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Trying to understand Glenn Gould

Of the many available documentaries about the pianist Glenn Gould, "Genius within - The inner life of Glenn Gould" is one of the more thoughtful ones. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Aug 3, 2013 - 16 comments

There's nothing negative I can say about the transit system.

Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Jul 17, 2013 - 58 comments

A promising development

New software system from MIT could help people improve their conversational and interview skills "[N]ew software developed at MIT can be used to help people practice their interpersonal skills until they feel more comfortable with situations such as a job interview or a first date. The software, called MACH (short for My Automated Conversation coacH), uses a computer-generated onscreen face, along with facial, speech, and behavior analysis and synthesis software, to simulate face-to-face conversations. It then provides users with feedback on their interactions."
posted by bookman117 on Jun 19, 2013 - 31 comments

Autism Is A Gift

A story about a boy and his dog. (SLYT)
posted by COD on Apr 10, 2013 - 15 comments

"Sometimes just *being* is enough"

A lighthearted [blah blah blah] Because whenever you describe something as 'lighthearted' it usually means they've taken a serious subject and can't talk about it properly. This father seems to have genuinely managed to talk about having an autistic son, and the ups and downs that entails. [more inside]
posted by lucullus on Apr 7, 2013 - 4 comments

"I don't think we've heard the last of him."

"I hope you guys will forgive me but after I am done talking to you guys you guys will probably trespass me like 98% of schools and school districts did in Washington, Oregon, and Montana." Previously. A year later, he's still at it, and, as is usually the case, his backstory is sadder and more complicated than just a News Of The Weird guffaw.
posted by availablelight on Mar 9, 2013 - 55 comments

Theory of Mind and Belief in God

How Humankind's Theory of Mind Could Have Produced God "As a direct consequence of the evolution of the human social brain, and owing to the importance of our theory-of-mind skills in that process, we sometimes can't help but see intentions, desires, and beliefs in things that haven't even a smidgeon of a neural system... More than a few of us have kicked our broken-down vehicles in the sides and verbally abused our incompetent computers.... So it would appear that having a theory of mind was so useful for our ancestors in explaining and predicting other people's behaviors that it has completely flooded our evolved social brains. As a result, today we overshoot our mental-state attributions to things that are, in reality, completely mindless. And all of this leads us, rather inevitably, to a very important question: What if I were to tell you that God's mental states, too, were all in your mind?" [more inside]
posted by bookman117 on Jul 21, 2012 - 218 comments

The best NYTimes correction of all time

First, the article, about a young couple with Asperger's. Second, the correction to the story. Third, the story behind the correction. Finally, the story behind the story behind the correction, featuring dubtrot, My Little Pony dubstep. Via kottke
posted by MadamM on Jan 6, 2012 - 35 comments

...oh yes, I have Tourette's Syndrome.

I enjoy reading ... oh yes, I have Tourette's Syndrome. Guy has Tourette's Syndrome The full blown kind. You know, swearing and aggressive jerking and all that. [more inside]
posted by h0p3y on Dec 23, 2011 - 19 comments

To The Moon

To The Moon is a stunningly good game about death, love and memories. If you love games and you enjoy love stories, I highly urge you to download it and play it immediately. Here's a review, but you shouldn't read it. You should just play it. Warning: Have kleenex handy.
posted by empath on Nov 9, 2011 - 26 comments

In this white darkness, we will take the place of everything

Just wait till we're alone together. Then I will tell you something new, something cold, something sleepy, something of cease and peace and the long bright curve of space. Go upstairs to your room. I will be waiting for you... As a rare October blizzard drifts a blanket of white across the Northeast just before Halloween, what better time to settle in and read (or watch) Conrad Aiken's most famous short story, "Silent Snow, Secret Snow." About a small boy who increasingly slips into an ominous fantasy of isolation and endless snow, it could be viewed as a metaphor about autism, Asperger's syndrome, and even schizophrenia before such conditions even had names. In addition to the 1934 short story, the tale has also been adapted as a creepy 1966 black-and-white short film (also at the Internet Archive) and as a Night Gallery episode (1, 2) narrated by Orson Welles. Or for a more academic take, see the essay "The Delicious Progress" examining Aiken's use of white as a symbol of psychological regression.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 29, 2011 - 9 comments

On Asperger's, Extradition, and National Security

Gary McKinnon is a Briton whom the US is trying to extradite to face charges that he hacked into a number of US Government networks, mostly NASA and military, to search for evidence of extra-terrestrial life and leave threatening messages. His efforts took 2,000 Government computers out of service for three days. McKinnon admits guilt and wishes to be tried in the UK. His case has drawn international media attention on two fronts: 1. Should Asperger's be considered a mitigating circumstance in determining guilt, a la the insanity defense? 2. Is the UK-US extradition treated lopsided in favor of the US? A judge-led UK panel says no. [more inside]
posted by mreleganza on Oct 18, 2011 - 70 comments

Autism as a job requirement

It's long been thought that there is a high incidence of autism (and autism-related disorders like Asperger's) in IT fields. Now one company is looking to turn that into sales. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 22, 2011 - 33 comments

Who can't empathize with whom?

"It’s an oft-repeated and erroneous stereotype that autistic people lack empathy." Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, who was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 50, blogs about the different kinds of empathy and to what extent they are present in those with autism.
posted by Obscure Reference on Jul 2, 2011 - 93 comments

First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out

"We need to stop making autism advocacy about trying to create a world where there aren't any autistic people and start building one in which autistic people have the rights and support they deserve." In December, Ari Ne'eman was nominated to the National Council on Disability (NCD), becoming the first autistic presidential appointee in history. In response, "one anonymous emailer to a federal agency in Washington wrote that 'assholes like Ari Ne'eman' should 'have their tongues cut out' for suggesting that autistic people need respect, civil rights, and access to services more than they need pity and a cure. This conviction has made him a leader of the emerging neurodiversity movement, which Ne'eman sees as a natural outgrowth of the civil rights, women's rights, and disability rights movements of the late 20th century." (Previously.)
posted by scody on Oct 11, 2010 - 50 comments

Arthur takes on the autism spectrum

Marc Brown's Arthur series about a curious aardvark started with the bedtime stories he made up for his own children. Each one of the Arthur books contains Easter Eggs in the form of the author's children's names.

Hugely popular, the series of books spawned an animated show on PBS. In the 13th season of the show (beginning April 5th), Arthur and his pals will make a new friend, Carl. Carl has Asperger's. Still not sure what that is? That's okay, let Brain explain it for you.
posted by misha on Mar 15, 2010 - 155 comments

"I had always known she had to have a routine"

Why autism is different for girls: "We may think it only affects boys. But the female variant is often much harder to spot – and that means thousands of girls may be going undiagnosed."
posted by Len on Feb 24, 2010 - 100 comments

Irony incarnate: a forum for reclusives.

A forum for reclusive people.
posted by grumblebee on Oct 31, 2009 - 41 comments

Go ahead: diagnose yourself! Are you an Aspie?

Do you have Asperger's Syndrome? Answer these questions and find out. I'm skeptical about this, but I find it fascinating. For years, I've suspected I'm an Aspie, and, as it turns out, I answered the questions exactly the way the researchers predict an Aspie would answer them. My "normal" wife answers them they way "normal" people do. I am almost incapable of understanding the "normal" answer. To me, the Aspie answer is obviously correct. Here is a great discussion about the research. Here is the original research paper (MS Word file). [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Nov 5, 2008 - 179 comments

I HAVE TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE IT IS IN!

Evan M. O'Dorney, a 13-year-old speller from Danville, Calif., won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, with the final word "serrefine". Here is an interesting interview with the winner. Did you say my name wrong?
posted by exlotuseater on Jun 7, 2007 - 112 comments

AutismTown

AutismTown? Autism is a puzzling and disastrous disorder which has recently spread to affect 1 in 150, according to new government data; now there is a new non-profit "pixel-based" site to organize the community and fund research and services. A bit of a "who's who" in the field...
posted by oberleit on Feb 17, 2007 - 21 comments

Urville: The Imaginary City

Welcome to Urville, the city that autistic Frenchman Gilles Trehin has been designing since he was 12 years old. The drawings, in particular, are incredible.
posted by jimmythefish on Mar 28, 2006 - 27 comments

Top Billing

Inventor of CTRL-ALT-DEL ridicules Bill Gates. "'I may have invented CTRL-ALT-DEL, but Bill Gates made it famous". Video clip of the episode, via TUAW, who say "The funniest part is the expression, or lack thereof, on the face of Bill."
posted by nthdegx on Jul 28, 2005 - 50 comments

Social outcasts aren't who you think

Coping with Asperger's Syndrome. The New York Times sheds light on this disorder that potentially affects millions of Americans. Many of them are bullied in school. Others simply have strange obsessions. Some find their niches in college, while others have to wait until mid-life to understand what is happening. However, it was only added to the DSM ten years ago. Since then, support groups and online resources have popped up.
posted by calwatch on Apr 29, 2004 - 89 comments

Not everyone understands the excitement of plane-spotting. Certainly not the Greeks [WSJ subscription link] who have jailed a group of plane spotters as spies. Asperger's Syndrome maybe. But spies? Ask the Romanians and Poles?
posted by Geo on Nov 23, 2001 - 9 comments

1337 h4X0r or idiot savant?

1337 h4X0r or idiot savant? USA Today quotes noted animal behaviorist Temple Grandin observing that uber-hacker Kevin Mitnick exhibits many of the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autisim from which Grandin herself suffers. Mitnick doesn't seem to disagree, in fact he noticed it himself. Grandin, Mitnick and others speculate as to whether many "hackers" are, in fact, autistic.
posted by briank on Mar 29, 2001 - 11 comments

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