence for this dubious and ridiculous claim?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
and not to mention how dumb... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 12:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tim: | Reply

and not to mention how dumb it is to try and apply a personality disorder diagnosis to a baby. there's enough doubt and disagreement over using these labels on a nine year old, but we can use them on an infant?


smh.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
I still assert babies are b... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 2:34 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Gil: | Reply

I still assert babies are born psychopathic because being a selfish prat is essential for a baby to survive. A baby has no concept of morals let alone the concept that other matters. Hence everyone one is born thinking "the world revolves around them" because it did for the early years of their lives. Believe or not, yes, people have to learn to be moral and the moral code you were brought up with is the one you'll live by as an adult. But to put it another way: most babies are born with the trait of a psychopath but outgrow and outlearn that behaviour while a handful don't. After all, there's no way anyone could class a baby as empathic.

* I didn't mean to post as "anonymous".

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (3 votes cast)
...rightexcept tha... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 11:46 AM | Posted by tim: | Reply

...right

except that the theoretical construct 'psychopath' is only legitimate and intelligible when the label is applied to an adult.

and to say that a baby 'lacks' empathy is missing something fundamental about the issue -- you can't criticize a person for a lack of something that she has had no means or opportunity to acquire.

it isn't meaningful to claim that a person 'lacks' empathy when they lack the mental capacity to have ever possessed it. it's only a 'lack' when it would ordinarily be there in the first place.

and actually I dispute your first premise, too, which is that babies do in fact 'lack' empathy (if we assume for the sake of argument that this statement is meaningful; I've already explained why it isn't). they have a somatic connection to the mother. this relational connection, starting at the pre-cognitive stage, pre-semantic stage, is the beginning of empathy. just because it isn't fully-formed and completely developed doesn't mean it isn't there, in a primitive sort of configuration.

and I think there's also a story about civilization here, too, and the ways in which we treat our young differently from how their biology and instincts expect, and the trauma that is implied in that dissonance. I like what R.D. Laing says along these lines:

"Long before a thermonuclear war can come about, we have had to lay waste our own sanity. We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I.Q.s if possible.
From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful."
Laing, The Politics of Experience, p. 58.

also, your statement near the end "most babies are born with the trait of a psychopath" -- I'm not sure whether you meant to pluralize "trait" or not, but the construct 'psychopath' is multifaceted and has a lot more to it than a lack of empathy. probably most importantly, there's a kind of death urge that has taken over the core of the self, and that is a lot darker than a lack of empathy. I also can't help but notice "most" in there -- kind of an escape hatch in case the position turns out to be wrong. are babies psychopathic or aren't they? you can't have it both ways and say that "most" are -- or at least, if you want to, you need to explain this distinction. why are "most" born this way, but some aren't?

do babies suffer from a compulsion to destroy, to subjugate others to their will, to make others' lives miserable? do they have a compulsion to kill? the answers to both are obviously 'no'. again, these questions are about as unintelligible as the notion that babies are psychopathic, for the same reasons.

and what's more, labelling a baby "selfish" also doesn't tell us anything. what else would we expect from it?

moreover, when we say a baby is "selfish" do we mean that in the same way that a psychopath is "selfish"? obviously not, there's a categorical distinction that ought to be drawn here. a baby is "selfish" because it needs to be in order to survive. how exactly is this really "selfish"? -- by this metric, we could say that we are all selfish, and the distinction loses its meaning and value. a psychopath is selfish because it has a compulsion to do evil in the world. there's an obvious difference here. babies aren't evil, period.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
whoops, meant to make my ab... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 11:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Gil's comment, by tim: | Reply

whoops, meant to make my above comment a reply.

sorry for spamming -_-

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
also, thinking on this a bi... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 12:13 PM | Posted by tim: | Reply

also, thinking on this a bit more, there's another implicit premise in what you're saying that I didn't speak to above.

you're suggesting that we are all born psychopathic, and that we "outgrow" this stage. this is basically stating that psychopathy is the biological default, rather than a deviation from it, which is another problem with your position. you haven't explained why the conventional wisdom (that psychopathy is a deviation from biological normalcy) is wrong.

psychopaths have different brain structures than normal people do. this is another way of seeing the illness that could not be applied to an undeveloped, infant brain.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
"do babies suffer from a co... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 12:14 PM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"do babies suffer from a compulsion to destroy, to subjugate others to their will, to make others' lives miserable? do they have a compulsion to kill? . . ."

Yes, absolutely, that's all babies and toddlers do. When a toddler wants a toy another toddler has then a fight always ensues. Somewhere along childhood children have to learn you have to work with others instead of fighting others - hopeully from a position of empathy than a cost-benefit analysis.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
this is a clear case of fal... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2012 12:26 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tim: | Reply

this is a clear case of false equivalency. babies' motivations clearly differ from that of a psychopath.

but before i address that, there's a problem regarding who you are speaking of. for one thing, the claim referred specifically to babies -- i.e. not toddlers. there is a clear difference. but even if we accept this unexplained expansion of our concern, the above is still specious reasoning.

toddlers do not 'always fight' with other children, for one thing, so that's out. one should be careful when using absolutes like 'always' -- because these are often wrong, and easily demonstrated to be such. but again, even if we accept this, this wasn't even the question in the first place (babies =/= toddlers).

and to claim that toddlers have a desire to make others' lives purposely miserable for their own sadistic pleasure? this is ridiculous on its face. children don't act out out of sadism, they do it for other reasons that have nothing to do with seeking to destroying the lives of others and more to do with making sure that their own legitimate needs are looked after. nobody has a legitimate need/desire (beyond self-defense) to kill, psychopaths included.

your claims are too far outside the norm to be accepted without any good evidence to point to. reasoning about it without looking at the actual facts is not going to go anywhere useful or insightful, or accurate for that matter.

not to mention that they could easily be used as an apologia for abuse of children, leaving aside the speciousness of the whole thing.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Actually the point is that ... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2012 2:59 AM | Posted by Gil: | Reply

Actually the point is that pschopaths can't emphathise with others. Thus by extension pschopaths are amoral, not immoral. Hence most sadists and criminals aren't psychopaths - they understand the emotions of their victims and derive pleasure from their suffering. Most psychopaths live ordinary, non-criminal lives. But that's because they work from a cost-benefit analysis - it's pay more to be decent to others therefore they refrain from criminal tendencies.

But just as there's a spectrum between 20/20 vision and total blindness so too most everyone share some pschopathic traits. Likewise babies lack almost all the traits of an adults so why be shocked that babies and toddler don't understand morals? Or that punishment is better to discipline them than trying to reason with them?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Psychopaths indeed can and ... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2012 8:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Gil's comment, by tim: | Reply

Psychopaths indeed can and do empathize. But they do not empathize the way that others do -- they use their empathy to hurt others and to make their lives unpleasant, whether they break the law or not. One does not need to be a criminal in order to be indecent to others -- there are many ways to subtly hurt others in one's life, and this is how most psychopaths operate. But they do indeed have a wish to see others suffer as their primary motivation. What you are describing is more of a schizoid type of approach than a psychopathic one; it's too detached and utilitarian -- psychopaths are maybe the opposite of utilitarian. They want the greatest good only for themselves, and for everyone else to suffer. This statement that psychopaths are 'amoral' -- you need some evidence for this. If we look at Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, we see the following defining characteristics of psychopathy that show a clear anti-social and immoral way of being in the world:

Factor 1 - Aggressive Narcissism (this doesn't sound amoral)
Pathological lying
Cunning/manipulative
Callousness; lack of empathy (note here that these are not quite the same. One can lack empathy without being callous in that lack, but psychopaths specifically want to hurt others.)
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions (does this sound amoral or immoral to you? Obviously it's the latter.)

Factor 2 - Socially deviant lifestyle (this doesn't sound amoral either)
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Impulsivity
Irresponsibility

These traits clearly indicate that a psychopath is not merely 'amoral' as you are claiming. They are indeed immoral -- they seek to hurt others and to make them suffer.

Your proposed 'amoral psychopath' does not exist. The label you are looking for is 'schizoid personality', and that is an entirely different thing, also illegitimate to be applied to a baby, since it is also a personality disorder diagnosis, and subject to the same restrictions in application as psychopathy.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Scanning through these comm... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2012 12:27 AM | Posted by Medusa: | Reply

Scanning through these comments, it's pretty clear most people have no fucking clue what psychopathy is all about, and only know them from books, classes, blogs and internet articles.

Nothing worse than people who pretend to be experts from behind their keyboards.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Well, I must say that I'm e... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2012 2:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Medusa's comment, by Perseus: | Reply

Well, I must say that I'm extremely happy *not* to have had any first-hand experience with psychopaths (that I know of). And I think most people would agree with me. So where else would we find information than books or classes? I can understand not trusting info from blogs or internet articles, but are you really saying that any form of studying psychopathy or other mental illnesses is pointless? (I apologize if I have misunderstood your comment, but that's the message that came through to me.)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
wtf is wrong with you shrin... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2012 8:36 PM | Posted by A: | Reply

wtf is wrong with you shrink man. Post more.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
If you have a blog, I'd lov... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:57 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Ray: | Reply

If you have a blog, I'd love to read!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
not at the moment, no...kin... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 8:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Ray's comment, by tim: | Reply

not at the moment, no...kinda sorta tossing the idea around in my head but eh...we'll see. if I do anything I'll mention it here, without getting spam-ish..

I was trying to register at partialobjects.com so I could maybe write a few things there but for some reason I just can't get registration to work, tried like 5 times.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Re factor 1, it's interesti... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 9:44 AM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Tid: | Reply

Re factor 1, it's interesting that someone who lies pathologically also has this special capability for revealing oneself, being honest. I am unlearned and know little about it, but based purely on personal experience I'd say psychopaths are moral, they certainly are emotional despite also being numb in some contexts.

To confuse the issue, I'd like to remind you that one don't have to be a psychopath to make immoral choices or ignore emotions, it's also quite common that ordinary people don't take responsibility for ones actions or act cunningly and manipulative.

Again, just my thought and interpretations, but in real life I've known two persons with strong narcissistic trait and a tendency for manipulation and clever plotting. Roughly speaking I'd say both have a strong sense of moral, one of them act on it the other one tend to ignore it.

Diversity. Good people bad people, some walking to the left, others to the right.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Actually, yes, those traits... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:08 PM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Actually, yes, those traits do show someone who's amoral. Which is to say, someone sees means to an end than going about hurting people for the sake of hurting people. I believe you're using the term "psychopath" synonymously with "criminal" and/or "jerk". Psychopathy is like autism. Just because autistic people don't socialise well doesn't mean they want to be anti-social rather they don't know how to socialise yet it comes across as anti-social to others. I therefore argue psychopaths don't go out of their way to be mean and hurt others but they are generally indifferent to others and don't notice nor care when getting the results they desire hurt many people along the way.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Dang it. I posted anonymou... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:10 PM | Posted, in reply to tim's comment, by Gil: | Reply

Dang it. I posted anonymously again. X(

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Do tell, do tell Medusa - w... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Medusa's comment, by Gil: | Reply

Do tell, do tell Medusa - what constitutes the Real Pschopath? And where have we gone wrong in our defintions?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Why would babies biological... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 1:12 AM | Posted by yankee flatline: | Reply

Why would babies biologically profit by competing for resources with their parents and other babies? The most helpless animal baby on the planet is programmed to detract from the survival chances of its group and parents? Really? That's so nonsensical I don't even need to have a baby to know how nonsensical it is and I actually have a baby and I still know it's nonsensical. Fucking misanthropic internet jerks that hate babies and think they have good reasons for it golly.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
In evaluating the 9 year ol... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 9:55 PM | Posted by Continuing Education Mental Health: | Reply

In evaluating the 9 year old, I'd wonder why the family history wasn't taken into account. A child who is acting out is not his/her own creation, but instead a compilation of influences both genetic and environmental. Excluding or minimizing those influences is unwise for the resolution of the child's problems. Additionally, psychopathy involves an extreme amount of emotional neglect to create, most of it in the first several years of childhood. That his behavior is said to have started at age 3 when another child joined the family is highly indicative of a toxic family system. The 9 year old, if evaluated properly and wisely, can find a good measure of healing with a wise and thoughtful counseling professional.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Looking at the (sort of) ph... (Below threshold)

July 11, 2012 7:19 PM | Posted by Brynn: | Reply

Looking at the (sort of) photos of this kid, and reading about the very few facts that were stated here...I don't doubt he's capable of having oppositional defiant disorder, eventually leading to antisocial personality disorder. He actually quite resembles a cousin of mine who exhibits the same behaviors and even the same physical appearance (from what I can see). Silly as that sounds, finding correlations with physical appearance and mental disorders, I do not disregard it, either. Many children who show mild forms of autism or asbergers may actually be just as likely to have potential to become diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Of course with a lack of research, and only case studies to identify any of this, it's not gospel. Granted, New York Times completely exploited this kid for what he may or may not have, but I don't think they "caused" it, nor should they be singling him out for it when there are many, many other worse cases. It certainly won't help his treatment (assuming he gets any), and would obviously feed into any supposed disorder he may have. STILL, I don't think either of these articles are fair, and I think we need to stay focused on the point that psychopaths/sociopaths DO exist, and that MORE research must be done to determine the hows and whys. Unfortunately, I feel it's not even something we can blame them personally for, as research does suggest that it's inherited or genetic, but in most cases, not just learned.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I feel that psychological c... (Below threshold)

July 19, 2012 1:20 AM | Posted by Rodney Knight: | Reply

I feel that psychological counseling is the best methods to analyze the reasons that usually compel an individual to seek counseling identify his counseling goals and desired counseling approach.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
His mother is a "disciplina... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 7:07 AM | Posted by Xelomon: | Reply

His mother is a "disciplinarian" towards him and she thinks 2 hugs in 10 minutes is "manipulative". Wow! And this kid is on the road to become a psychopath?
His parents may care for him, but they don't seem to show love. Especially his mother. And if this started since he was a baby, no wonder he's where he is now.
The crisis they describe in early childhood are signs of normal behaviour - tantrums, terrible twos, jealousy towards little brother. If they tried to be rational about it, of course they didn't get anywhere. Try to be rational wqith a toddler. Even more, when it comes to powerful emotions, it's difficult even for an adult to be rational. The kid appears to be a person of strong emotions, who shut himself down from other people. Yet he doesn't know how to deal with these emotions, and he acts aggressive. How did he get to be restrained? Only the parents can answer this question. And I'd say it's more psychological than genetical...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
Two Standard Deviations?</p... (Below threshold)

September 21, 2012 1:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Jay's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Two Standard Deviations?

Oh wonderful! Now we are permanently branding a child's mind and future by using a Bell Curve?
No doubt the Pharms are salivating.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
I. Love. You.... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2012 3:30 AM | Posted by vesperas71: | Reply

I. Love. You.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Hi, just wanted to tell you... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2012 3:18 PM | Posted by Penney Andrade: | Reply

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post. It was funny. Keep on posting!
Hi, I just wanted to tell you, you’re dead wrong. Your article doesn’t make any sense.
Hello, how’s it going? Just shared this post with a colleague, we had a good laugh.
Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.
This text is worth everyone’s attention. How can I find out more?
Highly energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?
Incredible story there. What happened after? Take care!
Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out some additional information.
Informative article, just what I was looking for.
Hi there, I read your blogs on a regular basis. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up!
Hi to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to visit this web page, it includes helpful Information.
I am truly pleased to read this website posts which carries lots of helpful data, thanks for providing these kinds of statistics.
This video post is actually great, the noise quality and the picture quality of this tape post is genuinely amazing.
Hi there to every body, it’s my first go to see of this web site; this weblog consists of awesome and in fact good stuff for visitors.
Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a stuff! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.
What’s up, every time i used to check blog posts here in the early hours in the break of day, for the reason that i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more.
What’s up to every one, as I am in fact eager of reading this web site’s post to be updated regularly. It includes nice stuff.
I all the time emailed this website post page to all my friends, because if like to read it then my friends will too.
Can you please send by e-mail me the code for this script or please tell me in detail concerning this script?
Your method of explaining the whole thing in this post is in fact pleasant, every one be capable of effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.
Fine way of telling, and pleasant article to obtain facts about my presentation focus, which i am going to present in institution of higher education.
Hi, I desire to subscribe for this web site to obtain most up-to-date updates, so where can i do it please help.
Hi, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am as well delighted to share my familiarity here with colleagues.
Wonderful, what a blog it is! This webpage provides useful data to us, keep it up.
Hi all, here every person is sharing these kinds of know-how, so it’s nice to read this website, and I used to go to see this blog daily.
What a funny blog! I actually loved watching this comic video with my family as well as including my mates.
Sketches are in fact pleasant source of teaching instead of content, its my familiarity, what would you say?
Hello, its fastidious post concerning media print, we all understand media is a fantastic source of facts.
What’s up, this weekend is good in favor of me, as this time i am reading this fantastic educational article here at my residence.
This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing at one place.
Nice answers in return of this query with real arguments and explaining all about that.
I pay a visit each day a few websites and websites to read content, however this web site offers feature based content.
Sure high resolution videotape quality includes much memory, that’s why it gives you enhanced quality.
If you are free to watch funny videos online then I suggest you to go to see this website, it contains in fact thus humorous not only movies but also additional information.
I know this website gives quality based posts and other material, is there any other website which presents these data in quality?
Hi colleagues, its great piece of writing concerning teachingand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.
Downloading information from this web site is as effortless |as clicking the mouse rather than other websites which shift me here and there on the internet pages.
Hi everybody, I am sure you will be enjoying here by watching these hilarious videos.
I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog’s posts daily along with a mug of coffee.
Hurrah! At last I got a webpage from where I be able to actually obtain valuable facts regarding my study and knowledge.
Hello, the whole thing is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s in fact fine, keep up writing.
If you want to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this website and be updated with the most recent news update posted here.
Hi there to every one, the contents present at this web page are actually amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.
No one can reject from the feature of this video posted at this web site, pleasant job, keep it all the time.
No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, thus he/she desires to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Makes a lot of sense. A LOT... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2012 8:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Penney Andrade's comment, by LaVernon: | Reply

Makes a lot of sense. A LOT. Best comment eva. EVA!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
It's like you didn't even r... (Below threshold)

October 30, 2012 12:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's like you didn't even read the article... The five 'signs' you list are hardly relevant.

1. According to you, they imply that Michael's psychopathy is related to his ethnicity - because they mention his father's name, which happens to be traditionally Hispanic? What? All you know about Miguel's ethnicity is that his name is Miguel. To suggest that by telling you this they're deliberately making a connection between Hispanic individuals and psychopathy a pretty big leap on your part.

2-4. You focus on the three photographs added to the article for the majority of your points. I don't think the author of the article intended the photos to be considered "signs" of psychopathy. In an article with easily over 6000 words, you couldn't be bothered to read through and analyze any of the authors actual points.

5. In your criticism of the NYT definition of science, you fail to mention the actual science used to generate those statistics: psychology. They also make it very clear that we are not 'doomed' by our genes: "...to take the attitude that psychopathy is untreatable because it’s genetic... that’s not accurate." And you hardly do a better job describing 'gene expression and interaction.'

I'm all for criticism of media, and I'm aware that your post is meant to be humourous, but you're so far from any actual criticism that you end up looking like a fool who can't be bothered to read past the title.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Very interesting perspectiv... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2012 12:20 PM | Posted by Necorochi: | Reply

Very interesting perspective.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (3 votes cast)
The article itself is very ... (Below threshold)

November 26, 2012 3:31 PM | Posted by Nope: | Reply

The article itself is very odd, but I think it shows exactly the point of discussing various "mental diseases" in public media. 99% of the stories people talk about "crazy" people is made just to entertain the audience, in a horrible way.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
I just wanted to say that I... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2012 12:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Elizabeth's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I just wanted to say that I accidentally voted this post down when I meant to vote it up!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Psychology is NOT a science... (Below threshold)

December 21, 2012 9:38 PM | Posted by Trebuchette: | Reply

Psychology is NOT a science, "Anonymous" Coward from the 10 Oct post. Psychology is parenting; psychiatry is drug-dealing that garners less respect than the Mexican drug lord field. The field of psychology has done nothing since the days of Jung; it's a load of crap. So NYT's #1 science for this article being psychology is an incredible (and incredibly offensive) joke. The field has failed.

Probably because the government closed the asylums where patients could be observed (and kept away from society).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Same Crazy horrible mother?... (Below threshold) My brother threw fits - in ... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2013 8:21 PM | Posted by The Wut: | Reply

My brother threw fits - in tears every night, ran away to other people's houses, stole some kids glasses in preschool, swung a cat around by its tail. Got diagnosed with ADD in high school. Now he's on the deans list in an engineering program and he has a part time job. He has lots of friends. Any time we bring up his 'old ways' now, he gets upset about it. Also his weed smoking in high school really leveled him out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
i didn't know he was a fath... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:37 AM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i didn't know he was a father, but writing from that perspective seems honest and makes me more prone to read him, even when and if i disagree. i don't think that's something to poke fun at, it seems kinda off limits to me.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I noted this comment and as... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 1:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Shamsi Ruhe's comment, by ItsMe: | Reply

I noted this comment and asked myself - "Am I reading it or making sense which isn't there?" If it is what I think it is, I appreciate it very much. Even if I didn't like its content, I do nevertheless enjoy the communication.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I am now more stupid for wa... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 9:54 PM | Posted by Shame on You: | Reply

I am now more stupid for wasting my time on reading the article...HA

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (3 votes cast)
The mother isn't insane, an... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2013 9:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Awesome Dude's comment, by jonny: | Reply

The mother isn't insane, and by that I mean of course she is but in a world of insanity, only the sane are ever deemed to be mentally unwell.

But only one thing can make a human child insane; lies from those they trusted to tell them the truth, to be their mirror in an uncertain world, to be on their side instead of being a leech leaning on their children because they couldn't (for whatever reason) be happy on their own.

This world needs a discussion on mental illness alright; and we can start with mothers lying to their children (for their children's sake, of course).

Vomit. This world is predominantly needy sociopaths devoid of Self, so they breed children who they have to lie to or the children will live happily and Selfishly and humanely without consideration for the needy leech who did not give birth to a child for that reason.

Their motives are needy. Their lies and their love is the passion. Cue crimes of passion but it's the legal Crimes Against Humanity that create the insanity. Lying to those you care about is a clear-cut guarantee that you are mentally ill.

If you're lying to anyone, you need to stop needing. Or you need to be removed from the equation. You need to be perfectly comfortable with your Self before you will be capable of caring for the welfare of anyone else.

You need to be alone.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
I'm a new reader. I like yo... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 3:19 AM | Posted by notbeingflip: | Reply

I'm a new reader. I like your work. You have a refreshing perspective.

While you see feet, I'm counting feet - the little feet. And I see a kid, who is the oldest of four kids. I look at that foto and see the other kids are clustered around the mom. So how does this 9 y o get in there to get anywhere near his mom? And his Dad's not in the picture.
Maybe Dad was at work? Well ok. But dads are normally the ones to balance out that mother-influence which gets boring for boys after a while. He could take his kid camping, kick a ball around, or even jogging. The parents could get this kid involved in something with other kids his own age: boyscouts, soccer or some other sport. 9 year old is a great age coz they can now physically do so much more. But sitting around playing Pokemon? wtf?!

Sounds like this kid is bored out of his skull. So he's using his little brain cells to test out boundaries - that pausing with the chair. If he can consciously control his body (ie stand on one leg for 30 seconds), then he can pull himself together. And control his behavior. Folks don't give kids enough credit.
Psychopath. Oh please.

Those folks are giving that kid an excuse for his behavior. An easy out. 'Oh, it's ok, I'm a psychopath. I can't do any better.' His behavior doesn't seem to me to be any different from a kid who has anger management issues.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
hmmm, sounds like the artic... (Below threshold)

March 3, 2013 8:03 PM | Posted by mama: | Reply

hmmm, sounds like the article is this family's pitch for a reality show about them.

this: “We have bookshelves full of these books — ‘The Defiant Child’, ‘The Explosive Child,’ ” she told me. “All these books with different strategies, and we try them, and sometimes they seem to work for a few days, but then it goes right back to how it was.”

what's happening here is that they have some success so they back off the method, then, just like when you don't finish a prescription, the symptoms come back. the parents are inconsistent.

and the study group is not a brilliant idea. when you get kids like this together they will LEARN from each other. it's a psychopathic finishing school.

this: a couple’s younger son was murdered by his older brother. “In the show, the older brother didn’t show any remorse. He just said, ‘He deserved it, because he broke my plane.’ When I saw that, I said, ‘Oh my God, I so don’t need that episode to be my life story down the line.’ from the mom.

and wow, we don't have to wonder where the kid gets callous and unemotional from. way to turn everything about YOU. no sorrow over one little boy's lost life, another's messed up life, and the parents having to deal with both. no, it's 'her life story'. even when she imagines it happening to 'her' there's no sign that she would feel sad about her boys.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
Did anyone think "identifie... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2013 9:12 AM | Posted by Heather : | Reply

Did anyone think "identified patient" in a dysfunctional family? He's probably just been made the scapegoat which is even more horrifying, given the fact that not only does the kid have years of therapy before him but an article proving that not only is he "the problem" but a menace to not just his family but all of society. What kind of parents would let their kid be featured as psychopath in an article? There's something deeply wrong here.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
I was diagnosed as a psycho... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2013 6:34 AM | Posted by Jen: | Reply

I was diagnosed as a psychopath when I was young, but I can say that I'm perfectly normal. It's no big deal. The media is making such a big fuss out of it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Who are you? I want to mee... (Below threshold)

May 7, 2013 7:37 PM | Posted by Onceamuse: | Reply

Who are you? I want to meet you, date you and have your babies. You see, I have this 'thing' for intellectual psychiatrists of the NY persuasion and you've got the greatest sense of humor. Just my type. The thing with my real shrink didn't work out, transference and all.

Maybe I'll see you at the next APA Annual meeting. I'll be the tall blonde shiksa in the lobby looking to hook up with a psychiatrist.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Ahhhhh .... Headache... thi... (Below threshold)

May 20, 2013 9:12 PM | Posted by Urrggghhh: | Reply

Ahhhhh .... Headache... this is a matrix no one is getting anywhere with this bickering. Go to the shops and get some ice cream folks!:)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
We adopted a young teen fro... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2013 9:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

We adopted a young teen from a European orphanage. She has been diagnosed RAD by a specialist. However, she should be reexamined because she is exactly just as a psychopath described. Her right hand hemisphere of her brain is almost completely dead, barely viable, as the brain scan shows. So, for those of us parents who are really looking for help, this article is of NO help (disappointing).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
LOVED the part about the dr... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 8:01 PM | Posted by Mustang Sally: | Reply

LOVED the part about the dragon picture and the TSA / NICU / Downey. Hilarious!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
This is a good article but ... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 5:06 PM | Posted by jose_c: | Reply

This is a good article but I have some bones to pick:

"Therefore, Michael is crazy." Umm, no, he's not crazy by association, he's crazy because he does certain crazy things.

The Hispanic association - I really don't get why you said this. I too think it's very odd that they used real names, but the dad could be Spanish from Spain for all you know, and I don't think there was any implication overt or otherwise that psychopathy is race-linked. Besides, the most media-visible psychopaths are white anyway (mass shootings, serial killers, etc.)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
My Name is Mrs lic... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 8:55 PM | Posted by licon jose: | Reply

My Name is Mrs licon jose and i am from USA, I wish to share the testimony of life experience with the general public about what this priest has just done for me, this dr aduke has just brought back my Lost hope to me with his great powers, I was infected with HIV/AIDS during my youth camp in Tobago. i never notice it until I meet this man David Morgan . We both love each other and we plane to get married. I Was surprise when we go for HIV/AIDS test, and i was tested positive. The man was so disappointed in me and was very confused because of what happened, I wanted to kill myself, but a friend of mine told me not to worry that I still have life to live. She ask me one day to followed her to the cyber cafe, when we get there, I decided search for the best way to live with HIV/AIDS, that was when i saw a testimonies from marain adasine on how a great priest heal her of HIV/AIDS. i decided to email contact the man, then you won’t believe this when i Contacted this Dr on my problems, he told me what I needed to do and how to do it, he gave me 4days to go back for the test again, I go back to the same hospital and have the same test, but the HIV/AIDS positive change to negative. I didn’t believed the doctor’s report, I went to another hospital, the same result, the greatest surprise is that, the man who left me for 2months came looking for me and said he could find it easy doing anything without me. I promise to testify and share the testimony on the internet and everywhere I go.cause the miracle that Dr Aduke did for me was wonderful it even berfunes my expectations,to me I will keep on shearing this testimony until my oldest age. Inside and outside me is full of great joy. I am ready to tell the whole world about this great Dr, because he did it for me and i believe he will do it for others who need his help. you can as well email him at: okpebhohappyhome@live.com I BELIEVE HE CAN ALSO HELP YOU SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM TOO. YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT HIM IN RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM OR MARRIAGE,HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT FORE YOU TO GET YOUR EX BACK ALSO EMAIL HIM FOR THAT CAUSE I HAVE SEEN TESTIMONIES ABOUT HOW HE HELP PEOPLE TO GET THEIR EX BACK.HERE IS HIS VIA EMAIL.OKPEBHOHAPPYHOME@LIVE.COM

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
The article does in fact sa... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 7:01 PM | Posted by Jonathan: | Reply

The article does in fact say that the diagnosis is controversial. This excerpt was pulled directly from the NYT article.

"The idea that a young child could have psychopathic tendencies remains controversial among psychologists. Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University, has argued that psychopathy, like other personality disorders, is almost impossible to diagnose accurately in children, or even in teenagers — both because their brains are still developing and because normal behavior at these ages can be misinterpreted as psychopathic. Others fear that even if such a diagnosis can be made accurately, the social cost of branding a young child a psychopath is simply too high. (The disorder has historically been considered untreatable.) John Edens, a clinical psychologist at Texas A&M University, has cautioned against spending money on research to identify children at risk of psychopathy."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0&comments

The last psychologist does an excellent job of exposing the prejudicial profiling and to expose the article for appealing to authority without naming specific studies.

Articles about science, unless found in actual scientific journals, will most likely follow the same tendency as demonstrated by the the NYT article, of just mentioning the word study, rather than actually producing it or bothering to read it in it's entirety.

Unfortunatey, most subscribers will not fact check, so NYT doesn't require their writers to publish study titles and related info. That is just the law of supply and demand. However, it does not get NYT off the hook for irresponsible journalism.

Beyond fact checking, perhaps news agencies should also require on staff qualified professionals, in specific fields, in which said studies are based, to confirm each studies' significance and to properly translate its findings. Everyone has their talents. Writers are good at writing. Scientists are good at reading studies.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Ew. Here's the comment from... (Below threshold)

December 26, 2013 2:09 AM | Posted by J: | Reply

Ew. Here's the comment from the article a poster here linked to:

"I would suggest that this child is possessed by a demon. And I don't state this out of ignorance, as I am professor in a western University. The signs and symptoms are all there. There have been many cases like this that have been documented. Of course to the western rational mild this is pure poppycock. But this child's condition will not be alleviated until the true causes are recognized and dealt with. This is a spiritual problem that needs spiritual intervention from an experienced priest, Catholic or Orthodox, traditions which recognize this condition and have a 2000 year history dealing with it. The answers will not be found in science as his condition will worsen and never go away. Such arrogance in the scientific community and the scientific mindset will keep this poor soul tormented. Amazing that someone that reads the times daily could suggest something so outside the western mind?"

Sounds like a professor of mine...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Fuck the media. Fuck it; fu... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2014 4:06 PM | Posted by Jackson: | Reply

Fuck the media. Fuck it; fuck it in such a violently psychopathic matter that it forgets the latest addition to the Dark Triad.

Or just ignore it, depriving it of effect entirely.

I would consider these options literally,

if whining about the proletariat's expectantly degenerate influences would improve literally anyone's condition.


Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
To you who wrote this : are... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2014 10:47 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

To you who wrote this : are you insane or just enjoy putting words together that end up being pure babble? Get a life you psychopath.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
I was HIV/AIDS positive for... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2014 9:17 PM | Posted by bian: | Reply

I was HIV/AIDS positive for 8 years until i saw a testimony of how lord oddies has been healing people suffering from HIV and other diseases, i contacted him and today am free.i want to express a heart felt appreciation to lord oddies for healing me. I have directed people with Cancer,Barren women,and those with different problem to him and he favored them differently.I have not seen any one as powerful as lord oddies. Just put him to test and see what he can do. (Seen is believing). I vowed to testify of what he has done. For any problem just contact or email him on lordoddiesworld@gmail.com

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (3 votes cast)

Post a Comment


Live Comment Preview

November 26, 2014 18:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: