Gervais principle — -sociopaths reckoning

Warning: this is supposed to be a follow-up to the series of articles here.. Without reading you’re likely to misinterpret or completely miss the point of the article. Given my writing skills, it may not even make sense even if you have read it, in which case, i beg you to point out where the jumps are and i’ll explain what i was thinking but forgot to write.

. OK,  i got tired of waiting for venkatesh rao for getting that sociopath’s reckoning part of the gervais principle. So i decided screw this, i’ll write my own.

So what happens to these sociopaths that regularly use, pull and setup HIWTYL manuevers on each other and on losers and the clueless?  Well, as with so many other things in modern life, they make it a habit*. They start pulling them out of sheer reflex on every aspect of their lives. I would be happy to bet that these sociopaths(not sure how that can be defined operationally for a study?) end up with complicated, out of the norm, personal lives, late marriage, affairs, divorces, widely public scandals etc…  In The Office Example, Michael’s affair with Jan and Holly. Jan’s breakdown when she’s being let go, George Clooney’s single hood/fantasy relationship in “Up in the air”, etc..

It gets progressively harder to pull off HIWTYL maneuvers as time passes and the bunch of young people coming in turns in to be more street-smart vs educated. (Almost wants me to join them) it’s one of those rare professions where you need to keep getting creative just to stay in place, sure the cycling time may not be what i think it is, but it definitely gets harder every cycle. You also want to get and promote some of those vacillating between losers and sociopaths(Jim in the Office example), all the while keeping the increasingly agitated/getting crazier clueless calm and clueless. Most of these i write/say from the viewpoint of the timeline of a declining organization.

And this habit of looking out for contracts and options in every aspect of life, and looking out for clauses(in the legal sense) that add indemnity/responsibilities is why the whole pre-nuptial agreements concept rose and perhaps added complexity. The irony ofcourse is that, you’ll end up having to depend/trust your lawyer based on past experiences, recommendations and interactions with  him/her in natural language(most likely vocal/verbal contracts/promises, that are hardly enforceable).    Adding one more level of difference calculus will give you the source of gossip columns and their effect on celebrities, but i diverge from the topic..

Another effect of this HIWTYL behaviour, is a constant, exploration of how can i exploit this current situation in a short-term (gah, i hate that word, i mean bound/fixed time limit) scenario. yet another way to classify the sociopaths, line staff, and hierarchical ladder positions is to see how much and what part of their HITWYL behaviours are automatic/habituated learning vs how much of them are deliberate… Warning, there’s a confound in the form of the actual industry they are working in, and it’s intricacies, but it holds in general.. So overall the Sociopaths are doomed** to lead mostly unsatisfactory/unhappy lives. You know they end up with a more than needed amount of money, but spending a lot to keep getting more money, spending to keep the appearance, spending to avoid meeting people who want to take it away etc…. But that sort of happiness can only be achieved within the organization by taking up the Career path of the loser.

Update: Venkatesh Rao has gone on to write his own version.You can find it here.

* — The cognitive scientist in me wants to pull in more details, read up more research, but i don’t have the time for that now. may be later.

** — In the sense of happiness as quoted/highlighted by McCandless “Into the wild” on Tolstoy’s book

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?” …”

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