RE: Fwd: The Geek Syndrome

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 21:31:14 MST

> When I read the article, I thought it sounded like someone I
> knew; myself. I took the test and scored a 31, although I could not
> answer all the questions. I have not attempted to obtain a
> professional diagnosis, as I am not sure what good, if any, it could
> do. Oh well, I guess I'm outed now.

Since you mentioned so, I would like to inform you that I had Asperger's. Last December I read about autism on MSNBC and did a
massive literature search on it. Later I got myself dx-ed and confirmed it. I also knew a few real people with autism and more on
the Net. I got 42 for the test.

Having a dx has great importance, even if symbolic. It can help one come to terms with oneself. It can help you get disability
payment if you can't stay in a job. It can help explain to others about your difference.

However, proceed with care on this issue. Some insurance companies irrationally do not insure autistics (ACs), even high
functioners. Some employers irrationally refuse to hire autistics even if the autistics have all the skills neccessary to do their
work, or do it better than the NTs who require constant socialising (they call this "eating snake", sort of like laziness, in
Chinese dialect).

This only adds to problems with finding jobs, as I read and received first hand accounts of stories of ACs who either dislike their
jobs very much and have to quit to avoid social burnout, or cannot stay in their job because, while technically very competent, they
can't get along with anyone (including the boss).

I suggest those interested in enquiring more contact me privately, unless you think you don't mind discussing it in public and that
what you discuss has relevance to extropian issues.

> Since I read the article, I have been examining my memories of
> the people I have met in my life to see if I could identify any others
> with a possible diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome and any commonalities
> they share.

I found a few lecturers suspected of having autism. The absent minded, boring and non-social professor provides a good sterotype of
autism. Educational institutions provide relatively places for autistics to seek employment.

Quite a few of ACs go into entrepreneurship, combining their independent spirit with creativity. They do find themselves in a
disadvantage when they have to comply with apparently irrational social norms to entertain.

> Am I way off base here?

Probably off-topic, but not neccessary not off-base.

It seems like despite their relatively low concentration in our societies, they have a disproportionate influence especially in the
fields of science and technology. Some famous inventors and discovers have autistic traits, such as Albert Einstein and Thomas
Edison. The concept of "mad scientist" probably came from some NT observing how some of these people act and think.

ACs have an advantage when it comes to originality. They can conceive solutions that others had not figured out while NTs tend to
follow the trend. When you do not let the opinions of those around you, as well as past cultural thinking weigh you down, you can
let your mind roam freely. When you do not need to socialise and go to mundane social activities such as mindless shopping, you
spend your time thinking and learning.

[Not all autistics, however, have interest in science and technology. Some of them like art much more than science.]

Meanwhile, it seems more likely than AC researchers can develop and create the first sentient AI or singularity, while NT politicans
will more likely attempt to stop these on irrelevant or superfacial religious or other grounds.

Meanwhile, these sentient entities will most likely have autistic tendencies than NT tendencies. You might not realise how much
non-verbal information passes from one person to another and also all the varients of this "non-standard" transmission system.

Definitely, we would find it easier to build a non-human sentient computer (as in not an uploaded mind or directly based on human
neural systems) without the need to take such eloborate rituals and systems into account.

This holds despite the marketing people's desire to cater to the majority NT population by constructing "socialable" computers. Some
say that the engineering and marketing people never fit, probably because one contains mostly "hard-core" ACs and the other mostly
"hard-core" NTs.

I hereby predict that the influence of ACs will increase as technology progresses in our societies. While NTs fear "impersonal"
computers, ACs take to them as (sort of like) friends. While NTs use technology to communicate with each other, ACs make discoveries
about this world and develop new technologies to better the world. While the NTs go shopping, the ACs read books in the library.

The tables had finally started turning on the socialites; the time has come for the geeks to take over the world. :)


Some more stuff I wrote:

NT Strangeness - Research on NTs

Heuristics on DXing ACs

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