Well I had a nice thanksgiving dinner with my parents, aunt, cousin, cousin-in-law and some other friends of mine and my parents and I can reflect on some positives in my life in that I am comfortable, not living in poverty, and still have supportive parents still alive. I hope all gadfly readers had a good thanksgiving.
A few regular readers of autism's gadfly may remember a post I wrote more than a year and a half ago plugging a book about complexity that my sister wrote and published. Well there is some more good news about Melanie's book. The phi beta kappa society has wisely decided to give her book an award. Our entire family is proud of Melanie.
Simon Baron Cohen and Temple Grandin (and perhaps Steve Silberman also) would have a field day about this autistic man's father, a pioneer in the field of computer engineering going back to the early 1950's and his sister, a Ph.D. computer scientist and artificial intelligence researcher. Maybe this proves how useful autism genes are to society, no matter that dad and sis got the good from the genes and I got the brunt of them.
However, it is my mother's family who has a history of mental illness and learning disabilities and autism, so it is possible the genes from that side of the family contributed to my disease (that's right, disease, Laurent and Ari).
Simon Baron-Cohen has speculated that the rise in autism may be partially because of assortive mating and the rise of the computer boon that engineers are more likely to meet and marry each other. I seem to remember I wrote a post about this on gadfly some time ago, but am having some trouble locating that post. If I do, I will go back in and edit this post.
The point was is that Baron-Cohen wanted to do a study of how many male engineers were meeting and marrying female engineers, given that at one time it was not possible for these nerdy engineers to meet and marry and reproduce, creating all of these autistic genes and people. I wondered how SBC could explain the fact that my father, an engineer, and most the engineers and computer people he worked with in the 1950's and 1960s, during the computer's nascence were all married and none of their wives were engineers. Obviously these nerds were able to meet women and get married and this might be a flaw in this theory, as well as in Steve Silberman's theories and forthcoming book where it is quite possible that he will touch upon these issues.
Well happy thanksgiving and kudos to my sister for winning that award.