A Breathtaking Lack of Empathy
Filed Under: GalateaGoneBad
Last night I was passed a link to a new Neal Rauhauser post. Here it is, through anonymouse.org: A Parting Explanation. [Update: Apparently, he's made his post "private."]
Within it, he sort of "confesses" what he's done over the past two years in regards to "Twittergate," and how he manipulated various "trolls" in a weird game he's played -- and how the game somehow went farther than he thought it would.
Within his story, he gives an odd note about himself.
I studied computer science in college at a time when the world was shifting from structured programming to object oriented methods. I'm half of a linguist on that alone and I studied the works of hypnotist Richard Bandler as a counter to some of the face blindness issues I have due to being a mildly autistic adult. The role of transformational grammar in understanding hypnotic induction methods colors all of the conspiracy oriented writing I have produced.
If you don't program, and don't know who Richard Bandler is, you won't quite get where he's coming from. Basically, he's trying to establish his bonafides to a particular flavor of hacking audience, and his disability is part of those credentials, in order to establish that, yes, he has the skillz to accomplish what he claims.
Many members of this hacking audience consider their autism not as a disability, but as a beneficial genetic mutation, the next step in human evolution. Sort of like the X-Men, only pastier, flabbier, whose special powers include the ability to sit at a computer for days on end and pee into a jar.
What Neal is getting at, is that he's also an X-Man with an extra gift: the power to "program" people long-distance.
Also, if you're wondering what face blindness is, the medical term is Prospagnosia.
Prosopagnosia (Greek: "prosopon" = "face", "agnosia" = "not knowing") is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact. The term originally referred to a condition following acute brain damage, but a congenital form of the disorder has been proposed, which may be inherited by about 2.5% of the population. The specific brain area usually associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus.
His rationale for his behavior towards Howard, Lessick, and McCain? The Google search results on his name got messed up:
This started as an effort to pay back Howard, Lessick, and McCain for the mess they made of the Google results for my name. I'd say it's been fairly successful - they're all pariahs now and their obsession with me got them there.
As they say: great things come from small beginnings. Because he didn't like the Google results for his name, he played counter-intel-super-duper-secret-agent on American civilians and the mentally disabled, and how zany it's all been!
Never in my wildest dreams did I envision the flurry of doxing, protection orders, lawsuits, court room arrests, threatening phone calls, car chases, assaults, computer intrusion, fabrication of evidence, interviews with state and federal law enforcement, federal grand juries, the death of Andrew Breitbart, and the live streamed vanning of Barrett Brown would become part of the storyline as more and more people tumbled down the Spook Country rabbit hole.
He goes through a list of mental disorders that he has encountered in his game. I've noticed this too - the uncanny quantity of people with a host of mental health issues that have been gathered together through his actions. In one moment he seems amazed by just how many people have these problems, but in another admits that he attempted to game-play them all together - or, as he puts it, play "conflict cupid."
The two part series on bullying publishing by John W. Dean in December 2011/January 2012 provided me with the information I needed to develop tactics for them similar to the ones I employ against conspiracists. Deprived of the feedback they get in real life from victims, peers, law enforcement, and the courts, online bullies can be easily lead into no win situations. I have played "conflict cupid" on a number of occasions since the start of 2012, assessing targets, finding groups of activists, hackers, or trolls who would enjoy bedeviling them, and then laying the trail of dots for the bully's conspiracy minded collaborators.
A couple of thoughts.
First, this displays a breathtaking lack of human empathy. He thinks of people as playthings to be toyed with. By categorizing them as "trolls" he can do to them whatever he wishes, and creates all sorts of elaborate games to entrap them. His revelry in their misery is quite apparent, justified by dehumanizing those he manipulates.
Second, my gut tells me that despite the bravado and the triumphant declaration at the end of his post...
There does not appear to be a federal investigations targeting me, despite months and months of various jackasses braying about this. I face no credible lawsuits, despite weekly threats from a variety of laughable small time hustlers hoping to cash in on my notoriety.
Cool story, right bro?
...he's tired of the whole thing, and he actually wants out. But for various psychological and emotional reasons, he simply can not admit outloud that he's made a horrible mistake playing labyrinth builder all these years, nor can he admit that his "cool story" was written at great personal cost to himself.
Not to mention so many other people, and not just those who supported him. Let's not forget those "trolls" who are actually human beings, of which Neal seems to have forgotten he is a member.
Homo Superior only exists in the Marvel Universe.
The problem is - how to get out? He certainly can't apologize to anyone he has harmed. They are subhuman "trolls," after all.
Here's the dilemma: in his elaborate labyrinth of object-oriented inheritance-based programming of people long distance, Neal didn't think to build in a "halt" command.
Unfortunately, human beings are complex systems, and they won't go away just because you click the "I won, now leave me alone" button.
And because I am a human being, I almost feel sorry for the Pygmalion who, instead of building Galatea, accidentally built an unstoppable, irrational, unkillable, immortal Bride of Frankenstein.
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com