Archive | Human Interest

Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (2/2)

Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (2/2)

One of the problems with this line of thinking is that similar ratios have been reported in other developmental disorders. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, intellectual disabilities, and stuttering are among those. The social problems of autism do not exist in these conditions and it would be a lot harder to hide them; a dyslexic either has difficulty reading or doesn’t, a stutterer either talks fluently or doesn’t.

However, though it’s possible that clinicians have missed some cases due to bias, there’s also an alternative explanation that females may have some sort of protective effect against autism. These may be hormonal, i.e. estrogen and a lack of testosterone in females and vice-versa with males. Continue Reading

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Imperialist Aliens Should Check Their Privilege!

It seems privileged metropolitan latte-sipping aliens have a problem with the equally privileged double standards of mundane down-to-earth Earthling types. Continue Reading

Posted in Human Interest, Internets Tubes0 Comments

Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (1/2)

Male/Female Sex Ratios and Neurodiversity Revisited (1/2)

One of the hot topics in autism lately has been skepticism over the reported ratio of autism in males versus females. Ever since autism was first described, an approximately 4:1 male:female ratio has been reported. This started with Kanner’s initial paper with eight boys and three girls and Asperger’s first paper which had four boys and no girls. Continue Reading

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Fellow Asperger’s People: ‘Society’ Owes You Nothing

Fellow Asperger’s People: ‘Society’ Owes You Nothing

Here, I am quoting some of my tweets from November 14, 2016.

You can probably guess what facets of my identity motivate these tweets.

If you have autism, ‘Society’ owes you nothing! Continue Reading

Posted in Health, Human Interest, Serious CommentaryComments Off

Mongolian Jokes

Mongolian Jokes

When I was young, there was a large statue of Lenin in Ulaanbaatar. In 2012, the Mongolian government removed the statue, denouncing Lenin as a ‘murderer’.

In that same year, I heard this joke:

A Muscovite watches a communist demonstration next to a large statue of Lenin, upon which is inscribed, YOU DIED, BUT YOUR WORK WILL LIVE LONG!

A passerby reads the inscription, sighs, and says, “It would have been better had you lived a long time and your work died.” Continue Reading

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

Last time:

After the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece by Steve Silberman that included the analogy between autism speaks and the NAACP that I wrote about above, Liz Feld, Autism Speaks CEO, responded urging the autism community to work together. This was years after not responding to repeated criticism by the neurodiversity movement, including that they were eugenicists whose only goal was to find a pre-natal test for autism and urge the abortion of autistic fetuses.

The essay continues:

Another significant event took place. Suzanne Wright contracted pancreatic cancer. This was so difficult for their family, that the Wright’s resigned from the autism speaks board and others took over. This made Steve Shore believe that autism speaks was now a safe haven and after some years of unsuccessfully trying to recruit him for their board of directors, he finally decided to get on board and become a team player. Valerie Paradiz who has stated that she has Asperger’s was the second autistic board member to be appointed by Autism Speaks. Valerie has not only been an opponent for a cure for autism, she stated at least according to one media source that autism is not a disability but a strength. Continue Reading

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

WALLACE’S NOTE: Although the following story is about the ‘October Surprise’ from Autism Speaks, the decision in question may have some long term implications.

Autism speaks has published a new mission statement:

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Saliently absent is the word “cure” from their mission statement which they had in the past: Continue Reading

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History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

The recent presidential election has resulted in some pretty shocking newspaper headlines – like when Scotland’s The Daily Record ran a cover story showing a photo of Donald Trump at his swank new Scottish golf course on a windy day, with his hair all messed up. The headline read:

THERE WILL BE HELL TOUPEE!

The fact is provocative front pages are nothing new. Headlines intended to shock you go back centuries. Recently I did extensive research on the history of newspaper front page headlines, by which I mean I Googled “history of newspaper front page headlines” while binge-watching the Netflix series Stranger Things. I uncovered some long-lost front pages that detail some of the most important, but perhaps forgotten, events in human history.

In my research, I even found what is believed to be the very first front page headline ever written – from The Neanderthal News. It read: Continue Reading

Posted in Human Interest, Making Headlines, Top Stories0 Comments

Has Autism Given me the Gift of Prophecy?

Has Autism Given me the Gift of Prophecy?

Some persons on the autism spectrum have extraordinary talents and abilities.  These are known as savant skills.  Rainman’s ability to count through an eight deck shoe in blackjack became well-known after the movie of the same name came out.  One individual I went to special ed with could tell you what day of the week any date of the year was.  More amazingly, he could tell you exactly what he’d done that day.  Jerry Newport’s ability to multiply four digit sums in his head were also well known and helped land a movie based on his life’s story, Mozart and the Whale.  Stephen Wiltshire’s drawing ability is also well known.  Others have extraordinary musical abilities.

Bernard Rimland conducted a survey and estimated that ten percent of spectrumites have savant skills.  Researcher Patricia Howlin thought that his estimate was far too conservative and claimed that it was possible that as many as thirty percent of autistic people have some sort of savant skill.  Darold Treffert, an expert on savantism, stated that her figure was probably based on a liberal definition of what defines a savant.

Until recently, I felt left out that I was in the ninety percent of autistic individuals (or seventy percent if you take stock in Howlin’s more liberal estimate) who have no special talents or savant abilities.  In one week from today I will be sixty-one years old and amazingly enough it took me that long to realize that I actually have a savant skill-the gift of prophecy.

Let me elaborate.  The small number of you who have actually followed my blog know that autism has handicapped me in two ways.  It has seriously compromised my ability to make a living.  I’m likely in the Guinness Book of World Records for most jobs fired from.  I have not worked in nearly ten years.  I have also never had a girlfriend and my intensity and relentless negativity has been a turnoff to them.  Some of you may also recall my quote of Freud’s stating that to work and to love are cornerstones of our humanity.  Ergo, I have felt autism stripped me of my humanity.  I’ve discovered that when this issue comes up I can predict what people will advise me to do about these problems and their general comments on these issues.  I can also predict what a neurodiversity proponent will say is the reason I hate my autism so much. This must mean I have the gift of prophecy.

Multiple people have advised me to disclose my disability to perspective employers.  This will solve my problems of being fired.  They will say to themselves “that explains it” if I make a funny movement with my hand instead of being prejudiced against me.  If I make too many careless errors, they will say “that’s all right his autism explains it” or they will make a better effort to work with me.  Or that the Americans with Disabilities Act gives me the right to ask for accommodations and the employer will grant me these accommodations, they’ll work and problem solved.  Ari Ne’eman has even gone so far to state that all social unpleasantries that autistic people commit in the workplace should be completely overlooked.  I get fed up with explaining to them that if there is something the employer does not like about me, they are going to fire me and they won’t overlook errors and knowing I have an autism diagnosis won’t matter.  Also that the Americans with Disabilities Act only gives me the right to ask for reasonable accommodations and being able to go more slowly or asking to put up with loudness and behavior they don’t like aren’t reasonable accommodations under the law.

As far as not having a girlfriend is concerned I should find someone “like myself”, a polite way of saying I’m not suited for a non-handicapped woman and “mixed marriages” are taboo.  Or some unabashedly state “find an autistic girlfriend”.  It does not matter that the ratio of autistic men to autistic women on the milder spectrum is 10 to 1 and at least nine out of ten guys are going to be unlucky.  Actually the number is probably greater than that since “mixed marriages” between a handicapped woman and non-handicapped man aren’t as taboo.  Not to mention the fact that the most desirable autistic women will have no trouble finding a non-autistic man and most of them will prefer them to the autistic man (barring extraordinary exceptions like Mike Carley and John Robison of course).

According to many neurodiversity proponents the reason I don’t believe my autism is a beautiful thing and I’m not celebrating is that I had a horrible domineering mother who taught me to hate myself.  Because she wanted a “normal” child, I somehow sensed this and when I could not make her happy I ended up hating my autism. She’s been called overbearing, domineering, a witch and a shrew by at least some of these people.  It has nothing to do with the fact that it prevents me from living a normal life, being able to make a living or having friends and girlfriends and I have the uncontrollable compulsion to twiddle during the day.  Interestingly enough I actually lived through the Bettelheim era in the sixties where I and my parents had to hear this and castration anxiety was at least in part thought to be the etiology of my disability so it is nothing new for me.

I only wished that I’d known about this savant skill I have earlier.  I would have been able to predict the weather and earthquakes and save lives.  I would have been able to make a fortune playing the ponies.  I would have been an expert poker player able to predict exactly what cards would fall and know what hands to play.

Perhaps it’s not too late, even at my advanced age.  I could work on it and practice and develop this skill or maybe I could get TMS like John Robison did and it would stimulate the right brain areas and then I could actually bring out this latent ability.

Well, in spite of all the hardships that autism has caused me I guess I can take solace in the fact that I have the gift of prophecy.

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What is Done and What Isn’t Done: All’s Painful in Love & Politics

What is Done and What Isn’t Done: All’s Painful in Love & Politics

In life, I don’t regret what I have actually done, half as much as I’ve regretted what I didn’t do when I had the chance, or what I did do, but did in a way that was omitting to do something very important.

This is a truth that functions on many levels.

One wise person told me many years ago:

The worst thing you can ever say is:
‘If only I had…’

If you have concrete, substantial regrets, at least you know where you stand.

If but if all you have to regret is a large, dizzying abyss; or T.S. Eliot’s

The passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.

The grief of what you have failed to realize or accomplish, and what it has cost you and others, will never go away.

Time does not heal all things, but it numbs the pain of your debts and your trangressions.

But there is no healing and no panacea and no forgiveness, now nor forevermore, for the beauty and the treasure you squandered on the highway, trampled in the ditch and cast to the four heavens.

Better far to ache in Mordor
Than wistful, sore to sigh
In Rivendell.

***

https://jonathanartsandcritique.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/what-is-done-and-what-isnt-done-alls.html

Posted in Human Interest0 Comments

Remembering the Magna Carta

Remembering the Magna Carta

It took a long time for human societies to come up with the idea of universal human rights and the equality of persons under the law. Before 1215, monarchs could capriciously decree “Off with their heads!” and dispatch anyone with impunity. In the short term, leaders were the equivalent of terrestrial gods, acting with the divine right of kings, according to the received wisdom of the times. If mistakes were made, they would be dealt with in the afterlife.

Only in the thirteenth century did the absolute authority of the monarch begin seriously to be questioned. Admittedly, the first attempts were not driven by pure quests for morality or justice on the part of leaders themselves. The first steps taken were rather practical in nature, and there were many false starts before the notions of liberty and human dignity began to take hold. The earliest kings to begin the process of forging what would eventually come to be embraced as human rights were amenable to negotiation on contentious matters, including the meting out of justice, for the self-interested or prudential reason that they needed the cooperation of other people in order to govern their domains smoothly.

Full rights were not extended to all people everywhere for many, many centuries, but it all started with the Magna Carta and the path-breaking idea that the arbitrary justice handed down by monarchs up until that time needed to be moderated. Small concessions led to larger ones and were incorporated in the government constitutions of many Western democratic states, including the United States of America. The ideas continued to be developed and expanded until finally, in the mid-twentieth century, universal human rights were codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the twenty-first century, the idea of universal human rights has taken some serious hits. Ironically, it is the ultramodern technology used to annihilate persons by remote-control which has caused a regression to pre-Magna Carta times in matters of justice. George W. Bush was the first US president to dispatch persons with this technology, but he used it primarily in connection with the already waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much of the use of drones during Bush’s terms of office involved the protection of forces on the ground. Not all, however, for Bush also used drones, albeit selectively, in places such as Yemen and Pakistan, in a quest to hunt down and eliminate alleged Al Qaeda terrorists.

President Barack Obama deserves even more censure than Bush on the drone front, having effectively normalized the practice of assassination at a distance. Obama thought that he was being a technologically savvy “smart warrior”, but the most cursory glance at the situation in the Middle East reveals that he was sorely wrong. Much of the US populace regards Obama as a cautious warrior, because he has done most of his killing quietly and covertly, characteristically refusing to share his lethal practices and policies with the public under cover of State Secrets Privilege said to be necessitated by national security.

Obama’s decision to execute thousands of suspects without warning or trial using Predator drones is particularly disturbing in the light of the statistics on Guantánamo Bay prison, where the majority of the prisoners were discovered after years of detention to have been erroneously apprehended. The intel just wasn’t that good. Bribed informants are obviously subject to mercenary corruption, and this fact was starkly confirmed by the plight of terrorist suspects incarcerated under the authority of George W. Bush.

One might have hoped that this lesson would be taken to heart by the subsequent US administration, but it was not. Instead, Obama dealt with the problem of suspects by defining them as guilty until proven innocent. Sound familiar? That would be the pre-Magna Carta template of justice. The sovereign power decrees “Off with their heads!” and that is the end of their story.

It was shocking to many people when, in 2011, Obama opted to assassinate even US citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan and, two weeks later, Al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, in Yemen. Unfortunately, many people wanted to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, so impeachment proceedings were never carried out. In truth, what he started is bound to grow worse under the most likely successors to the US throne. But we did not even have to wait until the end of Obama’s term to see the nefarious potential for harm set by his precedent rolling back the progress made by republican governments over hundreds of years.

Ironically, it was during the year of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, penned in Runnymede, West of London, that UK Prime Minister David Cameron decided to strap on his drone warrior holster and whack a couple of his own countrymen, Ruhal Amin and Reyaad Khan. The British Parliament had already explicitly voted against war in Syria, and yet that was precisely where Cameron carried out the assassinations using unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), better known as “lethal drones”.

It is depressing that the tendency of people to accord Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt has ended by undoing so much good done by so many people who toiled over so many centuries to establish basic protections for all people under the law. When the leader of a nation chooses to execute his compatriots on the basis of secretive intelligence to which only he and his henchmen are privy, then it is difficult to see how this differs at all from what went on before 1215.

Every monarch throughout history who decreed “Off with their heads!” believed that he was doing the right thing. Often they felt entirely justified in what they were doing, primarily protecting their own domain and shoring up their power against threats. What reason can the US and UK governments possibly have for not observing the most basic protections guaranteed by the laws of the land, and codified in Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

The claim made by Obama has always been that capture is “infeasible”, but the cases of the unarmed Osama bin Laden, who was shot and killed in cold blood, and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was released from a prison in Yemen only to be hunted down and slain, reveal that “infeasibility” has now come to mean “undesirability”. In some ways the execution of British nationals authorized by David Cameron is even more shocking, because the death penalty is prohibited under both British law and the EU Charter. (Oddly enough, Cameron himself opposes Brexit!)

Political leaders can generally be depended on to try to outdo their predecessors, just as Obama did vis-à-vis Bush on the drone front. That is precisely why the legacy of Barack Obama will be none other than the increased propensity to “strike first, suppress questions later,” to prove that whoever the new president ends up being is “tougher” on terrorism than Obama was.

Let no one be fooled by the fact that for most of his eight-year term Obama resolutely recited “no boots on the ground” in the manner of a mantra. After years of covert operations, drone strikes, and weapons provisions to “appropriately vetted moderate rebel forces”, the Middle East is a morass of lawlessness and homicide. We reap what we sow. Now even Obama has sent combat troops to most of the several lands where he has ruthlessly used drones to kill persons whose names are not even known, along with “high-value” targets who became enemies of the state only because of the US invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria using implements of mass homicide, Special Forces, intelligence operatives, and regular combat soldiers.

The Magna Carta was the beginning of the full recognition of human liberty and dignity, and an acknowledgement that no mere mortal possesses the divine powers of omniscience. Mistakes are made. Politicians and bureaucrats are sometimes corrupt and sometimes amoral. That is precisely why we have laws to guard against the very tyranny which Obama and Cameron have chosen so myopically to embrace and hold up as an example for leaders all over the world, in both democratic and nondemocratic states.

The road to liberty and universal human rights was long and tortuous. The road to tyranny, thousands of victims have now learned at the hands of the US and UK governments, is short and direct, rather like driving down a street which terminates off the edge of a cliff. The fact that most US and UK citizens have not suffered summary execution has persuaded many to believe that nothing has really changed. In fact, everything has changed, but not in the way which any of the early supporters of Obama might have hoped.

To freely forsake one’s right to be indicted and tried for a capital crime before being annihilated by the state is a luxury enjoyed only by already free people. To condone the drone warriors’ willful denial of the historical and political significance of the Magna Carta is to prevent that same liberty from being shared by all people everywhere.

https://thedroneage.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/remembering-the-magna-carta/

Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary, War Zone1 Comment

Why Inky is on a Mission to Save Endangered Languages

Why Inky is on a Mission to Save Endangered Languages

When Inky Gibbens learned that Buryat, the northern-Siberian language of my grandparents, was in danger of dying out, she knew then and there that she had to do something. But from a remote part of the Mongolian steppes, she felt powerless to act. However, she was lucky enough to come to the UK in later years, to study modern languages and subsequently focus on language policy and revitalisation during my master’s degrees.

5 years on, she is now founder and CEO of a newly-formed Cambridge-based EdTech startup, Tribalingual, which is pledged to rescue endangered languages from the brink of extinction. Continue Reading

Posted in Education, Human Interest0 Comments

Autism: Advantage with Women & Aphrodisiac? Autism Can Land You a Hot Girlfriend

Autism: Advantage with Women & Aphrodisiac? Autism Can Land You a Hot Girlfriend

Autism diagnoses started to soar in the 1990s and those new cases are now adults in their early twenties.  Society and the media have noted the need for employers to hire those on the spectrum.  This has lead to major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times publishing articles on how autism is an advantage in the workplace and how it can land you a job.  Continue Reading

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Autism and the Single Life:  Humorous Quotes to take the Sting out of Celibacy

Autism and the Single Life: Humorous Quotes to take the Sting out of Celibacy

Celibacy is a real problem for many autistic males. You don’t get to hear about it much because the powers that be only publicizes writings of successful autistics like Stephen Shore who can get married and Temple Grandin, a female who claims to be celibate by choice. The problems of the invisible autistic adult are ignored and people act like autistics remain Peter Pans.

Most of the internet autistics do not write much about this problem. Trust me, it is there, it exists. Continue Reading

Posted in Health, Human Interest, Society0 Comments

The Peace Criminals Project is Going Great! But Will You Write for Us?

The Peace Criminals Project is Going Great! But Will You Write for Us?

The three Peace Criminals sites have been going well.

But we all have limited time.

Can you help by contributing some articles?

New ones are best of all, but some republications are certainly of use too.

We don’t claim any copyright over your work, so you can do whatever you like with it.

Neocon Surveillance

The flagship site: Continue Reading

Posted in Human Interest, War Zone0 Comments

Infiltrator Song (BNP Bugger Up Blues)

Infiltrator Song (BNP Bugger Up Blues)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9FtrxKQNA0

I ‘ave a well good country
That there’s us England lad, y’know
It were a proper well good country
Till ‘em ‘as changed it, long ago Continue Reading

Posted in Human Interest, Internets Tubes0 Comments

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