A Touch of Alyricism

Dedicated to the equally fascinating topics of autistic advocacy and the 'sisterly sophistries' of radical gender feminism. Other topics may occasionally crop up. Contactable at alyric@gmail.com


Polemicist since Grade 8

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great Words of Jonathan Mitchell - A Compilation

Clay Adams collated this collection of the Great Words of Jonathan Mitchell, all from the comments section of one post here.
jonathan said...

"david i pity you, anyone who would post such nasty insults and abuse is pathetic."

Hmmm, well let's just see about that, shall we?

jonathan said...

harry williams (aka socrates) a man who can't even have a roof over his head and house himself never accomplished squat in his life trying to give someone advice in an insulting manner, absolutely pathetic.

jonathan said...

harry you are homeless, you don't even have a loo to crap in, you did not do any of those professionally besides being a dishwasher. [Socrates had listed the range of jobs he had done and Jonathan declared they hadn’t happened, by fiat more or less]. The only girls you had sex with walked on four legs and are in the dog pound or animal shelter.

jonathan said...

Andrews: The person who needs pyshciatric help is you. You are one very sick dude, I suggest you get some help for your daughter's sake if not for your own sake.

Clay Adams: You are nothing but a gutless liar, what you said about my admitting on my blog that i learned to hate autism from my mother's knee is a complete and deliberate fabrication on your part. Grow up and get a life, you are truly pathetic.

Jonathan said:

Clay: I published your drivel on autism's gadfly. I have no problem publishing something where someone makes the complete jackass out of themselves that you did. You showed that I never said what you said. You proved yourself that you are an out and out liar, you only showed what a sleezeball you are by having to stoop to saying things about my mother and your lack of intellect about having to use these ad hominem arguments instead of stating some facts.

Gluyas: I am going to be charitable to you and not even respond to a deranged wingnut like you.

Jonathan said:

As I have said before for the umpteenth time, why don't you try to take your own advice and get a job and find a way to house yourself so at least you can have a loo to crap in anytime you want.

jonathan said...

Gluyas, if your mother had put you in an institution where a wingnut like you belongs, you would not be in the position you are in right now. You would be in a straight jacket without access to a computer or internet connection so you would not constantly be making the complete jackass out of yourself that your moronic behavior is doing.

jonathan said...

It saddens me that a moronic jackass like Clay Adams does not understand charity. I was only trying to spare him the embarrassment of looking like the imbecile that he is by not publishing what he wrote. But obviously, Adams just doesn't get it. He is too stupid to realize that he is only hurting himself by posting what he is posting him, showing himself to be the absolutely self-hating geriatic (says he's 58 but looks more like 88 in his photos) senile piece of shit slimeball that he is. He is only hurting himself with his lies, abusive behavior and assinine statements, not me. [I wonder what a psychiatrist would make of this gem?]

jonathan said...

For a homeless bum like you who never made a quid in his life except a brief stint as a dishwasher who has to crap and piss in his underwear and has to go to the dog pound to get his rocks off, you tell me, harry.

jonathan said...

Then why don't you do us all a favor then cubed. Why don't you get a smith&Wesson .38 and just shoot yourself in the head and end it all today so we don't have to read your long-winded chattering and nonsense on these forums and your ludicrous attempts to justify neurodiversity.

No, Jon-boy wouldn't stoop to such nasty insults and abuse. That would be, er, pathetic.
Not being as charitable as Clay, I see this as a public service announcement. Knowing the depths that Mitchell is capable of should be sufficient warning not to take the gentleman too seriously.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why is it UNETHICAL to mention the telepathy of persons with autism?

I was asked this question recently in connection with Facilitated Communication (FC) and armed with some references, I am going to attempt to answer it. Primarily the lack of ethics involves the unproven nature of ESP including telepathy. Secondarily telepathy is being used to caulk the holes in the lack of evidence for independent communication in FC by some participants, generally those of less ability.

The James Randi Foundation has a one million dollar cheque ready for anyone who can demonstrate any form of ESP including telepathy. Notably in the 1990s when Randi first encountered telepathy mixed with FC his first problem as he discovered was to authenticate the authorship of the communication. This he was unable to do and so the search for telepathy became moot in this context. [here]

Authorship authentication is what drives belief in telepathy. Here is one coherent explanation of why the client is expressing the thoughts and feelings of the facilitator; not because the facilitator is the only one communicating but because the client is reading the facilitator’s mind. This can reach ridiculous levels as demonstrated by the online writings of Mary Ann Harrington. Not only does she acknowledge that the facilitator can have enormous though subtle influence over the communication; [here] her thesis is that at a ‘higher level of consciousness’ the two can form a partnership, which is a different entity to either facilitator or client alone, based on telepathy.

Harrington is also a fan of the fairytale school of science. First, assume that fairytales exist. In her case she would like research, a great deal of research to be done, not to demonstrate the reality of telepathy but to explore its practical aspects. As the following list of questions for scientists to pursue suggests, she is firmly of the belief that telepathy exists:[here]

• Do our brain wave frequencies entrain during 'thought joining' creating a sympathetic resonance?

• What areas of the brain are being activated during the exchange? Are brain wave patterns altered during interactions?

• Is 'joining' occurring at a subconscious level? Does it assist in tapping into an emanating universal field of knowledge in addition to the knowledge base of the agent? Does adhering to the vibration of the agent help the brain filter material? Does it help the person with severe autism experience typical perceptual reality through the sensory system of the agent?

• Is it possible that two distinct frequencies blended together form a third frequency? (Think of binaural beats or chemical changes) How does this shared frequency affect communicative output?

• Can 'joining' be compared to the synchronization of coupled oscillators? Does this also help to explain group resonance?

• Does the agent serve as a catalyst, providing the stimulus necessary for the individual to access a response? Are his high-speed fleeting thoughts and chaotic flow being entrained by magnetic signals of the agent? Could these radiations produce image or thought receiving experiences by acting on the temporal lobe?

• Do sub-vocalizations enhance the process?

• Is the right brain being stimulated during the connection? Is that why the language used when paired with an agent is often prosaic?

• Does aligning with the rhythm of the agent help the person perform in a synchronized manner? Does it help the individual attune to the frequency of the earth? Do these signals smooth out circadian rhythm?

• Is the pineal gland primarily hyper active in kids with severe autism causing them to let go of ego based consciousness? Is it hypo active in higher functioning individuals resulting in rigid concrete behavior? Might this also be true of the amygdala? Might pineal gland and/or the amygdala be affected by the joining process?

•What role if any does the reticular activating system play?

But Harrington is not alone in fairytale science. These bona fide researchers ought to know better. Konstantareas and Gravelle conducted some research into the relative contributions from the facilitator of physical, emotional and mental support [1]. Crucially they assumed that the communication was authentic. They found that mental support, that is, the advance knowledge of the mental requirements of the communication task by the facilitator was necessary for successful communication. As the authors note, performances with mental support were around 100% successful, but without this knowledge, performances bottomed out to near zero. A skeptic would not be surprised. All experiments on the independence of the communication found exactly the same thing. The communication is coming from the facilitator not the client in the majority of tested cases.
From what I can see, telepathy looks attractive to some people because it explains the apparent input from the facilitator. This is not an ethical position to take however when the bigger question, the authenticity of telepathy itself remains unanswered. There are other reasons why ascribing telepathic abilities to autistic individuals may not be ethical. Firstly given the experimental history of disconfirming the authenticity of the communication, the field does not need any more controversy. Secondly, autistics deserve the same standards of science as anyone else. Harrington shows they are a long way from gaining the minimum. Thirdly, belief in magical thinking blinds you to other and more realistic possibilities. Everything I have read points to the unusual degree of rapport that develops between client and facilitator. Facilitators are in a much better position than most to point out subtle communicative efforts of their non verbal clients, knowledge that would be invaluable to parents of such children everywhere. Telepathy as the explanation for the rapport is frankly unhelpful as well as unethical.

1. Facilitated Communication: The Contribution of Physical, Emotional and Mental Support, M. Mary Konstantareas and Gregory Gravelle, Autism 1998; 2; 389