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paolo
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18 Jan 2007, 2:49 pm

“The ambulatory system of a horse divides into four distinct paces. These are colloquially referred to as walk, trot, canter and gallop, but each one consists of a set of motions governed by complex input from both the environment and horse's nervous and muscular system. They are aimed to respond to variations in the terrain, the horse's heart and breathing rate etc., and yet regular enough to be recognizable as only one of these four types of locomotion. There are no hybrid ways for a horse to move that are part trot and part walk; the horse is always definitely doing one or the other.”
I have tried to use this information to explain what autism is about. Each gait of a horse is governed by a “module”, organ or specific part of the brain in the same way as social interaction among humans is governed by a specific “module”. If the module is defective there is nothing you can do about it, although you can direct your vital energy in different channels. Glenn Gould was incapable of social interaction, but, being exceptionally gifted for the musical language, poured all his efforts in the production of splendid music. “His life was entirely dedicated to music. Gould has sometimes been called a hermit and a recluse. He was not. He chose for himself a solitary existence which kept interaction at a safe distance, showing himself primarily through his recordings, broadcasts, and writings, providing self-protection but at the same time allowing a great deal of self-revelation.”
There are horses good for gallop and horses good for walk.



Prof_Pretorius
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18 Jan 2007, 4:10 pm

Hmmm, some horses are noted for their unique gait. Such as the Peruvian Paseo, which is noted for being very smooth in the way it walks. Neat analogy.


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paolo
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18 Jan 2007, 6:13 pm

And in computers you have “programs”. I don’t think we are only big computers (there is no computer imaginable that performs the tasks of a wolf or of a cat’s or a man’s brain. But if you have not the right program you have to give up doing some things.

I also think of all activities performed simultaneoulsy, like talking in a cell phone and driving, playing the piano, the fast typist, digiting while thinking what to write, which all require some decentralization of commands, some "deputizing" on the part of the will, some division of labour within the brain that may happen only with a complex architecture of the brain, some articulation of differentiated organs in the brain. Incidentally my attempts to explain autism with modularity never met any interest in listeners of the common walk. And I think that, more than an inherent difficulty af the concepts, what counts more here is some kind of misplaced defence of the self. Am I hardwired? Where is my liberty? Do I have to see the my ego being disintegrated?