RE: Fwd: The Geek Syndrome

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Dec 17 2001 - 02:09:09 MST

At 04:27 AM 12/16/01 -0800, Robert Bradbury wrote:
>On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Chen Yixiong, Eric wrote:
>> Since you mentioned so, I would like to inform you that I had
Asperger's. [...]I got 42 for the test.
>Interesting. I got a 39. At least I can beat Anders at something... :-)

Robert, my dear pal and benefactor--I think I'd have to counsel you against
making placing such revelations on the net. They'll come back to bite you
(and maybe the rest of us, by contagion) on the ass.

I think it was Eric who mentioned that Dr Allan Snyder is also autistic. Cf.:

I haven't seen any statement from the brilliant Dr Snyder that this is so,
but it certainly explains some of his more... unusual... behavior at a
public dinner I attended a while back. He introduces himself, especially to
attractive women, by mentioning as swiftly and insistently as possible that
he's a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (an unusual distinction, it's
true, for an American.) His persona is egregiously self-promoting, and his
Centre for the Mind in Australia frequently emits brazen promotional emails
to anyone they regard as interested parties, detailing his latest triumphs,
TV appearances, etc. If he is indeed autistic (which seems not quite right,
since he buttonholes people rather than avoiding their gaze), this might
help explain his social gaucheness. Would he wish this purported fact
trumpeted about him? Maybe--he's not shy about acting it out, I suppose.

But I think that announcing one's autism or Aspergerish nature might prove,
at least in the short term, the social equivalent of confessing to being a
kleptomaniac or a compulsive womanizer. The public might tend thereafter to
disregard one's utterances, however unfairly (especially if they involve
plans to tear down the solar system for spare parts).


Damien Broderick

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:27 MDT