Versatile Blogger Award (and retrospective nod to Andrew Lehman)

It’s hard to imagine anyone I’d rather have Shift Journal be tagged by for the Versatile Blogger Award than the grand old codger of autism blogging, early friend of the site, and man who’s seen it all and then some, Clay of Comet’s Corner.  I get the sense Clay can go from proud bleeding heart liberal to cold, black-hearted avenger and back again all without mussing his hairs or second-guessing himself; no small feat, and one which had it been mastered by Dr. Jekyll, would’ve made Victorian England a much safer place.  We should all own our own shadows so well; the world needs more people like him.

Given that I’m presiding over a site already dedicated in part to giving wider exposure to the writing of others, I’d like to respond in two ways to the award’s requirement that I recommend seven other blogs (for the requisite seven revealing personal details, please see Clay’s blog, here).

One, I would like to deputize readers the same way I generally deputize new contributors, who are asked to recommend other writers and specific posts that might be a good fit for the site. I’m especially interested in bloggers who are doing good work that may be overlooked because they have yet to establish themselves, and also the occasional big-picture gem that may wind up lost in the shuffle on what might usually be a more personal blog with a narrower focus.  Static Mama’s My Children Want You To Know was a good example of this sort of post.  Any and all relevant contributions, however, will be considered.  Shift’s generic contact address at any rate does pass through to a real inbox, and all suggestions are appreciated.

Two, I would like to use this entry to showcase the work of my colleague Andrew Lehman, founder of this site, and currently on extended leave from it.  These are the spaces in which Andrew worked out his ideas as they led to the eventual publication of his groundbreaking book, Evolution, Autism & Social Change, earlier this year.

Human Evolution serves as a first landing page for Andrew’s work over the past twelve years, with sidebar links leading to more recently established blogs and specific essays.  Its centerpiece is a five-part paper, Human Evolution:  Evolution and the Structure of Health and Disease, headed by an explanatory video produced in February of this year.  While the name of the site may leave things somewhat unclear, the sidebar explains the contents as “Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection.  An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.”

Causes of Autism is another iteration of the site above, presenting yet more material focused more narrowly on the origins of autism, and featuring an early version of the theory which forms the backbone of Evolution, Autism & Social Change,

•  Neoteny, launched in April of 2008, has been Andrew’s primary working blog since that date; several of its entries were cross-posted here at Shift Journal.  Its full title being Neoteny, Autism, and Evolution: Social Transformation and Biological Evolution, the work documented on its pages fed directly into Evolution, Autism & Social Change, with sections of several posts appearing more or less intact in the book.

Evolution, Autism & Social Change is available as a free pdf download as well as in a $10 paperback edition.  Further description of contents, as well as links to related videos can be found here.

NeotenyOrg.  Earlier this year, Andrew was finding his legs as a video editor, enjoying a new medium in which to present his work. NeotenyOrg is the YouTube channel associated with the website Neoteny.

on 10/3/10 in featured, Internet | 3 Comments | Read More

Comments (3)


  1. Clay says:

    Codger? Bleeding heart liberal? Cold, black-hearted avenger? Jekyll and Hyde? I don’t know whatever possessed me to hire you as my PR guy! 😉

    I dunno, you may have been unduly impressed of my prowess while reading , or you may have run across some of my comments on AlterNet, but you are essentially correct, my responses to people and situations are uniquely designed to fit whatever reality I’m dealing with, and can express compassion or contempt, as needed.

    It’s easy, really. Birds have a compass in their brains, and so do I. I always know “true North”, (metaphorically speaking).

  2. Mark Stairwalt says:

    Clay, whenever I do see you express contempt, it reminds me you are a man after my own black heart. A man who loves nothing, Edward Abbey said, is angered by nothing. That’s not a camp you fall in, and I admire you for that as well as for your compass. Contempt correctly directed is something we need more of. As for the other pole, no less an eminence than Andrei Codrescu once appreciatively called my wife “the last of the bleeding heart liberals.” I’ve taken that label to be an unmitigated compliment ever since.

  3. Clay says:

    No offense taken. The first paragraph up there was entirely “tongue in cheek”, as shown by the winky face. I really don’t feel like a “old codger” yet, though. I’ll let you know when I start codging. 😉

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