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I'm on the spectrum!
And no, I don't mean the ZX Spectrum. ☺
Following yesterday's nerd test, I decided to take an autism test (thanks to Channel4). My result was:
A higher than average score that is above the clinical threshold.
The questions, and my responses. Most of the answers are "Strongly agree, Slightly agree, Slightly Disagree, Strongly Disagree".
- Do you believe that Autism is more common now than in previous generations?
In a word, yes. But, then, maybe I am autistic? I would consider myself to be an introvert and just accept that the whole "social thing" is something of an anathema to me. I don't not socialise because I'm an awkward person with no social skills, I don't socialise because I don't bloody want to. And that's about the size of it.
- I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own.
Nope, strongly disagree. I prefer to do things on my own. You might have noticed that about me (as in, search this blog for group photos - good luck!).
- I prefer to do things the same way over and over again.
Slightly disagree. While I like, at work for instance, to have a routine and know what is expected of me; to do the same thing over and over and over and over is mind-numbingly boring. Trust me, I've worked on a production line. Yawn.
- If I try to imagine something, I find it very easy to create a picture in my mind.
Definitely agree. I'm a very visual person. I have written some stories and while they might suck (!), the basic manner of writing was an attempt at turning what I could see into words. In one case (unreleased, unfinished), I gave up and started writing it as a screenplay, describing how it is expected to appear "on screen", right down to camera movements and timings.
- I frequently get so strongly absorbed in one thing that I lose sight of other things.
Slightly agree. This isn't because I'm autistic, it's because I'm a man. We blokes don't multitask well. That's why I don't buy the whole "girl trapped in a man's body" thing. There are such obvious differences in behaviour between males and females that "corrective surgery" (ever a massive oxymoron), hormones, and wardrobe changes are not going to change guy into gal (or vice versa).
- I often notice small sounds when others do not.
Slightly agree. I notice more small changes in light. I know that EDF does some sort of signalling at specific times of the day, perhaps for tariff changes, as I can see the lights pulsating. Nobody else at work is able to see this. Actually, I lie. I asked about twenty people, so now about twenty people think I'm nuts. I'll extrapolate the rest from the sample of twenty. To me, it is obvious. Really seriously obvious. At least I know I'm not alone, my mother can see it too. But, then, we're related, so it must be inherited nutsification.
- I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information.
Yup. An unknown car pulled into work and this overweight ginger got out, stumbled to the door, and handed over something. I've seen this routine before, I'm guessing he gave his CV. I comment on his hair as while French girls seem to really like dying their hair this vivid red colour (though less than before), proper gingers are not at all common around here. Anyway, his licence plate? I could tell you. But I won't.
- Other people frequently tell me that what I've said is impolite, even though I think it is polite.
Slightly disagree; but to be honest my perceived lack of politeness is more down to my not saying anything at all. I believe I'm polite when I speak. When.
- When I'm reading a story, I can easily imagine what the characters might look like.
- I am fascinated by dates.
Slightly agree. I don't disagree, but really this one needs a "meh" option.
- In a social group, I can easily keep track of several different people's conversations.
Like hell I can. Strongly disagree. Part of why I prefer to avoid social groups.
Which leads on to...
- I find social situations easy.
Nope. Sod off. Leave me to my book. Thank you. Oh, wait, I was supposed to be polite, wasn't I? Please sod off. Thank you.
- I tend to notice details that others do not.
I suppose "strongly agree" would suffice as an alternative for "all the freakin' time"? Actually, I don't think I notice things more than others, I think nobody else bothers paying attention to anything.
- I would rather go to a library than to a party.
Likbraries are good. Cute girls (of the meganeko variety), nobody serving alcohol, and lots and lots of lovely quiet. What's to dislike?
- I find making up stories easy.
I think by now you'll know the answer to this.
- I find myself drawn more strongly to people than to things.
I find "things" to be a vaguely defined concept, but slightly disagree as I'm not exactly drawn to people. Maybe I'd be drawn to the right person, but note that's person in the singular.
- I tend to have very strong interests, which I get upset about if I can't pursue.
I answered Slightly agree; although to be honest, this is probably another "Meh" option needed.
- I enjoy social chitchat.
I'll let you go ahead and tick the box for me, shall I?
- When I talk, it isn't always easy for others to get a word in edgewise.
Try - When others talk, it isn't easy for me to get a word in edgewise.
- I am fascinated by numbers.
So-so. I've said slightly agree, as patterns more than numbers. But patterns are sort of numbers expressed as results of formula. Plus, I really like fractal broccoli.
- When I'm reading a story, I find it difficult to work out the characters' intentions.
Sometimes, yes. Depends upon how well the story is written, don't you think?
- I don't particularly enjoy reading fiction.
Absolutely disagree. Yesterday I mentioned reading "In The After". I'm also brewing some ideas for my Playmo story.
- I find it hard to make new friends.
Yup. That whole "I prefer to be on my own" thing isn't entirely compatible with the whole "friend" thing. That's not to say I'm incapable - I think Mick and I get on well when we meet up. But it helps to have some common frame of reference. They say opposites attract. I don't believe that. I'm trying to imagine the opposite of me and which one of us would throw in the towel first.
- I notice patterns in things all the time.
Oh hell yes. Automatic door at work from production to offices. Takes four seconds to raise. Stays open two seconds. Then takes four seconds to lower. It's because there are two and they are interlocked - when one is open the other must be shut. Automatic door between production areas. Opens in three seconds, stays open for fifteen seconds, closes in three seconds. The second door is lame and only checks for obstructions or presence triggering just prior to closing (a trigger otherwise doesn't reset the delay). I can go on like this. But I won't.
- I would rather go to the theater than to a museum.
Why is a British (Channel4) test using American spelling? I think I'd prefer neither. Unless it's a science museum. Or the Ghibli one. Or a museum of zombie history.
Two of my most vivid memories of theatre were from boarding school outings. One had a lot of ballet style routines in it. Acted by men in fluffy Madoka-style outfits. As if that isn't enough WTF for you, the second one I went to, one of the actors whipped his dick out and whizzed onstage. Only us kids and our very flustered art teacher were surprised, so I'm guessing this was some sort of progressive experimental theatre. I don't see the point, we begin by passing fluids (and other stuff) into our clothes and then as we grow up and get housebroken we whizz into a porcelain bowl, or maybe beside a convenient bush. One thing for certain is that everybody (bar none) does it. So doing it on stage isn't radical, it's kind of dumb. Funny, when I told my teacher that it was boring and I would prefer to walk across the street to the doughnut shop (a bakery), she didn't even attempt to stop me. Win!
- It does not upset me if my daily routine is disturbed.
Slightly agree. It isn't that my daily routine is disturbed, it's what my routine is disturbed with that can be the problem. Usually other people's incompetence, and never anything worthwhile like Martians landing in the car park, but then, no-one would care.
- I frequently find that I don't know how to keep a conversation going.
Going? I'm lucky if I get that far...
- I find it easy to 'read between the lines' when someone is talking to me
Nope, not so much. That's probably one of the reasons I'm cynical. I just usually assume people are lying to me. It's a pleasant surprise when they are not, and otherwise "as expected".
- I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than on the small details.
I prefer to concentrate on details. Why? Because I don't think people who concentrate on the whole picture can see the details at all. I have no problem with only having a corner of the picture to deal with. I'm not management, that stuff isn't my job.
To put it another way - the newbie quality control girl, while trying to resolve a problem, came out with "I'm not interested in problems, I'm interested in solutions, talk to me about solutions". So I told her that before anybody can devise a solution worthy of merit, one has to first correctly identify the problem that they are trying to resolve.
Well? Tell me I'm wrong. I can give you a dozen solutions right now. None of which will deal with any of today's problems. Plus, there is the possibility that one of our problems is somebody else's solution...so don't go quoting cute phrases you read in the back of a micromanagement handbook, I've heard it all before - I used to work for a guy that did ISO 9001 certification...which must be the mother of all bull&waffle.
- I am not very good at remembering phone numbers.
0681407793. Problem is, I've not had that number for three contract periods now. What's that, four or five years? My current number begins 06.
- I don't usually notice small changes in a situation or a person's appearance.
Disagree. I do. I just tend to keep it to myself if the fluffy brunette has put weird blonde streaks in her fair. I tell myself, at least she didn't go all Annie Lennox on us.
- I know how to tell if someone listening to me is getting bored.
Not really. I usually figure if somebody is talking to me, they're bored. Speaking of which...why are you here? ☺ The Playmobil stuff is down below...
- I find it easy to do more than one thing at once.
Not especially. I'm male. We don't do multitasking. That's why we invented computers.
- When I talk on the phone, I'm not sure when it's my turn to speak.
I said slightly agree as the indicator of my turn to speak is that long awkward silence that proceeds it.
- I enjoy doing things spontaneously.
As I picked an autism-like answer for the previous Meh question, I picked slightly agree for this one. In truth, I'm Meh. Whether or not I like spontaneity depends upon what is being proposed. Going for a walk in the rain on a warm day? Maybe. Bungee jumping off a bridge? No way in hell.
- I am often the last to understand the point of a joke.
Slightly agree - but that might be more down to the sort of joke. I don't 'get' Frank(ie?) Boyle. I 'get' Daria.
- I find it easy to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face.
Subtle emotions, no. Strong emotions are easier, if somebody is bright red and foaming at the mouth they are either seriously angry, choking, or have rabies.
- If there is an interruption, I can switch back to what I was doing very quickly.
I tend to find context switching to be a costly affair. For those who are less geeky, that means "no".
- I am good at social chitchat
This is your cue to roll around on the floor. Laughing is optional, but recommended in case your family members think you're having some sort of fit. Plus, we all use phrases like "ROTFL" but I've never seen anybody roll on a floor from laughing. I saw a girl wet herself laughing when I was in junior school, but never has anybody actually rolled. Except maybe Rick Astley, but that's a whole different cauldron of Osteichthyes.
- People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.
Mmmm... That would be Japan, programming, and zombies, right?
- When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children.
Leave off the last three words. That's better.
- I like to collect information about categories of things (e.g., types of cars, birds, trains, plants).
I put "slightly agree" as I guess programmer API material and kana tutorials are categories of things in a vague sense, but here's another question calling out for a "meh" answer.
- I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else.
I can totally imagine what it would be like to be somebody else. Sometimes I wish I was somebody else. It's not the same "somebody else" either, the who/what/where changes regularly (else it'd be boring).
- I like to carefully plan any activities I participate in.
Slightly agree, though this is less anything to do with autism and more the experience of rushing headlong into disaster that a little bit of advance planning doesn't go amiss. But I'm not one of these people that have my life scheduled down to fifteen minute increments. I really don't know how somebody can function like that.
- I enjoy social occasions.
Sure - if you define social as me, a good book, and a big mug of tea...
- I find it difficult to work out people's intentions.
Sometimes, yes. I prefer people who are more direct than those that give a non-response in many many words.
- New situations make me anxious.
Depends upon the situation, but slightly agree if it involves other people, and most do.
- I enjoy meeting new people.
Not so much. I met Mick, and I'd like to meet Rob, Ewen, etc some day. Maybe even some off the RISC OS forum. But we have communicated in various ways, so they aren't "new", I'm just seeing them in person for the first time.
- I am a good diplomat.
My idea of diplomacy is to shut up and walk away. If it all blows up, it's somebody else's problem. I did intervene once when a stressy woman was being stressy, but that was because she is a good person and I didn't want her to risk throwing her job away over something stupid; but by and large I don't try diplomacy. Who'd listen to me anyway?
- I am not very good at remembering people's date of birth.
I'm not good at that. I program stuff like that into my phone specifically so I don't have to remember. But I probably ought to make everything two weeks ahead so I have a chance to send a birthday card...
- I find it very easy to play games with children that involve pretending.
I'm a (very nearly) forty two year old man. I think playing games with children that I'm not genetically linked to is asking for trouble in this day and age...
Well. That's it. Fifty questions. With fifty responses to gawk at.
Thing is, why does this put me "on the spectrum"? I mean, I'm introvert. That much is painfully obvious. I also like to pay attention and try to notice my surroundings. Is that the definition of autism these days? If so, no wonder so many people seem to have it. The MBTI personality type contains four elements of personality, of which intro/extraversion is one of the elements. The others are sensing vs intuition, thinking vs feeling, and judging vs perceiving. I think I may be an INFP type person, but that's based upon reading a short description rather than any sort of test.
If I am "on the spectrum", I want to be cerulean. One of those colours where people are like "don't you mean cyan?" (NO!) or - God help us - "don't you mean blue?" (NO!). If I meant cyan (or blue), I would have said it. I meant cerulean. Exactly that.
And yes, I'm aware that "RGB" (and web-like) cerulean is different to proper cerulean, with cerulean blue being something again different, in between the two.
I put this down to dumb people unable to describe their world in more colours than in the rainbow song.
But it's also what makes cerulean such a cool colour. When you say it, you know exactly which colour you mean but other people may have a different idea. They're wrong, of course. Cerulean is cerulean. End of. ☺
Playmobil Advent Calendar - Day Eleven
Okay. Here's the part you really came for...
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|Zerosquare, 12th December 2015, 07:37|
"I know that EDF does some sort of signalling at specific times of the day, perhaps for tariff changes, as I can see the lights pulsating."
You're dead on -- it's called Pulsadis, and dates back to at least 1964. It is indeed used to signal tariff changes, as well as to turn street lights on or off in some areas, etc. Here's some technical info if you're curious:
And yes, it does cause fluorescent lights to flicker, which I find pretty annoying, just like the flicker of old CRTs with low refresh rates (50 - 60 Hz). Most people I've asked don't notice it, either. I believe the sensitivity to flicker varies from person to person, and might be genetic.
|David Pilling, 12th December 2015, 12:44|
When you get yourself a label, Donald J Trump will be able to ban you. At least the hard to categorise are safe walking home at night. And... what if it is learnt behaviour, lie with dogs catch fleas.
|David Pilling, 12th December 2015, 12:52|
Pulsadis - interesting - if you're seeing 175Hz at low amplitude you're on the superhero spectrum. Missing entire mains cycles which you would see, would upset things like electric clocks which are usually accurate.
|Gavin Wraith, 12th December 2015, 15:19|
"Cyan" is an interesting word. Comes via Latin from Greek, and yet further back from Hittite, "kuwannas" meaning "copper", presumably the greenish oxidised kind, or "bead". Sea-nymphs in Greek poetry often get to be called "kuanoplokamos" - cyan-braided. Whether this refers to the colour of their hair or what they wore in it is not clear.
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