Friday, October 22, 2010

How to know if you are dating a sociopath:

The big question is, of course, how can you know whether someone is a sociopath or not? It is a difficult question and even experts on the subject can be fooled. If you suspect that someone close to you is a sociopath, I suggest you read both of the books I mentioned and think hard about it. Compare that person to the other people in your life. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you often feel used by the person?

2. Have you often felt that he (or she) doesn't care about you?

3. Does he lie and deceive you?

4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?

5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?

6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?

7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?

8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?

9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?

10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?

11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?

12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?

13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?

And does he do these things far more than the other people in your life? If you answered "yes" to many of these, you may be dealing with a sociopath. For sure you're dealing with someone who isn't good for you, whatever you want to call him.

I like Martha Stout's way of detecting sociopaths: "If ... you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to one hundred percent that you are dealing with a sociopath."


This is an interesting question. Of course most of our purposes are strongly influenced by our connections and affections with others. Our relationships with others, and our love for them, give us most of the meaning in life. So if a sociopath doesn't have these things, what is left? What kind of purposes do they have?

The answer is chilling: They want to win. Take away love and relationships and all you have left is winning the game, whatever the game is. If they are in business, it is becoming rich and defeating competitors. If it is sibling rivalry, it is defeating the sibling. If it is a contest, the goal is to dominate. If a sociopath is the envious sort, winning would be making the other lose or fail or be frustrated or embarrassed.

A sociopath's goal is to win. And he (or she) is willing to do anything at all to win.

Sociopaths have nothing else to think about, so they can be very clever and conniving. Sociopaths are not busy being concerned with relationships or moral dilemmas or conflicting feelings, so they have much more time to think about clever ways to gain your trust and stab you in the back, and how do it without anyone knowing what's happening.

One of the questions in the list above was about boredom. This is a real problem for sociopaths and they seem fanatically driven to prevent boredom. The reason it looms so large for them (and seems so strange to us) is that our relationships with people occupy a good amount of our time and attention and interest us intensely. Take that away and all you have is "playing to win" which is rather shallow and empty in comparison. So boredom is a constant problem for sociopaths and they have an incessant urge to keep up a level of stimulation, even negative stimulation (drama, worry, upset, etc.).

And here I might mention that the research shows sociopaths don't feel emotions the same way normal people do. For example, they don't experience fear as unpleasant. This goes a long way to explaining the inexplicable behavior you'll see in sociopaths. Some feelings that you and I might find intolerable might not bother them at all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Let's put some magic mushrooms in an omelet with tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese. Oh wait, I have some summer squash to throw in as well. Season it with cayenne and salt. Drink two glasses of water. Wait. And enjoy the trip. Trip. Trip. Trip. Trip.

AND Mike Huckabee can lick my clit. Okay? Thanks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Improbable Monument Proposal: The Robot of Love

Meet ROB!
ROB is the prototype for the Robot of Love 1.0.
ROB is a roaming server powered by solar and wind energy.
ROB has a built-in camera that feeds live to his website
Beginning in Eureka, California, he travels zig-zag across the United States.

How ROB was conceived...
More people watched the reality shows American Idol and Dancing with the Stars in two weeks time than voted in the Presidential election in 2008, one of the most definitive elections in our lifetime. Is it really more important to know whether or not Lawrence Taylor or Steve-O from Jackass can Mambo as opposed to choosing the leader of the free world? Unfortunately, the answer to that question has become yes to many Americans.
In a time of recession, it is easy to see that people may partake in escapism, but this is not a new trend. The history of reality television dates to the early 1990s, and the networks have seen a significant growth in the market, significant enough to utilize almost all air time to the latest creation in the genre.

What ROB represents...
Mind-numbing television coincides with the apathy of the public at large. This type of television offers nothing of value to the people who sit entranced by the possibility that they, too, could find themselves sharing a house with ten other obnoxious people with the sole purpose of humiliating others for some sort of financial gain. This form of entertainment is the prime example of the watering down of any sense of culture that may have existed in the United States, and most of the western world.
In a darker sense, reality TV is a self-degrading assault on intelligence that permits people to relish complacency. If the American television viewer is preoccupied with which celebrity will feel the wrath of Donald Trump on any given week, then they aren't paying attention to the true reality of the world we live in today.

Why ROB is important...
The Robot of Love is true reality television. ROB will film anyone and everyone he meets during his journey. As a roaming server, he has a built in camera that feeds live footage to his website
Reality TV makes up almost 50% of all programming, which is quite significant. Of more concern, it seems that once we settle in for our favorite reality TV show we see and hear little that is going on around us. ROB is pure reality, because nothing is more real than life itself.
ROB mirrors life by broadcasting real people in real clothes on real streets, live to the world.

Where ROB goes...
The Robot of Love travels zig-zag across the United States directed by his built-in GPS device.
ROB begins at the furthest Western point in the furthest Western city, Eureka, California. He ends at the furthest Eastern point, West Quoddy Lighthouse in the furthest Eastern city, Lubec, Maine.

ROB in Eureka, California

ROB in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

ROB in Lubec, Maine

ROB's gadgets and configurations...
The Robot of Love requires combinations of many different technologies to function completely. These include: GPS locator and mapper, video camera, independent server, solar panels, wind turbines, tractor wheels and a screen for communication.
ROB is made of recycled metals and is completely weather resistant. He is green and produces zero waste, relying on sun and wind power to travel.

Play with ROB...
The Robot of Love is built on the core basis of interactivity. ROB’s video feed is transmitted live to his website of
On the website, witnesses and participants can communicate with each other. Space is allotted for participants to post stories of their experiences with ROB, as well as their feelings before and after meeting him.

ROB and the reality of the present...
The Robot of Love allows the public to see what is true and real as opposed to what it on called “reality” on the television.
Everyone is a member of the audience. Everyone is a participant. Everyone benefits from him because ROB mirrors society. ROB allows us to see who we really are: beautiful and unique individuals.
ROB challenges conventional monuments by his constantly moving location, and is never still. ROB examines a cultural phenomena instead of a single occurrence or event.

The cost of ROB's love...
Canon Vixia HF200 Camera= $449.99
Unified Communication Internet Server= $500 (plus $19 a year)
Recycled steel= free
003 Stainless Steel Circulator, 1/40 HP Solar Panels= $179
Wind turbine (propeller connected to inverter then to generator and engine)= $2,000
LCD Communication screen= $149
Tank wheel= $200
Labor= $3,500 ($20/hr full time)
TOTAL: $7,277.98 (+ $19 a year for internet)

Can ROB stand the test of time?
To carry out the Robot of Love, ROB must be built, from the ground up. A website must be set up and linked to his server. Finally, Rob must be placed in Eureka, California, facing East.
ROB’s journey across the country will take hundreds of years, if not thousands. He will grant the industrialized world a second chance, by illuminating the absurdity of our materialistic, consumer-driven lives.
If only planting a seed in the brain of each of his participants, ROB can ignite a fire of thought. ROB has the potential to transform a slumber into an earthquake.

Improbable Monument: Sketch and Ideas

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hunting for Banksy

London-native street artist Banksy, has apparently made a trip to San Francisco, California. About 2, or so, weeks ago spray-painted stenciled images started appearing around the city. For longevity and survival, Banksy acts in a clandestine manner, always hiding his face and identity. No one knew of his venture in California until his work started popping up all over the city, showing at least 6 works total. As an avid Banksy supporter, I decided to use this rare opportunity to scavenger the city for his work. I apologize for the poor image quality, I had to use my phone to capture the photos...

The first piece I saw was on Haight Street in between Cole and Clayton. On the upper wall of the Red Victorian building (yes, the one that Jimi Hendrix used to live in) there is large rat, a signature of Banksy, with a long red line circling the second floor of the surrounding buildings. At the end of the red line, there is text written in red spray paint saying, "this is where I draw the line."

The second piece I saw was on Mission Street at Sycamore, directly on the back of Cafe Prague. This piece is a stencil of an American Indian sitting on the ground holding a "No Trespassing" sign.

The third is on Valencia Street at 20th. The text reads "This'll look nice when its framed."

The fourth, and last, piece I saw is in Chinatown at Grant Street. This is my favorite of the bunch. Banksy took pre-existing graffiti of a peace sign and heart on the side of a Chinese bakery and added a stencil of a doctor with a stethoscope. When I was outside the business taking pictures, the owner was installing plexiglass over the artwork in order to preserve it. How beautiful is that?!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the scavenger hunt, because the process took too long with MUNI. I started at 5 and was out hunting until 9. I hope to see the other two works sometime soon, before the city or business owners paint over them. Every lover of subversive art should spend the time to witness Banksy in person. Or maybe you will just happen to catch a piece while you're out on the town. Either way, it is definitely worth it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Improbable Monument Ideas

1. City, Wake-Up!: alarm clocks placed in locations of rape and assault, set to ring at the same time each day/night that the original crime took place; clock battery powered by foot-traffic; alarm only loud enough for people walking half a block away to hear

2. Public Pater Purifier: each day, chunks of ice break off the Polar Ice Caps, altering the salinity of the ocean water and its equilibrium. each day, a block of ice the size of the previous day's losses will be placed on top a sculpture. the sculpture then allows sunlight and surrounding environmental heat to melt the solid into liquid and dispensed into re-usable cups to provide drinking water for people walking on the street.

3. Human Robot: programmed to walk down each and every street and politely greet every person it meets

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Culture Jam

First, I made a postcard for the U.S. Army using a notorious photo from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Second, I used a basic template from the common "Beware of Dog" sign and changed the language. I would like to create more symbols to use for the template as well.