Showing posts from April, 2014

The doghouse: Costa Rican customs

There are downsides to living in Costa Rica. One such downside is the horrible infrastructure. Roads are absolutely atrocious, and under-engineered by several factors of magnitude for what the country requires. Telecommunications are under-developed, and about a decade behind even the US, let alone state-of-the-art places like South Korea. But one of the most frustrating problems here is this: Costa Rica is, obviously, way too small to make everything locally. It's also too small to have established importers for most things you want from abroad. If you want stuff without having to travel abroad, you need to order it sent here. But instead of making it easy to get stuff into Costa Rica, they make it frustratingly hard. We recently ordered online an item from the US. Guess what: The item we ordered is a vibrator. It's not particularly hard to classify. If they actually needed documents to tell them what it is, the information is right there in the package. It just

If man obeyed...

The funniest cartoon I've seen in a while. :D

Asperger's and gender: who adapts?

I mentioned that I've recently read: Rudy Simone's 22 Things a Woman With Asperger's Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know , as well as David Finch's The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband . Both books are about people with Asperger's and how they relate to their partners, but their respective messages are strikingly different. In 22 Things , Rudy Simone is saying (my summary): "We are women with Asperger's. We have sensory issues, social issues, anxiety, and we're prone to meltdowns. Here's how you can support us and compensate for our shortcomings. Our condition is to be embraced, not challenged. If you don't accept us unconditionally, we will burn bridges with you, and never look back." In The Journal of Best Practices , David Finch is saying (my summary): "I'm married to the most amazing neurotypical woman ever. When I was diagnosed with Asperg

My Aspergian traits, and my mom's suspected autism

As I was finishing my last post , a realization flashed across my mind: that my mom lacks empathy in an autistic way, rather than a narcissistic way; and that I too have inherited some of this trait. My mom has always been weird and, well, embarrassing. The last time I remember having a close relationship with her is when I was age 4-6, sitting in her lap, eating strawberries with sugar. (Yummy.) But the more I developed the ability to express myself, the more the gulf between us deepened. In my entire life, I do not remember a single instance of talking to her, and successfully finding refuge in her understanding. It's not that my mom lacks the desire to help other people; this is even, perhaps, her foremost drive. But she completely lacks the ability to understand what people are thinking and feeling. As in the root of the word autism, "autos" - Greek for self - she is completely walled off within herself, as if separated from everything by a glass wall, and she's

Shortcomings of the words empathy, sympathy, and compassion

During the past several months, I've had ample opportunity to think about the way a narcissist lacks empathy, contrasted by how an autistic lacks empathy. The two are distinctly different, but it's challenging to define the difference in terms of "empathy", "sympathy", and "compassion". The words seem somehow inappropriate and unfit for the task. Rudy Simone, author of Aspergirls , straight out says she's looked into these words, and can't come up with a meaningful difference. But there is a difference in how a narcissist lacks empathy, and how an autistic does. A narcissist may very well be aware of how another person feels, but doesn't care . The knowledge might move them to exploit it for their benefit, but knowing about another person's pain doesn't move them to alleviate it. They don't feel compassion. A sadistic person, more so, is very much able to perceive another person's pain - and finds this an enjoyable