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When you have around 500 soldiers with state-of-the-art equipment and superhuman reflexes, you might also want to invest in a reliable way of controlling them without hampering their ability to think for themselves.

Replicas possess a semblance of personality, to make negotiation and working with regular humans easier. Of course, personalities come with troublesome emotions and impulses.

I devised two ways to control these, each will have its own separate question.

The first is the central dogma, against which a replica cannot physically act. So, no willing friendly fire, leaking of confidential information or strangling your superior because he ordered you to shoot up a school.

The second is the [personality]-[central dogma] compatibility layer, which is a "controlled" form of ASPD. A compatibility layer is needed to minimalize the personality rebelling and causing the central dogma to not function as intended.

There's no consensus about what ASPD really is, but we're creating a new version, so look at the most common symptoms and see how severe they should be and discard the unneeded ones.

Remember:

  • The personality is there to attach to ordinary human colleagues, make negotiating easier, and allow the replica to act on his/her own.
  • The central dogma is there to prevent replicas from disobeying orders.
  • ASPD is there to "protect" their personality from collapsing, due to what the central dogma forces them to do.
  • And of course, lying and manipulation are not allowed.

What should I keep from ASPD and what should I discard? What are the desirable symptoms for a soldier?

Note: ASPD, psychopathy, and sociopathy are often used interchangeably, and even I've was confused about which one was which, so here's the correct symptom list, I'M REALLY SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE AND THE ALL-CAPS.

Let me try to summarize:

APSD, antisocial personality disorder, is the reason why Shane Dawson can go to heck and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a useless paperweight. Basically, there's no such thing as psychopathy or sociopathy, officially. They belong to ASPD, but some of their symptoms don't, from what I could gather. Then I remembered the psychopathy checklist. 20 items, each with a score from 0-2:

  1. glib and superficial charm
  2. grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  3. need for stimulation
  4. pathological lying
  5. cunning and manipulativeness
  6. lack of remorse or guilt
  7. shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  8. callousness and lack of empathy
  9. parasitic lifestyle
  10. poor behavioral controls
  11. sexual promiscuity
  12. early behavior problems
  13. lack of realistic long-term goals
  14. impulsivity
  15. irresponsibility
  16. failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  17. many short-term marital relationships
  18. juvenile delinquency
  19. revocation of conditional release
  20. criminal versatility

Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Hare-Psychopathy-Checklist.html#ixzz5h7WAGtyx


Story Time

Perhaps it's better to illustrate it with a hypothetical scenario about why I need personality "protection":

M-251 was a replica soldier, who over time developed a rather peculiar personality, an insightful kind and helpful one that not only was genuine but helped in cooperating with the human squad he was attached to.

One day, he was tasked with scouting ahead to plan the attack on a group of enemy that took some hostages and were using them as a living shield. When he got a better view of them, General Ripper saw, through M's headcam, that the idiot enemies were grouped tightly together, just enough for Ambassador Pineapple to wipe out all in a single blow.

The civilians would've died too, but despite M's protest, Ripper commanded M's central dogma to rekt the enemies, so M threw a grenade, that exploded just above the group, killing all but one enemy, who later went on to try and kill M, but that's a story for another day.

Ripper was court-martialed and executed later for being a sick f@ck. M was acting under the central dogma, so wasn't responsible for the dogma's (and so Ripper's) actions, and was actually sobbing when questioned (something that's supposed to be rare for replicas). This event pretty much shattered his soul and caused the personality-rebellions to become more frequent and take wholly new paths. I'm (the creator) now also the subject of a worldwide scandal, thanks Ripper, hope you rip in piss!

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    $\begingroup$ Please understand not everybody wants to search the internet to decipher acronyms like ASPD. As a courtesy this should have been explicated. Yes people answering do know what it is, but they failed to explain what is too, but kindness & clarity goes a long way to getting better answers. $\endgroup$ – a4android Mar 3 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android Well, I edited the Q, is it okay now? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 3 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I now know what the term ASPD refers to, this does help comprehend your question. Although I do tend to suspect this would lead to uncontrollable & unreliable super-soldiers. See check points 4-5, 12-16 & 20. $\endgroup$ – a4android Mar 4 at 6:11
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Frame challenge

What should I keep from ASPD and what should I discard? What are the desirable symptoms for a soldier?

Discard everything.

Have you actually looked at the list of characteristic of people with this disorder? There's nothing you want here. After all it is a disorder.

Examples: significant difficulties in maintaining stable employment, impulsive and reckless, place themselves and others in danger, disregulated temper and can lash out violently, frequent conflict with the law, disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Your problem is that you predicate your question on the statement, "Of course, personalities come with troublesome emotions and impulses."

No they don't. Consider a dog - a family pet. They can show loyalty, affection, happiness and a willingness to co-operate in all sorts of activities: herding, guiding blind people, retrieving, etc.

Yet they are carnivores - they will happily chase and kill rabbits and other wildlife with no sense of guilt.

Give your replica soldiers the mental abilities of a dog, plus speech. Tell them that certain people are friends and must be treated well and others are enemies and must be killed. They will accept your judgement without questioning it.

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    $\begingroup$ Now sell that to regular human colleagues or the Geneva convention: "Look I made a human dog that kills with a smile on its face!" I'd be writing the next question from Azkaban if I did that. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ Problem with ASPD is that I don't know what it is, compare your source to this $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles - So you'd rather have a soldier with ASPD???? I don't think so :-) $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 2 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles - I used the source given by the OP - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 2 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ See, it's confusing! $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 21:07
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It very much depends on what your soldiers are being used for- very unethical operations like assassination and putting down local insurrections would benefit more from ASPD symptoms compared to other roles, but I'd say that most symptoms of ASPD are in fact overwhelmingly detrimental to a soldier.

Taken from the NHS website - signs and diagnostic criteria for ASPD, I've seperated them broadly in to two categories:

Disadvantages

  • being unable to control their anger- this would be a pretty massive detriment to a soldier- having someone go off the rails on a mission because they can't control their temper would be a massive liability.
  • Being impulsive or incapable of planning ahead- this is probably the biggest liability for a soldier. Again, having someone who fails to follow the plan could spell disaster for everyone. While being a maverick always appears to be attractive in TV and movies, more likely than not it would get everyone killed. By all means, they need to think on their feet, but they need to be calm and calculating- not impulsive.
  • being irritable and aggressive- again, being unpredictable and unhinged is the exact opposite of what you want.
  • have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships- while less important than the other aspects, fighting a war requires good cooperation. Interpersonal skills are important to a functioning team.
  • having a reckless disregard for their safety or the safety of others- your soldier is no good dead. Again, calculating is better than impulsive.

Advantages:

  • repeatedly being deceitful - if they are involved in any covert operations they need to keep their cover. Being natural liars could potentially help.
  • lack of remorse- depending on what you are sending your troops to do, this could be a bonus for any black-ops. The nature of their job means that killing is likely, and a lack of remorse means they are less likely to hesitate pulling the trigger.

Overall, you can probably notice that you have some minor advantages, and a lot of massive, massive disadvantages that outweigh any positives and make the soldier more of a liability than an asset. If you remove all the negative aspects of ASPD listed, you aren't left with ASPD anymore, just someone who struggles with empathy. If anything, empathy towards their team mates would probably make them a better soldier (a disproportionate amount of Victoria Cross recipients were the oldest siblings in their families- it is suspected that the protective instinct of them, now directed towards their comrades, is what drives them to fight harder).

Edit: If you are really keen on the idea of controlling your troops with a psychological disorder, Schizoid personality disorder is probably a better choice- someone who's more 'emotionally flat' and a loner fits much better if you're going for the 'cold, calculating soldier' trope.

Edit 2: The question has been updated to cover psychopathy instead of ASPD. With the definitions between the two being largely overlapping the arguments should be fairly applicable to both.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the inconvenience, Jack. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 3 at 14:59

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