Author Archive

your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful

The thing about not-being-a-person is: They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all. They will have no idea who they are talking to. You yourself will start to forget, too. They will say a million small things that sow the seeds for violence done against you, and you will smile and let them. You will do math, constantly. How much do I want to be a person today? How much do I want this project to succeed? How much honesty can I afford? How much dishonesty will kill me? What is the cost of coming out? Is there a way to delay, soften, transmute? How long can I survive as half a person? Ever since the world ended ... I don't go out as much. People that I once befriended, just don't bother to stay in touch. Things that used to seem so splendid, don't really matter today. It's just as well the world ended -- it wasn't working anyway. Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing. [Read More]

on 03/5/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

Hard Work, Highway Safety, and the Road Ahead

The smart money never would have bet that Shift Journal would come as far as it has. This was the case for a number of reasons, only one of which I want to talk about below. And for as far as we've co...[Read More]

on 02/6/12 | 3 Comments | Read More

Brief Hibernation

Apologies for the light posting as we gear up for an ambitious year. Encouragingly enough traffic remains strong, however the winter break anticipated late last year seems to have finally arrived. Fre...[Read More]

on 01/27/12 | No Comments | Read More

Why Serpents, Dragons, and Shift (part 2)

As I move back toward discussing Shift Journal, it bears mentioning that Andrew Lehman is a man who continues to have an extraordinary and privileged relationship with his unconscious. He had shared e...[Read More]

on 01/23/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

Why Serpents, Dragons, and Shift (part 1)

You may know Shift Journal as the home from which Julia Bascom's essay The Obsessive Joy of Autism went viral late last year, to the tune now of over 40,000 pageviews. If you've been paying attention ...[Read More]

on 01/20/12 | 2 Comments | Read More

The Internet and the Iceberg Whole

Item:  Ensign James “Peewee” Cobb, at 5’6”, 124 pounds, and 23 years old—in Pat Frank’s 1959 Cold War thriller Alas, Babylon—distinguishes himself as the only pilot in Fighting Forty-F...[Read More]

on 01/19/12 | 1 Comment | Read More

Introducing The Loud Hands Project

Julia Bascom, author of "Quiet Hands" and "The Obsessive Joy Of Autism," is launching a new project, pursuing ends that parallel and surpass some of the goals pursued at Shift Journal over the past tw...[Read More]

on 01/9/12 | No Comments | Read More

LA Times Scooped by Shift Journal (seven times)

Directly in the title of the fourth and final installment of a series on autism which has been by turns both predictably biased and reasonably informative, the LA Times last Friday ventured to print w...[Read More]

on 12/20/11 | No Comments | Read More

Pieces of Suicide

There's a little back-and-forth echo that's popped up between this site and Julia Bascom's. This entry aims to amplify that little echo. Here's Julia yesterday at her blog Just Stimming, after having ...[Read More]

on 12/13/11 | No Comments | Read More

Still Half Drunk with Delight

Bee Swarms Mimic Human Brain Neurons to Make Decisions Swarms of bees and brain neurons make decisions using strikingly similar mechanisms, reports a new study in the Dec. 9 issue of Science. In prev...[Read More]

on 12/10/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

The following is a mashup of two blog posts from two very different spheres of experience, presented without comment save for this: One is a brief, humorous account of the television-viewing habi...[Read More]

on 11/8/11 | No Comments | Read More

Why Shouldn’t It Be Easy For Everyone? Why Shouldn’t It Be Easy For Autistics?

Just a quick companion piece here for Zygmunt's account of his grappling with the social justice system of extroverts -- a group that if not provably neurologically distinct, certainly seems to have i...[Read More]

on 10/17/11 | 1 Comment | Read More

Thinking In Binary: Recently at Reddit

This conversation (below) along with a parallel comment on another thread caused me to dig up a Douglas Rushkoff quote that keeps coming back to me: "The digital realm is biased toward choice, beca...[Read More]

on 10/12/11 | 10 Comments | Read More

What Is Psychopathy’s Place In Neurodiversity?

Psychopaths loom large in the autistic anxiety closet. Our single-day traffic record at Shift Journal belongs to Scott Shea's Spotting Psychopaths in the Workplace, which garnered nearly 1800 hits o...[Read More]

on 10/11/11 | 5 Comments | Read More

Thoreau’s Visit from a Canadian Woodcutter — Conversations (pt. 2)

He was so genuine and unsophisticated that no introduction would serve to introduce him, more than if you introduced a woodchuck to your neighbor. He had got to find him out as you did. He would no...[Read More]

on 10/6/11 | No Comments | Read More

Thoreau’s Visit from a Canadian Woodcutter — Description (pt. 1)

Rather than trying to spark a debate over postmortem diagnoses, the primary intent here is to showcase and encourage an appreciation for Thoreau's fascination with and delight in his neighbor who was ...[Read More]

on 10/6/11 | No Comments | Read More

Welcome, Crow’s Eye Readers

We've been getting a significant traffic bump from the recent comments thread and/or the blogroll (thanks, Jack) over at political blog The Crow's Eye, and since it may not be readily apparent what t...[Read More]

on 09/29/11 | No Comments | Read More

How Extensive Is Autism’s Penumbra?

My fascination with autism from the start has had to do with what might be termed autism's penumbra.  In Autism & Oughtism's post on avoiding the confusions engendered by this concept she explain...[Read More]

on 08/26/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

Autism In The Mirror

Comedian Glen Wool, musing on the sacking of the middle classes and treasuries of the United States and other nations by the looting class, has suggested that newspapers be divided into just two secti...[Read More]

on 08/19/11 | No Comments | Read More

Response to A&O’s reply re: “Cornering Slim Shady in the Round Barn” and the definition of Neurodiversity

Thank you for the kind words, A&O, and the thorough, thoughtful, and gracious reply.  It’s a pleasure disagreeing with you. My view is that neurodiversity is polycentered, that it legitimat...[Read More]

on 08/15/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Cornering Slim Shady in the Round Barn: On “Pinning Down” Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity.  In contrast to the proprietor of Autism & Oughtisms [A&O] who reports first hearing the word less than a year ago, it's been a little over a decade for me. It merited one sen...[Read More]

on 08/12/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

Soon: An Urgent Communiqué of Vital Import …

A Wild Communiqué Appears! Floating in over the transom this morning came an inspired, rambling, two-part missive, part neurodiversity manifesto, part invitation to a flash mob, part lulzsensical ...[Read More]

on 07/21/11 | No Comments | Read More

Snapshots: Mutual Reciprocity and Empathy Erosion

Two sometime Shift contributors reflecting on current events and recent publication in the autism world, and giving hard looks at under-examined assumptions about social behavior and empathy: Lili ...[Read More]

on 07/21/11 | No Comments | Read More

Snapshots: Power and Surrender

Three items that caught my eye as they've floated by this month, presented here without comment. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, as interviewed in the New York Times Magazine: N...[Read More]

on 07/15/11 | No Comments | Read More

(Yet Another) Top Ten Myths About Introverts

The overlap in the way both the social and physical worlds are experienced by autistics and introverts is one I continue to find fascinating.  The question of whether the two conditions ought to be e...[Read More]

on 07/12/11 | No Comments | Read More

Autism and Empathy: Dispelling Myths and Breaking Stereotypes (Introductions)

Identifying a need and then filling it is said to be a core skill of the business entrepreneur, but there are needs far and wide which are best met with the payment not of money but of attention to ev...[Read More]

on 07/1/11 | 3 Comments | Read More

Greetings, members of NATO. We are Anonymous.

What follows here is to be read in the light of an earlier entry that looked at conflicts between autistic and corporate culture, An Autistic Ethos: It’s All About Respect.  In that post, it was su...[Read More]

on 06/13/11 | 4 Comments | Read More

We’re Back (Housekeeping)

Servers placated; more better backups in place. For those of you who caught the alternate-reality/time-travel sidetrip to the Shift Journal of 2005, no charge. Regular posting will resume tomorr...[Read More]

on 05/26/11 | No Comments | Read More

It’s Not About Us: Debunking Neurodiversity’s Hero Myth

Avedon Carol at The Sideshow marked the passing of writer Joanna Russ this week in a post that quoted Russ' observation that "Homophobia isn't there to keep homosexuals in line. Homophobia is there ...[Read More]

on 05/6/11 | 14 Comments | Read More

She’s Such a Scream (Is there a transitive property to autistic characteristics?)

Coffeehouse musicians sometimes employ a bit of stage banter that plays on everyone's rudimentary knowledge of music theory; following a well-received song, they will with tongue-in-cheek earnestness ...[Read More]

on 04/22/11 | 2 Comments | Read More

From the Link Cellar this Week

Fresh, resurrected, or newly discovered links from across the internet and the dusty reaches of Shift Journal's archives. • • • • • • • Loving Lampposts: •  S...[Read More]

on 04/4/11 | No Comments | Read More

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