little think

there was a study published in current biology the other day showing that, unlike “neurotypical” kids, autistic kids don’t overimitate after being shown how to do something. from a popular report @livescience:

“Kids with Autism Don’t Copy ‘Silly’ Actions”

“When imitating the behavior of an adult, children with the developmental disorder autism tend to skip ‘silly,’ unnecessary actions, while those without autism tend to copy everything they see, silly or not, a new study suggests.

“The study involved 31 children with an autism spectrum disorder, and 30 typically developing kids without autism. All the children were asked to watch as an adult showed how to remove a toy (a rubber duck) from a closed Tupperware container. Some of the steps performed were necessary, such as unclipping the lid of the box and taking the lid off, while some were unnecessary, such as tapping the lid twice. The children were then given the container, and asked to get the toy out as fast as they could.

“Kids without autism were much more likely to copy the unnecessary steps, even though the children were not specifically instructed to copy everything the adult did. About 43 to 57 percent of kids without autism copied the unnecessary steps, compared with 22 percent of kids with autism….”

the researcher who conducted the study suggests that: “children with autism do things efficiently rather than socially, whereas typical children do things socially rather than efficiently” [my emphasis].

humans are social creatures. in an extreme sort of way (see: the great civilizations). and our sociality has enabled us to do some fantastic things. but it also makes too many humans thick as planks because most humans really, really, really want to follow and belong to the group. whatever the cost (i.e. even if it means being dumber than a chimp).

and woe to those who don’t play along:

“The End of a Bold Experiment: Big Think and Satoshi Kanazawa”

“Over the past few months, across various social media platforms, and also from the mouths of some of our own bloggers, I have listened to a sustained critique of Kanazawa’s presence on Big Think….

“What I hope results from this experience is what educators call a ‘teachable moment.’ We certainly believe in the value of free speech at Big Think, and give voice to controversial thinkers whose opinions tend to span the political spectrum and often challenge the sacred cows of their respective fields…. However, in providing a platform for dangerous ideas, we also run the risk of overreaching and losing the goodwill of our most dedicated readers. Our commitment is first, and always, to you, and to maintaining your trust…”

…’cause we wouldn’t want you to stop LIKING us and exclude us from the in crowd! heavens, no.

what a bunch of … little thinkers! but that’s all most people are capable of, because most people are social, and social belonging trumps all. like i said over here, it really is us contrarians who require explaining because we are the exceptions to the rule!

jared taylor (quoted by john derbyshire) said recently: “Most people are incapable of holding an unfashionable opinion.”

yup.
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(btw, i’m not saying that all contrarians are on the autistic spectrum … but i think a h*ckuva lot of them probably are!)

(note: comments do not require an email. neurotypical personality disorder [<<joke alert!].)

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linkfest – 09/16/12

Growing your own merchant class“To explain the high incidence of Tay-Sachs among Ashkenazi Jews, some authors have invoked heterozygote advantage…. A similar situation may have developed in eastern Quebec, where the relative scarcity of British and American merchants made it easier for French Canadians to enter occupations that required literacy, numeracy, and future time orientation.” — cool! from peter frost.

A slower mutation rate has implications… and here they are“Researchers have long used an autosomal mutation rate for humans that was based on a calibration of the split between humans and chimps…. More recently, a variety of studies using a variety of techniques (latest one from ASHG 2012) all came up with a rate that is about half that value.” — important stuff from dienekes.

Learning faster with neurodegenerative disease“People who bear the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease learn faster than healthy people. The more pronounced the mutation was, the more quickly they learned.”

Eating disorders and the extreme female brain – @the breviary.

Were you Assimilable? – superb post from m.g. over @those who can see!

How early social deprivation impairs long-term cognitive function“Social isolation during early life prevents the cells that make up the brain’s white matter from maturing and producing the right amount of myelin….”

Soapy taste of coriander linked to genetic variants“Dislike of herb traced to genes encoding odour and taste receptors.”

Looking at you: Face genes identified“5 genes have been found to determine human facial shapes.” — see also Police could create image of suspect’s face from DNA.

The Return of the Ugly, Racist Pseudoscientist with a Small Penis – kanazawa’s back. (~_^) via steve sailer.

bonus: GM corn loses its edge against pests“Corn rootworms in the US may have developed resistance to a protective chemical made by a genetically modified corn.”

bonus bonus: Giant viruses coexisted with the cellular ancestors and represent a distinct supergroup along with superkingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya

bonus bonus bonus: After Egyptian Dictatorship Comes Epidemic Harassment Of Women“Progress is not inevitable….” — no. no it’s not. from parapundit.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital — from matt taibbi. via anatoly.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: In China We (Don’t) Trust

(note: comments do not require an email. don’t forget! — death to america!)