A comment by a fellow blogger made me aware that I haven’t defined or explained certain terms I use, so after 333 posts, I guess it’s time to do that! It might seem backward, but handcuffing my mind by setting out “finished” ideas before I have explored related information is not how I think or write. This blog is an act of exploration in public.
Many of my reactions and thoughts do come from a previous interest in human evolution, before I was diagnosed Asperger, but had been diagnosed bipolar. My response to BP was to figure out my behavior (there is always more to any subject than what one is told), in order to live a more comfortable and stable life. This led to a fascination with Homo erectus; with neoteny and with the bizarre arrangements of relationships between “extinct” ape species and our species, put forth over millennia. These originally were religious (supernatural / magical) in conception: how is it then, that modern science is “stuck” with these same ideas? Scientists persist in the strenuous and futile attempt to hang modern evidence on an archaic armature: White Christian males are “on top” of the evolutionary carcass, as if Nature can be seen as an elaborate piece of taxidermy: dead because “we” are the penultimate life form. All sorts of props are needed to make a model: convoluted time frames, invented differences, logistic impossibilities, conclusions that overreach facts and common sense, personal attacks and perhaps most disturbing to me, the sheer “ugliness” of the results.
There is a word used in science/mathematics that may seem out of place, but the intellectual sensation of “elegance” is a hoped-for reaction to a testable hypothesis, a brilliant experimental plan, a succinct but all-encompassing theory that is confirmed by repeatable results – A phrase or equation that describes a previously unknown set of connections occurring in the universe. My handicap is that I’m not even average in math aptitude, but I do understand the function of “maths” as the languages of physical reality – and the predictors of so many possibilities beyond our space-time existence. (It is currently ‘popular’ in some circles to argue against simplicity and elegance and for a messy and ugly universe.)
What I do have is what I call the Asperger “bull-shit” detector: it’s a visual skill that “sees” ideas as well as things, and connects those ideas to a visual memory bank that is “intuitive” – it doesn’t need words (conscious language) to work. It is sometimes a pain-in-the-brain process because it resists being “turned off.” My accommodation of this predicament is either to do mundane chores or to be hyper visual and escape to the countryside; walk, take photographs and note the changes to local geology – erosion, flood deposits, rock falls, animal tracks, the condition of vegetation. I “surrender” to my visual brain. I would expect this is familiar to musicians.
Being intuitive is like having a computer that runs a lot of programs in the background, but which intrudes into awareness, often at inopportune times, such as during conversations, meetings, or other times when neurotypicals demand attention. Neurotypicals assume that all humans will be fascinated by whatever is coming out of their mouths. Many “nonstandard” humans do know that 99% of social interaction is about social conflict, status-seeking, and aggression. “Scoring” points in these areas depends on lies, bullying, insults, material possessions. The one “insult” that neurotypicals cannot bear, is being “ignored.” This, I think is the source of unwarranted attacks on individuals for “being Asperger” or Autistic – we think about the world outside of social humans and we do it in their presence. Denying a social human the attention they deserve (in their minds) is a huge insult….and worse, it’s being done by an inferior (subhuman) “retard.” (Social humans aren’t sophisticated – that’s still how most see us.)
The prize for super-predators is the privilege of harming “lesser” human beings with impunity. It’s the social pyramid that endures throughout human history, regardless of political or cultural differences. The “good news” is that this cruel system is “new” – having developed over the previous 10-15,000 years as a consequence of settled agriculture, changes to the brain and body during domestication, and the intolerable conditions of urban “zoos.” The bad news is, it’s getting worse.
Neurotypical is a “catch all” word and I don’t use it often – I prefer “modern social humans” as it specifically describes changes in Homo sapiens since the Agricultural Revolution 10-15,000 years ago, the result of domestication and juvenalization (neoteny). I sometimes use neurotypical to call attention to a social belief system that dominates western culture, which is highly religious (Puritanical) and restrictive – it says that anyone who exists outside a crippling white EuroAmerican definition of “human” is abnormal, and can be excluded from consideration as Homo sapiens. Gee, that’s simple!
Psychology is the system that took over the task of regimentation from Protestant religious institutions by segregating and sorting “who is truly human” from “subhumans.” This is history, not theory.
Communication that is dependent on emotions, make N’s dependent on emotions; it amplifies emotions until they become the basis and justification for “bad” behavior: exploitation, labels, exclusion. It is dangerous and immoral to justify persecution and killing of humans, animals, plants for emotional gratification (power). But that’s exactly what happens.
We need to select methods of communication and decision-making that are appropriate to solving specific problems. Relying on emotion guarantees continued violent interaction. However, socialization, domestication and juvenalization may be so extensive in modern Homo sapiens that there simply will no longer be enough “adult” humans to carry the species forward.