Blog Highlight: The True Verdict

"Oh! what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott

This is a short post today-- soon I'll be getting back into the swing of things when it comes to regular updates on the blog. I wanted to highlight a blog that interests me a good deal, and if you fancy the subject matter on 'From one pawn to another,' you'll feel the same. The blog is http://truthinthelaw.blogspot.com/, and is primarily run by a real-life friend of mine named Peter Romary. I won't go into Peter Romary's credentials, you can find them for yourself on the blog's sidebar-- a cliff-notes version is essentially he is a very successful lawyer, is knighted, probably was a lead guitarist for an English band at one point and is maybe in a three-letter intelligence agency. Particular posts to skim off the bat are "Eye Contact: The Myths About Lying; The Truth About Deepening Your Love!" and "Hot Dog! How Deception Detection Experts Caught Rep. Weiner With His Pants Down." Give it a look.

Psychoanalyst Walter Langer wrote, "People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."


Microexpressions: Lie Detection 101

When I picked up playing Texas Hold'em poker, I read a lot. I read books by the poker pros, I read tournament strategy, I read statistics and probability and I read about bluffs and tells. It was in the latter selection of reading that I began to really focus on body language and microexpressions. I read books on lying and lying theory. I read books on common body language reading and how to baseline people. But microexpressions really interested me in that they were a split-second "slip of the tongue" except in this case the tongue was your face and the slip was an involuntary muscle reaction of the mind. I could not believe what I was reading. Was there really a method of lie detection that worked on everybody and I just did not know about it? I had to research more.


The 48 Laws of Power: The Mirror Effect

"The mirror reflects reality, but it also is the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson." -Robert Green, the 48 Laws of Power

In the continuing coverage of the book, 48 Laws of Power, there is probably no law I've employed most in life than the Mirror Effect. Whether it may be repeating the action of someone else to better illustrate their wrongdoings, or to quickly befriend a group at a party, the Mirror Effect is a swiss-army knife of deception practices. As usual though this tool should not be the only strategy in your toolbox. Predictability is never becoming.


Drunken musings of a street fighter: Basics of street defense learning to punch

Step one: What to look for in a fight

what street fighters may look like
I am going to try to teach you how to punch within a street setting. First of all you have to be able to know when your opponent is about to strike. Anyone who has not done any martial arts will instinctually go for a power punch. By this I mean they will use their right hand to punch if they are right handed. The thing about doing a power punch at the start of a fight is that you can see them coming a mile away if you know what to look for. The primary mistake they will make is raise their elbow up. This is a big taboo in punching unless you are throwing a hook but I am not going to get into that in this post. The thing about raising your elbow is that you slow down your punches and also let your opponent see that they are coming. The correct way to throw a punch is to keep your elbows in tight and straight. The next big mistake people make that you should look out for is that they over extend themselves or even step with their punch. If the person you are fighting is drunk they are nine times out of ten going to do this. Now that you know the signs to look for let’s give you the correct method of fighting back.


A Return to Sociopathy: Origin(s) and the Inner Triangle

As mentioned previously on this blog, two great resources in the field of study of sociopathy are both the website lovefraud.com and the nonfictional accounts detailed in The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Today's piece follows two quick trends detailing the personality disorder: it's origin and seemingly incurable nature and a more detailed, defined model for what sociopaths lack within themselves.

The debate over sociopathy/psychopathy has been waging for more than five decades. Books, peer-reviewed psychology journals, the DSM-IV and "experts" in the field have thrown the two words around and their apparent definitions. Perhaps its a questionable subject to approach based on personal beliefs, because one school of thought attributes individuals possessing sociopathy and psychopathy to have been there since birth. This would seem to entail, then, that individuals could be born "bad" or "evil," something a religious or optimist may not accept. Other schools will describe the personality disorder as stemming from a medical or physical injury. While the last will say the disorder is learned, from childhood onward, through environmental factors such as their socioeconomic status, parental rearing, peers or a significantly low or high intelligence.


The first in a series of drunken musings of a street fighter

A little about me… I like to drink and love to fight. So I thought I would do some drunken writings and upload it for you all to see. Umm I really don’t feel like editing any of my works so you will just have to take them as they come. My first musing will be on a subject close to my heart. I often see threads online with questions like “I want to learn a martial art to protect myself what would you recommend?” My usual response is about fifty more questions right back at them. Are you male or female? What is your weight? Do you work out regularly? Where do you live? And so on… So to some it all up I am going to write what I feel is the best martial arts to start out with for beginners looking to protect themselves based on some criteria.
Women’s self defense
Brazilian: Jiu Jitsu
My top pick for women of all sizes to start off for self defense would be Brazilian jiu jitsu. This martial art almost looks like it was made to protect women from rape. Bjj uses joint locks, crushes, and chokes to make your opponent beg for forgiveness. Royce Grace showed the world that size does not matter with this martial art when he went into the original UFC and defeated opponents almost doubling his size who trained in many various martial arts. 
Pros- Easy to learn(hard to master), you don’t have to be strong to use it
Cons- In a situation against multiple attackers you will find this to be ineffective.
Muay Thai
My second pick for women’s self defense would be Muay Thai. This is a very deadly art that originated in Thai-land. It literally turns your whole body into a weapon. Utilizing fist, knees, clinching, elbows, and shin kicks to disable your opponent. The power in this martial art does not come from muscle mass but from lean muscle and hardened bones from thousands of shin kicks on a sand bag. 
Men’s self defense
Boxing : medium to large builds or small and built
I would recommend this for more average to larger sized men for self defense purposes. People without any martial arts background will throw punches with their elbows to the side and bringing up their fist first. This is because it is the natural movement your body wants you to do. Although there may be some power in this it is simply slow and can be easily dodge. Boxing will teach you how to throw punches with both speed and power along with movement and how to set up your attacker. For this reason I would recommend boxing the most for when being attacked by multiple assailants. You will be able to move quickly setting up your opponents so that they are moving the way you want them to and where you can take one out one at a time. (Ps If fighting multiple people at once don’t try to go for the toughest looking one first. Go for the cheap knockout on the small attacker. If you can cleanly take him out first you will surprise the group and save stamina for the stronger opponents to come.)
Judo: small to large figure
This martial art can be used by people of any size from small or non muscular to big and buff. If you see this in competition or mma it may not devastating. This is because the throws are down on mats and leson the damage. In mma judo does not often work out well because the competitors do not wear shirts so there is nothing to grab. On the streets this is completely different. Your opponents jackets and shirts become tools to use to throw and choke them out. Another big difference is on the street you do not have mats to break your fall instead you just have concrete. One throw can mean a broken bones or a long cold nap on the ground. Here is a video for your view pleasure 
That’s all I feel like writing tonight so until next time. Feel free to leave questions to rebuttals of any kind and I will try to answer them in my next drunken rant.


Sociopathy and You

Today we're going to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: the notion of sociopathy. For those who do not know or confuse the word with what they may have heard on Law and Order or Criminal Minds, sociopathy is not psychopathy, in that sociopaths do not kill people (although those whom have come into contact with sociopaths may feel hurt on the same level a psychopath may inflict). 

Sociopathy is a personality disorder, complex in that it is not a singular idea of being different from a normal person, but possessing a group or cluster of symptoms at the same time. For instance an individual may lack empathy for his or her fellow human beings, unable to connect and understand what others may be feeling or experiencing. And while a sociopath is unable to experience said emotions, they are incredibly skilled in faking them. They wear emotions like a mask over the coldness inside them, superficial and fake, but all the while blending in with their groups, functions and friends because of their uncanny ability to mimic the most basic feelings. Sociopaths are highly manipulative and lie pathologically, stemming from their lack of conscience and remorse for their actions. Moreover sociopaths will generally lack responsibility for their actions and seek excitement impulsively.

Sounds like you would almost be dealing with an alien, an outlier of society that are so rare they're saved for cop dramas and the occasional Hollywood flick. But books like The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout put the numbers into an interesting perspective. Diabetes, a health condition so apparently popular it has its own commercials for testing equipment only affects 8% of the general population (source: American Diabetes Association). In the United States that would mean roughly 26 million people suffer from some form/type of Diabetes. Consider now that in Stouts book as well as other studies conducted, sociopathy is found in 4% of the general population, or one in twenty-five. Again, using the United States for a gauge, that would entail roughly 13 million people living in North America show multiple signs/traits/symptoms of sociopathy, as per the DSM-IV. Think about that the next time you attend a school sporting event, a PTA fundraiser, or shop at the mall.

So now that I have the science-mubo-jumbo out of the way, my reason for today's article: being a sociopath is not all that its cracked up to be. I'm not saying I am a sociopath, but I know beyond reasonable doubt I possess a great number of traits listed by the DSM-IV as told to me by my ex-girlfriend, a number of therapists and a few episodes of CSI. I lie pathologically, I use people for personal gain without regard for their feelings and I'm pretty narcissistic. I often live a parasitic lifestyle, leeching off the benefits of others whether it may be their resources or their money. I constantly groom an image of how I want other people to view me, and it is one of the few things I'll guard more than the secrets "friends" let slip in conversation. And I cannot change. 

Seems sociopathy is so far ingrained in one's psyche its impossible to change. Medication is irrelevant because there is no imbalance, simply a lack of existence for the most basic human characteristics: emotions, conscience and empathy. Talking it out with others serves no purpose, because again there is nothing to gain. You're simply stuck in a body, a bad movie in which you're both the audience and the character on the screen, and no matter how much you yell at the pro(an)tagonist to do something, they cannot hear.

Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it? I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself;... In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.” - Soren K.