One percent of the population is a Psychopath. This percentage doubles or quadruples in high power positions such as lawyers, business leaders or surgeons. Because it is a spectrum disorder it can vary considerably from one individual to the next. But how do you identify a Psychopath?
Psychopathy has qualities of the two other personality types in ‘the dark triad’. Machiavellianism and Narcissism together with Psychopathy make up the triad.
One of the key shared conditions amongst all three personality types is a lack of empathy. There is also the absence of remorse and of guilt. If they pity it is for those who show kindness or compassion. To them, such feelings are a sign of weakness.
Another Psychopathy trait is low impulse control and can see them engage in violent and risky behavior. Extreme situations may occur where the Psychopath will dispatch or kill someone on impulse. The phrase ‘act now, think later’ is scarily appropriate in regards the Psychopathy personality.
Psychopathy can be seen as having two separate models. There exists a primary or factor one type and a secondary, factor two type. ‘Act now and think later’ describes the impulsive inclination tied up with factor two Psychopathy. The manipulation, power jostling character of psychopaths describes primary Psychopathy where calculation and cunning are used against competition.
A lot has been written on Psychopathy and it is popular subject material in fiction and the movies. Hannibal Lecter immediately comes to mind. What is not commonly understood is the nuanced condition of Psychopathy, how it is part of ’the dark triad’ and how certain traits are shared with both Machiavellianism and Narcissism. In short, malevolence may vary from one individual to the next. And because Psychopathy is a spectrum disorder it may not be at all obvious. It could be your friended person on social media, your neighbour down the street or even a member of your family.
Machiavellian motivation and purpose is to take advantage of others at their expense.
Machiavelli was a 16th century philosopher and political adviser who wrote of the principle in favour of deception and pragmatism over honesty and morality in his manifesto The Prince. This is the origin of the definition Machiavellian.
The Machiavellian personality type could be described as manipulative and deceiving and having a blatant disregard for the feelings of those they manipulate. Unlike the Narcissist their motivation isn’t the need for attention but rather to control others for their purposes. While in conversation with the Machiavellian, you may feel a lack of engagement and a certain emotional distance even though the interaction may be very engaging. What is occurring is an interaction that is devoid of empathy. From their perspective you exist only to serve their purposes.
The Machiavellian is calculating and clinical in both their personal and non-personal relationships. They are emotionally detached from their partners and have no apparent difficulty in leaving them as they have alexithymia. It is not surprising any relationship they have is abusive and dysfunctional. They will run rough shot over someone rather choose a diplomatic approach. Their choice to damage an individual for personal gain is a key Machiavellian trait.
The Machiavellian can successfully climb the corporate ladder but are subject to their own unscrupulousness. They can make too many enemies and burn too many bridges. Compared to the Narcissists who will actively seek others attention, the Machiavellian may seem withdrawn because of their scheming nature. As an outcome of this they do not appear to take action. This apparent hesitancy is a misinterpretation of the Machiavellian’s calculated and unscrupulous intentions. If it suits them, they will turn people against each other without the need to take any action at all.
It normally takes 10 year period to trial and develop an effective vaccine against disease. in 2020, scientists managed to develop multiple vaccines within the time frame of a single year. Some clarity is needed in regards to fighting disease. 70% effective vaccines (in clinical trials) such as AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson are effective in stopping COVID-19. While both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 94 to 95% effective, the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are none the less sufficient in combatting the disease. In this regard the percentage effective argument is irrelevant. Their benefits over the Pfizer and Moderna are outlined below.
The first vaccines receiving EUA (emergency use authorisation) in the US are the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and are mRNA vaccines. Both require two doses. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in contrast are viral vector vaccines. AstraZeneca has received EUA in Australia and Johnson & Johnson has now received EUA in the US.
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and could be described as giving your body instructions to construct a particular protein. mRNA is not able to modify a person’s genetic makeup or DNA. mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell (location of the DNA). Instead, the COVID- 19 vaccines that use mRNA work with body’s natural defence to develop immunity to the disease.
Viral vector is a gene code unique to SARs-CoV-2 and helps produce a spike protein and displays it on the cell’s surface. Once on the surface of the cell, it causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating T-cells to fight off what ‘it thinks’ is an infection.
Like the AstraZeneca, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require ultra low temperature storage and can cater for innumerable situations where sub zero storage is unfeasable. Obvious advantages especially for developing countries and for increased rates of vaccination and ultimately potential for herd immunity in population. Prior war efforts in converting factory floors to accomodate and ramp up production is analogous to recent pharmaceutical companies in their effort to combat COVD- 19. Known as second-source agreements, smaller companies in developing countries have paired up with vaccine companies in rich countries to produce faster rollout times.
It’s amazing how quickly things change. In the space of a week we are somewhere else, what we care about, what we act upon. A fortnight ago seems the distant past, another world considering the maelstrom of events. We lived with endless opportunity and unlimited possibilities. You could go anywhere, get anything or even be anything you wanted.