aesmael: (probably quantum)

On my drive home tonight I was listening to an episode of ABC Radio's All in the Mind program, an episode called "Placenta Brain: the cognitive burden of pregnancy?". Amid all the talk of whether being pregnant induces cognitive impairment[1], this exchange struck me as relevant from an autistic perspective.

Mary Ann Stark: We all use both voluntary and involuntary attention and the involuntary attention - or what we call fascination - is where you can't help but be attracted to a certain stimuli. For example, thunder and lightening are something that we all just pause and stop, it's fascinating. Then there's another type of attention that's called directed attention, is what I've chosen to call it, and so have some others such as Kaplan and Semprich - but the directed attention is the kind of attention that really requires effort. That's what we have to use to listen carefully, as someone's explaining directions to us.

Abbie Thomas: It's like when I'm trying to sort of tell my husband about what we're doing on the weekend, he has to really concentrate and block out the fact that he wants to go and so some model railway work.

Mary Ann Stark: Or you know a football game on TV might be a little bit more interesting too and more fascinating. But you do use both of those types of attention and their appropriate at different times for different reasons. But what happens especially in our very fast paced lives is we tend to use directed attention a lot. We use it consistently and it's one of those things that because we're blocking out the distractions around us requires a lot of effort. And if we continually use it, it tends to fatigue. Well one of the ways that you can kind of give directed attention a break is to just do the things that are fascinating and that's what nature does. It allows us opportunities to just become fascinated with what's going on around us, and then when we have to use that directed attention again we're a little bit more refreshed and restored, so that we can block out the distractions that we need to block out in order to continue driving and following the map or whatever the example is we might use.

[1] The conclusion I took from the episode is that this effect may be an illusion brought on by stereotyped expectation, along with possibly the amplified load of trying to continue living while also preparing large life changes. But that is more or less what I expected to be the case going in, and biases being confirmed merits some suspicion.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Back in June I got linked to a BBC article, about an autistic boy who died after getting hold of medication from an online pharmacy, and whose parents are now waging a campaign to protect others.

Except, that's not what happened. The photo included in the article is misleading - this was not a school-aged boy, this was an adult, 26 years old. And this does not appear to have been any sort of accident. He had attempted suicide several times before using pills from other sources before finally succeeding. If restrictions had been in place such that he could not order this online, what then? I expect he would have tried some other means to end his life.

Blaming online pharmacies because a suicidal person made use of one to end eir own life seems more an act of desperation than a useful response. While I believe people do and ought to have the right to end their own lives, it would be a far better response to campaign for better mental health services and support rather than pursuing doctors in other countries for not breaking local laws.

I'm also worried the repeated mention of the deceased as being autistic, along with the photo used for the article. It seems an attempt to infantilise him, as if by being autistic he is not capable of making his own decisions. It seems like an attempt to portray this as a tragic accident, rather than a deliberate act.

aesmael: (transformation)
I have said this before, although not here yet:
I think when we experience a desire to share music [or something else which may be the subject of a similar desire] with others this is often a proxy for a less commonly known or appreciated desire. I think what we often truly wish to share is the experience of the moment, the emotions that are being inspired in us. "I want to share this ecstasy, this joy, this wonder, this passion, this moment of empathy or grief or oneness [...] and the only way I know to even approach doing so is by sharing with you what is the immediate inspiration of my feelings."


Autism is often partly characterised as an extreme self-absorption, and my impression is this is considered some explanation for 'why autistic people are annoying to be around'. Of course I could not speak for everyone but that does not seem true to me. At least in that being so self-absorbed as to be uncaring of others or their feelings would suggest a low likelihood of sharing topical enthusiasm. The irritation to others would come from being unable to distinguish interest from disinterest in those being enthused to (something I have tried to learn). Also at least for me there are times when interest and enthusiasm overflow and I feel compelled to express it somehow - If I try not to I find myself moving to do it some minutes later anyway, without volition in my mental record. Since, thanks to the first thing I tend to feel guilty and end up apologising lots if I try sharing with people in person, even if I try to make sure they actually are interested and even if they actually are interested, this often results in prolific blogging and tweeting. Which I've missed over the past year or two but that's one of the costs of being liked, apparently maybe.

Which is possibly a bit off-track. This is more like two posts squashed together into one, the first expressing an opinion about what drives sharing of emotional inducers and the second saying roughly "The world is fantastic and wonderful and I love it and often write lots because I want to participate in this wonder and joy with other people and share / gain understanding back and forth". That's been said before, will be again. Sometimes get caught up in the urge to.
aesmael: (haircut)
Only recently we got a television which can display closed captions. I don't normally need those to be able to understand what is on television but I often find them a great aid at times when my auditory processing is disrupted. Even otherwise they usually help me understand what is being said better.

Consequently now that I am able to access the state of closed captioning I am very disappointed in it. When I can understand what is being said the words on the screen are sometimes jumbled, overlapping, at the wrong times (such as showing after the preceding sentence(s)) or just wrong. Which is not the same as edits for ease of reading or clarity, and live captioned programs are not what I am talking about. Two of the newest television channels often seem not to have captions at all, which is especially infuriating, although I think my sisters appreciate it since they don't like when I have the captions on.

Maybe it is just this particular television acting up, or maybe I am seeing things wrong but if not, it is disappointing the state of captioning is not what it could be.

(I do tend to use subtitles where available in DVDs and games where available, and my impression of those is of being more accurate and comprehensible)
aesmael: (haircut)
I have seen it happen often enough to regard it as a pattern.

People who characterise themselves as parents of autistic children, who appear to regard autism as a debilitating disease to be cured, or a form of poisoning to be cleansed of. They say autistic self-advocates, people who advocate for neurodiversity, they characterise those people as "high-functioning Asperger's" who get through life fine and don't need other than the usual assistance everyone gets, characterised as wanting to trumpet themselves splendid untroubled individuals equal or superior to the rest of humanity. They say that these advocates, in their drive to present themselves as just fine are stomping over the parents' children getting access to services, treatment and cures all as part of their selfish self-aggrandisement.

What do they say? They say wrong, for one. Many autistic advocates are not those who would be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Many are not verbal, or not always. Many need carers or some similar arrangement. Many, as they have pointed out, are no different in diagnostic status and outward appearance from the children these parents say they are speaking for. So they're not right, when they say those things.

What do they say? They characterise people who do or could have a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome as people who are just fine. People who are utterly unconnected from 'real autism' and who do not experience any problems worth calling 'serious'.

So what they do, in order to protect their children from these people who are advocating that their children (as a subset of neurodiverse people) deserve consideration, access, recognition as valid people, support and all those nifty things, what they do is contribute to a discourse and public atmosphere which makes it harder for people to gain access to support or being taken seriously.

In trying to say "Stop telling me chelating (and other 'treatments') is useless, stop telling me my child is fine and does not need to be un-broken" they end up saying "Shut up. You don't even need or want access / services / accommodation, you have no right to an opinion or to be taken seriously about issues that affect you."

I've written and deleted a lot of concluding paragraphs for this post, mainly because I found all the constructions I attempted to be suggestive that one of those expressions is more or less of a problem than the other. Then I noticed my "In trying to say [...] they end up saying [...]" construction could be read also as implying a progression of reprehensibility. This paragraph is for explicitly disclaiming that meaning.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Recently the organisation Autism Speaks released another video. You can see it by following this link here. A transcription of the audio can be read here. This is the outcome of "[a] press release [from August that] encouraged families to submit videos of autistic individuals for a PSA that would "shine a bright spotlight" on autism."

Naturally I and a whole lot of other people take issue with this supposed public service announcement[1]. It wouldn't be fair, though, to attribute the views expressed in that video to all members of families of autistic people, nor even necessarily to all people who contributed footage to the final product. abfh|Whose Planet Is It Anyway? points out that people have felt deceived by this request and the results:

Would the contributors to the "I Am Autism" video have agreed to participate if Autism Speaks had admitted at the outset that it was planning to demonize autistic kids as embarrassing burdens who destroy their parents' marriages and dreams?

Well, at least one parent who posted a comment on the video's YouTube page, under the name BarrysDaughter, made it quite plain that she felt deceived by Autism Speaks' request for video contributions from parents. She wrote:

"I do have 2 autistic children and a husband on the spectrum. When they first suggested a video I was eager to send them one till they outlined what they wanted.

My children and husband don't want or need to be CURED what they do want is people to treat them the same as anyone else, stop the bullying and put more staff in schools to support them…"

My problems with the video. It is not addressed to autistic people. Indeed, the request for videos and the result of this request, despite being purpotedly for an autistic advocacy organisation, does not acknowledge the existence of autistic people. They don't talk to autistic people, they talk to the families of autistic people. They don't acknowledge that autistic people may have desires, or acknowledge anything as being a problem for autistic people which those people might want something done about. No, they address the desires of families of autistic people, they talk about what families of autistic people want for their own benefit, they talk about the suffering of people who associate with autistic people, they describe the autistic community as 'people who know autistic people'.

There is a tremendous failure of empathy on display in their selfish wish to eradicate autism from existence. Do not pretend they speak only of those to whom terms like 'low-functioning' or 'severe' are applied when they use words like

"I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined. And if you are happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain. I don't sleep, so I make sure you don't either. I will make it virtually impossible for your family to easily attend a temple, a birthday party, a public park, without a struggle, without embarrassment, without pain. You have no cure for me."

Is there any moderation in that? Any room for them to say "Ah, but we do not mean you who are 'high-functioning'? (by which is meant "Your life is easy, you have no problems and no relevance to this subject, so be silent")" It is a plain statement of what Autism Speaks considers autism to be - a debilitating and horrific condition which must be eradicated. No acknowledgement of the voices of autistic people. Rather, those are described as stolen away, so that others can pretend to know what these voiceless unfortunates want and claim desires in their name.

What they are doing, is not helping. Help would be to reduce the stigma of autism. Help would be to not portray it as some malevolent force which steals otherwise 'normal' children and hides them behind a monstrous facade. Help would be not be not comparing autism to a fatal illness. Help would be acknowledging the existence of autistic adults. Help would be pushing for the ready availability of accommodations that will aid autistic people and others with disabilities. Help would be publicly speaking out against the vast number of sham 'cures' which do nothing, or worse, so that people do not go bankrupt on the false hope of rescuing their family from the hell you have convinced them autism dooms them to. Help would be supporting health care reform so people do not have to worry about going bankrupt for medical reasons. Help would be listening to autistic people instead of speaking over them.

Not all of those things are entirely absent from their website on inspection, but they have a long way to go if they ever want to be a resource and organisation for the benefit of autistic people. Right now they look more like an organisation focused on eugenics to eradicate a segment of the population. I'm sure they don't see it that way. I expect they believe the best outcome for autistic people would be to cease being autistic and eventually cease being born, instead of whatever each autistic person considers eir personal preferred outcome. Accommodation and support I think benefits everyone, while the current state of Autism Speaks' rhetoric does not.

Further responses to this video and the organisation behind it can be found here: http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2009/09/solidarity.html

[1] Also annoyed by people who leap on the statement that among faith, technology, prayer, herbs and genetic studies people will also fight autism with voodoo, as something outrageous. Though I would not be surprised to learn either that this was included as an example of desperation, still voodoo despite being a religion associated with black people rather than white is not any more or less silly a thing to call on than, say, Christianity.

When I made recent post of neurotypical privilege and checklist I half-expected some criticism which did not show... so now we attempt a little talk about, though of small and certain nature, those concerns we'd noted in reading and expected to arise.

One being in several parts of list, attempting distancing from mental illness. The thought arisen in noticing, that such distancing could take the form of, or could be seen as, contributing to stigmatisation of mental illness itself. We felt not such as actual perception, yet know not if one more wise in sight might yet discern its traces.

To separate and unentangle neurodiversity from mental illness is, we think, a matter of accuracy of categorisation for the frames in which we live and operate. However, our moral perspective indicates that this disentanglement can be, but must not become an agent of stigmatisation of mental illness, of perpetuating problems faced by. Reasons for separation would be simply accuracy in description and approach, that the one is not an equivalent term for the other. Further thought on, brings to second point of noticing.

That this list has in places a noted focus on autism, whereas neurodiversity is not a term referencing only autism, but also other neurologies not presently recognised as 'normal'. That, also, potentially is a problem, and more immediately seen so than the other concern about mental illness.

That is, we noticed a potential for furthering stigmatisation of mental illness, and an actual case of focusing in some items on autism specifically when the checklist should not be so narrowly focused.

Mm. This post ended up being a bit truncated after being left to sit a while.
aesmael: (just people)
Bev|Asperger Square 8, and others, have been constructing a rather excellent checklist of neurotypical privilege. It started off in an earlier post with a request for input, and has been discussed by Lindsay at Autist's Corner too - am very glad it has been, as otherwise would have forgotten to say anything publicly about this. Do take a look at Lindsay's post as well, as it carries a neat explication of how some of these factors intersect with other people.

Personal favourites, probably because they reference areas of especial personal relevance, include:
"The services that I need to survive not only already exist, but even if I use those services on a 24-hour basis, I will always be considered independent."

suggested by Amanda|Ballastexistenz and
If my sexual orientation, gender identity, lifestyle preferences or beliefs are deemed nonstandard, others will not suggest that I am pretending, incorrect, jumping the gun or unable to really know such things about myself because I am neurotypical. They will not use my neurotypical status as a basis for defending intolerant remarks or beliefs about any of these identities.

suggested by [livejournal.com profile] pazi_ashfeather.

Wish I had more to contribute to the discussion but my own experiences haven't been, haven't been anything I want to talk about right now. And mostly indirect too, except stuff like the above quoted - family requiring a psychologist to decide for me whether I am competent to assert a gender other than the one they put on me, and being not allowed to express that this might be anything other than right and proper. But we really don't want to get into that.

Perhaps another time. Humanist stuff tends to run on percolation and spontaneous eruption, in this one's expression.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

(04:12:04) celestialjayde: "I find it interesting that when people are friendly to me I expect it to be a some form of entrapment or manipulation. Was going to say 'not sure why' except there are precedents... it just has not been a consistent feature of my past so I feel a bit unjustified in feeling so."
Well, but I feel myself unjustified in pretty much all areas.
(04:13:16) Pazi: Mrrr.
(04:13:20) Pazi: Have noticed that.
(04:13:55) celestialjayde: That I feel unjustified?
(04:15:10) Pazi: *nod(
(04:15:28) Pazi: Seem to presume that your thoughts/feelings are lacking in validation, not to be trusted much
(04:16:13) celestialjayde: Aye. Don't have so many experiences after all.
(04:16:35) celestialjayde: Was saying to [livejournal.com profile] mantic_angel not long ago, don't see myself in just about anyone's narrative.
(04:17:41) celestialjayde: So I don't feel I can claim anything to myself or speak up as among any group because I look at the stories of those people and I don't see myself there. Sometimes a little bit if I stretch.
(04:20:04) Pazi: *nodding*
(04:25:04) celestialjayde: That and reading your latest comment here - http://pazi-ashfeather.livejournal.com/229661.html - reminds me of intending to write something about revisiting most recent psychologist for seeking help late last year, and the focus on post-happening analysis from when she assured my family of me being knowing what I am doing that-
*takes breath*
The focus being on acknowledging that I was too soon immediately after in trying to express to my mother why it hurt me to presume autism made me incompetent unless certified otherwise by a professional, and not on the bit where I broke under pressure to lie and claim wrongdoing on my part during the argument just to get my mother to stop hurting and pushing at me and let me be alone.
(04:26:30) celestialjayde: Because the more I think about that, the angrier I am that her focus was on teaching me I misjudged a social moment to express my pain and not on the bit where the response to this was me being beaten down into a broken apologetic wreck.
(04:27:23) celestialjayde: And I do specifically use 'broken' here in the sense of 'people under torture can eventually be pressured to capitulate to anything simply to make the pain go away'.
(04:28:30) Pazi: *noddly*
(04:30:02) celestialjayde: I worry that linking to torture is too strong a term to apply here. Don't know how else to describe a situation where I knowingly betrayed my own principles in order to make it stop hurting.

aesmael: (just people)
This was originally composed as a response to a guest post at Questioning Transphobia:

Lately I am increasingly inclined to be critical of 'empathy' as applied to autistic and neurotypical* people. We might say autistic people lack empathy because they often do not have an intuitive understanding of people different from themselves, thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions. But then, it seems to me neurotypical people display an equal lack of empathy toward autistic people - they say autistic people do things for no reason, are 'mysteries', are 'unable to relate'.

So I suspect neurotypical people are not actually more empathetic than autistic people, but most people are like them and so they have a lot of opportunities to be accurate in attributing motive, feeling, desire, etc. who operate largely similarly to themselves. But they also happen to be the majority, or at least are in power and presented as default, so 'empathy' becomes 'ability to relate to and understand me'.

Actually, given the way people are treated across borders of culture, identity, physiology, am inclined to question whether empathy as it is claimed to be is much expressed at all.


*here used to mean 'not autistic', despite my interpretation of neurodiversity as being broader than merely autism; such an interpretation unfortunately leaves me without the clear and easy way to express this which neurotypical originally provided.
aesmael: (transformation)
Industry placement thing has been going better, perhaps. Am managing to do more without needing assistance, and more complicated things with. Less nervous too, although today that seemed a bit reversed. Anxious and whimpery today despite managing stuff, and messing up a bit later in the day. Was busy in the afternoon and the noise and... visual busyness were unpleasant.

But I did manage pretty well without having to bother the permanent staff for assistance, except that they need to print for me. I have even less ability to do so than a randomly selected student, as I have no account access in the system at all.

In other news, my mother has a new laptop. She got it, I think, because she has taken up a course of study and wants reliable computer access in order to complete it (a final push it seems) and at her request I have been helping her set it up. Am a bit envious of the machine, being two years newer than mine. However, I did get a lamp out of the deal. Yes, a lovely shiny glorious lamp to keep by my bedside and give light when called upon in the dark.

Speaking of sleep, two nights ago I was woken by a nightmare and, shaking all over, lost two hours before I was able to sleep again. Not great when I needed those hours to be rested for my placement. Fortunately other than that blip my dreams seem to have returned to ordinary far. One a blood-swirling, scalpel-wielding, compulsively murderous young boy who had to be chided not to experimentally kill those around him. The other one featuring family telling me "you always take but never give". So long as I am neither woken nor shaken.

And another 'speaking of'. Speaking of sleep, I should try to get some before the hour grows too late and uncomfortable. So, trying to write first, to get done my personal things.

... and I fell asleep there, making the rest of this written the day after. Must have been tireder than I thought from losing sleep the two previous days - slept about twelve hours, five of those nowhere near my bed. Unfortunately that means rather than being pleased at having managed 221 words of writing (when I had been making slow progress that night and did most of it immediately before sleep), now I am disappointed I fell asleep before finishing this entry and getting to doing any writing at all. Ah well. I take the position I was in need of that sleep, to rest and recover.

Today has been interesting, spending about eight hours (so far) on Skype catching up with a few people I have not seen enough of in the past few days or much longer. Amusing considering I am feeling less social lately and more inclined to persue personal projects. But I like having at least some contact and social channels potentially open, and I am still learning how to regulate that more deliberately so my day does not vanish into a sea of responding to and engaging with people when I meant to be primarily doing something else entirely.

My compulsions seem to be resurfacing a bit at this placement. Not enough to be more than a minor annoyance so far, just little effects like what paths I take through the stacks or balancing tapping patterns when I make contact with something in a 'wrong' way. I suppose this has been a bit suppressed for the past few years since I have been mainly interacting with a keyboard and not so much having opportunities for showing it, so now it comes up that I am a) moving through a more complexly arranged space than home or classrooms and b) not having my hands occupied with typing gives more opportunity for the sorts of contacts that provoke my urge to pattern completion. A lot like sitting in front of a keyboard, typing text limits my ability to stim, especially with my hands, because they are already in motion.

Weird

2009-05-07 17:51
Sometimes at this placement I feel a bit like an inadvertently undercover spy. The two most popular subjects for students to be borrowing seem to be gender studies and education of children with disabilities, particularly autistic ones.
The phrase 'person with autism' probably counts as a pet peeve of mine. Phrasing like that frames it as something external which afflicts an otherwise 'normal' person and locks em away from the otherwise healthy and social life ey might otherwise have lived. I associate it strongly with pathologisation and cure-oriented thought.

Why write this now? Because I am poking around a charity to see if it is something I might want to support and their website is littered with the phrase. It grates on me every time I read it.

The event itself and affiiates do seem more focused on living support and helping programs - hopefully ones which are actually helpful and not abusive - rather than cure research, but it is jarring to be smacked in the face with 'disorder' so many times over such a short interval. One site even renamed it 'Asperger's disorder' from 'Asperger's syndrome'. Really, you're going to do that?

Also jarring to look at organisations ostensibly for my benefit but not... for me. Aimed at people other than the ones they ostensibly serve.

"The privilege of working with our client group is that participation in one of our programs is as enjoyable and fun as any leisure activity outside of work. Coupled with the fact that many people find volunteering satisfying and rewarding, we think that volunteers will find an authentic and meaningful way to spend their time whilst making a difference. The nature of our programs means that we are literally lucky enough to find the time to stop and smell the roses."

"The aims of this program are to:

introduce our clients to a wider circle of people;
increase community awareness of autism;
provide a positive, effective and satisfying way for volunteers to meet people with disabilities."

I... wasn't aware that providing services for autistic people is also a convenient way for normal people to meet some pleasant exotics.

Doubt

2009-04-28 04:07
It's a secret, you know. We don't know the insides of other people. We don't know their thoughts, their fears, their worries. We see the outside, and onto that we see projected certainty. We see, we doubt, our own validity, but when it comes to others even their own statements of hesitance and personal uncertainty may not be recognised by us, not internalised and realised as our shared truth.

We doubt we're real. We doubt we're valid. We think we're making it up, but other's aren't.
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
There's a thing about executive functioning issues often associated with autism. And I've noticed my hygiene doesn't seem to be taking care of itself. Sleeping too. I thought I could manage those since I seemed to go okay when I was younger.

I don't know, but I've identified two factors which, being addressed, should help with this a great deal. One is making time specifically for these necessary activities, the other is disengaging from what I am doing when those times come up to go deal with the scheduled important thing instead. Because I like being clean, and well rested, I just keep forgetting to make those happen.

The second part... I don't know how to make happen yet. Am hoping a mere conscious choice to put aside and do will suffice. As for the first part, that's a bit easier, and why my personal calendar is going to be for a while experimentally marked with such peculiar instructions as 'shower'.
... I really want to staple shut the mouth of any neurotypical person who tries to talk about autistic people. Sometimes especially people who fancy themselves anti-oppression.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
When an autistic person is pointing out the most prominent organisation claiming to advocate for autistic people contains none among its leadership and in fact has as its mission the eradication of autistic people from the population, the subject at hand is in fact not whether this was expressed in the best way. The subject at hand is actually a serious problem which would really be helped by people addressing.
aesmael: (transformation)
In a few weeks we have another work placement. The last one, I felt I struggled at somewhat. Holding it together, timeliness, interaction with staff and students both... it wasn't easy remembering the protocols for putting people at ease and doing the job and I'm stumbling over words here but really, holding it together. It strained me, and I have no idea how much that showed, but they did offer me a job.

I am worried, though, because next time I will be assigned to likely a much larger library. That could be advantageous as my role in the organisation will likely be smaller but it could be harder too... they might expect more, there might be more for stumbling over. I'm... quite nervous about tripping up.

On the forms we filled out last year concerning the new placement there was space for us to list any relevant conditions we might have. I hesitated over that a long time, eventually leaving it blank when the forms were collected. I am still wondering now if I should say something to our course supervisor, inform him of my Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis wert this placement, in advance.

Edit: I don't know what I think might come of it, or how it might help me, but I am scared I suppose of how I might mess this up and maybe, maybe if it were known in advance we could work around any problems. But I am scared too of being forced to deal with other people's prejudices and preconceptions and I'd rather avoid... making a list of all the things I want to avoid. I think I will leave this here. The rest... I'd rather not say without criticising that I say and feel it, and this is not the post for that.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
(18:56:15) celestialjayde: I don't know, tend to feel like by definition, if can do well, therefore not so bad.
(18:56:49) Pazi: Mrrr.
(18:57:27) Pazi: Mrr.
(18:57:39) Pazi: Everyone has things they must or can do.
(18:58:07) Pazi: Some people are good at some things, bad at others. Varies by individual.
(18:58:20) Pazi: Society says normal people are all good at x and bad at y
(18:58:28) celestialjayde: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081128.wldoses28/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/home
The news about resuscitation is important.

(18:58:41) Pazi: You are good at some of x, and some of y, bad at some of x and some of y, and so you are told you are not normal and therefore not good.
(18:58:43) celestialjayde: Society could never be wrong.
(18:59:00) Pazi: But you can have strong difficulties with a part of your life others find basic, yet be brilliant at things they cannot.
(18:59:33) Pazi: You grasp science, logic and language use in ways so fundamental that you are probably better with them than many science buffs, even if there are gaps in your education on paper.
(18:59:53) Pazi: This is not a trivial thing, it's just that society says normal people aren't good at those things.
(19:00:04) Pazi: Which is quite foolish, if you ask me.
(19:00:16) Pazi: You have difficulty with some things most people find trivially easy.
(19:00:22) Pazi: But...take it from me, sweetheart?
(19:01:03) Pazi: Your stated perspective, and observable behavior around polyamory, or indeed, relationships in general, bespeak a level of expertise and insight I think most never achieve.
(19:01:25) Pazi: You may not have as much hands-on experience with it is as some, but...
(19:01:34) Pazi: Mrr. I never passed a biology class, either.
(19:01:40) Pazi: Not since high school.
(19:02:18) celestialjayde: That is something I find very surprising, since you are so very broad and deep in your knowledge.
(19:02:51) celestialjayde: Mm. Was thinking as you were saying just above, it is excellently phrased what you have said, something we and others would do well to internalise. Would you mind if I posted it?
(19:03:34) Pazi: Not at all.
(19:03:44) celestialjayde: Kay, thank you.

Read it generalised, not specific. That's my advice.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
New show advertised recently, Eli Stone. Seemed like fun, a main character having extravagant, perhaps prophetic visions. I thought I would give this sort of show another try after snarling at Medium.

I don't like it. After a few minutes, I realised this was the show I heard about some months ago, in which the opening episode establishes in court that vaccinations using thimerosol (faintly disguised as 'mercurisol' in the show) as a preservative cause autism, and that the company producing the vaccine was aware of this.

I don't like seeing such a charged falsehood presented on television as fact, considering it has been established firmly in multiple studies that there is no such link, and yet there are still numerous parents trying to sue companies which produce vaccines for 'making their child autistic'.

That, and the scene toward the end in which, after the main character is told that his visions are caused by an inoperable brain aneurysm, another character tells him they can have another explanation and perhaps he is a prophet, apparently in a Christian framework (Moses is referenced as an example 'I'm not' 'but God told Moses he would send a prophet to every generation'). The main character says he does not believe in God and gets told "Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in justice? Do you believe in love? Then you believe in God." This sort of declaration that being a moral person is identical with belief in the Christian God annoys me a lot.

Plus, I would have preferred if he decided to attribute significance to his visions on his own.

Perhaps it would have been better viewed as some sort of alternate reality story or fantasy, but I think I would rather not watch a show which seems to have as its primary message that evidence-free belief and decision-making is better than the other kind.

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aesmael

September 2017

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