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Irony incarnate: a forum for reclusives.
October 31, 2009 8:49 AM   Subscribe


 
Could you maybe elaborate? I'm not clear on what we're supposed to get out of this link.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 AM on October 31, 2009


Metafilter is the only forum I require as a reclusive person. Thank you though.
posted by Bageena at 8:52 AM on October 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Pope Guilty, it's a web forum for reclusive people. I thought it might be useful for some of the shy people here.
posted by grumblebee at 8:54 AM on October 31, 2009




Very interesting reading. Thanks.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:55 AM on October 31, 2009


I find it interesting that such a thing exists, although it is still sad. They're turning down actual human contact for the more controlled environment of a message board. It's a step in the right direction, though.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:56 AM on October 31, 2009


"A forum for recursive people."

What? That can't be right. That's "recursion for forum people," isn't it?
posted by majick at 8:57 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


A forum for recursive people.

I don't want to be around when the stack overflows.
posted by tommasz at 9:04 AM on October 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's with deep regret that I have to announce that the seminar on "dealing with disappointment" for today is cancelled...
posted by DreamerFi at 9:09 AM on October 31, 2009 [12 favorites]


is the joke that there's like 5 posts on this site
posted by p3on at 9:12 AM on October 31, 2009


See also Aspies for Freedom.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:14 AM on October 31, 2009


is the joke that there's like 5 posts on this site

The general discussion threads have a few hundred each, but the sub-forums or mostly in the single digits. The blog mentions that activity is slowing down.

Apparently this is also meant to be a place for people with Asperger’s like the founder.
posted by cimbrog at 9:16 AM on October 31, 2009


is the joke that there's like 5 posts on this site

The joke is that it is a conflict of interest. An oxymoron. They will be successful when they have no readers.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:22 AM on October 31, 2009


The joke is that it is a conflict of interest. An oxymoron. They will be successful when they have no readers.

I don't think so. They're not trying to encourage the readers to be more social--they're offering support for people who are reclusive. "Reclusive" and "posting on Internet message boards" are not opposites, so it's not an oxymoron.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:24 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't want to be around when the stack overflows.

I was just listening to Bauhaus's She's In Parties and I read this as if it were a line from that song. Well done, sir/madam.
posted by NoMich at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't really see the conflict. As an introvert (not quite a "recluse") I'm not comfortable with crowds, strangers, or small talk, but I have no trouble with forums, blogs, Twitter, and other venues where the interaction is something I can do on my own terms. I interact when I want and how I want, and if it becomes too much, I can retreat without hurting anyone's feelings.
posted by Legomancer at 9:38 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


An oxymoron. They will be successful when they have no readers.

Recluses can't read?

No wonder they keep overturning my clearly labeled "Recyclables" box.
posted by rokusan at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2009


Horace Rumpole: A forum for recursive people.

Reminds me of Google's 'did you mean?' suggestion if you type in "recursion."
posted by WCityMike at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2009 [23 favorites]


Horace, I think you've got it all wrong. More like

Irony incarnate, a forum for reclusive people.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:06 AM on October 31, 2009


Very few things give me anxiety, but that site does for some reason.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:19 AM on October 31, 2009


I've got avoidant personality disorder and I'm pretty reclusive myself, but a big thing about social interaction is that it doesn't feel "real" online. Nearly all of the things I'd fret over regarding face-to-face interaction do not exist online. Instead, the focus is almost entirely on things I feel that I can control easily-- spelling, grammar, and so forth.
posted by autoclavicle at 10:21 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


A forum

for reclusive people.


Isn't this sort of redundant?
posted by The Gooch at 10:30 AM on October 31, 2009


As a person who is kind of asocial offline, I do admit that I can definitely see the merit in this. Like Autoclavicle said, there is a lot more control online. Plus, if you do mess up, you can always take advantage of the internet's anonymity to create a new identity.

It's not really so much a conflict of interest as an outlet for the drive to be social for people who struggle to be social. Further, it also offers support for people who are reclusive and who want help either becoming more social or dealing with the issue of not having many friends.

It's actually really good this does exist, even if it isn't very large. So often, resources for the asocial are made by people who are more typical, like psychologists and therapists, so it doesn't feel as authentic. A resource made by recluses, for recluses feels more compassionate. It's a bit like if an alcoholic were to get help from a group of Mormons who had never drunk in their lives, instead of a self-help group like AA.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:51 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Hiki" is the Finnish word for sweat. So I read it as "Sweat Culture" and figured I knew why they were being reclusive.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:01 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is one of the most ironic things I have come across in a while. Thank you.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 11:15 AM on October 31, 2009


I thought it was a forum for Forumwarz at first.
posted by Evilspork at 11:29 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to the site:
HikiCulture is a forum for reclusive people to socialize with each other. It's a place for people who don't feel comfortable socializing in person to comfortably converse online.

The 'hiki' part in HikiCulture is derived from the Japanese term hikikomori which essentially means an extremely reclusive individual. This forum is for reclusive people who are not necessarily 'true' hikikomori, but for anyone who is (at least) somewhat of a recluse.
This doesn't seem like a strange site to me at all.
posted by demiurge at 11:29 AM on October 31, 2009


One odd thing: if you read some of the threads, you see people expressing a lot of worry about how other people will think of them after learning that they are Aspies. But isn't one of the hallmarks of Asperger's and other autistic-spectrum disorders a difficulty in recognizing the existence of other minds, or in anticipating what others will think? Is this a sign that Asperger's is being over-diagnosed, or that people are over-diagnosing themselves, and that the problem is better framed in terms of anxiety levels, feelings of inferiority, social phobia or the like, and not social agnosia?
posted by homerica at 11:49 AM on October 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Many years ago I fretted about whether to use my real name on a forum on the web. It was back when we were all first getting to know each other for the first time, before then we could only read what each other said in newspaper articles.

We've come along way since then, and I'm glad the web is helping others connect too.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:53 AM on October 31, 2009


Shutting Out the Sun is a great read on hikikomori. Here is the author, Zielenziger, on NPR's All Things Considered
posted by aGee at 11:53 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:13 PM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's true, Aspergers and reclusiveness are overlapped but are not equivalent, and there is certainly a lot of Asperger overdiagnosis (mainly from self-diagnosis), in no small part due to the disorder-du-jour style of psychology and popular articles that simplify it to "geek syndrome". A lack of empathy and a detail-oriented mind are part of the constellation of Asperger characteristics, among other things.
posted by crapmatic at 12:17 PM on October 31, 2009


I was so sure the link was going to lead here
posted by acrasis at 12:43 PM on October 31, 2009


quietly registers hermitfilter.com
posted by fixedgear at 12:48 PM on October 31, 2009


Recluses can't read?

No wonder they keep overturning my clearly labeled "Recyclables" box.


Fucking recluses, they're all the same.
posted by philip-random at 3:17 PM on October 31, 2009


One odd thing: if you read some of the threads, you see people expressing a lot of worry about how other people will think of them after learning that they are Aspies. But isn't one of the hallmarks of Asperger's and other autistic-spectrum disorders a difficulty in recognizing the existence of other minds, or in anticipating what others will think? Is this a sign that Asperger's is being over-diagnosed, or that people are over-diagnosing themselves, and that the problem is better framed in terms of anxiety levels, feelings of inferiority, social phobia or the like, and not social agnosia?

No. While Asperger's may be overdiagnosed, most adults with Asperger's perfectly easily understand that other people have different minds. They just have a hard time reading social cues or predicting what others will think. Just because some don't develop "theory of mind" on time doesn't mean that they never develop it. The reason kids with Asperger's are often called "little professors" is because they most certainly do communicate and understand that that's what speech is for, they just misproject that everyone else will be as interested as they are in what they are interested in and miss cues of boredom and don't understand conversational turn-taking very well.

As a developmental disorder, however, this means that adults with the disorder can and do catch up-- they may remain socially awkward, but you can be very very Aspie and have attained theory of mind. And anxiety and oversensitivity may be more defining of the problem because it may be these things that produce the theory of mind problems by causing early social withdrawal which then impedes social development.
posted by Maias at 3:19 PM on October 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


I am usually logged in when I visit MeFi, but today I wasn't.
At the top of this thread there is an ad for TheWayToHappiness.Org.
It smelled funny, and I immediately thought "Scientology", so I clicked on it and it leads to a site selling self-improvement courses. Sure enough, if you go to 'about us', they peddle a book by L. Ron Hubbard.

I'm not sure if it comes up every time for everyone, but I reloaded three times and it came on every time.

The ads are served by Google, so clicking on it will set them back only a couple of cents, but perhaps there's power in numbers.
posted by sour cream at 4:28 PM on October 31, 2009


> But isn't one of the hallmarks of Asperger's and other autistic-spectrum disorders a difficulty in recognizing the existence of other minds, or in anticipating what others will think?

I remember reading about a study (yeah, sorry, no citation) where a group of people with asperger's and a control group without first off were asked a number of questions about appropriate social responses in various settings. And then there was some in vivo testing seeing how people would respond to a few situations. The asperger's group were perfectly capable in describing how social interactions work etc., but had difficulty putting that knowledge into practice.

So it's not that they can't understand that other people have minds, it's a difficulty (at least with asperger's it seems) to put that knowledge into practice at the speed that is required.
posted by bjrn at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Autistic perspectives on empathy.

From the second link:
I have noticed that when most people use the word empathy, they're actually referring to one of two very different things:

(1) The capacity of a person to "read" culture-typical social signals, respond in expected/predictable ways to common situations and experiences, and engage in a certain amount of "social learning" via particular kinds of imitation.

(2) The capacity of a person to feel emotions "on behalf" of others, to care about others, and to feel compelled toward ethical behavior.

I hardly think the two capacities decribed in (1) and (2) above could really be confused for each other, or assumed to mean the exact same thing, by anyone putting any actual thought into their discussion of what "empathy" means. And yet, it is not unusual to find people switching from talking about capacity (1) to talking about capacity (2) without any explicit indication that they are doing so, or any apparent understanding of what it might mean to conflate the two.
posted by problemspace at 5:31 PM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought that's what the entire internet was?
posted by HTuttle at 11:13 AM on November 1, 2009


I have just finished writing a book about empathy and not surprisingly, there's a chapter about autism that looks at exactly this issue. We (it's co-authored) break it down into two parts: perspective-taking or cognitive empathy or "theory of mind" and emotional empathy or what you might call compassion. Others have even more fine-grained ways, but for our purposes that worked well. The fact that there isn't a single word for the perspective-taking part, however, often leaves people with autism stigmatized as "lacking empathy" just like sociopaths when that's not the whole story at all and some autistic people may actually be over-empathetic.

Here's the difference: Sociopaths are great (possibly superior) at cognitive empathy. They can predict very well what other people do and think, and they certainly understand theory of mind. But they don't care about it-- they just use that info to manipulate people.

Autistic people and people with Asperger's often have extreme emotional oversensitivity-- they don't lack the capacity to "feel for" or "feel with" others. But some can't read signals well, some get too overwhelmed by personal distress to be able to respond empathetically to help the other person and withdraw instead, some have too much other sensory "noise" going on to be able to express it. However, it's usually not that they don't feel it (it's a very heterogeneous condition so you can't really make generalizations well).

As I've put it in the past: sociopaths know but don't care, autistic people care but may not know.
posted by Maias at 8:18 PM on November 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


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