Scott Alexander’s autism essay includes some of the best writing he’s ever done (which means some of the best writing anywhere, ever, on the Net). A couple of semi-random snippets, selected purely in a spirit of decadent aestheticism:

I hate to have to criticize institutions – an umbrella term I’m using to cover group homes, locked facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. Many are run by amazing and caring people who are doing thankless work on shoestring budgets. I’m humbled by the patience and compassion I’ve seen in their staff of nurses, techs, and other caretakers, and I can’t judge them nor claim that I could do their job for one minute.

That having been said, a lot of institutions are kind of hellish.

A worryingly high percent of the autistic people I encounter tend to be screaming, beating their heads against things, attacking nurses, or chewing off their own body parts. Once you’re trying to chew off your own body parts, I feel like the question “But is it really a disease or not?” sort of loses its oomph.

(On the ethico-political substance, as always, it seems to me that SA is addressing his argument to a basically decent world that doesn’t exist.)

October 21, 2015admin 22 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations


22 Responses to this entry

  • Skinless | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 3:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    There are bubbles of decency inside the first world and Scott clearly grew up in one and was formed by one.

    What I admire about Scott is that compared to how sheltered he sounds, compared to that he is realistic i.e. more of a moderate than a leftist. He is good at stretching his general lack of shitty shocking experiences with intelligence, it just does not go far enough, sometimes one really just needs those experiences. I mean, of course he had enough experience of human suffering, he just does not have enough experience of human malice and rottenness.


    Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    “But if, after all this, it really does comes down to a binary “cure autism/don’t cure autism” decision, I know which side I’m on.”

    no body in medical industry need and care about psychiatric patients. pharma not intersted doing research and develop new meds, because aproval will be a big problem. For pharma it is better to develop some BS drug for diabetics and earn billions.

    99% autism cases preventable, formula is very simple : home delivery, preferably by water birth, NO FUCKING VACCINATION. it is that much simple and it works. Lets those idiots from NYT keep discussing if autism is disease or not.


    spandrell Reply:

    Can’t agree that SA’s writing is the best in the web; but I’m afraid his commenters are smarter than yours.


    Hurlock Reply:

    Eh, I don’t know.

    Scott’s commenters tend to deny the reality of things much more obvious than even the usefulness of vaccines.


    spandrell Reply:

    Water birth?

    Alrenous Reply:

    Seth Roberts found some evidence linking autism to ultrasounds, which have little to no medical value. The timing works better than for vaccines, too.

    EvolutionistX Reply:

    Water birth is not as weird as it sounds (it does provide some relief to the pain of childbirth without any negative complications that I am aware of,) but is probably not an autism solution.

    TheDividualist Reply:

    My mother in the 1950s in Eastern Europe had classmates paralyzed for life by poliomyelitis. Vaccination defeated this. Look up Albert Sabin. What is your solution for polio? In the East the Sabin oral was a godsend.


    SVErshov Reply:

    when it will come to have kids, everybidy have to decide on something and leave with it, rest of his life. I already made those important desigions and happy with it. so my ideas is not purely theoretical, but proven on life.

    the whole world using teflone coated cooking utensils and it is seems like 100% safe, but parrots die from fumes it generates. if parrots can die from fumes how it is safe for humans. parents duty to protect child from dangers of this world, not everybody good at it, apparently.

    Alrenous Reply:

    but parrots die from fumes it generates

    …you’re a troll, right?

    Teflon thermolyzes at somewhere over 550K. I do my cooking at under 400K.
    Cast iron still seems more elegant, though. I’ll probably try it out eventually.

    ivvenalis Reply:

    I will say, the comments on this particular article at SSC were absolutely painful to read. The number of snowflakes talking about their self-diagnosed neuroses started out amusing but quickly lost its charm.


    Exfernal Reply:

    Name anything that has no downsides.


    Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 4:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • Skinless | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 7:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotesque Body Says:

    William S Burroughs once advised, “Do not proffer sympathy to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit.”

    While generally sound, this dictum does not as readily apply to mental health workers like Scott Alexander, for whom the bottomless pit is an economic wellspring – a money pit. Psychic disturbances are his area of expertise, and he therefore can’t be blamed for at least trying to hector the rest of us into devoting more public resources to an area that accrues more wealth to him, via the various taxonomies of asspies, schizos and freaks that a less ideological age would rightly describe as “fools” and move along.

    The Last Psychiatrist’s writings on autism, politics and the mental health-welfare redistributive complex are far more incisive, less naively moralising and, perhaps most importantly, simply better from a literary standpoint.

    From Alexander’s post:

    “I have some very minor sensory sensitivities, and they drive me nuts. But at least they only metaphorically drive me nuts, That’s because I’m an independent middle-class person who can throw money at problems to make them go away. I have no tolerance for stray noise, so I pay a little more than I should for housing and live in a quiet area outside town. I can’t stand constricting or scratchy clothing, so I only wear loose-fitting clothes, extend the collars, and cut off all the tags. It works pretty well – but only because I have a lot of control over my life. Put me in an institution where other people manage everything about my daily routine, and my life would fall apart. And my sensitivities are a fraction of a fraction of what real autistic people suffer.”

    More than 100 years after Nietzsche we think the self-aware epitome of the Last/Ultimate Man is the author of “some of the best writing anywhere, ever” (as per admin). Really? Come on.


    wenshuang Reply:

    I really enjoy his writing, but never comment because the best I can ever muster is “bless your heart, hon.”


    Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 9:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    I have a solution.

    If they want to kill themselves so persistently, let them. Problem over, suffering equals very no.


    Posted on October 22nd, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:



    Posted on October 23rd, 2015 at 6:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Jack Arcalon Says:

    The occupants of this sad planet sure are fanatic about denying the implications of an infinitely evil universe.
    They seem to think its sufferings are appropriate and should be prolonged. May be evolution protecting itself.
    They even come to enjoy inflicting these sufferings on others.


    Posted on October 25th, 2015 at 2:14 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:


    if there is no autistic children among those who born in water then why it is not a solution.
    difference in mental and phisical development between water born and normal hospital delivery shocking. my friend has daughter who born in water in 4 years she speaks 3 languages and can run 2 km non stop (no single vaccination given). to fully inderstand what water birth can give you have to be able to observe those kids. it is always a bit irritating for me when some one start talking about gene engenering or designer kids. perhaps first would be great achivement if we can stop killing our kids on delivery and stop poisoning them with vacines. Vacines suppose to protect that child from diseases, but fully vacinated children are the most sick ones, statistically. if anyone interested


    Erebus Reply:

    “” is about as far as you can get from a legitimate and credible source. Vaccines do not cause autism.

    That water birth site you linked to makes no mention of autism at all. What’s more, there’s nothing in the scientific or medical literature which would indicate any link whatsoever between autism and water birth.

    Either you’re trolling, or….


    SVErshov Reply:

    it is based on my personal observation of water born children for last 20 years, not sure how credible it is for you, as you can understand I care very little of what kind of conclusion people make from my post and I tend to troll when confronted with utter stupidity. what else you can do?


    Posted on October 25th, 2015 at 2:45 am Reply | Quote

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