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Wired on Autism in the Valley

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the counting-matchsticks dept.

News 861

digaman writes: "The December issue of Wired magazine contains an article of mine on what appears to be an upsurge in autism among the children of programmers and engineers in Silicon Valley: "The Geek Syndrome." A complicated issue, explored in depth. I hear the California Department of Developmental Services is launching a research project to investigate the questions raised in the article."

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861 comments

fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713915)

fp

RLC Rulez j00!!!! FJEERE!!!!

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713927)

Suck it, Trebek. Suck it long, and suck it hard.

I am not autistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713918)

As I rock back and forth compulsivly.

:p

Re:I am not autistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713929)

The rocking is for exercise, right?

Sad, but just imagine... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713919)

... a Beowulf cluster of autistic gimps.

Thank you.

--Patrick "Shithook" Bateman

asdiwe98welkixd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713921)

w9e8sodisodiosd

Pure bunkus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713922)

Yeah, I read that article (unlike 98% of the people who are going to comment below). In my opinion, it is not much more than the fancy imaginations of young professionals obsessed with contemplating their anuses.
The particular 'case studies' done in the article point to over-spoiled children whose daddies buy them the latest gadgets and whose mommies can't get over just how cute those babies are...

Re:Pure bunkus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714016)

umm it genetic twins share it 9 out of 10 times thats not just chance

First Pork. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713923)

I demand Pork!

FP? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713926)

FP?!?

Definitely bad. Definitely bad. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713935)

Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. The Yankee's manager gave me a job as coach for as long as your on the team. Costello: Look Abbott, if your the coach, you must know all the players. Abbott: I certainly do. Costello: Well you know I've net the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team. Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names. Costello: You mean funny names? Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean... Costello: His brother Daffy Abbott: Daffy Dean... Costello: And their French cousin. Abbott: French? Costello: Goofe' Abbott: Goofe' Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third... Costello: That's what I want to find out. Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third. Costello: Are you the manager? Abbott: Yes. Costello: You gonna be the coach too? Abbott: Yes. Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names. Abbott: Well I should. Costello: Well then who's on first? Abbott: Yes. Costello: I mean the fellow's name. Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy on first. Abbott: Who. Costello: The first baseman. Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy playing... Abbott: Who is on first! Costello: I'm asking you who's on first. Abbott: That's the man's name. Costello: That's who's name? Abbott: Yes. Costello: Well go ahead and tell me. Abbott: That's it. Costello: That's who? Abbott: Yes. PAUSE Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman? Abbott: Certainly. Costello: Who's playing first? Abbott: That's right. Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money? Abbott: Every dollar of it. Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name on first base. Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy that gets... Abbott: That's it. Costello: Who gets the money... Abbott: He does, every dollar of it. Sometimes his wife comes down and coll- ects it. Costello: Who's wife? Abbott: Yes. PAUSE Abbott: What's wrong with that? CoI wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name? Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy. Abbott: Who. Costello: How does he sign... Abbott: That's how he signs it. Costello: Who? Abbott: Yes. PAUSE Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guys name on first base. Abbott: No. What is on second base. Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second. Abbott: Who's on first. Costello: One base at a time! Abbott: Well, don't change the players around.tello: I'm not changing nobody! Abbott: Take it easy, buddy. Costello: I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base? Abbott: That's right. Costello: Ok. Abbott: Alright. PAUSE Costello: What's the guy's name on first base? Abbott: No. What is on second. Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second. Abbott: Who's on first. Costello: I don't know. Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him. Costello: Now how did I get on third base? Abbott: Why you mentioned his name. Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third? Abbott: No. Who's playing first. Costello: What's on base? Abbott: What's on second. Costello: I don't know. Abbott: He's on third. Costello: There I go, back on third again! PAUSE Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it. Abbott: Alright, what do you want to know? Costello: Now who's playing third base? Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base? Costello: What am I putting on third. Abbott: No. What is on second. Costello: You don't want who on second? Abbott: Who is on first. Costello: I don't know. Together: Third base! PAUSE Costello: Look, you gotta outfield? Abbott: Sure. Costello: The left fielder's name? Abbott: Why. Costello: I just thought I'd ask you. Abbott: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya. Costello: Then tell me who's playing left field. Abbott: Who's playing first. Costello: I'm not...stay out of the infield!!! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field? Abbott: No, What is on second. Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second. Abbott: Who's on first! Costello: I don't know. Together: Third base! PAUSE Costello: The left fielder's name? Abbott: Why. Costello: Because! Abbott: Oh, he's center field. PAUSE Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team? Abbott: Sure. Costello: The pitcher's name? Abbott: Tomorrow. Costello: You don't want to tell me today? Abbott: I'm telling you now. Costello: Then go ahead. Abbott: Tomorrow! Costello: What time? Abbott: What time what? Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching? Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching. Costello: I'll break your arm if you say who's on first!!! I want to know what's the pitcher's name? Abbott: What's on second. Costello: I don't know. Together: Third base! PAUSE Costello: Gotta a catcher? Abbott: Certainly. Costello: The catcher's name? Abbott: Today. Costello: Today, and tomorrow's pitching. Abbott: Now you've got it. Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team. PAUSE Costello: You know I'm a catcher too. Abbott: So they tell me. Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitch- ing on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who? Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right. Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about! PAUSE Abbott: That's all you have to do. Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base. Abbott: Yes! Costello: Now who's got it? Abbott: Naturally. PAUSE Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it? Abbott: Naturally. Costello: Who? Abbott: Naturally. Costello: Naturally? Abbott: Naturally. Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally. Abbott: No you don't you throw the ball to Who. Costello: Naturally. Abbott: That's different. Costello: That's what I said. Abbott: Your not saying it... Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally. Abbott: You throw it to Who. Costello: Naturally. Abbott: That's it. Costello: That's what I said! Abbott: You ask me. Costello: I throw the ball to who? Abbott: Naturally. Costello: Now you ask me. Abbott: You throw the ball to Who? Costello: Naturally. Abbott: That's it. Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU!!! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn! Abbott: What? Costello: I said I don't give a darn! Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop. THE END

Re:Definitely bad. Definitely bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713971)

I don't think this was a troll; it was a (poor) attempt at humor. Didn't any moderators see the movie Rain Man?

I actually laughed when I saw this post, but I guess it's kinda annoying how it quotes the whole damn routine.

The damage: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713936)

Early reports indicate that the children of programmers can often spout only gibberish phrases. Often overheard are such incomprehensible drivel as "All your base are belong to us", "W00t", and "3y3 0wNz j00!"


It is obvious that these phrases indicate a mild degree of mental retardation in these children, who often exhibit antisocial behavior and a tendency to do incredibly stupid things, like confusing numbers with letters, touching lit fires, and launching DDoS attacks from home.


The Department of Developmental Services has yet to comment, and for some reason their web site is down.

The obvious solution... (2)

nyquist_theorem (262542) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713940)

...is for future-minded silicon valley tech firms to encourage their engineers and techie-types to breed with those as intellectually and physically dissimilar to themselves as possible. Not so far out, really - folks like Ric Ocasek, Billy Bob Thornton, and Lyle Lovett have been practicing such things for years.

ADD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713941)

we all know true coder geeks all have some form of ADD, this is nothing new, just worse

Re:ADD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714000)

I never really got into ADD, although I did play the "Basic Set" of Dungeons & Dragons.

read the article (2)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713942)

all i can say is that its a damn interesting article. a little spooky. I just hope its not true. I'd hate to think that the mating of two smart people produces a disabled person. It's like a planned obsolescence in the intelligence of the species.

Re:read the article (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713958)

Who says it's a diability? I could see where this kind of behavior, while kind of unsettling, has done more good for our society than bad. Perhaps it's an evolutionary step in a better direction...?

Re:read the article (2, Interesting)

poptix_work (79063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714037)

Absolutely, company hierarchies are stupid and wasteful (micromanagement), so is trying to read 'body language', I myself prefer the WYSIWYG, approach.. It's so much simpler to just say what you mean to people, no guessing games, no fights later (ie, the typical 'I didn't actually MEAN that, you should have known better!' behavior exhibited by wifes/girlfriends).

I prefer to not deal with people, and I've believed for a long time that the human raced is doomed to become extinct from simple stupidity. While it's kind of spooky that the descriptions in the article hit very close to home, I actually found it reassuring that large amounts of intelligent people who don't display or recognize the BS are spawning.

Let the stupid people's genes die, long live the geeks IMO.

Re:read the article (2)

x136 (513282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713967)

I agree, this is very interesting, I'll have to read the whole thing some time. (I've got four computers in front of me, stereo is on, TV is on, and it's 1:30am. I can't pay attention to anything. :)) But I've gotta say -
It's like a planned obsolescence in the intelligence of the species.
- that is one of the creepiest things I've heard in quite a while...

Re:read the article (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714029)

I agree this could end up being very bad and it is very freeky. I always tried to blow off people that told be always being around computers would be bad now though I'm re thinking using my laptop and having a PDA on my hip and cell phone and at work (12 hrs a day) 6 desktops and 12 monitors I think my kids will be screwed

Re:read the article (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714050)

It doesn't say that they necessarily produce a disabled person; only a few are disabled and there also are some extremely bright ones among them. Consider this evolution. Only the bright survive.

Anyone remember logic? (1, Insightful)

rackrent (160690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713944)

Ok, work with me:

Premise: "Nick" is acting weird.

Premise: His parents are software engineers.

Conclusion: Nick's behavior is an effect of his parents' occupation.

BBBZZZZZZT. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. In other words, correlation does not equal causation. It's the same logic that says: "You watch a violent movie, you're going to be a violent person." Really? How do you make that link? You can't. There are too many other factors involved, just like in little "Nick's" case.

Watch out for bad research and its conclusions.

Re: false representation of the logic involved (4, Interesting)

HydroPhonic (524513) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713970)

The "conclusion" that has been [almost] reached is that the cause of the weirdness in Nick is the same as the cause of the similar (attenuated) weirdness in each of his parents. The suggestion is genetic predisposition. The parents' occupations are effects, not causes.

Article makes sense, you don't... (4, Insightful)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713978)

It looks like you read the first few paragraphs of the article and rushed to post your curt dismissal of the article in a what is now a slashdot clichè response.


Premise: "Nick" is acting weird.

Premise: His parents are software engineers.

Conclusion: Nick's behavior is an effect of his parents' occupation.


Let's explore your simple minded interpretations of the article using some of the context from the article.
  1. People with autism show extreme ability in some area of scientific or artistic endeavor but extreme retardation in basic human social and communication skills (i.e. some can barely speak).

  2. Asperger's syndrome is a milder form of autism where people have less of both extremes than autism.

  3. Software development is one of the few fields where extreme ability in technical tasks and an inability to socialize properly are welcome and in fact may be encouraged as being part of the "culture".

  4. Silicon Valley is home to some of the most talented (and eccentric) software developers and probably has more software developers per square mile than most other places in the world.

  5. The rise in autistic cases in Silicon valley has been rather dramatic and has also coincided with the recent dotcomm boom and the influx of programmers to the Silicon Valley area.

  6. Since autism has been shown to be a genetic disease, isn't it likely that when people with mild cases of autism mate their child will more than likely be born with some degree of autism ?

Good point but (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713987)



If thats true, why do people treat autism like its a disease, when its just genetics.

Eistien for example was Austistic, or at least he would be if he were in school today.

Instead of focusing on labeling people and giving them drugs, we should focus on how to teach these people in the way they understand best, scientific and technical, perhaps they need 1 on 1 attention instead of an entire class, but if they end up becoming the next einstiens is it worth it?

Re:Article makes sense, you don't... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714013)

People with autism show extreme ability in some area of scientific or artistic endeavor but extreme retardation in basic human social and communication skills (i.e. some can barely speak).



Actually, many people with autism show NO extreme abilities at all, and if they do, they have no way of communicating them to us.

Re:Article makes sense, you don't... (0, Flamebait)

TummyX (84871) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714018)


Software development is one of the few fields where extreme ability in technical tasks and an inability to socialize properly are welcome and in fact may be encouraged as being part of the "culture".


You mean linux programming, not software engineering. Socialisation is an important part of software engineering.

Its not all bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713945)

Instead of counting fallen matches in an instant, we grow up reading binary code like any other langage. Suck on that Neo! ;)

Capitalism encourages Autism (0, Offtopic)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713946)

Of course Silicon Valley has a lot of geeks with Ausbergers - Capitalism loves workers with Autism.

Microserfs work hard, and as long as you keep them supplied with Jolt Cola (TM) they won't start asking questions like "Why am I here?"

Don't worry about Art, Music, Social Interaction, Sex, just keep drinking the Cola and writing that accounting code. We'll do all the thinking for you; we'll provide you with a nice cubical and keep all the nasty social interaction away from you.

Keep coding for the man! It's the code that matters! Don't question who you are or what you are doing! You only exist to work!

Re:Capitalism encourages Autism (0)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714040)

Actually I don't think you are too far off.
The article does mention that "Microsoft became the first major US corporation to offer its employees insurance benefits to cover the cost of behavioral training for their autistic children."

Could this be that they are using this as free research on how to develop more of these people for thier own use???

-

Re:Capitalism encourages Autism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714047)

Offtopic? WTF?

Re:Capitalism encourages Autism (1)

CLinCH (517691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714048)

That's a pretty illogical argument you have there. In fact, I believe communism (my best guess as to what you suport) would encourage such compartmentalization.
"don't worry about anything except your job, we'll take of everything else" and "keep coding for the man, don't question who you are, what you are doing, you only exist to work"
Those lines seem more characteristic of communism than capitalism.

Re:Capitalism encourages Autism (1)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714062)

Not at all!

Under capitalism you have to sell your life to your employer - unpaid overtime anyone?

Under communism you are guaranteed a job, so the power of the capitalism employer is broken.

You only have to work part of the time, and have free time to create, enjoy and live. Look at socialist France - the 35 hour week is enshrined in legislation; compare their wonderful and diverse cinema industry with the schlock that Hollywood churns out.

Maybe... (0)

dbCooper0 (398528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713948)

Just like the insurgance of Ritalin prescribed for children in Michigan, this is a psych's way of feeling more important? I mean, all of our kids are different, aren't they? Isn't that what makes them * special * ?
Get over it.

Overdiagnosis? (3, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713953)

Many doctors and teachers are diagnosing kids at ADHD because they have too many kids in a class to manage properly.


Did they ever consider it not a disease, but lack of teaching? Most geeks lack social skills and are poor at picking up social clues. Now, if they have children, where will their children learn this from?

ADHD (2, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713960)



ADHD is basically a kid whos not normal, who rebels.

If you rebel, if you arent normal, these doctors will find something to diagnose you with, be it ADHD, or Autism, they will find some stupid excuse. And really this is like abuse to the kids, first it ruins their self esteem to hear doctors and teachers and students treat them like they have some kinda real disease like downs syndrome etc, second, they get drugged up so much in school that if they do manage to learn a damn thing in school its a miracle.

Instead of finding stupid names for kids who are simply diffrent, first it was nerds, then geeks, then ADHD, then autistic, why not just accept a few things, first, everyone learns diffrent. Second, everyone develops at their own pace, some people dont learn to speak for the first 5 years of life and end up becoming famous writers. Really, its a matter of accepting the fact that when it comes to dealing with kids and teaching, theres no standard way to do it, you do what works for each kid, of course, when classrooms are packed with 50 kids you are going to do what works for the "generic" kid.

Re:ADHD (2)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714004)

ADHD is basically a kid whos not normal, who rebels.
Only some of the symptoms of ADHD relate to someone being a rebel. From WebMD [webmd.com], some of the symptoms of ADHD:
  • does not pay close attention to details; may make careless mistakes at work, school, or other activities
  • failure to complete tasks
  • has difficulty maintaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • does not listen when spoken to directly
  • has difficulty organizing tasks
  • is easily distracted
  • unable to follow more than one instruction at a time
Also, clinical tests for it include testing for marked difference between IQ and various aptitude tests. For example, arithmatic apptitude being >2 standard deviations from IQ.

While I agree that some are misdiagonsed with ADD/ADHD, there are those for whom it is a real problem.
--Ben

Re:ADHD (5, Interesting)

Cuthalion (65550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714053)

I used to also believe that ADD was a load of hooey. Until I met my college roommate, John. Nice guy, very creative, very cool.

He had a much more extreme case of ADD than I had seen. When he forgot to take his ritalin, he was unable to get anything done. I don't just mean homework, I mean he wasn't able to stay focused on tv or video games or projects he was working on to procrastinate doing homework. He found that extremely frustrating. When medicated he was still extremely creative and imaginative, but he could put those abilities to use for more than 5 minutes at a shot.

Now, I will be the first to admit that ADD is overdiagnosed, but to say that it's just a stupid name for kids who are simply different is to deny people like John any medical assistance, and to condem him to a life of spinning his mental wheels, when he'd rather take the perscribed drugs to balance his brain chemistry so he can do the stuff that he wants to.

Re:Overdiagnosis? (2)

LinuxGeek8 (184023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713988)

Maybe that counts for ADHD, because that is mostly a social problem.

I didn't read the article yet, but afaik it's still widely accepted that real autism does not come from social structures, or is learned in any way.
Sometime in the sixties and seventies it was claimed that autism was caused by hartless parents. This simply isn't true, and did hurt lots of loving and caring parents.
Real autism is biological, and is caused by a different way if coping with the world around you, and within you.

Simply said, an autist can only handle one impression at the time.
Emotions are more complex than that one thing they can handle. So emotions are more than they can handle.
So when you are starting to communicate with an autist, and emotions are coming into the playground, the kid turns away.

Re:Overdiagnosis? (2)

LinuxGeek8 (184023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713998)

Just when posting, I remember something.

You are right, overdiagnosing does happen.

Some kids are not real autists.
Their parents just can't handle them, they can't invest in them with love and care.
These kids are left out in the cold, and they act like autists.
A good doctor should also look at the social structure of a family. If it seems that the social structure is lacking a lot, then the kids should not be labeled al autist right away.
Some doctors don't look at the social structure, nd label a kid as autist, while in fact the kid is not an autist.

I'm sure most labeled autists are real autists though.
Now off to read the article :)

What do you expect? (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713954)



Think about this, lets take the average stereptypical programmer from silicon valley, whos anti social, who prolly had no friends growing up and in school, if the kid turns out anything like the parent, its genetics.

if you look at how they define autism, anyone whos anti social, who stays to themselves, who doesnt talk much, they are considered autistic. Of course theres other issues involved, but doctors are quick to put some name on somenoe whos just not the norm.

Forget what doctors say, give these kids a computer, and check back in 20 years.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713985)

I expect people to use real words when they post -- 'prolly' is not a word.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714024)

Thankfully, no one is beholden to what "you expect"

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714039)

And babooey to you, sir!

Frighteningly true (2, Interesting)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713957)

I realize many of you will simply dismiss this as poor research, but it is frighteningly true. A good friend of mine teaches elementary school here in the Silicon Valley, and last year she had the misfortune of having 2 children affected by this, one with Autism and the other with Asperger's. This was in a class of 20 children, mind you, and the odds of 2 in a group of 20 children having these are astronomical. So don't try to tell me this is BS!

How do you know their parents didnt have this? (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713969)



Remember, when there parents were growing up, it most likely didnt have a name, there was no treatment, how do you know this isnt the normal development cycle that their genetics go through?

Really, we dont, but instead of teachers complaining, i think teachers should learn to teach, and not just teach the average kid, but teach every kid.

Now its true classes have gotten bigger so a teacher cannot spend the time anymore, but with all this technology you mean to tell me we still teach in such a way? And kids who are hard to teach we drug?

We can do better than that. I'm not saying give ever student laptops, but really, why are we still using chalk boards and paper, wheres all this educational software? Why arent GNU and Open source programmers starting some kinda open education movement? I say if we have computers and are in the information age, its time to get with the times, spend alittle money and invest it properly in schoools, and really, kids in silicon valley have no excuse at all, I bet they all have rich parents and can afford tutors, and laptops, and whatever they need.

So why the article?

Re:How do you know their parents didnt have this? (1)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714011)

The article [wired.com] adresses this and says "Anyone who says this is due to better diagnostics has his head in the sand." I never met the parents, so I wouldn't be able to tell you whether they had this, but I did meet the kids. I can tell you, it wouldn't matter if there were only 5 kids in a class, it still wouldn't work with these kids. They need INDIVIDUAL attention.

No, class sizes have not gotten bigger, they have gotten smaller (at least in California in grades K-3). While 10+ years ago classes could be as large as 35+ kids, now the cap is at 20. So you can't blame it on larger classes.

And no, not all kids in the Silicon Valley are rich, about 9% of the county's population is considered below the poverty line. [mercurycenter.com]

I do agree with you on one point, the programmer community should get more involved in the education process.

Well (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714044)



Yes they do need individual attention, or they need to learn perhaps using computers and technology instead of books and chalkboards.

I think people who are autistic could learn better teaching themselves than sitting in a classroom being forced to read outloud and obeying orders from a teacher. Now theres options such as homeschooling and tutors, or they can go through school the normal way and be labeled autistic.

Really, to me its all just another way to label a person, like geek, nerd, etc to seperate them from the pack. If they need individual attention, give it to them, how? Create some education software for autistic children, instead of having these kids sit with the group, put them in front of the computer and let them use the software to learn, let them browse the internet, let them learn from within their own world instead of forcing everyone to learn the exact same way.

Why not? We have the technology to do it, we just need the money, the software, and instead of wasting all this money on stupid drugs like ritalin and whatever, spend it on tutors and extra computers.

Re:Frighteningly true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714001)

Sure, but the folks who claim some insidious trend do not seem to back it up in the article. For example:

"Anyone who says this epidemic is due to better diagnostics," he says, "has his head in the sand."



because?....

So, how can this be 'frightently true'? Remember the whole ADD fiasco? Everyone and their brother was diagnosed with ADD? This is the problem with psychological 'disorders' - they are hard to diagnose.

Discretion, not hype, is called for!

Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (4, Interesting)

puppetman (131489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713964)

I've read that the levels of pollution in SV are pretty mind-boggling. While software development is "pollution free" (except for the crap we developers eat that mascarades as food), other industry there has not been so kind to the soil and water.

As Salon [salon.com] points out in this article [salon.com], the situation is pretty dire.

From the New Almaden Mine in the Santa Cruz mountains, to the "largest plumes of poisoned groundwater in the United States, over 3 miles long and 180 feet deep, contaminated with xylene, toluene and other volatile organic compounds, including the chlorinated solvent trichloroethane (TCA)" that IBM left behind when manufacturing disk drives, there are some serious problems.

O's R would suggest that we look at this first, rather than at the genetics of the parents. Birds of a feather have flocked together for centuries, with no apparent ill effects.

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (1, Troll)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713975)



Haha I've heard some excuses but this one is funny, you actually think silicon valley is polluted? Try going to new york. The enviornment has nothing to do with it.

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (1)

puppetman (131489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713983)

Wow. Glad you cleared that up. Was beginning to worry. We humans can't predict the weather accurately 3 days in advance, but you know the effects of complex chemicals on humans from the time they are conceived until autism is detected?

"There simply hasn't been enough testing and research into the health hazards posed by low-level exposure to combinations of toxic chemicals. If anything, the experience of the semiconductor industry should be sobering -- the complexity of the chemical cocktails at use in modern high-tech industrial manufacturing is mind-boggling, and it is always getting more so. There is little chance, warn these experts, of ever catching up with the public health challenges inherent in new advances in technology, especially when the rate of change continues to accelerate." - Another quote from the . [salon.com]

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714002)

There simply hasn't been enough testing and research into the health
hazards posed by low-level exposure to combinations of toxic
chemicals.


Duh. The only way to test is to expose people (& in large numbers) to these things.

Thats BS (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714009)


Autism has ALWAYS been here, its not a new thing, neither is ADHD or any of these other so called disorder.

Hell even depression is a disorder, in the future when people evolved into emotionless beings, emotions will be a disorder, most likely starting with hate and moving up to love, why? Because just like Autism, emotion too can be a weakness.

Face it, Autism is not something thats caused by the weather, to think that is like thinking your IQ is decided based on where you were born, i guess thats why kids born in these third world countries who dont even eat 3 meals a day have much higher IQs.

Its not what you eat, its not the enviornment you live in, its your genes.
Autism, ADHD etc, its a genetic feature, not a disorder. Sure it can be a problem or a disorder, but it also can be a feature, it depends on how you look at it. To a computer programmer, this is a very good thing because theres no way you can be a good programmer without going into that kinda anti social trace like state. I mean really, who writes programs while talking to their friends on the telephone, and drinking a beer?

I suppose some might, but that would explain why code is so buggy these days.

Re:Thats BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714028)

I mean really, who writes programs while talking to their friends on the telephone, and drinking a beer?
I suppose some might, but that would explain why code is so buggy these days.

I do and my code is better than most of the crap I've seen floating around out there.

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714006)

I doubt it. The niggers and spics in SV are just as dumb as ever, but they don't have autism (God, I wish they did...). This outbreak seems to afflict just the more intelligent races.

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714051)

"From the New Almaden Mine in the Santa Cruz mountains, to the "largest plumes of poisoned groundwater in the United States, over 3 miles long and 180 feet deep, contaminated with xylene, toluene and other volatile organic compounds, including the chlorinated solvent trichloroethane"

you know i do hear that they filter the water at the water plant before sending it to our homes and offices i may be wrong

Re:Could Pollution in Silicon Valley Be The Cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714069)

This is one of the better siggestions I've heard. Reason? Brominated flame retardants (BFR's). BFR's are used in most computer equipment, office furniture etc.

Here's the interesting part: Research show they have much in common with PCB's, a well known neurological toxin.

Although it is too early to conclude, I'd say this may well be the reason. Now, is this a politution that you can see when you drive your car to work? No. Is it for real? Yes.

This is not a disease.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713968)

And the only reason it's classified as such is because the non-Asperger's people incorrectly consider themselves 'normal'. What we're seeing here is partly resentment of the way technically minded people have moved from being something of a joke to the people who invent and maintain the modern world.

Love or Hate him, virtually everyone of those articles about Gates having Asperger's use it to sneer - I guess technically-handicapped have got to try and make themselves feel superior again somehow.

This perception of Asperger's is similar in someways to Dyslexia - also perceived of as a handicap or disease but in fact perfectly normal. Some recent research indicates that a common cause of dyslexia seems to happen because of the selective death of particular brain cells - but the flip side of this is that these people seem to be extremely good at visual-spatial tasks and particularly making mental maps. It's postulated that it would be a great advantage to a tribe of hunter/gatherers to have a few such members among their company.

Similarly to Asperger's, in the age of the purly written word dyslexia became a handicap - but as our use of media becomes richer and more varied increasingly the ability to think visually is becoming an advantage again (and we have spell-checkers now too!)

Bottom line - evolution has equipped the human mind to come in many different flavours - it's our definition of 'normal' which is incorrect, not people with Asperger's, Dyslexia or any on of a myriad of other different mental gifts.

Re:This is not a disease.. (1)

footility (541226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714036)

I'm mildly dyslexic, and IMO, it is a misconception
that dyslexics have trouble spelling, but maybe I
just overcompensate. I personally have trouble
reading things that do not _fully_ engage my brain;
it /literally/ puts me to sleep. I have found
that wearing colored sunglasses, particularly blue,
enables me to read without falling asleep. However,
this still does not help a bit with my
comprehension; by the time I turn the page, it's as
if I'd never read the previous page. Frustrating.

In short, I cannot learn literally. I have to
learn things conceptually. Words are not concepts.
They /are/ representations of concepts, but I guess
that is not strong enough for my brain to create
the necessary biochemical connections necessary
to have knowledge.

Things I actually do remember, I remember
forever.

Oh, btw, I'm a programmer fluent in 7 (computer)
languages, and generally become productive with
a language in about five days. Note that I did
not say /expert/ in five days ;-).

lisdexicly,
b

Re:This is not a disease.. (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714061)

mod parent up this is very true while I have mild dyslexia I do not have problems written or otherwise confuse colors sometimes and occasionally my left and right but all I have to do is think is someone tells me to turn left if I don't think about it I naturally go right again with colors if im talking about a color it may take me a 1/2 second before I say the name of the color because im visualizing it in my head I have to make sure that I say red instead of green I know the difference but its in the going from my head to the vocal chords

high IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713976)

those with Asperger's syndrome have average - or even very high - IQs
Software developers at Silicon Valley are the smartest people on earth.
Male Software Developer + Female Software Developer = Little Child Software Developer.
So if Asperger's syndrome is related to Hight IQs there's an easy solution:
Move Microsoft to Silicon Valley!

Slashdot Vanity at Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714055)

Software developers at Silicon Valley are the smartest people on earth.

I know it's comforting to think that such intelligent people have never before been assembled into one place, but it simply isn't true.
University Professors for example, are considerably more intelligent than the average software developer. And don't forget how few workers at a Silicon Valley firm actually develop software. Every company also requires HR, accounting, management, etc., all of which you might expect to drag the IQ level down.

Real numbers (5, Informative)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713980)

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] has an interesting article that gives some real numbers. The article says that about "pervasive developmental disorders" are running at a rate of about 46 per 10,000, and full out autism is about 17 per 10,000.

Re:Real numbers (0, Troll)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714010)

The problem with the article is that it doesn't consider the underlying economic pressures on labor movement.

The rate of Ausbergers in the Silicon Valley tech industry is probably higher then the BBC figures because those people make ideal corporate slaves... just fill them up with Jolt and watch them code!

Talk about pollution etc is just a red herring - look for the economic incentives.

Snotting on 'Tards in the Snotty (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713981)

By The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org], $Revision: 1.13 $

Why have I been receiving emails from some guy called "CmdrTaco," in which he seems to be speaking in some kind of code language?

You have been receiving email from a certain
Robert "CmdrTaco" Malda [cmdrtaco.net], owner of the popular technology website Slashdot [slashdot.org]. Actually, it's not a very "popular" site in the common sense of the word; the site is rife with pimply, antisocial geeks, zit-faced nerds, dirty GNU hippies [yahoo.com] and communists, and other societal rejects. It's also home to the world's most infamous pædophile ring, the "Slashdot crew."
Whenever CmdrTaco gets bored (and who wouldn't, running a site like
Slashdot all day), he roams through the Slashdot database, penis in hand, looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual orgies with him. How he determines this is anyone's guess; but if you have a homosexual-sounding nickname, or a nick with the letter P or E in it, you're in trouble.
And this time, he found
you. Lucky you.
CmdrTaco's code language is relatively easy to decipher. He prefers to speak in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo to evade the watchful (but relatively stupid) eye of Slashdot's parent corporation,
VA Software [yahoo.com]. CmdrTaco's "Commander" is, of course, his penis -- a small, withered little thing that lives in his pants and only comes out in the presence of other male geeks or at the beck and call of CmdrTaco's own lubed-up right hand. His "Taco bells" are the shriveled testicles that droop beneath his Commander, and his "Taco sauce" is his thick, gooey semen. It should be more than obvious to you now what he means if he asked you to "ring his Taco bells" or "taste his gourmet Taco sauce."
Lastly, there is the practice he refers to as "Taco-snotting" and the more revolting "circle-snot."

Good Lord. What is "Taco-snotting?"

"Taco-snotting" is the term used by CmdrTaco to refer to an act of fellating a homosexual man (or unwilling heterosexual; CmdrTaco is rumoured to prefer rape), then blowing the semen out his nose onto the face and body of his partner or victim. Naturally, a long, bubbly stream of milky-white semen is
left on CmdrTaco's face [yahoo.com], dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek: hence the term, "Taco-snotting."
A "circle-snot" is a Taco-snotting
circle-jerk, another practice common among the Slashdot crew. CmdrTaco, CowboiKneel [aol.com], and Homos get together and snot each other with their gooey, sticky cum -- spooging their jizz-snot all over each other's faces and pasty, white bodies, until they're covered head to toe with their own and each other's man juice. This vile ritual can go on for hours. For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay, Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant; he owns a limo service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to go.
To complete this perverted orgy, fellow geeks Michael, Timothy, and Jamie will usually join in, dressed in tight leather mock-S.S. uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves. The whole group then proceeds to snot each other's spunk and whip each other's pudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale, white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate, homosexual revelry.

Ewwwwww. So, can I stop receiving these emails?

Hopefully.
You most likely forgot to uncheck the "Willing to Taco-snot" checkbox in your account preferences. CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad, and he's probably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera, some tissues and lube. There's no escaping a geek in heat, so it's probably too late for you, but you can possibly rectify this situation. To remove yourself from CmdrTaco's sights, log into your Slashdot account, go to your user page, click on
Messages, and uncheck the box next to "Willing to Taco-snot." Maybe he'll ignore you. Probably not.

I can't stop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco!?

If you indulge him in a Taco-snot or two, he
might leave you alone. You might also want to look into mail filtering, restraining orders, or purchasing a heavy, blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat. Trust me, when they charge... oh, the humanity. If he gets you, and you let him Taco-snot you, you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life (or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circle-snot).

Have you ever been Taco-Snotted?

Unfortunately, yes. I first met CmdrTaco at an
Open Source Convention [yahoo.com]. He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some "gourmet Tacos," but when I got there, he jumped me and tied me to his bed, stripping me. After taking his "Commander" out of his pants, Mr. Taco made me suck the withered thing six times. He then performed his vile Taco-snotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours, bringing me to orgasm after sweaty, mind-numbing orgasm... then he snotted my own milky-white jizz back onto my face, into my mouth, then again on my exposed belly.
CmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source (or rather, "Open Sauce" -- man sauce) buddies over to continue the twisted snotfest. Linux Torvalds
raped my ass [yahoo.com] with his "monolithic kernel [yahoo.com]," and Anal Cox used his "network stack" in a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice in my defenseless body. Michael was there in his leather Nazi uniform, caning my ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about "all those Censorware freaks out to get him."
How did you finally escape, you ask? After about 16 hours of countless homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body, they all finally went to sleep on top of me, sweat-soaked and exhausted. I was left there, covered in bubbly, translucent jizz-snot, chained to the bed, with half a dozen fat, pasty-white fags lying around and on top of me. Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant; I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door. I'm just glad I survived the ordeal. These geeks had a lot of built-up spunk in their wads -- I could've easily been drowned!

That's horrible. Does "Taco-snotting" have anything to do with CmdrTaco's "special taco"?

No, that's a different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in. CmdrTaco is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face, he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games.
WeatherTroll [slashdot.org] has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership about this vile practice (emphasis added):
You may be wondering what CmdrTaco's "special taco" is. You will be wishing that you hadn't been wondering after you finish reading this post. To make his "special taco", CmdrTaco takes a taco shell and
shits on it. He then adds lettuce, jacks off on the taco, and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious. Of course, the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten. Thus CmdrTaco force-feeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim.
After the victim is unconscious, he is held against his will and used for CmdrTaco's nefarious sexual purposes. This includes shoving taco shells up the victim's ass, Taco-snotting, and getting Jon Katz involved.
Completely different, yet no less revolting. It should be clear to you now that CmdrTaco is a very, very sick individual, as are most of the Slashdot editors.

Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this? I thought he was a pædophile, not a homosexual.

Actually, Jon Katz is a homosexual pædophile. He's also a coprophiliac, and, many suspect, a zophile. Jon Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesn't involve himself in circle-snots. Mr. Katz usually engages in a game called "
Katz juicy-douching [aol.com]" with his harem of little-boy slaves: a vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boy's urine (forced out of them with a pair of pliers), spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag, then squirting and slathering the goo all over himself, and the little boy's chained-up and naked bodies. If he's in the mood, he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag and just squirt it from his ass [yahoo.com] onto his boys. Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pliers until they comply and allow Mr. Katz to juicy-douche them for the rest of their lives.
As I already said, Mr. Katz is
also a zophile. As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys aren't enough, Jon usually enjoys his juicy-douches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goat's anus [yahoo.com]. He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goat's small, bean-like turds.

...Are you getting hard writing this?

Why, yes. :) Join me in a WIPO-snot?

No, thanks. I'm already CmdrTaco's boi toi.

________________________________________
RECENT READER COMMENTS

Once comments have been archived by Slashdot, they're removed from the Official Taco-Snotting FAQ. However much I would like to paste 200k crapfloods into Slashdot, my browser is a piece of shit and won't let me!

  1. Re:Taco-Powered Christmas Snot (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.15 7:05 (#2707493 [slashdot.org])

    Has this been submitted to linuxdoc.org yet?

  2. Re:Bye bye Windows! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.15 5:12 (#2707245 [slashdot.org])

    That may be true, but have you made love to a wombat today?

  3. Re:That's my department, boy! (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward (actually afree87 [slashdot.org]) on 2001.12.15 2:51 (#2706921 [slashdot.org])

    Wow, WipoTroll, you really know how to snot! And you can scramble Slashdot's HTML, too! I love boys who do that! Come over to my place sometime!

  4. Re:CmdrTaco BANNED FOR LIFE from Taco Bell!!!!!! (Score:-1)
    by WeatherTroll [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.15 2:48 (#2706907 [slashdot.org])

    CmdrTaco only goes to Taco Bell to get their hot sauce, and to solicit hot sauce enemas from underage male employees. He makes his own tacos.

  5. Re:Snottle OSnotX, BSnotD, and Snottan Snottard (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward (actually afree87 [slashdot.org]) on 2001.12.15 2:47 (#2706900 [slashdot.org])

    We love you, WipoTroll! We want you to snot us, WipoTroll!

  6. Re:Bye bye Windows! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.15 1:35 (#2706675 [slashdot.org])

    I want some Taco-snot! Where can I get some?

  7. Re:Bye bye Windows! (Score:-1)
    by JonKatz on [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.15 0:29 (#2706495 [slashdot.org])

    Please, please, please Taco-snot me. I know I would love it almost as much as fucking young boys. Pleadingly, JonKatz

  8. Important Information For Slashdot Users (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.14 3:09 (#2702660 [slashdot.org])

    It has recently come to my attention that the entire Slashdot crew engage in homosexual activities. CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net] is one such person, and has dedicated his life to spreading the ideals of Taco-Snotting while enjoying the benefits of it. For further information on Taco-Snotting please refer to George WIPO Bush's Taco-Snotting FAQ which can be easily found by searching for the Slashdot journal of George WIPO Bush or by looking in the comments of Slashdot articles (Usually modded -1).

    It has also come to my attention that CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net] has other interests besides homosexuality (Believe it or not). One such interest includes a budding music career with a song titled "Gaping Anus". The details are sketchy on this topic but I [geocities.com] do know that besides the lead vocals of CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net], it includes Timothy and CowboyNeal (Also members of the Slashdot crew). There has been no release date set for this album or which record label it will be produced under. I [geocities.com] believe CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net] is planning to set up his own label, Taco-Snotting Records [riaa.com], with the intention of releasing [amazon.com] the song on a cd-single with various remixes as soon as possible (To catch the current popularity of the Taco-Snotting fad). On a side note, I [geocities.com] would not believe this fad will ever wear out (like a Snotted-out-geek); I [geocities.com] am sorry to say Taco-Snotting is here to stay :-(. Various remixes of Gaping Anus will include: "Extra Jizz", "Snot Me Baby One More Time", "www.Goatse.cx" [goatse.cx], and "Once You Taco-Snot, You Can't Stop". I [geocities.com] am sure many, many, more are sure to come. I [geocities.com] predict this album will be a very hot seller this holiday season, especially with in or out of closet homosexuals, and with those who have no self-respect (Readers of Slashdot).

    Through a good, non-homosexual friend of mine, I [geocities.com] have recieved a copy of the lyrics to the Gaping Anus musical composition. Included after the lyrics is a very speical tribute written by yours truely. Perhaps CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net] will ask me to provide the vocals. Please feel free to read the lyrics and post your comments and disgust. E-mail CmdrTaco with this disgust also.

    BTW, please do not reply with the intention of flaming me because the lyrics are a rip-off of Insane Clown Posse's [insaneclownposse.com] "Slim Anus" [realjuggalos.com]. For more information on ICP and Slim Anus refer here [planet-eminem.com] and here [mp3mtv.com]. CmdrTaco [cmdrtaco.net] is the author of this fine musical work and not me [geocities.com]. So, it is obviously he who has ripped off ICP and not me [geocities.com]. Thank you.

    Read the rest of this shit... [slashdot.org]

  9. Re:Snotback: Snotto, Snotz, Snottion (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.14 2:44 (#2702581 [slashdot.org])

    you know, every time i read this i want to punch you more and more. the taco snotting thing is old, lame, boring, and over done. it never was remotely funny or good though. it sounds like a 10th grader wrote it too. so please, go play in traffic or shut the fuck up so real trolls can post.

  10. Re:Italics are yummy! (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Super Mario Troll [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.14 2:33 (#2702535 [slashdot.org])

    Keep up the good work! Educate the masses to the dangers of Taco-Snotting!

    It's a me, the Super Mario Troll!
    Would you like to see my gaping troll anus [goatse.cx]
  11. Re:Italics are yummy! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.14 1:41 (#2702370 [slashdot.org])

    WIPO - Man you trolls are shit compared to Egg Trolls troll's. Egg Man is just so much more original.

  12. Re:The WIPO Troll Announces Portable Snotbox (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.07 7:58 (#2669658 [slashdot.org])

    That leaky sound you hear is CmdrTaco pissing himself after seeing this.

    Slashdot trolling just got a whole lot easier...

    http://www.geocities.com/frostpist/

    Spread the word!

  13. Re:The WIPO Troll Announces Portable Snotbox (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.07 5:48 (#2669422 [slashdot.org])

    Q: Is CmdrTaco gay?

    A: He Mos' certainly is!

  14. Re:The WIPO Troll Announces Portable Snotbox (Score:-1)
    by GaylordFucker [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.07 5:39 (#2669394 [slashdot.org])

    not to mention... The WIPO Troll used himself as a test subject to try out the portable snotbox... i await your results and hope your product gets approved...

    Regards,
    Gay

    Get that rats nest off your head, you numbskull -- Wesley Willis

  15. Re:Portable Snotcube! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.07 3:58 (#2669117 [slashdot.org])

    stfu. no one really cares about your lame little "troll". make some new material (not that anything you've ever said is worth a damn..)

  16. Re:Yum yum taco-snotting! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.02 22:15 (#2644499 [slashdot.org])

    Dear SLASH crew - this post makes it clear why you need to add a new category - "tell it like it is (+1)"

  17. This is getting old (Score:-1, Troll)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.02 20:14 (#2644227 [slashdot.org])

    Hey dicksuck, why don't you come up with new troll material? Everyone has seen the tacosnotting 100 times already. Fuckwit. Assholage. Gay. Lick my anal nectar.

  18. Fucking hilarious too bad it didnt get a 5:Funny (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.02 19:01 (#2644105 [slashdot.org])

    this is good shit man

  19. Re:Taco-snotting@Home! (Score:-1, Offtopic)
    by Dark_Cobra87 [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 23:03 (#2642180 [slashdot.org])

    Oops, forgot to check that Taco-snot option...

  20. Re:Fuck Linux! Fuck him hard! (Score:-1)
    by Fecal Troll Matter [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 20:55 (#2641791 [slashdot.org])

    Mmmmmmm, Taco Sauce... [galeon.com]

    Sig (appended to the end of comments you post, 120 chars)

  21. Look (Score:-1)
    by ArchieBunker [slashdot.org] on 2001.12.01 20:19 (#2641679 [slashdot.org])

    I love trolling but this shit is getting old, fast. At least start mixing them up a little bit. How about the 'How OSM was Freed' series?

    http://www.naawp.org/

  22. Re:Congratulations! You have been WIPO'd!! (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 2001.12.01 8:37 (#2640602 [slashdot.org])

    Stop posting this! I've got hangover and Taco Snotting doesn't make me feel any better.

    I'm really glad that Taco Snotting is illegal here in Europe.

________________________________________
$Id: tacosnotting.html,v 1.13 2001/12/15 23:00:00 wipo Exp $
Copyright © 2001
The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org]. Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium, provided this copyright notice is preserved, and next time you take a dump, you think of the WIPO Troll and all he's done to make Slashdot a better place.

It's the MHZ man! (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2713982)

Our team has been secretly doing tests on sperm and it's computer users.

We've found that after we broke 100 Mhz that we were stepping into a new reality. Some of our kids may be mutated because of the frequency produced by the CPU [or computer brain].

We hope this doesn't have a lasting effect on normal citizens, but as more sophisticated humans evolve they will naturally take over the world.

Hope this doesn't worry anyone.

R. J. Reynolds

The MMR Vacine May Have Something to Do With It (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713995)

There has been a similar upsurge in cases of autism in the UK which has generated considerable publicity because the growth has been linked to the triple MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vacine.

The theory is that in a small percentage of cases the vacine triggers some type of bowel disfunction which causes the children considerable pain and autism is a neurological feedback from this condition. Unfortunately, the condition seems permanent regardless.

The doctor in the UK who was the first to suggest that there may be a link has just been forced from his position in a London Teaching Hospital even though he is a world-renowned expert in the field of bowel disfunction in children. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsi d_1687000/1687967.stm) It seems as though there are considerable vested interests on the side of those in support of the MMR vacine.

Parents with young children should perhaps consider whether there is indeed a link between the two because autism seems a very high price pay when single vacine alternatives are available.

Re:The MMR Vacine May Have Something to Do With It (2, Informative)

meander (178059) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714063)

Doubt it. If the MMR vaccine had anything to do with it, then you would expect a sudden rise in the level of autistic cases reported, which then levels out as the vaccine saturates the whole child population. In fact, the number of autistic kids diagnosed was going up before MMR was introduced, and has kept rising slowly, with a definite slope rather than flattening out.

The more likely cause was that folks actually started to look for autistic kids, and as they found them, money was poured (or trickled) in to extend their research, which kept the curve rising, as opposed to flattening off.

This was written up earlier this year in the Brithish Medical Journal, with more accessible articles in New Scientist to follow. The consensus went for the latter explanation, which fits the data much better.

WIPO Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713996)

Could WIPO Troll be a genius with Asperger's????

Re:WIPO Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714060)

Supposedly he used to live on Windsor St. in Cambridge. I'm not fifteen minutes from there, but I never noticed anything out of the ordinary.

A word to the wise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2713997)

Ok, here's a clue for the young geek troublemakers out there:

It's very easy to pretend you are autistic. Thanks to Rain Man etc., everyone will immediately recognize your difficulty and take pity on you.

So the next time you're caught hacking into the school mainframe, peering into the girls' locker room, or whatever, you know what to do!

ho-hum (2)

Marcus Brody (320463) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714005)

They've known that Nick was an unusual child for a long time. He's infatuated with fantasy novels...

[Asperger's patients are] children who lack basic social and motor skills, seem unable to decode body language and sense the feelings of others, avoid eye contact, and frequently launch into monologues about narrowly defined - and often highly technical - interests.


OMFG this is revolutionary:
There are Geeks in silicon valley!

we already live a Autism favored culture... (0)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714007)

Nobody knows everything and can do everything. If that were the case there would be no barber (wait bad example) or mechanic. People learn their job from their father (a japanese cultured idea) or at college. There is nothing holding these kids back from living a regular life by banking on their Autism.

this is evolution of mankind (3, Insightful)

Megahurts (215296) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714012)

Society is the abberation, not us. Society should conform to nature, not we to they. Yes, I am one like the article describes. And when it comes to academia, I simply perform. Learning takes about 1/10 the effort for me than it does for my neurotypical friends. In a world quickly changing to favor technology, it is people like me who will shape humanity within the next few centuries. We are a force against the consumeration and against the domestication of the human species. Perhaps this is even the beginning of a split somewhat like races in Welles' Time Machine.

Don't fear the change. Embrace it.

evolution of mankind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714035)

And that's good.
We are going to replace football-watching mindless humans with high-IQs science-minded ones.
There isn't any problem.

Re:evolution of mankind (0)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714043)

What we need to do is replace football watching mindless humans with ones that play instead of watch. After that, there will be alot less of both.

I've always suspected it... (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714014)

...to be a really good geek, you have to be just a little bit autistic.

It would explain a lot about what seemed to be missing from my life at the earliest of ages. But rather than to say that much of society's rules and heirarchies are invisible, I would say they were perplexing at times as really stupid people often rule over really smart people. Worse, women ... well, okay, if I go into that, then that makes all men autistic...can't do that now can we?

But I'll tell ya this much -- Life and society still doesn't make much sense. Is it just me being overly analytical and unable to accept things as they are or is it the mildest form of autism? Surely I'm not the only geek on the planet that sees things in this way... hello?

we need cats (5, Interesting)

DZign (200479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714017)

it's also been proven that kids who have small pets (cats, dogs, ..) are better to notify body language and emotions and so.. so all geeks in silicon valley should adopt a cat for their children..

The Next Chic Disorder (1)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714019)

What saddens me is the fear that Aspeger's is going to become a scape-goat disease... "I don't have any friends ... I like to write shitty little VB programs ... I MUST BE AUTISTIC!!?"

I recognise that there are people with Aspeger's and other forms of Autism - in the States, afair from the article, there are 450,000. I bet there are hoards of socially-retarded geeks out there who use it as an excuse not to go make friends though.

Sure, mod me down, show me how socially-retarded *you* can be.

Is it learned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714022)

Could Autism and Asperger's Syndrome be a learned behavior, or lack of a learned behavior? These types of parents are more likely to have been "loaners" and people who kept to themselves. Basically, they probably lacked at least some social skills. Place a Mother and Father with these social problems and they will un-consciously pass them down to their child. Say both of these parents work long hours and spend less time with their kid. Place their kid along with other kids in a daycare facility. These kids already have a social problem. Now you place them with other kids who have the same social problems. They never develop and are taught how to be social. Instead they retreat to their computers or what-not. Couldn't this be how something like this could happen?

Doctor: (0, Troll)

mirwor (198892) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714023)

'Mrs. Smith, here are the results of your amnio. There's a 1 in 10
chance that you'll have an autistic child, or the next Bill Gates. Would you
like to have an abortion?'


Now, that's an easy one...

Autism or Aspergers? (5, Informative)

Yaruar (125933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714027)

One of the things I have been finding out a lot about recently is aspergers due to living with the daughter of an expert.

We ahve been toying with ideas about links between people suffering from high functioning aspergers syndrome and people who work in professions such as IT, especially development. This is mainly because with aspergers the only major outward impairment of the individual is with social interraction and social awareness and this coupled with tendency to obsess over repetitive detail means that aspergers sufferers fit the mould of good programmers.

I don't know enough about the syndrome to know if it is passed on through genes, but one could postulate if there is a group with a higher than average make up of the disease who are breeding amongst themselves it might possibly lead to a significent level of new cases compared to the national average.

Even today a lot of aspergers cases are misdiagnosed as straight autism.

Here for more information on aspergers and the differences between it and autism [wpi.edu]

I'm in that boat (5, Interesting)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714030)

I not in CA, I'm in NY, but a programmer all the same. Yes I've bought my 4 yo son every electronic toy in the store, and he's addicted to computers just like me.

He had a problem with speech not too long ago. Nothing drastic, but he would tend to slur a couple words in the middle of long sentances. We had a speech therapist visit once a week for a couple months. She decided he must be autistic. She went on to explain that they (phsycologists) are finding that there are several levels of autism. I asked to see the criteria for determining autism. I was expecting to find some scientific process for testing. What she handed me was a booklet similar to this [patientcenters.com], with all the criteria used to judge a child.

For those of you that follow the link, you can see how subjective and innacurate the evaluation is. Basically, if you are not considered "Perfect" based on some arbitrary set of standards, then you must be autistic. Based on that test, probably 80% of the /. population could be considered autistic.

I truly doubt there is an increase in autism, just an increase in the number of children they are diagnosing as autistic. I never believed or trusted in psychologist in the first place. This just reassures me that they are as bad as lawyers, only caring about getting more clients and more money than actually helping anyone with real problems.

Psychology and the scientific method (5, Insightful)

awol (98751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714070)

Having dealt with _many_ psychologists at the undergraduate level, particularly in the teaching of statisitics and computing, I feel comfortable saying that it is the science (and I use the word loosely) in which the scientific method fails to rear its head most frequently.

Articles like this are exactly the kind of crap that fail to distinguish correlation from causation. That is assuming that there is some empirical evidence to suggest that there is an actual rise, a fact which the article supports with:

[For Rick Rollens, former secretary of the California Senate and cofounder of the MIND Institute, the notion that there is a frightening increase in autism worldwide is no longer in question. "Anyone who says this epidemic is due to better diagnostics," he says, "has his head in the sand."]

rant
Now theres an objective analysis from a double blind researcher NOT. And only last night I saw the South park episode where all the kids are given Ritilin. Alternative therapy - gee well maybe there aint nothin' wrong with most of them so just leave them alone and let them work out via peer groups that you shouldn't wear stupid clothes for a bet. Most of us geeks got a bit of a kicking when we were at school and whilst it is not ideal it is pretty much human behaviour 101 that we attack that which makes us feel insecure and from my experience the most attacking were the most insecure so "get over it"
\rant

Spread that Christmas Cheer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714032)

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two Go.com redirects [go.com]

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Evolution (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714033)

I don't think it would be to far off to consider this the logical evolutionairy step of the technological era; a lot of disabled people appear but among them there also are some extraordinarily bright people which have an even larger chance of surviving and reproducing.

geeks & freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714034)

most geeks are introverted.

geeks seek out kindred spirits, so it's fairly easy to assume that geeks would marry geeks.

what do you get when you cross an introverted geek with an introverted geek?

blam bang, superbly introverted children or, as the current politically correct view has it, autistic children.

so using genetics here,

geek + geek = freak

go figure

maybe they should make a G designation for chromosomes to help couples determine if they're going to have an introverted loser who will soon be the subject of many jon katz stories from the hellmouth.

X, Y and G.

makes perfect sense to me.

a plague? (5, Interesting)

Alpha State (89105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714045)

"bringing a plague down on the best minds of the next generation"

I have some symptoms of autism (I'm sure I'm not alone), and have done a fair bit of reading on it. It seems very common that with autisms come some very great intellectual gifts - eg. Rainman. Some these kids need a lot of help, but I have to question whether autism is really a curse.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that mildly autistic people often get better themselves (usually after puberty), and still retain their mental gifts. IMHO we should be trying to develop and harness the abilities of these kids rather than trying to make them normal.

Finally some (non-expert) advice. This is just stuff that would have helped me when I was younger. If your kid is really autistic, you need professional help:

Let them do their own thing. Many things which are normal for most people are very stressful for autistic people, they need their own routine / fantasy world / etc. to relax and get them selves together. I would suggest managing a team of specialists for your kid 80 hours a week is not the best approach. At the same time, it's important not to let them obsess for hours on end. Find something they like to break the routine occaisionally.

Find some physical excercise they enjoy. In school predominantly team sports are played, autistics typically don't like these. Try individual or one-on-one sports. Excercise I got into (in spite of being very non-physical) included swimming, running, tennis and martial arts. Creative pursuits are also good - particularly visual arts and music.

Above all, remember that your kid does not have to be normal - no-one is. For every time you lament their lack of friends or weird behaviour there will be a time you are amazed at their accomplishments.

Stupid People (0)

Bigbiff (6864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714049)

Ah, so thats why we haven't won over on natural selction. We need the stupid people to have our kiddies! ;)

Not autistic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714058)

Perhaps the children are not autistic but rather, after years of uninvolvement with their Geek parents (who are too busy working/hacking/surfing the 'net) they've withdrawn into themselves as a protection.

Who do you think is hurt when both parents work 80 - 90 hours a week?

I'd love to chat with you guys about this... (2)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714064)

...er, well, okay, actually I wouldn't love to chat with you guys about this...

But either way I have to get back to coding.

anybody here? (5, Insightful)

underpaidISPtech (409395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2714066)

Well, according to my family, I was a pretty happy and good kid until 2, then "it" started. I was unruly and unmanageable, and just not "ordinary". I was diagnosed as autistic, and supposedly highly intelligent. Most of my problems were behavioural (tantrums, outburts,etc) and later I was "hyperactive". I spent most of late childhood/early adolescence on medication.

Now I am in my late 20's and can honestly say that I am of average or even above-average intelligence, and pretty much fit the description of any of those children. I will admit that pop-culture diagnoses like those in the article are like reading horoscopes alot of the time, but then I see this "social interactions, motor skills, sensory processing, and a tendency toward repetitive behavior" and "Marked impairment in the use of nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction."

It friggin sucks to be like this when others are around. I feel fine when its just me, alone. Then I am "normal". Or maybe it's all another marketable designer disease to capitalise on an information overloaded society. All those wired kids from (wealthy) wired parents ready for the diagnosing. Maybe our species is slowly evolving into specialised groups. We have races that developed along climatological and geographical lines to adapt to the environment, so I have no problem thinking that maybe this is just darwinian environmental pressures in action. There is alot of information out there, and alot of it is highly specialised, requiring a certain mind ( or wetware configuration?)

I don't mean that people like this are superior or anything, although in the short-term it may have an advantage in our economy, but that is only on the scale of a few generations. I am thinking more in terms of ourselves as a species. We have "geeks", "atheletes", "artists" and the ever-numerous "sheeple", which have always been around to an extent, maybe our species is specialising in order to cope with the amount of information neccessary to survive.

How many people can run a triathalon, code up a small mail agent, cook a gourmet dinner, perform simple surgery if the need arose, interpret the latest precedent-setting court case, sculpt a piece of greco-roman inspired art, and read a book to your kids at night? I don't know about you, but I have hard time just getting out of the bed, my stupid body refuses to hear the damn alarm clock sometimes ;)

Anyways, I have shit social skills, avoid the company of others, and am basically a misfit. I am not pulling in the huge IT bucks, so despite my intelligence, I won't get the sexy AND intelligent wife, fast car, and nice clothes (in that order please).

So, how many slashdotters out there are well-adjusted, sociable geeks (Hmm, oxymoron?), and how many of you are/have been diagnosed as being "different" from your fellow homo sapiens?

< raises hand >

Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2714067)

This is a very interesting article,
But what i miss (and yes im going to read the article again, ofline and with a cup of coffee) Is the part that explains how much the upbringing of the child is responsible for its development of autistic behavour. Not all the autistic bebaviour is coded in genes. The human brain can adapt itself to the environnement, with young children even very fast.
What you dont have, you can't teach your children, so the I thing the parents atleast have some autism their self, what give's them a bit of a lack in social skills. Or that they are not at home enough so the child grows up in its own environnement that it creates to fit his needs.

Well i wish English was my first language because i cant seem to say what i want. But who needs Social contact anyway, I thougt that was reserved for none Beta's
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