Lion of the Blogosphere

New thoughts about autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and nerds

Thanks to spending so much time analyzing Elliot’s autobiography, and thinking about why he’s not on the “autism spectrum” despite the claim by his mother in a court document, I have some new theories about these conditions.

Humans are born with a natural instinct to copy the behavior of other humans, and to seek approval of people with higher status in the social group. For people born with autism, this instinct is missing or lacking. For this reason, true autistics fail to learn how to speak because as I’ve previously pointed out, languages are learned by mimicking rather than by reasoning, and learning by mimicking doesn’t happen when a child is born without the instinct to copy his parents.

Partial autistics, in other words those who have Asperger’s Syndrome, do enough mimicking to learn how to talk, but they don’t acquire the fully expressive language abilities of normal children, and they also don’t acquire the correct social behaviors, facial expressions, etc, because those are also learned by mimicking. Lacking the natural copycat instincts of normal children, they usually become social outcasts because they fail to copy the behaviors of the other children and become part of the group. They also tend to pick up odd interests because they lack the copycat instinct of normal children who choose their interests based on what other children like, or what their parents convince them to like.

I am rejecting an idea I previously had, and which seems common on the internet, that nerdiness is a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome, or that all nerds have that syndrome. The reason why there is a lot of overlap between nerds and Aspies is because they are both social outcasts, and as social outcasts they both fail to learn the correct behaviors of the popular kids, but the reasons for why they become social outcasts differ. Boys who have a combination of high neuroticism, introversion, small/weak/bad athletic skills, and ugly appearance, are at risk for being excluded from the popular kids groups, and thus become nerds. Unlike Aspies who are often completely antisocial and become interested in weird things like train schedules, nerdy boys are social with other nerds and they have shared nerdy interests like science-fiction television shows and video games. To further confuse things, Aspies often fall into their orbit because the nerdy clique is more welcoming of a weird Aspie than the popular kids clique. And nerds can appear to be anti-social because they are often shy, but it’s not the same cause as Aspie anti-socialness.

Girls can have Asperger’s Syndrome and autism, but otherwise girls don’t become girl nerds in the same way or for the same reasons that boys become boy nerds. For example, sports and appreciation for roughhouse play is not important among girls, so a small/weak/unathletic girl does not have the social handicap of a small/weak/unathletic boy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Psychology

74 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] the Lion of the Blogosphere published a fascinating post about nerdiness and autism (including aspergers) that I wanted to comment on.  He […]

  2. I still think that nerds are mild autistics. Not all socially excluded people become nerds. I mentioned in a previous post that nerds are interested in complex quantitative systems, and not everybody, even people who can’t join the popular crowd, find this stuff interesting. The others become different “types” such as goths, druggies, or delinquents. For instance, Elliot Rodger was not a nerd.

    Girls on average are more interested in people than systems. So, a girl who would have had Aspergers will instead be merely nerdy, and a girl who would have been nerdy ends up close to normal.

    BehindTheLines

    June 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    • I thought Elliot Rodger was a nerd because he played World of Warcraft.

      • I played World of Warcraft, and I’m not a nerd.

        Renault

        June 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      • And I’m a nerd that doesn’t play World of Warcraft.

        In the case of Rodger, he was far more focused on social status than any intellectual pursuit, and he was an outcast because of his high neuroticism, not because of his interests.

        BehindTheLines

        June 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm

  3. It would be interesting to see how nerds score on “agreeableness”. I suspect the average would be less than normal.

    BehindTheLines

    June 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    • Most nerds are initially agreeable; it’s only after seeing their goodwill answered with scorn that they become grumpy introverts.

      Thomas

      June 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      • IN FACT, as far as personality goes what’s best for success IN THE US is exactly what you’d expect:

        extraverted
        pushy
        striverish
        moral simpleton
        patriot.

        jorge videla

        June 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      • Señor Videla – No doubt in America is all about the Triple As – Ambition, Aggression and Assertion. Oh, did I forget the other A words, such as Assholery and Alpha.

        It can be a good thing if these qualities are channeled properly. But Americans are generally stupid and where our aggressiveness is misdirected.

        JS

        June 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    • BUT being disagreeable is better for your income and wealth…statistically seaking.

      jorge videla

      June 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm

  4. FYI, this is off topic. But might be useful for any one who is looking for investment opportunities.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2241543-mcdonalds-ceo-presents-at-sanford-c-bernstein-thirtieth-annual-strategic-decisions-2014-conference-transcript?part=single.

    McDonald will refranchise some its stores. Any investors with million dollar unborrowed money have chance to this. Just having money is not enough. You need good time to do it. Such opportunity is not always available.

    IC

    June 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    • McDonald’s re-franchising indicates that they have a severe cash-flow problem or they are about to have a severe cash-flow problem. Also, the fact that the black CEO and the female analyst covering the stock are so chummy is a huge red flag.

      Short the stock.

      map

      June 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

  5. Another symptom that fools people on autism vs. weak beta nerd is body language.

    Tics, compulsive behaviors and repetitive motions are associated with autism, but weak betas can be seen fidgeting, flinching and making sudden, awkward movements. Hard for some people to differentiate.

    Fiddlesticks

    June 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    • there’s no fooling people who aren’t fools on this issue.

      genuine autism and asperger’s are very very rare, like 1 in 5000!

      if you met a genuine case you wouldn’t think he was just a nerd or socially inept or talked funny or whatever, you’d think, “there’s something seriously wrong with that person.”

      jorge videla

      June 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      • No. The autism prevalence is a mean of 20.6 in 10,000 as of data published since the year 2000. However, diagnostic standard adjustments caused an increase in diagnosis after the late 1980s. Asperger’s Syndrome / HFA is 6 in 10,000 insofar as the limited data can be relied upon, but Asperger’s Syndrome / HFA is also no longer diagnosed as of the publication of the DSM-5.

        Some AS/HFA is detectable, but much of it definitely is not detectable upon a superficial meeting. Because it manifests in a spectrum, there isn’t a standard manifestation. Certain requirements for diagnosis must be met, but for AS/HFA verbal deficits specifically must not be present. The other deficits won’t necessarily present when you meet someone with AS/HFA and, if the do, they may be so subtle so as to be undetectable to most people. Other AS/HFA individuals can be more obvious.

        You’re just talking out of your ass again, Jorge, as per usual.

        Mike

        June 20, 2014 at 12:56 am

  6. Lion,

    I think you are confusing nerds and geeks. Nerds are smart. Geeks are not necessarily smart. The social ostracism of the geek will create odd hobbies and habits.

    map

    June 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    • What separates a nerd from a geek is the physical attributes. Geeks aren’t necessarily unattractive, but have non-mainstream interests that separates them from the average person. Nerds are physically undesirable and because of this, their interests as a whole reflect their physical appearances.

      JS

      June 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    • Geeks are smart. Think “computer geek”.

      pumpkinperson

      June 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    • Yes, but what about dorks and spazzes?

      caroljm36

      June 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  7. Psychology is art, not science. The same is true about psychiatry, even more so. They are both fascinating, as any art is. However, what is important and should always be considered first when sorting out normal vs. mental illness is if the person could function in this world. In case of Elliot, he could not – because his brain could not adjust to this world.

    MyTwoCents

    June 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    • “In case of Elliot, he could not – because his brain could not adjust to this world.”

      Yes, but it can be argued that the world itself is maladjusted to people like Elliot.

      So in the end it becomes a matter of power — power settles the debate. The most powerful party decides who gets to “adjust” to its rules.

      Thomas

      June 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      • Once we have admitted that power defines mental illness, let me ask you: in a military confrontation between a boisterous third-world nation and an industrious nation of nerds, who is the most likely to win?

        Modern history suggests the latter. The most rational and intelligent nation is the most likely to be able to harness and efficiently use technology. Even though anyone can access the blueprints of a rail-gun, only the smartest can make something of it.

        So it could be argued that modern America (who is currently becoming a third-world country at rapid pace) will not conserve its power indefinitely compared to, say, Japan or China. Making modern American maladjusted to a historic trend that tends to favor nerds like Eliott Rodger.

        Perhaps America is ill, and not Eliott Rodger.

        Thomas

        June 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    • WRONG!

      this is just underhanded, behind-the-back ideology.

      that is, if the world one is expected to function in has its own “problems”, not being able to function in it isn’t intrinsically pathological. in the ussr there was a diagnosis that meant nothing more than thinking communism was bs. and then there’s this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drapetomania.

      the bottom line:

      1. there are genuine crazy people, but there no more than 2% of the population at any one time.
      2. psychology and psychiatry are dominated by people who are both morally and intellectually retarded. and both are businesses.

      jorge videla

      June 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm

  8. I wonder what the racial breakout would be like if we could come up with a sccientifically sound measure of nerdiness. Just thinking aloud, how many black nerds do you know?

    Maybe along with a subpar iq, blacks are genetically gifted with a certain easy presence rendering them immune to nerdiness. I bet most blacks would find elliot,s personality and actions incomprehensible, while many white folks feel a certain empathy. My .02.

    newyorker

    June 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    • High extroversion+Low openness+Low future time orientation = one of the many reasons there are so few black nerds.
      “Nerds” are on the opposite spectrum of those traits.

      markus

      June 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      • Yup, you’re probably right. That ‘gift of gab’ throws you off, making it hard to believe their iq is average roughly 85. One can tell in 5 minutes with a white if they’re subnormal intellectually within minutes. Not so with blacks, god bless ‘em. Maybe the test doesn’t measure some important capabilities.

        newyorker

        June 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      • Poor elliot. A better hapa combo would have been ashkenazi/black a la lenny kravitz. The jewish smartz + the black coolness.

        newyorker

        June 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      • blacks are always jiving. they even jive to themselves. they jive in their sleep.

        jorge videla

        June 3, 2014 at 1:06 am

      • @newyorker, this is because, simplistically, there are two different ways to cause low-IQ. Some people are low-IQ because they just happen to not be very smart. Other people are low-IQ because something bad happened, like being dropped on their heads as babies or Down’s syndrome. Two people might measure as having the same IQ, but someone who should have been 120 but lost 40 points to a prenatal infection will be more “messed up” than someone who just happens to be dumb.

        Dipitty Do

        June 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

  9. Did Elliot’s mother and sister try to help him with his problems? Did they also treat him like a loser? Did they give him bad advice? Did they just move on with their lives?

    as

    June 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm

  10. Elliot’s mother should probably have taken him to a Chinese church and then enrolled him in the church sports leagues or what have you. He could have gone to the socials at church or played on the playground.

    as

    June 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    • I doubt he would have been particularly welcome at a Chinese church or cultural.organization, being mixed. Blacks follow the one drop rule. Asians do not.

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      June 3, 2014 at 9:19 am

  11. Elliot was apparently a California “Regional Center” client as he received vocational counseling from them. Regional centers work with people with developmental disabilities.

    jef

    June 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    • Well, Elliot’s autobiography is a testimony to how useless the “Regional Centers” are. Well, he was only able to get a menial job through them anyway.

      Latias

      June 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm

  12. a pet theory of lion’s?

    how does this lack of the instinct to imitate explain all the other problems of genuine autistics and aspies?

    and as far as i can tell you’re still not making the distinction between social behavior and social intelligence.

    jorge videla

    June 2, 2014 at 7:11 pm

  13. What about the diminished ability to read other people and the diminished ability to see how one appears to others? Both these need to be fit into any theories.

    CamelCaseRob

    June 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    • the big problem with the “how one appears to others” jive is that it depends on who the others are.

      i really doubt if anyone can see himself as if he were outside himself. this why there are so many fat people with bad breath!

      you can try. you can get closer. but seeing yourself on tape is always better.

      for one thing it’s physically impossible to hear the voice that other people hear without hearing it on tape.

      jorge videla

      June 3, 2014 at 1:10 am

    • phil helmut can read his fellow poker players like a book, but some might call him socially inept.

      whatever. people certainly can’t read me.

      i may tend to over-read, but what people consciously intend and their subconscious intentions are often not the same.

      jorge videla

      June 3, 2014 at 1:18 am

    • that is, you’ll often find that people do not know what they think.

      jorge videla

      June 3, 2014 at 1:19 am

    • Aspies can’t “read” other people because they lack the neural feedback loops necessary to do so.
      Though I suspect many people can’t actually “read” others so much as they just assume that others think like themselves, which works fine for people who actually are pretty average.

      Dipitty Do

      June 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      • Yes. If you think like everyone else, it doesn’t take as much Social IQ to correctly read others. Nerds often seem socially obtuse but it’s partly because they have less in common with others.

        pumpkinperson

        June 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm

  14. Nerdism and autism spectrum disorder are often conflated, this is In part because the definition of ASD is very broad. In practice the ASD diagnosis can be applied in a range from high functioning autistic to shy/introverts >120IQ. Ultimately this reflects the increasing pathologising/medicalisation of normal behaviour. In the popular imagination any distinction seems to have collapsed and people also seem unaware that the majority of people with ASD are not >120 but rather <100.

    I think you are overplaying the role of learning/socialisation and downplaying the role of genetics in behaviour formation.

    X

    June 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    • You are indeed correct that autism/asperger’s does not necessarily lead to a high IQ; ceteris paribus, having authentic Asperger’s syndrome is net disadvantage in American life due to the possession of impaired social skills (and to a lesser extent decreased social intelligence as it impairs social skills more than the ability to comprehend social relationships), but it does give one a resistance or immunity to groupthink and leaves one less susceptible to strong emotional, subjective rhetoric not backed by logical reasoning or empirical evidence. I do think mild autism is a disorder, but it certainly isn’t pathological. However, just because autistics have an enhanced memory and can be intensely fixated on abnormal, often “nerdy”, interests, this does not necessarily indicate higher intelligence, since the subject and nature of their fixation would just emphasize concrete, often disparate trivial information as opposed to more abstract and conceptual principles.

      I am a woman with both autism and a high IQ (certainly > 120), Naturally as an autistic, I am quite introverted although while I used to be shy I now have less hesitation since I am more confident that I could defend my own thoughts and opinions and I do want my remarks to be contrarian and controversial so they can lead to an interesting discourse. Furthermore, I am completely oblivious to non-verbal social cues, unless they are exaggerated, in a fluid social setting nor do I have ability to mimic those social cues and maintain normal eye contact. Even among women, I still do not want to participate in a typical discussion with the rather pedestrian topics of someone’s family life, social relationships, or employment situation as those topics do not interest me, but I cannot interject to discuss a more stimulating and challenging topic in science or philosophy. My remarks in a conversation are usually long discursive and detailed elaborations or corrections to what I believe to be factually inaccuracies or fallacious logic. For instance, this is an example of a conversation that I was in:

      For instance, I remember talking to someone on Friday (just before the killing spree) about the ethics of preemptively aborting those with autism (and my sentiments and thoughts about that), and she asked how did I know it was highly heritable (although she likely did not know what that term technically means). I said that in general there were many studies showing that autism is highly heritable. Somehow, the discussion went to Down Syndrome, and she mentioned in passing that there was some “inherited” form of Down syndrome. I just said that by definition Down syndrome patients have an extra 21st chromosome (or the material contained in the 21st chromosome), and it could potentially be inherited from a parent with a translocated 21st chromosome, and that could create the aneuploidy. Apparently, she did not know what translocation and aneuploidy meant,

      I could wear what is fashionable, paint my toes, and find stylish shoes if I bothered to, but I usually dress fairly modestly and rarely wear high heels while I still look feminine, I do not appear or behave autistic on a superficial level as I do not act like a stereotypical nerd or socially maladjusted person, and I could engage in casual conversation for a short time, but beyond that facade I am a bona fide autistic.
      ===

      Elliot Rodger did not have autism.

      Latias

      June 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    • exactly right x and well said.

      or perhaps it’s only in a society where autism is rampant that people can believe it’s real.

      Rainman was great promotion.

      jorge videla

      June 3, 2014 at 1:36 am

    • i can’t find it but pbs did a series called The Mind.

      in it a high functioning autistic young man is filmed. what’s missing, according to the show, is he can’t give meaning to his life. he spends his time cycling to various places, iirc in california. these places have no significance for him. they’re just places.

      what is missing isn’t reason but meaning.

      victoria wilde’s ex, the italian aristocrat tao rispoli made a GREAT intro to heidegger called Being in the World.

      reason is NOT a sufficient condition for being human (in the good way). reason AND the ability to give meaning to what you do or don’t do…TO CARE…is sufficient.

      jorge videla

      June 3, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      • man is a rational animal said aristotle.

        better is:

        to be human is to have reason AND meaning.

        but of course, the self-identified existentialists (not heidegger) would say there is no meaning except what one ex nihilo gives meaning to.

        but as that curiously insightful fraud werner erhard (John Paul Rosenberg) would say, “that there is no meaning is itself meaningless.”

        jorge videla

        June 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

  15. They also tend to pick up odd interests because they lack the copycat instinct of normal children who choose their interests based on what other children like, or what their parents convince them to like.

    I think the obsessive interests has more to do with the autistic tendency to perseverate which is probably related to executive dysfunction. Autistic people have trouble mentally switching gears (cognitively and perhaps emotionally) so they prefer to study one subject as deeply as possible, rather than developing a wide range of interests. As children they’re often called little professors, and when high functioning, become actual professors.

    The inability (or unwillingness) to switch gears probably impairs social skills because they get so fixated on their interests that they fail to consider their listener’s interest level, or switch gears to see the perspective of others.

    pumpkinperson

    June 3, 2014 at 12:30 am

    • It strikes me as rather difficult to tell whether someone has difficulty switching gears, or they just happen to actually be really interested in a subject and not so interested in other subjects. (Or perhaps these are just two different ways of seeing the same thing.)

      Dipitty Do

      June 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      • Autistics seem to have Executive Dysfunction which is largely a cognitive inability to switch gears. But perhaps the failure to switch gears extends to other parts of the brain…not just cognition, but interests. So once they get interested in one topic, they don’t find new topics interesting.

        pumpkinperson

        June 4, 2014 at 12:04 am

  16. Lion, given your expertise on social class, you might be interested to know that the upper class has more autistic children while the lower class is more schizophrenic.

    http://brainsize.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/autism-schizophrenia-social-class/

    The way I explained this is that the upper class are more nerdy (K selected) while the lower class are more cool (r selected).

    My theory is:

    Nerdiness + executive dysfunction = autism

    Coolness + executive dysfunction = schizophrenia

    pumpkinperson

    June 3, 2014 at 3:06 am

    • But James Holmes had schizophrenia.

      • Was that ever solidly confirmed? Certainly he had a vested interest in appearing insane during the trial to avoid culpability. In the media there was a lot of speculation about autism/aspergers. Meanwhile the NY Times hinted he may have had manic dysphoria.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/james-holmes-aurora-shooting-suspect-enters-insanity-plea.html?_r=0

        If he was schizophrenic, that would undermine my theory since he seems kind of nerdy (brilliant STEM major). On the other hand he was adopted which may imply his biological parents had him when they were young and unmarried (sex before marriage suggests “cool genes” rather than nerdy genes, r rather than K). He may have just learned the nerdiness from his nerdy adoptive father and pulled it off because he had some K traits (high IQ) and some r traits (good social mimicry)

        pumpkinperson

        June 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

      • I never regard “good social mimicry” as an “r” trait. I wouldn’t even consider schizophrenia to be on the “r-K” access; it should be considered a hugely maladaptive neurological development that reaches a critical level of dysfunction at young adulthood when it starts to become symptomatic. Indeed, there is neurological pathology before the psychotic symptoms manifest, but the disease needs to progress past a certain threshold in order for psychosis to occur. Even the “asymptomatic” relatives of schizophrenics demonstrate impaired executive function as they have poor performance on the reverse digit span test (and other tests such as Stroop and the Wisconsin Card Sort).

        I do not even consider social mimicry or skills to be apart of schizophrenia since schizophrenics tend to be socially withdrawn.

        Latias

        June 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      • I never regard “good social mimicry” as an “r” trait.

        r traits are those that increase reproductive rates (sexual selection) as opposed to K traits which increase survival rates (natural selection). I would think that men who are good at mimicking alpha traits would be sexually successful.

        I wouldn’t even consider schizophrenia to be on the “r-K” access; it should be considered a hugely maladaptive neurological development that reaches a critical level of dysfunction at young adulthood when it starts to become symptomatic.

        Well my theory is that schizophrenia and autism are r and K disorders respectively. r and K are adaptive , but when combined with executive dysfunction, they become maladaptive..

        do not even consider social mimicry or skills to be apart of schizophrenia since schizophrenics tend to be socially withdrawn.

        Autistic people are withdrawn because they’re not social. Schizophrenics are withdrawn because they’re TOO social. They socialize even with people who don’t exist. Autistics are often blind to the mental states and agendas of others. Schizophrenics see mental states and agendas that don’t exist (paranoia). Autistics treat people like objects. Schizophrenics treat objects like people.

        I’m generalizing of course. There is enormous diversity within each group.

        pumpkinperson

        June 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      • I never regard “good social mimicry” as an “r” trait.

        r traits are those that increase reproductive rates (sexual selection) as opposed to K traits which increase survival rates (natural selection). I would think that men who are good at mimicking alpha traits would be sexually successful.

        I wouldn’t even consider schizophrenia to be on the “r-K” access; it should be considered a hugely maladaptive neurological development that reaches a critical level of dysfunction at young adulthood when it starts to become symptomatic.

        Well my theory is that schizophrenia and autism are r and K disorders respectively. r and K are adaptive , but when combined with executive dysfunction, they become maladaptive..

        do not even consider social mimicry or skills to be apart of schizophrenia since schizophrenics tend to be socially withdrawn.

        Autistic people are withdrawn because they’re not social. Schizophrenics are withdrawn because they’re TOO social. They socialize even with people who don’t exist. Autistics are often blind to the mental states and agendas of others. Schizophrenics see mental states and agendas that don’t exist (paranoia). Autistics treat people like objects. Schizophrenics treat objects like people.

        I’m generalizing of course. There is enormous diversity within each group.

        pumpkinperson

        June 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

  17. And then there are the guys like me with zero neuroticism, a very good understanding of social queues which developed very early along with language but who none the less have a pathological contrarian need to do the opposite of whatever the group is doing. I was labeled a nerd all my young life by others, despite never really having any interest in the term. I didn’t want to ‘be a nerd’ because that meant being part of a group, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t tolerate that, still can’t. I have a hard time calling myself an artist even though that’s what I do. Oh and my athletic skills were also abysmal, despite my father trying very hard to developer them, but zero times ten is still zero.

    Sisyphean

    June 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

    • Oh and I should note that I have both diagnosed Autistics as well as Schizophrenics, Histrionics and Borderlines in the various branches of my closer relatives. I don’t have any of those but if I had to choose I’d say I’m closest to Schizo. If there is a spectrum, that’s the direction I point.

      Sisyphean

      June 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

      • Schizophrenia is the inability to distinguish between real and unreal.

      • That’s one of the main things yes. Also there is often anhedonia, which is a inability to feel pleasurable emotion. My poor uncle who has it (who also has a PHD in Astrophysics) changed from being a guy very much like me (relaxed, bright, creative, funny) to being a withdrawn haunted person who struggles with intrusive thoughts and hallucinations. I am very thankful that I made it past the danger point for the syndrome.

        Sisyphean

        June 3, 2014 at 9:24 am

    • Low extraversion + low neuroticism + low agreeableness?

      • I have middling extraversion, high enough that I’ve have been the lead in several plays and don’t mind parties, low enough that I have no problem being alone for significant periods and will often read or draw off by myself. I have higher than average agreeableness (if we say 5 is avg, then I am usually in the 6-8 range, scales vary depending on who did the OCEAN). However I bottom out the Neuroticism scale every time, I am super super relaxed. I actually have a blog post where I opine about how many times people have asked me whether I have seen ‘The Big Lebowski’ (I have) because I remind them so much of The Dude.

        Sisyphean

        June 3, 2014 at 9:19 am

      • I think you have low extraversion, and you are confusing lack of social anxiety (low N) with the desire to be around people which you don’t have.

        Shy people, on the other hand, are often loners not because they WANT to be loners, but because they are too shy to join in (or lack the social skills to join in as part of a viscious circle in which shy people don’t develope good social skills because of their shyness).

      • It’s possible, the introversion extraversion scales are so subjective in how they ask things. Do I prefer to be by myself? Sometimes I do, but sometimes I seek the company of others. When I was very young I was more shy and I preferred the company of nerdy people who could discuss my interests but as I’ve aged I’ve gotten very tired of pretentious nerdy dolts who are still as shy and awkward as they were back when they were in high-school. Now I prefer the company of people who know how to enjoy the moment and be present in it, rather than thinking about something they’re guilty about from their past or something they’re worried about in the future. And even back when I was ‘shy’ I was the guy in our group of friends who would stand up on the table at a restaurant and sing or take off his shirt and make funny faces, or do impressions of people in public (or of a teacher in front of them). Does that sound like an introvert to you?

        Sisyphean

        June 3, 2014 at 9:42 am

      • that’s right sisyphean.

        personality test are 100% bs.

        they’re impossible to answer unless you’re an idiot.

        jorge videla

        June 6, 2014 at 7:18 am

  18. I suspect that most people–especially most intelligent people–have some interest in “odd” subjects. But since most people have feedback loops that make them imitate others, these interests are held in check. Only in people who lack those feedback loops will their interests be allowed to fully flourish, whether they end up majoring in math or memorizing every episode of The Price is Right.

    Dipitty Do

    June 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

  19. Many of the nerdiest folks around allegedly come from societies (e.g., India and China) where rote learning dominates their educational system, and they excel at this. Yet what is rote learning but mimicry? If those with Asperger’s fail at mimicry, wouldn’t they fail at rote learning as well? If that is the case, then how could so many millions of Asiatic nerds be affected by Asperger’s?

    Saskatoon Sammy

    June 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

  20. I wonder whether these “new thoughts” would survive knowing well a number of autistic adults? It doesn’t seem likely. There’s a new blog http://autisticthinking.tumblr.com/ where people can post descriptions of how their brains work — remarkably varied, and not at all like Lion’s caricature.
    (My son is autistic, adult-diagnosed, and his husband and many of their friends are as well.)

    linda seebach

    June 6, 2014 at 2:30 am

    • by “autistic” i take it you mean gay?

      jorge videla

      June 6, 2014 at 7:16 am

      • No, I mean autistic, formally disgnosed by a psychologist. Highly verbal, so it would probably have been called Asperger’s if that were still recogized as distinct. (The sexual orientation is orthogonal, and irrelevant to this discussion; it’s just that the name-for-person-you’re-married-to is gendered.)

        linda seebach

        June 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm


Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264 other followers

%d bloggers like this: