I’d Rather Not Have Psychopathic Traits

One of my former bosses once asked me if I would ever consider doing good for our local communities by running for office, and I laughed and said that I would probably be a terrible politician because I wouldn’t last very long. I don’t have that hard, cutthroat attitude you need to survive in politics.

The latest issue of Scientific American has an excerpt from a book about how people with psychopathic traits—”a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others”—are able to succeed, and points out that many politicians and world leaders often have these traits.

Jon Moulton, a successful venture capitalist in London, says that one of the most valuable traits he has is his “insensitivity” because “it lets you sleep when others can’t.” Um, yeah, I’d rather go to bed unable to sleep, than sleep well being okay with things like “contributing to the plight of the American Middle Class.”

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