tiistai 28. huhtikuuta 2015

Find your inner psychopath and become part of the 1%

I stumbled upon what is probably among the most disturbing videos I've seen in a while. And I mean, I have seen quite a few disturbing videos, everything from people committing suicide in strange ways to animals being skinned alive.

In the video a young woman apparently named Cammi Pham explains her fantastic business idea: being evil. Yay! Be evil, because that is how you can "become part of the [most successful] 1%". Being part of the 1%, naturally, is the only thing that makes life worth living. There are a few thousand people upvoting her posts on Quora.

The video in itself isn't that disturbing, but rather the things that it represents. So, don't take this post as a personal attack. I'm talking about ideologies.

There are millions of people whose idea of life really is this cold and disgusting. I used to think that only the bad guys in cartoons sincerely identified as bad guys (instead of somehow thinking of themselves as the good guys, as evil people in real life tend to do). But now it's becoming more acceptable to be openly and unapologetically evil. Too many people think that evil = successful = evil = successful.

In reality, evil = empty. It doesn't make you happy. The existence of a psychopath is essentially hollow. Humans are social, altruistic animals, and it's a scientific fact that we enjoy giving more than we enjoy getting. (Being good to others makes us feel better, so we try to be good to others; and there's nothing selfish about this: the fact that being good makes us feel good in the first place means that we are good.) A psychopath can become successful, but it's scientifically fair to say that their souls remain empty; when you're incapable of feeling love, your life is a wasted life.

In one of Pham's posts, she proudly explains that she only pretends to care about other people's problems so that they could somehow benefit her. Other people aren't important because they are human beings, but because they can help her "become successful". Okay. Knowing this, who on Earth would want to be a friend of this person? "Like I've told you, I only pretend to care about the fact that your mother died, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Try to accept that."

Of course, this is not actually the case. I believe that Cammi is, like many others on the Internet, just trying to be edgy. There are many people like this on Quora. Quora is a place where people who think they're smart try hard to seem smart. Faux-edginess happens when a person thinks that the best way to appear smart is to have an "unconventional opinion".

So, then these people start looking for an "unconventional opinion"... and for many of them, it is "I don't give a fuck about anybody! Don't trust anybody lol, nothing matters and there's no such thing as evil, everything is subjective lol". In the end, Cammi and other individuals praising selfishness on Quora are just a slighty more sophisticated version of this kid:

Of course, some people are just genuinely bad. It's hard to know. According to Cammi, she is "of royal descent" and "grew up with the 1%" of her country. Apparently, her parents taught her that the most (possibly, the only) important thing in life is to be hugely successful (rich), so, if you don't have the ability for self-reflection to question what you've been taught from day one, what else can you do than become a bit of a psychopath? She keeps repeating the word "unlearning". Unlearning is nothing but a word if you're not doing it.

I'm afraid that people like this simply never got the chance to develop the most basic parts of human existence; things like empathy, friendship, love, loyalty, etc. Their parents failed. But the parents of their parents probably failed too. And the parents of their parents of their parents of... you get the point. 'Psychopathy' is the culture of some people. They have money. That is all they have. Maybe we should feel sorry for them, but it's kind of difficult to feel sorry for people who are bad and proud of it.

You often see clichés like this. Which is good, because they are true.

Why would anybody want to be ridiculously rich? Why would somebody who's ridiculously rich want to become even richer? Why would that be the main goal in life for anybody? It's absolutely nothing compared to living a full, wonderful, painful, sad, funny human existence as a loving, laughing, working, sleeping, shitting complete human being, someone who sees others and the world around them, loves them and feels things when others are hurting and when others are happy. I'd say that that's the point, the beauty of the whole thing.

How are you going to find meaning, how are you going to find happiness, if you spend all your life focusing on something as trivial as being part of the 1%, and trying to get there by seeing all the other monkeys around you as nothing but dead objects for you to "use"?

What's interesting here is the happiness aspect. Science has fascinating things to say about happiness, altruism and psychopathy. Firstly: the happiest people tend to be the ones who truly care about others around them; and the people who do good things for others tend to be the happiest people. Why? Because like I said, humans are social, altruistic animals. We need deep emotional connection with other humans. Giving makes us feel good for a reason; it's programmed in us. Meaningful relationships in real life, warmth, friendship, love, community, the sense that you're a part of something bigger, doing something good for others around you -> happiness.

Another quote that's surprisingly correct when it comes to the psychology of human beings

Here's the interesting thing about psychopaths. It seems that psychopaths are never truly happy. They aren't necessarily unhappy either; they simply lack the depth to feel anything as strongly as most of us; they're empty. And if you're incapable of things like happiness, you have to replace it with something.

Why do some people want to become ridiculously rich? Because they don't have anything else.


Rationally speaking, this person as an individual is not dangerous; the disturbing thing for me is that there are many more people like this in the world, and some of them are smart, and they are making things really shitty for the rest of us.

All the psycho stuff + "I'm going after my vision!" / "Choose your dream!" / "Choose yourself!" All of this is empty nonsense. Banalities. There's no insight. Just like the majority of all the people doing exactly what she's doing, saying exactly what she's saying, she doesn't know what she's talking about. They use cool-sounding words and ideas that some rich bimbo stole from another rich bimbo but they have no idea what these things might mean in reality, as these people have never really existed in reality. How to become rich? Eh, how could you know? You never had to do anything to become rich, you were born rich, you sillypants. Please excuse my horrendous rudeness and my common sense.

(After reading through stuff CamMi has written on her blog, I'm surprised to see that this evilness thing is clearly something she's come up with quite recently. A few years ago she actually wrote a sweet post about the importance of "random acts of kindness"; how she was lonely and bullied and then a stranger's smile gave her hope. After that something clearly happened and now this psychopathy thing is suddenly in. Why pretend to be a psychopath if you're not a psychopath? I guess she saw all the other people doing the same thing and simply didn't realize that she could do something else, something better. Something much braver.)

Anyway, there are monsters and fake monsters in this world, and I must say that my respect for dirty kids who spend a month living in a park to protest for the 99% is several billion times greater than any respect I might have for anybody who thinks that belonging in the 1% is something so great that to get there you should give up your humanity.

If you give that up... what is left? Seriously? Your shoes?

Wise clichés

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