Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Behavioral Reformation

The leaders of the western world have sought many methods to secure authoritarian rule by using behavior modification techniques that are disquised as treatment for illness and/or punishment for what is unfashionable.

Fashion influences the market and reinforces the values that authoritarian leaders decide will prevent public dissent.

Those who were described as explorers, pilgrims, and revolutionists, who found their way to the eastern shores of what is now considered the United States, had no map that directed them to this place and many of the ideals they had for creating a liberated land had not been thoroughly planned.

As soon as they found that there were people that already occupied this land, those people were described as savages because of their radically different behavior and lifestyle. This was of course the first justification for war that occured within the land that they would claim as their own and call the United States.

Along with enslaving the prisoners of this war, they soon also took part in the slave trade that savagely kidnapped Africans from their homeland on the other side of the world. Once again this war was justified because of people's behavior and lifestyle was so radically different than their own. These Africans were considered savages and and again they were treated in savage ways. Of course the savagery of these "settlers" was again condoned. This slavery was seen as a way to promote their economy.

But how would they preserve the puritanical, legalistic, religious methods of behavioral modification techniques with the claim that they were seeking the separation of church and state? This proved to be quite difficult.

Once again they declared war against the "savagery" they claimed threatened their narrow views of an authoritarion-based lifestyle. This time it happened within the very walls they considered their place of worship by their clergymen, and against the women and children who were most vulnerable.

This war was against people they claimed were their own. However, in order to try to protect what they saw as their good name, this war became known as a war against a force rather than against those who were seen as savages and subhuman. It would have to be that way wouldn't it? I mean these people were considered a part of their own race! This was called the war against the outside evil force of witchcraft.

Some of the behavior modification techniques used against those were were seen as witches have heavily influenced other behavioral modification techniques throughout (what many refer to as) the civilized world.

In order to modify the behavior of people who were considered citizens of society and not easily dismissed, the war is convieniently declared against some outside force.

Rather than accept public responsibility, overcomers of what are considered afflictions of thought, perception, or behavior, are glorified and if the one whose behavior is seen as "abnormal" cannot be punished in a way that society will readily agree with, the force that dictates the person's behavior must be seen as either demonic, provoked by disease, or promoted by genetic defect that must be eliminated.

What is important to remember is that once a behavior can be described to the public as wrong instead of different, it can and does lead to the worst and most savage methods of the behavior modificationists. Those who modify behavior that is different in the justified name of "correcting what is wrong" go unpunished and their methods (once justified in this way) are not only accepted, they are promoted. These are the REAL wrongs that need to be researched, investigated, and fixed!

These methods of how different behaviors are treated didn't all originate in the U.S. and it won't help to just blame capitolism or the U.S. government for how the problems with abuse of power are handled in the U.S. and everywhere else.

People in the U.S. have come from all over the world and they have power here to do good things that they are not using. People everywhere (not just the U.S.) can change human rights in other places in many ways that they aren't yet. Furthermore, the people who are most capable of world domination and those who are the worst violaters of human rights no longer care about money. They have plenty. These people are NOT the U.S. government.

In order to create real change that promotes human rights for everyone we must consider what we are really fighting against and how we should best do that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Holiday

Before I get into the blogpost dealing with the subject I described in my last post, I descided to show and tell about my holiday since it was really like my first spent with family.

My wife and I have been together for 7 years but this is the first time we had both her sons to join us and also.... it was on Thanksgiving weekend!

We had a delightful time laughing, eating, and watching movies at home. My wifes youngest son (who is quite the multitasker) was on his laptop computer the whole time while watching movies, while the eldest drifted in and out of sleep alot as he hadn't had much time off from work lately. My wife couldn't have been happier. I joined in and retired to the other room and the computer when the fun became too overwhelming for me.

The main time we did go out of the house we went to the theater to watch a movie. We went to see Beowolf. We left after only a half hour into the movie. I would have been under my chair the whole time if there had been room for me there. (I've been repeating to myself since we saw what we saw, "The monster wasn't real and he can't hurt us.")

Here are family pictures we took over the weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today I'd like to explore some of the ways that diversity of perception has be evaluated.

Just as art imitating life is a two way street, the pattern of how we define history influences future events.

In particular I am most interested in the events that have seemed to me to have influenced how decisions were made reguarding how difficulties and/or differences in human perception are evaluated and treated.

Since there has never been any absolute defining lines in the evaluations of psychologist, psychiatrist, and sociologist, I feel that the best way to influence future methods of evaluations is by looking at which events might have had more influence on the direction of the interventions they have chosen to use.

Psychologists (along with the unresonable social standards some of the ideals of psychology have created) have described peoples responses to situations as the prime cause of all their difficulty. These evaluations create a great deal of acceptance and promotion of abusive behavior.

Psychologists and their followers often describe many of worlds problems as a result from people not taking personal responsibility over their own lives. This description of course places that responsibility on the most vulnerable and most convinient people. Being inapropriatly blamed in this way often leads to the wrong person feeling shameful and unsupported.

The origins of psychiatry are quite frightful and the only changes in psychiatric treatment that have seemed to become more civilized have seemed to be done for the sake of creating more dependence on the psychiatric industry by adding more consumers. Just like any other industry, once a monopoly has been created it becomes more difficult to moniter. We cannot trust an elite few to make decisions about which types of treatment are civilized. This power has too often been abused.

The dangers of how some people are exploring neurology are becoming more apparent all the time. We cannot afford to trust the fate of future generations to genetisists with terrible agendas. These agendas are often disquised as compassionate ways to end suffering.

When specialist diagnose people with learning disabilities, any programs that are designed to provide them with learning stratagies must be monitered by the public to prevent some "one size fits all program" from becoming exclusionary even when it claims to be promoting inclusion.

Diversity of perception will always continue to be a part of who we are as the human race. However, unless we fight for the rights of expressing how that perception effects each of us individually, there will be people who abuse their power that will try to more narrowly define our perceptions and use that as a tool to more narrowly curtail our expressions.

Defining how diverse populations can be better accomidated will certainly promote diversity but not every program that claims to have that as their objective can go unmonitered by the people who are most effected by how they do things.

It seems to me that for true diversity of perception to be protected we who are effected by the groups who are defining this diversity, must work to understand their history and what has led to the methods that they use to make their decisions. By doing this we can all be more responsible in making sure that these desisions are made in ways that serve us rather than hurt us. (Note: I will be making more blog posts that are dedicated to this very effort)

Monday, November 12, 2007

What We Are Able to Do

This post was inspired by the most recent post from ABFH of how neurodiversity and disability are described at http:// autisticbfh.blogspot.com/200711unfashionable-abilities.html
She (as she always does) has described something that I feel is very important in a good and comprehensive way.

My attempt here is to describe my thoughts about this, mainly based on how I have seen disability and accommodations treated in the U.S. during my lifetime.

As history continues to be rewritten (as we understand it better), technology is becoming more sophisticated, and the value of products and services is evolving. How people see value in what a person can do is reflected in these changing values.

While I don't think that a human's ability to feel and express a full range of emotion has ever been inherently impaired (different yes, impaired no) in any human or that this has ever changed, there are specific societal influences on how we respond to those feelings that are based on people who live in a particular location acting in particular ways, at particular times.

We as a world and we who live in particular locations do make decisions that effect societal values as well as the direction of what temptations become more available.

As I think about times in history when I've heard about a race or classification of people whose rights were being ignored and how the lives of those people who fit that classification were in danger, it has also made me wonder how those who described the problem to others and fought against the dangerous trend were seen by others.

Certainly there were people who were enjoying comforts during that time (that would later prove to be very expensive) who were quite opposed to any radical disruption in their lifestyles.

Others who were experiencing more of the discrimination had their judgement clouded by intense emotion and I'm sure this has often led to convenient and less rational approaches to the problem that hurt everyone.

Still others must have had some understanding of how what was happening to them was headed down a dangerous path, but felt powerless and afraid to speak up.

Of course the worst influences during these times are those whose feelings of hopelessness lead them to focus solely on the immediate gratification of their own needs. This comes at the expense of others and is most clearly displayed by those who see this as an opportune time to prey on the fears of others.

The first step toward turning things around is to view fear accurately and see it as deception. Most of the bad things that happens are caused by the apathy of those who can choose to do something to help the situation but don't.

Those who see the best way to create and protect the rights of autistics by describing the experience as a diversity or as a disability can reach a common goal with pure motivations

All people with differences and/or what are described as disabilities are often objectified as well as being excluded in the worst ways.

People have always been objectified by others who find ways to hurt them. The main difference is that today our weapons are more sophisticated and terrible agendas take less time to be carried out.

Desperate people will make clumsy decisions in haste. However, another problem is that too many humanitarian efforts are now being seen as trite and impractical. Idealists CAN always inspire lawmakers and planmakers.

There needs to be leaders, scientists, artists, and yes, even idealists (like me who don't give specific advice), that are working together for a common goal.

Those who today are being seen as disabled need accommodations and so do many others. There are people who need medical attention who must agree to certain labels in order to receive that help.

There is nothing about the ideal of neurodiversity that threatens that. In fact, it is the only ideal I know of that has any chance at preserving the rights of people who need these provisions from being led down an even more dangerous path. I would urge people to be careful who they fight against and how.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Debilitating Infection

Today I'd like to talk about the ways that a terrible disease is being allowed to threaten a great deal of the world's citizens.

This dis ease is perpetrated and maintained by the worst type of infection. The problem is that it infects that which is our most powerful weapon that allows us to build our immune system as well as the part of us that is the most vulnerable. That part that I'm speaking of is our attitude.

This virus infects the consciousness of the individual and spreads to the collective consciousness of our entire culture. This horrible virus is best described as ablism. Fortunatly there is treatment available and maybe even a cure. However, protection as well as early detection will create everyones best defense.

The effect that it has had on the human race has created more death and destruction than anything else. The bad methods of defense that have been devised to destroy it have allowed it to mutate again and again.

One of the best methods of ensuring a strong defense is to understand how and where ablism is present.

One of the ways ablism is now being presented is by the attempt to cure autism. Denied accessability for peoples needs and the denial of their rights that defines how many people determine a person's quality of life are some of the more subtle ways this virus uses to infect people's attitudes. However, the result is always the same. It is claimed that since difference cannot be cured, fixed or accomidated appropriatly, it must be elliminated.

Ablism needs a specific environment in order to create its most damaging effects. These are the early detection signs to watch for:

1)Hope must be created and then eliminated. This happens with several steps:

A)The differences of autism must be medicalized in order to encourage people to invest hope and money into the cure.

B)Behaviors are pathologised in order to blame either the autistic person (which can be seen as justification of their torture) or the parents (which can lead them to feeling guilt and shame and then more willing to eliminate the problem).

2)Once hope has been diminished, the debilitating force of ablism is spread by two powerful forces that attack autistics in similar ways to how it has accomplished its descrimination of many other types of people.

A)More narrow types of standardized tests are created. This works to ensure that the public will view that any ability that is not seen as normal must instead be the sign of inability. This inability is seen to tax, and therefore burden the rest of society.

B)The dreaded agism is always a powerful agent and affects everyone. With autism it seems to create the perfect division for this problem to spread. If people can truly believe that there is a limited amount of resources that must be divided between accomidations for the younger people and accomodations for older people,all age groups will be seen by each other as a threat TO each other. Once people are pitted against each other in this way, the compassion that drives ALL accomidation in the first place is then replaced by strife and arguing between people who could and should learn from each other and work together.

However, there is hope. Most carriers of this disorder are not aware that they are infected. You don't need to anger most carriers, but you can let them know the signs of the disorder and how to turn it around.

Help them understand that the problem lies in the attitude and that the circumstances that cause peoples problems stem from that attitude.

Question any and all treatments. Question ribbons, question what is done in the name of awareness, and question what is done in the name of research. Work toward creating adaptations for what are considered disabilities and be very careful of how behaviors are determined by some to be pathological or medical issues.

THIS is true awareness and together we can work toward real and positive change.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

He's a Strange Bird

I have often wondered why some people seem to place so much emphasis on continuity and conformity.

Autistic people are often ignored, excluded, and treated in the harshest ways because our behavior is misunderstood and doesn't fit "normal" expectations.

Some may already be aware of the unorthodox way that some (just some) use when hunting in the name of sport.

What I would consider "the good ole boy" approach to (what was once considered nothing more than) providing ones family with food sometimes includes dulling the senses with alcohol and spending more money on weapons, gear, and having the carcus stuffed to display in their home than they would ever have to spend on buying alternatives to this meat.

While I can't say that I understand any sport very well, this "sport" called hunting (as it done in this manner) is the most irrational one to me.

The attitude of these hunters is, however, is something I have been exposed to most of my life. While these behaviors are quite repulsive to me, I have studied their habits as an animal of prey would study their most common preditor.

While this example may seem extreme, one would need to have been the object of such preditory behavior to really understand.

My analysis of the motivation for this behavior is that while it is not the same as the fear of starving, or exactly the same as the fear of being attacked, it still stems from fear.

Most people who display reckless aggression (based on what I've learned from those whom I've observed) have also been targets of reckless aggression.

It seems that instead of learning from their experience of being the target of reckless preditors, some twisted pathological thinking drives them to believe that their self preservation is dependent on blending in with other preditors, even after they have witnessed the price these preditors pay for their behavior.

There is a big price to be paid by the individual as well as by the entire human race when someone tries to selfishly obtain the fulfillment of their needs at the expense of someone else's needs. Sometimes the individual doesn't even seem to learn from the consequences of their mistakes after paying the price for them again and again. Sometimes nothing seems to deter them from trying to preserve this way of life that was taught to them as a means to survival.

One of my favorite scenes from any movie came from the movie "Powder". The scene shows the main character, (whose power was derived from his sensitive and empathetic nature) providing a hunter with the ability to sense the emotion of a deer that the hunter had just shot.

The hunter had become so unempathetic and calous, that sensing this emotion was over whelming beyond his wildest imagination.

This lack of sophistication is also often shown by by U.S. leaders. While their reckless aggression is usually carried out on other humans, the U.S. vice president was recently involved in a hunting accident where he mistakingly shot another man in the face while attempting to aim at a bird. It should of course be noted that the vice president said, " I'm sorry."

My analysis is that the fear involved in this "good ole boy" attitude seems to include the of breaking of tradition. Of course, the preservation of these traditions also turns this into a cycle that is difficult to break.

Isn't it interesting that it was also a cycle that described the life of the main character in the movie "Powder"?

It was the characters sensitive nature that made him different in the first place, and instead of working to be more like him (which would have saved them a great deal of fear, anxiety, and the punishment that comes from acting on these negative emotions in reckless ways) they instead chose to exclude him which perpetuated the very cycle that imprisoned them in the first place.