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I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some Joking Nerdery

I'm taking a graduate linear algebra class this semester. (I'm also taking difference equations, which looks a lot like more advanced linear algebra, at least while it's linear.) During the "lets go through all the stuff you probably learned in undergrad, then forgot, but kinda want to know for this class" phase, one of the things we've covered is linear transformations. T is the variable typically assigned. Linear transformations have kernels/null spaces, which is the stuff from the first set that gets sent to the "zero" point of the second set. These get denoted by a cursive N.

So the null set of a transformation T is  NT. Now, the joke of NTs being null as in nothing is not even a little bit where I am going. Neurotypicality as a construct is pretty thoroughly terrible, yes, but calling a group of people, even privileged people "null space" as in nothing as the punch line is not my idea of joking nerdery.

Defining a function from people to something, like from people to some sort of directed distance from "exact average brain" or "the brain society is defined for" and pointing out that plenty of people are close enough to it to not have a problem, so are going to be close, but the null space isn't based on being close to the zero point. It's based on the function taking you to exactly the zero point. So  NT being the empty set with no one in it because no one has exactly that idealized brain amuses me. (Even if it's not exactly one of the ways I think about neurotypicality/averages/social ideals, it's close enough to amuse me.)

The other idea I had was a space of neurotypes, where the zero point represents the idea of neurotypical as default (so basically this is a space that I don't really like, but I recognize it's how society tends to work.) Defining a function for that is honestly even weirder to me than defining it from people to the directed distance thing, though I could maybe make another function from that multi-dimensional directed distance thing to the neurotype labels the brains map to? In that case, NT would actually be "close enough to that ideal to be privileged by it." That's fairly close to the other way I think about neurotypicality/averages/social ideals.

Neither of those things can actually work as linear transformations, at least partially because I don't think any of the people spaces work as vector spaces, and I'm not entirely sure that any of the spaces I'm mapping into work as vector spaces either, plus there isn't people addition to work like vector addition should. Also  NT being the kernel of something instead of null space, cause that's two words for the same thing. Probably some funky associations there too.

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