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Archive for March 5th, 2010

Are all great leaders Narcissists?

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By choosing the “nuclear option,” Obama is demonstrating do-or-die fanaticism. This makes for great TV football, but it’s very dangerous for the man in the biggest power seat in the world. We are seeing Obama the Radical taking over from Obama the Pragmatist — if that one ever really existed. From what we know about his fanatical associates like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, sacrificing the Democratic Party majority in Congress would be only a small price to pay.

The question is what real damage Obama may do to the country. This man has been entrusted with the greatest power in the world. He will have that power for the next three years at least.

But he may not be able to emotionally tolerate any real limits on his need for self-aggrandizement and power. And still he can’t be allowed to beat the country into submission.

Check out this article on American Thinker by James Lewis regarding an assessment of Obama against characteristics of Malignant Narcissism.

A partial checklist of Malignant Narcissism from the article in American Thinker

  1. Common to malignant narcissism is narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury (when the narcissist feels degraded by another person, typically in the form of criticism).”
  2. When the narcissist’s grandiose sense of self-worth is perceived as being attacked by another person, the narcissist’s natural reaction is to rage and pull down the self-worth of others (to make the narcissist feel superior to others). It is an attempt by the narcissist to soothe their internal pain and hostility, while at the same time rebuilding their self worth.”
  3. Narcissistic rage also occurs when the narcissist perceives that he/she is being prevented from accomplishing their grandiose fantasies.”
  4. Because the narcissist derives pleasure from the fulfillment of their grandiose dreams (akin to an addiction), anyone standing between the narcissist and their (wish) fulfillment … may be subject to narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage will frequently include yelling and berating of the person that has slighted the narcissist, but if strong enough could provoke more hostile feelings.”
  5. Individuals with malignant narcissism will display a two faced personality. Creation of a ‘false self’ is linked to the narcissist’s fear of being inadequate or inferior to others and this mask becomes ingrained into their personality so as to project a sense of superiority to others at all times.”
  6. The narcissist gains a sense of esteem from the feedback of other people as it is common for the malignant narcissist to suffer from extremely low levels of self-esteem.”
  7. The … false self of the malignant narcissist is created because the real self doesn’t meet his or her own expectations. Instead, the narcissist tends to mimic emotional displays of other people and creates a grandiose self to harbor their internalized fantasies of greatness.”
  8. The [false self] is used by the narcissist to present to the outside world what appears to be a normal, functioning human being and to help maintain his or her own fantasies of an idealized self. The narcissist constantly builds upon this false self, creating a fictional character that is used to show off to the world and to help them feed off the emotions of other people.”

There’s ongoing debate about “malignant narcissism” as a diagnosis, and some people prefer to use the standard DSM-IV version. It doesn’t make much difference in this case.

Here is Theodore Millon’s definition of the fanatic type:

fanatic type – including paranoid features. A severely narcissistically wounded individual, usually with major paranoid tendencies who holds onto an illusion of omnipotence. These people are fighting the reality of their insignificance and lost value and are trying to re-establish their self-esteem through grandiose fantasies and self-reinforcement. When unable to gain recognition of support from others, they take on the role of a heroic or worshipped person with a grandiose mission.

This is the definition from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition,

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Written by frrl

March 5, 2010 at 5:15 am

AxCrypt – Keeping your information private on public backup sites and file storage

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If you are using a public backup system like Carbonite or Mozy and are concerned about the confidentiality of your data maybe this is for you.

Both Carbonite and Mozy tell you that your data is encrypted.  That may be true, but who has the keys to decrypt that data?  Very often, system administrators that work in data centers have all the access and tools they need to decrypt encrypted data.

Consider this.  Even though the data center where the data is stored may be in-country where you live  these data centers may use “low-cost globally-sourced” system administration resources.  Translated, this means that folks all over the world could have their fingers on your data.  If system administrators do have access to data and the keys then you are dependent on personal judgement and voluntary compliance with policy for these folks not to use access and tools to look at your data.  Do any of these public backup systems have a monetary penalty clause in their contracts where you will be compensated if the privacy of your data is compromised?

Why mess with any of the uncertainty of aspects of the privacy of you information that you can’t control or of which you have incomplete knowledge?  Remove the risk.  Why not simply encrypt the data before it gets into the “secure” public backup system?

For information that I allow a public backup service to store for me I use an encrypted folder.  For this I use AxCrypt.

Using AxCrypt ( free, open source ) right-click on a folder to recursively encrypt all the files and folder contained within.  Decrypt the same way – by individual file, by folder, or recursively through a set of folders.

In summary, make your concerns for the privacy of your data in the hands of a backup or file-store service provider go away by encrypting your information before it gets in their hands.

You can get AxCrypt below, plus instructions on how to use it

By the way, Mozy will give you 2GB of backup for FREE

Written by frrl

March 5, 2010 at 5:14 am

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