An Aggregation of Articles (Autism, Arrogance, Astronomy, Awkward, And…)

I don’t really know what I want to write about so I need a prompt or three. Here’s all the tabs I have open right now in Firefox.

I think the only controversial thing about this study is that we all loves the precious telescreens so very much that we can’t even conceive of it doing anything bad to us even as we instinctively know that it is constantly spraying black paint onto our third eye. The idea that television could be a trigger for autism spectrum disorders makes a hell of a lot more sense than the misguided blame that has been leveled at vaccines for years now. Consider that autism spectrum disorders were once seemingly rare not that long ago and now are being diagnosed at alarmingly high rates; we are talking about a difference between .5 in a 1000 people being diagnosed in the 60’s and 70’s to well over 2 in 1000 today, with the spike starting in the 80’s. Part of this can be attributed to better diagnostic tools and awareness of the condition; but consider that cable television became widely available during this same period. Prior to cable, television consisted of a handful of stations that actually stopped broadcasting overnight. Cartoons could only be found for a few hours on Saturday morning and at a few scattered times during the weekdays. There are now more channels devoted solely to round-the-clock childrens programming than there used to be channels to watch. Kids can watch them in the back seat of the minivan or on their phone or ipad or whatever. It is now possible to watch television all the time regardless of what you are doing, and one thing autistic kids like to do is to watch the screens; my evidence is only anecdotal, but in my experience autistic spectrum folks can be far more involved in what is happening on the other side of the glass than this one. There is no implication here that bad parents who shove their children in front of teevee are autismizing them; I’m just noticing things.  I also have watched plenty of television in my life and I understand that the success of our shared culture relies heavily on teh telescreens; they’re not going anywhere. The question is, should we allow them to run amok through our society? I mean, do we really need to watch telly while we’re pumping gas or buying groceries? How archaic will that question seem in a few years? Or do I already sound like a grizzled old prospector puzzled by the horseless carriage?

Speaking of teevee, this totally never happens on it.

You have to be a New Scientist subscriber to read this but I think it’s less abstract than the original abstract. If you have ever wondered, ‘what is beyond the edge of the universe?’ this paper has a sort of answer. Direct observation has confirmed some of the stranger ideas of quantum mechanics, such as superposition, and this has implications for the larger reality we all inhabit. There have been two idea-constructs, the multiverse and the many worlds, that attempt to describe the cosmology required to support the discovery of quantum mechanics. This paper proposes that not only are both of these ideas true, but that they exist in the same geometric space as us, just so far beyond the horizon of our light cone that we will never interact.

I was also reading about infinity. The ideas go together, actually.

It is not left wing hysteria to be repelled by the idea that diabled people should make less money.  He really doesn’t understand people; folks with disabilities understand what it is to struggle and work hard far better than most perfectly healthy people do. They are also motivated and grateful for opportunity to display their abilities; it a wise employer who makes accommodations for these workers and it is insulting to the human spirit to imply that their work is worth less.

It’s funny how the people who have been waging war against the middle and lower classes for decades scream ‘class warfare’ anytime one of us points it out. Who benefits from a government that consists of a military and police force and noth…ing else? Who benefits from public education being eradicated and taxes on the wealthiest being slashed? Who benefits when there is no public health or sanitation services? Who benefits from poor women being unable to access medical services? Self-absorbed elitists who call people like me self-absorbed elitists, that’s who.

Tim Pawlenty is also Awkward.

Follow the lucre.

Isn’t a little silly to think that someone base enough to make this ad would have the capacity to apologize for doing it? It’s not like you can be that horrible on accident.

Speaking of naïveté

5 Responses to “An Aggregation of Articles (Autism, Arrogance, Astronomy, Awkward, And…)”

  1. The Prof Says:

    The teevee machine can be a magnificent thing when used in the right way. We use it to expose our little man to music in many styles (he loves the Hawaiian station on SIRIUS XM and the many genres of the Backyardigans). Blue’s Clues is beyond brilliant, and the old Electric Company and Sesame Street speaks for themselves. I think it is a matter of using it in the right way–which many people do not.

  2. marymayweather Says:

    I totally thought of you when I saw that Philip Davies story! I love the presumption that able-bodied people are just productivity machines, giving 110% every day. My brief stint in HR taught me quite the opposite. Perhaps we need to start thinking of our elected officials as “Differently Empathetic”. Certainly Rand Paul’s recent suggestion that hungry senior citizens should seek out “private charities” for assistance and supports privatizing Meals on Wheels indicates a profound deficiency in the man.

  3. Really liking your aggregation of thoughts in this. Davies is a dweeb of monumental proportions.

    On autism spectrum disorders–I had noticed the increase in diagnoses, and one things occurs to me: There seem to be trends in illnesses du jour, as in when everyone and his or her brother was being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Have you noticed that? It may be that we have better diagnostic tools, or it could be that with all of the information available on the interwebs, more people are going to doctors and clinicians and saying, “Hey, I think I have this.” As to television 24/7, absolutely agree. So tired of tvs being on everywhere. The worst is in emergency rooms in which the volume is disproportionately high and the channel selection is almost always Fox.

    Oh and on Turn Right USA…what can I say? Absolutely nothing.

  4. Winston,

    I am oh so excited to hear your thoughts on the conclusion of (I am certain) your favorite talk-show host.


  5. It was a very thoughtful gift for FOX to give America on her birthday.

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