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A Field Guide to Earthlings

A Field Guide to Earthlings 2015-03-30

Book Type
  1. Digital
Ian Ford
In A Field Guide to Earthlings, the author, Ian Ford, describes his views on how neurotypicals learn, think, and interact.

The information is illustrated with scenes from a made-up play, showing the ideas Ford posits acted out in a real life scenario.

According to Ford, neurotypical persons tend to learn in what he calls a 'Forest Down' manner - gaining an overall picture and filling in details over time, whereas those on the Spectrum acquire information in a 'Trees Up' way - seeing small details and gradually piecing them together to form the whole.

I gained a great insight into how small-talk works and what it's for - it isn't code or a foreign language, as I always thought, or even really an exchange of information, per se, but more a combination of comparing of notes, reassuring social noises and assertations of ones personal status in the group.
The idea is to be able to have an initial conversation without committing to a point of view and thereby risking a downgrade in status within - or even alienation from - the group if the majority disagree. Once the general PoV is ascertained, it then becomes possible to fall in line with the majority and from there begin progressively asserting more specific opinions over time.

Ingenious, these Humans.

I found Ford's views helpful in answering a lifetimes worth of questions as to why I'm normal and everyone else is so.. well, weird.
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