Narcissism is viral in America especially. We value audacity and power, while “success” means money. It really doesn’t matter how you “earned” your money: on the backs of others is fine. Slave labor, like Nike. There are scenes about this in movies, and it is the theme of Blade Runner 2049. Also watch The Rundown movie: great film, with satire, guns, a slaver with whips, and good ole American Greed. Tom Cruise played an amoral hit man in Collateral, and summed it all up nicely. See HERE for quotes. We voted in a narcissist President, believing all the Fake News spread by InfoWars and Facebook. Both had ads saying Hillary was dying, and had something to do with murdering children. Whatever Hillary did or didn’t do, supporting the torture and murder of kids while eating pizza was not one of them. Now Assad is in denial, as is Putin, for doing it. Denial and counter-attack is a tactic of sociopaths. Narcissists are charming liars, too. They manipulate other people, the media, and actually believe their own lies. So some might even pass a polygraph! “Worship me,” is their message. The entire world is their stage. No trick is left unlearned. Goal? World domination, like Stewie on Family Guy, his head the shape of a football. Trump is attacking Comey for his new book. He said Comey should be jailed. Comey (a Republican) got Trump elected in the first place by making his last minute statement about Hillary’s emails. Now he says Trump should not be impeached: “People voted their values, and we should let this play out.” WW3? We shall see. Alex Jones of InfoWars, who also helped Trump get elected (and whom Trump called to thank him) went “ballistic” over Trump firing missiles at Assad, and said “F—-Trump!” many times over on his show. Jones, also a narcissist (and Sandy Hook denier) said WW3 is coming soon, adding that Russia and Syria were trying to fight ISIS in “a good fight.” He too waves flags, despite Einstein once saying that “Nationalism is the measles of humanity.” (Who are you going to believe: a college dropout selling male enhancement products or the Pulitzer Prize winner in Physics who was named “Person of the Century.”) Olympics and the Spartans, who forced kids to kill each other? We could go on and on, here. The point is that narcissism is delusion, including self delusion. No one is King of the World or universe, or will ever be. Other narcissists and sociopaths won’t allow it. Or as Vincent in Collateral said, “We’re a dot in the universe. Who cares?” The Vincent character is a sociopath, not a narcissist. He has no delusions. He wants no one to know who he is. His past is unknown, never mentioned. Which is why he’s so fascinating, and why I wrote a prequel.
Biotech is big business, or as Trump would say, “very, very big.” Now a giant called Celgene is investing in biotech’s future by buying Impact BioMedicines with a possible $7 Billion ante up. Good investment? Well, biobucks are hotter than Bitcoin, long term. Just watch any network news report, the second half of which is all pharmaceuticals, with side effects. Development takes years and millions, and the payoffs are big, and losses also. Drug patents expire, rivals vie for space, with mergers and acquisitions the ultimate power play. Trump is trying to deregulate everything from the EPA to the DEA. It’s a “go big or go home” strategy. The cancer drug Jakafi is a huge seller for two other pharmaceutical giants, and Celgene wants to compete. They want in. On the ropes with their own drug expiring soon, they have little choice. The CEO touts the future of using genetic engineering to attach genes to molecules, similar to what Ron Howard’s show Breakthroughs reported last year in which a neutered HIV targeted cancers past the blood/brain barrier. Meanwhile, supplements like Nugenix is being hyped to athletes to improve testosterone. (The Dan Patrick Show advertises it NBCSN. Wink, wink.) Is there a dark side to biotech? “CRISPR” (pronounced “crisper”) stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. It may soon be possible to eliminate certain diseases genetically, to change the eye color (and more) of babies, and to lengthen the lifespan of humans. Many strides have already been made, such as the means to fight cancer using gene therapy. To some, this is all “playing God,” while to others it is progress: the “search for better explanations, leading to discoveries,” as David Deutsch put it in “The Beginning of Infinity.” Whatever one’s beliefs, there are problems with all technologies, as discussed in the new book on social media interfaces: “Dawn of the New Everything” by Jaron Lanier. In my novel “The Methuselah Gene” a neutered HIV is used, not as a cancer therapy, but to implant a longevity gene taken from a bristlecone pine tree past the blood/brain barrier, and extend human life by decades. A pill to do something like this is now in the works, and may be here within a decade. How much would such a pill cost, and will only the super rich be able to afford it, not the “Young, Dumb and Broke?” In the New Rules governing culture, before our young icons can acquire near immortality via science, what if nefarious forces tested it on a small town without their knowledge or consent…and discovered that there were side effects?