Saturday, March 12

Wired 9.12: The Geek Syndrome

I found this article (published back in December 2001) to be very interesting, partially because I have suspected myself of having at least some degree of Asperger's Syndrome since I first heard about it a year or so ago.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom always telling me to be more outgoing... especially trying to develop my ability to sustain eye contact. I'm still not very good at maintaining an eye-to-eye gaze when conversing, especially if I don't know the person to whom I'm speaking very well.

I keep seeing myself whenever I read articles about Asperger's. I'm very technically minded, picking out patterns in everything from music theory and notation (my chosen field) to the oft-misunderstood "behavior" of computers. I keep very much to myself, both in the office and at social gatherings. While I sometimes I wish I were more a part of the social circle, I don't really find myself looking for more companionship than that which I've already developed.

I hope to go, eventually, into the world of professional academia, where eccentricity and single-mindedness are the norm. I always found myself much more at home with professors then with fellow students when I was in college. Fanatic attention to detail and specificity in definition are what make up a good theorist, so I eagerly look forward to the time in which I can "come into my own," so to speak, and use my gifts to the utmost.

Update (3/15/05): I don't claim to have any sort of "clinical" case of AS, and I mean no offense to those who do. As I understand it, Asperger's is a syndrome, defined by a common collection of symptoms and not by any sort of chemical imbalance that would indicate a disorder. I only claim to exhibit AS to a limited degree, based on noticing some of the commonly accepted symptoms in myself.

1 comment:

Steve Silberman said...

Herr Theoretiker -- thanks for your thoughtful response to my article.

One of its main points was that autism is a "spectrum" disorder, which means that both you and I are on the autistic spectrum somewhere. I was trying to get beyond binary autistic/not-autistic thinking. So I totally appreciate what you had to say.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.