Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lili's epic thoughts - I've had another one

Back in 2007 I had an insight into what I believe is the genetic process that gives rise to at least one type of autism, when I noticed a pattern and also learned of the biological concept that unites all of the items in that pattern. I'm not going to be any more specific about my insight than this, because I do not want the world of science to understand what causes autism, because I do not wish for a "cure" or prevention to be discovered, so I am forced to keep my insights to myself.

I've recently had another insight which I think might be an important clue about the origin of another brand of autism, after considering an interesting incidental finding discovered during the process of the medical investigation of an autistic person, and then considering that observation along-side information that I know about an inborn abnormality of a famous autistic person which I recall from reading a biography. The thing that really excites me about this latest insight is that it involves a system of the body that to my knowledge has never before been linked to autism in any way, which is saying something, because just about every system in the human body has been the subject of some quack theory about what causes autism. What can I say? I can say nothing more, because this is a piece of knowledge that could be used in the worst way. Sorry.

Lili Marlene discovers the cause of autism in between bringing the laundry in off the line and washing some dishes (2007)
http://incorrectpleasures.blogspot.com/2007/03/lili-marlene-discovers-cause-of-autism.html

Lili's unpleasant thought for the day

Was The Girl Who Played With Fire once the little girl who played with poo?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Assange the biography and Assange the movie .....

This morning Australian journalist Andrew Fowler was interviewed on Radio National about his new book titled The Most Dangerous Man in the World which is about Julian Assange. Apparently it isn't at all clear how many offspring the WikiLeaks founder has. An interesting life, for sure. Apparently there are are plans to make a feature film based on this book.

Julian Assange: the most dangerous man in the world.
Fran Kelly interviewing Andrew Fowler

Breakfast

ABC Radio National 810am

29 March 2011
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2011/3176256.htm

Book page at Pan Macmillan Australia:
http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/display_title.asp?ISBN=9780522858662&Author=Fowler,%20Andrew

Lili's thought for the next day

Women in politics - an idea that doesn't look too flash tonight!

Lili's thought for the day

For the love of God, Asperger is an Austrian surname! Therefore ....... the "g" sound in it is a hard "g", isn't it? It's not a f***ing French name, it's an Austrian name, Austrian, no not Australian, Austrian (why do I bother?).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A bibliographic infection to pass on

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg at Journeys With Autism has done it again. She’s passed on another one of those internet memes. To me. Thank you again Rachel. http://www.journeyswithautism.com/2011/03/11/ive-been-tagged-for-a-meme/comment-page-1/#comment-135836

The rules for this meme:
1. Take a picture of the books you are reading currently and add them to your post.
2. Describe the books and if you are enjoying them
3. For every book you are reading, you have to tag one person.
4. Leave the person a comment letting them know you tagged them.

Well, number one I might pass up. I’m not up with all that technical jiggery-pokery and uploading of data. Here goes for number 2:

I‘m an incurable botherer of librarians and booksellers, and many books pass over my desk each month. Sadly, this is not the same thing as having the time or the opportunity to read books. I recently bought a cheap copy of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s new book Inside WikiLeaks, and I left it in the bedroom of one of our politically-minded offspring, at number 15 Credibility Street, but I’m not sure that any of us have had a spare moment to read a word of the thing. Yesterday I was wading through Robert Manne’s essay about Julian Assange in The Monthly, which is apparently endorsed by Assange, while waiting in a GPs waiting room, always a great opportunity to catch up on some uninterrupted reading for extended periods. The other day I found an uncorrected proof edition of the Australian political chick lit novel Campaign Ruby by Jessica Rudd, in a Good Sammy’s store. I doubt that I’ll be bothered to wade through this again to see if differs from the proper edition. I came perilously close to developing diabetes 2 while ploughing through it the first time, with the book’s many references to cheap confectionary and wines on top of some generous helpings of sickly-sweet sentiment. I’m just not that much of a sweet-tooth. I did notice that the copyright date is different in the different editions of this book, which became famous for appearing to anticipate real-life momentous political events in Australia last year. The copyright notice in the uncorrected proof says “Jessica Rudd 2010”, while the copyright date is left vague in the final edition. 2010 was a year to remember, or forget, or learn from, for Jessica’s Dad. I have managed to find the time to take a decent look at a couple of books recently, but I’ve not read either in full. This is one of them:

Cappello, Mary Swallow: foreign bodies, their ingestion, inspiration, and the curious doctor who extracted them. The New Press, 2011.
http://www.amazon.ca/Swallow-Foreign-Bodies-Ingestion-Inspiration/dp/1595583955

This is an interesting new book that details the life of Dr Chevalier Jackson (1865-1958), “pioneering laryngologist”, “father of endoscopy” and a saver of many lives. The doctor has the enviable honour of having a collection named after him at the world-famous Mutter Museum of medical curiosities. This makes sense as the collection is foreign bodies that the doctor retrieved from the bodies of his patients and kept. Dr Jackson’s contributions to society are important and varied. His campaigning for proper labelling of poisonous and caustic substances led to Congress passing an act that saved countless people, including children, from death or horrible injuries. Dr Jackson was also responsible for the replacement of white clothing with green garb in operating rooms because green caused less troublesome glare. It takes an autistic, doesn’t it? This book is based in part on the autobiography of the doctor.

My main interest in this book is that the central figure appears to have been on the autistic spectrum. As a boy he was the subject of some serious, life-threatening bullying from other boys. At one time he was bound and blindfolded and dropped into a coal pit where he lost consciousness in the darkness. Fortunately for humanity, he was discovered by a dog and eventually saved. As an adult and the author of an autobiography, one of the issues that caused some conflict between Dr Jackson and his editor was Jackson’s persistence in referring to himself in the third person, and eccentric use of personal pronouns that could be seen as a sign of autism. Probably the most striking evidence suggestive of autism in this book are the descriptions of Jackson’s personality. Cappello found a revealing quote about Jackson in a professional periodical “He was a teetotaller, attended no social functions if he could possibly avoid them, was considered “cold” even by many of his admirers, and conceded that he had no friends in the usual meaning of the word”. The doctor wasn’t a completely cold fish; he did marry and had a son.

I would recommend this book but not without some reservations. I do not enjoy books that blur the distinction between literature and non-fiction. There are a number of reasons why the literary style of this book bothered me. I like my facts served plain and hard, but it is difficult to know where speculation meets fact in the many passages of imaginative prose about personal matters in this book. I understand that many people find this writing style interesting and evocative, so my opinion isn’t condemnation. The author’s literary style also seems to have psychoanalytic theory as a premise, and I despise the ideas of Freud and related evidence-free theories with a passion. I make no apologies for my opinion that Freud and his pseudoscientific colleagues distracted students of the human mind from the proper scientific study of psychology for so long and with such influence that it is nothing short of a tragedy for all mankind. What would we know now about the human mind and the human brain if so many decades of research and clinical practice in psychology and psychiatry hadn’t been wasted in the dead-end alleyway of psychoanalytic pseudoscience? Despite my enmities, I am happy to set aside these objections to recommend this book, subject to personal literary taste, as a fascinating story well worth telling. This book can easily be read “against the grain” as a biography of another heroic autistic high achiever.

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2011) Chevalier Jackson. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chevalier_Jackson&oldid=413776908


Another book that I’ve had a good look at recently is this one: Weber, Nicholas Fox (2009) The Bauhaus group: six masters of modernism. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
http://www.amazon.com/Bauhaus-Group-Six-Masters-Modernism/dp/0307268365

I’ve enjoyed this book because I always enjoy reading about odd ducks such as the Bauhaus artists Wassily Kandinskii (Kandinsky) and Paul Klee. This book includes chapters about each of these neurologically eccentric friends. Kandinskii was most definitely a synaesthete. He wrote about his synaesthesia and saw colours all over the place where conventionally-wired minds apparently see no colours at all. I’m not sure exactly why some synaesthesia researchers have doubted Kandinskii’s synaesthesia in the past, but I guess they might have assumed that he made such a fuss of synaesthesia because he was more of a pretentious wannabe than the genuine article. The problem with this line of logic is that genuine synaesthetes can be just as pretentious as the best of them. Kandinskii was also possibly neuro-atypical in another way – a couple of writers including an Asperger syndrome researcher have identified Kandinskii as possibly on the autistic spectrum.

I found Weber’s book interesting because it also detailed the strange creative mind and personality of Paul Klee, and the friendship between Kandinskii and Klee. I believe the eccentricities of Klee described in this book are an indication that both friends were on the spectrum, and I also found evidence of an unusual type of synaesthesia in Klee. On page 152 Klee’s creativity in amateur cookery is detailed, along with one little line that told much about the way Klee’s mind worked “Klee was as enchanted by cooking ingredients as he was by tubes of paint, and he sometimes invested fruits or vegetables with human feelings, just as he did with lines or colors.” Klee is quoted: “The cucumber was lying there happily too.” This type of personal observation is very typical of the sorts of things that synaesthetes report (to other synaesthetes, who understand these things), and it is a type of personification synaesthesia. Personification synesthesia is more commonly described scientifically in the personification of numbers and letters of the alphabet (graphemes), the technical term being ordinal linguistic personification (OLP). I would like to propose that Klee’s mental quirk be named “Gastronomic Personification”. I’m reminded of those funny little painted metal sculptures of hamburgers with eyes that decorate the tops of bollards surrounding the driveways of drive-throughs surrounding McDonalds restaurants. Happy cucumbers! Happy hamburgers! So happy to be eaten! All is right in the world!

Klee wasn’t by any means the only famous creative thinker who saw personalities in odd places. As I recently discovered while viewing a travelling exhibition of some famous European paintings, the artist Mondrian ascribed genders to the spatial dimensions of vertical and horizontal, clearly a type of personification, and I believe the fact that a number of Mondrian’s paintings evoke sound synaesthesia (his Boogie Woogie paintings and Ocean 5) suggests that synaesthesia in a number of manifestations is a thing that Piet Mondrian had a natural understanding of. A while ago I discovered evidence that suggests that the legendary creative 1940s Hollywood movie producer Val Lewton experienced OLP, on page 55 of an old book about Lewton, The reality of terror by Joel E. Siegel “Later, in the sequence where Irena teaches the child arithmetic, she uses the courtly, enchanting number-stories that Lewton had invented to educate his own children. One was a tall princess; two, a prince who kneels before her on one knee, and so forth.” This is clearly a description of ordinal linguistic personification (OLP). I added to this the mass of evidence that can be found in Siegel’s important book, and also in the larger and more recent book about Lewton Fearing the dark by Edmund G. Bansak, that Lewton was an odd duck from his boyhood through to the premature ending of his life, in a pattern that is seen in the lives of creative autistic people, and then I concluded that Lewton had a mind that was at least as unusual as my own. I had always thought that the themes of many of Lewton’s unforgettable movies are about people who are innately apart from the mass of humanity. This explains my fascination with his films.

Siegel’s book about Lewton:
http://www.amazon.com/Val-Lewton-Cinema-one-22/dp/0670742317/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1301206942&sr=1-1

Bansak’s book about Lewton:
http://www.amazon.com/Fearing-Dark-Val-Lewton-Career/sim/0786417099/2

Lewton, Kandinskii and Klee appear to be three fascinating examples of creative minds that were powered by a syndrome that is both synaesthesia and autism. I don’t understand why there isn’t more research studying the relationship between autism and synaesthesia. As you would expect, this type of mind is often badly misunderstood by a society that loves to label different as insane. In the book The Bauhaus group Weber gave an account of the labelling of Klee as a "degenerate" and a "schizophrenic”. Why did the Nazis call Klee a degenerate? It could have been something to do with pictures like the one on page 158. The label “schizophrenic” was the subject of a thesis by a medical student who had studied at the Bauhaus. Even though his academic adviser disagreed with the non-clinical diagnosis of Klee, the student got his doctorate and went on to become a shrink. As far as I can tell from the evidence in this book, Klee never displayed the types of problems that would justify a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia as it is defined today. Val Lewton has also been the subject of crazy labelling, one book reviewer describing Lewton as having had a “schizoid personality”, the type of label that appears to be given when someone wants to suggest schizophrenia in the absence of any hard evidence to support such a suggestion. There is much evidence that the late British rock star Syd Barrett was also an autistic synaesthete, and like Klee, he was given an amateur diagnosis of schizophrenia that had no professional credibility. Creative people have been routinely and publicly misunderstood in some very worrying ways. How much longer will we have to wait till science gives us a basic outline of an understanding of human mental diversity? We have already been waiting too long.

Now I have to pass this meme onto one person for each book read. Here are my choices:

Michelle Dawson at The Autism Crisis
http://autismcrisis.blogspot.com/

Zygmunt at Kingdom of Introversion
http://kingdomofintroversion.com/

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Manne essay on Assange free to read and another WikiLeaks doco coming up on the box

Aussie Assangophiles and leak-watchers take note: the "film" WikiLeaks: war, lies and videotape will be broadcast this Wednesday evening, March 30th 2011, at 8.30pm on ABC2 on Australian television.

This weekend I've been reading Robert Manne's essay about Julian Assange in the latest Monthly, which was apparently described by Assange himself on Twitter as the best article about him, which then caused a wave of demand that crashed the website of the Australian The Monthly magazine. The essay can be read (it appears in full with comments) at the website of The Monthly, including revisions made "in light of a lengthy email exchange initiated by Julian Assange".
http://www.themonthly.com.au/julian-assange-cypherpunk-revolutionary-robert-manne-3081

The cypherpunk revolutionary: Robert Manne on Julian Assange.

by Robert Manne
Monthly. March 2011. p.16-35.

Behind the Scenes of Gimme Love

Lili's other thought for the day

When it comes to relationships, I'm a bit of an extremophile.

Lili's thought of the day

Nuclear power - f*** that shit!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lili's thought for the day

How many times have I been involved with a conversation that goes along these lines; "I think my life-long history of personal peculiarities might have been caused by being abused as a child, but I don't actually remember any such thing happening."? Too many times!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What kinda gal is Lady Gaga?

We already know that the amazing and highly creative "fame monster" Lady Gaga is a synaesthete, based on her comment in an interview about the way she experiences one of her songs as having a colour. I was recently taking a look at the February 2011 story about Lady Gaga from the US 60 Minutes TV show, and it looks like she was a bit of a social misfit and a victim of bullying during her high school days. She doesn't exactly blend into the crowd these days either. For sure she is an unusual lady. You might like to take a look at what is said at around 9.55 minutes into the video of the 60 Minutes story.

Lady Gaga & The Art of Fame
interviewer Anderson Cooper
60 Minutes (US)
February 13, 2011
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7346544n&tag=contentMain;contentBody


This is the YouTube video in which Lady Gaga mentioned her coloured music at around 2.20 minutes into the clip during an interview in Singapore.


Lili's list of labels

Do you like my list of labels, which can be found at the right of my blog a little way down? There are a whole bunch of Dans and Dicks in my list. There's nothing in this world that I love more than a great big long list.

Lili's thought of the day

What is a Hindu doing working in a McDonalds?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please consider - a disability rights petition

Change.org and ASAN have a petition that requires your timely attention. In a last-minute divulgence of information the CDC have proposed a new category of medical diagnosis that is apparently designed to facilitate the use of restraints and seclusion on autistic children and adults. The new proposed category is "wandering" behaviour, which seems absurd to me as a medical diagnosis.

The idea of wandering behaviour being categorized as a mental illness brings to mind a patently absurd and politically-motivated category of mental illness that was applied to black slaves in the 1850s in the United States. The name of this pseudoscientific diagnosis was "drapetomania" and it caused black slaves to desire to flee from captivity. No, truly, I am not making this up.

If you care about disability rights, you should read and consider this petition and the associated letter. If you care about the proper practice of science and medicine and psychiatry and you care about diagnostic categories having a proper basis in scientific evidence, you should read and consider this petition and the associated letter. This is an urgent matter with a definite deadline for action. Please take a look now.

Tell the CDC "No" on Abuse-Enabling "Wandering" Code!

http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-the-cdc-no-on-abuse-enabling-wandering-code#?opt_new=t

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2011) Drapetomania. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Drapetomania&oldid=417856976

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kevin Rudd issued denial this morning

Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has issued a denial regarding the accusations in Julian Assange's question for Australia's PM Julia Gillard, broadcast on the Q & A TV program last night.
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8224020/rudd-denies-wikileaks-info-exchange-claim

Full transcript of Julian Assange's question to the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard on Australian TV tonight

The TV show is Q & A, broadcast on the evening of Monday March 14th 2011 in Australia on ABC television, Australia's government-funded TV station. Julian Assange is shown in a non-live, edited video from Norfolk UK, where he is under house arrest. Assange is shown in a shot of his upper body. Shortly before the showing of the video of Assange PM Gillard had been telling the audience that the Australian government has been looking after Julian Assange in just the same way that it looks after any Australian who has gotten into legal trouble overseas. PM Gillard has just returned from an arse-kissing tour of the United States in which she made a speech to the US Congress that made the US House Speaker John Boehner cry, (which isn't really that amazing at all).

Julian Assange -

"Prime Minister, you just got back from Washington, but what Australian citizens want to know, is which country do you represent? Do you represent Australians and will you fight for Australian interests? Because it's not the first time that you or a member of your cabinet has been into a US government building and exchanged information. In fact, we have intelligence that your government has been exchanging information with foreign powers about Australian citizens working for WikiLeaks."

The shot then changes to a closer shot of Assange's head and shoulders. This is a pre-recorded, edited piece of video.

"So Prime Minister, my question to you is this; when will you come clean about precisely what information you have supplied to foreign powers about Australian citizens working or affiliated with WikiLeaks? And if you cannot give a full and frank answer to that question, should perhaps the Australian people consider charging you with treason?"

Assange delivered his question in the style of a threatening evil genius from a James Bond movie (pretty much his usual style).

PM Julia Gillard -

I did not take a full transcript of her reply. She had a rather patronizing smile while listening to Assange's question, and stayed cheerful while addressing his question. She said:

"I honestly don't know what he is talking about."

She denied exchanging information about people at WikiLeaks. She admitted that "we" do sometimes exchange information with foreign powers in matters such as following up "transnational crimes". She also said:

"No one in the US raised with me Mr Assange, no one."

When she made this statement she did her characteristic exposed palms patting downward gesture, rather like the gesture that one might make to a dog or a toddler who was jumping up and getting out of control.


Some thoughts that come to my mind after viewing this are:

Assange possibly intended to add to the many minor controversies about Australia's high-profile Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in the part of Assange's question about people nipping into US government buildings to leak information. Would this be a big deal if it were true? I guess it depends on the information.

What information might our government be receiving in return for leaking information to the yanks?

Is Assange issuing a threat to Gillard or Rudd or some other party?

Is WikiLeaks transforming from a whistleblowing organization into a blackmailing organization?


Link to Australian press story about Assange's question:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/tough-qa-assange-hints-at-treason-by-pm-20110314-1buo3.html?from=smh_sb

Q & A
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/

Julian Assange asking a pointed question to PM of Australia on national TV

Julian Assange, appearing from home detention in the UK, just asked the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard a question live on the political Australian TV show Q and A. I have not yet found a transcript of the question, but I recall it was a hint that she or her government had been giving information to the US about an Australian/Australians connected with WikiLeaks in an act of national disloyalty that he characterized as treason. This followed just after Gillard stated that her government was suporting Assange just the same as it would support any Australian citizen who had gotten into legal trouble overseas. What was Assange's question about?

Q and A
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/

Friday, March 11, 2011

More work on famous synaesthetes list

I have just added a few bits and pieces to my famous synesthetes list, with a few details about Syd Barrett and Solomon Shereshevskii added, and the painter Paul Gauguin added to the list. Enjoy!

56 famous synaesthetes or possible synesthetes: a list with references.
http://incorrectpleasures.blogspot.com/2009/01/famous-synaesthetes-or-possible.html

Japan devastation - I can't believe my eyes

This afternoon my worries, and there are a few, suddenly looked quite modest, in comparison to the truly devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The local TV media say there is no tsunami danger to Australia, but there is still a warning in effect for many countries including Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, PNG, New Zealand and (get this) Antarctica:
http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.2011.03.11.073000

The tsunami is expected to hit Taiwan soon. It might be too dark to see it if it hits as it is getting dark in Taiwan now:
http://www.ustream.tv/TaiwanTsunami

If you live anywhere near the Pacific Ocean, please stay informed and stay safe!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

That's What Jazz Is To Me by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I include this in my blog because there's nothing that I enjoy more than a piss-take. No pictures, sorry, it's only a B-side. Be warned, there is some bad language in the lyrics of this piece of music.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

At last - some much-needed brain scan research into a terrible disorder

At last! Neurotypical Disorder is being taken seriously. This devastating disorder which transforms people into sheeple has been the subject of a number of interesting, and frightening research studies. I thank my lucky stars that I have been fortunate enough to inherit a synaesthesia/AS genome that puts me at a much decreased risk for developing this mind-distorting mental impairment. Ufortunately the magazine article below is mostly behind a paywall.

Following the herd actually shifts your opinion
Ferris Jabr
New ScientistMarch 4th 2011
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928024.600-following-the-herd-actually-shifts-your-opinion.html

I've found another story about a research study that is old (from 2009) but is a nice complement to the above story. It outlines a study of social conformity that used brain scan technology. The study was apparently published in the science journal Neuron.

Why so many minds think alike.
Elizabeth Landau
January 15th 2009
CNN.com

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/15/social.conformity.brain/index.html

Lili's thought for the day

When your local supermarket empties out half of the fruit and veg retail area and fills it back up with cheap easter eggs and packets of marshmallow things covered in "choc", you know you are living in a f***ed up, buggered up world.

Monday, March 07, 2011

21st century neurosexism limiting choices for children on International Women's Day

Today is apparently International Women's Day. I thought such events were all about the idea of improving the lot of women and girls by getting rid of gender inequality and stopping gender-based discrimination. Back in the olden days when I was young, feminism was all about changing the world so that no one misses out or loses out simply because of their gender. But these days, the types of people that I would have expected to be anti-sexism, people like women, teachers and middle-class authority figures, seem to be positively promoting discrimination based on sex. These days the latest fad is to believe that females have a female type brain, and males have male type brains, and this biological difference means the sexes behave differently, have different abilities and deficits, and desire different things from life. Boys want to go campin' and fishin' in the wild with hairy fatherly role models. Girls would prefer to stay in the city and paint their nails at sleepovers with girlfriends. We have academics and pop psychology book writers such as Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen to thank for popularizing these ideas.

Never mind that in our midst we all see many people who don't or can't or won't fit the stereotypes. Tomboys, effeminate lads, same-sex attracted people, cross-dressers, nerdy ladies who love to write code, nurturing men who love to care and cook. I guess we can all go to hell in today's intellectual climate. The only type of diversity that we officially celebrate these days is ethnic diversity. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that today the government high school that our child attends is holding an incursion that is promoted as a bit of fun, a visit from a fashion designer. This school activity is only for female students. This is certainly not the first single-sex school activity held at a co-ed high school that I have heard of. Such discrimination is apparently not at all frowned upon these days. Our politically-aware child asked me Am I allowed to say "sexism"? Well, if you can't say "sexism" on International Women's Day, then when can you say it?

Lili's third thought of the day

There is only one thing worse than Ramachandran releasing a new book about neuropsychology, and that's Baron-Cohen releasing a new book about empathy.

Lili's second thought of the day

I have met lots of crazy people simply by virtue of the fact that I've met most of my father's friends.

Lili's thought for the day

When natural bushland is cleared and wild animals lose their home to make way for a gigantic pet supply store, you know you are living in a f***ed up world with crazy values.

The f***tards have been busy over at the Wikipedia

These days the Wikpedia is not only out of date, neglected and riddled with important omissions, in some ways it downright bizarre. Anyone who has a fair knowledge of neuropsychology or synaesthesia or the science of memory will know about the famous book The mind of a mnemonist: a little book about a vast memory by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria (a name which can be spelt in many different ways). This book is famous as a detailed decription of Luria's investigation of "S", who was a case of a very extraordinary memory and was studied by Luria over a span of many years. Solomon Shereshevskii was the real name of "S". His name is also spelt in many different ways, but the most contemporary spelling seems to be the one I use here. Shereshevskii was amazing because he arguably had the greatest memory ever described by science. Luria gave up trying to find the limits of the type of memory skill that Shereshevskii excelled at. Shereshevskii was also notable as one of the first synaesthetes to have their synesthesia described in detail by a researcher. It goes without saying that it is interesting that such an amazing memory was a property of a brain that was also a synaesthete brain. So it follows that this book that described it all is a pretty big deal. Guess what? It appears that this book no longer had any Wikipedia page. Just not important enough I guess. But a book that does still have a Wikipedia page is a fictional book (Funes the memorious by Borges) that was thought to have been inspired by Luria's book The mind of a mnemonist which isn't important enough to have a Wikipedia page. So at the Wikipedia you can find out about the fictional secondary version, but not about the actual factual original account. How mad is that?

I guess I should be grateful that poor old Sol still has a Wikipedia page, but weird things appear to have happened there too. His surname is given in his article title spelt in away that I wouldn't choose, but is spelt differently throughout the article. Strangely, the book that made Shereshevskii famous, The mind of a mnemonist, is not mentioned anywhere in Shereshevskii's Wikipedia article or in the references, it is only mentioned in the notes. The references list a Russian version of the book and "An amateur English translation" of the book. It looks as though someone is trying to hide the fact that this important book exists at all, or to hinder access to it. Very strange. It would be the easiest thing in the world to link to the book where it can be read at Scribd, but they don't. Bizarre.

The mind of a mnemonist by A. R. Luria

http://www.scribd.com/doc/12983496/Alexander-Luria-The-Mind-of-a-Mnemonist

A referenced list of 175 famous or important people diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition or subject of published speculation about whether they are or were on the autistic spectrum
http://incorrectpleasures.blogspot.com/2006/09/referenced-list-of-famous-or-important.html

56 famous synaesthetes or possible synesthetes: a list with references.
http://incorrectpleasures.blogspot.com/2009/01/famous-synaesthetes-or-possible.html


Saturday, March 05, 2011

My mirror neurons aren't busted, but I think your stupid theory might be



"The broken mirror hypothesis has so many holes in it and is nowhere close to providing an explanation of autism".

- lecturer in psychology Antonia Hamilton, quoted in this article:

'Broken mirror' concept of autism challenged.
Moheb Costandi
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
3 March 2011
https://sfari.org/news-and-commentary/open-article/-/asset_publisher/6Tog/content/broken-mirror-concept-of-autism-challenged

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The constant hum of chattering about Julian and WikiLeaks

The untold story of Julian Assange.
Robert Manne interviewed about Assange and WikiLeaks by Phillip Adams
Late Night Live. ABC Radio National 810am
March 2nd 2011
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2011/3153197.htm

Julian Assange: the unknown story.

Robert Manne
The Monthly. March 2011.
http://www.themonthly.com.au/march-2011-brief

Inside the brain of WikiLeak's Julian Assange.
Robert Manne
The Australian. March 5th 2011
[extract from Manne's article in The Monthly]
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/inside-the-brain-of-wikileaks-julian-assange/story-e6frg6z6-1226015754791

Secrets.
Host: Jenny Brockie
Insight. SBS TV
March 1st 2011
http://news.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/index/id/347#overview



Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Lili's thought for the day

Turning the business of government into an aggressive team sport is such a typically human thing to do. This is one more reason why I don't like humans.

If you want to pick up someone who isn't rubbish, pick up some rubbish

No one ever asks for my advice, or even listens to it, but that doesn't mean I know nothing. I've often thought that a single person who is hoping to meet someone nice should think carefully about where they look for a suitable partner. Is a pub or a nightclub a good place to look for love? I don't think so, those places are full of trashy types. How about looking for love online? Seasoned psychopaths hunt for victims online, forget that!

You don't need to be a genius to figure out that if one wishes to meet a nice person, the smart strategy would be to hang out where nice people would hang out. Volunteer work is a nice thing to do. Nice people volunteer. So do some volunteer work, and you might meet someone nice! I've found that an especially worthwhile type of person turns up to events that involve volunteer or lowly-paid hands-on work to clean up or improve the natural environment. Intelligent people appreciate natural bushland and wild places, and altruists do volunteering. People who turn up to hands-on type work voluntarily are either hard-working or fit or genuinely trying to get fit. They sound like a tip-top bunch of humans, don't they? This Sunday March 6th 2011 is Clean Up Australia Day. You will need to bring your own gardening gloves, hat, water and sunscreen. I hope you get lucky.

http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/