navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

Expandmenu Shrunk

  • Category Archives Aspie Specific
  • Racism is Real

    Racism is Real: Trump Helps Show It []:

    Tomás Jiménez, an associate professor of sociology and comparative studies in race and ethnicity at Stanford University, uses what he calls the “ghost metaphor” to describe the quandary of people who personally experience or aim to draw attention to racism. “It haunts every aspect of your life, but nobody else sees it and they don’t believe you” he said. “Sometimes it makes a very pronounced appearance, and that’s why people seize on it.”

    My autobiography.  The times in my life when I looked normal enough and could pass as non disabled were the times I got treated leagues better and got jobs.  Of course I have multiple disabilities so often times one or the other would sink my chances, usually my visual impairment but sometimes my aspergers.  I always got treated the worst in church and job interviews.  And a vast majority of the prejudice flied under the radar, so much so that my family thinks I’ve just been unlucky in life.  Because it defends the oppressive social order thinking about it in those terms.  It’s more comfortable.

  • 2008

    Article on employing people on the spectrum:

    This can be of great value. After all, the majority may get it wrong, as was the case with the mortgage crisis in 2008. Many experts were blindsided by the sudden collapse of the subprime market. However, hedge fund manager Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale in the film “The Big Short,” correctly forecast a collapse as early as 2007.

    Burry has autism spectrum disorder. He has said it explains, at least in part, how he was able to persist in betting against the subprime market, even when major investors wanted to pull their money from his fund. Burry and his fund profited accordingly.

  • something wrong with you

    A thing as common as dirt that those in power do is getting people to believe there is something wrong with them (instead of there being something wrong with the system) when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to.  In religion when people don’t experience God at all like this God is Silent post, people say there is something missing in them.  If you can’t “find God” there’s a problem with you, not with the religious system.  Never mind that people on the spectrum have much higher rates of atheism and agnosticism than the general population.  Because of this our inability to “access God” is chalked up to the incorrect wiring in our brains.  The same parts of the brain that facilitate social skills between humans facilitate them between you and the divine I guess.  It’s just kind of suspect that one would have to have “social skills” to interact with a deity.  Couldn’t this part of the brain just as easily be making the whole thing up?

  • Testing

    So I found out today it’s $800-$1,200 to get tested to see whether I’m on the spectrum (they don’t take any of the insurance I have).  I’ve been told I have some traits of people on the spectrum by psychiatrists but never got formal testing done.  Part of the reason I don’t have that kind of money is because of disability based prejudice partially due to things that look an awful lot like autism symptoms.

  • Lesson: At the Store

    Sometimes people on the spectrum’s mannerisms mimic shoplifters.  Follow these tips to be safer.  These tips apply for anyone, especially anyone who is not clean cut, neurotypical and white.

    • If possible don’t bring a backpack into a store.  It raises suspicion.
    • Never put merchandise you are going to purchase in your cloths or jacket pockets.  You may forget it on the way out of the store.
    • Always have a question ready in case an employee asks you if you need help.  A lot of times they are watching for shoplifting.
    • The answer to, “do you want a bag for this”, is always yes.  Sometimes you will be able to purchase things in a different area of a store (for example the electronics section at Meijer).  You always need to have a bag with a receipt in it because this shows onlookers you made the purchase.  You could get stopped without a bag and if you lost your receipt you could be in big trouble.

    The store (particularly big box stores) are not a kind place for those on the spectrum with the crowds, fluorescent lights, and store equipment beeping their trouble tones everywhere.

  • International Ideas Month, An Idea for You

    March is International Ideas Month and I couldn’t help but toot my horn.

    I did the quote on the masthead in memory board.  Memory Board is mainly an alternative communication tool for people on the spectrum but can also be used for learning languages and remembering things.  I have only tested it on Edge (IE in Windows 10) and Chrome, not sure it works on other browsers.

    Click the images to hear the text to speech!

  • No Fail Safe, No Feel Safe!

    In order for me to feel safe I need to have fail safes in place which is pretty much the opposite of how God works. God promises he will never fail you and then sets the rhetorical stage so that no matter what he does it’s impossible for him to do so. Any situation where God appears to fail is chalked up to your senses failing to grasp how he is—in fact—succeeding (as if God’s people dropping out of your life and staying away aren’t sign enough that things aren’t going according to “God’s plan”). On the other hand, in a fail safe there is a clear cut specific delineation of what constitutes a failure. It’s a guarantee that if someone doesn’t come through with what they promised, something will automatically be triggered (it’s the plan B that gives the plan A an incentive to work). For example a pizza delivery that becomes free if it doesn’t arrive in a half an hour. As someone on the autistic spectrum I need routine and predictability fail safes afford me. I’d rather have a god who was safe than a god who claims to do what’s best.

  • The laws of thermodynamics never fail, even the least of us

    Imagine if you got on a plane and the pilot was on the spectrum.  Then they had to get a new pilot, not because the pilot wasn’t skilled and talented enough to fly the plane, but—because of his autism—the laws of thermodynamics wouldn’t work in such a way that the plane would fly.  That would be ridiculous.  But that describes our relationship with God and religion pretty perfectly.  Because of the way our brains our wired we have a hard to impossible time interacting with the divine.  Which begs the question, if there were a god wouldn’t he be equally accessible to everyone (the same way the law of thermodynamics is), regardless of their brain configuration?

    I find science is a safe space for me because it functions uniformly regardless of brain configuration.  A night when I was completely out of my mind (would be heading to the mental hospital the next day) I picked up an old school Game Boy Color and played some Tetris.  I was trying to test whether I had gotten a lot better at it, to match what my delusions of grandeur were telling me.  In that moment in that game it was shown that I wasn’t any better.  I was just as bad as usual.  Tetris was being the scientific objective voice I needed (God, on the other hand, was telling me all kinds of crazy shit).

    Religion didn’t always involve the brain being front and center and then it was probably easier for autistics to be involved in it.  But as people have amassed more of a sense of self and the promises of interaction with the divine go grander and grander, the brain has taken center stage.

  • Fundies and Aspies

    One of my favorite articles of all time about a guy on the autistic spectrum raised fundamentalist who left the Christian faith.

    For me, it was like God was an imaginary friend that I absolutely knew was real, rather than just merely a faith I had… and all the crazy delusions that came with it. In order for us Aspies to believe in something we can’t see, we have to find something to latch onto, to make it part of our world. My mind ran wild with kooky ideas. Like Faggot Killer.

    People tell me I need to be saved. I tell them, it’s cool that you believe in Jesus or God, that you’re going to church, but that life for me, as a person with Asperger’s syndrome, that was poison to me.