An Enigma post
Posts and quotes from the book: ALAN TURING: The Enigma By Andrew HodgesSimon and Schuster New York. Copyright 1983Related Item PBS-BBC show entitled Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitmore, based on The Enigma.
Page 249"New acquaintances at Bell Labs complained of Alan giving no sign of recognition or greeting when he passed then in the halls; instead, he made an explanation hinting at when he found so many aspects of life difficult. ' you know at Cambridge, he said, you come out in the morning and it's Redundant to keep saying hallo, hallo, hallo' he was too conscious of what he was doing, to slip into conversation without thinking. But he promised to be better.
"From Rich I doubt that any autism professional of today like, Wakefield or the late Dr.Rimland, or others would know what he or she has just read in the quoted Enigma text above. Odds are they would see Alan 's behavior and know it as a simple 'stuck up Aspie' especially, if a particular person was pretty high functioning. What the quote actually tells me is Alan was a picture thinker and either knowingly or unknowingly his life was filled with picture thoughts and thus he was too busy thinking about things to even bother to say 'Hi,'be social, or for that matter care whom he was talking to. As Alan said he found many aspects of life difficult-well, no wonder.
Alan's picture thoughts were most likely on technical things he was developing the computer after all. But even social thoughts are in pictures as well until all the picture thoughts of autism then they become automatic and dare I say it, "normal thought". Unless we develop Picture in picture thoughts we have a hard time becoming social. Of course Picture in picture thoughts have never even graced the pages of a psychology text book and they logically aper a few steps UP from Temple's Thinking in Pictures still and motion pictures as she described and as autism admitted we had. These Autism thoughts are part of the lack of eye contact thought process we do. While people claim we are not autistic as we do too much/I can make the same counter claim as they are not autism professionals or they would know what we know, or care enough to figure out their precious savant, their gold standard of autism. There is little difference autistically between the village idiot, rain man or a "normal" person of our anthropology. As we know there is a wild obvious difference in real life, however.
Alan was in a perfect spot time wise and autism wise. People knew and appreciated his "autism" insight his genus ability and were willing to put up with all of his social quirks to have assess to his autism thoughts. His work, his autism was vital to the war effort. His work did help break Hitlars war codes after all. Alan like all of us in our anthropology have a much better private life than a public one. He had many long term gay friends and in the 1950s gay was totally taboo. If autism would care to study our group they would see we do rather well in social situations and eventually we do very well in all situations. There just might be something to the Queer eye for the straight guy Social charm school.
It was the timing that made Alan invaluable to the world in the 1940 and 50's if there had been no war effort he might have been easily ignored and the world would have never seen the results of autism or been the given the blueprint of autism. As it is that crypto sensitive Autism style we all merge and blend into a form of normal life is just as valid today as it was then. Now if only we could get the modern Autism folks to even look at us? The autism we know and love and work with really seems to be the building blocks of the mind: It could be yours too if you urge the autism professionals to admit to all of us.
Rich Shull, Inventor of the Turing Motor a 70% efficient Green triple hybrid car motor. Host of the blog Pre Rain Man Autism