We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Screening Psychopaths in Government

Before any meaningful societal reform is possible, a screening method has to be applied to separate the predatory 1% from levers of power. The time is ripe to filter psychopaths out of key socioeconomic functions

The time is ripe for a worldwide effort to formulate simple standardized procedures to filter acutely psychopathic individuals from positions of economic, political, and social leadership. This is the very first step necessary before we start implementing policies for international recovery of the real physical economy. This is due to the fact that meaningful reform will simply not be possible with highly unempathic clinical intraspecies predators remaining in charge of socioeconomic management.

Lets look at the numbers. Clinical psychopaths are only 1% of population yet are disproportionately represented in prisons (over 20%) and on Wall Street (close to 10%). Government functions are less studied but should be comparable to if not higher than business. In addition to these numbers there are subclinical psychopaths (who have just enough empathy, emotional understanding, and narcissism to be a career politicians) and highly unemotional introverts (non-psychopathic schizoid strategists). This makes for a total % of people often working against the general population at 6%+. Thus there is a predatory core within a predatory core with clinical types influencing the others within 6% in unhealthy ways and counteracting the influence of over 90% of the population.

I have written previously that Myers-Briggs Personality Test is a good way to identify personality types most likely to be the human herd's biological predators. ENTPs/ENTJs with Thinking function of 100 would be most likely to be clinical psychopaths and ENTPs/ENTJs with a T of 70-80+ would be most likely to be subclinical (helpers and ambassadors to the "human" world). ESTJs and ESTPs with a hyper strong T and lack of emotion are of course also dangerous but their lack of intuition prevents them from climbing and thriving within institutional power hierarchies as effectively. If one is to accept the theory that ADHD prone people (extroverted Ps) are genetic remnants from the pre-agricultural hunter gather days (when their physiology and psychological traits helped in food acquisition and tribal defense) then the notion of creative intrahuman hunt takes a new more literal meaning.

The brilliant psychological theorist and author Andrew M. Lobaczewski has formulated and described the process of how psychopathic individuals gradually infiltrate socioeconomic institutions and movements. His groundbreaking book "Political Ponerology" (here's my review and summary of it) emphasizes that the human herd must develop an immune system type screening mechanisms to identify psychopaths, educate the vast majority of the population about their influence, and to prevent these individuals from being in charge of key things like the economy and social policy. Total lack of conscience and empathy for the general population should be an obvious disqualifier when hiring a policy maker. This will gradually begin to reduce frequency of events like famines, wars, and overall misery from economic mismanagement and stagnation.

There are already methods to screen psychopaths such as combination of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, seeing body's reaction to fear and emotional stimuli (galvanic skin reaction, heart rate, and respiration rate), and brain scans that show if certain parts of the brain light up or don't when presented with emotional input. All the up to date tests must be combined into an integrated package that is standardized with key countries of the world. The overall test must be constantly augmented with continuous research. Recently, President Medvedev has supported psychopath screening in the police forces to reduce instances of police brutality and mismanagement. This is a solid first step that other countries should look at and implement on a wide scale.

Screening must begin gradually yet forcefully and after sufficient amount of people have been educated on the danger of psychopathy in societal management (or mismanagement as is often the case in declining society that has been thoroughly infiltrated). We don't want a knee jerk violent reaction from top psychopathic officials and theorists if they feel they are being rapidly cornered out of their privileges and wealth. Therefore the process will most likely begin with screening entry level hierarchical members who will then gradually displace the older intrahuman predators on the top as they retire.

Another key thing to consider is that although clinical psychopaths tend to be incompetent, the subclinical variety and the highly unempathic introverts (acute INTJs/INTPs who are not able to understand large swaths of humanity at the fundamental emotional level) often have extremely useful objectively derived theoretical and conceptual knowledge to contribute. Therefore, we cannot just crudely purge management of those 1% without a conscience along with a number of "psychopath-lites" and then draw some arbitrary line in the sand of how much emotion you need to participate. There would be chaos. The essential thing is to separate the clinical psychopaths from having influence on the semi-conscienceless/semi-psychopathic NTs (lites) and then formulate ways to compartmentalize the influence of the lites while making them useful to society.

Thus whereas 1% of population will gradually be separated from jobs in management over time (a less arbitrary line based on thorough international screening test), there should be mechanisms of taking and making use of the input of 1-5% of population who are lites (NTs with T in the 60-90 range). Efforts should be taken to avoid a scarlet letter type branding while diluting the physical influence of semi-conscienceless theoreticians through social direction/training. Their input must be taken (with a clear understanding of where it's coming from) and mixed with input of emotional idealistic theorists (such as INFPs/ENFPs) to make use of the practical parts (good) while dumping the inhumane parts (bad). An argument can be made that the Internet belongs to INTPs and INTJs since they are the most likely (disproportionately to their population) to participate in online forums and arguments. Their support is essential in the future in the struggle against predatory extroverts.

The separated predatory psychopathic 1% should not be mistreated but made useful in some other way so they do not form a criminal/revolutionary faction once not in control of key levers of power. This problem is an article in itself but the problem is a lot smaller than the one of having many of the 1% faction integrated into highest levels of business and government because they were born into wealth or conned their way to the top.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Energy Economics Behind Food Digestion

Since digestion takes energy, it is helpful to think about the "cost to revenue ratio" (fuel efficiency) of foods that we eat

We all realize on some level that food is very similar to a drug. When hunger sets in, withdrawal symptoms become apparent. Confusion, decreased mental functioning, weakness, nausea, unpleasant moods, negative perception of the world/humanity, etc. When we finally get a chance to eat again, what we all want is for the molecular building blocks within food to reach and become part of our key bodily systems as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are simple mathematics behind digesting fuel that should be kept in mind.

Digestion takes caloric energy. Eating food drains us to a degree that is dependent on the resistance of the food to intestinal acids. If the food is more difficult to digest it'll take more bodily energy to break it into molecular building blocks for the body. This in turn will result in one's body not operating at peak levels. Here's 2 examples to illustrate (the numbers are randomly selected for clear cut demonstration):

A) A deep fried blob of meat is stuffed with 1000 units of energy and it takes the body 500 units of energy to break it down over a period of 5 hours. This produces an average of 100 units of energy per hour for the body over 5 hours (1000-500)/5. The average ratio of energy cost to revenue is 1 to 2. If this food is dumped into a ravenous energy deprived body, then energy will be pulled from other areas of the body to begin the digestion. This will be manifest with muscle tiredness, coldness (energy diverted from heating systems to the stomach), and even lack of tangible cognitive improvement within first hour after eating. Thus the initial ratio of energy cost to revenue can even cancel each other out. Not the drug "fix" one is looking for. We want to squeeze more out of our business.

B) A bowl of cold quinoa salad with various nuts and berries is only stuffed with 500 units of energy. It takes 100 units of energy to digest it over 1 hour. Body gets 400 units of energy in this time. Ratio of energy cost to revenue here is 1 to 5. Since the powerful acids in the stomach can immediately rip apart the cold salad into building blocks, this means a rapid huge boost of energy from acceleration of cognitive and physical functioning. Molecular building blocks are quickly transported via blood stream to reinforce every key system in the body. The negatives of such a quick and efficient fix is that the energy high wears off after an hour leading to rather rapid onset of hunger and noticeable physiological slowdown. The business is very profitable but has to be fed at a breakneck rate that is not always sustainable.

Proper utilization of energy economics in food can allow an individual to achieve the equivalent of a coffee boost (from nutritious food that has weak cell lining allowing the body to make short work of it). Our bodies are the most complex wonderful machines we have access to. Do we put nasty poorly treated gasoline into a high end sports car? No, since we understand that it requires immediate high performance. An advanced jet airplane requires specialized jet fuel for maximum ratio of energy cost to revenue.

So why do many people treat their bodies worse than they treat their cars? Besides the socioeconomic factors behind it, there are also practical considerations. Food that is less efficient to digest has a release of energy that can be described as "extended release" in pharmacological terminology. A slice of pepperoni pizza will provide hours of inefficiently acquired energy. Of course if one has a powerful metabolism, one can pump lots of high energy inefficient food into the system and even get a caloric rush after some digestion has already occurred. Combined with the fact that such foods are often solid liquor buffers, it becomes a no brainer. Fuel like quinoa will not only be a poor buffer but its effects will constantly and annoyingly run out. Nobody wants to carry a grain basket with them. Of course in the long term, the heavy fuel will corrode/clog up the system and become increasingly counterproductive as the human machine is now expanding energy units to support heavier weight with all the health ailments associated with it.

However when it comes to day to day life and wanting to be at peak cognitive and emotional levels, digestive efficiency has to be kept in mind. Proper combination of the two types of fuel can result in relatively quick onset of good cheer and solid functioning (energy release from say, quinoa being immediately rerouted to help neutralize weakening from digestion of heavy fuel) without a crash or desire for an afternoon siesta.

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