Bruce has a post called Forecasting Murderers, which has some insightful comments. Bruce himself says “Pretty scary stuff, as it gets into the realm of thoughtcrime.”
I was just reading an article by the BBC on a completely different project that seems to have a similar aim — forecasting psychopaths to figure out how to treat them or at least stop them before they can do harm.
The study monitored how the brain reacts when people see positive and negative expressions by others:
They can commit hideous crimes, such as rape or murder, yet show no signs of remorse or guilt.
It has been suggested that people with psychopathic disorders lack empathy because they have defects in processing facial and vocal expressions of distress, such as fear and sadness, in others.
Staring down the barrel
At the arab on the ground
I can see his open mouth
But I hear no sound
If a tree in an unprotected forest falls and no environmentalists are around…
The impossible question appears to be, I guess, whether someone’s abnormal behavior should be treated in and of itself as a security threat, or if it reflects a different perspective that could offer meaningful keys to unlock the secrets in your own world; or balance of the two.
And on that note, I feel like mentioning that while Rumsfeld was terminated for being a horrible listener (among other things) President Bush’s nomination for a replacement appears to suffer from some of the same “deaf-reckoning”…
Mr. Ford, 85, who worked at the agency from 1950 until the early 1990s, said he remembered Mr. Gates exaggerating Soviet misdeeds around the world. â€œHe painted a dire picture of increased Russian pressure on Iran when the people who followed that issue were telling me the exact opposite,â€? he said.
Melvin A. Goodman, a former Soviet analyst for the agency, said on Thursday that during the 1980s, Mr. Gates acted as a “filter” for intelligence, trimming findings on the Soviet threat to match the hard-line ideological expectations of his boss, William J. Casey, then the director of central intelligence.
The study, by Raymond L. Garthoff, a former diplomat and arms control expert, finds that analyses of the Soviet Union in the Mikhail Gorbachev years were often withheld from policy makers by Mr. Gates “because he held a different view.” The study continues: â€œThat was his right. But it was regrettable because the C.I.A. analysis was far more correct than the view he had.â€?
Sounds familiar. Bush seems to really dislike bringing people into his administration who will let the facts breathe, so to speak. Or perhaps he seeks people without empathy? Gates’ appointment will probably end up demonstrating as fact, if successful, that Rumsfeld’s idiocracy was no abberation. The continuation of a military-industrial complex model is kept alive by this group of men who are considered loyalists to the Ford and Bush Sr. administrations. Eisenhower must be rolling in his grave…