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That is really long.

I don't agree with several ideas in the last section.

I am not "blissfully ignorant" of social faux pas.
I don't think I have a 'dulled sensitivity.'
And I am not so convinced that aspies harmonize with each other, all that much.

I liked the cartoon illustrations:
the squares & triangles.

Ylva What aspects annoyed you?
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*The idea that others can decide whether a person qualifies as a person.
*The claim that one should conform, that others have a right to demand conformity in unreasonable ways.
*The plain contradiction of the last section to the rest of the article.
*The idea that I don't notice social things, even though I've worked all my life to understand even the most meaningless gestures.
*No one, and I mean no one, can tell me how I should feel.
*All these "social pariahs" (even children!) have selfhood and experience the world. (Eta: note that this point is an objection to the article's implication that they don't and aren't.)

*I think some conformity is good, within reason, and the idea of a social contract makes sense.
*Well, if nothing else, we do tend to see each other as persons.
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  • I like the writing style...nice vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • The cartoon is great...really illustrates the beginning point. But there should be a lot more variation in the mask shapes, because not everyone dons exactly identical masks as everyone else, even among very "normalized" NTs.
  • I can't believe he says Star Trek aliens aren't persons. What about Vulcans?!
  • Totally disagree on children being less "persons". I think the author probably doesn't have kids. In many ways, kids are way more authentic and genuinely personable than the adults, who have learned to pretend better.
  • Also disagree on his statement that schizophrenics wouldn't get along well with each other. I worked in a schizophrenic group home in college, and they actually got along really well. They understood each other, even when I couldn't figure out what someone was saying, and relied on each other to help keep the daily rhythm going.
  • Also, like tree, disagree that aspies necessarily get along with each other so easily. I think there is at least as much variation among aspies as there is in the general population, in ways that can be pretty unpredictable.
This is interesting. I have always been confused by some of the legal terms which are used to define individuals. The author seems to be taking his cue from "personae", referring to the masks worn in Greek dramas.

I do however take issue with the implication that individuals who are less capable of constructing a persona as he defines, are less worthy of being treated with rights and respect. Especially as the ability of individuals to act as persons is frequently hampered by restrictions imposed upon them by society, particularly when they are judged by others to be "inferior".

However I will have to reread it a few times before I feel I have comprehended enough for an educated comment.
The author means something different by the word "person" than what is meant when they word is used by pretty much anyone else in the English speaking world.

There are some disturbing facets to this article. Is he implying that it is morally all right, and just to ostracise, disrespect, and act harmfully towards those who don't take the steps to be persons, (as he defines the term)?

(P.S. A husband's decision to go home early from a poker game to be with his wife makes him "whipped" and similar to a slave?:rage:???)
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(P.S. A husband's decision to go home early from a poker game to be with his wife makes him "whipped" and similar to a slave?:rage:???)

Only to the most despotic and backwards of friends.

If your "friends" try to bully you into spending time away from someone you care about so they can have a chance to take your money, why would you care what they thought anyway. I, for one, would lose respect for them, so by the definition of the article they would become "squarefaces" to me as I to them.

It would be like in Flatland, where respect is doled out based on what shape you can convince people you have.
I can't find criticism with the article itself as the point is - that's how 'normal' society functions - everyone has to act within certain narrow parameters to be seen as 'acceptably normal'.. the further outside those parameters you stray, due to mental illness, behaviour, neurology, age, etc.. the less you are accepted by society.
Many books on ASD's say the same thing and, actually, Flatland is an excellent example.

My issue, as it's always been, is that society is so judgemental as to qualify people and place them within a hierarchy based on arbitrary conditions.. children aren't less people just because they are less mature and can't cope with adult ideas - I find that treating children as I would treat adults benefits me as much as it does them.

While rules of social conduct are good to a point, when they become too restrictive to allow for individuality they become counter productive and act as an apparently acceptable form of prejudice.
Love the way the article implies people actually choose to be slaves, as opposed to being sold (literally in some cases) up the river:

If you outsource your agency to someone else (e.g. by becoming a slave or a lackey), you undermine your own personhood. Insofar as slaves are not the true authors of their own actions, it's much harder to reason with them ("because my boss said so," isn't a very satisfying response), harder to accept their promises, etc.

Those dastardly untrustworthy slaves.

And the final thought about Asperger's is mostly bollocks, in my opinion. I would be amazed if most aspies got along that fabulously together in real life. For a start, they'd all have to share the same special interests, which isn't that likely. Secondly, they'd have to not be monologists and be prepared to hear each other out from time to time. Thirdly, some aspies actually are very easily offended, as I've found out from the internet (and my dad). Aspies aren't human robots, and they will bring their (unexpressed) emotions into social gatherings, just like NTs do.
I'd note that the author specifically points out that labeling people with mental illnesses as less of a person can have negative effects, and should not be done without good reason. He also does not necessarily claim that people should be treated poorly for a lack of personhood, anymore than one has a right to treat a child badly. He falls short in describing these relations, in no small part due to his overall perspective.

I disagree with where the fellow starts the whole question. Personae or masks are not simply social tools - masks are roles we take on for ourselves even when we are alone. Therefore, the focus on socialization and normalization as the first goal skews the whole business.

There's a whole set of totally personal aesthetic considerations that go into developing a set of masks for a person, which determine who we are, or at least who we think ourselves to be. Oscar Wilde has some brilliant lines about this in his essay, The Decay of Lying, which in turn greatly help to clarify some of Nietzsche's similar thoughts.

"Scientifically speaking, the basis of life-- the energy of life, as Aristotle would call it--is simply the desire for expression, and Art is always presenting various forms through which this expression can be attained. Life seizes on them and uses them, even if they be to her own hurt....Think of what we owe to the imitation of Christ, of what we owe to the imitation of Caesar."

Assuming that Aspies, by sharing certain social proclivities, would also have harmonious aesthetic preferences, leads to the amusing notion that a group of ten Aspies would get along famously. To the contrary, our similarities in certain regards, not having been designed as a social type but rather a personal one, would likely come into rather noticeable conflict. Ten Christs would get on perfectly well, but throw ten Caesars into a room and you'd have a bloodbath on your hands.
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I think this forum shows that not all aspies 'get along famously'. I suppose slapping the dude silly from behind my square mask would count as a faux pas...

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