December 4th, 2010


Interesting and informative Asperger's links, with comments by me.

This was an email to my parents, first.

I suspect the reason why Aspies and Auties get sensory overload is that in neurotypical people, the brain doesn't pay attention to most of the data, just looks for differences. But in people on the autism spectrum, our brains are hyperattuned to details. We see all the little details that NTs (neurotypical people) don't. It explains why I was always the first to notice things like leaks and other problematic things, because the slightest changes are perceptible to me. And, ironically, it also explains why sometimes I miss the completely obvious - hyper-attention to details can make you miss more obvious things.

I generally cope with sensory overload by spacing out, ignoring all but the most crucial information. But some days I get very curious about things around me, looking at everything, and I soon burn myself out.

AHA! My memory problems explained! It's the Asperger's! (See second link, third paragraph.)

RE: dyspraxia/Proprioceptive dysfunction, my comment to the author would be: speak for yourself. With the exception of a few twisted ankles caused by a combo of my shoes and crappy pavement, I am very graceful. Oh, and there are times my multiplicity gets in the way, when several of us try to move in different directions at once. But usually, I'm quite graceful.

RE: Literalism in humor. An ex of a friend of mine, who is much higher on the autism side of the spectrum from either of us, had a great joke. When my friend said, "The bus is coming," he said, "That's more about the sex life of a bus than I wanted to know."

RE: Anxiety and touching. There was a woman coworker at the casino I worked at, a very nice woman, a 40-something mother; she had this habit of touching people. It was all perfectly innocent, like shoulder taps and so on, but nearly made me jump out of my skin every time. I was soooo tempted to tell her not to do that, but never did. Just like I never told the idiot boss that her sexist assumption that because I am biologically male I should be strong pissed me off. I am not strong, I have never been. I had to literally drag those damned plastic boxes of silverware across the floor because 1. They were too heavy. 2. Even if I could pick one up, they hurt my hands. How anyone could lift those damn things, I will never know, but there were 15 year old girls who could carry them without a problem while I consistently could not. Every time that idiot boss made a comment like that, I wanted to punch her in the goddamn face. But if I had, I probably would've just ended up breaking a bone in my hand.

Crossposted from
Cyborg velociraptor by Djinni

Robot job replacements

      This article about 6 iconic jobs that are going away forever due to advances in robotics, has me thinking. Especially since I'd already been thinking along these lines years ago when I was coming up with the economic system for Traipah. Basically, the economic system there is a combo of communism and capitalism, where everyone is guaranteed a place to live, food, and water. These things are considered rights. Of course, the guaranteed level is kinda crappy. Housing ranges from tiny little one-person apartments basically no bigger than needed for a bed, a bathroom, and a small kitchen... to being "forced" to live in a house with a bunch of other people. Because of how Ah'Koi Bahnis are, they tend to choose the second option because unlike humans, AKB are really nice people and can live with strangers without having to worry about their stuff getting stolen.
      Also, the guaranteed level for food is food that is healthy and safe, but bland and dull. If you want better housing and/or better food, you have to work for it. Luckily, Traipahni society does everything it can to find you a job you can do, and usually one you can be happy doing. Since the aspect of "must work or I will die" is taken out of the equation, work becomes a means to better one's life and relieve boredom.

      But I'm not going to talk about that anymore. The article I mentioned got me thinking because one of the questions that long ago came up about Traipah's economic system is how do they motivate people to do crappy jobs like garbage hauling or sewer system management if survival-level needs are guaranteed? The answer is - and was back then - that they don't. They don't need to. They have machines to take care of garbage (which on Traipah is split into composting and recycling. They don't *really* throw anything away) and sewer stuff (which also involves a lot of recycling). A lot of it is automated, and what isn't automated is remote-controlled. Occasionally machines will break down and get stuck, but there are machines to take care of those problems as well, if sending a person down there would involve disgusting and dangerous work.

      Reading that article, it occurred to me that the Traipahni people would use machines for other things as well, using machines/robots to do all the most dangerous jobs like firefighting, repairing dangerous machines, etc. They might even take over other really disgusting jobs, too. This cuts out jobs no one would do if they didn't have to.

      Also, certain things are not manufactured by machine. Wooden furniture, buildings, jewelry, clothing, none of these things are manufactured by machine anymore. Machines and machine parts, and various electronics are made by machine, and that's about it. Everything else is made by hand to give people something to do. But instead of being set up in the stupid "people as meat machines" setup that we have in our society today, most of these items are made, bought, and sold locally. Big, worldwide Guilds only exist for machines and electronics and other things that are difficult or impossible to make by hand (like liquid nitrogen).

      Of course, there is trading still. People might not like their local options. They can get on the Traipahni Internet and buy from merchants elsewhere, and pay for shipping. But since a lot of people prefer the convenience of buying local for most things, they do, and it keeps the money mostly local.
      In short, the Traipahni people built their economic system for long-term stability, not caring about growth.

Crossposted from