Intellectual Ambergris

Previously, I’ve talked about the relationship between certain flavors of nuttiness and high achievement in math and physics. There are other such associations.  Poets, and some other kinds of creative artists, are more likely than average to be manic-depressive.  Actually having schizophrenia does not seem to be especially common among people in creative professions, but some studies claim that they are more likely than average to have close relatives with schizophrenia.

Creativity has sometimes been associated with infectious diseases. Some thought that tuberculosis induced a kind of creative euphoria (spes phthisica), although I don’t put much stock in it. More plausibly, syphilis, which definitely does affect the brain, has been suspected of triggering a kind of genius. In Rats, Lice, and History, Hans Zinsser talked about the possible impact of effective chemotherapy on syphilis:  “This might be a loss to civilisation: it has often been claimed that since so many brilliant men have had syphilis, much of the world’s greatest achievement was evidently formulated in brains stimulated by the cerebral irritation of an early general paresis. We omit reference to specific instances of this among our contemporaries only to avoid, for our publishers, the vulgar embarrassment of libel suits.”

There are other examples, but you get the gist.  One of my pet peeves is people claiming that such things are adaptive, which is almost certainly untrue.  They can occasionally be useful to society – sometimes, the idea that only a nut would have is valuable. In rare cases, useful to the individual (when you win the Nobel prize and suddenly acquire many new friends)  – but any allele that turned you into a manic-depressive poet would decrease in frequency every generation, not least when carried by someone forced to spend his life as a hard-scrabble farmer, like most people over the past few thousand years.  Mutational pressure, sand in the gears,  is a far more likely explanation.  As for the idea that personal creativity confers vast reproductive payoffs, on average, it is to laugh.

I compare this kind of intellectual product to ambergris, a highly-valued product of the “inglorious bowels of a sick whale.”

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53 Responses to Intellectual Ambergris

  1. georgesdelatour says:

    I doubt that J.S. Bach’s genius was syphilitic in origin. He went into the traditional family business. Over 50 Bachs are known to have been musicians.

    “The Bach family never left Thuringia until the sons of Sebastian went into a more modern world. Through all the misery of the peasantry at the period of the Thirty Years’ War this clan maintained its position and produced musicians who, however local their fame, were among the greatest in Europe. So numerous and so eminent were they that in Erfurt musicians were known as “Bachs”, even when there were no longer any members of the family in the town. Sebastian Bach thus inherited the artistic tradition of a united family whose circumstances had deprived them of the distractions of the century of musical fermentation which in the rest of Europe had destroyed polyphonic music.”

  2. JayMan says:

    Just leaving this here to follow the discussion…

  3. Wild speculation but might not some types of autism cause “nuttiness” and high IQ, with the high IQ increasing fitness and the “nuttiness” reducing it. A hyperlexic Jew in 16th century Europe who learned to read at age 2 probably had an excellent marriage arranged for him, even if he was a bit strange.

  4. Wait, chicks don’t dig it when you can list 504 uses for a brick in an hour?

    Well darn…

  5. Matt says:

    One of the ideas that interests me here is whether a sand in the wheels situation could arise from having selectively less mutational load in an area. For an example, do people with very high functioning autism have a brain which could be generally low load with a relative abundance of high power mutations that create an odd degree of focus, or do they have a generally high genetic load with a mix of certain functions / alleles extremely preserved (or enhanced), so that’s all they tend to do?

    Also, would a an equivalently sized low load population that consequently has mean IQ 10 points above ours, but almost no mental illness (in the sense of fitness reducing levels of any non-IQ psychological quality) as another consequence be more or less creatively productive? I think such a population would be more productive, but who knows (even how to quantify it).

    Also, regarding on genetic load, one side question here from me to anyone who might know – am I right in thinking that genetic load is essentially the “friction” of the sum of high numbers of very low frequency variants, while any high frequency minor variants (e.g. above 2% for an example) are generally unlikely to contribute to genetic load?

  6. little spoon says:

    ““This might be a loss to civilisation: it has often been claimed that since so many brilliant men have had syphilis, much of the world’s greatest achievement was evidently formulated in brains stimulated by the cerebral irritation of an early general paresis”

    uh huh. That’s a good theory. Or maybe creative geniuses just like whores more. Like they get syphilis more because they hang out in the brothel more? Maybe they hang out in the brothel more (if they actually do this) because they are more sexually imaginative and their wife at home wasn’t freakish enough. Or maybe they were intolerable because of something unusual in their personality so they had to go get it from the brothel. Dunno.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      could be a cross-correlation with risk-taking i.e.

      timid guy with idea -> no one ever knows
      timid guy -> doesn’t risk syphilis

      aggressive guy with idea -> everyone knows
      aggressive guy -> takes risks over things like syphilis


      High IQ has negative consequences hence why higher average IQ and/or high variance in IQ is *only* selected for when it is absolutely necessary.


      weird bugs

      • Toad says:

        If we assume:
        1. Hores are expensive.
        2. Hores live in cities.
        3. Religion is against use of hores.

        So, to get hores you need to be:
        1. Wealthy,
        2. Live in a city,
        3. Non-religious,
        which can be associated with geniousness,

        as opposed to:
        1. Poor,
        2. Live in the countryside,
        3. Religious.
        No syphilis for you.

      • georgesdelatour says:


        I’m not sure your “whore” analysis works completely. The NSA revelations revealed something the NSA had discovered which I, for one, found utterly unsurprising: that many of the most hardline puritanical Islamic preachers – the ones who preach burqas for all women – spend a lot of time frequenting porn sites.

        Ever read about Pope Alexander VI?

      • Toad says:

        Syphilis-genius association would be a byproduct of affluence.

        Pope Alexander VI…

        2 out of 3:
        1. Wealthy
        2. Live in city.

        If he was a poor unknown priest in a rural district he wouldn’t be able to be so profligate.

  7. Patrick Boyle says:

    I don’t think this line of speculation is very productive. First of all there is no accepted operational definition of creativity. There are about a gyrillion IQ studies but almost no serious creativity studies. So we are talking about a poorly understood malady like mental illness and its relationship with another poorly defined notion like artistic creativity. Ghosts and phantoms.

    The musical examples are in fact counter examples. Musical ability like that of the Bach’s is a special ability. It is not part of Spearman’s ‘g’. It is believed to reside in a parietal gyrus not the pre-frontal lobes. So the ability to manipulate notes and rests comes from one part of your brain and the ability to manipulate words from another. Very few famous composers were any good with words – Wagner being the obvious exception.

    Artists who work with other people like architects or movie directors would seem to gain little from mental illness, and in fact are seldom mentioned in these kind of speculations. These kind of artists benefit from good social adjustment and/or ability to command others in an organization. If there is a case for crazy creative geniuses, it would seem to only be among manic-depressive poets. If that is so it may be just an issue of literary fashion not general creativity at all. Readers when they like to read a depressing poem prefer it to have been written by a real depressive poet.

  8. a very knowing American says:

    An interesting book on this is “Pox: Genius, madness, and the mysteries of syphilis” (2003) by Deborah Hayden. She thinks there is fairly good evidence for syphilitic infection for Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Baudelaire, Lincoln, Mary Todd (Mrs. Lincoln), Flaubert, Maupassant, van Gogh, Nietzsche, Wilde, Dinesen, Joyce, and Hitler. Given that most of the evidence is indirect, most of these cases are going to be “probable” rather than “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Regarding Hitler: He got a negative result on a Wassermann test, which has been used to argue that he couldn’t have been syphilitic, but Hayden argues that the test is unreliable when administered long after infection, and that there’s a lot of evidence his medical care was directed at controlling syphilis.

    There’s now a major industry devoted to outing all sorts of historical figures as homosexuals or repressed homosexuals: Norman Rockwell seems like the latest to get this treatment. You could probably make a case for syphilis being even more consequential for arts and letters than gayness, but I don’t expect Pox Studies to overtake Queer Studies any time soon.

  9. dave chamberlin says:

    The only tried and true intelligence enhancer found so far without horrible side effects to soon follow is good old caffeine. I think there is a spectrum of different kinds intelligence so expressed genius is often high IQ plus being on one end or the other of, for an example, the aspergy-attention deficit spectrum. Scientists would of course gather on the aspergy end of this spectrum while creative types, I’m thinking brilliant comedians and original creative types would be on the ADD end of the spectrum. I went to wikipedia to look up the history of caffeine and its arrival in the form of coffee and tea, first the Muslim world and then to Europe in the 1600’s had to be a catalyst for a lot of the innovation that followed. I didn’t know that the coffee break only came into existence very recently in 1952.

    • Toddy Cat says:

      Well, coffee and cigarettes won us WWII and got us to the Moon, that’s good enough for me. Not sure how syphilis figures into this – anyone know anything about Werner Von Braun’s private life?

      Excuse me, I’m going to go get another cup of coffee.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I do not have enough evidence to conclude that caffeine materially boosts IQ. But suppose that it does. Then blockades, such as the Union blockade of the Confederacy, and the British blockade of Germany in both World Wars, were more effective than you’d think, because they cut off vital foreign sources of caffeine, making the Confederates and Nazis dumber than they otherwise would have been.

      • ziel says:

        Something has to explain Picket’s Charge

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Makes as much sense as a lot of other stuff that I’ve heard.

      • IC says:

        This remaind me of famous quote from these guys:
        Well, I think, you know this nice old comment, when God made a German he gave him three possible attributes, but in order not to go too far, nobody could have all three of these attributes at the same time. And these were to be intelligent, to be honest, and to be a Nazi. You could see, if you were intelligent and honest, you couldn’t be a Nazi. If you were intelligent and a Nazi, you couldn’t be honest.
        If you were an intelligent Nazi, you couldn’t be honest, if you were an honest Nazi, you couldn’t be intelligent.

  10. Richard Sharpe says:

    not least when carried by someone forced to spend his life as a hard-scrabble farmer

    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft agley

  11. Howard says:

    Could this be tied to the rise of cats as household pets, which apparently is relatively recent and happened after they had been demonized?

    “From the 14th century well into the 18th century, cats were regularly killed on specific religious holidays. “By the late 15th century the persecution of cats and witches was a mainstay of European society….The 15th and 16th centuries are almost devoid of any cat literature and art….During this period the cat still was used to control rodents, but it was rarely seen as a pet, for if so its existence and that of its owner were in jeopardy”….

    “The earliest modern examples of keeping cats as pets occurred in the mid-18th century, first in Paris and later in London, among artists and writers. Cats became associated with intellectuals. By the early 19th century, descriptions can be found of children playing with cats. Cats began to be used in advertising in the 1850s, and “some cats were seen on paper fans, matchbooks, bookmarkers, and the like” (Lynnlee, p. 28). By the 1870s, interest in cats as pets had become so widespread that writers referred to it as a “cat fever,” “cat cult,” “cat fancy,” or “cat craze.” “Of late years there has been a rapid and promising growth of what disaffected and alliterative critics call the ‘cat cult,’ and poets and painters vie with one another in celebrating the charms of this long-neglected pet” (Repplier AQ. Agrippina. Atlantic Monthly. 1892;69:760).”

    • Toddy Cat says:

      I don’y know about schizo, but the years between the 14th Century and the 18th Century in Europe don’t exactly strike me as being particulsrly mentally stable, what with the Thirty Years War, Witch Mania, the Fronde, The Peasant Wars, etc. Maybe ergot and Plague-related dementia was taking up the slack…

    • Peter Lund says:

      Didn’t Newton have a pet cat? That he actually invented the cat flap for?

  12. Howard says:


    Torrey first postulated that toxoplasmosis might cause schizophrenia in the 1970s, when he read several articles attributing an outbreak of multiple sclerosis in the Faeroe Islands to the introduction of dogs there during World War II. Could indoor pets like cats, which had become widely popular only in the nineteenth century, also be reservoirs of infectious agents? Torrey, who had recently completed a book manuscript arguing that in the late nineteenth century schizophrenia and bipolar disorder went from being rare diseases to relatively common ones, became convinced that cats were central to that story. “The cat craze began with the cat shows in the late nineteenth century,” he explains. “And when I went back and looked at what we know about cats as pets, it corresponded almost perfectly to what we know about the rise of psychosis.”

  13. Gottlieb says:

    I think the relationship of genius with syphilis , may be less causal and more relational and therefore without a direct relationship. It is known that highly creative people are not like people with extreme personalities severe (or mental disorders ) , because geniuses are able to produce while others seem very problematic and negative symptoms of their conditions induces works against .
    The impulsive behavior of many creative geniuses obviously causing the various reported cases of syphilis infection . The infection would work against creativity because the symptoms shall be identical to the symptoms of schizophrenia .
    I believe that the complex epigenetic for all cases of autism , schizophrenia and major trend for the development of psychosis takes place initially by a genetic thing . A genetic predisposition that can be enhanced by the presence of secondary infections. I also believe that extreme intelligence can result in reduced efficiency of the immune system or health more fragile than the average (not necessarily a pathological condition ) .
    Creativity is a direct result of the short-term interaction of individual with the environment and the ability to manage a large amount of disparate information , carrying out new combinations of thought and ideas .
    For someone to be predisposed to this situation, it must be hyper sensitive, and to be hyper sensitive, it must have a weaker immune system or reduction of certain functions such as the ability to filter stimuli (low latent inhibition) .
    Another possibility is based on my idea of the human being, more than any other animal is a completely deviating be compared to the ‘designs of nature’ (or ‘god’). We keep individuals with fatal weaknesses in a situation of direct survival.
    We keep individuals with fatal weaknesses in a situation of direct survival, and this may help us explain why we have evolved considerably to the capacity for abstract reasoning. This trait, in my opinion, is in a tough comparison to the conditions in nature, high cost and recreational nature. Only human beings can find value for attributes that are not directly related to survival.
    What currently psychology called ‘twice exceptional’, this means a person with a disability , combined with an increased specific cognitive ability , is where I believe are the most genuine geniuses in modern days . And remember , do not believe that only a high IQ is a sign of genius .
    The psicoticism as well as all the features that work adversely on human collective cooperation relates to low iq, which in turn is associated with a predisposition to infections. I have no idea if, this predisposition may be caused by bad habits and impulsivity or that these factors can be triggers high risk for infections . However, it is also present in persons of average IQ and above average ( 2 % ) . The genius, could be a person without any weakness in your immune system to inoculate small infections , would look at the ” nerd ” behavior of domesticated and apathetic personality. In other words, the genius is like a ”nerd with neuro-infectological weakness or different predisposition”.
    As we all have probably pathogens , another likely explanation for the discrepant behavioral tendency of geniuses , could be based on division of labor and cooperation , present in human populations , with the presence of leaders and subordinates . Many geniuses become leaders and all seem to display a strong leadership (even the most timid ) , perhaps because of their ability to be able to view the overall picture of systems that human societies create . Non- conforming behavior is related to the presence of different pathogens , so that people tend to follow different paths or opposite the majority of herd behavior would be those with predispositions to various different interactions with pathogens . We all have pathogens , but pathogens of non – conformists ( the overwhelming geniuses should be non – conformists ) may be different from most , so it creates the false idea that some people are affected by pathogens and others not, what is an error . It’s like seeing the black stripes , and despise the white stripes .
    If geniuses are community leaders ( shamans are the spiritual leaders of archaic societies ) , then there must be an adaptive explanation for the maintenance of these types as a minority advantage in population.
    What is a constant in evolutionary psychology and the like , and should be considered with relative parsimony , is the tendency of neuro or other-similar-stuff-scientists always seek direct causal explanations to understand why a trait , socially considered negative , still survives in our species , despite all the evidence demonstrating otherwise.
    I have a hunch . I think we have to go back to the first couple of anatomically modern humans . All of our behavior traits already there on this couple. (all couples are ” potential races and/or ethnicity). You have a very small population of people with specific personalities . The larger the community, the more diverse are the combinations of traits . Geniuses would be rare combinations of these traits, such as being empathetic and psychotic , the same time . Rare combinations outside the natural organic programming of the human species , causes a reorganization of tasks . Sick people , criminals , psychopaths , and autistic geniuses are born with these rare types and combinations that result in interactions with different pathogens ( some people have measles during childhood, others have mumps , some people are protected against AIDS , others are protected against malaria ) . The genius is somewhat protected from the creative behavior that most humans don’t have , but this has a cost .

    • reiner Tor says:

      Only human beings can find value for attributes that are not directly related to survival.

      The song of the nightingale? The tail of the peacock? Even the antlers of deers seem to be mostly of aesthetic value. And females of the respective species must find value in all these things, or else they would confer no evolutionary advantage whatsoever, and they would not even exist. So while I’m not quite sure about fitness value of creativity or some form of genius for humans, I know that humans are not the only animals finding “value for attributes that are not directly related to survival.”

      • Gottlieb says:

        What good, you read my review ( text , ie humhum ) . As juggling to understand what I write eh ? Congratulations and thank you .
        Look, when I refer to traits that are not directly related to daily survival , which for now we ‘re not experienced , I ‘m not referring to the aesthetic traits . It is clear that animals select aesthetic traits for breeding and therefore for survival. However , we have a tendency to care for others , even those who do not cooperate in a friendly way with society ( and I do not mean psychopaths and criminals ) . If a bird is born with ” default ” what does your mother do ? Sure, there are various levels of altruism among non -human species , I believe all of them are targeting the reproductive success of the group or individual. In societies strongly based naturism ” ” ( Sparta and societies of hunter-gatherers ) , where physical strength is seen as a more important attribute that complex intelligence .
        At the most , this part of my text does not agree with my point of view , do not know if particular individual over all human traits are a direct result of the selection.
        I tried to explain , but I could not think that I believe that all of our early ancestors , early humans had in its DNA the potential development of phenotypes through random mating .
        What I mean by this ?
        We can all create new races and new races , is married with a fertile woman of reproductive age ( assuming that most readers of this blog are of men ) . The first descendants of a lineage already set their genes in all other successive generations . The more fundamental replication of the same genes that define a people culturally , more fixed these genes become . This explains all national , ethnic and racial stereotypes . There are traits that are so ubiquitous in ethnic- related entities that they virtually define the behavior of both group and individual . What does this mean ?
        You have certain behavioral traits that are present to the majority of people who have ancestry , these traits define behaviorally your group . These traits come from the first men of his tribe .
        Therefore , the presence of human creative genius and subtypes based on , unusual combinations of traits (not directly genetic , is indirect rather clear that genes are important , but not based on selection but the construction of the phenotype same ) . Genius is not bought at the supermarket common phenotypes , is manufactured by hand by epigenetic susceptibilities and family inheritance ) . Geniuses and creatives are born genetically diverse families ( and not refer to miscegenation , but ” miscegenation ” intra -racial ) . These are suggestions only .
        Summarizing all this , certain behavioral traits of human beings are so fixed as blood type O, they will always be present to be selected , but may appear at low frequencies in certain types . This explains for example, left-handed people . Handedness is not only a human trait , therefore , we know certain human traits are already fixed since long before mankind exists, are the first single-celled organisms that are descended .
        If you managed to read this far, congratulations again. Deserves a prize and a diploma in rare languages​​.

    • Peter Lund says:

      The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed.

  14. Gottlieb says:

    Genius be neotenic, because creativity is neotenous. Learn languages ​​quickly and without accent, learning to play instruments quickly… If evolution is always in search of neoteny, then the geniuses and other disparate groups of the standard would be epigenetic (longer life with cerebral plasticity) than the rest.

  15. Halvorson says:

    The first degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder really are more accomplished in all areas than normal, although bipolars themselves are merely average in social status. The idea seems to be that a mild kind of ever present mania would result in increased creative drive throughout the lifespan.

    This follows a general trend in research on most major mental disorders that shows that first degree relatives of people with autism, schizophrenia, etc. display a “broader phenotype” in common with their afflicted relatives, often showing the same characteristic abnormal patterns of brain activation without showing overt clinical signs. We may currently be seriously underestimating the number of crazy people in the world: although only maybe 1 in 100 people people are actually autistic, maybe another 3 or 4 out of a 100 are “quasi-autistic” or at the least, “autism-prone”. If we assume three first degree relatives for bipolars, schizophrenics, autistics, OCDs…the number of “semi-crazy” people (mostly men) is extremely large.

    • Gottlieb says:

      I read that ‘only’ 6% of americans have ‘mental illness” but 25% will have some mental-stuff- ‘problem’. Mental illness related directly with human genetic polymorphism or diversity. At least (minimum) the twice of people have one recessive ”allelle of epigenetic hypersensibility” than people who have full epigenes.

  16. RS says:

    > An interesting book on this is “Pox: Genius, madness, and the mysteries of syphilis” (2003) by Deborah Hayden. She thinks there is fairly good evidence for syphilitic infection for Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Baudelaire, Lincoln, Mary Todd (Mrs. Lincoln), Flaubert, Maupassant, van Gogh, Nietzsche, Wilde, Dinesen, Joyce, and Hitler. Given that most of the evidence is indirect, most of these cases are going to be “probable” rather than “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    I don’t find the list impressive, considering the total number of modern geniuses, and considering that the prevalence of syphilis in the late modern West was rather shocking (order of 10%) — though doubtless much lower among the social classes more apt to yield genius.

    But of course I grant that many persons would have tried to hide any evidence about themselves. And we know that journalists & similar were recently far more discreet about sexuality, hiding JFK’s serial infidelity and scrutinizing Clinton’s.

    Syphilis has been the traditional or received diagnosis in Nietzsche studies, certainly in English but I think also on the continent. But due to my great interest in him — only Stirner, taoism, zen, and Heraclitus (though it’s under copyright, please read only Kahn’s stupendous English rendition or you will semi-ruin the experience for yourself) are nearly as interesting to me, with Kierkegaard/etc a distant peloton — I studied all of the ~four papers from the past ~fifteen years that deeply doubted, or, most of them, virtually excluded this diagnosis. I don’t know the finer points of syphilis like these guys do but I am trained in medical bio, and found it convincing work. What was suggested instead was, variously, frontotemporal dementia (rare? never heard of it) and brain cancer, but I don’t know those subjects at all. Of course he was somewhat ill from at least high school, long before his severe, continuous psychosis at age 44 — followed five years later by a sort of catatonia, and death after five years of that. I think I recall some wanting to exhume him to examine the skull, which I think he himself probably would have been much in favor of.

    • RS says:

      I was going to say, naturally he could have had more than one disease. His greater or lesser degree of illness from high school age or prior need not have much to do with his more spectacular condition from age 44.

    • georgesdelatour says:

      Nietzsche’s father died of a brain disease which wasn’t syphilis, I believe.

  17. Gottlieb says:

    When people speak of geniuses , they always refer to 500-1000 individuals , when in fact , the number is much higher . Therefore , among the geniuses known world , the West , the syphilis infection rate may have been higher than average. While we were engrossed in causal genetic factors that explain this relationship , yesterday when I was discussing with a colleague about it, he came up with a very simple explanation and that made ​​me more stupid than I am. Most of these geniuses who contracted syphilis , or did so because they were from families of higher social status or because they lived in an elite environment and in the past , syphilis was known as a disease of rich people . Simple as that .
    We urgently need to stop recognizing geniuses when they produce something , because there are many others who do not for various environmental reasons . We’re throwing in the trash , thousands of people who can make a difference and recognizing only those who had better opportunities to develop and showcase their talent .

  18. Robbie says:

    Interestingly, Dr Cantor also discovered that while 10 to 12 per cent of the Canadian population is left-handed, 30 to 35 per cent of paedophiles are left-handed.

    The only other groups that have similar left-handed rates are people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he said.

    • Gottlieb says:

      But majority of left handed people are not paedophiles.
      Well, I THINK that many genius are left handed (hihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi, nothing personal) 🙂

  19. Gottlieb says:

    Paedophilia is not a disease, is only a extreme sexual option, socially undesirable. Like Psychopathy or sociopathy, both also aren`t diseases. The fact that the brain of paedophiles or psychopath to be different than “normal“ ones, don`t mean they are sick. Great problem on neuroscience today is the tendency of scientists to pathologize the different brains.
    Paedophiles are more common in left and ambidexterous people because the genetic random that consists the non-right handedness. The best, the athletes, the artists, the psychopath, the unhealthy people and the worst appears.

  20. Gottlieb says:

    This rule seem to be preponderant in the nature, you have (with natural mechanisms) only to choices, the balance of group or the diversity of subtypes and the search to the best. North east asians are the first group and white europeans (and ashkenazi jews) are the second group.

  21. Gottlieb says:

    An aneurysm can not be inherited (perhaps the characteristics of the brain combined with environmental risk factors), as well as a psychopathic brain, is not a diseased or defective brain, is just a different brain, which has not evolved for empathy. Maybe a kind of atavism.
    Iso does not change the fact that I think psychopaths are sons of bitches and that the world will be a better place with a lot less of them or some electronics mechanism to control your impulsiveness Machiavellian and can be targeted to meet the demands of the community.
    No more comment, sorry bloggers.

  22. The great age of syphilis was from Columbus for about 2 centuries. Today it is easily curable. Was the late Renaissance much more innovative than today. I would argue not but a case can be made either way.

  23. Tom says:

    Schizophrenia might be caused by parasites from cats.

  24. Pingback: Features and Bugs | JayMan's Blog

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