Features of The Psychopath Test A Journey Through the Madness Industry PDF
In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigates psychopaths and the industry of doctors, scientists, and everyone else who studies them.The Psychopath Test A Journey Through the Madness Industry PDF
The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson’s exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world’s top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he’s sane and certainly not a psychopath.
Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges.
Description of The Psychopath Test A Journey Through the Madness Industry PDF
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Jon Ronson’s works include New York Times bestseller So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Lost at Sea, The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones, and international bestsellers: Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Ronson lives in New York.
Dimensions and Characteristics of The Psychopath Test A Journey Through the Madness Industry PDF
Publisher : Riverhead Books (May 1, 2012)
Language : English
Paperback : 288 pages
International Standard Book Number-10 : 1594485755
International Standard Book Number-13 : 978-1594485756
Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
Dimensions : 5.46 x 0.61 x 8.18 inches
A shallow dive in a deep pool
July 21, 2019
This is an enjoyable book and hard to put down but also an easy read so pay as little as you can for it. One gets the feeling especially in this internet age that most of the information (aside from the author’s own telling of how his own discovery unfolds) is available elsewhere and perhaps from more authoritative and complete sources. If you are looking for a nice rundown of additional sources and themes for further study (which I was) this is a feature of the book. Nonetheless, also for this reason, perhaps I was expecting too much. The book is admittedly a “subtle” critique as the author suggests he is aiming for on page 64 when he describes his desire on at least one topic to plant “doubt into the prose[.]” We can see he does not in any way come right out and call L. Ron Hubbard a “crackpot” and he finds the Scientologists to be very helpful but… perhaps he is holding back his true feelings, and sometimes he shows us this very clearly and other times he does not. Though he plays at being open and honest with the reader, I am somewhat skeptical of his ability to walk the fine line between truth and honesty at all times, and perhaps so is he. He sets up a code or a joke at the beginning and then he plays upon it in a variety of ways, on a variety of subjects, and its particular charm is that its construction encourages one to create patterns where perhaps none exist, and that is at least one point of the book. We all have our own little obsessions, but of course they don’t usually end in random acts of violence or corporate crime. Psychopaths could be the key to a true understanding of modern society. Or they could not be. I think Foucault also wrote a little book about the madness industry, didn’t he? Or at least its early days. Modernity is in full swing now. Mr. Ronson finds himself afraid of both psychopaths and lawsuits. A very modern type of fear. Or at least anxiety. Perhaps this is what he is really getting at. I found his excessive discussions of his own anxieties a bit tiresome in places, but I have not read any of his other books and perhaps this is his shtick that his regular audience enjoys. The bit about journalists and their own obsessions reminded me of Fatal Vision and its related controversies, which are also discussed much in other sources. I was a bit surprised he didn’t at least mention them. I was also surprised that though he spends a great deal of time dealing with LSD experiments on psychopaths in Canadian asylums, and he also mentions while discussing L. Ron Hubbard the CIA mind control experiments with LSD, he does not touch upon the Canadian connection here as well with MK Ultra. I suppose at times the book feels like a collection of missed opportunities for the author to go deeper. He quips at one point that bloggers write a lot because they aren’t getting paid for it, and maybe his regular audience is made up of people who really enjoy his light (“subtle”) touch, but I personally wished he would have spread his net much wider and deeper, as the rich source material seems to invite. He makes a lot of good points. One can’t really argue with him. He seems entirely reasonable and not at all taken by conspiracy or fear mongering. Mass media, as he points out, does seem to pay more attention to certain types of madness and this critique of his is perhaps the most powerful in the book. This type of media/social system confirmation bias makes the most sense intuitively and has also been studied intensely and at length by numerous academics and other social critics. Simply put, terrorists would throw roses, if only they could get attention that way. It can be difficult to know whom to trust these days and the book paints a still somewhat comfortable picture of modern paranoia. The author navigates these waters with skill, especially in the bit with the Scientologists. But most of all, I’m wondering what became of Tony, the psychopath who faked it ‘til he made it. Tony is not his real name, the author makes clear, and we learn also that Mr. Ronson is not allowed to discuss what was said at a certain hearing concerning Tony’s fate. Most of us would rather stay far outside the reach of such a person. Tony could be your neighbor, the person sitting next to you at the pub, or someone walking down the street towards you under the soft glow of streetlamps one quiet summer’s eve, but probably not the executive of a major corporation, which is some consolation. Tony’s crime was vicious but it only affected one person, not the populations of entire towns where factories were shut down by a brutal CEO and the cold calculation of “P/E on Nxt FY”. Certainly as the book makes clear psychiatry and psychology evolve like all science and other systems of communication. The paradox of science is that its coded truth changes over time. As the book suggests, the collision between capitalism and science here has led to some abuses. The opioid epidemic seems to be another example. Let’s hope at least that we don’t devolve back to the glory days of the sixties and seventies, when LSD served to psychopaths and feces smeared on the walls were considered good fun, or at least good therapy.
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