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calypso
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17 Sep 2006, 2:31 pm

I always figured aspie inventiveness/sideways thinking would have been a distinct advantage in both a highly seasonal climate, and in a frontier land, and the ability to function in isolated family groups, rather than communities, suggests a genepool with aspie tendencies would have been perfect for re-colonising northern Europe after the last ice age. The fact that cold climate also favours paler skin is just another string to the bow of this same argument. Anglo-saxons being the re-colonisers of Northern Europe after the last ice age, then spreading far and wide until present day, suggests there might be something more to this than just unequal internet access. :)



CanyonWind
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17 Sep 2006, 5:17 pm

This is interesting stuff, several considerations come to mind.

Internet access is not the only constraint. I live in the US and I've spent time in Canada, so my knowlege of other places is limited. I would guess that less than one percent of the US population knows much of anything about asperger's and not much more about autism except that they've probably seen Rainman. That means that the vast majority of aspies in the US have no idea that they're aspies. It ain't obvious like a broken leg.

I would expect that aspie awareness in much of Africa and rural Asia would be orders of magnitude lower, so I can't see any basis for even guessing how many aspies there may be in much of the world.

The "white folks" model might get some support from the fact that there's nobody at all on the map from Asia, a continent that includes a huge number of knowlegable people in all fields and an awful lot of people with internet access. Many of them speak english, so they could easily get around this website. The people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are Caucasians, not orientals, whatever the significance of that may be.

Canada is similar to the US in a lot of ways, with ten percent of the population, so it should have ten percent of the number of aspies, but that doesn't show up on the map. I can't explain that.

I thought Yate's topological theory was a wonderful start because he seems to be one of the few people who recognize that social isolation is the central feature that any theory of autism must explain. Without the big picture as context, I can't see much point in mechanistic random facts about grey and white brain matter and lunatic "extreme male brain" theories describing males who spend their lives at the bottom of male heirarchies getting bullied by males and ignored by females. I wish they would stop explaining long enough to tell me what it is they're trying to explain.

I think Yates arrived at the wrong answer to the right question. People in rural areas have much more to do with their neighbors than people in cities. The more physically separated people are, the stronger and closer their personal relationships become. Frontier people and ranchers depend much more on each other than people in a New York apartment building who might occasionally nod or say hello.

I remember reading about the old days in Canada's far north. It was popularly believed that Criminals from places south could hide out there because there were so few people, but the reality was that nobody could go anywhere up there without everybody around knowing about it. People there kept up with each other.

I'm not aware of any people anywhere who live as isolated families except european frontier farmer colonists in places europeans colonized in the last few centuries. This would be especially true of people moving into europe to hunt large Pleistocene mammals. I can't imagine a father and son mammoth hunt.

I don't like the idea at all, but sometimes ideas I don't like turn out to be true. Maybe the genetic basis of asperger's really is just a deleterious mutation or a complex of mutations somehow correlated enough to produce a recognizable syndrome. Maybe it's in the process of being selected out of the human gene pool. I think it's clear that aspies' reproductive output is way below average, and in the standard model of evolution, that makes it true by definition. Treasure your uniqueness, cause we're headed for extinction, one more dead end in the history of life on earth.

I don't like the idea, but it sure would fit the plain and simple facts. Please, somebody show me why it's wrong.


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19 Sep 2006, 5:41 pm

Why must it be wrong? Because it's racist? It's racist in disfavour of white people, though...


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CanyonWind
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20 Sep 2006, 2:08 am

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No, I really don't see racism as being involved at all. It doesn't seem to me like a put down of any race. Its nothing unusual when an inherited condition is correlated with a particular group or race. What's that condition, Tay-Sachs?, thats pretty much restricted to people whose ancestors were east european jews; that's got nothing to do with prejudice against jews.

I'm looking at the question of whether asperger's is just another deleterious mutation, a heritable mistake without selective value, or whether it's some form of adaptation.

I'm being unscientific, I would like to think that I'm not just defective, but I recognize that evolution is unsentimental and not concerned about my wishes, so I'm not being totally unscientific.

The racial and ethnic distribution of aspergers would provide some clues. If aspergers was uniform in frequency among all races, that would suggest that it's been around in the human population for a long time, dating back to the time before the races diverged, and that selection against it has not always been as strong as the typical aspie's love life would suggest.

It could also mean that it's a commonly occuring whack-a-mole mutation that keeps re-appearing in human populations as fast as it gets removed, or possibly that there's some kind of heterozygote advantage for people who are "half aspie."

If it's actually much more common among us white folks, that would suggest that either it appeared after the races diverged, or that some ecological factor in europe and western asia did not decrease the reproductive output of people carrying the genetic basis for the syndrome, or both. If it was restricted to europeans, excluding caucasians in the middle east and southern asia, that would provide a more specific version of the same idea.

I have no idea how you could get any meaningful data on this, unless somebody comes up with a DNA test. It might be interesting to compare aspie frequencies in northern and southern europe, where awareness of the condition might be similar.

You mentioned that you thought aspies were predominantly white people. Do you agree with Yate's topological theory, or are your ideas based on something else?


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They murdered boys in Mississippi. They shot Medgar in the back.
Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
You were quiet, just like mice. And now you say that we're not nice.
Well thank you buddy for your advice...
-Malvina


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20 Sep 2006, 8:27 am

To be honest, I haven't even read his ideas yet, but I can, like you call it "unscientifically" just look at wrongplanet and see that if Asperger's would be as dominant in southern Europe, there would be more people from Spain and Italy for example. They have almost as good internet connections as we have in the Nordic countries and the awereness of the syndrom among educated people in southern Europe would also be almost as good as here. In fact, very few Swedish shrinks know much about Asperger's, except for professor Gillberg and a dozen more. Most MD:s with a psychiatric education know very little of Asperger's other than the most common traits and very often just the worst traits, i e, the stereotype AS.

That fact alone is enough to make me think, "unscientifically", that it has been developed (predominantly) among the white people in nothern Europe, in principle north of the Alps. But I don't know how or why, as little as you or anyone else for that matter...


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CanyonWind
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20 Sep 2006, 11:21 am

I couldn't prove it, but I think you may be on to something.

One impression I've had, at wrong planet and other aspie sites, is that there seems to be an awful lot of people from scandinavia. Language could be a factor when looking at english language websites, but I would guess that the proportion of people who speak english in spain and italy would be roughly the same as in scandinavia.

Another thing I've noticed is that I don't remember seeing much, if anything, from aspies in israel. The jews were a originally a middle eastern people, and although some outbreeding has occurred, they have historically had a very strong cultural aversion against marrying non-jews. I'm half jew, by the way, the other half is mixed northern european. Jews are probably over-represented among mental health types in terms of their numbers, a lot of them speak english, they know how to use the internet, and their culture strongly encourages them to express their opinions.

Unless somebody is from israel, you wouldn't know whether they were a jew on the internet unless they told you, but I wonder why you don't hear from more israeli aspies.

Maybe we should start calling it "Viking Syndrome."


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They murdered boys in Mississippi. They shot Medgar in the back.
Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
You were quiet, just like mice. And now you say that we're not nice.
Well thank you buddy for your advice...
-Malvina


alex
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20 Sep 2006, 1:24 pm

whoops, see down


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Last edited by alex on 20 Sep 2006, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hyper_alien
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20 Sep 2006, 1:27 pm

nice alex

the frappr map has other purposes, like seeing where other aspies live i.e. do they live near me...(they dont live near me lol)


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alex
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20 Sep 2006, 1:31 pm

whoops that was the wrong map. that was from a different site. here is wrongplanet's map:

Image


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CanyonWind
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20 Sep 2006, 2:49 pm

hyper

oops...uh...sorry.

Didn't mean to be hogging the thread with an aspie obsession.

I got interested and got all excited. That part I'm sure you'll understand.


Alex

Thanks for posting the pie chart. Interesting stuff.


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They murdered boys in Mississippi. They shot Medgar in the back.
Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
You were quiet, just like mice. And now you say that we're not nice.
Well thank you buddy for your advice...
-Malvina


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20 Sep 2006, 3:17 pm

CanyonWind wrote:

Maybe we should start calling it "Viking Syndrome."


Hm, flattering in a way. I'm actually from the very part of Scandinavia that once was called Viken, southeast of todays Norway and southwest of todays Sweden, that gave the Vikings their name. 8)


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And if there's money in that box,
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hyper_alien
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20 Sep 2006, 4:41 pm

Canyon Wind its ok dude. Interesting Stuff. Write what you want i like reading it.

8) 8) 8)


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aarghapanda
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25 Sep 2006, 3:26 am

Added :D



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25 Sep 2006, 4:20 am

Flitch!! ! Can that thing go to New Zealand? Because if it can, I don't know how :cry:, and if it can't, I'm bloody pissed off! :evil:


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hyper_alien
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25 Sep 2006, 5:36 am

It can


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