|Jun5-12, 01:44 PM||#137|
Asperger's is about the most hyped thing on the planet. I can't think of much good neuropsychological research that ties autistic traits to creative ability. In fact, it usually imputes the opposite.
And ps that goes for math and science, too. The list of mathematicians with a reasonable Asperger's diagnosis (i.e. not retroactive diagnosis based solely on "this person was weird") is rather short but the list of mathematicians who had some kind of affective and/or psychotic disturbance is rather long. Georg Cantor, Norbert Wiener, Kurt Gödel, Bertrand Russell in fact (in his youth, he lived in fear of going insane, having seen some relatives do so and had a mystical experience that suddenly converted him to pacifism), John Nash of course, and so it goes...
IMO putative Asperger's traits seen in people in STEM fields are better interpreted as signs of negative schizotypy
|Jun5-12, 01:58 PM||#138|
Blog version discussing this study:
Science majors are from Mars
|Jun5-12, 02:26 PM||#139|
This disease is becoming a scape-goat for too many people who view themselves as socially awkward.
Just because you don't have friends (probably because of an unattractive personality) doesn't mean that a disease makes you that way. In the very first post of this thread, Mathwonk was exactly right. People are afraid to post here because they think they might have it. Social skills are just that. A skill. In order to improve a skill, you need to practice it.
Most people who are successful in academia (who somebody pointed out earlier, is a lonely process to achieve) aren't spending time hanging out with friends, partying, or even talking with others. They're sitting at home reading books. Tell me how you expect to improve how you act with others by not talking with people. This obviously relates to mathematicians and physicists, because they're more than likely spending their free time studying and working as opposed to being social and talking with others.
My dad, when he was my age, told me (when he noticed I was doing the same thing) that he basically spent all of his time alone in his room. If you met him, you would have absolutely no idea that he was an introvert as a kid, was quiet, shy, and didn't like talking to others. Hell, since he owns his own business and also helps other people sell their businesses as somewhat of a second job, he makes money by making people want to do business with him by getting them to like him. Basically, just because you're antisocial now, and feel like you're an awkward person, doesn't mean that you can't become socially capable through actually talking with people.
I have no doubt that some of the people in this forum have Asperger's Syndrome. What I'm hoping that people can realize is that self-diagnosis of this disease will get you nowhere. It's so much easier for somebody to say, "oh yeah, if you think that I'm weird, it's because I have Asperger's Syndrome. I can't help it that I'm weird and different, because I read this disease on the internet, and I'm socially awkward, so I probably have it", as opposed to coming to the realization that they need to actually work to try and make friends and become more socially capable.
I don't walk around and say that I have a tumor in my brain because I read on the internet that I have one of the symptoms of it. And if I did legitimately believe that I had a tumor in my brain, I would go to a doctor (somebody who is actually qualified) and see whether or not I do have one.
It's the same way with Asperger's. If you think you have it, go to your doctor. Don't just tell yourself that you probably have it (which is the vibe that I am getting from the posts in this thread) because it's a solution to your social awkwardness, and because it puts all of the blame away from yourself, and onto this disease that is becoming more and more popular to have.
|Jun5-12, 02:26 PM||#140|
Thanks for the links.
However, argh, p-values. Those don't tell us a lot. So 3% family incidence of autism for technical majors versus 1% for non-technical, effect size between the two samples assuming Bernoulli distribution for one go, as measured by Cohen's d, when I give the author the benefit of the doubt by using the smaller standard deviation, is 0.2. I.e. between "small" and "medium". That's not terribly impressive.
Not to mention the Baron-Cohenesque EP fluff. I like his cousin more.
That being said, blaming others for your social awkwardness can be entirely acceptable.
The way I see things, since the Earth is overpopulated and being, in a manner of speaking, sent into ruin by human activity, I don't see any problem with being as discriminating among people as I like. Society's own collective actions have cheapened the value of human life and in doing so necessarily expanded the category of people who are riff-raff ... there simply aren't enough resources to support an industrial lifestyle for everyone, so you may as well be discerning about who is and isn't worthy.
And it certainly isn't my fault that other people are greedy, vapid, myopic, etc.
As Jiddu Krishnamurti (who, in all fairness, undoubtedly had something else in mind when he said it than what I have) put it: "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
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