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Sam Vaknin Profile and Articles

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1). Financial Investor, Strategic Investor
In the not so distant past, there was little difference between financial and strategic investors. Investors of all colors sought to safeguard their investment by taking over as many management functions as they could. Additionally, investments were small and shareholders few. A firm resembled a household and the number of people involved - in ownership and in management - was correspondingly limited.

2). On the Incest Taboo
"...An experience with an adult may seem merely a curious and pointless game, or it may be a hideous trauma leaving lifelong psychic scars. In many cases the reaction of parents and society determines the child's interpretation of the event. What would have been a trivial and soon-forgotten act becomes traumatic if the mother cries, the father rages, and the police interrogate the child.

3). Vojvodina - The Hungarian Kosovo
In October 2005, Parliamentary Assembly of Europe members tabled a draft resolution castigating the human rights situation in the province of Vojvodina. As EU accession looms larger for Serbia and Montenegro, such resolutions are bound to proliferate. Vojvodina is widely regarded as a test case and the touchstone of Serbia's post-Milosevic reforms.

Milosevic is still a hate figure in Vojvodina.

4). The First Serial Killer - Ed Gein
Ed Gein is also known as The Butcher of Plainfield, The Plainfield Butcher, The Mad Butcher, The Plainfield Ghoul.

A serial killer who served as the inspiration to numerous films, among them Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Maniac, Three on a Meathook, Deranged, Ed Gein, The Movie, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

He was born on August 27, 1906 in La Crosse, Wisconsin and lived with his domineering and fanatically religious mother, Augusta, and his older brother, Henry, on a 195-acres family homestead outside Plainfield, Wisconsin.

5). The Solow Paradox
On March 21, 2005, Germany's prestigious Ifo Institute at the University of Munich published a research report according to which "More technology at school can have a detrimental effect on education and computers at home can harm learning".

It is a prime demonstration of the Solow Paradox.

Named after the Nobel laureate in economics, it was stated by him thus: "You can see the computer age everywhere these days, except in the productivity statistics".

6). The Teapot Dome Scandal
With the exception of Watergate, there has never been a scandal more egregious and with wider implications than the Teapot Dome affair during the presidency of Warren G. Harding. It involved the secret leasing to private companies of oil-containing tracts owned by the Navy, mainly in Wyoming and California.

"Domes" are natural reservoirs of crude oil.

7). Narcissists, Sex and Fidelity
Question:

Are narcissists mostly hyperactive or hypoactive sexually and to what extent are they likely to be unfaithful in marriage?

Answer:

Broadly speaking, there are two types of narcissists, loosely corresponding to the two categories mentioned in the question.

Sex for the narcissist is an instrument designed to increase the number of Sources of Narcissistic Supply.

8). Earthquakes and Tsunamis
TsunamisTsunami - a seismic sea wave - means in Japanese "harbor-wave". It is also misleadingly called "tidal wave". It is an ocean wave cause

9). Typhoid Mary
Mary Mallon was a "healthy carrier" of an infectious disease, the first ever reported and observed in the New World.

But, since then, and throughout the first two decades of the 20th century, more than 100 people were added annually to the rolls of "healthy carriers" of typhoid in New-York alone.

Moreover, though she infected 47 people with typhoid fever (11 of which were members of one family and their hired help) - only 3 of her inadvertent victims died.

10). The Story of the Guillotine
The guillotine was first put to lethal use on April 25, 1792, at 3:30 PM, in Paris at the Place de Greve on the Right Bank of the Seine. It separated highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier's head from the rest of his body.

The device was perfected - though not invented- by Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738 - 1814). The 'e' at the end of the noun is a later, British, addition.

11). The Constitution of the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic was established in February 1919 in defeated Germany and lasted until March 1933, when it was replaced with Hitler's Third Reich. The Constitution of the Weimar Republic was adopted in August 1919. It created a bicameral house of representatives: the Reichstag, a national assembly, and the Reichsrat, comprised of the representative of the various Lander (states).

12). Chavez's Inspiration - Simon Bolivar
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) is a Latin American folk hero, revered for having been a revolutionary freedom fighter, a compassionate egalitarian and a successful politician. He is credited with the liberation from Spanish colonial yoke of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, a country named after him. Venezuela's new strongman, Hugo Chavez, renamed his country The Bolivarian republic of Venezuela to reflect the role of his "Bolivarian revolution".

13). Indifference and Decompensation in Pathological Narcissism
The narcissist lacks empathy. Consequently, he is not really interested in the lives, emotions, needs, preferences, and hopes of people around him. Even his nearest and dearest are, to him, mere instruments of gratification. They require his undivided attention only when they "malfunction" - when they become disobedient, independent, or critical. He loses all interest in them if they cannot be "fixed" (for instance, when they are terminally ill or develop a modicum of personal autonomy and independence).

14). The Natural Roots of Sexuality
Recent studies in animal sexuality serve to dispel two common myths: that sex is exclusively about reproduction and that homosexuality is an unnatural sexual preference. It now appears that sex is also about recreation as it frequently occurs out of the mating season. And same-sex copulation and bonding are common in hundreds of species, from bonobo apes to gulls.

15). Russia's Vodka Wars
Vodka is a crucial component in Russian life. And in Russian death. Alcohol-related accidents and cardiac arrests have already decimated Russian life expectancy by well over a decade during the last decade alone.

Vodka is also big business. The brand "Stolichnaya" sells $2 billion a year worldwide. Hence the interminable and inordinately bitter battle between the Russian ministry of agriculture and SPI Spirits.

16). The Building of the Pentagon
The Pentagon was completed in 16 months. It was built on a swamp and on the area of the old Washington airport. Trucks hauled some 5.5 million cubic yards (4.2 million cubic meters) of junk and soil and dumped it in the marshes. The building's foundation rests on 41,492 concrete piles.

The purchase of land cost $2.25 million (in 1943 dollars). The building itself cost c.

17). Slavery in the USA
Spanish settlements in the territory of the current-day USA owned slaves as early as 1526. Twenty one African chattel slaves were first brought to British North America ( to Jamestown, Virginia) in 1619. They joined white indentured laborers (servants) from all over Europe as well as Indian (Native-American) and Caribbean slaves. All the colonies legalized race-based (black) slavery and introduced "slave codes" by 1670.

18). Titanic, or A Moral Deliberation
The film "Titanic" is riddled with moral dilemmas. In one of the scenes, the owner of Star Line, the shipping company that owned the now-sinking Unsinkable, leaps into a lowered life-boat. The tortured expression on his face demonstrates that even he experiences more than unease at his own conduct: prior to the disaster, he instructed the captain to break the trans-Atlantic speed record.

19). Another Look at Mahatma Gandhi
Many myths abound about Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand known as Mahatma "Great Souled") Gandhi (1869-1948).

He was not born to a poor Indian family. His father was dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, the capital of a small principality in Gujarat in western India under British suzerainty. He later became dewan of Rajkot.

He married at the age of 13 and was a mediocre student.

20). The Narcissist as Eternal Child
"Puer Aeternus" the eternal adolescent, the semipternal Peter pan is a phenomenon often associated with pathological narcissism. People who refuse to grow up strike others as self-centred and aloof, petulant and brattish, haughty and demanding in short: as childish or infantile.

The narcissist is a partial adult. He seeks to avoid adulthood. Infantilisation the discrepancy between one's advanced chronological age and one's retarded behaviour, cognition, and emotional development is the narcissist's preferred art form.

21). On Being Human
Are we human because of unique traits and attributes not shared with either animal or machine? The definition of "human" is circular: we are human by virtue of the properties that make us human (i.e., distinct from animal and machine). It is a definition by negation: that which separates us from animal and machine is our "human-ness".

We are human because we are not animal, nor machine.

22). The American Revolution
The American Revolution was a civil war between Loyalists to the British crown (aka Tories, about one fifth of the population), supported by British expeditionary forces, and Patriots (or Whigs) in the 13 colonies that constituted British North America.

About 20-25% of the populace in the colonies - c. 600,000 - were blacks. About one third of the white denizens were non-British.

23). Myths of the American Civil War
The Civil War (1861-5) has spawned numerous myths and falsities.

The Republicans did not intend to abolish slavery - just to "contain" it, i.e., limit it to the 15 states where it had already existed. Most of the Democrats accepted this solution.

This led to a schism in the Democratic party. The "fire eaters" left it and established their own pro-secession political organization.

24). Addiction to Fame and Celebrity
Question:

Are Narcissists addicted to being famous?

Answer:

You bet. This, by far, is their predominant drive. Being famous encompasses a few important functions: it endows the narcissist with power, provides him with a constant Source of Narcissistic Supply (admiration, adoration, approval, awe), and fulfils important Ego functions.

The image that the narcissist projects is hurled back at him, reflected by those exposed to his celebrity or fame.

25). Crime Fighting Computer Systems and Databases
As crime globalizes, so does crime fighting. Mobsters, serial killers, and terrorists cross state lines and borders effortlessly, making use of the latest advances in mass media, public transportation, telecommunications, and computer networks. The police - there are 16,000 law enforcement agencies in the Unites States alone - is never very far behind.

26). How to Write a Business Plan
There are many types of symbols. Money from investors, banks or financial organisations is one such kind of symbols.

A successful Business Plan (=a successful manipulation of symbols) is one which brings in its wake the receipt of credits (money, another kind of symbol). What are the rules of manipulating symbols? In our example, what are the properties of a successful Business Plan?

(1) That it is closely linked to reality.

27). On Volatility and Risk
Volatility is considered the most accurate measure of risk and, by extension, of return, its flip side. The higher the volatility, the higher the risk - and the reward. That volatility increases in the transition from bull to bear markets seems to support this pet theory. But how to account for surging volatility in plummeting bourses? At the depths of the bear phase, volatility and risk increase while returns evaporate - even taking short-selling into account.

28). Misdiagnosing Narcissism - Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
(The use of gender pronouns in this article reflects the clinical facts: most narcissists are men.)

Anxiety Disorders and especially Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are often misdiagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Anxiety is uncontrollable and excessive apprehension. Anxiety disorders usually come replete with obsessive thoughts,.

29). What is Abuse?
Abusers exploit, lie, insult, demean, ignore (the "silent treatment"), manipulate, and control.

There are many ways to abuse. To love too much is to abuse. It is tantamount to treating someone as an extension, an object, or an instrument of gratification. To be over-protective, not to respect privacy, to be brutally honest, with a sadistic sense of humour, or consistently tactless is to abuse.

30). The Science of Superstitions
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, 1931
The debate between realism and anti-realism is, at least, a century old. Does Science describe the real world - or are its theories true only within a certain.

31). The Discovery of Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene was rediscovered only in the late 19th century, having been popular in ancient Greece and Rome almost two thousand years before.

Water was considered by the sophisticates - perhaps justly - to be the carrier of disease. Bathing in water was a hazardous exercise. Royalty used milk instead. Others were confined to wet towels or to splashing water from basins on one's face and armpits.

32). The First September 11
September 11, 2001 was not the first time an airplane crashed into a skyscraper. Actually, such tragedies are more common than is thought.

On July 28, 1945, for instance, a U.S. Army B-25 bomber traveling at 200 miles (c. 370 kilometers) per hour in heavy fog crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City. Luckily it was a Saturday, though dozens were injured and 14 killed.

33). Abortion and the Right to Life
Abortion and the Social Contract

See the Appendix - Arguments from the Right to Life

The issue of abortion is emotionally loaded and this often makes for poor, not thoroughly thought out arguments. The questions: "Is abortion immoral" and "Is abortion a murder" are often confused. The pregnancy (and the resulting fetus) are discussed in terms normally reserved to natural catastrophes (force majeure).

34). The Shattered Identity
I. Exposition

In the movie "Shattered" (1991), Dan Merrick survives an accident and develops total amnesia regarding his past. His battered face is reconstructed by plastic surgeons and, with the help of his loving wife, he gradually recovers his will to live. But he never develops a proper sense of identity. It is as though he is constantly ill at ease in his own body.

35). Hostel
The movie "Hostel" (2005) is a potent depiction of gore and graphic horror. More subtly, it is also a counterfactual and jingoistic political allegory for the post 9-11 age.

A couple of wholesome American youths (one of them a Jew) are nabbed by a ring of east Europeans who cater to the depraved needs of sadists by providing them with fresh supplies of torture victims.

36). The Depressive Narcissist
Many scholars consider pathological narcissism to be a form of depressive illness. This is the position of the authoritative magazine "Psychology Toda

37). The Pathology of Love
Recent studies buttress the unpalatable truth that falling in love is, in some ways, indistinguishable from a severe pathology. Behavior changes are reminiscent of psychosis and, biochemically speaking, passionate love closely imitates substance abuse. Appearing in the BBC series Body Hits on December 4, Dr. John Marsden, the head of the British National Addiction Center, said that love is addictive, akin to cocaine and speed.

38). The Roman Family
The father in the Roman family (paterfamilias) exercised absolute and lifelong power over all other family members (patria potestas): his wife, children, and slaves. If the father's father was alive - then he was the supreme authority in the household. Fathers were even allowed to execute their grown sons for serious offenses like treason.

Each house maintained a cult of ancestors and hearth gods and the paterfamilias was its priest.

39). Containing the United States
European intellectuals yearned for the mutually exclusive: an America contained and a regime-changed Iraq. The Chinese are more pragmatic - though, bound by what is left of their Marxism, they still ascribe American behavior to the irreconcilable contradictions inherent in capitalism.

The United States is impelled by its economy and values to world dominion, claimed in March 2003 an analysis titled "American Empire Steps Up Fourth Expansion" in the communist party's mouthpiece People's Daily.

40). Personality Disorders
Question:

Many of the symptoms and signs that you describe apply to other personality disorders as well (for instance, the histrionic, the antisocial and the borderline personality disorders). Are we to think that all personality disorders are interrelated?

Answer:

The classification of Axis II personality disorders - deeply ingrained, maladaptive, lifelong behavior patterns - in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition, text revision [American Psychiatric Association.

41). Religion and Science
There are many kinds of narratives and organizing principles. Science is driven by evidence gathered in experiments, and by the falsification of extant theories and their replacement with newer, asymptotically truer, ones. Other systems - religion, nationalism, paranoid ideation, or art - are based on personal experiences (faith, inspiration, paranoia, etc.

42). The Fundamentals of Psychological Theories
All theories - scientific or not - start with a problem. They aim to solve it by proving that what appears to be "problematic" is not. They re-state the conundrum, or introduce new data, new variables, a new classification, or new organizing principles. They incorporate the problem in a larger body of knowledge, or in a conjecture ("solution"). They explain why we thought we had an issue on our hands - and how it can be avoided, vitiated, or resolved.

43). NGOs - The Self-Appointed Altruists
Their arrival portends rising local prices and a culture shock. Many of them live in plush apartments, or five star hotels, drive SUV's, sport $3000 laptops and PDA's. They earn a two figure multiple of the local average wage. They are busybodies, preachers, critics, do-gooders, and professional altruists.

Always self-appointed, they answer to no constituency.

44). The Psychology of Torture
There is one place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed one's body, a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The torturer invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and, often, sadistically and sexually, with undisguised pleasure.

45). Pathological Narcissism, Psychosis, and Delusions
One of the most important symptoms of pathological narcissism (the Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is grandiosity. Grandiose fantasies (megalomaniac delusions of grandeur) permeate every aspect of the narcissist's personality. They are the reason that the narcissist feels entitled to special treatment which is typically incommensurate with his real accomplishments.

46). The USSR That Could Have been - Lenin's New Economic Policy
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931- ) was not the first to introduce Perestroika - the economic liberalization of the communist system along capitalistic lines.

During the Russian civil war (1918-1922) the Bolsheviks implemented what they called "War Communism" (1917-1921), the militarization of the economy. Between 1916 and 1920, industrial output plunged by more than four fifths.

47). The Ubiquitous Project Gutenberg - Interview with Michael Hart, Its Founder
November 15, 2005

Michael Hart conceived of electronic books (e-books) back in 1971. Most pundits agree that in the history of knowledge and scholarship, e-books are as important as the Gutenberg press, invented five centuries ago. Many would say that they constitute a far larger quantum leap. As opposed to their print equivalents, e-books are public goods: cost close to nothing to produce, replicate, and disseminate.

48). The Narcissist's Confabulated Life
Confabulations are an important part of life. They serve to heal emotional wounds or to prevent ones from being inflicted in the first place. They prop-up the confabulator's self-esteem, regulate his (or her) sense of self-worth, and buttress his (or her) self-image. They serve as organizing principles in social interactions.

Father's wartime heroism,.

49). The Compulsive Giver
To all appearances, the compulsive giver is an altruistic, empathic, and caring person. Actually, he or she is a people-pleaser and a codependent. The compulsive giver is trapped in a narrative of his own confabulation: how his nearest and dearest need him because they are poor, young, inexperienced, lacking in intelligence or good looks, and are otherwise inferior to him.

50). The New Politics
Politics, in all its forms, is bankrupt. The notion that we can safely and successfully hand over the management of our daily lives and the setting of priorities to a political class or elite is thoroughly discredited. Politicians cannot be trusted, regardless of the system in which they operate. No set of constraints, checks, and balances, is proved to work and mitigate their unconscionable acts and the pernicious effects these have on our welfare and longevity.



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