Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How much talent is wasted because society doesn’t like the package it comes in?

Mental illness and behavioral or cognitive deficiencies are defined, described, and catalogued by self-proclaimed “normal” people and show considerable bias and prejudice against individuals who have an asocial brain. This post begins to explore the hypothesis that the modern social brain developed fairly recently due to the concentration of human populations in village and urban environments. The environmental pressure for humans to "get along" in large groups was new and extreme and drastic behavioral changes were required to accomplish urban culture. A hierarchical social order evolved which was alien to "wild" natural humans who wandered freely in small groups, following water, game and collecting resources along the way.   

The classic pyramid of social power that we are familiar with, and still live by, exemplified by Ancient Egyptian culture, was dominated by the Gods, Pharaoh, and the Priesthood. Selection for individuals (especially females) who became fertile as young as possible, who were childlike and obedient, easily intimidated, dependent, and in a juvenile stage of mental development (magical thinking) produced a population that was easily controlled by coercion and supernatural belief. Magical Thinking remains the default type of brain processing in modern social people; the inability to differentiate between the supernatural fantasy and physical reality is a serious consequence of this arrested juvenile state.  

"Wild" or natural humans, who could not adapt to compressed social environments were driven off, isolated, and systematically exterminated. Very few so-called hunter-gatherer tribes remain, and these are being removed by destruction of habitat, exposure to modern toxic environments and by ‘soul death’ or the destruction of culture that is vital to their psychic and physical well-being. The wild brain type is rare today and continues to be actively stigmatized and aggressively defined as developmentally defective. 

It is possible that the Asberger sensory system, visual memory-information processing is a legacy of early humans, who lived in radically different environments that modern social humans. Although disparaged by social humans, our literal, reality-based, asocial type of human has been allowed to persist in very small numbers because of the extraordinary abilities in science and technology of some Asperger individuals. Literal, real world brain processing has built our technological civilization. Many Asperger types find refuge and socially approved work in academic and research institutions, where their social deficits are outweighed by talents useful to governments and corporations – ever more creative and effective weapons are one sad result. That is a relationship that has dire consequence for our species.  

I am interested in those ‘other’ Asperger people, who are not seen by society to have useful talents and are effectively discarded in childhood like damaged toys, that at best can sit on a shelf and provide some appearance of being normal, but which will never be included in a wider world. These children have talents and potential which are thrown away for the sake of behavioral conformity, for the sake of obedience, for the sake of the adult need to control children. There is a mean-spirited theme in all this blaming and labeling; other minorities have been subjected to the same social excuses for marginalization, but there does not seem to be an awareness of how badly Asperger and "different" children are treated.   

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