WrongPlanet.net
WP Members: > 80,000



Aspie Affection

New Today: 18
New Yesterday: 25

Email from WP to ARC request debate on WP with S.B Cohen. Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next  
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wrong Planet Autism Forum Index -> General Autism Discussion     
plantwhisperer
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker


Joined: Apr 09, 2011
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating discussion meme. I wish I'd seen it sooner.

If polled, I'd vote for open discussion/conversation, with some kind of time limit, end point, to allay fears that it will just go on and on. Public rather than private, would give them a feeling of greater control.

One invitation is easy to ignore. One invitation per week is, (eventually), potentially embarassing when ignored.
As in..."Simon! How could you ignore those poor bastards, (who, after all, just want to talk to you,)week, after week, after week....?!!"

They really ought to look beyond children. Mature adults with high functioning Aspergers/ HFA, often develop quite good cognitive empathy. We sometimes lag in the moment, but often with the aid of visual thinking are able to develop excellent social pattern reasoning (cognitive empathy strung round with all sorts of real live feelings).

Just look at the career coices of women with Aspergers. Cognitive psychologist and social worker, are popular choices, as are other types of the caring professions, (re. Women From Another Planet.)

The Sally/ Ann and Molly/ Fred Tests are skewed by visual thinking perseveration. They don't actually test empathy. Not in an universal sense anyway. Auditory sequential thinkers usually come up with the worst, most ridiculous experiments/ tests for visual minds.

If this is the same Dr. Thomas Szasz, (and really how many could there be?) who is billed as "The Psychiatric Abolitionist", I rather doubt he'd be viewed as neutral. I'd vote for Dr. Elyn R. Saks, not that, that would ever happen.

I think an exchange of opinion and ideas with professionals, who speak for us and about us, to the dominant culture, is an excellent idea. It's looooooong overdue.

plantwhisperer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
memesplice
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Feb 14, 2010
Posts: 1072

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure if my attempts to use the Twitter communciation are effective. It is possible they have made a tentative response. I am not even sure it is intended for us . It may be an invitation to join in a neutal friendly 'converstion' and see if we can follow their rules of particpation

The message they have posted is one containing a formidable NT warrior called Jean Claude Van Damme. It depicts him drinking beer. He describes his pants becoming frozen. It is clearly self depreciating ironic humor and I found it funny.

The message contains both a diminished potential threat and beer. It is clearly a friendly message but as I say it may not be a direct response to, perhaps a tangential offer of open communication?

Could all those intrested in making friendly contact with NT researchers please give opinions on how to proceed?

Here is the commerical. Please suggest response/s .




Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ValentineWiggin
Yup.
Phoenix


Joined: May 16, 2011
Posts: 4921
Location: Beneath my cat's paw

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wondering how much research Cohen has done on the neurotypical's theory of mind when immersed in a world of people whose brains are wired differently. Rolling Eyes

TOM has always struck me as a perfect descriptor of Aspie-NT relationships and communication,
but irrational at best and offensive at worst to label the Autistic cognitively-deficient for reasons of no more substance than he is in the minority.
_________________
"Such is the Frailty
of the human Heart, that very few Men, who have no Property, have any Judgment of their own.
They talk and vote as they are directed by Some Man of Property, who has attached their Minds
to his Interest."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Artros
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Age: 25
Posts: 646
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this to be a good idea. I know I would've found your opening e-mail hilarious, but I have to agree that it's probably not the tone we should take. We could always take the Shawshank Redemption approach: just send a letter every week until he finally responds.

As for the discussion itself, I think e-mail would be best. I'd think that if any researcher came here openly, he would simply be overwhelmed by various Aspies trying to tell their own story. E-mail should allow both him and us to have sufficient time to decide what exactly to say.

I do not know how much we will be able to get from it, though. Perhaps we could convince him that we are right about empathy, but I doubt it. Perhaps we could design some kind of experiment or a situational test which could help us do our own research. I must admit that I don't know a lot about the methodology generally used in psychology, but I could certainly do statistical analysis if it comes to that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kBillingsley
Sea Gull
Sea Gull


Joined: Dec 23, 2010
Age: 20
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Far too unprofessional, Memesplice Reply with quote

You will need to make the letter give of the affect of having no affect at all. The Neurotypical community aware of us already has a standard perception of how we should behave, so in order to earn their attention, we will need to confirm their beliefs. They have already marked us as soulless robots, and want someone to confirm their standing ideas, preferably one of us. If we pretend to be what they are looking for, and then pull the rug out from under them when it is already too late for them to turn back, we will be able to effectively establish our point (that we are empathetic beings, and not heartless psychopaths) while meeting little resistance by virtue of the fact that they will not have prepared for us. It is called "bait and switch," and it works all of the time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Artros
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Age: 25
Posts: 646
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:23 am    Post subject: Re: Far too unprofessional, Memesplice Reply with quote

kBillingsley wrote:
You will need to make the letter give of the affect of having no affect at all. The Neurotypical community aware of us already has a standard perception of how we should behave, so in order to earn their attention, we will need to confirm their beliefs. They have already marked us as soulless robots, and want someone to confirm their standing ideas, preferably one of us. If we pretend to be what they are looking for, and then pull the rug out from under them when it is already too late for them to turn back, we will be able to effectively establish our point (that we are empathetic beings, and not heartless psychopaths) while meeting little resistance by virtue of the fact that they will not have prepared for us. It is called "bait and switch," and it works all of the time.


Problem is that no one will be watching, so even if we'd do that, nobody would really care. The real battle is in the scientific journals, and that's one we can't win on our own. Also, I would hate doing that. Do we really need to lower ourselves to foul play? As long as we just keep it to "we are interested in communicating with you" I'm sure they will come around at some point. At the very least, there are so many Aspies here that we can be useful to them as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
memesplice
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Feb 14, 2010
Posts: 1072

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have published in a number of newspapers . I think we have a legal right to reply. Being trashed in a newspaper and wider media is not something they would want. For example SBC is currently relying on the Guardian to sell his books. It is also a PR exercise for developing funding for existing and future projects. His book/articles are a condensation of work previously published in academic journals. The newspapers seem a good ground to target rather than journals due to accessibilty.

My problem is when journalists do sloppy cut and paste stuff like this



Quote:

Baron-Cohen has made a major contribution to our understanding of autism. Autistic people lack any comprehension that other people have feelings. They do not understand what empathy is.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/15/zero-degrees-of-empathy-baron-cohen-review


( I can't help thinking maybe the journalists are baiting us for debate ?-)

I think academics might prefer to have this debate here and that it be kept friendly.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Artros
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Age: 25
Posts: 646
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

memesplice wrote:
They have published in a number of newspapers . I think we have a legal right to reply. Being trashed in a newspaper and wider media is not something they would want. For example SBC is currently relying on the Guardian to sell his books. It is also a PR exercise for developing funding for existing and future projects. His book/articles are a condensation of work previously published in academic journals. The newspapers seem a good ground to target rather than journals due to accessibilty.

My problem is when journalists do sloppy cut and paste stuff like this

Quote:

Baron-Cohen has made a major contribution to our understanding of autism. Autistic people lack any comprehension that other people have feelings. They do not understand what empathy is.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/15/zero-degrees-of-empathy-baron-cohen-review


( I can't help thinking maybe the journalists are baiting us for debate ?-)

I think academics might prefer to have this debate here and that it be kept friendly.


I actually doubt that that was copy-paste work from Baron-Cohen's work. The way I see it, it's the author of the article taking what she wants to. I looked up another review (Link) and it's not as bad as the other one. There's still the faulty statement that Aspies lack empathy, but at least we get differentiated from the psychopaths.

I think the main problem here is that what we're saying boils down to "the EQ test is not an accurate measure of empathy", or at least not in people with Asperger's. Given the fact that the EQ test is one of Baron-Cohen's accomplishments, I doubt he will be open for any debate on its validity. Yet we must somehow make him see that empathy is about more than what he's testing. I've read it and it takes a view of empathy which is very strongly related to expressed empathy. It's about knowing what the other person thinks. There should be some part of the EQ test (perhaps video-based) which is more about expressing empathy towards people or animals who are in obvious distress. Even among psychologists I think it's common knowledge that Aspies tend to like and understand animals (it's even in the EQ test itself). Perhaps there should be more focus on that.

We have a right to reply, but what do you think we should do? We could simply start sending e-mails to the relevant papers when they publish something like this, or we could mass-criticise Baron-Cohen's book on Amazon, but neither of those are really an opening to a discussion, which is what we want.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
InsomniacDreams
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse


Joined: Aug 06, 2011
Posts: 42
Location: Swansea, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread guys, thanks!

memesplice wrote:
...I am not sure if my attempts to use the Twitter communciation are effective. It is possible they have made a tentative response. I am not even sure it is intended for us . It may be an invitation to join in a neutal friendly 'converstion' and see if we can follow their rules of particpation...


I don't think twitter is really the best way to go about it, but I have loved your description about the experience

memesplice wrote:
Could all those intrested in making friendly contact with NT researchers please give opinions on how to proceed?



If there was a way to make contact and have a discussion with them, what would people actually want to say?


btbnnyr wrote:
I am wondering if there are any websites, maybe blogs, collecting and discussing research papers about autism? Blogs with posts presenting one research paper at a time and evaluating it for accuracy and scientific validity? Ones that point out erroneous assumptions wherever they are found? Ones that point out factual and logical errors wherever they are found?

Just because a research paper has been published does not mean that it does not contain erroneous assumptions and conclusions. NTs have their "Peer Review". We should apply our "Logical Review" to the results of their "Peer Review".


btbnnyr, I would be surprised if there wasn't, though problem w/could/might be getting on to such a site. Collecting research papers on one subject can be time consuming, collecting enough for a meta-analysis goes beyond just mere time consuming. Even just collecting the data from SBC papers would be extremely time consuming. But a meta-analysis "Logical Review" might be a good place to start, comparing it to the "Peer Review". I could be wrong though. I might be able to find out a good way to approach this, might take awhile to find out how, because it is summer.

aghogday wrote:
Regarding the ARC organization, I doubt they would discuss this in a public forum... If we presented serious objective ideas ... that differ from what they have considered before, we might get a couple of back and forth emails to get the ARC viewpoint.

In my opinion a better approach might be to not ask for a public debate, and focus on a smaller goal for private email correspondence. If they respond with a viewpoint, that might be the time to ask them if they are interested in coming here for discussion.

But, I seriously doubt they are going to be interested in debating their ideas vs our ideas; it might be better presented as a request for discussion to discuss our ideas, leaving their ideas completely out of the conversation. In fact, I wouldn't mention the word debate or mention any of their research in any correspondence, if we want the best possibility of them ever actually coming here to discuss our ideas with us.


Or it might be better just to have solid data to back-up the ideas/hypothesis presented to them, in a way they are used to seeing and responding to.

memesplice wrote:
...
Dear Dr. Cohen,

Greetings. A Wrong Planet research craft is currently in proximity to your own vessel and crew. We are monitoring your communications and the work you are publishing concerning our species. You have our assurance our weapon systems will be stood down for the duration of this proximity. We understand how you species require this assurance prior to entering into any communication. Please understand we mean you no harm and we are as curious about you and your crew as you seem to be about us.

...


Laughing Brilliant!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youngdoug
Hummingbird
Hummingbird


Joined: Aug 07, 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We have a right to reply, but what do you think we should do? We could simply start sending e-mails to the relevant papers when they publish something like this, or we could mass-criticise Baron-Cohen's book on Amazon, but neither of those are really an opening to a discussion, which is what we want.


Could I suggest a broad spectrum response with a constant message that we consistently hammer home. We do this with politeness and firmness.

The message needs to be a sentence or two. Not needed to be actually written all the time, but communications need to stick to the point to get the message across.

Mass criticism might be counter-productive. I am not sure. An inundation can be dismissed as 'loonies' by those convinced of their own purity (hello media folk, y'know who I'm looking at).

Independent, short(ish), simply argued communications with clear requests for actions to be taken. If no action is taken, then the complaints are taken as far up the chain as possible.

From the little I've seen here there would be a lot of help here - especially when it comes to back and forth communications.

I might be wrong, but a constant drip drip might be a very strong foundation. I'm not suggesting this as the only route. I do think that people will sit up and take notice after a time.

I apologise for maybe coming in possibly a bit strong here Embarassed , but the prejudice around AS is making me furious Mad . I know such a range of people on the spectrum. If a word for AS knocked on my door it would say 'Hi, I'm representing AS. My name is Gentleness Smile '

The message we want to give? Can I fly a kite here as a point for discussion?

'Statements that stereotype the Autistic Community are nasty and prejudiced against the individuals concerned. Please apologise, withdraw them or give a right of reply. Prejudice against minority groups has a long history of causing pain and suffering, and you are responsible for this.'

This is 3 sentences, so that's me told anyways.

thanx 4 listening Smile
_________________
Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it

a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Artros
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Age: 25
Posts: 646
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

youngdoug wrote:
Quote:
We have a right to reply, but what do you think we should do? We could simply start sending e-mails to the relevant papers when they publish something like this, or we could mass-criticise Baron-Cohen's book on Amazon, but neither of those are really an opening to a discussion, which is what we want.


Could I suggest a broad spectrum response with a constant message that we consistently hammer home. We do this with politeness and firmness.

The message needs to be a sentence or two. Not needed to be actually written all the time, but communications need to stick to the point to get the message across.

Mass criticism might be counter-productive. I am not sure. An inundation can be dismissed as 'loonies' by those convinced of their own purity (hello media folk, y'know who I'm looking at).

Independent, short(ish), simply argued communications with clear requests for actions to be taken. If no action is taken, then the complaints are taken as far up the chain as possible.

From the little I've seen here there would be a lot of help here - especially when it comes to back and forth communications.

I might be wrong, but a constant drip drip might be a very strong foundation. I'm not suggesting this as the only route. I do think that people will sit up and take notice after a time.

I apologise for maybe coming in possibly a bit strong here Embarassed , but the prejudice around AS is making me furious Mad . I know such a range of people on the spectrum. If a word for AS knocked on my door it would say 'Hi, I'm representing AS. My name is Gentleness Smile '

The message we want to give? Can I fly a kite here as a point for discussion?

'Statements that stereotype the Autistic Community are nasty and prejudiced against the individuals concerned. Please apologise, withdraw them or give a right of reply. Prejudice against minority groups has a long history of causing pain and suffering, and you are responsible for this.'

This is 3 sentences, so that's me told anyways.

thanx 4 listening Smile


I think it's a bit of an aggressive message. We'll be talking to scientists (at least, supposedly). We are interested in discourse first and foremost. I'm afraid such a message would only serve to alienate them from us.

There was a thread on the News forum which contained a link to a guy who apparently won an Award for disproving the link between the MMR vaccine and autism (Link). Would it not be an idea to see if we can get support from this man?
_________________
"Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant. " -Socrates
AQ: 40/50
EQ: 17/50
SQ: 72/80 (Extreme Synthesiser)
Aspie test: about 150/200 Aspie, about 40/200 NT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youngdoug
Hummingbird
Hummingbird


Joined: Aug 07, 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it's a bit of an aggressive message. We'll be talking to scientists (at least, supposedly). We are interested in discourse first and foremost. I'm afraid such a message would only serve to alienate them from us.


Yes, I take your point. I was really thinking of media articles, like the book review by Ms Rowe that was pointed out here. There I'm not sure that subtlety will help... operative term is 'not sure'.

Brian Deere - the mmr journo - might be able to help, but he's more of an investigative journalist. How about Ben Goldacre http://www.badscience.net/
He has a weekly column in the Guardian.

The whole thing is bad science anyway isn't it? Choose the result and get the data to fit it. I'm sure with the best of intentions.

I suspect that the media needs to be engaged with as well. They just have to realise that it is unjustified prejudice they are encouraging.
_________________
Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it

a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youngdoug
Hummingbird
Hummingbird


Joined: Aug 07, 2011
Posts: 24
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, SBC has already participated an interview and it is interesting. His POV is nuanced.

http://tinyurl.com/3kpadqk

A lot of the problem revolves around his definition of empathy

Quote:
But you are right that different theorists may have different definitions of empathy. I donít suggest mine is the only one, but it is one I find useful.


Here's a critique of his interview - which is possibly a bit unfair on SBC

http://tinyurl.com/3lq9hsd

Dunno what others think, but I suspect the no-empathy meme for those who want to think in stereotypes - can't deal in nuance. God nose there r enuff of 'em.

Not saying that SBC is right at all. The bugger is, go to read his book. Dam.
_________________
Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it

a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
angelalala
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mirror neurons support stimulation of Theory of Mind; empathy in the sense of "affect sharing" is supported in different parts of the brain depending on what type of empathy it is (empathic responses to pain, to touch, to smell, etc). See: Singer, 2006
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
angelalala
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I'm not entirely convinced that someone who puts out the amount of research that SBC does AND is related to Ali-G is necessarily NT.

Just sayin'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wrong Planet Autism Forum Index -> General Autism Discussion   
Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next  

 
Read more Articles on Wrong Planet



Wrong Planet is a Registered Trademark.
Copyright 2004-2014, Wrong Planet, LLC and Alex Plank. Alex does public speaking for Autism.

Advertise on Wrong Planet

Alex Hotchalk / Glam 

Alex Plank  Aspie Affection 

Terms of Service - You must read this as a user of Wrong Planet | Privacy Policy

Subscribe: RSS Feed  Wrong Planet News  Wrong Planet Forums




fine art