Brains Vary

Great minds do not think alike.

My mother is a dancer. She thinks in movement, choreography. I think in emotional impressions. Ideas, abstractions, art.

I used to live much deeper inside my head than I do now. I found the outside world confusing, or rather the people in it and their bizarre expectations of how I should think and act. I learned over the course of years of painful trial and error to think and act more “normally”, but adapting changed me profoundly. I will bear the scars and regrets of that process for the rest of my life.

I learned to think in shorter, more discrete ideas. It dampened my creativity, but translating abstract ideas for neurotypical people is a necessary survival skill for Autistics. I don’t think as creatively now, or quickly, and I miss that. But heaven forbid “normal” people should have to learn to accommodate us. That would be unreasonable.

Thinking in discrete short ideas has made it easier for me to communicate verbally, but only when the ideas which need communicating don’t require foundational explanation, and I lost a great deal in the transition. I could no longer connect disparate concepts as well as I once could, and my imagination became limited by the shared assumptions of neurotypical society. I rebelled as much as I could, but I cannot say I won that war. I’m pretty weird still, but not like I was. A Pyrrhic victory at best.

Whatever operating system you use, regardless of the layout of your internal world, know that each person is unique, and that different people’s ways of thinking each have their own strengths. Stand in solidarity with your fellow freaks, fight back against the people who would steal your birthright.

You are not alone.

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Crowdsourcing Our Way Out of the Crisis of Democracy | Alternet

More Americans are fed up with the phony democracy that exists in the United States. Across the nation people are engaged in democracy rebellions as many re-examine the nation’s roots, especially with 4th of July weekend just passing.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that when a government does not support the rights and needs of the people, then

“it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Have we reached that point? Many think so.  A recent poll found 74% of Americans agree the broken political system needs to be fixed first. The poll found that “corruption of government by big money and frustration with the abuses of the political ruling class: incumbent politicians, lobbyists, the elite media, big business, big banks, big unions, and big special interests unites Americans.”  And, “the battle lines of the new political order are emerging. When presented with the proposition that ‘the real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but mainstream America and the ruling political elites,’ over 66% of voters agree.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Legalising Drugs: Stop the War on Drugs

In contrast to my last reblog, this is an example of a taboo causing harm. Drug *abuse* should remain stigmatized, though it should lose its association with criminality; responsible drug use, on the other hand, should *not* carry stigma and should in fact be encouraged in cases where the drugs have medicinal value and an overall positive effect on a person’s life.

Allallt in discussion

During prohibition, alcoholism rates tripled. That’s how good making thing illegal is at stopping people from doing them. For every person that abused alcohol before prohibition, there came three. That is the opposite of what such a law is for. Evidence suggests abuse levels are lower where the drugs are legal (I’m still thinking prohibition, but also Holland), so people are healthier and more productive. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, drugs being illegal is precisely what empowers the deals. But, is there a moral angle to view this issue from? Yes.

“My right to swing my arm ends at your nose” (I’m on the same bus, no internet, I can’t source the quote). That’s a metaphor for the basic moral principle that is “I can’t do what I want until I start infringing on the rights of others” or “I have liberties, but I also have the…

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My Philosophy: Challenge Thyself

The bulk of my philosophy combines two schools of thought: Nietzsche’s Übermensch and Frankl’s “Will to Meaning“. I’ll tackle the second first: Viktor Frankl, a 20th century psychiatrist, developed the concept of the Will to Meaning as the conceptual framework behind logotherapy. The basic idea is that the main driving force behind human endeavor is not the will to power (as Nietzsche contended), nor is it the will to pleasure (as Freud believed). Rather, it is the need to feel needed, so to speak: the deep, abiding desire to have a purpose in life. This ties in nicely with Nietzsche’s concept of the constantly evolving person, or Übermensch: The Übermensch is a person with constantly evolving values due to constant self-reflection, necessary in a rapidly changing world if one’s values are to continue being of use. Taken together, I believe the best way to better ourselves as people is to cultivate a drive to find meaning in life structured on values which are constantly updated to fit the world we live in.

Related reading: Key Concepts of the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

Thoughts On Family

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Blood is thicker than water”, but do you know its origins? It’s might not be what you think.

There is some evidence which suggests that the phrase originally referred to blood brotherhood, not blood relation, and that the water in question was the “waters” of the womb (source). To me, family is independent of blood relation. I am not related to my brother in any conventional sense, yet feel more kinship to him than I do to my blood sister. I consider one of my uncles family, but not the other two – they are merely blood relations. If I were adopted, I would feel more kinship for my adopted family than I would for my biological parents.

Blood family still has meaning to me, but not to the degree it seems to for most others. My attachment to blood family is largely predicated on exposure – the better you understand a person, the more likely you are to care for them – and self-interest, knowing that they *do* feel familial obligation and that if I act in accordance with society’s expectations regarding family ties, I will be able to count on support in return. To my mind, shared history is much more important than similarities in DNA.

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