Just try to be logical

posted by Jeff | Friday, May 17, 2024, 12:00 PM | comments: 0

I've talked before about how many people on the autism spectrum reach a point of meltdown when they can't reconcile two things that shouldn't be true. It was one of the things that I observed in Simon when he was little that made me eventually seek a diagnosis myself. Sometimes what is clearly illogical becomes possible because of the inputs of human emotions. My most epic meltdown came from a situation where my fifth grade teacher accused me of something that I didn't do, punished me for it, and I couldn't deal.

I still encounter this today, and while I certainly have the coping skills that I didn't have when I was 10, I am surprised at how much it affects me. Even in stuff that doesn't matter, like on a roller coaster forum, I find myself going after people who speculate on things for no other reason than they have a feeling. It happens every year when people see survey markers on the ground, and conclude that the only thing possible is a 600-foot roller coaster with a built-in restaurant that can skip through space-time. There is absolutely zero evidence of this, of course, so how do they even get there?

Maybe I need to also point out that challenging people may, on the surface, appear that I have a high opinion of myself, but certainly in the context of autism, that just ain't the case. I can't speak for everyone on the spectrum, but it goes back to the logical reality that my head lives in. To point out that something isn't logical isn't because I think I'm smarter than anyone, because in my wiring, I'm just stating what is factual. I'm not after a dopamine hit for being right, because feeling pleasure for stating that something just "is" doesn't really make sense. I'm not looking for a high-five because I've told you the sky is blue.

So maybe you can see why living in a world where people just make shit up and are willing to believe in an alternate reality (which is kind of an oxymoron, because as far as we know there is only one reality) is difficult. The folks that believe there is a liberal cabal of coastal elites trying to "destroy" the country are a special kind of stupid. Willful ignorance is like a disease in this country. I get that people have different opinions and seek different policy, and while I may not agree with everyone, that's fine. But if your opinions are not rooted in some kind of observed reality, not only have you lost me, but I'm gonna call it out.

I desperately want people to engage in critical thinking. For all of my desire to reconcile facts, even I understand that a great many things in the world are not binary conditions. Mutual exclusivity is often not a thing. Except when it is, and that's why critical thinking is so important. I don't want to live in the movie Idiocracy.


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