Initial Notes on Autism

Autistic man is overspecialized man. He appears in the more recent vintages of the human. He is so overspecialized as to be unable to survive on his own, and is a product of man’s ever increasing domestication, his subservience to specialized technologies and the social structure that emerges from them.

The autistic is the unintended consequence of man’s commitment to a particular metaphor and myth: the individual, ultra-competitive, hyper-rational economic man; a man modeled upon the computer; a man who being perfectly rational exists anonymously in the aggregates of the central planners.

The body is all he is. He experiences no “inner-life.”

He is artifice, the development of a culture’s worship of science and the computer, and the use of technologies to handle greater and greater amounts of information processing. Man has begun to resemble his technology, to merge with it, to become the artificial intelligence he endeavored to create.

He does not have an appreciation of music, though he may very well be able to perform it in a mathematically rigorous way.

He understands little of art or literature, or anything of a qualitative, non-technical quality.

He does not have empathy. He does not feel the emotional or physical pain of others. Indeed, the other as other consciousness, does not exist for him.

He does not understand the idea of a mother and father or the family. As such, he is unable to receive their gift: he cannot understand what is given, he cannot understand cooperation.

His inability to reflect upon the other, the consciousness of the other, the other’s perception of him, disconnects him from other men. Thus disconnected he is without self-consciousness beyond the rudimentary recognition that his body is his own and that others are other bodies.

Autistic man has broken the bounds of empathy and cooperation and the gift. Without consciousness of others beyond being bodies necessary to his survival, or the carrying out of a particular task, he is without consciousness. He is conscious of others only in so far as his needs and desires require others for their satisfaction.

He does not know that he will die and is unequipped to consider it. He does not comprehend the death of others in a way meaningful enough to consider it a possibility for himself.

He is incapable of boredom. For through boredom man experiences the extremes of self-consciousness and the consideration of death.

His emotional life is severely limited. His fear is limited to the fear of injury to his body, the only aspect of himself he is conscious of.

His recognition of his parents is limited to his need for them. He recognizes them because he needs them.

He can be said to be exclusively concerned with himself and therein lies his absence of consciousness. For consciousness exists in so far as it makes reference to other consciousnesses. A man’s recognition of other consciousnesses provides him the framework for the understanding of his own--his being self-conscious.

The appearance of autistic man heralds the gradually evolving disappearance of consciousness in humans.

Autistic man is not found to be excessively skilled economically. Indeed, the hoarding of wealth interests him little and he understands almost nothing of taking economic advantage. His interests and ability, when present, are with the code of technological life.

Technology allows for the continuing domestication of man. He is both a product of and reliant upon the technologies that compose his environment.

Technology both makes autistic man possible and allows him to live, to thrive in fact, in a society increasingly technologically focused.

Autistic man’s favorite color is green.

Autistic man finds inspiration in trains, in watching and listening to them, and in train schedules.

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