Synesthesia

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“Culture tells us that if you don’t quietly submit to the collective machine of society, then you are a morbid and impaired individual. “Quick! Get this kid some pills!””(from comment by Lycaeus at previous post)

Individuals who can’t be socialized are the most serious threat to society there is. Imagine people being grown by AI who wouldn’t take the pod plug-ins. If there is any truth at all to a perceived overlap between autism and sociopathy, it would be precisely because society is so hostile to autists that it can drive them into pathological forms of behavior. (It would drive anyone into such behavior.) Society’s approach to autists is to “cure” them or at very least to modifiy their behavior. There is almost nothing being done to modify society’s behavior to accommodate a different kind of intelligence and perception.

Imagine if you were born into a world in which the people perceived synesthesically – all the senses overlapping – so they heard smells, saw sounds, and sensed colors. Imagine what sort of culture and social structures would have developed out of that perception and how hard it would be to navigate with your ordinary five-sense apparatus. Reverse that and add the elements of incomprehension, misapprehension, and plain hostility (both conscious and unconscious) with which the members of that realm regard you, and you may get an idea of what this social realm might be like to many autistic people.

Is it any wonder they prefer to stay immersed in their “private worlds”?

One thought on “Synesthesia

  1. response to comment at reddit, angrily refuting the idea of an overlap between autism and sociopathy:

    I expected an emotional reaction to that, but you cant just say No and leave it at that.

    There is a real overlap – autists have tantrums – and an imagined one also (the popular idea that autists can be violent, as seen in movies like We Need to Talk About Kevin).

    There is an indisputable overlap between schizophrenia and autism (it wasnt until 1971 that they were separated as diagnoses, and current studies are finding more and more common traits, genetic and otherwise), and although people diagnosed as schizophrenic are not generally anti-social, per se, again, the distress and panic many suffer from can lead to hostile behavior (understandably, I might add).

    I would also add that there is an overlap between almost everything. It is the nature of existence – it is a spectrum.

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