As I have hinted before, I really love to draw parallels between the struggles of racial minorities such as black people in America and the autism civil rights struggle. Whilst there are significant differences between them, there are also overlaps that have equal significance. So it is worth having a think about the manner in which minorities are discriminated against, and the lessons that autism civil rights activists can learn from same. Continue Reading
If you are as old as you feel, then I am one of those things that archaeologists write about at great length. But rather than get into that, I want to talk about something that was briefly talked about during a prolonged conversation in my youth. I believe I was somewhere between the ages of fourteen and seventeen at this time. I do not remember exactly what segment of the year it was, but some people that I met during one trip into central Sydney came with me on the ride back. In order to understand the nature of conversation, you have to understand a bit about the Sydney to Parramatta (and beyond) route.
Sydney is easily the biggest place in the country called Australia. Although it stretches out from a “central” business district on the coast in Northern, Southern, and especially Western directions, the West is by far the longest arm, with growing branches so long that traveling from the Westmost point of Sydney to the central district by private car can take upwards of three hours. A journey by express route train from Sydney to Parramatta is approximately thirty minutes. Depending on conditions such as passenger pick-up times, a train that stops at more stations in order to pick up passengers along the lesser-visited areas generally doubles that time. So conversations along the Sydney to Pendle Hill route tend to go on for a while. Now, this was back in the days when bulletin board systems (BBSes) were just beginning to lose users to the Internet as it existed then. Companies like CompuServe and America Online (or Assholes Online as I liked to call them then) were being hailed as the next big thing in investment terms. Given that I do not believe I had even turned eighteen or nineteen when Assholes Online folded and declared bankruptcy, you can imagine how laughable that all looks to me now. But at some point in the conversation, talk turned to certain users of the BBS we knew one another from, and the tendency of certain users to issue verbal threats on forums or in real-time chat like they were going out of fashion. Now, one of the participants in this conversation was a bit older than the rest of us, and I did not have any problem believing his claim that he worked as a bouncer or security guard. He, not surprisingly, was the one that used the words that we are going to talk about here today: Rambo Syndrome. Continue Reading