Sex, drugs and late nights: on night owls and psychopaths | Aeon Ideas

Night owls are quite different from morning larks. Morning people are more punctual, perform better in school, and have higher success in the corporate world. Evening people are more risk-taking, creative, extraverted and have higher alcohol and nicotine consumption. They also have laxer moral standards, and an increased desire for casual sex. Indeed, my colleagues and I suspected that the characteristics of people who habitually lurk in the shadows of the darkness could have a relationship with the ‘Dark Triad’ of personality: Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism.

Source: Minna Lyons, Sex, drugs and late nights: on night owls and psychopaths | Aeon Ideas

When the Best Sex Is Extramarital – NYTimes.com

Recent empirical research shows that individuals who exhibit high degrees of narcissism, like Neal, have difficulty integrating love and lust in a single relationship. This is also true of individuals, like Cynthia, who are “avoidantly attached” — they can’t tolerate the vulnerability of being intimate with someone on whom they are dependent, and so they create a self-protective distance from their partner.

Lawrence Josephs, When the Best Sex Is Extramarital – NYTimes.com.

Christopher Lasch’s ‘The Culture of Narcissism’: Written about Baby Boomers, Perpetuated by Millennials | KQED Arts

Perhaps the true narcissists are those who refuse “to accept the fact that a younger generation now possesses many of the previously cherished gratifications of beauty, wealth, power and, particularly, creativity,” according to the psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg, quoted by Lasch. “To be able to enjoy life in a process involving a growing identification with other people’s happiness and achievements is tragically beyond the capacity of narcissistic personalities,” Kernberg continues.

With a definition like that, it’s hard to say Baby Boomer parents who continue to support their boomerang children, financially and emotionally, could truly be considered clinical narcissists. Nor could their millennial children who still look to their parents for guidance.

Adrienne Blaine, Christopher Lasch’s ‘The Culture of Narcissism’: Written about Baby Boomers, Perpetuated by Millennials | KQED Arts.

An Interview with George Scialabba – The New Inquiry

Powerlessness and lack of autonomy do matter to our psychic health: they produce weak, immature selves and a culture of narcissism – the latter a psychoanalytic concept that has little to do with the popular notion of “narcissism” as mere self-absorption or self-importance. We can’t grow to psychic maturity through social relations on just any scale – they have to be on a scale that allows us at least a modest sense of mastery in work and community life and imposes personal, not purely impersonal, obligations. That scale may not be achievable in a mass society.

The people who understand this best at the moment seem to be conservatives of the “paleo” or religious variety, like those around The American Conservative, a very interesting (and quirky) magazine for which I’ve been writing occasionally in the past couple of years. But paleoconservatives often seem to think that the state is the primary agent of massification. Radicals know better (as Lasch did): the modern state is a creature of corporate capitalism, which can only be controlled through what Lasch called “completing the democratic revolution of the 18th century.”

via An Interview with George Scialabba – The New Inquiry.

Jonathan Franzen Continues to Hate Technology – Technology – The Atlantic Wire

Consumer technology products would never do anything this unattractive, because they aren’t people. They are, however, great allies and enablers of narcissism. Alongside their built-in eagerness to be liked is a built-in eagerness to reflect well on us. Our lives look a lot more interesting when they’re filtered through the sexy Facebook interface. We star in our own movies, we photograph ourselves incessantly, we click the mouse and a machine confirms our sense of mastery.

And, since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.

via Jonathan Franzen Continues to Hate Technology – Technology – The Atlantic Wire.

Blog U.: LASCHED – University Diaries – Inside Higher Ed

Hedonism, self-expression, doing your own thing, dancing in the streets, drugs, and sex are a formula for political impotence and a new despotism, in which a highly educated elite through its mastery of the technological secrets of a modern society rule over an indolent population which has traded self-government for self-expression. — Christopher Lasch

Enjoyable reminiscence about Christopher Lasch.

Narcissistic students don’t mind cheating their way to the top

Narcissistic students don’t mind cheating their way to the top

College students who exhibit narcissistic tendencies are more likely than fellow students to cheat on exams and assignments, a new study shows. The results suggested that narcissists were motivated to cheat because their academic performance functions as an opportunity to show off to others, and they didn’t feel particularly guilty about their actions.

The Case Against Happiness – Megan McArdle – The Atlantic

It seems to me that there’s possibly some merit — if we persevere and have the sense to learn from it — in the other-orientation that is (good) parenting. It’s fine to go through life happy, in other words, but I suspect we also want to go through life without becoming big fat self-absorbed jackasses. Children really help in that regard.

Megan McArdle is wondering if parenting offers a worthy antidote to narcissism.