SF=Shared Fantasy AND Science Fiction. From androids to actroids, affective computing to the Turing Test, uncanny valley to same-race bias, mimicry to symbiosis - learn how the narcissist dupes and lures you into his shared fantasy.

Pollyana defenses (naive, gullible, counterfactual): base rate fallacy (everyone is telling the truth most of the time), people are good.

Malignant optimism: exceptionalism ("he is not that bad"), savior complex ("I am going to save, fix, and heal him").

This is a universal delusion: we have no access to other minds, but we develop a theory of mind via mentalization, adhere to the intersubjectivity agreement, and pretend that empathy gets it right.

From "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited":

"Narcissists and psychopaths use cold empathy to fake the full-fledged kind and emotions.

The weaker variety of narcissist tries to emulate and simulate "emotions" – or, at least their expression, the external facet (affect). They mimic and replicate the intricate pantomime that they learn to associate with the existence of feelings. But there are no real emotions there, no emotional correlate.

This is empty affect, devoid of emotion. This being so, the narcissist quickly tires of it, becomes impassive and begins to produce inappropriate affect (e.g., he remains indifferent when grief is the normal reaction). The narcissist subjects his feigned emotions to his cognition. He "decides" that it is appropriate to feel so and so. His "emotions" are invariably the result of analysis, goal setting and planning.

He substitutes "remembering" for "sensing". He relegates his bodily sensations, feelings and emotions to a kind of a memory vault. The short and medium-term memory is exclusively used to store his reactions to his (actual and potential) Narcissistic Supply Sources.

He reacts only to such sources. The narcissist finds it hard to remember or recreate what he ostensibly - though ostentatiously - "felt" (even a short while back) towards a Narcissistic Supply Source once it has ceased to be one. In his attempts to recall his feelings, he draws a mental blank.

It is not that narcissists are incapable of expressing what we would tend to classify as "extreme emotional reactions". They mourn and grieve, rage and smile, excessively "love" and "care". But this is precisely what sets them apart: this rapid movement from one emotional extreme to another and the fact that they never occupy the emotional middle ground.

The narcissist is especially "emotional" when weaned off his drug of Narcissistic Supply. Breaking a habit is always difficult – especially one that defines (and generates) oneself. Getting rid of an addiction is doubly taxing. The narcissist misidentifies these crises with an emotional depth and his self-conviction is so immense, that he mostly succeeds to delude his environment, as well. But a narcissistic crisis (losing a Source of Narcissistic Supply, obtaining an alternative one, moving from one Narcissistic Pathological Space to another) – must never be confused with the real thing, which the narcissist never experiences: emotions.

Many narcissists have "emotional resonance tables". They use words as others use algebraic signs: with meticulousness, with caution, with the precision of the artisan. They sculpt in words the fine tuned reverberations of pain and love and fear. It is the mathematics of emotional grammar, the geometry of the syntax of passions. Devoid of all emotions, narcissists closely monitor people's reactions and adjust their verbal choices accordingly, until their vocabulary resembles that of their listeners. This is as close as narcissists get to empathy."

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In this vivid study of mimicry and camouflage documents how snakes, butterflies, fish, turtles and many other kinds of animals, both predators and their intended victims, use remarkable forms of deception to achieve their goal: to eat, or avoid being eaten.

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