The nearest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri,
which is "only" 4.1 light years away, astronomers tell us. The New York Times actually called this star a "neighbor." But the reality is that one light-year is basically an acronym for 5,865,696,000,000 miles, and so Proxima
Centauri is 20 trillion miles or so away. At the speed of 400,000 miles per hour, which is about 16 times the speed of a space shuttle, it would take about 7,000 years to get there. Julius Caesar, if he were able to board a
shuttle at that speed during his lifetime, say in 50 B.C., would not even be halfway there. This is a neighbor? How do you compare?
He wasn't thinking. We have to remind ourselves that neuroscientists have discovered that our minds are physical, that they are controlled by neural circuitry in our brains, composed of trillions of connections most of which were formed before birth and then later enhanced and altered by our experiences. The sex drive is controlled by a miniscule section of this brain circuitry, and the "hydraulic" pressures of it vary between us. If Anthony Weiner took the sex quiz on this site and did so honestly, he would probably be an 8 or a 9. He would have known rationally that sending photos of his crotch to a Seattle college student, among others, was totally senseless, particularly for a Congressman. But his frontal cortex, his "executive center," which for most of us protects us from irrational instinctive urges that we all feel from time to time, was overwhelmed. It was an "emotional capturing," as some neuroresearchers call it. Then he became addicted to the rewarding feelings of the habit and couldn't stop. He needs to read "Batting the Inner Dummy." How do you compare?
Analyses of Jared Lee Loughner, who killed and injured people including
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords center on the fact that he might be a paranoid
schizophrenic, which among other characteristics can take you out of reality under
specific circumstances (you might still be perfectly sane with your dog) and turn you
into a conspiracy theorist. We know that the brain and its emotional systems operate on
a reward and punishment system. A serious trauma can produce punishing disorders
such as schizophrenia that might include a compulsion to shoot people who helped
create the trauma, by rudely brushing us off in the past. Meds alleviate schizophrenia,
but Loughner apparently wasn't taking them. And even if he was taking them, they
might not have worked. It's a mess. Tune in 25 years from now. How do you compare?
No matter how high our position in life, we still need to cope with emotional brain
patterns that may be out of balance. Some of us are able to do it better than
others. But those of us who can't maintain an internal balance usually end up in
trouble...financial, marital, business and personal relationships, the whole gamut.
Former President of Israel Moshe Katsav was convicted on Dec. 30, 2010 of raping
an employee in 1998 when he was Minister of Tourism, and on lesser counts of
sexual harassment involving two other women. When males have a very high power
program, it is usually accompanied by a high sexual program and a touch or more of
psychopathy, which gives them the feeling of being entitled to do almost anything. Only
recently has science begun researching solutions for these otherwise apparently normal
people who wear a "mask of sanity" during their calmer moments. How do you compare?
We have different personalities deep in the anger or challenge mode and can act totally out of character. We share this mode with the higher animals, taking on characteristics primatologists call a "charging display," described by Jane Goodall about a chimp named Hugo:
He would sit, with hair on end, his sides heaving from exertion, a froth of saliva glistening at his half-open mouth, and a glint in his eye that to us looked not far from madness.
Imagine Gibson manifesting this "charging display," but instead of a physical assault lashes out verbally. This is where humans differ from animals in challenge matches involving our status or esteem. We can injure with what we say. In a nutshell, if you see Mel Gibson, try not to get him mad. See how you compare.
I don't know Jessie James, but you don't have to be an expert to figure out that he probably wouldn't make the ideal, faithful marriage partner. So why did Sandra Bullock marry him? Psychologists who specialize in romantic love refer to the limbic brain circuitry that triggers romantic love as the "biosocial romantic attachment mechanism." It's one of the four compartments of our propensity to attach to other people (see Battling the Inner Dummy for the others). Unfortunately, this limbic mechanism is not looking out for our potential happiness, but to attach us to a mate who will produce the strongest possible offspring. Even when we don't plan to have any. Not the greatest indicator of a solid future. I've had trouble with it myself. See how you compare.
Michaele and Tareq snuck in with the crowd at a White House state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They are probably victim of one aspect of the Status Imperative: craving wide recognition and attempting to achieve it regardless of the consequences. The result is that when those addicted to recognition achieve it, it can give them a high, the level of which depends on the level of the boost (courtesy of the brain's dopamine reward system). Fortunately, while most of us like status boosts, we keep our expectations and actions in check. Further, for the Salahis and others like them, no amount of recognition is ever enough. Watch for a book. See how you compare.
David Letterman, after someone tried to blackmail him, admitted he had sex with a number of his show's female staffers over the years. Letterman is obviously high on the power scale and high power usually co-exists with a high sex drive and the need to promulgate sperm. The evolutionary psychology theory is that successful high powered males are impelled to have sex with several mates in order to improve the caliber of our species. Of course we know now that this has turned out to be bullshit. See how you compare
Chris Brown has probably been affected by the "Crayfish Effect," described in the book Power Freaks. Many persons who achieve notable, quick success continue to lead normal lives. Others are vulnerable to becoming almost psychopathic in their belief that they are above and beyond everybody and that in this position they can do almost anything to maintain their high fictional status (to us, not to them), including beating one's spouse who doesn't show Kingly respect. See how you compare
While running for president in 2008. John Edwards was having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who became pregnant. When the baby was born during the campaign, he asked his aide, Andrew Young to take responsibility. He has now finally admitted to the whole happening. Many people high on the power and status program have fantasies of greatness. It's part of the crayfish effect. They believe that they can do anything, get away with anything. See how you compare
HOW DOES THE BRAIN TRICK US INTO SKIRTING REALITY?
WHAT WAS ANTHONY WEINER (no relation) THINKING?
WHAT’S THE STORY WITH JARED LEE LOUGHNER?
FORMER PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL CONVICTED OF SEXUAL OFFENSES. WHY DID HE DO IT?
WHO IS THE REAL MEL GIBSON?
SO WHY DID SANDRA BULLOCK MARRY JESSIE JAMES IN THE FIRST PLACE?
WHY DID TAREQ & MICHAELE SALAHI CRASH THE WHITE HOUSE?
WHY DID DAVID LETTERMAN HAVE SEX WITH HIS ASSISTANTS?
WHY DID CHRIS BROWN BEAT HIS GIRLFRIEND?
WHY DID JOHN EDWARDS FOOL AROUND IN THE FIRST PLACE?