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stevens2010
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08 Sep 2018, 10:33 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
...My problem with living on a steady diet of defeat is that you can't even organize the rest of your life on it. The only way I can abate that sort of cloud is fighting potentially unwinnable battles. Is it efficient? On sheer proportionality probably not, but at the same time the alternative is despair which I think is a lot worse.


That is so true. I did find that it's possible to make the best of it by choosing an occupation that requires more interaction with inanimate objects. "I work better with machines than with people," is what I would say. Another thing I always have thought is that "I love the work, but I hate the job." I was always the "Wozniak" in relation to the Steve Jobs A-Hole. Everyone wanted to hear from Jobs, but no one paid much attention to Wozniak (until the money came, of course). The job was the part with the social requirements. The work was what I really related to. A steady diet of social failure created a defeatist attitude.

I worked very hard to retire. A few computers send checks to just-another-number every month, and those computers don't know that they should hate on me and try to sabotage my life, just for fun. The people I worked with (but not the people who hired me) were glad to get rid of me, but I do miss the work very much. On balance I'm much happier, finally being out of "high school" decades after my 18th birthday. At, say, age 38 I was busy banging my head on the wall, trying one "self-improvement" project after another in attempts to "fix" my social problems. Everyone here finds out how well that doesn't work. And all that abjectly wasted effort could have been used on realizing genuine potential, but the "system" made sure I was shunted off, wasting my time trying to "fix" my social "retardation." I was close to 60, before I realized that I was wasting my time. If anyone suggests another "self-improvement" idea to me, I just tell them I'm so effing over self-improvement BS. I tried plaintively for longer than my turn to "fix" something impossible to fix. Now, it's somebody else's turn. Perhaps that's a stirring of self-esteem, decades late, or perhaps it's just resignation.

At the same time, I look back and see the potential that never got realized, due to the social disabilities. It really wasn't fair, but "fairness" is another sucker-trap that Aspies get lured into all the time. However, at least I'm not faced with the situation where work gets weirder and weirder, as perhaps the Aspergers gets "worse." I put "worse" in quotes, because I think Aspergers has been something that for me is more an asset than a liability.



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08 Sep 2018, 10:55 am

stevens2010 wrote:
A few computers send checks to just-another-number every month, and those computers don't know that they should hate on me and try to sabotage my life, just for fun.


I’m sure that bug will get fixed sooner or later. Some day, software to determine whether the user should be faithfully obeyed and respected, or they’re a loser who wouldn’t get any respect from a fellow human and therefore is to be made fun of, teased and belittled by the computer, too, will be considered an essential component of an operating system.


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techstepgenr8tion
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08 Sep 2018, 2:45 pm

stevens2010 wrote:
I was close to 60, before I realized that I was wasting my time. If anyone suggests another "self-improvement" idea to me, I just tell them I'm so effing over self-improvement BS. I tried plaintively for longer than my turn to "fix" something impossible to fix. Now, it's somebody else's turn. Perhaps that's a stirring of self-esteem, decades late, or perhaps it's just resignation.

Our culture, both right and left, seems to run on an 'anyone can do anything if they push themselves hard enough' sort of myth, and that myth justifies treating people who can't live in that fantasy pretty badly at times. Regardless of the ultimate status and role of consciousness in the universe it's a pretty damn cold place, eternal or otherwise, and it seems like if it can happen to someone it will just by sheer statistical inevitability.


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08 Sep 2018, 3:03 pm

Indeed, the Universe's average temperature is about three kelvins, and it's only gonna get colder as it keeps expanding. Better get used to it.


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08 Sep 2018, 3:31 pm

As someone who didn't realize he was an autist for 53 years, I spent 30 years using my masking and memorization skills to defend myself verbally. The occasional mention of my taekwondo and firearm skills sealed the deals when just talking didn't convince.


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stevens2010
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09 Sep 2018, 10:47 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
As someone who didn't realize he was an autist for 53 years, I spent 30 years using my masking and memorization skills to defend myself verbally. The occasional mention of my taekwondo and firearm skills sealed the deals when just talking didn't convince.


Isn't it interesting that our command of facts and trivia went a lot further a few decades ago? What passed as a "presidential debate" in those distant times was a lot different than now, too. So today when an Aspie's encyclopedic command of the information base about a topic just makes people laugh, the hint of mystical Asian martial arts and good marksmanship might work better than persuasion. Like getting better results with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone. I seem to remember TV programs about difficult to solve crimes, with the immense and brainy work required to put all the pieces together to catch the bad actor (e.g., Unabomber, Green River Killer). They don't have as many of those programs anymore. These days they just put up Nancy Grace and she calls for a lynching, without a trial. It's so much easier. Unfortunately, it leaves us Aspies with little to do.

By the way, I really appreciated your coverage of the pluses and minuses of adult diagnosis, in another thread. It's helping me make up my mind.



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10 Sep 2018, 9:18 am

stevens2010 wrote:
...By the way, I really appreciated your coverage of the pluses and minuses of adult diagnosis, in another thread. It's helping me make up my mind.

You are welcome. PM me if you have questions.


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19 Oct 2018, 10:15 am

stevens2010 wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
...My problem with living on a steady diet of defeat is that you can't even organize the rest of your life on it. The only way I can abate that sort of cloud is fighting potentially unwinnable battles. Is it efficient? On sheer proportionality probably not, but at the same time the alternative is despair which I think is a lot worse.


That is so true. I did find that it's possible to make the best of it by choosing an occupation that requires more interaction with inanimate objects. "I work better with machines than with people," is what I would say. Another thing I always have thought is that "I love the work, but I hate the job." I was always the "Wozniak" in relation to the Steve Jobs A-Hole. Everyone wanted to hear from Jobs, but no one paid much attention to Wozniak (until the money came, of course). The job was the part with the social requirements. The work was what I really related to. A steady diet of social failure created a defeatist attitude.

I worked very hard to retire. A few computers send checks to just-another-number every month, and those computers don't know that they should hate on me and try to sabotage my life, just for fun. The people I worked with (but not the people who hired me) were glad to get rid of me, but I do miss the work very much. On balance I'm much happier, finally being out of "high school" decades after my 18th birthday. At, say, age 38 I was busy banging my head on the wall, trying one "self-improvement" project after another in attempts to "fix" my social problems. Everyone here finds out how well that doesn't work. And all that abjectly wasted effort could have been used on realizing genuine potential, but the "system" made sure I was shunted off, wasting my time trying to "fix" my social "retardation." I was close to 60, before I realized that I was wasting my time. If anyone suggests another "self-improvement" idea to me, I just tell them I'm so effing over self-improvement BS. I tried plaintively for longer than my turn to "fix" something impossible to fix. Now, it's somebody else's turn. Perhaps that's a stirring of self-esteem, decades late, or perhaps it's just resignation.

At the same time, I look back and see the potential that never got realized, due to the social disabilities. It really wasn't fair, but "fairness" is another sucker-trap that Aspies get lured into all the time. However, at least I'm not faced with the situation where work gets weirder and weirder, as perhaps the Aspergers gets "worse." I put "worse" in quotes, because I think Aspergers has been something that for me is more an asset than a liability.



This is an amazing and insightful post for younger people with ASD to read. Thanks for sharing. You are exceptionally eloquent btw



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19 Oct 2018, 11:24 am

stevens2010 wrote:
At, say, age 38 I was busy banging my head on the wall, trying one "self-improvement" project after another in attempts to "fix" my social problems. Everyone here finds out how well that doesn't work. And all that abjectly wasted effort could have been used on realizing genuine potential, but the "system" made sure I was shunted off, wasting my time trying to "fix" my social "retardation." I was close to 60, before I realized that I was wasting my time.

I think Aspergers has been something that for me is more an asset than a liability.


I agree with your comments. I feel trying to teach Aspies social skills is the wrong approach and achieves very little in the long run.

But there is another choice, another philosophy. It is one that I have instinctively followed and this approach worked well for me.

I became a non-conformist. Instead of trying to conform to society using their set of socially skills, I require that society conform to me.

Now it may not even dawn on most Aspies that this is even possible, but I view my special skills being an Aspie as more of an asset than a liability. So I just use my skills and not worry about what others think of me. I have learned over the years that all I have to do is set my mind to something and I generally will be able to accomplish it. Maybe others may not like me. But who cares! The important thing is that they respect me and my unique talents.



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19 Oct 2018, 12:33 pm

I do not look down upon learning social skills as selling out. I do think too many autistic people view learning social skills as a goal instead of tools to be used to obtain goals.

Being a non conformist in at least some ways is a necessity for survival for autistics. As said before the world is not fair. Bieng a non conformist means many things will be harder or unobtainable and that means more often other people will not like or respect you.

I believe the notion that anybody can do what they want if they set their mind to it is a crock of s**t. I am 5’4” and 61 years old I am not going to be a proffessional basketball player even if I find the willpower to try harder then everybody else in the world.

The key is being smart both in setting realistic goals and finding the correct way to obtain them. These are things most people autistic and NT screw up and screw up often. We set goals too low because of lack of confidence, we set goals too high because of the “If I try hard enough I can do anything I want” and “if they can do it so can I” mythologies. Our “do it yesterday” culture means we often do not obtain realistic goals because it is oh so tempting to take shortcuts and believe because most people seemingly do it these ways with ease we can get there by the same path in the same amount of time as they do.


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19 Oct 2018, 1:53 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
I believe the notion that anybody can do what they want if they set their mind to it is a crock of s**t. I am 5’4” and 61 years old I am not going to be a proffessional basketball player even if I find the willpower to try harder then everybody else in the world.


It is not a function of willpower. It is a function of being different, thinking different, approaching problems from a unique perspective and latching onto opportunities when they magically appear out of nowhere. And I never sell my self short. It is also a function of tenacity. Of not giving up when you encounter bumps along the road. It is a function of a razor sharp focus.

For example when my youngest daughter was in second grade, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She had no idea. She had never even thought about it before. So she went to bed and the next morning she decided she wanted to become a medical doctor. I told her that was a fine choice but she would have to work very hard in school and earn exceptional grades in order to become a doctor. From that day forward she had a razor sharp focus that she never deviated from. After a lot of hard work over many years, she became a medical doctor, an anesthesiologist.

What I found interesting was that when she went to school the day after she made that decision, she told her friends that she wanted to become a medical doctor when she grew up. They had never even though about what they were going to do when they became adults. So her whole class began to consider this question. [This was a spontaneous action on their part.] So some decided to become doctors also; others choose different professional degrees. Then she told her friends that they will need to do well in school, join many clubs, be very high achievers. They understood this and the entire class became a class of high achievers. Granted not all of them achieved their initial goals but the goals they attained were remarkable. One individual in her class scored a perfect 1600 on their SAT and then went on to earn a PhD in Physics at MIT. That class was in a rural small country school where most students were in the same school from Kindergarten to High School.



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19 Oct 2018, 2:44 pm

jimmy m wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
I believe the notion that anybody can do what they want if they set their mind to it is a crock of s**t. I am 5’4” and 61 years old I am not going to be a proffessional basketball player even if I find the willpower to try harder then everybody else in the world.


It is not a function of willpower. It is a function of being different, thinking different, approaching problems from a unique perspective and latching onto opportunities when they magically appear out of nowhere. And I never sell my self short. It is also a function of tenacity. Of not giving up when you encounter bumps along the road. It is a function of a razor sharp focus


Tanacity and willpower are quite related. Without willpower one gives up at the first sign of trouble. Being and thinking different is part of what I was trying to say when discussing being smart. Even with tenacity and smart thinking if there is no demand for your gift your goal may be out of reach. Your daughter would not be a doctor if she did not give the effort and try in a smart way. That said she chose a goal that has never been more in demand.


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09 Nov 2018, 8:57 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I think the only way things could be done better is if a bunch of aspies got together and started a few companies that absolutely killed their competition on quality, then people would have to take note that a group of people - with this 'disability' - cut through the noise and backstabbing, through it aside, and just knocked themselves out producing high quality uber-professional results.

The only thing that stops me from believing that this is likely - a) we do have deficits we have to work around which almost evens the difference and b) few of us are used to swimming in highly competitive environments and in our largely left-leaning mindsets don't know how to completely put aside 'fairness' as a fata morgana (in the business/economic world fairness only exists for the dead, ie. its between you and God when you see the tunnel or pearly gates) and bite any bullet we need to bite in order to survive.

In order for such ventures to succeed, we would need the help of sympathetic NT's, to take care of sales if nothing else. Hopefully there are people in the NT-dominated autism parents' community who might be willing to help out.


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09 Nov 2018, 9:00 pm

stevens2010 wrote:
Isn't it interesting that our command of facts and trivia went a lot further a few decades ago? What passed as a "presidential debate" in those distant times was a lot different than now, too. So today when an Aspie's encyclopedic command of the information base about a topic just makes people laugh, the hint of mystical Asian martial arts and good marksmanship might work better than persuasion. Like getting better results with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone. I seem to remember TV programs about difficult to solve crimes, with the immense and brainy work required to put all the pieces together to catch the bad actor (e.g., Unabomber, Green River Killer). They don't have as many of those programs anymore. These days they just put up Nancy Grace and she calls for a lynching, without a trial. It's so much easier. Unfortunately, it leaves us Aspies with little to do.


Very sad.

This is why we absolutely need to build autistic-friendly subcultures, including businesses of the kind described in the message I just now replied to above.


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