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About martinjs

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    Norfolk Broads
  1. With regard to studying evolutionary biology and palaeontology not getting you money to live, that's total rubbish. Even as a PhD student, it should be possible to get a stipend (aka studentship) which is usually enough to live on at least in the North of the country. Have a look at www.findaphd.com and www.jobs.ac.uk . Evolutionary biology in particular is a big industrial area at the moment (including partnerships between academia and industry) with researchers in high demand. You'll probably have a more secure job than most of the people who've said that ######, and be twice as well paid to boot.
  2. What's interesting is that I think it may under certain circumstances be possible to "trick" your roaming intelligence into revisiting part of your mind that it has hitherto avoided going back to, perhaps renewing the logic there and updating it in line with changed conditions. In fact, I think having AS can be seen as being like a kind of computer program, whose "source code" is littered around the mind. Like any large computer program, it can become hard to manage all of the sources and their interactions with and dependencies upon each other. But I think maybe all it sometimes takes is a bit of willpower, and the necessary peace and quiet to sift through it all.
  3. I quite often find that I procrastinate; I put off doing stuff even though I know it will get me into trouble. I think this is an AS thing. Consciously, you know that you can't avoid the inevitable; it will get you one way or another. But the AS mind refuses to accept this. It holds stubbornly to its plan, as ever. I have a theory about this. I think that what AS does is it actually involves having a mind that contains a kind of roaming intelligence, which inhabits various parts of the mind at different points in time. When it inhabits part of your mind, brilliant innovation will happen in that part of the mind. But when it moves on, that part of your mind becomes a bit like a sort of "cargo cult" - it sticks rigidly to all of the rules laid down by the intelligence, but is unable to adapt them or understand their logic, because the intelligence has moved on to another part of your mind. They remain as fossils of one of the roaming intelligence's previous incarnations. And so, that part of your behaviour becomes stereotyped. One of the effects of this is an apparent extreme stubbornness - an absolute unwillingness to change habits; and rigid adherence to rules that may once have made some sort of sense, but no longer do - or perhaps that you imagined at some point would make sense, but actually never did.
  4. Oh I see! Because the Norfolk Broads are very flat! Hahahahaha! LOL! I must say, it's very confusing at first. Especially when you don't realize the context is mountains... :-) By the way, as far as I can see, there is no "member title" box on the "editing my profile" page. Judging by the previous post, maybe they took this away because it didn't work. I think perhaps the default titles are a bit too confusing actually, and should probably be changed. I kept thinking the person I was talking to lived in Norfolk! Until I noticed what mine said, that is....
  5. "Atypical autism" As someone with this diagnosis, I personally tend to feel that it does not give an adequate characterization of my condition. Basically, this is the diagnosis you get if you do not fit into either of the two main categories of recognized autistic spectrum condition (Asperger's syndrome or Kanner's "autism"), but it is still felt that there are certain stereotyped traits to your behaviour that may be indicative of some underlying neurological cause. It is sometimes also known as "pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified" (PDD-NOS). The trouble is epitomized by the response of a police officer to the (same) diagnosis of my sister - "what, so that's like, severe autism, then?" I had to explain that actually, no, it was actually a mild form of Asperger's syndrome that was in fact too mild to be formally recognized as such. And as far as Kanner's syndrome (aka [usually] lower-functioning autism) is concerned, she wasn't even tested for that. I have been thinking about ways that this situation could be remedied. I think that it is particularly important for other people to be able to gain a concise characterization of your condition from a social perspective. This is important because ASD (but also, ironically, a diagnosis of ASD) can often affect your ability to interact with the rest of society in general, when it comes to things like driving licences, visas, employment, social services, etc. For instance, people may be horrified at the thought of giving someone with "atypical autism" a driving licence, but if you say "mild Asperger's syndrome" people are probably more likely to be amenable - subject to their own assessment of your condition, of course. However, I can also see that the problem from the medical perspective is that a label such as "mild AS" may be seen as unscientific. My proposal is as follows. The main "title" of the diagnosis can still be presented as "atypical autism", but with a more loose sort of characterization in brackets. For instance "Atypical autism (mild Asperger's syndrome)". I have come up with a number of proposals for "social-level" characterizations of a condition similar to mine. Some of these are still not suitable, to my mind - for instance, "border-line Asperger's syndrome", coming after "atypical autism", would probably make people think that it meant the border between Asperger's and "autism", and therefore a sort of "low-functioning" Asperger's. It is important that the characterization give a clear, and non-misleading impression of your condition - that is the whole point of this exercise, after all. Here are my ideas so far: * mild Asperger's syndrome * (close to) borderline between Asperger's and neurotypical * borderline Asperger's/neurotypical (the part in brackets may be omitted) I know that there technically is no "border-line", but like I said, we are aiming here for something that will be easily understandable on a social level. What do you think? Any more ideas for characterizations? Any preferences? Reasons? Is this necessary/would it help people?
  6. Oops, there were meant to be a few more line breaks in there. Don't know what happened, must be the forum software. Sorry. :-)
  7. Interesting. The fact that you are conscious that you do childish-seeming things suggests that you might do so perhaps just a little bit on purpose - could that be true? Maybe this is actually a form of resistance to "growing up"? For someone "normal" this would be quite worrying. However, I am of the opinion that for someone with ASD it is probably quite normal. People with ASD will very rarely find it possible to fit into the adult world in quite the same way as "normal" people. In some cases, they will put themselves through huge amounts of pain in order to "conform" with the normal expectations for an adult. However, this is not necessarily a good idea, as it can lead to massive breakdowns in later life. On the other hand, with the right kind of decisions made early on, a person with ASD can sometimes find, perhaps an unusual, "eccentric" way of fitting into the adult world, which will see them through for the rest of their life. Maybe your parents just have to be made to understand this? That you are willing to grow up, but only when you are ready and have found the right way of fitting in? And this might take a little longer than for someone "normal"? Are you working/studying currently? I think the most important thing for someone at the higher-functioning end of the spectrum is to find what I would call a "lifestyle job" - a career that you feel comfortable with, that interests you and doesn't force you into situations that induce panic. I know that a lot of people just want to go down the benefits route, or just to continue to rely on their parents, because that sometimes seems like the only option. However, it seems like a bit of a waste, when people with ASD often have abilities that could make them useful to society, if only they could find a working environment that is interesting to them in the right sort of way and doesn't induce panic and misery. My personal opinion, as someone with borderline Aspergers myself, is that academia offers the best opportunities for this kind of working environment. From what I have seen, academics, especially theoreticians, are often able to work mainly from home (quite important for me, as I find it hard to concentrate with other people around me), only coming in to attend meetings, give lectures, etc. You are also most likely to find opportunities to engage your interests within academia. A lot of "proper jobs" (non-academic), even ones that are supposed to be quite intellectual, are actually quite dull and repetitive with very little intellectual stimulation. In fact, if you work especially hard, because you find something in your work that you actually are interested in, in some jobs it might only end up causing your workmates stress because of the extra workload it puts onto them; and because you get very engrossed in the work, your level of focus and the things you do to block other people out can make people think you are weird and maybe even a bit scary. From what I have seen, people are only able to stand these jobs because they don't really care about them and they have social lives and other interests besides work. I speak as a former software developer, so YMMV. Are you/are you able to/have you thought about attending university? If attending classes at a bricks-and-mortar university is too much, what about something like the Open University? Then, you parents would probably start singing a different tune - "our son the palaeontologist/zoologist". ;-) P.S. I know that I can sometimes come across as a bit of a psychoanalyst, so sorry about that. :-)
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