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An Autist, a Sociopath, and an ADHD'er Walk Into a Bar...

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posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 10:54 PM
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So, the current thinking seems to be that changes in the human genome, absent all the environmental pressures we've neutralized with our technological prowess, are being culturally driven. Allow me to whip out a couple of relevant links which pitch this idea pretty effectively.

www.nytimes.com...
theconversation.edu.au...

It's also been fairly well substantiated that evolution is not necessarily the work of Ages: a lot can happen in a few generations.

Although this can and does manifest in obvious physical traits, what I would like to address is the subtle alterations and possible wide-scale divergences in the neurological department.

This brings me to the fact that ADHD and Autism have been recently found to be heritable, not acquired conditions. Furthermore, both conditions are becoming exponentially more prevalent in the general population with each passing decade. And, finally, they have been found to share a genetic marker.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Hallmarks of our culture include an emphasis on multi-tasking, the imperative to understand and organize complex systems, and the need to rapidly assimilate and synthesize disparate and ceaseless streams of information. All of the above dove-tail nicely with what I would term the advantages of these conditions. Speaking as a high-functioning autist, I would also posit that some of my symptoms appear to be an adaptive response to over-stimulation.

Leaving aside the more debilitating forms Autism can take, it is conceivable that approaching these conditions as pathological and/or deficient is short-sighted at best. Those "afflicted" are pressed to be "treated" because their symptoms are difficult to accommodate within many social systems. However, it behooves one to point out that those very systems demand conformity, rote learning, and adherence to heirarchical rule; and it is therefore quite difficult to say where the fault truly lies: in round peg or the square hole? It's always easier to try and shave that peg down to size.


Are these conditions, then, a healthy adaptive response to a unhealthy system? In addition, of course, to the advantages outlined in the paragraph previous to the above.

And if so, is there an obverse adaptation occurring?

Genetic markers have also been found for sociopathy. Likewise, incidences of this deviation appear to be on the rise in the general population. The advantages and possible cultural sources for this condition are clear, and I hope you'll excuse my not elaborating upon them. Suffice it to say Look Out For Number One becomes the only operative philosophy possible when one is born without empathy or conscience. Sociopathy is the profit motive made flesh. Brett Easton Ellis was Onto Something.

Personally, I believe it to be a maladaptation; a cultural and evolutionary dead-end.

So, what's the punchline, guys?
edit on 5-9-2011 by mistermonculous because: linkage, brah.

edit on 5-9-2011 by mistermonculous because: flurghin.




posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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I and my daughter have Asperger's syndrome, and I agree that we are far better at taking in huge amounts of info than the average person...

BUUUT...

...we both are barely able to be social, and without facebook and the like, we'd have almost no friends.

This is where society is heading...so I see us as the the average future person.

S&F



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by RoswellCityLimits
 


Heh, I can't even handle the Friendface for the most part.

But I DO crave social interaction and have a deep need for meaningful human relationships. So, I've found some work-arounds. I've had to study the stuff that doesn't come naturally and implement it despite the resultant discomfort.

Humans of the future? That's my thought.

On a interesting side-note, have you found that you relate more easily and comfortably with those who are also Autism spectrum? I sure have.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


I just recently, after fighting for a long time to see a doctor that could give me a diagnosis, was able to get the diagnosis that my daughter is autistic. I figured this as much, but it was still hard to hear especially with the many myths and social stigmas (that are not correct) that follow the word autism. I would love some advice and to chat with anyone that has experience, or is themselves autistic to get some ideas on how to help my daughter in a productive manner, so to not make things worse for her. Specialists know a lot but as with anything everyone has their own opinion on the matter and many of them have not dealt with autism personally.
edit on 5-9-2011 by Napalmvanity because: typos



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by RoswellCityLimits
 

I have found it interesting that Zuckerberg (the creator of facebook) has Aspergers and society is trending to only being "social" on facebook or online. I know it started before facebook...
But most people are much more comfortable communicating online now than in person. I know I am.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


I think about this a lot as I have two boys who... well... I'm not exactly sure what they have. ADHD? My oldest was thought to have aspergers but doesn't because he is very social...

My thoughts on this are that it's not necessarily a mal-adptation. What if these are the "in betweens" so to speak. Let me elaborate lol.
The human race is adapting. We are learning to take information in as fast as it comes. And to multi-task. And the information comes faster and faster.
Assuming we don't kill ourselves off and continue to adapt, what if in 1000 years, there is a species of incredibly smart super humans? Almost robot like?
While socially we may be inept, everything will be in order and efficient and so on. And to get to that point, we have all these kids with "ADHD" and on the autism spectrum. We also have an increase in sociopath like behavior. Maybe somewhere, biology is realizing that years of caring about feelings and emotions hasn't gotten us anywhere. To get stuff done and to prevent the demise of the human race, things need to change. It seems bad to us because we are accustomed to this life. For those who don't have any of the "disorders" listed above, it's hard to understand what it's like. Just like it's hard to understand what the world will be like with an earth full of people like that. I feel like (and this is my opinion) I would be better off seeing the world through the eyes of someone with Aspergers. I've studied so much on it. All the BS we deal with and all the hurt feelings and everything else. I would function much better at my job and in my personal life if I could be straight to the point with people and not have to worry about someone crying about something.


edit on 5-9-2011 by PassedKarma because: edit



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by Napalmvanity
 


Hey, thanks for posting. I can say that my super supportive and understanding mom was key to my developing into a happy, functional human being. She asked questions about my feelings and experiences, she was patient, she was helpful.

Honestly, though, the best move she made? Taking me out of the public school system. I understand that this is not possible for many parents, but it makes a world of difference if you can swing it. Also, I was never medicated, despite pressure being brought to bear on her.


Here's a support group I found pretty great: autism-blog.com...

Good luck to you and your daughter.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by PassedKarma
reply to post by mistermonculous
 


I think about this a lot as I have two boys who... well... I'm not exactly sure what they have. ADHD? My oldest was thought to have aspergers but doesn't because he is very social...

My thoughts on this are that it's not necessarily a mal-adptation. What if these are the "in betweens" so to speak. Let me elaborate lol.
The human race is adapting. We are learning to take information in as fast as it comes. And to multi-task. And the information comes faster and faster.
Assuming we don't kill ourselves off and continue to adapt, what if in 1000 years, there is a species of incredibly smart super humans? Almost robot like?
While socially we may be inept, everything will be in order and efficient and so on. And to get to that point, we have all these kids with "ADHD" and on the autism spectrum. We also have an increase in sociopath like behavior. Maybe somewhere, biology is realizing that years of caring about feelings and emotions hasn't gotten us anywhere. To get stuff done and to prevent the demise of the human race, things need to change. It seems bad to us because we are accustomed to this life. For those who don't have any of the "disorders" listed above, it's hard to understand what it's like. Just like it's hard to understand what the world will be like with an earth full of people like that. I feel like (and this is my opinion) I would be better off seeing the world through the eyes of someone with Aspergers. I've studied so much on it. All the BS we deal with and all the hurt feelings and everything else. I would function much better at my job and in my personal life if I could be straight to the point with people and not have to worry about someone crying about something.


edit on 5-9-2011 by PassedKarma because: edit


Mm, personally, I experience very strong emotional responses and also have a highly developed capactiy for empathy. In addition, I experience emotion in a very physical way (i.e. when I am hurt, I become nauseated, headachy, etc.) I view both as advantages, not drawbacks. The problem is that I am unable to accurately "read" the cues that would allow me to correctly interpret the emotions of others. I also take in what is said to me in a very literal manner. Things like sarcasm, passive-aggression and other forms of indirect communication are totally lost on me.

I also have had to learn the hard way the delineation between my emotions and those of the Other. Likewise I have a natural tendency to impute my feelings and interests where they are not shared. But it's a pretty broad Spectrum, after all.

edit on 5-9-2011 by mistermonculous because: flurgh



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


It is very broad. Almost to the point where they need to do away with it. Or figure something else out.

My oldest son has a lot of traits like you. It's been interesting and enriching viewing the world through his eyes. He also deals with emotional pain, physically. Can't really understand sarcasm. I've been trying to explain it to him! It's difficult to explain! The other day he asked if sarcasm was the same as lying. And why people would talk like that when they can just say what they mean. :-) He's awesome.
To me, the spectrum feels more like temperatures. There's the cold ones, much like Zuckerberg. (maybe more on the sociopath level) and then warm ones. Like you sound. And like my son. And like a lot of other kids I meet.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 12:09 AM
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An Autist, a Sociopath, and an ADHD'er Walk Into a Bar...

The first one melts down, the second one burns it down and the last one walks into it, out of it, into it, out of it... in the first minute.

Though I'm of the inclination to think that ADHD has to have some sort of genetic inheritance in it. While I don't have ADHD as a genetic legacy, my wife's family has it. I was hoping my daughter would escape it, but she definitely has it.

Oddly enough my daughter's cousins that are older & have ADHD said the best thing I could do for my daughter was to home school her. They said that from personal experience they needed to learn how to 'function' with ADHD and with the medications. Of which they could not do both that AND deal with the school classroom chaos.

The cousin that had it the 'worst' is entering collage this semester.
So we know that treatment and learning how to 'control it' yourself does work.

The last thing I wanted to do was to have my daughter on meds all the time. However there is a -vast- difference on how well she functions on and off the meds. This prior school year was 'damaging' to her development, socially, emotionally, and psychologically, even though she managed to 'pass' 1st grade.

I've less than kind words in my head for what I think of her teacher, and the exceedingly unstructured and badly implemented dual language pilot program her school is in the process of implementing. I could easily turn this into a very long rant of how school and teachers in that school exacerbated my daughter's condition. However, I won't.


I will say this though, my daughter didn't have destructive nervous habits before this school year. Though we've managed to work her out of 95% of them thus far. So there is hope that my daughter will have a 'normal' school life later on.

Which is the goal.

M.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


What school did you attend, or were you homeschooled?



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by Moshpet
 


Good for you! (I'm being a total thread stealer tonight)

My sons 1st grade teacher was a giant POS. And the school was just as bad. OMG. Horror stories.
I decided to homeschool him half way through the year last year.
While I don't medicate him, he now sleeps through the night, doesn't stress about school, lost all of his nervous tics which I think came from the anxiety about school, he's put on weight and he's HAPPY.
Our school systems are awful. It's horrible what they can do to a kid in less than a year. I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing much better.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 12:20 AM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


Geez, where to start...

I have what was in 1972 diagnosed as Hyperactivity. If any other names were added to that I am not aware of it. I was on Ritalin for 7 years.

I have often thought and fantasized as an adult that we must be some kind of a genetic adaptation to society as I adapt very quickly to new systems and can multitask like a mutha on crank.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to talk about this stuff but I don't know what else to add at the moment.

I do identify with the facial expression thing ( friend face) in that I have an issue with not having the right expression on my face at the right moment. For instance; you could approach me and I would smile because that is what you do when a friend is coming near but then when you got to me you could tell me some bad personal news and my face would still be smiling and happy. A friend in the mental health field made me aware when I was 20 or so so I have had a long time to work on it so I have people fooled. I was just kidding about the last part.

So I think we should develop your joke a bit further...

...they walk in to the bar and the waitress/ waiter drops a tray of drinks(?)




edit on 6-9-2011 by Frater210 because: Urgh



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 01:07 AM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 

Thank you for links to two very interesting articles. Matt Ridley, for those unfamiliar with the name, is probably the leading specialist writer on evolutionary biology today. The New York Times article, too, was pretty good.

I have long been convinced that culture is an evolutionary force. For human beings, culture is environment, and has been for tens of thousands of years.

You bring up a very interesting hypotheses and you argue your point extremely well. However, your hypothesis is wrong.

To see why it is wrong, one needs only to understand the mechanism by which evolution operates. This mechanism is called gene selection. There are different types of selection that operate on genes – natural selection due to environmental (and cultural) pressures, sexual selection based on sexual tastes (which may also be culturally modulated) and so forth. All these different mechanisms, however, operate the same way – by ensuring that more babies who carry the heritable trait selected for are born and survive to adulthood than babies born without it.

There is no doubt that survival and procreation opportunities for people with mild autism and Asperger’s syndrome have improved in the last two hundred years or so, at least in the industrialized world. Societies driven by science and technology reward brainboxes, systematizers and those with unusual powers of concentration, raising their status and thus increasing the number and quality of mates available to them. However, it is also rather obvious from the symptomatology of these conditions that mating and child-rearing will always be difficult for those who have them due to their social maladaptivity. Of course, there will be carriers in which the gene is recessive, unexpressed, who will produce autists and Aspergerians as offspring. Even with this boost, however, the prevalence of people with these conditions in society is always likely to be low. Indeed, I believe much of the recent increase in reported cases is due more to cultural fashions in the USA than to any other cause.

Furthermore, two hundred years – and I think we can safely assume that the critical frame conditions did not exist very much earlier than that, except perhaps in monasteries – is just eight generations. That is a mere eyeblink of evolutionary time. Even runaway sexual selection takes longer than that – on the order of a hundred generations, I believe – to fix a characteristic in a significant segment of a population.

So, while it may well be true that people with traits arising from the conditions you name may be rather well suited to a solitary life spent glued to the seat of a chair, staring at a screen, I think it very unlikely that anything in our culture is actually selecting for those traits, and hence for autism, etc.

One last comment. I appear to be, so far, the only person posting on this thread who has, as far as he knows, no personal experience of these conditions. Allow me to say what a joy it is to come upon a thread in which every post is lucid, free of spelling errors and barbaric internet abbreviations. There certainly appears to be something to be said for autism.

A flag for your thread and a star for your post, mistermonculous.


edit on 6/9/11 by Astyanax because: a light cleanup was required to meet the high standards of the thread.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 02:28 AM
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OP

an very interesting Thread Thank you S+F

I have nothing to add except that I promise if you are on this research path, you will find yourself very surprised & pleasent to find and read an old but very alternative and almost ground breaking book:



The Crack in the Cosmic Egg


printed in 50's 60's or 70's lol.

You will find much much to support some of what you say interspersed with some pretty wild but interesting facts and sources.

I have more books than room lol, and have not read this for a while I just tried to find it for you to find the author and ISBN (as im sure its not in print and only had one or two runs), but it is in the attic or storage, so sorry but promise you OP and anyone else interested in what the OP postulated it will be a boon of information and similiar thoughts ideas as posited.

Kind Regards,

Elf

ps the punch line to your joke?

They are at the bar and ordering, the Sociopath orders the first drink knowing that as rounds go he will buy less but be remembered for buying the first and being "generous" smiling to himself inside he wonders how he can take advantage of the others when drunk for gosssip or physical financial gain, plotting with a smile,

The ADHT'er cant stand that the 3 drinks are in differant colors and not the same glasses, they look so uneven on the bar, when the others go to toilet he pours some away discretely of his friends drink so at least they are the same size in glasses,

The Autistic just wants to have fun and for others to be happy, they are slightly overwhelmed by all the music lights and people and conversation, they wonder why they are seen as "socially" not fitting in as they realise most of the most of the social interactions going on around them are fake and not of any real nature, why is "normal" wrong and lie fake?

Upon leaving that night the Sociopath had more money power and was getting his needs met now, but was also one step closer to hell or a life of no real meaning,

The ADHT got home and worried reading about the PTB on ATS that he had "Created Order out of Chaos" in the bar and was always doing this, was he one of the illuminati?

The Autistic went home got engrossed for an hour or so in his hobby then reflected through more enlightened eyes the fake nature of the "social" norm he noticed earlier and decided he was actually glad he didnt fit in!

edit on 6-9-2011 by MischeviousElf because: for punch line



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I find your assessment good but slightly incorrect. The point i would like to argue anout that you raise is the evolutionary force driving this thing. Like some people already mentioned in the thread, what you probably would consider autistic or ADHD are the extreme cases. What i see as the possible "next trait of humanity" are the borderline/highly functioning cases. In all evolution it can be clearly seen that every change is an trade-off. Therefore too much or too little change in any direction is not good - not even with autism/adhd.

You may see where i am going with this. I, like most others who respond to this thread identify themselves to belong to some of these "spectra". This might make me biased with my opinion but hear me out.

I have no medical diagnosis but i would classify myself as a highly functioning ADD case.

My social skills are not that great; people tend to describe me as a bit shy in a social situations. Smalltalk is something i don't understand, a waste of time. When i am interested in what i do i can take in information and multitask furiously, but on the other hand finding myself in a boring situation will send me daydreaming.

However when social situations are not emotional but factual the game changes. I debate passionately, brainstorming is second nature to me. I tend to analyze everything and try to improve upon it. I have never been forced to open a school book - if i need to understand something i already do. If i need to remember something i never will and thus studying would not help me. I am good at sports and learning new skills in general since i need no coaches or mentors. I constantly seek new thrills and am an adrenaline junkie.

From my point of view i have been blessed with the more desirable trait if you have to choose this or being "normal". The outcome from all this is that i have not so many people i can call friends, but the friends i have are real friends for life. And thank god for internet - it makes socializing so much more comfortable. Its not anymore about me-you having a conversation but more like we having a debate

edit on 6-9-2011 by varikonniemi because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 04:30 AM
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the only way that could possibly be true was if those people were more successful reproducers.

what are the statistics regarding the above subsets of the population, and their offspring, my gut tells me that it would be a negative correlation.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally posted by snarfbot
the only way that could possibly be true was if those people were more successful reproducers.

what are the statistics regarding the above subsets of the population, and their offspring, my gut tells me that it would be a negative correlation.


Is the definition of successful reproduction raising your child to become an adult, or just to have a child?

Anyhow, it seems you are drastically wrong since the amount of "those people" has seen an MASSIVE increase in only 50 years.

(lower iq and social status is linked to higher fertility - it is to compensate for increased mortality)
edit on 6-9-2011 by varikonniemi because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-9-2011 by varikonniemi because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 05:21 AM
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Originally posted by varikonniemi

Originally posted by snarfbot
the only way that could possibly be true was if those people were more successful reproducers.

what are the statistics regarding the above subsets of the population, and their offspring, my gut tells me that it would be a negative correlation.


Is the definition of successful reproduction raising your child to become an adult, or just to have a child?

Anyhow, it seems you are drastically wrong since the amount of "those people" has seen an MASSIVE increase in only 50 years.

(lower iq and social status is linked to higher fertility - it is to compensate for increased mortality)
edit on 6-9-2011 by varikonniemi because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-9-2011 by varikonniemi because:
(no reason given)


Actually, I think you're both off the mark.

The only thing that fits in are genes interacting with the environment.

Not merely genetic differences, but these genetics being expressed or not, up regulated or down regulated in response to our environment AND culture. They ARE different. Culture is the intersubjective, ie collective internal. Environment is...the environment.

It seems that the mucking of our environment has necessitated, in part, the acceleration of our cultural beliefs. It seems that our bodies are coping/adapting/breaking down depending on a variety of factors.

I think the epigenetic expressions of our increasingly mutating genome are a direct response to evolutionary pressures. It seems that the rise in various "disorders" has less to do with the traditional notion of natural selection than many care to realize.
edit on 6-9-2011 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by mistermonculous
 


I don't have much to add that is worthy of discussion here. But you have a great thread. Very, very good topic.

There is a girl with severe autism that is able to write, and write exquisitely. She tells why she does what she does, and other things. It is not often she does it, as she has to gain control of her mind, on a conscious level, to do it. But one day she just ran up to a laptop and started typing. Her parents then realized that she was intelligent and fully conscious. And then they thought about all the things they had said about her, like she wasn't ever really there.

Fascinating.



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