Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This Might Go a Long Way to Explaining Trump

Donald Trump behaves just like a person in the throes of severe sleep deprivation.

No, this isn't just casting bones and reading entrails. During the nomination and election campaigns Trump repeatedly alluded to how he gets by with just a few hours of sleep every night.

The good news is that this is a well researched problem. Doctors know how it impacts the afflicted. The bad news is that the medical community know how it impacts the afflicted and what that might mean for a president of the United States.

President-elect Donald J. Trump regularly boasts he’s the biggest winner, makes the biggest deals, and appoints the best people, and recently he claimed he’ll be the biggest job creator god ever created. He also brags that he does all these amazing things on next to no sleep. This 70-year-old pre-adolescent made numerous boasts on the campaign trail last year about his sleeping habits, saying he sometimes gets as little as an hour’s sleep a night. Most nights, Trump says he gets by on just three or four hours of sleep, which is half of the amount sleep experts recommend. “I have a great temperament for success,” he told the Chicago Tribune at an event in Illinois last November. “You know, I’m not a big sleeper, I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on.” 

Some evidence of the rare truth of this particular brag is evident in the tweets he churns out, many with time signatures in the wee hours. In one case, after a GOP election debate moderated by Megyn Kelly, he tweeted out 30 messages between 2:30 and 4:30am, according to the Washington Post. Daniel Barron, a Yale University neurologist, even gives Trump’s nocturnal habit a name: Trump syndrome. The symptoms are, “a ravenous late-night craving for stimulation that results in a sometimes sporadic, often slender sleep schedule.”

How does this sort of sleep deprivation manifest in others?

Sleep-deprived individuals, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, are impulsive, have difficulty adapting to new situations, are snappish, exhibit poor judgment, have trouble listening to and processing information, experience a lack of concentration and focus, are prone to imagining things, and get distracted easily. The sleep-deprived’s ability to learn new information can drop by up to 40 percent. Moreover, the lack of sufficient REM sleep can lead to the inability to recognize happiness or sadness in others—in other words, a lack of empathy. Sound familiar? 

The article goes on to list six major disasters where lack of sleep played a significant role: the Exxon Valdez grounding; Three Mile Island nuclear accident; Chernobyl; the Challenger disaster; Air France 447; and Britain's Great Heck rail crash.



Northern PoV said...

Years ago I read a piece on Ronald Reagan & Gorbachev to the effect that "eventually all Presidents feel the enormous responsibility for nuclear peace"

tRump might be immune.

A more nuanced view of the context & situation...

Anonymous said...

Somebody found the following and it's good.

Off topic but worth a watch....

Trump Trackdown 'The End of the World'

Trackdown was a TV series that ran from 1957-59
and took place in the fictional town of Porter, Texas following the civil war.

Robert Culp plays Ranger and de facto Sheriff Hoby Gilman.

A 1958 episode (“The End of the World”) in which a con artist named
--wait for it---Trump rides into town and tries to---wait for it---bamboozle the citizens into buying into a---wait for it---big beautiful wall to protect them from---wait for it---non-existent threats.

Anon 2

Toby said...

Another off topic: Mound, you asked about Sara Chayes Thieves of State. The beginning of the book is about state sanctioned, in-your-face corruption. She has several chapters dedicated to individual countries such as Afghanistan. My favourite is the one on Tunisia which, for some reason I can't figure out, reminds me of BC.

Curiously, when people don't notice corruption they are fine with it. When it gets in your face and humiliates people react with anger. When they can't fight it they turn toward religion. The angrier they get the more puritan the religion. Some will turn toward a religion with violent prescriptions.

What bored me about the book was Chayes' chapter on remedies which reads like the phone book. Essentially, it means that those who could make changes have the tools if they want to but generally don't. She does have a point: much of Western contact with corrupt governments actually feeds those governments through bribes of one sort or another. Even charities often add to the problem by not understanding it. Did you ever give to disaster relief and later wonder where the money went?

Chayes has an important idea. It should be of paramount interest to Western governments, companies that do business in foreign countries and NGO's. My guess is that they will continue to take the easy route and pay the bribes. They should consider that those bribes feed a system that makes people so angry that they plant roadside bombs.

She also acknowledges that the crash of 2008 was caused by corruption and no one went to jail for it.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, let's pray he's not immune. Odd thing to hear from an atheist.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 2 - thanks for the link. That western made my day.

The Mound of Sound said...

Toby, as soon as I read "state sanctioned, in your face corruption" my mind automatically conjured up Christy Clark. Odd that, eh?

As for Chayes suggestions, there's little to zero chance that one book, no matter how widely read, is going to change anything.


Anonymous said...

Anyong...11:46...Except for a small Bank owned by an American Chinese Family in the U.S.

John B. said...

The police and prosecutors didn't have the time to deal with the bankers because they were too busy trying to get Sergey Aleynikov. When you're entrusted with preserving order it's first things first, you know.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the intelligence community's doing an info dump before Trump gets a chance to shut things down:

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.


Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.

But wait, there's more:

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact.

Eric Prince is the brother of Trump's nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy Devos, and founder of the notorious Blackwater group of mercenaries. Their father was a co-founder of the right-wing evangelical hate group The Family Research Council. There's only one day left to appoint an independent prosecutor to look into things. By Friday afternoon, it'll be too late.