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  • non communicativeness

    silence

    I have been unfortunate in life in that the two closest friends I have had became uncommunicative in the end.  The first friend from junior high I had a falling out with and the second one from college I became too low status for.  These people aren’t stupid, they did what they knew would hurt the most, not necessarily to hurt me but as a show of force.  For the first one it was paying me back for our falling out.  For the second one it was to make a judgement on my failure lifestyle.  To communicate with me would be to condone the way I’ve lived my life, being a net drain on society rather than a net gain for it.

    You’ll find that adults use non communicativeness as a weapon against people (particularly people close to them) who live a kind of lifestyle they don’t agree with.  For example if a woman realizes she likes women and has a girlfriend, her fundamentalist Christian parents or relatives might simply stop speaking to her.

    For me as an aspie non communicativeness will always remain as something I don’t have the head to grasp (maybe that’s why when used on me it hurts more than it would when used on the average person).  I can understand not talking to someone for a limited amount of time while you’re steaming mad at them but not for an indefinite period of time.  Maybe I’m just too socially needy I don’t know.

    Jesus’ admonition to forgive falls hardest on the aggrieved party but with his admonition to reconcile, the aggrieved party often gains as much if not more depending on how much they cared about said relationship.  For example reconciling with my best friend from junior high would be a godsend for me.  I don’t think there is any hope for my friend from college because that judgement against me is based on who I have become, not some wrong I did.

    A bitter irony in the whole thing is non communicativeness is seen as a perfectly acceptable behavior for neurotypicals but when we do it we’re stigmatized as nonverbal and have our rights taken away.



  • More on Fail Safes

    A lot of church people don’t support Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion that gives poor people healthcare.  I have even heard people say the church should take care of the healthcare needs of its parishioners, not the state.  If your church is doing this successfully for its needy members that’s great.  However, if it isn’t Medicaid could be seen as a fail safe for your inaction.  Viewing it as a fail safe for your inaction instead of just government dole will help you think more compassionately than perhaps you would have.



  • I, Racist

    Amazing sermon on the discourse of race in America:

    White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

    Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)



  • What is True?

    There are a lot of people trying to make truth claims.  The irony is the more they shove bullshit down your throat the more obvious the actual truth becomes.

    Something is true if those in power are doing everything in their power to convince you that it’s false.  Why do those of power and privilege encourage you to pray but discourage you from community organizing and collective bargaining.  They know the former won’t harm them but the latter could.

    If something’s true it comes into play at critical junctures such as a job interview or a date.  Yes you can lie your way through either but the point is even in your lies you are showing them truth (because being able to put up a front is a valuable skill).  If you have a disability it’s going to manifest itself the most acutely at these critical junctures and cost you the most dearly.

    Things that are true have a heavy influence on the cadence of communication.  As the status differential increased between me and my close friends they stopped returning my messages.  They would never tell me directly that they no longer wanted to engage me because of my low status (plausible deniability!) but their actions and cadence showed what they really thought.

    Things that are true are generally backed by empirical evidence.  This should go without saying but some people think things shoved into your brain via force and conditioning are the most true (things like consumerism and religion).  Society is extremely uncomfortable with people who think for themselves because they are harder to market to (70% of the economy revolves around consumer spending).

    Things that are true are ugly or beautiful.  According to the Greeks truth correlated with beauty.  It is very difficult to come away from good art without finding some semi-objective standard of beauty (not that everyone agrees upon what is good art, just that lots of people cluster around different forms of good art).  Things that are true can be incredibly ugly as well but it is important to realize that they capture you without being pushed on you.

    Truth points to an objective system of morality.  I’m starting to sound like Pat Robertson but there is a certain moral framework all of us can agree on.  Forces reacting against organized religion may have muddled things but while lots of us recoil at the concept of sin we can largely agree on what is evil.  Not to say all morality is absolute, a lot varies from culture to culture but we can all agree that slavery, killing, and torture is evil.  Of course doing what’s right is always the hardest thing.



  • Disability Accommodations

    A lot of disability accommodations (specifically for those on the spectrum) are seen by society is power grabs. This is largely because people with disabilities are generally on the bottom of the totem pole and thus expected to put up with crap.  The problem with accommodations for those on the spectrum is often times they are things that the general population doesn’t like either but puts up with.  A few examples.

    Lighting that doesn’t drive one up the wall.  I think everyone agrees florescent office lighting is not enjoyable.  However for someone on the spectrum it can literally be torture.  But giving someone an office with incandescent lighting is seen as a privilege reserved for those higher up.  In fact the first office job I had my boss’s boss had an office with strictly incandescent lighting.

    Tolerable noise levels.  Being on the bottom often one gets the shit jobs.  For example trying to get out of vacuuming because your sensitivity to noise is seen as manipulation.  Even asking to turn the TV down is met with derision a lot of the time.

    Advance notice.  People on the spectrum cherish structure so if you know something that requires their action is just common courtesy to let them know as far an advance as possible.  But this also is seen as a power grab because those lower in society are expected to be on call to those higher.

    A medium of communication we are comfortable with.  People (even good friends) won’t argue with me online about serious things.  Yes it’s a medium I feel more empowered in then they do but that shouldn’t matter if their arguments are sound.  I understand that different mediums are conducive for one forming different beliefs and identities (someone who lives offline will be formed differently than someone who lives mostly online).  But this doesn’t mean there can’t be common ground.



  • The Business to Business / Business to Consumer Psychology Divide

    Dell sells laptops.  They have business models that are a little tougher and the have consumer models that have more features for the price point.  Whether you are a business to consumer client of Dell or a business to business client you are still getting a laptop.  Just one optimized for different use cases.

    Psychology is not like this at all.  A business to business (b2b) psychologist will tell their client the opposite of what a business to consumer (b2c) psychologist will.  A b2b psychologist might be hired by an advertising firm to create messages that make women insecure about their appearance in order to get them to buy the firm’s client’s products.  A b2c psychologist will tell a paying client that their worth comes from something other than their physical appearance.  The point is psychologists are saying opposite things depending who is on the payroll.  They are hired guns, psychology might take advantage of science and truth but it itself is neither.



  • Power Struggle

    I find, on analysis of my thoughts that a large number of them and possibly the majority involve a power struggle.  I’m trying to get someone in power to take my ideas seriously because I think they are more well thought through than the existing ideas.  And prayer?  All that is is a power struggle with God to try to get him give you want you want.



  • Prayer and Privileged Social Networks

    Another wrinkle in the problem of the efficacy of prayer is the fact that most of the good things in life (jobs, friends, etc..) come through being connected to privileged informal social networks (usually consisting of people of privilege).  When one does not have access to said networks one can pray but the prayer is to change someone in power’s heart, not a prayer that has an easy shot at being answered.



  • ramblings on diversity

    The new thing for churches is intentionally trying to become racially diverse.  I can’t help them.  I don’t speak white which is strange because I am white.  I am non privileged in other ways, having a mental illness, a moderate physical disability, and being on the autistic spectrum.  I may not be able to speak for blacks but I am not put off by their perspective when they go off script and start speaking their mind.   For example after Hurricane Katrina when Kanye West stated the obvious, that Bush didn’t care about black people.

    The problem with churches is they often hire diversity consultants.  These are people paid to talk to white people, even when the group includes people of color one will get a very watered down perspective.

    My philosophy for pretty much everything comes from an Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  Why it works with diversity is often “nothing left to take away” matches oppressed people’s predicament.  Many of them do not have their basic needs met.  The best thing I can think of that you could do for poor people is partner with a service such as Uber to offer reduced rate rides to poor people to stores, work, food pantries, the doctor, etc..  The technology to do this has matured but it takes people of privilege walking a mile in a disadvantaged person’s shoes to implement.

    Speaking white is about having the luxury to add and be obtuse and inauthentic because privilege has allowed you to not be careening so close to the edge that every word must count.  For a person far from privilege even learning isn’t an anodyne process.  Taking in past and current oppression of the non privileged group you belong to often leaves you (justifiably) angry and immobilized.  And perhaps the worst part of it is it makes you unconsciously associate learning with pain often turning you off to future learning.

    If I could get churches to read one article on diversity it would be Christina Clevelant’s Listening Well as a Person of Privilege.



  • Believe Like a King

    One of the many reasons society isn’t comfortable around those with aspergers syndrome is we tend to believe like kings.  Believing like a king involves seeing the world to the closest approximation that it really is.  Believing like a king involves knowing that most of the important things in life boil down to numbers.

     

    Belief like a King Belief like a Pawn
    Conjecture Encouraged
    Stock market investment
    Critical thinking for problem solving
    Conjecture Discouraged
    Playing the lotto
    Religion, Faith/Hope in the hereafter
    Optimize for Truth
    Money and status most important things
    Numbers most important
    Optimize for Happiness
    Therapeutic ideals like innate worth
    Self-esteem at the expense of truth
    Speak in Specifics
    Confrontational authenticity
    Speak in Generalities
    Vague and non-existential impotent speech

     

    Those who believe like a king know hope is mostly just something used to string vulnerable people along.  They also expect you to hope while they use conjecture on you.  For example people will use conjecture when assessing your future and find out you have none and then they will reject you, all while telling you to hope out the other side of their mouths.