A Year Ago at Shift Journal

For all its charms, the weblog platform does also bury older content for no better reason than that newer material has come along.  While we all like to feel we’re improving, whether you are writing blog posts, delivering babies, or making them yourself, you are likely not only as good or as interesting as your most recent effort.  Neither are we.

In remedy, the entries linked below are accompanied by brief summaries of their content, as it appeared here a year ago this week.


•  Time Machine: Cause of Autism #2

Hybrid vigor is considered as a time machine, applied here to human breeding populations with long-separated ancestral lines.  Implications for the incidence (or re-emergence) of autism follow.

Enter the autistic. Misinterpreted as a disorder, autism is a reservoir of human features reappearing at just the right time to be integrated into a culture deeply in need of strength and balance. Consider which features of the autistic we need most desperately today.

•  Politics and the Environment: Cause of Autism #3

Lamarckian evolutionary theories are reconsidered, as feedback loops involving how we choose our mates and live our lives are examined.  Humanity’s “hive mind” makes a possible appearance, as our individual choices may have profound effects when applied in the aggregate.

Since the death of Darwin, little thought has been given to how the environment might influence human evolution in a single lifetime. Politics has informed what we consider to be true as Russian theorists emphasizing Lamarckian evolutionary theories (effects of the environment on single generation change) have been ignored in the West. Marx and Engels were proponents of a matrifocal origin of society, polarizing the West to emphasize a patrifocal hypothesis and ignore the power of sexual selection on societal change. Environmental and mate-selection origins of autism have been obfuscated by a science influenced by politics. Reductionist natural selection focusing on random selection supports a social Darwinist/neo-conservative perspective. A belief that society should reflect a natural world where only the strongest and cleverest should thrive supports a society where resources remain in the hands of very few.

•  Lefties

Handedness is pondered as a thread running through history, “offer[ing] clues to both our evolutionary origins and our society’s future path.”

The random-handed are unique. They display an older genotype and are perhaps the bridge to understanding autism and conditions characterized by maturational delay. Still, they are not easily pigeon-holed, and they often display both remarkable physical and verbal prowess and sometimes impairments in the same areas. Presidents and stutterers are often left-handed.

•  Notes on Three Dursleys

A wide and ambitious net is cast over the Dursleys of Harry Potter fame, a 17th-century monk who had it in for imagination, and the duplicitous anti-autism organization Autism Speaks.

For some background as to how it was first suggested to me that there might be parallels between these three “Dursleys,” see here.  The fact that Autism Speaks is itself promoting a sort of sock-puppet “personification” of autism has not escaped me.  I hope to return to this and other related topics;  watch this space.

on 10/4/10 in Art/Play/Myth, featured | No Comments | Read More

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