[extropy-chat] H+, autism, selection effects, biases

P.J. Manney & E. Gruendemann atomictiki at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 30 05:03:42 UTC 2006

spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
Cool, thanks George! I have been hoping someone would comment on this, so I
can add some personal observations. About five years ago, a friend took me
to an alumni gathering at CalTech. 
  I met Sky Marsen on the Caltech campus earlier this year, while she was a visiting professor there.  I had never visited Caltech before and I had two interesting moments that support Spike's experience:
  1)  I was walking across the street and up the stairs when I heard someone scream from the street behind me.  It sounded like "Pat" so I turned around.  It was a car full of local kids, who screamed and whistled.  When I turned back around, there was a young man, clearly a student, with a loaded backpack on his back.  Under normal circumstances, he would have been considered attractive, but he was so introverted, his entire physical and psychological demeanor had collapsed in on himself like a black hole.  He refused to establish eye contact, but muttered just loud enough for me to hear, "Never turn around... Never."  He kept on walking past me, eyes glued to the ground.
  2)  Sky and I walked around the campus and we found a photocopied announcement for a special seminar the next day on how to meet people, talk to people and create and maintain relationships.  The announcement was so poignant, yet so amusing, I was tempted to take it down and bring it home to show my husband, but I was afraid if I removed it, someone might not see it and I would deny someone the opportunity to learn something about relationships!  They might not "find happiness" if I removed it!  Given Spike's experience, I wonder if this seminar was packed to the rafters as well?
  Googling for a site that might have had the original seminar ad, I instead found two sites in the Caltech health education site on this subject: 
  As a comparison, I checked out my own alma mater's health site and found they had no pages to address these basic social interaction skills that I would have assumed most people knew by 18 years of age.  But my school is known for its humanities and social science students, not hard science students.  And there were not many people of my acquaintance there that I would term "Aspies."  Certainly a few, but not many.
  Sky could address this much better than I, but she had fascinating things to say about the general level of social and communication skills of the Caltech student body, compared with other campuses she had taught at.  I'm not sure if she is a member of this H+ list, however...
  [Sky, are you out there?  Want to comment?]
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