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Bodyles
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01 Nov 2013, 5:04 am

gonewild wrote:
Evolution and Aspergers - it's a topic I'm working on. In brief, my current hypothesis is that the brain processing found in Aspies is pre-social, meaning that the NT brain is very new and is the result of two trends: one is the juvenalization of both physical and mental characteristics in modern humans (I did not make this up, it's an actual field of study) which is the result of bipedalism, which forced a pattern of increasingly premature birth, which was then emphasized through sexual selection. And two, the adaptation to domestication and urbanization (approx. 10,000 years ago) that was initiated by climate change. Humans began to live in crowded urban / agricultural environments that demanded an organized and hierarchical social structure - those who were socially responsive and compliant were favored; people who were not were driven out or exterminated.

Modern social humans are arrested at an adolescent developmental stage - dependent on social status and the group, highly emotionally reactive and prone to violence. Aspergers brain organization represents and older type of human that lived in small egalitarian groups with a lifestyle embedded in nature. They possessed acute sensory knowledge of the environment. These early pre-social humans were essentially wild, cunning, intelligent, and successful in their proper environment. The difficulties Aspies encounter in heavily social NT environments are the result of being in the wrong environment - one which literally makes us ill.

I know this sounds shocking and even wacko to Aspies and NTs alike, but I have good evidence that this is a possible scenario.


Interesting theory, but it seems to me that you have it backwards.

Since we evolved from primates, and primates had elaborate social heirarchies and structures enforced with violence, it seems likely that the heirarchical social behavior is an older trait inherited by NTs.

Some have speculated that Aspies are an evolutionary step forwards, rather than backwards, as we are more prone to logic, reason, honesty, and compassion than NTs.
It's possible that when the next cataclysm comes, as it inevitably will, and natural selection starts playing a large role in human evolution again, only those who are able to work together for the greater good like aspies, rather than for their own status and benefit like NTs, will survive.

Just my 2cents though, I could be wrong.



opal
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01 Nov 2013, 5:38 am

"Grow up"
"Get over it"
"You're pathetic"



gonewild
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01 Nov 2013, 10:00 am

What I like about WP is that members do respond to each other. Yes, I know my hypothesis sounds counterintuitive, but nature often is. I can't lay out my entire trail of evidence and thought process here, obviously, and as a scientist (geologist) I always know that my ideas may be utterly wrong. But! as I began looking into human behavior and evolution, I found so many flaws in how evidence was interpreted that it was truly shocking. Note - I did not know that I was Aspie at the time; I had no mission to explain that situation. I'll make a couple of points and leave it at that for now. 1. We didn't evolve from primates, we are primates. 2. There is no proof that humans as a species are logical, reasonable, honest or compassionate. These are concepts created by humans and are easily manipulated to (falsely) demonstrate that we are either "good" or "bad." Millions of pages of philosophical writings have tried to pin down such ideas - they don't exist in nature. 3. Even if we could prove the above, there is no evidence that these are advanced qualities that will ensure human survival. 4. Evolution is driven by the environment; we may change our environment, but we then have to adapt to those changes. How are we doing so far? Very badly. Our "intelligence" may ensure our extinction and that of thousands of other species. 5. Violence: yes, physical force to ensure survival is essential in nature, but human use of violence is different in kind and degree. If after a battle, soldiers collected bodies as food, and distributed the meat to their community, we might see the killing as simple predatory behavior. (This may actually have been the case with early humans.)



StarCity
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01 Nov 2013, 1:31 pm

The stupid thing that people ask me is "How did you find it?".
As an example when I'd been to the gym for the first time someone said "How did you find it?". My answer was "I found it by using google maps."

What they should have said is "What was it like at the gym, and did you enjoy it?".

Thankfully in my case I can interpret/desipher stuff like the above in most cases, and by "unpicking" what they said I usually see it in both the literal & other at the same time. Even so, it takes a lot of mental effort at times to work out what someone means rather than what they said.


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We, the people on the Autistic Spectrum have a choice.
We can either try to "fit in" with the rest of society, or we can be so egocentric that we can't be bothered.
I choose the actor. I observe NT's. I listen to their socializing. I practice it, so in social situations I can just emulate/mimic what is expected.
It isn't natural for me, but it enables me to "fit in".
It is VERY tiring and draining, but at least we can appear like them even though it is an act. Like being on the stage.
They can't see it is emulation, and so we are accepted.


Bodyles
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01 Nov 2013, 2:15 pm

gonewild wrote:
What I like about WP is that members do respond to each other. Yes, I know my hypothesis sounds counterintuitive, but nature often is. I can't lay out my entire trail of evidence and thought process here, obviously, and as a scientist (geologist) I always know that my ideas may be utterly wrong. But! as I began looking into human behavior and evolution, I found so many flaws in how evidence was interpreted that it was truly shocking. Note - I did not know that I was Aspie at the time; I had no mission to explain that situation. I'll make a couple of points and leave it at that for now. 1. We didn't evolve from primates, we are primates. 2. There is no proof that humans as a species are logical, reasonable, honest or compassionate. These are concepts created by humans and are easily manipulated to (falsely) demonstrate that we are either "good" or "bad." Millions of pages of philosophical writings have tried to pin down such ideas - they don't exist in nature. 3. Even if we could prove the above, there is no evidence that these are advanced qualities that will ensure human survival. 4. Evolution is driven by the environment; we may change our environment, but we then have to adapt to those changes. How are we doing so far? Very badly. Our "intelligence" may ensure our extinction and that of thousands of other species. 5. Violence: yes, physical force to ensure survival is essential in nature, but human use of violence is different in kind and degree. If after a battle, soldiers collected bodies as food, and distributed the meat to their community, we might see the killing as simple predatory behavior. (This may actually have been the case with early humans.)


1. We both evolved from primates and are primates. The two are not mutually exclusive conditions.

2. NTs are not, but aspies are. Not all aspies, of course, but many.

3. Proof, no, but my own studies into the nature of complex systems suggests to me that this is the case. I don't really want to get into it because it's a very large, involved subject, and it would take far too long to fully explain, but that's one of the conclusions I reached.

4. I'm not talking about our effect on our environment driving our evolution. The history of our planet shows us that natural cataclysms happen regularly and that we will inevitably face one sooner or later, whether we have a hand in it or not. When the next one comes our numbers will decline precipitously and our vectors for survival will dimish accordingly.

5. I was talking about violence to establish and enforce heirarchy, not to ensure survival. Other primates also use violence in this way. I think it's unfortunate that we have not outgrown its use for this purpose.



gonewild
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01 Nov 2013, 4:02 pm

I would say that enforcing a social hierarchy either contributes to survival or it doesn't. I doubt it's a neutral factor. The attributions of logic, etc. are cultural - human defined and created. These concepts exist in the mind. Diagnosis and labels are also manmade. They do not exist in nature. They are not facts. Culture and nature are not the same.

Enjoying the conversation!

To quote myself: "The brain does not create reality; it creates ideas about reality, most of which are incorrect."



Bodyles
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01 Nov 2013, 4:18 pm

gonewild wrote:
I would say that enforcing a social hierarchy either contributes to survival or it doesn't. I doubt it's a neutral factor. The attributions of logic, etc. are cultural - human defined and created. These concepts exist in the mind. Diagnosis and labels are also manmade. They do not exist in nature. They are not facts. Culture and nature are not the same.

Enjoying the conversation!

To quote myself: "The brain does not create reality; it creates ideas about reality, most of which are incorrect."


Logic, like math, exists independent of us in nature.
It is a concept, to be sure, that we have stumbled upon and used for ourselves, but what it actually is exists (without being labeled as such, of course) in nature as much as in our minds.

Diagnoses and labels are manmade, but the underlying conditions, especially in terms of autism/AS are real, physical differences in the way our brains are structured.
Whether or not the diagnosis exists, that actuality can't be denied.

As for your comment about enforcing social heirarchy contributing to survival or not, that's true enough, as far as it goes.
My point is that I've theorized that it will become detrimental to survival and that a form of egalitarian collectivism will become more advantageous to survival in a post-cataclysm environment given our level of technological and scientific development.
Like I said, there are a lot of reasons for this mostly having to do with the nature of complex systems and systems in general that I don't really want to get into, and it's just a theory and an optimistic one at that, I could certainly be wrong.

I'm enjoying the conversation as well!



alexi
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01 Nov 2013, 5:02 pm

The one that I find most offensive (and have been told the most) is that "everyone feels like that" :twisted: Thankyou for dismissing every difficulty that I have ever had! I understand why people say this, thinking that it will make me feel "oh, that's a relief, I'm not alone" but it makes me feel more alone than ever because I know that no one understands.

Second is "you just have to change the way you think". Gee, thanks, I'll get right on to that!



gonewild
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01 Nov 2013, 5:23 pm

We may be referring to different uses of the word logic: Formal logic, the philosophical system, is manmade. Used informally, logic is closer to "common sense" which indeed is derived from the everyday observation of nature. We can speculate on the future of our species, but neither you nor I will see the result. True bummer!

I can say that we are all subject to delusions: my father was an engineer (Aspie) and he assumed that everything he thought was logical, reasonable and absolutely correct. He was often quite irrational, and became very angry if one dared to point out the contradiction of being irrational about being logical!

It is good that you can distinguish between "what exists" and what humans think exists. Not many people can. Most truly believe that whatever is going on in their mind correlates 1:1 with reality. Drives me nuts!

Math - I accept that the universe is the unfolding of, or extension of, a few relatively simple equations. I'm not an abstract thinker and my facility with math is low. I was fine in school as long as I could "see" the math as patterns, structures and processes in geology. Frustrating.



IntellectualCat
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01 Nov 2013, 9:41 pm

Sometimes people who don't understand autism ask me why I'm doing a certain thing during sensory overload. Also, there are people who insist on hugging me during a meltdown, which makes things worse. Trying to tell me things are okay makes things worse too because I need my space during a meltdown.

Also, there was one person who thought that a chemical caused me to be autistic because of a false memory of my head being enlarged after possible exposure to that chemical. Also, she thought that wheat gluten causes my light sensitivity, but that was just her reading something on the internet and believing it without questioning it.

A few comments on the video:

"Hey, I heard that they think it might be geeks marrying geeks."
That's actually believable. Many geeky people have autistic traits, so they have a high chance of passing the genes onto their children. However, a better way to put that is "being the child of two geeks".

"Autistic people are so spiritual."
I'm spiritual, but that has nothing to do with my autism.



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01 Nov 2013, 11:06 pm

I can't believe how horrible and ignorant NT people can be, and that's when they're not trying to be a jerk on purpose!! !

I just "loved" all the "causes" of autism listed by such idiots and their "cures". And the "give me a hug" thing made my skin crawl.
AND thinking they know about autism from a handful of stupid TV shows and movies.

People like that are the cancer of the human race, and it NEEDS to stop!



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02 Nov 2013, 2:35 am

alexi wrote:
The one that I find most offensive (and have been told the most) is that "everyone feels like that"


Gah, I hate that one too. Way to invalidate my experience. Another one is not so much what is said, but what's done: sometimes when I'm flapping, out of anxiety, excitement, or just for stimulation's sake, my mom will grab one or both of my hands and hold them, making like she just felt like holding my hand. I know she's not trying to be malicious about it, but every time she does it it makes me think of "quiet hands", and that just makes me cringe. Not to mention, I'm a bit of a germaphobe and don't enjoy other people touching my hands (or any other part of me unless they're squeezing tightly for that matter.)


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02 Nov 2013, 10:53 pm

Did this list ever makes its way into this thread?

http://www.autistichoya.com/2012/02/15- ... ay-to.html



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02 Nov 2013, 11:02 pm

I've had the "You must be very high-functioning" thing before. I didn't take it as an insult, but as a positive reflection on the social style I've managed to develop. I don't think it's fair to expect any given NT person to have great insight into your personal difficulties -- not least because most people with AS manage to develop hiding or masking techniques for these. And besides, the NT person who says this probably doesn't mean it in a patronising way. They are faced with the unexpected situation of dealing with someone with an invisible disability and their comments merely represent an aspect their spontaneous adjustment to a new situation.



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02 Nov 2013, 11:09 pm

Now that I think about it, my ex from college mentioned that she saw kids with autism more severe than mine. Didn't think much of it at the time since there was a ton of drama between us at that point.



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02 Nov 2013, 11:24 pm

gonewild wrote:
The social world is a pyramid, which means the majority of NTs are stuck in "low' in status. On the other hand, as Aspies, we're not really on the pyramid, so I feel free to operate my life as an egalitarian; I take people as they are and judge them on merit and ability and on their behavior toward me. NTs cannot do this; they are trapped in an ugly system of prejudice in which every person has a price tag attached, stating his or her value. In the U.S. everything is about money: if you have it you can get what you want regardless of whether or not you are a criminal or a worthwhile person. A kid who steals a CD from a shop will get slammed. A banker who robs the financial security of millions of people gets rewarded.

I consider myself equal to all humans; I do my best to stay out of the nightmare that is society. Once again, a preference (spending time alone) has been labeled a symptom of a disorder by the social majority, when in my case at least, being happy doing "my own thing" is a rejection of cruelty, inequality and ignorance in the NT world.

I'm old, and have been fighting these battles a long time. The one thing that has brought me peace is the discovery that we must set our own value - never let another person rob you of that.

Thanks for that. It was very good to read. Opened my eyes about the social pyramid - that really makes sense.


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