The Deeper Reason Why Cerebral “Aspie” Introverts Suffer In The School System

As a kid I was behind.

I didn’t have the social awareness of other kids my age, my physical coordination was terrible.  When other kids were getting started with stuff like piano lessons or soccer, I wasn’t remotely ready.
When all the other kids were riding bikes around the neighborhood I was still walking around.   In fact I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 14 years old.

My parents were scared to death thinking something was wrong with me looking for diagnoses, some tangible problem with a name.  I spent my entire youth being told I had a “disability.”

Then oddly enough as I neared puberty, the gap began to close.  By the beginning of high school, I was essentially functional, but still far from typical milestones in a teenager’s life.  I was closer to a late elementary stage of social development until I was in college.

Then through my twenties I began to gain traction and with every year grew stronger and began to pass people up.

Today at almost 30 years of age, I feel I’ve truly begun to come into my own.  Socially I feel competent and physically I’m well beyond the majority of my contemporaries.

In retrospect, I realize I experienced a lot of my difficulties because I simply had an atypical pattern of development.

At age 8, I was reading classics of literature and memorizing books on biology but couldn’t really hold a normal conversation or grasp unspoken social cues.

To develop certain capacities early on, sacrifices had to be made in other areas.

And if one wants to build a larger, more complicated structure, it simply takes longer to do it…

Nature always chooses the easiest, lowest investment solution to any given problem.

A creature is only strong, fast, or smart as the investment pays off.

More capabilities and complexity means longer gestation, smaller “litter” size, more calories to stay alive, longer time to grow to maturity.  All of these are great sacrifices when the ultimate goal is spreading genes.

I’ve come to understand that if one looks past PC nonsense that tells us everyone is the same, we quickly see that children develop at different rates, in different patterns.  We are each born with a plan that unfolds in stages.

The clear implication of this is chilling when we look at the uniform environment of mass compulsory schooling.

For most, this sort of system is relatively innocuous but for any sort of outlier, it’s a potentially deadly threat.

It dawned on me that a “smart” kid following a slower development path sent to mass schools is like a cub being thrown into a pit full of wolves…It quickly and elegantly explains much of my life.

In schools, a late development outlier spends his entire young life at the mercy of those early apex predators whose breed’s plan is a race to mature first and get first dibs on mates and resources.

The funny thing is, I always instinctively recognized their kind as my natural enemy in the wild but adults, the ideas adults liked contained nothing that could help me make sense of this.

After years of life experience, I know to tailor any recommendation to people’s differing needs.  I would wholeheartedly tell parents of an average kid to send their kid to public schools but definitely encourage parents of an outlier kid to consider homeschooling or some other more supportive and protective schooling environment.

Parents who send that cerebral yet oblivious and clumsy kid to survive in the crowd are unwittingly betraying and abandoning their own at the time of greatest possible vulnerability.

Many don’t make it out alive and many that do are effectively destroyed while still in the bud, their potential contribution expunged from the human race, their plan likely erased from the gene pool.
A uniform mass society entails both “soft” persecution and genocide.

Mass schools operate by the same philosophy as a corn field.  The goal is to create a monoculture and any specimens not up to the task are discarded.

Outliers are a minority by definition, but we must also remember, that virtually anything remarkable must come from outliers by that same token. 

Herein lies much of the difference between the performance of one society against another… To what extent do they suffer outliers to exist?

I will conclude with this:  If I suppose my particular plan entailed higher investment, higher risk, and slower maturity, I have an implicit duty to nature to make it pay off.  Else, what I am ought to be extinct.

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Introverts, Atheism, and Nihilism

There’s an enemy anyone given to prolonged thought has to face.

Sooner or later the question of purpose and meaning looms like a wall.

If all is wiped away when we die, what is the point?  Is life worth it, or just a cruel joke?

Time and again I’ve heard smart Christians present an unmoved mover, a first cause outside of time, as “proof” of a specifically Christian God.

All this really tells us is this universe had to be started from a cause outside the rules that govern our universe.  If that means God, at best we can assume a Spinozan God that’s more of a force of nature than a human personality directly involved in our lives.  And an afterlife or reincarnation?  I can think of no reason to assume such a thing is true.
It makes the most sense to assume this is our one chance since we do not know otherwise.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that atheism is the “rational” approach while anyone religious is simply deluding themselves.  It seems at first to make sense.

But then you have to live your life by the values you have chosen…

Atheist “humanists” like to point out that lack of religion doesn’t cause them to go out and start randomly being evil.  They often live by a moral code.

The trouble is that strong atheism must reduce to nihilism.  One cannot hold moral values if one explicitly believes in a universe without purpose or meaning.  Nothing can be good or bad in such a universe.  Strangling puppies is no better or worse than winning the lottery.  Life is no better than death.

Here, the supreme irony of moral atheists becomes clear.  Despite professing atheism they mostly continue to stick to Judeo-Christian moral laws.  They don’t practice what they preach…because if they did, it would destroy them.

The interesting thing is one cannot be an atheist…at least not for real.  I was inspired to make this post when a reader named luciferslibrarian asked me this:

So I am curious – you mention that you have used philosophy to arrive at meaning. I am an introvert whose biggest problem has always been that I don’t see meaning in anything. The older I get, the worse it gets. When I was younger, I was far more motivated and creative; driven even. Now I find getting started on the smallest tasks almost insurmountable, because I don’t see the point. Most people I know take solace and find meaning in friends and family, but as an introvert with a less than stellar relationship with my family, the social path is not really for me. I also know that toiling in obscurity for some higher purpose is kind of a pipe dream. Can you shed any light?

I replied:

Yes! The biggest problem we have to face is the challenge presented by the yawning nothing of nihilism.

I approach it something like this:

The adoption of nihilism is pretty much guaranteed to destroy civilizations and hamper the progress of individuals, to trick them into living a directionless cursed half life until they finally die.

Nihilism seems to make sense based on what we know, but if we implement it, it’s unquestionably destructive.
As I see it, living by nihilism is against the observable laws of our universe. It doesn’t work. In this sense it is objectively false.

Also, even nihilists don’t really truly act on nihilism. The logical thing to do if you’re a nihilist is to be unaware of the problem of nihilism. That knowledge only causes pain and dissonance and even if it’s the truth, who cares if it has no meaning anyway. Better to be like an insect in the field playing out its role as a biomachine, never doubting.

You can’t even be a conscious nihilist or atheist and really be consistent!

If nothing has meaning, we might as well kill ourselves, start a party binge to drown out the knowledge of our fundamental irrelevance, or have some of our brain removed to remove the pain inflicted by ennui.
Yet no one does the logical thing…

A self professed strong atheist or nihilist is a liar. They clearly continue to believe in some kind of meaning or higher purpose. They can say what they want, but what they do says it all.

Since meaning is a law of existence for a sentient being, we might as well either completely accept that or self destruct.

Faced with a choice…I chose meaning.

At least I chose to follow meaning.  It’s a battle that never ends for a person of awareness.  That creeping feeling of pointlessness and despair is an adversary that’s always there, waiting for an opening.  It’s the price we must pay to be aware.

It’s a fearful thing to face and those who can avoid it through distractions usually do.

I’ve spent some time just thinking about this post, because I know from experience, there’s few greater threats to an introvert’s life than the triumph of meaninglessness within.

Often isolated, without any sources of fulfillment in the material world, many of us don’t make it.  I am convinced that confronting the problem of nihilism is something that can save lives.  Asking those questions without a doubt played a huge role in saving my life.

Far from a dramatic conversion to orthodox religion, I’ve come to see things in a way that diverges from both atheists and theists.

Consulting both reason and my intuition, I’ve long since come to conceive of “God” as something closer to that Spinozan force of nature.  It doesn’t have a mind or personality exactly nor is it remotely human.

Logically, the best way to understand its nature is to observe nature’s workings.

For the most part, it seems to be an impartial thing, but it does establish certain laws that govern our universe…

For years after having rejected strong atheism I was vexed.

Many having gone through the same process as I did become religious.

But all my life I had marveled how absolute morality legislated by a deity tends to lead to hypocrisy and ambiguity in interpretation.

What’s more, “absolute” morals often backfire when “good” people restrain themselves and others happily take advantage of them.

If religious moral law isn’t consistent with observable reality, then atheists with their satirical Flying Spaghetti Monster make an excellent point.  If God’s law turns out to be arbitrary in implementation, the 11th commandment might as well be Thou Shalt Not Tie Thy Shoes.
We’re left with an absurd nothing that reduces to Nihilism!  Orthodox religions need an afterlife to “solve” this problem!

So a key requirement of a life-preserving belief system for a thoughtful person is that it must make sense within observable reality…

At this point, Taoism with its ‘Way’ provided some key inspiration.

There are observable laws of the universe that move us along effortlessly when we follow them and crush us when we fight them.

We see this everywhere in the natural world and in our lives as human beings.

From this perspective, lack of meaning simply violates a timeless law.

If we must either hold to purpose or perish, it is clear what we must do…
Meaning becomes effectively self-evident because we cannot exist without it!

Since finding a way to help nullify the threat of nihilism I’ve since used this basic premise to create the values I live by.  It has served as a genuine map telling me what I ought to do next rather than being a burdensome absolute law that spites the nature of reality in hopes of a better hereafter.

Introvert vs. Extrovert: What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Every philosophy or culture seems to have a different definition for ‘humanity.’ The definition of what we should be. The Confucian principle of humanity(ren) for instance has a very different meaning than the Western ‘equivalent.’

To those who are Loud and extroverted, it is our emotions and ability to empathize that constitute humanity.

Those who do not immediately appear to possess these faculties are flawed and lacking as humans.

Look at nearly every scientist, nerd, or thinker as portrayed in popular cinema. The verdict: people who have all the wrong priorities. People who have distanced themselves from their own humanity or only had a very weak sense of it in the first place.
In trying to be something non-human, the mad scientist commits the crime of hubris. Invariably, a mistake is made or a mess created. The powers of intellect without the guidance of a Correct social consciousness prove disastrously short sighted.

In Independence Day, a scientist is fascinated with studying alien life, but he lacks the humanity and moral vision to realize that his academic prying is trivial next to one overriding fact: The aliens are evil. Lacking human moral sense, he gets himself and his crew killed when they try to cut open a dangerous alien on an operating table.

In the Polar Express one bad kid stands out from all the others. He’s not evil, just Incorrect. He’s the brainiac kid who knows lots of facts but doesn’t understand people, what it means to be a person, the social role he’s supposed to play. All the other kids seem to barely tolerate his presence. He repeatedly brings forth rational or profit-making considerations while they’re all riding on a magic train. Sometimes everyone just stares at him in shock for a moment, realizing he still hasn’t clued in.

In the Loud world view, there is indeed an idea of the magical that removes us from the mechanical and makes us human. Most of us just ‘get it’ but there’s always a few who don’t or won’t. This is the magic of being able to relate to most other people. Popular entertainment sends us an important message: No matter how smart, talented, or accomplished one might be, one is fundamentally flawed, incomplete, inhuman without an emotional understanding with the group.

To one who is Subtle, the level of the emotional, the empathetic, the group conscious, is a lower plane. It is more animal than human, really. Most processes are carried out on the level of intuition or the subconscious. The conscious will, the human has very little to do with it.

What really makes us human beings, in the Subtle perspective, is curiosity, a sense of reverential wonder, a deep love of life itself. Not mere rote powers of reason as the Loud commonly seem to believe, but to delight in their use, to fuel the imagination.

When we’re seen reading yet another ‘useless’ book, searching for philosophical justifications of things taken for granted, or learning about the workings of distant stars, the Loud are bewildered. They do not see the social, emotional motive in our actions. Therefore no humanity. To them, we are lifeless machines ticking methodically through reams of data…

As a kid, I would beg my parents for field guides. In time I had a private collection. At one point I had memorized just about every order of insect and all the parts of a sea anemone. Just a couple of years ago, I met someone who had studied marine biology. He was a bit surprised that I knew off hand that a ‘radula’ was chitinous cephalopod mouthpart, whether the rasping ‘tongue’ of a snail or the ‘beak’ of an octopus or squid.
To many people, my childhood activities no doubt seemed obsessive, mechanical, and pathological.
To me, it was just fun stuff I did during childhood same as playing video games.
There was nothing lifeless about it. Reaching out and learning all those little things about the universe around me was an act of affirmation of the love of life.
If there is a God, I imagine it would have felt a similar love for all those small details during the act of creation.
And as a human, I was merely following in the footsteps of the creator.