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 Adam and Chimpanzees

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PostSubject: Adam and Chimpanzees   Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:12 pm

What made Adam like chimpanzees?
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Have you listened to the call Adam made to the Anarchist Radio show? I think Adam understood human society and culture as nothing more than complex animal behavior (which is fairly accurate) and he liked to look at chimp society in relation to human society. Chimps are our closest genetic relatives, so I think he was interested in them because he believed that they represent what humans might be like without the contamination of human culture. He stated in the radio call that all humans are born in a "chimp-like state" and must be socially conditioned to function in human society.

This is what his friend wrote about the things they discussed regarding his interest in chimps and chimp society. You will probably notice that he talked about chimps in the context of human behavior because the two subjects were closely related in his mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:51 pm

He drew parallels between himself and chimpanzees.

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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:35 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Have you listened to the call Adam made to the Anarchist Radio show? I think Adam understood human society and culture as nothing more than complex animal behavior (which is fairly accurate) and he liked to look at chimp society in relation to human society. Chimps are our closest genetic relatives, so I think he was interested in them because he believed that they represent what humans might be like without the contamination of human culture. He stated in the radio call that all humans are born in a "chimp-like state" and must be socially conditioned to function in human society.

This is what his friend wrote about the things they discussed regarding his interest in chimps and chimp society. You will probably notice that he talked about chimps in the context of human behavior because the two subjects were closely related in his mind.
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Adam envied chimpanzees for their empathy but he never showed it himself. Why Adam was unempathic? Is it because he was digusted of humans?
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:18 am

PickYourDoom wrote:
Adam envied chimpanzees for their empathy but he never showed it himself. Why Adam was unempathic? Is it because he was digusted of humans?
I don't know that Adam was completely devoid of empathy. It's likely that Adam had Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. One of the symptoms is an impaired sense of empathy, although this can vary from person to person. In Adam's case it's clear that something about his experience of empathy deviated from the norm but he also displayed a pattern of concern and a sense of responsibility for other people's feelings.

The same friend that I quoted above also made comments about Adam and his capacity for empathy. (c. 2011/2012)
Friend of Adam Lanza wrote:
Empathy: On one instance in which we discussed consideration for one another in terms of making/cancelling plans l recall that Adam may have expressed that he was disappointed that the way he was caused me to feel slighted at times, Emotion wasn't something expressed in particularly verbose or grandiose fashion but it was expressed. He was capable of laughing, smiling, and making jokes though always in a dry fashion as neither of us would realty be overly expressive.

An e-mail he wrote to an unnamed person seemed to suggest that he was concerned that he was not treating his friend well enough, even though the friend told him not to worry about it. (Nov. 2010)
Adam Lanza wrote:
It’s amazing how fast time passes. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been this long. I’m sorry about my mood over the summer. I was more depressed than I had ever been before. When I apologized for it, you said that I wasn’t behaving disrespectfully and that I never had been, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as kind toward you as you deserve. I don’t know how much it ever seemed like it, but I’ve always really appreciated your friendship. I’ve pretty much been a complete loner throughout my life but I’m sure that even if I had more friends, you’d still be my favorite person I’ve met. I’d like it if we could do something together again sometime. . . . Please email back and we could figure out something amazing.

He also wrote this e-mail to his mother after a disagreement. It seems that their relationship was strained because of his lack of emotional expressiveness but it is clearly an attempt to provide comfort and practical advice despite his difficulties. (Aug. 2008)
Adam Lanza wrote:
You do not seem to understand that I was attempting to comfort you with what I consider to be a maxim with which to live. You unfortunately probably still do not understand what I mean. As a disclaimer: I type nothing in this that is in a tone that is condescending, vindictive, malicious, snide, malignant, or any synonym that you can think of. I mean well.

If you believe that you wasted your life, as you seem to have insinuated, you will gain nothing from regretting it and will only depress yourself; you cannot change anything from the past. There is something that I can assure you of that will always be true: it does not matter if you live for the next one year, five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years or even 100 years; the day before you die you will regret ever worrying about your life instead of thinking of what you want to do.

Every new year that you do live, you will regret not having started anything that you wanted to do the year prior, only regretting the past more.

What I mean is that you should think of what you want to do today; not starting next year or next month, but today. Thinking that you are not going to be able to do anything in the future will only ensure that fate. Also thinking that you are too “old” is going to ensure the same fate.

It is not as though I do not mean that you are homeless and begging; I would spend my life savings to prevent that out of obligation for what you have done for me. My personality is merely inherently unmoving; I will not be upset over something that you cannot change. And you should not be upset either. What you should do is think about what you want to do.

I also want to mention that I purchased something two weeks ago on Newegg to double your computer’s memory without even saying anything until now. I do not try to avoid doing anything for you as you seem to think. I am glad that I was born, and I appreciate your having taken care of me. (It is not my fault if you have not detected as much of an increase in speed as I would have liked, however; I blame its outdated processor. I would change that if I could, but it’s not possible to do so for your model.) Please read the first paragraph again.

According to what his father told a journalist, “one Christmas, Adam told his parents that he wanted to use his savings to buy toys for needy children, and Peter took him shopping for them.”

I think he struggled with expressing empathy and emotion but I do not think that Adam was completely incapable of feeling empathy toward others.

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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:30 am

[quote="sscc"]
PickYourDoom wrote:
Adam envied chimpanzees for their empathy but he never showed it himself. Why Adam was unempathic? Is it because he was digusted of humans?
I don't know that Adam was completely devoid of empathy. It's likely that Adam had Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. One of the symptoms is an impaired sense of empathy, although this can vary from person to person. In Adam's case it's clear that something about his experience of empathy deviated from the norm but he also displayed a pattern of concern and a sense of responsibility for other people's feelings.

I have looked at some older post about Adam's mental illnesses. Some users say Adam suffered from delusions and possibly could be schizophrenic. I have also heard his doctor who diagnosed him with Aspergers was arrested and giving one of her patients drugs which were harmful. Do you think the doctor hid evidence or misdiagnosed him?























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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:56 am

PickYourDoom wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
PickYourDoom wrote:
Adam envied chimpanzees for their empathy but he never showed it himself. Why Adam was unempathic? Is it because he was digusted of humans?
I don't know that Adam was completely devoid of empathy. It's likely that Adam had Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. One of the symptoms is an impaired sense of empathy, although this can vary from person to person. In Adam's case it's clear that something about his experience of empathy deviated from the norm but he also displayed a pattern of concern and a sense of responsibility for other people's feelings.
I have looked at some older post about Adam's mental illnesses. Some users say Adam suffered from delusions and possibly could be schizophrenic. I have also heard his doctor who diagnosed him with Aspergers was arrested and giving one of her patients drugs which were harmful. Do you think the doctor hid evidence or misdiagnosed him?
I believe that it's a strong possibility that he was on the autistic spectrum because of symptoms unrelated to empathy but I didn't say that Adam definitely had Asperger syndrome because he was evaluated by several doctors and they did not all definitively agree on that diagnosis. Even Nancy had doubts about the diagnosis. His most debilitating symptoms were related to anxiety and OCD inspired rituals and all the doctors who evaluated him in his teen years agreed on that. The one doctor that made the Asperger diagnosis was the one you referred to, who was accused of sexual relationships and behavior with patients and whose recommendations for Adam's treatment were later assessed to be therapeutically inappropriate because he recommended that Adam be excused from attending school indefinitely which set the course for his social withdrawal and supported Nancy's inclination to coddle him rather than force him to overcome his issues. I don't think he hid evidence but I don't think he was a very good doctor. Of course, since none of the professionals were aware of Adam's possible hallucinations, we will never know if any of his diagnoses were accurate.

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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:23 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
PickYourDoom wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
PickYourDoom wrote:
Adam envied chimpanzees for their empathy but he never showed it himself. Why Adam was unempathic? Is it because he was digusted of humans?
I don't know that Adam was completely devoid of empathy. It's likely that Adam had Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. One of the symptoms is an impaired sense of empathy, although this can vary from person to person. In Adam's case it's clear that something about his experience of empathy deviated from the norm but he also displayed a pattern of concern and a sense of responsibility for other people's feelings.
I have looked at some older post about Adam's mental illnesses. Some users say Adam suffered from delusions and possibly could be schizophrenic. I have also heard his doctor who diagnosed him with Aspergers was arrested and giving one of her patients drugs which were harmful. Do you think the doctor hid evidence or misdiagnosed him?
I believe that it's a strong possibility that he was on the autistic spectrum because of symptoms unrelated to empathy but I didn't say that Adam definitely had Asperger syndrome because he was evaluated by several doctors and they did not all definitively agree on that diagnosis. Even Nancy had doubts about the diagnosis. His most debilitating symptoms were related to anxiety and OCD inspired rituals and all the doctors who evaluated him in his teen years agreed on that. The one doctor that made the Asperger diagnosis was the one you referred to, who was accused of sexual relationships and behavior with patients and whose recommendations for Adam's treatment were later assessed to be therapeutically inappropriate because he recommended that Adam be excused from attending school indefinitely which set the course for his social withdrawal and supported Nancy's inclination to coddle him rather than force him to overcome his issues. I don't think he hid evidence but I don't think he was a very good doctor. Of course, since none of the professionals were aware of Adam's possible hallucinations, we will never know if any of his diagnoses were accurate.
What classifies Adam as autistic instead of schizophrenia or OCD. Perhaps a comorbidity?
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:00 pm

PickYourDoom wrote:
What made Adam like chimpanzees?

Perhaps is the same thing that makes me passionate about the mechanical aspects of relationships rather than expressing empathy, sharing a bond with somebody. He used to analyze the social behavior of other animals (and chimpanzees are good at socializing) because maybe he thought that we could learn from them how to solve many problems which plague humanity as a whole.
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:58 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
PickYourDoom wrote:
What made Adam like chimpanzees?

Perhaps is the same thing that makes me passionate about the mechanical aspects of relationships rather than expressing empathy, sharing a bond with somebody. He used to analyze the social behavior of other animals (and chimpanzees are good at socializing) because maybe he thought that we could learn from them how to solve many problems which plague humanity as a whole.
What did Adam try to achieve by investigating the case of Travis the Chimp? Find the reason of how was he having homicidial thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:37 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Do you think that Adam Lanza related his own life/experience with Travis the Chimp?

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He talks about civilization/society causing Travis to attack.

He relates Travis to a teenage mall shooter.




[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Here is the transcript of that call Adam made:

JOHN ZERZAN: Here we go... hello. We got the collapsible headphones here but, uh, we’re back.

SHOW RUNNER: [Unintelligible]... we’ve got Greg on the phone.

ZERZAN: Oh, Greg, okay, how’s it going?

ADAM LANZA: Hi, good. Um. I’m a fan of your writing. Um.

ZERZAN: Thank you.

LANZA: I’m sorry to mess up such an old news story but I couldn’t find anything that you said about the topic, and it seems relevant to your interests, so I thought I would bring up Travis the Chimp, do you remember him?

ZERZAN: I don’t!

LANZA: Well, he was the highly domesticated chimpanzee who lived in a suburban home in Stamford, Connecticut.

SHOW RUNNER: Oh, yeah.

ZERZAN: Oh.

LANZA: And he was raised just like a human child, starting from the week he was born. By the time that he was fourteen years old, which would be somewhere around age twenty in human years.

ZERZAN: Uh-huh.

LANZA: um, he slept in a bed, he took his own baths, he dressed himself, he brushed his teeth with an electric toothbrush.

ZERZAN: [laughs] Really? When was this?

LANZA: Um. Well, this happened in early 2009.

ZERZAN: Oh.

SHOW RUNNER: Oh.

LANZA: Um.

ZERZAN: Uh-huh?

LANZA: He ate his meals at a table and enjoyed human foods like ice cream and he used a remote control to watch television and liked baseball games. And he even used a computer to look at pictures on the internet.

ZERZAN: Huh!

LANZA: And, [chuckles] it goes without saying that Travis was very overweight. He was two hundred pounds when he should have been around the low hundreds.

ZERZAN: Mmhm.

LANZA: And he was actually taking Xanax.

SHOW RUNNER: [laughs]

ZERZAN: Amazing.

LANZA: I couldn’t find any information about why he was taking it, but it just seems to say a lot that he was given it at all. And, basically, I think Travis wasn’t really any different than a mentally handicapped human child.

ZERZAN: Hmm.

LANZA: But anyway, one day in February 2009, he was acting very agitated, and at some point grabbed the car, his owner’s car keys, went outside and started beeping from car to car, apparently wanting to go for a car ride, and he was acting very aggressively, so his owner called her friend over to get her to help him to calm down and go back inside, and once she arrived he immediately attacked her and his owner tried to stop him but couldn’t and she even resorted to stabbing him with a knife, but nothing worked. And she said that after she stabbed him he looked at her as if to say, “Why’d you do that to me, Mom?” Because apparently that was what the relationship was like, no different than between a human mother and a human child.

ZERZAN: Hmm.

LANZA: So after the stabbing, she called the police, who arrived twelve minutes after the attack, at which point her friend was pretty close to dead. And once the cruiser came up, Travis went over to it, tried to open the locked passenger door. He smashed off the side-view mirror, went over to the driver’s door, opened it, and the cop shot him. He fled back into the house, where he went to his playroom and bled to death.

ZERZAN: Hmm...

LANZA: And um, [chuckles] this might not seem very relevant, but I’m bringing it up because afterward, everyone was condemning his owner for saying how irresponsible she was for raising a chimp like it was a child. And that she should have known something like this would happen, because chimps aren’t supposed to be living in civilization, they’re supposed to be living in the wild, among each other.

ZERZAN: Mhmm.

LANZA: But, their criticism stops there and the implication is that there’s no way anything could have gone wrong in his life if he had been living in this civilization as a human rather than a chimp.

ZERZAN: Ah, indeed.

LANZA: I’m so interested in Travis, um, because he brings up questions about this whole process of child-raising. Um.

ZERZAN: Yeah.

LANZA: Civilization isn’t something which just happens to gently exist without us having to do anything, because every newborn child, human child, is born in a chimp-like state, and civilization is only sustained by conditioning them for years on end so that they’ll accept it for what it is. And since we’ve gone through this conditioning, we can observe a human family raising a human child, and I’m sure that even you have trouble intuitively seeing it as something unnatural, but when we see a chimp in that position, we visually know that there’s something profoundly wrong with the situation. And it’s easy to say there’s something wrong with it simply because it’s a chimp, but what’s the real difference between us and our closest relatives? Travis wasn’t an untamed monster at all. Um, he wasn’t just feigning domestication, he was civilized. Um, he was able to integrate into society, he was a chimp actor when he was younger, and his owner drove him around the city frequently in association with her towing business, where he met many different people, and got along with everyone. If Travis had been some nasty monster all his life, it would have been widely reported, but to the contrary, it seems like everyone who knew him said how shocked they were that Travis had been so savage, because they knew him as a sweet child. And there were two isolated incidents early in his life when he acted aggressively, but summarizing them would take too long, so basically I’ll just say that he didn’t act really any differently than a human child would, and the people who would use that as an indictment against having chimps live as humans do wouldn’t apply the same thing to humans, so it’s just kind of irrelevant.

ZERZAN: Mhmm.

LANZA: But anyway, look what civilization did to him: it had the same exact effect on him as it has on humans. He was profoundly sick, in every sense of the term, and he had to resort to these surrogate activities like watching baseball, and looking at pictures on a computer screen, and taking Xanax. He was a complete mess.

ZERZAN: Mhm.

LANZA: And his attack wasn’t simply because he was a senselessly violent, impulsive chimp. Um, which was how his behavior was universally portrayed. Um, immediately before his attack, he had desperately been wanting his owner to drive him somewhere, and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, would be that some little thing he experienced was the last straw, and he was overwhelmed by the life that he had, and he wanted to get out of it by changing his environment, and the best way that he knew how to deal with that was by getting his owner to drive him somewhere else.

ZERZAN: Yeah.

LANZA: And when his owner’s, owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so he attacked her, and anyone else who approached them. And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best.

ZERZAN: Mmm-hmm.

LANZA: His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence that you bring up on your show every week

ZERZAN: Mmm...

LANZA: committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation for, and

ZERZAN: No.

LANZA: and actual humans. I just don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that.

ZERZAN: Yeah, yeah.

LANZA: And

ZERZAN: Wow. Thank you, Greg.

LANZA: Yeah, I

ZERZAN: That’s quite a story. Yeah, that’s, uh, really apropos, isn’t it.

LANZA: Yeah.

ZERZAN: Travis the Chimp.

LANZA: It’s just that I’m a little surprised that I never heard you bring it up at all because [chuckles] maybe I’m just seeing connections where there aren’t any, but

ZERZAN: Not, I think not, no, I just, I didn’t catch that one, I didn’t, uh, maybe I was out of the country or something, I don’t know but I missed it. Thanks very much, man.

LANZA: Thank you. Bye.

ZERZAN: Take care. Wow. Very well articulated, I think. Okay, well, uh, uh, I guess we better move on

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

The part that Adam relates to I think is this:

Civilization isn’t something which just happens to gently exist without us having to do anything, because every newborn child, human child, is born in a chimp-like state, and civilization is only sustained by conditioning them for years on end so that they’ll accept it for what it is. And since we’ve gone through this conditioning, we can observe a human family raising a human child, and I’m sure that even you have trouble intuitively seeing it as something unnatural, but when we see a chimp in that position, we visually know that there’s something profoundly wrong with the situation. And it’s easy to say there’s something wrong with it simply because it’s a chimp, but what’s the real difference between us and our closest relatives? Travis wasn’t an untamed monster at all. Um, he wasn’t just feigning domestication, he was civilized. Um, he was able to integrate into society, he was a chimp actor when he was younger, and his owner drove him around the city frequently in association with her towing business, where he met many different people, and got along with everyone. If Travis had been some nasty monster all his life, it would have been widely reported, but to the contrary, it seems like everyone who knew him said how shocked they were that Travis had been so savage, because they knew him as a sweet child. And there were two isolated incidents early in his life when he acted aggressively, but summarizing them would take too long, so basically I’ll just say that he didn’t act really any differently than a human child would, and the people who would use that as an indictment against having chimps live as humans do wouldn’t apply the same thing to humans, so it’s just kind of irrelevant. But anyway, look what civilization did to him: it had the same exact effect on him as it has on humans. He was profoundly sick, in every sense of the term, and he had to resort to these surrogate activities like watching baseball, and looking at pictures on a computer screen, and taking Xanax. He was a complete mess. And his attack wasn’t simply because he was a senselessly violent, impulsive chimp. Um, which was how his behavior was universally portrayed. Um, immediately before his attack, he had desperately been wanting his owner to drive him somewhere, and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, would be that some little thing he experienced was the last straw, and he was overwhelmed by the life that he had, and he wanted to get out of it by changing his environment, and the best way that he knew how to deal with that was by getting his owner to drive him somewhere else. And when his owner’s, owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so he attacked her, and anyone else who approached them. And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best. His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence that you bring up on your show every week, committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation for. I just don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
The part that Adam relates to I think is this...
I think you're probably right and I think there are also some statements here which I still wonder about.

These bits in particular stand out to me as Adam possibly referring to himself and how people might react if he went on a killing spree.
Adam Lanza wrote:
[E]very newborn child, human child, is born in a chimp-like state, and civilization is only sustained by conditioning them for years on end so that they’ll accept it for what it is
...
Travis wasn’t an untamed monster at all. Um, he wasn’t just feigning domestication, he was civilized. Um, he was able to integrate into society...If Travis had been some nasty monster all his life, it would have been widely reported, but to the contrary, it seems like everyone who knew him said how shocked they were that Travis had been so savage, because they knew him as a sweet child.
...
But anyway, look what civilization did to him: it had the same exact effect on him as it has on humans. He was profoundly sick, in every sense of the term, and he had to resort to these surrogate activities like watching baseball, and looking at pictures on a computer screen, and taking Xanax. He was a complete mess. And his attack wasn’t simply because he was a senselessly violent, impulsive chimp. Um, which was how his behavior was universally portrayed.
...
And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best. His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence that you bring up on your show every week, committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation for. I just don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that.

The attempt at an explanation of Travis' attack is more ambiguous to me. It makes me wonder if he was referring to himself and, if so, how it applied to his own life.
Adam Lanza wrote:
Um, immediately before his attack, he had desperately been wanting his owner to drive him somewhere, and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, would be that some little thing he experienced was the last straw, and he was overwhelmed by the life that he had, and he wanted to get out of it by changing his environment, and the best way that he knew how to deal with that was by getting his owner to drive him somewhere else. And when his owner’s, owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so he attacked her, and anyone else who approached them.
What was Adam's last straw? Did Adam hope to escape his life of domestication? I can't figure out if his explanation here is projection of some of his own feelings or whether he is strictly referring to Travis's attack. We know that earlier in the call, Adam characterized Travis and his owner's relationship as that of mother and son, so is Adam trying to say something about his relationship with Nancy here? Did he want something from her that she couldn't give him? Was she trying to get him to do something that he didn't want to do? I think it's likely that I'm over-analyzing this but it probably still applies to his life in a broader sense, in that he was overwhelmed by his life as human who was not equipped to handle life in this society and that something had to give.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Do you think that Adam Lanza related his own life/experience with Travis the Chimp?
I have listened to the call many times and I believe that to Adam, Travis was a perfect example of how the influence of modern human society can drive an otherwise healthy creature to illness and even to a violent breakdown. I think he was certainly talking about himself and possibly even other mass shooters, while also attempting to illustrate that Travis' attack was an indication that humans are overly saturated in cultural conditioning that does more harm than good because we are living a lifestyle that we were never meant to live. I think he applied it to himself but I believe that he was applying this concept to all of modern society, with Travis (and mass shooters like himself) being an example of the most extreme sort of reaction to society's ills.

Adam directly addressed this concept in what seems to be his final post on the Columbine forum.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I could go in a hundred different ways with this, but I'll try to make it as entirely relevant to AS55's post as I can, instead of rambling about chimpanzees and who-knows-what-else.

Columbine wasn't an isolated incident: it was the apex of a string of school shootings which began increasing with Lu Gang and Wayne Lo in the early 1990s. Despite American students committing fewer school shootings in 2000-2009 than they did in 1990-1999, the rate of attempts actually increased beyond their pre-Columbine level. Columbine caused Americans to begin taking the potential for school shootings seriously, and thus many attempts which were expected to have been carried out have instead been prevented. And since 1999, there has been an increase in foreign school massacres committed in countries where, as Sabratha's Bullet Time phrases it, there isn't the "operational history" of Columbine.

In any event, it's myopic to telescope on school shootings when they've comprised a small percentage of the larger trend of mass murders, which are carried out in all sorts of contexts; but they always occur in contexts which involve some permutation of alienation, which has been part and parcel with societal "progress". This relationship can be seen with the Chinese mass stabbings. There were some sparse incidents throughout the 20th century, but the rate began to rise in the 1990s and erupted in the early 2000s, corresponding to China's rapid "economic development", culminating in the infamous spate of elementary school stabbings of 2010.

American mass murders were less prevalent before Richard Speck precipitated their rise in 1966. My best estimate for the -absolute- minimum amount of mass murders in the US since 1966 is 960. I would be surprised if there weren't a minimum of somewhere around 1500 in reality, but we'll just vaguely say that there have been over 1000. If you were trying to measure alienation in a society, what could be a more blatant indication? And it's glib to dismiss them as not being indicative of anything just because there have been over a thousand of them instead of over a hundred thousand, or however many you think are necessary, because mass murdering is so ridiculously over-the-top of a response that very few people are prone to do it under any circumstances. But just look at how many fans you can find for all different types of mass murderers ”not just the Reb & VoDkA bunch”, and beyond these fans are countless more people who can sympathize with them; and beyond these are millions more who never think of relating the circumstances of their lives to anyone else but instead just go through the motions of life incessantly dissatisfied with their environment.

Thinking of this society as the default state of existence is the reason why you think that humans would be "not well" for "no reason whatsoever". Civilization has not been present for 99% of the existence of hominids, and the only way that it's ever sustained is by indoctrinating each new child for years on end. The "wellness" that you speak of is solely defined by a child's submission to this process and their subsequent capacity to propagate civilization themselves. When civilization exists in a form where all forms of alienation (among many other things) are rampant, as can be seen in the most recent incarnation within the last fifty years which AS55 talked about, new children will end up "not well" in all sorts of ways. You don't even have to touch a topic as cryptic as mass murder to see an indication of this: you can look at a single symptom as egregious as the proliferation of antidepressants. And look in your own life. You've said that you're afflicted by unrelenting anxiety and that you're afraid to leave your house. Do you really think that the way you feel is not symptomatic of anything other than your own inexplicable defectiveness?

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(You can see that he repeated almost word for word what he previously stated to Zerzan about sustaining society through indoctrination of children and that he included a link to a text written by Zerzan which details evidence of the psychological damage that modern society may be causing to humanity).

Adam said that society makes people sick so it's hard to figure out whether he believed that he was only impaired because he lived in society that was not suited to humanity. He says that Travis "wasn't really any different than a mentally handicapped human child," so did he see himself as a handicapped or dysfunctional human being that snapped because he was more vulnerable to society's harmful influence than others or did he see himself as a normal primate that was forced into a lifestyle that he was incapable of dealing with, which is what made him dysfunctional? I don't know that but I do know that he said he should have been born as a chimp and would have preferred to live in a hunter gatherer society, so I assume that he believed that he would have been okay if he had not been born into this modern human society.

I wonder whether Adam's attack was truly related to anything he said about society and if so, did he think he was so damaged by society that the attack was an inevitable consequence which he was ultimately not wholly responsible for (as in a chimp attacking humans because he was forced to live as a human)? Or did he feel that he was consciously choosing to be responsible for an attack on society, to strike back at the system that he perceived to be harming him, choosing an elementary school because it was a symbol of cultural and societal indoctrination?

I know that as usual, I have probably written way more than anyone will bother to read but apparently, I can't help it. I blame my cultural conditioning. monkey
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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:13 pm

PickYourDoom wrote:
What classifies Adam as autistic instead of schizophrenia or OCD. Perhaps a comorbidity?
He definitely had some sort of developmental disorder and OCD so there was definitely more than one diagnosis. Those diagnosed with autism are frequently diagnosed with mood, anxiety or attention-deficit disorders so this is not unusual.
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Schizophrenia can also exist alongside autism but this is not common and he never expressed any relevant symptoms when he was visiting doctors, although he did ask one doctor about the symptoms of schizophrenia when he was a teenager. Adam's father, Peter Lanza, has said that he now believes the symptoms resembling autism and the resulting diagnosis may have masked something like schizophrenia because Adam's functioning was never normal and they expected him to behave oddly.

In terms of what classified Adam as autistic, here is what the first psychiatrist said.
Dr. Fox wrote:
AL is a 13 year old boy who I have evaluated on 9/30/05, 10/18/05, and 11/15/05. He meets the DSM IV criteria for Asperger’s Disorder. AL presents with a significant social impairment including lack of peer relationships, avoidance of eye to eye gaze, lack of understanding of how to play or interact with peers. He avoids peer interaction and is very anxious around strangers. He lacks empathy and tends to employ a very rigid systematic thought process. He demonstrates intense emotional rage when his systematic world is threatened due to his extreme need for routine. He tends to take a very literal interpretation of written and verbal material. Concepts like metaphor, symbolism and intangible references are exceedingly difficult for him and can cause significant distress. He tends to have an overly precise quality of speech and tends to not comprehend emotional expression in others. He is phobic [of] physical contact, even with his own mother who has been his most constant and consistent individual in his life.

This is what happened with Yale psychiatrist when he was evaluated.
Office of the Child Advocate Report wrote:
The Yale psychiatrist’s initial report observed that AL presented as a “pale, gaunt, and awkward young adolescent standing rigidly with downcast gaze and declining to shake hands.”

AL’s mother told the Yale psychiatrist that he used to look at people but did not anymore. AL then asked rhetorically, “Why should I have to.” When the doctor explained all of the information that a person could learn by looking at a facial expression, such as a smile, AL stated that people could interpret smiles differently: “Some primates smile when they are frightened.”

When asked for three magic wishes, AL could not think of any and instead he said that “he would wish that whatever was granting the wishes would not exist.”

“Asked, ‘What is a friend?’ AL replied, ‘It is difficult to define -- in whose culture do you refer?’ Told ‘AL’s,’ he replied, ‘I do not know.’ Asked whether he would like to have more friends, AL said no.” According to the report, AL displayed a variety of rigid, controlling, and avoidant behaviors including his refusal to open doors for himself because he did not like to touch the doorknobs, and his worries about contamination of grease, dirt, and dust. AL was reported to be placing limits on his mother’s behavior (e.g. by not allowing her to lean on things because it was improper). He had a variety of food rituals as well, related to texture. The doctor noted that AL had experienced a variety of marked changes in seventh grade, including no longer talking on the phone, using e-mail, or engaging in outdoor activities, and he had become increasingly socially withdrawn and reclusive. AL reportedly had not had any psychological testing.

The doctor noted that it was “difficult to interpret” AL’s accelerated social withdrawal. However, the doctor considered that a “plausible explanation” might be that “social engagement (largely focused on activities) in the middle school years makes relatively few demands for social sophistication...As [AL’s] peers moved into early adolescence and middle school, the demands of social engagement changed dramatically, leaving AL feeling more inadequate or ostracized, setting off a cycle of withdrawal and avoidance.”

The tone and level of urgency in the doctor’s report appears a testament to his degree of concern. He references the use of medication to relieve symptoms, but is unclear whether AL would be willing to engage in efforts to reduce his anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior. The doctor’s notes include the information that AL had been seen by the community psychiatrist for 10 visits and that he had urged anti-anxiety medication, which AL refused.

The psychiatrist stated that AL fell somewhere in the Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism Spectrum and he recommended further evaluation to clarify cognitive, social, and linguistic strengths and weakness. Psychological and speech and language evaluation was seen as essential. Treatment, the psychiatrist stated, would be difficult to implement outside of a broader therapeutic day school setting.

The psychiatrist then goes further, emphasizing his own words in italics:
Beyond the impact of OCD symptoms on himself and his mother, we are very concerned about AL’s increasingly constricted social and educational world. Much of emphasis has been on finding curricular level of instruction. Inability to tolerate even minimal interaction with even older more mature classmates will have grave consequences for his future education and social and occupational adaptation unless means of remediation are found. Inability to interact with classmates will prove increasingly deleterious to education. We believe it is very important to reframe the discussion with school from issues of curricular content to much more urgent issues of how to accommodate AL’s severe social disabilities in a way that would permit him to be around peers and to progress, rather than regress, socially, as well as academically.

The psychiatrist went on to say,

Understandably, AL’s parents have gone to great lengths to compensate for AL’s hypersensitivities and social difficulties and aversions by providing homebound instruction.

However we believe that there is a significant risk to AL in creating, even with the best of intentions, a prosthetic environment which spares him having to encounter other students or to work to overcome his social difficulties. Having the emphasis on adapting the world to AL, rather than helping him to adapt to the world, is a recipe for him to be a homebound recluse, unable to attend college or work productively into his twenties and thirties and beyond with mother becoming increasingly isolated and burdened.

The Yale psychiatrist wrote that AL clearly suffered from an impairing developmental disorder that qualified him for special education services. AL was unable to make effective use of social interactions with peers and social aversions precluded him from participating in classroom instruction. The psychiatrist indicated that it would be essential for the school to convene an IEP meeting to perform further psychological, speech, language, and occupational therapy assessments and develop an effective education plan. The psychiatrist further recommended that this process should include input from experts in Autism Spectrum/Pervasive Development Disorders.

The Yale psychiatrist felt that AL required intensive help with social language use—using communication that is appropriate to setting, listener, context, or purpose. There was also a question as to whether AL could be helped with social disabilities and other developmental symptoms in a public high school or whether he needed a special therapeutic school setting tailored to bright children with developmental challenges. The psychiatrist appeared to consider such a therapeutic setting as optimal for addressing AL’s “disabling OCD symptoms in the overall therapeutic context beyond what can be done piecemeal in weekly office-based therapy”—in part because behavioral, therapeutic approaches needed to be introduced in the context of AL’s activities of daily living. Email correspondence between professionals at the clinic indicate that they felt AL needed “tons of special education support, with expert consultation,” and underscored their view that he likely needed a therapeutic school setting.

Finally, the Yale psychiatrist noted that the family needed “tons of parental guidance—without that, any office based approach to his [challenges] will fail, certainly if it is without medication.”

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PostSubject: Re: Adam and Chimpanzees   Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:52 pm

Adam did say one time on a forum post that if he could live in his ideal world, he would live in a chimp society.
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