Background

ET to the Rescue: Narcissists and Psychopaths as Aliens - Part 2

Uploaded 4/21/2020, approx. 35 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

I have written it, but I have yet to read it, because it's 728 pages long, and who has time for that? I am too busy taping YouTubes, making YouTube videos.

So, this is the second part of the discussion of aliens. Is ET, aliens, extraterrestrials, are they going to come land on the White House lawn and say, we come in peace, take us to your leader? Are they going to save humanity from its own vices and devices?

In the previous video, in part one, I have explained that narcissists and psychopaths are actually the carbon-based equivalent of aliens and extraterrestrials. They live among us, they are everywhere, and now they have taken over. In effect, narcissists and psychopaths are running the world. They are the top echelons, they are the pillars of society, they dictate, they determine, they decide.

If we want to understand narcissists and psychopaths better, we need to understand aliens and extraterrestrials. These are useful metaphors, useful allegories.

So, I raised six arguments in the previous video as to why possibly we haven't come across aliens yet, we haven't communicated with them, and so on and so forth.

I'm going to leave the philosophical arguments about artificial versus natural, empathy as a foundation of communication, and all this. I'm going to leave all these aside.

If you are interested in the psychological underpinnings of this conversation, in the description part, there are links to two articles that I've written, heavy didactic philosophical articles. This is a more popular presentation, so let's focus on some popular arguments and their refutation.

You remember that argument number one was we haven't met aliens, we haven't spoken to aliens, we haven't seen aliens, we haven't had aliens for dinner, nor did we have one night stands with aliens, even good-looking aliens, because aliens don't exist.

This is known as the Fermi principles, after the famous physicist and Riko Fermi.

The assumption that life has arisen only on Earth is both counterintuitive and extremely unlikely. It's not a conspiracy theory to say that there are aliens out there, extraterrestrials, actually it's very likely.

The opposite, saying that we are the only intelligent species in the universe, defies the laws of parsimony. It is far simpler to assume that life is a common, normal phenomenon. It's not correct to surmise that it is unique, unprecedented, an unparalleled one, and that it arose only on Earth, this speck of gas at the furthest corner of the galaxy.

Rather, it is highly probable that life is an extensive parameter of the universe. In other words, that life is as pervasive and ubiquitous as our other generative phenomena, such as star formation.

This does not mean that extraterrestrial life and life on Earth are necessarily similar. Environmental determinism and the panspermia hypothesis are not proven yet. There is no guarantee that we are not unique as per the rare Earth hypothesis.

But the likelihood of finding life in one form or another elsewhere in the universe and everywhere in the universe on other planets, extrasolar planets, Earth-like planets or not, this likelihood is so extremely high that it borders uncertainty.

The widely accepted mediocrity principle that Earth is a typical planet and its reification, the controversial Drake or Sagan equation, usually predict the existence of thousands of alien civilizations nearby, though only in a vanishingly small fraction of these are we likely to find human-like communication patterns.

In other words, we are likely to be able to communicate only with a tiny, tiny portion of these civilizations.

But if this is true, to quote Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, where are they? Fermi postulated that ubiquitous technologically advanced civilizations should be detectable, yet they are not, and this is known as the Fermi paradox.

This paucity of observational evidence may be owing to the fact that our galaxy is old. In 10 billion years of its existence, the majority of alien races are likely to have simply perished, died out or been extinguished by various cataclysmic events, a COVID-19 pandemic of their own.

Maybe older and presumably wiser races are not as bent as we are on acquiring colonies. Remote exploration may have supplanted material probes and physical visits to wild locales such as Earth. Maybe Earth is a kind of safari, but it's definitely not a colony.

Aliens exist on our very planet. The minds of newborn babies and of animals are as inaccessible to us as would be the minds of little green men and antenna-wielding abductors.

Moreover, as we had demonstrated in the previous video, even adult human beings from the same cultural background are as alien to one another as we would be to aliens from outer space.

Language is an inadequate and blunt instrument when it comes to communicating our inner worlds.


Then there's a second argument. Their technology is too advanced. We can't detect it or they can't detect ours because it's too inferior.

If aliens really want to communicate with us, why would they use technologies that are incompatible with our level of technological progress?

When we discover primitive tribes in the Amazon, do we communicate with them using Wi-Fi or via email or video conferencing? No, we don't.

We don't assume that they have access.

Primitive tribes in the Amazon don't have smartphones. We know that.

We strive to learn their language and modes of communication, and then we emulate them to the best of our ability.

Of course, there's always a possibility that we are as far removed from alien species as ants are removed from us, insects.

We do not attempt to interface with insects. I don't recall the last time I spoke to a cockroach, except certain people in my environment.

But if the gap between us and alien races in the galaxy is too wide, they are unlikely to want to communicate with us at all.

And then there's a third argument. We are looking in all the wrong places.

But wait a minute. Remember argument number one?

Life is all pervasive, if life is indeed a defining feature, an extensive property of our universe, it should be anisotropically, symmetrically and equally distributed throughout the vast expanse of space.

In other words, never mind where we turn our scientific instruments. We should be able to detect life. We should be able to detect traces of life.

And still, technological and budgetary constraints have served to dramatically narrow the scope of the search for intelligent transmissions.

Vast swaths of the sky have been omitted from the research agenda, as have been many spectrum frequencies. SETI, which is the biggest coordinated search for extraterrestrial life, SETI scientists assume that alien species are as concerned with efficiency as we are. That's a valid argument.

They assume that alien species are unlikely to use certain wasteful methods and frequencies to communicate with us.

And this assumption of interstellar scarcity is of course dubious. It's equally dubious that it would be using some kind of electromagnetic spectrum communication.

Argument number one, aliens are too alien, so we don't recognize them. They're all around us maybe, but we don't know they're there.

Here's the thing, carbon-based lifeforms may be an aberration or the rule. No one knows.

The Diversionist and Convergenist schools of evolution are equally speculative, as are the basic assumptions of both astrobiology and xenobiology. The rest of the universe may be populated with silicon, silicon entities, silicon-based entities, nitrogen, phosphorus-based races, or with information waves, or with light waves, or contain numerous non-interacting shadow biospheres.

We don't know. We can't even guess.

Recent discoveries of extremophile unicellular organisms, organisms that live in huge, I mean very high temperatures, organisms that live in totally acidic environments, these discoveries lend credence to the belief that life can exist almost under any circumstances, and in all conditions and environments, and that the range of planetary habitability is much larger than we had thought.

But whatever their chemical composition, most alien species are likely to be sentient and intelligent. Intelligent is bound to be the great equalizer and the universal translator in our universe. We may fail to recognize certain extra-galactic races as lifeforms, but we are unlikely to mistake their intelligence for a naturally occurring phenomenon. Intelligence is not natural. We are equipped to know other sentient, intelligent species regardless of how advanced and different they are, and they are equally fitted to acknowledge us as such.

Remember, throughout this presentation, substitute narcissist and psychopath for the words alien, extraterrestrial, and ET. Whenever you hear alien, extraterrestrial, ET, think narcissist, think psychopath. They're as alien as any antenna-wielding alien with a huge head, green, who is going to land here.

Even so, should we ever encounter aliens, they are unlikely to strike us as being childish and immature. Inevitably, they will find our planet strange. They will experience a learning curve, perhaps even a lengthy one. And similar to infants, they are likely to wander around, humbling and gaping and clumsily reaching for objects, nude, possibly blinded by the light. We will probably consider them immature. They will be lacking certain skills. They're psychodynamic. If they have a psyche, it would be different. They may be hampered by any number of things, gravity, level of oxygen, radiation, winds, human psychology.

Far from being a friend, at first, they may require our assistance merely to survive the ordeal of having landed on this planet.

Argument number seven, we are failing to communicate with aliens. It's a hidden assumption underlying SETI and METI, communication with extraterrestrial intelligence and messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence.

So CMETI, communication with extraterrestrial intelligence, messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence, is another lying assumption that aliens, like humans, are inclined to communicate.

They want to communicate. Who says this may be untrue?

The propensity for interpersonal communication, let alone the interspecies variety, may not be universal. Additionally, aliens may not possess the same sense organs that we do. They may not have eyes. They may not be acquainted with our mathematics and geometry.

Reality can be successfully described and captured by alternative mathematical systems, models and geometries, totally incompatible.

Additionally, we often confuse complexity or orderliness with artificiality. As the examples of quasars teach us, not all regular or constant or strong or complex signals are artificial. Even the very use of language, maybe a uniquely, even the very use of language, may be a uniquely human phenomenon.

But we are not sure of that. We think that language is somehow a derivative, an inevitable byproduct of intelligence.

But there are many senior linguists who contest such human exclusivity of language, and they even contest the assertion that languages denote intelligence.

Moreover, as Wittgenstein has observed, language is an essentially public affair. It's a public affair, it creates resonance privately. It reflects an inner landscape.

If a lion were to suddenly speak, we would not have understood it. Never mind, even if it were to use the Queen's English, we would still not have understood it. We rarely understand the Queen language.

Modern verificationists and referentialist linguistic theories seek to isolate the universals of language, so as to render all languages capable of translation. But frankly, they're still a long way off.

Clark's third law says that alien civilizations, well in advance of humanity, may be deploying investigative methods and communicating in dialects undetectable, even in principle, by humans. We may be slaughtered by alien communication this very second all around us, but we can't detect it because we don't identify it as language.

Argument number six, they are avoiding us.

Advanced alien civilizations may have found ways to circumvent the upper limit of the speed of light, for instance, by using wormholes. If they have an if UFO, unidentified flying objects, and an unidentified aerial phenomena, UFO and UAP.

UFO and UAPs, remember the instance.

So if alien civilizations may have found ways to circumvent the upper limits of the speed of light, and if UFO sightings are mere hoaxes and bunk, as is widely believed by most scientists, then we are back to Fermi's, where are they?

Let's put it this way, if they can travel faster than the speed of light, why aren't they here already?

One possible answer is that they are avoiding us because of our misconduct.

For example, we are destroying the environment, we are creating nuclear weapons, we are threatening the galaxy. Maybe they are avoiding us because of our traits. For example, our innate belligerents were very combative species, destructive species. Maybe the Earth is a galactic wildlife reserve or zoo or safari or laboratory, the zoo hypothesis. Maybe the aliens do not wish to contaminate us or to subvert our natural development, and this falsely assumes that all alien civilizations operate in unison and under a single code, the uniformity of motive fallacy.

But how would aliens know to avoid contact with us? How would they know of our misdeeds and bad character? Who told them? Television transmissions can reach very far. Maybe they picked up on our television. They picked up on our television.

I don't blame them for not coming here.

Our earliest radio signals have traversed no more than 130 light years omnidirectionally, maybe 150 light years. Our television emissions are even closer to home. They didn't have so much time to propagate.

What other source of information could aliens have except our own self-incriminating transmissions? None.

In other words, it is extremely unlikely that our reputation precedes us.

Luckily for us, we are virtual unknowns. As early as 1960, the implications of an encounter with extraterrestrial intelligence were very clear. In 1960, Brookings Institute published a study. The title was Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs. That's 1960. That's like 60 years ago, BC, before Corona.

And this is a paragraph taken from this report. Brookings Institute. Evidences of its existence might also be found in artifacts left on the Moon or other planets.

The consequences for attitudes and values are unpredictable, but would vary profoundly in different cultures and between groups within complex societies.

A crucial factor would be the nature of the communication between us and the other beings. Whether or not Earth would be inspired to an all-out space effort by such a discovery is moot.

Societies, sure of its own place in the universe, have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society. And others have survived, even though changed.

Clearly, the better we can come to understand the factors involved in responding to such crises, the better prepared we might be.

So perhaps we shouldn't be so looking forward to the first encounter. It may be also our last.


I'd like to analyze now the errors of science fiction when science fiction deals with aliens.

Aliens are us, the 10 errors of science fiction.

In all works of science fiction, there are 10 hidden assumptions regarding alien races. None of these assumptions is a necessity. None of these assumptions makes imminent or inevitable sense.

Yet when we read a sci-fi novel or watch a sci-fi movie, we tend to accept all these assumptions as inescapable. The amount of frame of reference into a language without which we seem to be unable to relate to all manner of exobiology.

We evidently believe that life on Earth is a representative sample and that we can extrapolate its properties and mechanisms of action wide and far across the universe, or at least the galaxy.

The principles of symmetry, isotropy and homogeneity apply to the physical cosmos.

Hydrogen behaves identically in our local galactic neighborhood as it does in the furthest reaches of the cosmos.

So why shouldn't life be the same as hydrogen?

And this leads us to the first fallacy, life in the universe.

Alien beings may not be alive in any sense of this ambiguous and loaded word.

There's a difference between to exist and to be alive. Aliens may not eat or drink or excrete or reproduce or grow or die or process information or even move.

Even here on Earth, we have examples of such entities, viruses.

Why assume that extrasolar creatures must be endowed with a biology of some kind, of any kind? Viruses are not living organisms. They are packages of DNA and RNA, genetic material, and yet they wreak havoc on other lifeforms and they do behave to some extent like living forms.

They enter cells and they replicate.

But isn't life as we know it an unavoidable outcome of the growing complexity of organisms?

This is begging the question. Multicellular entities on Earth are manifestations of carbon-based biology.

We cannot imagine beings whose complexity does not spring from some material, some energy lattice.

But our inability to imagine something, even in principle, is not a proof that it cannot or does not exist.


There's also the vexing issue of zoonosis and anthroponosis, diseases transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa.

COVID-19. Practitioners of conservation medicine have long noted the remarkable dearth of both types of maladies.

Why do pathogens specialize in one type of host? Why do they embed themselves in one type of carrier and typically refuse to cross the species barrier opportunistically?

Granted, host specificity yields considerable gains in resilience, tenacity, efficiency, and compatibility.

But like any monoculture, host specificity, lack of host shifting also means that bacteria, viruses, into a lesser degree of parasites are highly dependent for their continued survival on the idiosyncratic environments and ecological niches represented by their hosts.

It's a life-threatening dependence. From the evolutionary point of view, this strikes one as a profoundly counterproductive strategy.

It may also buttress the speculation that life is not a uniform, monolithic phenomenon, and that we have less in common with other lifeforms than our shared DNA implies.

The discoveries of extremophiles and arsenic-based bacteria tend to support this unorthodox view.


And then the second fallacy in science fiction is the concept of structure.

Aliens in science fiction are typically anthropomorphic. Anthropomorphic in body and in psyche.

They sport a central trunk, out of which protrude extremities and ahead, the tress on a variant of our neck.

They possess and are possessed by emotions. They reason. They debate exactly as we do.

The rare few who bear no resemblance to Homo sapiens are usually pure energy.

But even these are arranged in a matrix that is in principle visible or otherwise detectable and measurable.

We cannot conceive of entities that completely lack organization. We think that if there's an entity, there's life, there's organization.

And yet structure and organization are mere language elements. They don't exist in reality.

This is what we impose on reality. They're in our head, in our heads, so to speak.

Structure and organization do not exist in reality, I repeat this. They are the results of our limitations, our inability to grasp the whole at once.

God doesn't see structure and organization. He sees everything right away, if he exists, of course.

We use time, we use space, and weform, and we use motion to cope with the immense amount of information that constitutes the universe.

Our minds slice the world, shape it into manageable bits. That's where time, the concept of time comes from.

There's no time. It's our brains that impose this organizing principle.

And so we classify, we catalog, then we postulate the existence of interactions to account for our sense of inexorable time.

Other inhabitants of the cosmos may be completely shapeless, lack boundaries, lack size, devoid of structure, be totally inert.

But isn't structure a precondition for complexity?

The answer is a resounding no.

See the links in the description.

Additionally, why should we assume that sentient beings, intelligent beings, must be complex?

Complexity is one solution. Simplicity is another solution.

Who knows? Maybe viruses are much more evolved than we are.

Our evolution, in our case, evolution shows the former solution, complexity.

But processes in other corners of the galaxy may have preferred the latter. Simplicity.

Even the very concept of race or species is or genus is very doubtful. Why would aliens have to belong to such taxonomic categories? Why can't we imagine a group of astrobiological specimens, each one constituting a distinct sui genovis species custom made?

Why presume that all the aliens, all the extraterrestrials, all the ETs must share the same genetic heritage? For that matter, why should they have a genetic makeup at all? Is our DNA the most efficient method of propagating data across generations, across time?

That's a very, very human-centric anthropocentric supposition, very chauvinistic.


Another assumption in science fiction is the assumption of communication and interaction. We are slaves to our false sensation of time.

We deny the possibility of simultaneity. We require that information travels a finite distance in any given period.

And this precondition requires us to communicate and interact in order to affect changes in our environments, to secure beneficial outcomes, and to alter our interlocutors.

We are forced to transfer and transport information by a variety of means from one point of space time to another point of space time. We are limited entities.

Again, if God were to exist, he would never communicate. He would never interact.

He includes everything already.

Certain sci-fi works introduce telepathy into their imaginary worlds, the instant evocation of content in one mind by another's brain acting on it.

But telepathy still assumes some kind of transport mechanism, transmission mechanism, and the separateness of sender and recipient in space and sometimes in time.

No matter how imaginative and creative our literary and scientific endeavors, we are unable to convincingly describe a truly timeless, eventless ecosystem, where things don't happen and information is immediately available everywhere, officiating the need for communication and interaction.

Certain insect colonies display these properties.

And yet modern quantum mechanics provides us with exactly this insight.

The time and space are illusions, linguistic conventions that are the outcomes of our idiosyncratic, not to say inferior, mental apparatus.

The foundations of our reality at the particle level are such that simultaneity is common, entanglement, and even the concept of location is gravely challenged, the uncertainty principle, tunneling, other quantum phenomena.

Superior beings may not have to communicate, may not have to interact at all.

And that is the issue of location in sci-fi.

In science fiction works, aliens are always somewhere, somewhere in a given location.

Granted, some aliens project their image, others can be in multiple places at the same moment, or be a part of a colony like hive.

Teleportation.

But on extraterrestrial lifeforms occupy space, occupy time, and can be pinpointed to a reasonable degree using scientific instrumentation or human sense organs.

And yet, location, exactly like space, exactly like time, is a mere convention. I would even say linguistic convention.

At the particle level, knowing one's location is a tricky business, as it precludes information about other properties of the object being observed.

That's Heisenberg's uncertainty principles.

Embryonic quantum mechanics and quantum computing already make use of this fact that the building blocks of our world cannot be effectively located in either space or time, and this is known as entanglement.

So, you see, E.T. may not have a home. His place may be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. We can't wrap our heads around these possibilities because our cerebral computer comes equipped, at least according to Kant, with software that limits our brain to its parameters and procedures.

Moreover, location is an essential component of our sense of identity and individuality. We are loath to give it up.

And then, of course, all science fiction assumes separateness. It is impossible for us to deny our separateness. We are physically separate, temporarily separate, psychologically separate from other people. We are individuals with specific mindsets, needs, fears, emotions, priorities, personal histories, wishes, place in the world.

Our language is ill-equipped to cope with a different reality. We cannot conceive of sharing a body, let alone a mind with someone else.

Even when we discuss multi-organism, coordinated and directional hyperstructures, such as, for example, ant colonies, bee colonies, we still distinguish between the components comprising these colonies in terms of individuals.

We say, thisme, thatme. We, at least in the West, insist that we are not illusory manifestations of an underlying and more fundamental whole, that we truly are separate.

But you don't need to go far.

Eastern philosophy and modern physics, they both tell us that separateness may indeed be nothing more than an illusion, convenient organizing principle, an operational unit akin to the cell in a human body.

Aliens may have long discarded such amenity if they availed themselves of it to start with.

In other words, aliens may have dispensed with the concept of separateness if they ever had it.

Non-terrestrials may have dispensed with the notions of individuals or separateness, whole, parts. They may have supplanted them with, to us, the unimaginable.

Maybe they didn't have these things to start with.

And so if you're not separate, you don't need transportation. If location and separateness are deceptive, what need there is of transportation? Of what use are spaceships? Spaceships are human things.

Even if location and separateness are real, why would an advanced species need to travel anywhere? Why not simply project themselves, induce action at the distance?

I don't know. We don't travel to our banks anymore. We use online bank. We remote control our televisions, power stations, cranes, numerous other machines. We video conference.

Why reduce supposedly superior races to the travails of galaxy-hopping missions?

The classical answer is, in order to manipulate the environment and to control it, one needs to be physically present there.

But why presuppose that aliens are interested in manipulating or controlling their surroundings, nature? Even more fundamentally, why think that aliens have a will at all? Who says they want anything?

Spinoza said that God cannot want anything because he already has everything. He includes everything.

And so this is the issue of will and intention.

In all science fiction works, extraterrestrials want something. They desire it, they wish for it. They form intentions and they act directionally to achieve their goals.

And these literary devices pose two related problems.

Number one, we cannot be sure that the actions of alien beings signify, let alone prove, the existence of volition.

And number two, we cannot be sure that aliens lack will and intent, even if they do not act at all.

Put concisely, actions teach us nothing about the existence or absence of intelligence, volition, intent, planning, foresight, and utilitarian thinking.

We don't know if, and we cannot prove, that animals, for example, pets, are possessed of a will, even when they are acting what appears to be willfully.

Our dogs, cats, they do things.

Is there a will behind it?

Khan said, no, they're machines.

Other people say, what are you talking about? My pet is even more emotional, more loving than my children.

In today's world, unfortunately, it's mostly the case.

Imagine how much more difficult it would be with visitors from outer space.

Attributing will and directionality to ET is a prime example of teleology, the belief that causes are preceded by their effects, and also of anthropomorphism, attributing human qualities, motives, emotions, and conduct to non-human entities.

Throughout this discussion, it would seem that a goal necessarily implies the existence of an intention to realize that goal. A lack of intent leaves only one plausible course of action, automatism.

Any action taken in the absence of a manifest intention to act is by definition an automatic action, whereas there's no intention, there's automatism.

The converse is also true. Automatism prescribes the existence of a sole possible mode of action, a sole possible nature. Automatism is one.

With an automatic action, there's no choice. There are no degrees of freedom, no freedom of action.

Automatic actions are ips of act or deterministic, and still the distinction between volitional and automatic actions is not as clear-cut as you would think.

Consider, for example, house pets, the aforementioned dogs and cats.

They engage in a variety of acts. They're goal-oriented, they seek food, they drink, they go to be outside if they are homebroken.

They are, but can we say that they are possessed of conscious, directional volition, intent, will?

Many philosophers argued against such a supposition.


Moreover, sometimes end results and byproducts are mistaken for goals.

Is the goal of objects to fall down to Earth? Gravity is a function of the structure of space-time. When we roll a ball down a slope, which is really what gravitation is all about, according to the general theory of relativity, is the ball's goal to come to a rest at the bottom?

No one would say that. No one in the right mind would say that.

Natural processes are considered to be witless reactions. There's no mind there. There's no intelligence. No intent can be attributed to natural processes because no intelligence can be ascribed to them.

Yet this is true, but only at times.

Let's talk about intelligence.

We cannot safely deduce that aliens are intelligent. We cannot deduce that they are intelligent even if we have the chance to observe their behavior.

It is a fallacy to insist that technology and collaboration are predicated on intelligence.

Who said that? We have only one case. That's not a representative sample.

Even on Earth, with a limited sample of life, we have examples of direction, goal-oriented, and technology-empowered behavior by non-sentient entities.

For example, computers.

Intelligence, as we understand it, requires introspection, self-awareness, and probably some concept of self.

And still, aliens like us are part of nature, isn't it? Is nature as a whole intelligent as we humans understand intelligence?

Was nature designed by an intelligent being, maybe? The watchmaker hypothesis. If nature was designed by such a being, is each and every part of nature endowed with this watchmaker intelligence?

Is good everywhere? You know, the pantheic hypothesis? Pantheism?

Intelligence is hard to define. That's the problem.

And still, the most comprehensive approach would be to describe it as the synergetic sum of a host of mental processes.

Some of them conscious, some of them not. These mental processes are concerned with information, mostly.

It's gathering, accumulation, classification, interrelation, association, analysis, synthesis, integration, all other modes of processing and manipulation of data.

But is this manipulation of information not what natural processes are all about?

I mean, nature also processes information. And if nature is a subtotal of all natural processes, aren't we forced to admit that nature is intrinsically, inherently, of itself, intelligent?

Put differently, if nature processes information and intelligence is about processing information, then nature is intelligent.

I repeat, if nature processes information and intelligence is about processing information, all of nature is intelligent.

The intuitive reaction to these suggestions is bound to be negative.

People say no way. When we use the term intelligence, we seem to be concerned with just, we seem not to be concerned with just any kind of intelligence, but with intelligence that is separate from and external to what has to be explained.

It's like we're Cartesian. There's we're intelligent observers.

And then there's data and information, and we process it and we explain it.

But there's always we're this separateness. If both the intelligence and the item that needs explaining and processing are members of the same set, we tend to disregard the intelligence involved and we label it natural and therefore irrelevant.

I will go even further. Not everything that is created by an intelligence, however relevant or external, is intelligent by itself, in itself. Some automatic products of intelligent beings are inanimate, inanimate and non-intelligent.

On the other hand, as any artificial intelligence buffered confirmed, automata can become intelligent. Devices, all kinds of devices, computer problems can become intelligent, having crossed a certain quantitative or qualitative level of complexity.

The weaker form of this statement is that beyond a certain quantitative or qualitative level of complexity, it is impossible to tell the automatic from the intelligent.

Is nature automatic? Is it intelligent?

Or on the seam between automata and intelligence?

Nature contains everything and therefore contains multiple intelligences.

That which contains intelligence is not necessarily intelligent, unless the intelligences contained a functional determinant of the container.

Quantum mechanics, more precisely the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, implies that this precisely is the case.

Intelligent conscious observers determine the very existence of subatomic particles, the constituents of all meta-energy.

Human intelligent activity, observation, determines the shape, contents and functioning of the habitat earth.

If other intelligent races populate the universe, this could be the rule.

Intelligence, intelligent races may be shaping and reshaping and creating actually nature and reality. This is not the exception.

Nature may indeed be intelligent in the sense that it is determined and created by the intelligent races that it contains.

Indeed, goal-oriented behavior or behavior that could be explained as goal-oriented. Is nature's warm up?

The question whether automatic or intelligent mechanisms are at work, this question really deals with an underlying issue, that of consciousness.

Are these mechanisms self-aware, introspective? Is intelligence possible without such self-awareness, without internalized understanding of what it is that we are doing and who is doing what we are doing?

And this of course leads to the issue of artificial versus natural.

Sci-fi authors sometimes suggest or state that their aliens are natural beings, not machines. They are not artificial entities. They doubt the complexity of these life worlds to prove that they have emerged naturally, that they are intelligent.

In the apocalyptic works, dystopian works that depict the takeover of earth by man-made extraterrestrial automata, machines, the marauders or machine-like invaders are described as artificial and therefore simpler than the natural species that they are challenging.

In many respects, these devices are not intelligent at all. It's conflating the natural with the complex and with the intelligent is wrong, however.

Indeed, it's true that complexity rises spontaneously in nature through processes such as self-organization, self-assembly. Emergent phenomena in nature are common as are emergent traits. Both are not reducible to basic components, interactions and properties.

Yet, and this is known as epiphenomena. Yet complexity does not indicate the existence of a designer or a design. Complexity does not imply the existence of intelligence and sentient beings.

One could even argue that it is on the contrary.

Complexity usually points towards a natural source and a random origin. It is also true that complexity and artificiality are often incompatible. Artificial designs and objects are found only in unexpected, unnatural contexts and environments. Natural objects are totally predictable and expected. Artificial creations are efficient and therefore simple and parsimonious. Natural objects and processes are very often wasteful.

As Seth Shostak notes in his excellent essay titled Seti and Intelligent Design, evolution experiments with numerous dead ends before it yields a single adopted biological entity. That's wasteful. DNA is far from optimized. It contains trash inordinate amounts of junk. Our bodies come replete with redundancies, dysfunctional appendages, redundant organs, lightning balls, emit energy all over the electromagnetic spectrum. That's wasteful. Punchers and interstellar gas clouds, pure radiation over the entire radio spectrum. That's wasteful. The energy of the sun is ubiquitous over the entire optical and thermal range. That's very wasteful.

No intelligent engineer, human or not, would have been so wasteful as nature.


And the last fallacy in science fiction is the assumption of leadership.

It's perhaps the most preposterous aspect of the vast majority of the sci-fi opera works. It's the imposition of human social structures and predilections and proclivities on our galactic roommates.

All aliens seem to have leaders, for example. Yet even on Earth we have numerous examples of lifeforms with no leadership. For example, the Democratic National Party. No hierarchy in which decision making is decentralized in a kind of parallel processing.

Consider, for example, bacteria, plants, bees, ants. Why do all extraterrestrial species resemble the Nazi Party? It's beyond me. They all have fears.

So you see, coming back to narcissists and psychopaths, if we accept that narcissists and psychopaths are alien lifeforms in the sense that they lack the basic apparatus, basic apparatus, for comprehending, assimilating, and identifying with other human beings, they lack the human experience. If we accept this, then there are numerous arguments that we must immediately consider.

I've outlined these arguments in these two videos. I hope it will help you to rethink and reconceive of narcissism and psychopathy.

These carbon-based entities look like us, look like normal human beings. They have two hands and two legs. They have a head, which sometimes they make use of. But their inner landscape, their inner world, is as alien as the most barren extrasolar planet at the furthest corners of this galaxy of ours.

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