Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Autism and Sociopathy

Apropos of yesterday's post on empathy and narcissism, I thought I would water the latter before turning in last night and see what was there in the morning. Turns out narcissism is a symptom of that which is rooted deeper.

Sociopathy is clinically defined as a personality disorder, while autism is a spectrum disorder comprised of disorders once organized under separate categories, such as Asperger's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. Sociopathy is often criminalized, while autism gets a pass.

How can you tell if you are autistic or sociopathic? Given what I have seen of Vancouver and of the art world these past few years, I would turn the question around and ask, How can you tell if you are not?

Which leads us back to empathy, a complex and not entirely innocent trait that allows us to understand and share the feelings of those not ourselves -- without remuneration. To that I would add tolerance, consideration, discretion, even caution, particularly in social situations. Antonyms can be drawn from Christopher J. Patrick triarchic model, which is comprised of boldness, disinhibition and meanness.

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