By Dr. Jeri Fink
One day my computer will kill me. No surprise. That’s what you expect from a killer psychopath.
What is a psychopath? The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised – the bible of diagnostic tools – defines a psychopath as “someone who preys ruthlessly on others, using charm, deceit, violence or other methods to get what they want.” Psychopathic traits include lack of conscience, empathy, and sense of guilt; narcissism, pathological lying, shallow emotions, and disregard for the law . . . the list goes on.
Simply put, it’s a perfect description of my computer.
I call my computer Delilah, after the biblical betrayer who cut Samson’s hair when he was asleep and then turned him over to the Philistines. It works. When I feel affectionate, I call her Del . . . but that’s a whole different story.
Del does what she wants, when she wants, and doesn’t care what I think or feel.
How did I diagnose Del? I’ve written and published 27 books, including 7 thrillers and 2 mini books about psychopaths, and hundreds of blogs. All on Del’s time. I’ve shot photos, edited and posted them on my deceitful computer who makes them look very different from real life. I’ve sent emails and posts in social media that Del manages to randomly toss into the black hole of cyberspace.
She’s very talented.
Del tortures me like a serial killer, freezing her keyboard, displaying secret messages, and ignoring my valiant search to unravel the hidden manipulations of her chips. The Philistines hover in the code, waiting for the kill. There are no laws in her leering motherboard; only lies and numbers that she calls, very sweetly, errors. I try to be patient, nurturing, offering goodies all computers love. Sometimes, I use a bit of therapy. How does your hard drive feel today? Let’s talk about your fear of viruses. We can figure out how to protect you from those insidious North Korean hackers.
No luck. My finely honed therapeutic strategies don’t crack Del’s uncaring heart. Does it make any difference? Of course not. Everyone knows that a psychopath has no empathy. Tom Jones’ lyrics haunt my screen:
As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind
My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
I try another approach. Everyone knows that a pet might soften the heart. Like a good therapist, I generously offer options to my simmering machine. Here’s a fluffy puppy called Tablet. She’s great at games. Or a Great Dane named iPhone who takes selfies and keeps in touch with other little computers. No go. As with any murderous psychopath, Del only wants blood. The red kind. You know, RGB red with no blue or green mixed in.
Del waits. She has unlimited patience. Another story, another chapter, another crash. Torture the human who wants to tell her what to do. Figure out new weapons, way beyond the human’s digital know-how. Take all those virtual words and when the human goes to save them, happily erase everything from the screen. Drag me down, deeper and deeper, into the quicksand of computer code – a slow, digital strangulation.