Aspies and sociopaths

A redefinition of terms is in order. I often use “aspie” in two ways that are nearly contradictory within edenism, and it is difficult to discern exactly what psychologists mean these days when they talk about autism, Asperger’s, sociopathy, psychopathy, and antisocial disorder (which contains a subset of pathological cases, in my very humble opinion, but nobody writing the DSM consulted me). I use the terms as heuristic “types” that we notice when we observe that a group of people share more traits than we’d ordinarily expect (analogous to Vox’s SSMV archetypes). They are not proper definitions nor proper categories, but rather groups of traits that are clustered tightly (though perhaps not perfectly). There are drawbacks to this sort of distinction because it is intuition-based and not rule-based, because you either “see” the type and agree on its existence, or you can’t and therefore don’t. Without diagnostic rules, proper debate is impossible, and certain sorts of magical thinking can intrude if we aren’t humble and clear-headed.

The first sort of aspie is the deep-socketed type (top-right morph), deficient in ordinary social interactions but proficient in social interactions with each other. Currently edenists believe this is a highly heritable relic of neanderthal admixture, and that such aspies have inherited the neanderthal intuitive social skillset and not the sapiens rule-based conformity social skillset. Neurologically, this seems to come mostly from deficiencies in the neocortex (much smaller anterior cingulate cortices and reduced general mass, in the case of sloped foreheads) and fundamental differences in the midbrain (larger amygdalas and hypothalamuses, differences in the wiring of the thalamus, different circadian rhythms, etc.) Intuitively it seems that, absent a pathology, all we European mongrels have both skillsets in degrees as varied as IQ (hence introversion and dysfunction are independent spectra).

The second sort of aspie is more mysterious to edenism, and tends to dominate mainstream discussion (subgroup B morph). I tentatively speculate that it is a pathology within homo sapiens sapiens that, again, retards the anterior cingulate cortex. Because the neocortex is an associative array custom-built to formalize the many complex rules, regulations, and conditioned behaviors of ordinary social conformity, it is also well-suited for other large rulesets like computer programming and Magic: The Gathering. We see aspies neglect the typical focus on conformist social behaviorism and take greater interest in these highly rule-based activities, the complexity of which is stratified by IQ. Any task emphasizing rule acquisition, formulization, and application is therefore more g-loaded than not. Theoretical physics is therefore g-loaded, and abstract algebra even moreso because it is even less concerned with physical intuition or visuospatial ability, except perhaps in the case of a few lucky synaesthetes.

I define a sociopath as an amygdala-damaged person who still has a frontal lobe, and therefore the ordinary spectrum of intelligence. Such a person is best described by the archaic term “moral insanity” and often responds positively and analytically to cues that would typically induce the amygdala to produce fear and/or disgust, such as a picture of a child splattered on the sidewalk. I speculate that this condition can be genetic, epigenetic, environmental, or a mix of the above. Sociopaths can be born or created. In contrast, I define a psychopath as a generally neocortex-deficient person, due to pathology, malnutrition, physical damage, and so on, who is therefore low-functioning and lacks impulse control. Such a person is primarily an impulse-following creature of appetite, and the human appetite is mostly concerned with sex, violence, status, attention, thrill-seeking, and material wealth.

The DSM description of antisocial personality disorder is so broad as to be totally useless, and would require more time to disambiguate than either of us is willing to spend. The colloquial term “jerk” is, on the other hand, highly satisfactory. Some people are just plain ole jerks. There is a large number of possible reasons for a person to become a jerk, whether biological, chemical, environmental, whatever.

About Aeoli Pera

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2 Responses to Aspies and sociopaths

  1. Pingback: Gifted Grownups, Streznewski | Aeoli Pera

  2. Pingback: Approximate descriptors for front and back | Aeoli Pera

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