Today I joined DriveNow, a car sharing service from BMW, and tested the new electric BMW ActiveE. As we have argued earlier, electric car sharing is the future of urban mobility. There are only a few of them here in Berlin. The cars all have names, mine was named Isabella (other ActiveE models are named Elizabeth, Elly, Emma, Harald, Jason, Matthew, and Liam). Isabella drives really well, the acceleration is awesome. Delivering an output of 125 kW and max. torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), the BMW ActiveE sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 9 sec., while the lithium-ion battery gives it a range of around 160 km (100 miles).
Isabelle is very silent, and if you stop at the traffic light she is absolutely quiet. I love to drive this car, it feels like a BMW i 3 series from the future. I hope I will see Isabella again 5 minutes after I finished the drive she vanished from the map, which means someone else has booked her. A few hours later, Isabella appeared again in a different district of Berlin. I drove 1 1/2 hours through Berlin, which made about 20 € ( ~17 € per hour, a bit more than a 3D film in the cinema). It was really fun!
It is important to test, use and support new technologies that enable us to cope with the universal problems of global warming, sustainable living, and air pollution in urban areas. Consumption of fossil fuels leads to global warming and ocean acidification at an alarming rate. We can only find a ways out of these difficult, global problems together with the industry. The electric drive components of the BMW ActiveE for instance are a pre-production test version of those designed for the forthcoming BMWi3.
Google Glass and GoPro cameras make it easier than ever to show what it is like to be someone or to do something, because they show the world from a first person perspective and from a deeply subjective point of view. Everybody is able to record his own personal film from his individual point of view. If you ever wondered for example what is it like to take part in a Kayak Championship, then watch these videos and you will get a glimpse of it:
What is alpine skiing or mountain biking like? Watch these videos and you will get a first impression. We say “so this is what it is like to..” if we experience s.th. ourselves, if we are in the same situation, if we travel along the same path.
Why does this help to solve the problem of subjectivity? Because apparently “wearable” camera/camcorders such as helmet cameras show the world from a certain point of view, from the point of view of a particular subject. And as Thomas Nagel said  “..every subjective phenomenon is essentially connected with a single point of view, and it seems inevitable that an objective, physical theory will abandon that point of view”.
And as we have seen earlier, because subjective experience is path dependent we can solve the hard problem of consciousness by simply following the same path, showing for example what it is liketo be an adventurer.
What is subjectivity? According to the “Oxford Companion to Philosophy” , subjectivity is a term that “often refers to unargued or unjustified personal feelings and opinions as opposed to knowledge and justified belief”. It goes on to say that “subjectivity has been argued [..] to be the ultimate obstacle to any reduction of the mental to the physiological. Subjectivity, on this account, is phenomenological experience, or ‘what it is like to be’ a certain conscious being”. And..
“the notion of subjectivity is also used, particularly in multicultural contexts, to underscore the importance of perspective, the fact that everyone sees the world from his or her (or its) individual vantage-point, defined in part by nature, by culture, and by individual experience” 
The vantage-point, the point of view and the first person perspective of the subject can apparently be well understood by cameras which show what the subject sees. What they do not capture directly is what the subject feels. The secret ingedients of subjective experience are emotions. Emotions are, according to Martha Nussbaum , “highly discriminating responses to what is of value and importance”, they are “judgements of value” and indicate which things are important to us and our well being. They also always belong to someone and contain an ineliminate reference to that person, they “view the world from the point of view of my own sheme of goals”. In principle, they “see the world from my point of view”.
Martha Nussbaum argues subjective experience means to make judgements of value. They involve emotions which contain a reference to a certain subject. In general one can speak of subjectivity if there is someone who makes a value judgements, for a example a jury. In sports there are “subjective” disciplines like dancing and figure skating which are assessed and judged by a jury. And there are “objective” disciplines where the results can be measure (was it short/long, light/heavy, slow/fast).
Subjective means to assess values
Subjective: making value judgements (good/bad) and assess values
Objective: making value mesaurements (short/long, ..) and measure values
Subjective means emotions are involved, which contain a reference to the subject
Subjective: in relation to ourselves, emotions involved
Objective: in relation to other things, no emotions involved
Subjective means there is a jury somehwere, which has to make a value judgement
Subjective: if there is a jury somewhere which has to make a judgement
Objective: if there is no jury, if it an be measured physically
So far so good, does it help us to tackle the problem of subjectivity? Yes. The longer the path we follow a certain person, the smaller the difference becomes between watching what a person does and experiencing what a person feels. Consider this film of the Mountain Games Steep Creek Championships. Notice the difference to the small Kayak clips above? There is an additional soundtrack. Sound effects and film music are used in films to represent the character’s emotions .
We do not only see what the actor sees, we also feel it to a certain degree because the sound effects and film music trigger certain emotions. We can see in films what is like to be in a train crash, to cancel your wedding, or to murder someone. And the sound additionally tells us what it feels like to be in that situation. The effect is so profound that humans indeed go to dark rooms to watch humans pretending to be other humans. Films allow us to view the world through the eyes of someone else. When we watch a photo or a film, we see the world through someone else’s eyes – those of the photographer or filmer. In films we learn to see the world differently, since everybody has a unique perspective and an individual point of view. And now we have even the devices that show it.
 Thomas Nagel, “What is it like to be a bat?” in “Mortal Questions”, Cambridge University Press, 1979
 Ted Honderich (Ed.), “Oxford Companion to Philosophy”, Oxford University Press, 1995
 Martha Nussbaum, “Upheavals of Thought”, Cambridge University Press, 2001
 Timothy Corrigan and Particia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction, Bedford/St. Martin’s; 3rd edition, 2012
The video above shows the BMW i vision of BMW how the future could look like. Will it look like this? Today, more people than ever live in urban areas and densely populated cities. Over 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. They breathe polluted air and spend hours on congested streets during the rush hour. Many of the most populated cities, including Beijing, New Delhi, New York, and Mexico city, are unfortunately also the world’s most polluted places and have the world’s worst air quality.
We must find a solution to the challenge of urban mobility, which is one of the largest factors contributing to air pollution and smog today. If we do not find sustainable ways of living with renewable energy, then we will suffocate in smog and drown in waste. In the age of peak oil and global warming we have no other choice. One possible solution is zero-emission transport. The classic bicycle, for instance, which was common in China not long ago was not so bad after all. Another possibility to achieve zero-emission transport is to use modern lightweight electric cars made of Carbon Fiber that emits no pollutants. We have the technology. We only need to use it.
It would be a big step forward if politicians could agree on the following points, or at least on some of them:
prohibit gasoline and diesel cars in large cities, at least between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
offer cheap car sharing with modern electric cars inside large mega cities
support effective lightweight electric cars made of Carbon Fiber
use renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels
It should be possible to prohibit gasoline and diesel cars in large cities, if we support public transport and electric car sharing. Electric car sharing reduces traffic congestion and environmental pollution. Traffic between cities can be handled by high speed trains. People can use electric trains to travel between cities, and shared electric cars to travel around inside. No one owns a train, why does everyone need an own car? Car sharing can be as convenient as owning your own car, especially in large cities. Locate a car with your smartphone and you’re on your way.
Car sharing in big cities is very successful, as the growing number of Car2Go and DriveNow cars and users show. If these car sharing services would only offer electric cars, we would make a big step forward towards the goal of zero-emission transport. We have already electric car sharing solutions in Brussels, San Francisco, and Seoul. Just imagine L.A. or London without cars burning fossil fuels. Electric cars from BMW, Tesla Motors and Smart show us the way to a sustainable future with renewable energy.
The United States Declaration of Independence says that the pursuit of happiness is a basic, unalienable human right: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The pursuit of happiness is indeed something which we all strive to do. Driven by our emotions, we try to pursue what feels good, and try to avoid what feels bad. Animals are biological machines for the pursuit of pleasure and happiness. And these machines are controlled by an ancient control mechanism: emotions. They have evolved over hundreds of millions of years and enable to us to cope with all kinds of environments.
Emotions are an adaptation of animals to solve the problem of movment in fast changing, complex and challenging environments. They tell them what to do when. The main purpose of emotions is to guarantee the fulfillment of the primary directive of the genes: to eat, survive and reproduce, thereby levering the genes into the next generation. The number of different emotions can be staggering. But if we organize them along certain dimensions and distinguish different categories, the situation becomes a bit simpler.
Randolph Nesse proposes goal pursuit for this purpose . If we view life as a sequence of episodes in which oragnisms attempt to reach goals and avoid threats, then according to Nesse, a simple model for goal pursuit goes like this: positive emotions are associated with opportunities, while negative ones are linked to threats. In this model basically everything boils down to pleasure (do it) and pain (don’t do it).
A more detailed version of the table makes the following division of emotions [1,2]:
The interesting thing about this perspective is that negative emotions can be good for us and positive ones can be bad. In certain situations negative emotions can be useful, because they protect us and help us to avoid threats. Positive emotions can be bad if they are maladaptive, if we pursue the wrong opportunities because the emotions do not recognize the right thing [1,2].
The most complex goals arise in social situations and social relationships. Apparently these situations have been so ubiquitous that special emotions have evolved to deal with them. Nesse proposes the following categories for emotions that deal with situations which repeatedly arise in managing social relationships: “trust and friendship after repeated successful exchanges, suspicion and anger before and after the other defects, and anxiety and guilt before and after the self defects” 
 Evolutionary Foundations for psychatric diagnosis,
Randolph M. Nesse and Eric D. Jackson,
chapter 6 in “Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory”
Pieter R. Adriaens, Andreas De Block (Editors)
Oxford University Press, 2011
mal·a·dap·tive – Not providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or situation
The last post was about fast food as maladaptation. The preference for fat and sugar which leads to fast food is not the only maladaptation. The preference for pornography is another. In a way, fast food is indeed like pornography: it is a bit like the real thing, and seems to taste well in the beginning, but is not really satisfying in the end. And it is not good for you. Constant stress is not good for you, either, although it was once useful to be instantly ready for fight or flight responses. A recent book about maladaptation says (Jerome Wakefield, chapter 5, p. 168 ):
“In our own society there are features of ours likely naturally selected, such as a taste for fat and sugar, a fight-or-flight response to stressful situations, shyness about speaking to groups of strangers, and sexual desire not limited to our spouses, that cause us much trouble. In the new environment we have created for ourselves (plentiful food availability, high stress, mass communication, lots of interaction with other people’s spouses) these features, which may previously have helped us survive, cause us problems.”
Our bodies have evolved to eat, survive and reproduce in an environment where food and mates were sparse, where stress and stressful emergencies were unpredictable and rare, and where there was plenty of space and large need for movement. Now we have plenty of food, sit around the whole day in a stressful office, move around in public transport, and watch porn on the internet. It is not surprising that this behavior makes us sick. As Robert Sapolsky has shown , our bodies are not designed for the 21st century and the constant stress of modern life. They are more suited to life of the Pleistocene and in the open Savanna. The constant stress in noisy offices and polluted cities makes us sick and leads to stess related and cardiovascular diseases, for instance ulcers and coronary heart diseases. Zebras don’t get ulcers, as Sapolsky observed cleverly , because they do not sit around in smelly and noisy offices the whole day. If the stress response set ins, they simply run away and outrun the lion.
A changed environment has turned useful adaptation into maladaptations:
Desire for Fat and Sugar (=> Fast Food related diseases)
Stress Response, Need for movement (=> Stess related cardiovascular diseases)
Desire for Mating (=> Sex addiction)
Flexible sexual desire based on imprinting (=> Pornography)
We have all kinds of mental disorders in modern life as well, addictions, depressions, phobias, mental disorders etc.. They are not directly maladaptations, but often byproducts of emotions. Emotions have an evolved function, i.e. they are normally useful and adaptive, but can go “off the rails” in certain cases in wrong environments. Fear and anxiety are natural responses to life-threatening situations. In modern environments there are no longer big cats and wild cave bears. In our world traffic accidents are much more life-threatening than meeting a lion, tiger or leopard. Thus we develop traffic phobias after traffic accidents instead of being frightened of dangerous predators after meeting one  . Mild forms of depression for instance are natural, too. They are a useful response to disengage from useless efforts and failing enterprises , as we have discussed earlier depression is an adaptation to hopeless situations. But in modern environments this “disengagement” mechanism can be maladaptive, for instance if many people just can not find a job (due to bad political or economic conditions) it will make them sick.
Maladaptation is a trait or property required by adaptation that is (or has become) more harmful than helpful. Fast food and addictive junk food can be considered as a consequence of maladaptation. It is not suprising that we crave for sugar and fat. DNA and RNA are made of sugar (they both have a sugar phosphate backbone), and cell membranes are made of fat (i.e. lipids), and both sugar and fat are basic energy sources for the metabolism of the cell. The brain would not work without sugar at all. As carbon based life-forms we need to take in our basic building blocks – carbohydrates and hydrocarbon chain compounds – to maintain our physical integrity. The problem is that the drive to consume sugar and fat was the best genes could construct when food was sparse and hard to obtain. In modern times where food is pervasive and plenty, it is no longer a good adaptation. One could speak of a maladaptation. Genes selected and adapted to survive undernutrition in ancient environments produce overnutrition in modern environments . This maladaptation to the modern world leads to obesity, diabetes and metabolic diseases. And fast food makes money of it. We all know that too much of a good thing makes you sick. Companies naturally produce what sells and tastes well, and not what is good for us. A recent NYTimes article says “As a culture, we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco.” 
We have seen earlier that the most difficult question in philosophy, the what it is like to be question of subjective experience (Thomas Nagel), the explanatory gap (Joseph Levine) and the hard problem of consciousness (David Chalmers), is connected to the most obvious things in everyday life: to ordinary things such as watching films and going to the cinema. By watching films or reading books about the life of a certain person, we can get a glimpse of what it is like to be that person, because we can experience directly what it is like to be in a certain situation or environment. Why hasn’t this been noticed clearly before? Maybe philosophers don’t do what ordinary people do, like going to the cinema for example. Or people who go to the cinema do not think about deep philosophical questions. Or maybe it is just too obvious?
However, while philosophers continue to ponder over deep philosophical questions, technological progress goes ahead and enables people to witness extraordinary things never seen before. Modern versatile compact cameras that can be attached to helmets allow observers to immerse themselves in the world of the actor. They show what it is like to be someone in every detail. Of course we don’t want to know what it is like to be a loser or a coward (although that can be funny, too). We want to see what it is like to live the exciting life of a hero, athlete or adventurer.
These short clips are useful to understand the excitement and the arousal which can be experienced during sports in spectacular and splendid surroundings. They reveal what it means to be a sportsman in extreme and extraordinary environments. To understand more complex emotions which involve the self, like anger, fear, pride and gratitude, it is necessary to follow the individual on a longer path. If we do this, we begin to understand what it is like to be this specific individual person. The principle is simple: we can understand and reproduce path-dependent behavior if we follow the path that led to this behavior – which is why the CV of a person is so important for the human resources department. The deeper we immerse into the history of the person, the better we understand the behavior.
For example if we want to understand what is was to be an outlaw in the adventurous wild West, say Billy the Kid, it is helpful to take a look at his story. If we read a book or to view a film about the life of Billy the Kid, we learn that he had no parents and no home, and was more or less a fugitive. He began to steal because he had nothing to eat. Later he rustled cattle to make a living. He lived in a lawless time of the wild West, surrounded by other outlaws, gunmen and cowboys, and participated in the Lincoln County War. Like other soldiers in wars, he killed people because he was scared that they would kill him. When he was in prison and killed two guards in a jailbreak, he was acting out of fear, since he should be hanged. Viewed in this way, even the life of a legend becomes less mysterious, but still remains fascinating.
We had an interesting discussion in the mathematical oncology group (co-)founded by David Basanta in the last days. David is interested in studying cancer as an evolutionary disease, knows a lot about the evolutionary aspects of cancer, and drawed our attention to some controversial articles from Paul Davies.
Paul Davies suggested last year that cancer might be an evolutionary throwback to the dawn of multicellular life. This year he has proposed again that cancer may be an throwback to ancient biological age, this time together with Charles Lineweaver. While this has caused refusal and anger, especially among professionals and biologists, some of his ideas are fascinating. Can cancer be considered as an “evolutionary throwback to the dawn of multicellular life, when single cells began cooperating and forming rudimentary aggregations”, as Davies argues in his 2011 article? Is, as Davies suggests in his 2012 article, the fact that “cancer cells thrive in low-oxygen conditions” a sign that they are “reverting to an earlier, albeit less efficient, form of metabolism known as Fermentation” used in the ancient era before multicellular life?
The idea that cancer might be an evolutionary throwback to the dawn of multicellular life sounds odd, but maybe it is not completely wrong. Cancer is a genetic disesase and an evolutionary one. Cancer evolves. It’s obvious that the ability of individual cells to proliferate is essential for life, and any deregulation of this process will have dramatic consequences in form of cancer. It is also clear that there is a certain similarity between early multicellular life, embryonic development and cancer: in all cases a single cell develops into a cluster of multiple ones. So where is the evidence? Well, for one there are many other evolutionary systems as well which are subject to evolution. And we do have these kinds of throwbacks in forms of cultural evolution. I wrote about it earlier here and here. Maybe there are indeed some common grounds between different evolutionary systems. I think that some of the ideas mentioned by Davies are not completely wrong. If we consider cultural evolution, there are indeed cases of ‘cultural cancer’ which are like a backslide, throwback or fall-back to earlier, more primitive forms of organization. Some forms of organized crime for example can arise from the ‘stem cell’ of the family. Fascism can emerge from the ‘stem cell’ of the religious or ideological group (think of the Nazis, WWII, etc.). These forms of organization are more primitive and have a lower degree of Differentiation than the surrounding environment, but also much more aggressive. There are indeed some deep similarities.
The idea that cancer is based on a evolutionary throwback to the dawn of multicellular life, when single cells began cooperating and aggregating, fits also well to the hypothesis of cancer stem cells. Scientists have found some striking parallels between “evil” tumor inducing cancer cells cells and “good” stem cells – both have indefinite potential for self-renewal (see Reya et al. Stem cells, cancer, and cancer stem cells). And both have tremendous power, either to re-create or to destroy the system (since self-rejuvenation and cancer are linked). Cancer stem cells are similar to “selfish” single-celled organisms, as they must have existed at the onset of multicellular life.
Yet some biologists are upset that the solution to one of the most difficult problems is so simple. It is indeed a bit like presenting the name of the problem as its solution: a failure in the regulation of multicellularity is a description and more or less a definition of cancer, but not a solution or cure. And of course the genes for multicellularity are as old as multicellular life itself. Obviously the oldest genes will perform the most fundamental tasks in the cell, such as replication and regulation of multicellular development. Therefore it is not difficult to understand why biologists are angry about Paul Davies, he makes wild speculations and lofty conclusions in their playground, claiming to have identified trivial facts as the root cause of cancer without the willingness to make his hands dirty by formulating a full theory and presenting evidence for it. Somehow his “theory” is a bit like Anne Elke and her brontosaurus theory (which is possibly a parody of Stephen Jay Gould’s “punctuated equilibrium” theory). Yet I like dinosaurs, and most biologists agree that there is indeed a relation or at least a similarity between the evolution of multicellular life, embryonic development and cancer. Cancer belongs to life like explosions to rockets. It is a fundamental property of genes to reproduce and proliferate, just as it the fundamental property of rockets to burn and to explode in a controlled way. If Davies is at least partially right, then “cancers” maybe are the rule, and highly organized biological life-forms are the exception.
Unlike Paul Davies Guadian article from 2011, the Guardian article from 2012 places emphasis on an earlier, less efficient, form of metabolism known as fermentation. Do we have any evidence for an altered metabolism in the majority of cancer cells? This would indicate that some malicious cancers are indeed similar to an alien or ancient life-form based on a distinct type of metabolism. In our discussion, Joe Juliano mentioned a paper from Mark Vincent, Cancer: A de-repression of a default survival program common to all cells which supports this views. According to the hallmarks of cancer paper from Hanahan and Weinberg (2011) the answer seems to be yes: reprogramming of energy metabolism seems to be a hallmark of cancer. It is one of the two new hallmarks proposed by Hanahan and Weinberg to extend the classic hallmarks of cancer, the ‘six organizing principles’: an altered form of metabolism and a kind of immune or defense system.
Sustaining proliferative signaling
Evading growth suppressors (insensitivity to anti-growth signals)
Both are typical properties of systems, sub-systems for self-maintenance and self-protection. Will the (evolutionary) system approach be helpful in our attempt to understand cancer? Can evolutionary theory help us to understand the essential aspects of cancer? I think no theory or idea is too weird or too odd if it it helps to fight this terrible disease. At least we should follow every path, even if it turns out to be a blind alley in the end.
How will life in the future look like, when organisms are no longer short-lived? What is the burden of eternal life? Maybe eternal life would be boring, since “everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough”, as Shaw argues. Or maybe quite the contrary, life would be infinitely interesting: “If you should turn out to be a person of infinite capacity, you will no doubt find life infinitely interesting”.
Maybe such long-lived life-forms will try to seek perfection in art and science. They would scan all available webpages and books and absorb the contained knowledge. Maybe they will have a curious, playful attitude and play with artificial worlds and artificial life-forms just as our children are playing with dolls. Shaw argues “ever since men existed, children have played with dolls”. Wait – a playful entity that crawls all webpages and scans all books – we have got that already, do we?
In Shaw’s play, the characters finally create artificial men in a laboratory, who soon kill their creator. What do you think, if we create real artificial intelligence and synthetic life-forms one day, would it be like Skynet trying to kill us? Would it be bored like Marvin, the paranoid android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Or would it find life infinitely interesting?
H.G. Wells said in his article “The discovery of the future” (Nature 65, 326–331, 1902) that the question what comes after man would be “the most fascinating and the most insoluble question in the whole world”..
“This fact that man is not final is the great unmanageable, disturbing fact that arises upon us in the scientific discovery of the future, and to my mind, at any rate, the question what is to come after man is the most persistently fascinating and the most insoluble question in the whole world.”
..and he continues to say that the best is yet to come and humans as we know them are only the beginning of a beginning:
“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all that the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening. We cannot see, there is no need for us to see, what this world will be like when the day has fully come. We are creatures of the twilight. But it is out of our race and lineage that minds will spring, that will reach back to us in our littleness to know us better than we know ourselves, and that will reach forward fearlessly to comprehend this future that defeats our eyes.”
The October edition of Scientific American has an article named The Wisdom of Psychopaths from Kevin Dutton , which is an adapted excerpt from his book of the same name . Prof. Kevin Dutton is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK.
The article and the book argue that traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers – an exaggerated sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of empathy and remorse and the skilled manipulation of others – are also shared by many successful business leaders. Are psychopathic attributes like amoral behavior and zero degrees of empathy indeed helpful to be successful in business, sports and politics?
The story of Lance Armstrong comes to mind: he denied any claims of doping for years and continued to say that he is innocent, and yet used one of the most systematic forms of doping ever. He lied, cheated and doped repeatedly, for years. Although he used doping in the most sophisticated, systematic and professionalized way that sport has ever seen – the official USADA doping report talks of a systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy – he even sued others that accused him of doping. And won. And yet after the truth was finally unearthed and the world recognized what really happened, he showed no sign of remorse or guilt, as it is common among psychopaths.
His German competitor Jan Ullrich is not better, he has done the same things: intensive doping, repeated lies and law suits against people who accused him of doping. He broke the rules to win (he cheated and doped continuously), and to hide the cheating he broke even more rules (he betrayed and lied). It looks like it was not possible to win without cheating. As we argued earlier, fraud, cheating and betrayal can be seen as an adapation to certain situations: fraud is an adaptation to domains where it is impossible to achieve a goal with honesty and truth. They happen in science as well, although honesty and truth are among the highest values here.
So what can psychopaths teach us about success? They tell us that honesty, selflessness and friendliness are not helpful if you want to be successful in business or sports. If you really want to win then psychopathic qualities can be useful and advance your career. As Dutton argues, psychopaths have a certain set of mental attributes and personality traits that gives them a crucial advantage, including complete ruthlessness, fearlessness, and shamelessness, as well as massive egocentricity, superficial charm, and surprising persuasiveness, combined with a total lack of conscience, remorse and empathy. Together with physical aggression, violence and impulsivity this leads to law-breaking criminal behavior on the one hand, together with intelligence to success in business and sports on the other hand. In the end, the truth may be unearthed, though.
So it seems like business leaders, world champions and serial killers share a mindset. If you meet someone who is spectacularly self-centered and repeatedly caught lying over and over again, then you might have encountered a successful business man, a world champion – or a serial killer.