Ann Brown


Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


The Intense World Theory of Autism

There's a distinction that is important to make when it comes to empathy, between 'cognitive empathy' and 'emotional empathy', that is a good starting place. The empathy divide goes all ways when it comes to neurology - neurotypicals have a harder time understanding autistics and (the opposite neurotype of autistic folk, who might have been diagnosed psychopaths at some point but don't have a definite entry in the DSM-V).

Cognitive empathy is being able to understand another person's perspective and mental state. Everyone needs to learn this, but if people think similarly to you it is easier because you have some baseline assumptions that are correct. It is often more urgent to learn this for people who don't share your neurotype if you are autistic (or the specific neurotype that is psychopathic?-opposite-of-autism) because you aren't in the majority in most circumstances - and assuming that everyone thinks the same way you do leads to wrong conclusions that cause wrong predictions quite quickly.

Affective or emotional empathy. Responding to another's mental state with our own emotions, when we are affected by them. Sympathy, concern, and personal distress tend to fall into this. We vary as much as anybody on this one, with some potential complications - we may be hyperempathic, and emotionally respond more than neurotypicals to a wider range of stimuli, including perceiving impossible things like the emotional state of a toaster due to hypersensitivity. We may be alexithymic, and not understand our own emotions enough to be able to express them at all without some aggressive introspection, much less appropriately. We may be too overwhelmed by the emotion to use it to find an appropriate response (try literally feeling your pain under intense world theory). We may not know any appropriate response, or the generally appropriate response for our neurotype is not the appropriate one for yours (whereas it may have been a good guess with minds more like ours). If we do know an appropriate response, expressing ourselves with a script, with nonverbal communication, or any other 'odd' way may be more difficult to understand or receive on their end.

The Intense World Theory of Autism

We definitely often have both sensory-seeking and sensory-avoiding needs. I am not as sensitive to some elements of the world now as I used to be as a child, but unsure how much of that is because I was a child and now am not, compared to 'getting used to' things (or some partial loss of the actual sense rendering it moot).

Reasons it would not be worth a try are that sensory-avoided experiences are, as mentioned elsewhere, extremely painful. Literally painful, as I was surprised I had to clarify at one point - apparently people without sensory aversions can find sensory experiences metaphorically? painful without them quite registering on the same scale as getting stabbed? But I would definitely say that while I have very much not enjoyed bad ongoing physical pain, bad ongoing sensory-avoid is for my normal experiences of both a great deal worse. A migraine makes me miserable; having to endure a sufficiently unpleasant sound on an ongoing basis without recourse could have me attacking walls / trying to hit my head on things if I didn't know better / other means to try to override and distract with other sensory input.

The Intense World Theory of Autism

Many autistic individuals who experienced it have attested that Applied Behavior Analysis is an extremely unpleasant experience that caused them harm. It is a form of operant conditioning, that trains us to behave neurotypically and not behave autistically through reward/punishment. It does not 'cure' but control.

nroman's Shortform

My friend had a fever-type dream after the second jab, and his fever dreams are usually fairly creative. Unsure whether he had an actual fever at the time (being asleep and the side effects short duration), but fever dreams are a similar phenomenon and it seemed likely to have been a case of that.

Jimrandomh's Shortform

Possibly because I consume sucralose regularly as a sweetener and have some negative impacts from sugar, it is definitely discerned and distinct from 'sugar - will cause sugar effects' to my tastes. I enjoy it for coffee and ice cream. I need more of it to balance out a bitter flavor, but don't crave it for itself; accidentally making saccharine coffee doesn't result in deciding to put splenda in tea later rather than go without or use honey.

For more pure sugar (candy, honey, syrup, possibly milk even), there's definitely a saccharine-averse and a sugar-consume fighting at different kinds of craving for me. Past a certain amount, I don't want more at the level of feeling like, oh, I could really use more sugar effects now; quite the opposite. But taste alone continues to be oddly desperate for it.

Fresh or frozen sweet fruit either lacks this aversion, or takes notably longer to reach it. I don't taste a fruit and immediately anticipate having a bad time at a gut level. Remains delicious, though, and craved at the taste level.

bfinn's Shortform

Regulations around backyard chickens have been kind of a hotly argued issue in my locality in my lifetime, so that trend is not necessarily always voluntary or irreversible.

(Regarding 'wild' animals and middle ground, people may also decide to do things like build birdhouses, provide feeders, and treat injury, which may enhance quality/length of life without making either lifestock or pet of those interacted with. Populations of feral chickens also exist some places, so farm-raised chickens aren't the only group in consideration for farm-chicken-descended birds.)

Jimrandomh's Shortform

Is there a place for unsweetened chocolate or alternately raw cacao, if you can make the palate adjustment to munch on something that bitter? I usually mix the nibs into something, but if my chocolate craving is high enough they grow worth the effort to eat straight. (Ie, rule out the sugar vs chocolate craving difference. In the case of chocolate or coffee, sugar/sweetener's just serving the role of making what I'm actually craving more palatable.)

bfinn's Shortform

While I have a position on the case - I'd rather eat lab-grown meat and conduct trades with other animals that don't involve their suffering and slaughter, even if that results in somewhat fewer lives barely worth living existing in the first place - I wasn't arguing against it with that point, rather thinking that your view of the stone age and human progress may benefit from challenging some of the assumptions to it.

Peoples' level of happiness and peoples' level of suffering are somewhat distinct, for one. For happiness, there are baseline levels, hedonic adaptation, adjusting to the situation, deliberate abuse... I can tweak my baseline happiness upward, but I don't necessarily want to.

People in Afghanistan and other modern places have versions of suffering available to them that would have been far less available in the (early especially) stone age, including weapons technology for war, the ability to muster state violence in a significant degree and other political innovations, chemical pollution and the physical risks specifically of heavy machinery, having people a continent away readily able to offset their reduction in suffering by inflicting the externalities to you ... I think it is reasonable to look into the idea of whether levels of suffering actually were higher in Stone Age societies on a by person level. (Ones in regions where it never gets cold would likely not have higher levels of suffering from cold, as a trivial example...)

(Edit, additionally to address first paragraph)
For person-affecting view - Some is lost by animals and people not being brought into existence, but I don't feel like it has much ethical implication short of when that is actually genocidal, which is group-level ethics rather than individual.

The fact the infinite combinations of genes and experiences I could possibly have grown from are missing out on experiencing life is a much less serious tragedy to me than the suffering of any person who actually exists.

If I was one of a set of possible embryos selected from to deliberately not have benign or at least survivable traits because society discriminates against (for example) left-handed people, I'd have somewhat more concerns.

bfinn's Shortform

Having the right to live tends to mean the right not to be killed once you exist. It doesn't generally mean all possible lives need to be brought into existence. The nonexistent kids of people who decided not to have any, or not to have as many kids as was physically possible are perfectly well off as far as that goes.

Neolithic innovations are pretty far beyond the natural state, and parts of human history like intensive agriculture may have resulted in worse experiences at an individual level while still being necessary to survive the situation or other pressures. History doesn't always march to something more pleasant. Stone age humans in general probably had much more capable social structures and healing ability than most wild animals have to look forward to - what nonhuman society can both set a broken bone so it will heal right and look after the creature healing?

Mati_Roy's Shortform

Agricultural robots exist, and more autonomous versions will benefit from AI in performing tasks currently more dependent on human labor (like careful harvesting) or provide additional abilities like scanning trees to optimize harvest time.

Related to whether faster AI progress would give a better price for the market, well, the market may currently be pricing in a relative shortage of human labor, and some of the efforts towards AI robots (in apples for example) have so far gone too slowly to be viable, so going faster than expected might shift the dynamic there.

Load More