To Baldly Go

Well, someone has baldly gone out there and said it. This letter to The Register is absolutely explicit about its author’s belief in a link between libertarianism, autism and geeks. When googling for more information on Mr Styles and the key terms in his letter, I came across the inevitable innumerable references to Paulina Borsook’s writings on the subject which get to be at the top of Google by having been on the Net first, and a story about an autistic child whose condition is held to exonorate him of culpability for assaulting someone (a police officer, in this case).

The story is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Its narrator is an autistic child, whose pronouncements on “metaphor” and “lying” sent a chill of déjà vu through me: “lying” is misdefined as “not telling the truth”, and by extension the use of metaphor is a lie because metaphors are not literally true. As someone who was once dragged through the mud for making a claim which turned out to be an honest mistake, it is disturbing to think that there may be people out there who have a medical excuse for being unable to tell the difference between a mistake and a lie. How much unpleasantness this can justify on their part, I don’t know.

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