Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

The UCSB Shooting

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Hickey on May 28, 2014

I was going to do a political post today, but it turns out that I have something to say about that nasty little wankstain whose name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned, who murdered those people.

People are saying it’s “because he had Asperger’s”. No. I’ve got Asperger’s. Number of people I’ve murdered — zero. And no, contra Septicisle it would not “account for his wholesale lack of empathy”. People with Asperger’s do not lack empathy — at least not to any greater extent than neurotypicals. This is a pernicious myth based on the idiot Simon Baron-Cohen idiotically using the word “empathy” in two contradictory ways in his laughably wrong research. See autismandempathy.com (that site’s down at the moment, but see, for example, here in the Wayback Machine), and note that the “cognitive empathy” which we apparently lack is actually an inability to read neurotypical body language and tone well just as neurotypicals have even more difficulty reading our body language and tone . Saying that people with Asperger’s have problems with empathy is like saying that someone from Sweden, who speaks Swedish perfectly well but can only speak English with a strong accent, has a “language problem” because someone from England who can’t speak Swedish at all has difficulty understanding her. It’s just wrong.

And that difficulty reading body language and tone a communication problem that goes both ways — does not mean that we have problems with what Baron-Cohen calls “affective empathy”, which is what everyone else just calls empathy. That emotional capacity — being happy in someone else’s happiness, being sad for someone else’s pain, and so forth — is, according to most recent studies, something people with Asperger’s have more of than neurotypicals.

So thanks, Simon Baron-Cohen, once again you’ve got people saying that my neurology, and that of millions of innocent, good, people, makes someone a killer. Thanks.

“It’s because he had mental health problems”. Again, no. I have mental health problems. No massacres.

Most perniciously of all, though, they’re saying he killed them “because he was a virgin who was turned down by women”.

No, no, a thousand times no.

It’s horribly embarrassing to admit it, even twelve years on, let alone say it in public, but when I turned twenty-four I was still a virgin, because I was physically unattractive and socially inept. I still to this day have psychological problems rooted in all the rejection I experienced.

And you know what? No mass murders. Because I knew the problem was with me.

I did (and I’m deeply ashamed of it) go through a bit of a “nice guy” phase in my late teens, but it would never have occurred to me in a million years to kill anyone, or write a 110,000 word rant about how all women are evil even then, let alone in my mid 20s.

So no, those things aren’t to blame. If they were, I’d have been a mass murderer too.

What is to blame is that wankstain being a vicious, hateful, misogynist. Rejection doesn’t turn you into one of them. But being one of them may well make people reject you.

So no, the girl who turned him down when he was twelve didn’t “make him” do it. Nor did any other woman. Not wanting to have sex with someone you find unattractive (for what seems very good reason in this case) does not turn them into a killer. Nor does having Asperger’s (if indeed he did). Nor having mental health problems.

None of those things are why he did it, and we know they aren’t why he did it, because they’re all things that have happened to many, many, other people, who don’t go around killing people. Luckily, we do know why he did it. He went to great lengths to tell us. It was because he believed the pernicious ideology of “Men’s Rights Activists” and “Pick-Up Artists”, the ideology that says that women are less than human and need to be dominated by “Alpha” men. The ideology that says that men are owed sex by women. The ideology that says that if you’ve been rejected, it’s not because of you, it’s because of her, and she must be punished. The ideology of whiny, angry, entitled men everywhere.

Funny how people with hateful right-libertarian-MRA ideologies are so big on personal responsibility right up to the point that it looks like one of them was personally responsible for something, eh?

(Election post tomorrow. This week should also see a post on Cerebus, a California Dreaming post, and reviews of the Magic Band and Rutles gigs I’m going to if they’re different enough from last year’s to merit new reviews).

Just a brief note

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Hickey on January 6, 2013

I’m still not being very good about a lot of communication stuff, like replying to emails, or to helpful comments left in my blog posts, so I thought I’d post a brief explanation about this.

For 18 months or so now, I’ve been suffering from various stress-related illnesses — mostly psoriasis, asthma and migraine, but also, on occasion, hypertension. My blood pressure is currently bouncing around between about 150/90 and 186/112, and for those of you who know anything about blood pressure, you’ll know that’s not good.

When my stress levels are up, my thought processes become fuzzy, and while I’m still capable of composing blog posts (which take increased effort, but are still possible), my ability at any kind of real-time interaction becomes near-nonexistent, and it takes so long to formulate a reply that it becomes pointless to do so. This is also why my Twittering has been less frequent in that time.

This is also a principal reason, incidentally, why I’ve not posted much about politics in the last year or so. I don’t actually want to have written on my death certificate “Cause of death: Massive stroke due to arguing with idiots on the internet”

There are things in place to help me get well, and slowly they seem to be working, but it will take time. In the meantime, I wanted you all to know that I’m very grateful for all the (non-trolling) comments I get, and I appreciate the small community that exists around this blog very much.

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