About 2.0

Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.

Bertolt Brecht

iuI read that and instinctly think cats. That’s biography.

I am fascinated by the heroic age of Antarctic expedition, history, education, great sex, openness, cats, cameras; the space race; sentence-structure, lexis, discourse conventions and phatic communication; cinema; the sounds of cricket and its numbers; golf swings, sortes, piropo, productivity, logical fallacies; fagottists— which leads to the double-o phoneme and coda-less syllables; falderals, nonsense; nanism— my fear of developing it and albino-clowns who already have. Ironing, long-sleeves, compound swearing, yellow pads, yoof-speak and linguistic representations— meh. Books, tea, science, feets, unnecessary plurals and corrugated-cardboard to name but a few.

It’s a pointless list because there isn’t much I’m not interested in. I like the feeling of insignificance in knowing how little I know; and how each little thing helps me know what I already know a little better.

And I still don’t know what this makes me, but it kind of works like this:

Perhaps it just makes me English since ‘England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity … hobbies and humors.’1 Quite whether the world thinks we are small or great, but such is the context of opinion. Goethe wrote that, ‘people of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their abilities.’ Well spheres be damned as, ‘No one can be profoundly original who does not avoid eccentricity.’2 But to what end is thought’d: ‘eccentricity in small things [is] crazy’3 and though it ‘destroys reason, [it does] not [the] wit?’4

All I’m really trying to do here is to show a little of what it’s like to be autistic— from the ground up I’ve taken my traits and applied them to certain functions within the texts: from word orders and word types, semantic variances, repetitions and rhetorical devices— even archaic syntax to the very deliberate structure I use to present things. It’s not always easy to read and it’s not meant to be, It’s supposed to be a little overwhelming at times and take the reader in circles— but it’s a desirable difficulty designed to stimulate a little over-processing, in the same way real life does to me. It’s the only way I know how to present what it’s like to me: to demonstrate it, not write about it— especially when there are a million people out there able to just describe it so much better.

I was going to just post the blueprint, but thought the meta-language would just make it pointless— like the list…

I’m not just a linguist or educator or golfer or cricket fanatic or autistic or anything for that matter—

I’m just curious…

And I guess lists should be conspiculous by its absense, but it’s really not…

1 George Santayana
2 André Maurois
3 Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
4 Nathaniel Emmons


41 thoughts on “About 2.0”

  1. I really like this bio. Okay…I admit…I don’t know what a lot of those words and phrases mean or are referring to in the 2nd paragraph, but they sound good 🙂 And it did overwhelm me and lead me into ever tighter circles but I liked that too. Made me think! Looking forward to following you.

  2. Wow, I took a look at the top section and saw “About” and “Bio” and wasn’t sure what to expect from either… All I knew was that they would have to be different. It turns out they are and I love your word play. It really does give a little bit of an insight into what it means to be autistic. Makes me wish I’d found time to visit sooner.

    I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from your blog. Your posts are interesting and insightful and I feel like I’m learning with every word.

    1. That’s really lovely of you to say so. Thank you so much. I’m glad you finally found your way over, I hope you’re not overly disappointed. I am autistic and do find it frustrating that most sites and blog are list or advice or hint about how to not be autistic or fit in or whatever. We think differently, we process differently, we see the world differently – or so we’re told: I want to show that. Not just say I do…

      I shouldn’t have to use the word ‘autistic’ in anything I write. Nor should anyone else – unless it’s the topic of course and I haven’t completely ruled that out yet .

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I t means a great deal. I just hope I can do something different here – there are thousands of blogs just describing the difficulties and not the positives of whatever it is I have: disability, well yes and no…

      Please do come back 🙂

      1. I think it’s refreshing that you view your “disability” so positively. What others call a disability just means that you can do things some of us can’t – you can analyse problems in different and unique ways using only logic and not necessarily letting emotion in like the rest of us. Things like that, that are positive things if only the rest of the world would see it that way.
        And yes, I will most certainly find some time to come back and read more.

      2. Thank you. I do want to do something differently. I do want to offer a perspective rather than just lists. I’m being in no way critical when I say that most blogs or articles relating to AS, ASD or autism are concerning dificulties, symptoms, how to fit in, coping strategies… and they are helpful to thousands. It’s good that there’s this information out there. But I am not just a collection of symptoms, I am not just the success or failure of a particular coping strategy in social situations, I don’t attempt to go unnoticed… Over the years when I found certain things problematic, I looked at the cause and worked it out until it was a problem anymore – it’s certainly not plain sailing all the time far from it… However, we are repeatedly told in books and articles how differently we see the world and process stuff – we are told: we are never shown. We are never just shown the positive, differntly processed autistic world indepedent of experiencing the difficulties – and that’s something I’m trying to address.

        I don’t mention autism very often, because it would defeat the purpose, again because it would be telling not showing. It’s not going to work the way I’d like it to all the time – but I’ve put together a few pieces already which I’m really proud of because I think they really do offer an glimpse into how the autistic world looks and feels.

        I just wish I could recach more people – but I’m working on it.

      3. I think you’re doing an amazing thing because to me, not knowing much about autism, it’s a great way to see from your perspective. I admit, I did need to read the word autism before I even began to fully understand your posts, but again, it may come from my lack of understand. But I think, I hope, I can slowly begin to rectify this a little through reading your blog.

        In terms of reaching more people – it’s all about marketing: make a Twitter page that auto posts every time you create a new post here. Follow lots of people on Twitter in related fields and they may follow you in return and thus find your blog updates. You could do the same for a Facebook page and LinkedIn. Simple things like that to start with.

      4. I opened a twitter page, but haven’t followed anything past the set-up page… That’s a good idea. I hadn’t really given much thought at reaching too wide an audience at first, but I seem to be getting increasing numbers of visits, and if I could help in some small way, it can’t be a bad thing.

        Thank you for your kind words – it is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now… Out of frustration at the lack of what I’d like to see written on the topic. I will take your advice and see if I can find a way to use twitter better – can you have hashtags load automatically?

      5. I’m not sure about hashtags… I use a program called HootSuite to deal with a lot of my social media and one of the main things it does is allow you to post the same message to multiple sites at once if desired or you can schedule a list of posts to be published on a regular basis. That way it isn’t necessary to be constantly watching it and trying to make up posts. You could schedule your tweets with hashtags and do it that way perhaps? The way my blog posts is that I verified my blog account through Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, so whenever I blog here, all three of those pages show an automatic link to that post on my blog.

      6. That’s clever. It might try linking a few manually to see if is effective and go from there. It’s all rather novel still – I’m not the biggest fan of social networking 😀 I’ve always wondered why people would want to know what I had for breakfast! My family love Facebook though, so funny – I do miss out, I think!

      7. You’re not really missing out… personally though, I appreciate the updates where people tell about what they are doing with their lives and important changes that I miss out on since we live in different cities now.

  3. So, hi! I’m finally making it over to check out your blog after you have so kindly been reading mine. Wow, dude. I have a feeling this is going to be a trip…in a good way. I obviously read a lot of blogs written by moms, many of whom write about life with autistic children. And I have friends with autistic children. So I hear a lot about things from a parent’s perspective. I love that you are giving us all a peak from the perspective of someone who is autistic. For something that has become much more common in our world, a lot of it is still shrouded in mystery for a many people. I think we can all benefit from understanding how others view the world, whether that view is colored by autism, different life experiences, or whatever. Looking forward to reading what you have to say.

    1. Thank you. Thant’s a lovely message and I’m glad you had a proper read. In some ways, I find a lot of literature about the struggles a little undermining for me personally. I just wanted to read something about autism that wasn’t a list of symptoms, wasn’t about the diffficulties of intergrating, that wasn’t about how we should act to successfully intergrate, because the same lists and advice aknowledge that we have different perspectives and we can do this and do that – but know where could I find positive examples celebrating this difference in perspective.

      First and foremost I’m a linguist, so my work has been looking at words, stucture of words, functions of words, meaning of words, context and change, spoken, written, received… mainly because part of my autistic quirks allows me to visualise these things in great detail, much like mathematicians do numbers… So on the one hand I wanted to create pieces that look at everyday things from a different vantage point, but also encode those perspectives with techniques that mimic the some of the tiny precesses that cause us to become overwhelmed – a lot is a stretching of cohesion and cohessive practices, so tropes and schemes and reference points are constantly added to and piled on top of each other, some of it is pacing, so I’ll use disjuncts to alter the received mode: flit between verbal and written forms, and of course alter standard syntax to allow for certain phonoaesthetics.

      These are just a few things – but the structure is use is very regimented, as are the techniques. The trick is to get it to read simply, if not scan…

      I’m celebrating the condition – it’s how I want to help, if I can reach those who care about it. We can do wonderful things, complex, ingenious things! I hope you enjoy it. Some of it’s prety funny 🙂

      1. I agree. I don’t feel I can speak too much on autism, since I do not deal with it myself nor have a child with it. All I can do it learn from those who do. And it seems like a lot of what I read does focus on what you mentioned: struggles, differences, integration, etc. But the way I see things, there is no “normal.” So it is very refreshing to see your attitude toward this, and I love that you are celebrating what makes your mind unique. Some of our most brilliant minds were autistic…that’s something to celebrate. And speaking of brilliant, I will admit I got on that linguistics paragraphs train and then suddenly realized halfway through I needed to be on a slower-moving train 🙂 You’re going to make me work for this, aren’t you? Looking forward to maybe making my own brain a little smarter thanks to yours.

      2. If it’s any consolation, I don’t go into the specifics of how I do what I do, I touched on it briefly in the about but stopped short of the blueprint owing to the language required to explain the language. There was a lovely essay written by Robert Louis Stevenson about writing and the arts in general, and in essense, he wrote that, you don’t look at a work of art and then turn it over to see the back of the canvas, in the same way you wouldn’t open a clock you marvel at and try to describe it but looking at what makes it tick.

        If anything, I try to make things fun, uncomplicated, simple but very challenging. A bit like building pyramids with play-doh. I stick to the simplest of tools to make something more. It’s a challenge for sure. Cleverness shouldn’t sound stuffy, be overcomplictaed or smell of tweed!

        I truly hope you enjoy and I have you thinking about things – if I get things right, you should have little questions in your head and wonder how they got there.

        I used to teach, so I guess in my nature to want to gee people up. I think it’s unavoidable 🙂

    1. lol aren’t they though! Ha, I’ve heard that before – it was either going to be polar exploration or the comfort of indoor heating and lots of tea! I’ve more or less been talked out of walking to the South Pole, but as a comprimise – I do hope one day, the diaries of the guys that did, will help me work out how to identify malnutrition in kids – it’s a long story :p

  4. It may appear as though I have just taken the last half an hour and stalked your blog. I’m dyslexic, and it takes me longer to read things, which isn’t important really. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your writing, your thoughts dangling here on this blog for people to come along and pluck off like a grape. A very tasty grape.
    Now I feel like I must tell you something about me. I can play that John Cage 4.33 piano piece like a freeking maestro. 🙂

      1. There’s always more 😀 I’m in the middle of a series that are all related to more or less a single thought or elaboration of one idea – it takes a few seconds to have, but takes a week to write down 😀

  5. I studied English and Spanish linguistics in college and fell in love with it. I have sorely missed being able to have finished school because of my own disability so to see (and recognize) some of the same terms written by you that others don’t warms my heart by reminding me of those times when I was able to study. It is like a mathematical process (although never explained to us like that in high school) so I discovered my interest in it later in life. Thank you for signing up to follow my blog and I will be looking forward to following yours as well.

    1. Thank you very much – I’m glad you have found the subject again – it baffles some, but others just fall in love with it. I’m sorry you’re in pain – that doesn’t help with anything… I hope you enjoy the blog – maybe you’ll recognise what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and why! Writing is a little like film-making in that way – you don’t canter your angles if you don’t have a reason to!
      I look forward to continuing this 🙂

  6. I’m learning lots of new words, too. And that quote is so brilliant (Maurois) I’ll shamelessly use it every relevant chance. In my world, as they say, one doesn’t have to be loopy … but it sure helps~!

    1. It certainly is a wonderful quote – and far too challenging to be bandied about without a little heroic discourse behind it! It! The sentiment is tremendously complex – but beautifully simple. It one of the reasons I love it and use it in my bio – I believe cleverness needn’t have to sound like a stuffy shirt. Much in the same way imagination isn’t dependant on adjectives. I’m glad you’re picking up a few things – remember that words by themselves have little function despite having it, you can start to have a lot of fun.

  7. “…happiness is right at their heels.” I love that. Thanks so much for your “like” on November 14. Apologies for not responding sooner….working on making more time for writing and responses.

    1. You’re welcome, I’m glad you found your way over. You should have a read, you may enjoy it. I’m taking a little holiday – birthday week and all! It’s been a good chance to process the last five solid weeks of writing. It is a lovely quote isn’t it – I tend to look for something that resonates or is relevant – same with the pictures. Careful and fun with luck. I hope to catch you again 🙂

  8. I’m here, I’ve read some and I’m super interested. I’ll admit, sometimes I’m confused, but in a Dr. Seuss “Oh that’s what he means!” sort of way. I like your outlook and linguistically I am certain you are a master, perhaps that’s a gift from autism. Maybe you explain that in your blog and I’ve just yet to read that part. I love the way you put words together, it’s curvy and twisty. I will follow and try to keep up. And…I often think “cats” too. Thank you for the window into your mind.

    1. Thank you very much – I’m glad you’ve stopped by and had a read – and I love your comment. I do have the urges to write more explicitly about the process, about writing and autism – but not just yet. There are an awful lot of people doing that… I try to stick to ordinary things and find something interesting in them… My Chip story yesterday was pretty much the sort of thing I would have come up with when I was 9 or 10.

      I’ve been shattered since getting back home – can’t find a decent rhythm and my cat is making me pay for leaving her! She’s being more demanding than usual!

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot 🙂

  9. Hello! Such a joy to read all the interesting things on your blog – yes I am completely confused, but mainly at the fact that I am following your line of thought and not getting entirely lost. I especially love the “I am an autism” sign and I swear I’ve looked at it ten times in so many minutes and I am still laughing each time. My bucket list contains “eccentricity” – something I probably won’t need to work very hard to achieve, however cricket (in Australia anyway) is entirely un-fascinating and downright dangerous. 😉 Thanks for the like and introducing me to your blog. See you soon.

    1. Hey, I’m glad you liked it – I had a good read of your blog, and to be honest, I was so taken by some of your stories I wanted to step back and digest – and even now I’m not sure how to respond except, I’m so glad you can still make that incredible smile – you’ve returned the compliment, given me something to return to.

      1. Well don’t worry about that stuff too much, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I mostly write poetry and you “Like”d one of my poems over at http://jamborobyn.wordpress.com which is how I found you. I love that you are totally unique, I guess I am a fan/advocate of diversity – not that nature needs an advocate. Now, I must get back to my knitting 😉

      2. *snort*
        I really, really wanna set some of those old gals up with static produced needles and watch them hop about! Is that wrong? :p

        Thank you so much for saying – I know I haven’t come across anything too similar, I just hope it can continue 🙂

  10. 😊So nice to meet you. Im glad you visited my blog. Oddly (or not) enough, every day I read blogs where interesting-and often quirky-bloggers express themselves in unique ways that are often very different from my own. I always consider it a joy that this garden of life is filled with so many varieties of beauty. I like what you have begun here and look forward to seeing how you decide to develop your part of the garden.

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