Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

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.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Alyssa Reads Memory Blunting: Ethical Analysis- cognitive liberty

 I read "Memory Blunting: Ethical Analysis" by the President's Council on Bioethics, excerpted from Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness (2003) and appearing in Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings, edited by Martha J. Farah. I did so because I am taking a neuroethics class and we're supposed to show that we're thinking about neuroethics stuff at least a bit outside class. Also because I'm super-interested in how neuro-stuff (especially neurodivergence but really all things neuro-) is represented in fiction (especially young adult speculative fiction.) I'm pretty much chucking my notes (drawn parallels, expressions of annoyance, and the occasional "OK that's legitimate") on my blog because as important as a lab notebook is, I like notes that are typed and searchable. I started with some connections to Allegiant, then some thoughts on collective effects of blunting trauma. Now here's cognitive liberty.

The concerns about what we might do to others minds if it were an issue of what person X does/chooses for person X, not what we are choosing for others. Cognitive liberty. We don't seem to have a coherent definition of the self, and autonomy is complicated, but there is definitely a thing where a person either is or is not making the decisions about interventions taken (or not taken) on their own minds. Also on how folks define their own "true selves." What about who you are is important to you? Not what's important to me about who you are. Of course, that would stop us from moralizing over what experiences other people have are real and true vs. somehow fake. Changing one's own cognition by one's own choice isn't as acceptable as I think it should be. 
And yet, there may be a great cost to acting compassionately for those who suffer bad memories, if we do so by compromising the truthfulness of how they remember. We risk having them live falsely in order to cope, surviving by whatever means possible. (92)
Again, we do to them. Not, we offer them the option. Do we think we know better than them what's right for them? That way lies all sorts of abuse "for their own good." And ... do we really think everyone would choose to dull the pain of a memory or to forget it (remember also that those two things are not the same.) Because I don't think that. I think lots of people would, but not everyone. Despite (because of?) my arguments about cognitive autonomy leaning towards letting people choose to blunt the trauma,  I want the right to remember in my relatively unchanged way. It's just that the arguments run towards why everyone needs to be doing it that way, and I don't believe everyone needs to be remembering that way. I think enough people would choose to remember that we'd get whatever collective benefits the memory would provide, even if we let people choose to dull their pain. Not that I think the supposed benefits are nearly as strong as seems to be argued. Intentional ignorance is already a thing.

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