May 8th, 2010

The Pill turns fifty: are we having fun yet?

According to Gail Collins, tomorrow—Mother’s Day, May 9—could be considered the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, although there are several days contending for that honor. By the time I was growing up the Pill was already a fact of life, albeit a new one. I certainly used it, and I believe that on the whole I, personally, benefited greatly from it. But that doesn’t mean it was an unmitigated plus in all respects.

Collins manages to write an entire column devoted to Margaret Sanger and her crusade for the dissemination (pun intended) of birth control information without once mentioning any of the other huge controversies that dominated Sanger’s life, such as her socialism and her advocacy of eugenics, including her drive to convince members of races she considered inferior to reproduce less, as well as the forced sterilization of the mentally feeble.

Sanger began her contraceptive-promoting activities in the early decades of the 20th century, during a time when it was against the law to teach about birth control, but later exploited an exception that was made for doctors. But even prior to that, women in all cultures have had a folklore of remedies (mostly ineffective), as well as the most drastic (and dangerous) ex-post-facto measure of all, illegal abortions—not a type of contraception, of course, but a way to prevent birth when contraception was unavailable or failed.

Collins ignores this fact in her piece, as well. But abortions were very common even when Sanger began her work; for example, I recall reading a biography of a turn-of-the-century working class woman from New York City who mentioned that the women in her neighborhood had almost all had abortions numbering in the double figures, performed by a local guy whom everyone knew was employable for a small fee for just that purpose. Abortions were also sometimes self-induced; those were free in monetary terms, although they could be costly in other ways. The consequences of either type of abortion, in those pre-antibiotic days, could easily be major infection and/or death. Of course, that was true of childbirth as well.

The Pill plus Roe v. Wade changed all that. One would think that with the former there would hardly be any need for the latter. But if one thought that, one would be wrong. The advent of easy and extremely effective contraception has brought with it a cavalier attitude towards it. This is partly because abortion is also seen as so relatively easy, safe, and available; partly because unwed motherhood has turned into something so acceptable and is even romanticized as desirable; and partly because sex is now ubiquitous even for the very young and very irresponsible.

These things are not coincidental to the Pill—they are at least in part a direct result of what Sanger envisioned, the freeing of women to enjoy sex without its previous built-in consequences. But, as with so many things, consequences follow us around nevertheless; they are just different consequences.

Now we have to worry about rampant promiscuity among teens and even preteens, and the deep psychological and even physical damage it can cause (such as STDs). Girls who once were protected by the mores of society and their own fear of the shame of pregnancy are free to enjoy sex—but how many of them are really having all that much fun, and at what cost? How many of them have the maturity to understand what they want and with whom they might be happy? How many are giving in to the age-old pressures of popularity and the needs of teenage boys? How many boys are fathering kids early in life and bearing that burden? How many boys and men are brokenhearted at the loss of their potential child when a women unilaterally decides to abort?

There were terrible costs to the bad old pre-Pill days. But there are huge problems today as well, and they are not limited to teens—women who delayed pregnancy for so long that they find their biological clocks have run down, for example, or those who have a long series of meaningless relationships in a chase after that elusive and perfect (and non-existent) sexual partner who will fulfill their every desire. When we have more choices, we must bear the consequences of the decisions we do make

[ADDEUNDUM: Gay Patriot has some observations, including a classical one.]

[ADDENDUM II: Glenn Reynolds links me and Raquel Welch, a combination not usually seen in nature.]

48 Responses to “The Pill turns fifty: are we having fun yet?”

  1. foxmarks Says:

    Thank you for remembering those who would prefer fatherhood to abortion. The vast majority of conversation on the topic ignores or dismisses male perspectives.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    Considering what Collins is it is unsurprising that she ignores or obfuscates the unsavory parts of Sanger’s life. After all, Sanger, like Rachael Carsons, is one of the Saints in Collins’ No-Consequences Cathedral. The unstinting reverence for Sanger is something written into the Democrat Dogma in indelible ink.

    “As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever shall be, world without consequences. Amen.”

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    Birth Control Pills Affect Women’s Taste in Men
    How synthetic hormones change desire in women–and their choice in a mate

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=birth-control-pills-affect-womens-taste

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    A study published in August in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, however, suggests that women on the pill undergo a shift in preference toward men who share similar MHC genes. The female subjects were more likely to rate these genetically similar men’s scents (via a T-shirt the men had worn for two nights) as pleasant and desirable after they went on the pill as compared with before. Although no one knows why the pill affects attraction, some scientists believe that pregnancy—or in this case, the hormonal changes that mimic pregnancy—draws women toward nurturing relatives.

    Ie… we get more genetic mutations, more downs, and women then dislike their husbands when they come off it, if they met him on it… and they tend change when they are with someone when they werent taking it, and now taking it, dont like him.

    of course, if feminism wasnt a cult movement for marxism, it would tell THE WHOLE TRUTH… it would not be built on so many half truths (whole lies).

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    sorry…
    Women who start or stop taking the pill, then, may be in for some relationship problems. A study published last year in Psychological Science found that women paired with MHC-similar men are less sexually satisfied and more likely to cheat on their partners than women paired with MHC-dissimilar men. So a woman on the pill, for example, might be more likely to start dating a MHC-similar man, but he could ultimately leave her less sexually satisfied. Then if she goes off the pill during the relationship, the accompanying hormonal changes will draw her even more strongly toward more MHC-dissimilar men. These immune genes may have a “powerful effect in terms of how well relationships are cemented,” says University of Liverpool psychologist Craig Roberts, co-author of the August paper.

  6. JC Says:

    See also the recent book by Elaine Tyler May, “America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation”.

    Professor May was interviewed by Christina Hoff Sommers on the C-SPAN program After Words. The interview is available for viewing at booktv.org.

  7. Grey Fox Says:

    The Professor I work for as a teaching assistent spent about a class talking about, and then showing a movie about , Mrs. Sanger, without ever mentioning the eugenics thing. I didn’t even know about the socialism…

    She has actually been a pretty good teacher, apart from her infatuation with Sanger and Ghandi (“The most important man of the 20th century”, says she.)

  8. expat Says:

    JC,
    Thanks for that tip. After listening to May, I looked up her books on Amazon and found Homeward Bound. She seems to attribute the postwar family structure to anxiety about the Cold War. I got the feeling that she extrapolated from a rather small group of women to all American women. I grew up in the fifties, and I remember air raid drills, but I certainly don’t remember them as a dominating feature of my environment. May seems a little strange to me. Maybe she is just a typical academic feminist. In the interview, she doesn’t seem to go beyond what is good for women of her class, although she thinks she does.

    With regard to the pill, I am with Neo. There are certainly advantages, but also serious downsides. That modern feminists don’t recognize them is a sign of their own narcissism. While they preen over their own accomplishments, they treat earlier generations of women as creatures doomed by mysogenists to unimportant lives because they stayed married and raised children. You don’t often hear them talk about what children need. It’s as if they want future generations to erect monuments to their own sexual adventurousness.

  9. expat Says:

    Grey Fox,

    Have you read Neo’s posts on Ghandi? This one also links to another:

    http://neoneocon.com/2005/10/02/gandhi-nobody-knows/

  10. Tom Says:

    We have evolved a de facto form of inverted eugenics, with the socially less productive, less educated, in non-families (no man present) outbreeding what for Sanger was the top of the eugenics pyramid.

  11. rickl Says:

    Tom Says:
    May 8th, 2010 at 8:48 pm
    We have evolved a de facto form of inverted eugenics, with the socially less productive, less educated, in non-families (no man present) outbreeding what for Sanger was the top of the eugenics pyramid.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    invert progress, and you regress.

    so progressives PROmote reGRESSIVE policies

    to bring us BACK to the dependent state of aristocracy.

    for a good article…

    Defining Dumbness Down
    By Daniel H. Fernald
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/defining_dumbness_down.html

    Having no substance of its own, the left is inherently parasitic; like a cancer cell or virus, it survives by posing as a healthy member of the same host it attacks and ultimately destroys. This pattern of “mimic-attack-conquer” has given us liberty-hating “liberals,” leftist mainline churches that publicly embrace what their own teachings explicitly prohibit, and educators whose goal is to ensure that all children get left behind.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Tragically, for most of even the best, brightest, and most privileged of today’s youth, the liberal arts are no longer an option, as they have been redefined virtually out of existence. The professionalized, leftist professoriate places politics above all.

    I will never forget the open sneer from a former colleague — an intelligent and multi-talented feminist history professor — that greeted my advocacy of “free and unfettered discourse.” The very idea struck her as absurd, and she acted as though I was running some kind of intellectual con. She averred that “free and unfettered discourse” was code for permitting the expression of bigoted, racist, and otherwise “illegitimate” points of view. For such closed-minded, anti-intellectual academics, the liberal arts’ commitment to free inquiry is itself a serious threat, and it is treated accordingly.

    Like a virus, the academic left has “reprogrammed” the host to do its bidding by replacing the content, and even the method, of the liberal arts without changing the name.

    In other words, the liberal arts and the Western Canon itself have been zombified.

  13. Nolanimrod Says:

    There are many things which used to be private. This is one which ought to remain so.

  14. Nolanimrod Says:

    P. S. recognizing your subconscious has created a delicious pun is such a delight! And not just any old pun, but a two-fer.

  15. Curtis Says:

    “There were terrible costs to the bad old pre-Pill days. But there are huge problems today as well.”

    (Why is the word “pill” capitalized here? Is it God?)

    It’s not the pill per se which has brought the huge problems. It wasn’t the lack of the pill per se which created the terrible costs.

    Is it a possibility that the old morals should continue and the pill could be used wisely?

    It is a possibility, and it did and does happen in a minority who believe they should and can choose to limit themselves. The other side? They are fools who permit no dissent. We know them–the progressives. . . It was their values. Not the pill.

    Is there a middle ground? Yes. They see costs on both sides.

  16. rickl Says:

    I don’t know why it is capitalized, but it has been for a long time. I remember seeing magazine articles from the 60s where it was not “a pill”, but “The Pill”.

  17. Mike Mc. Says:

    I have 13 brothers and sisters.

    We are all tax-paying, scial seccurity, medicaid paying, hard-working and someteims business creating persons. There are 42 nephews and nieces.

    My Mother and Father and the family they produced put the lie to the entire birth control ethos = it kills bodies, souls, and spirits. It’s like that old RAID commerical – it kills societies dead.

    Mark Steyn, I believe, is the expert here.

    Saying otherwise is just telling lies, which people do all the time.

    Look at the US Population 50 years ago. And all the Malthusian scare mongering! And where are we now? And the number of immigrants is? Any coincidence that they make up for the missing American children? Hardly.

    But we lead the league in recreational sex. That was quite the bargain we made.

  18. ZolliStar Says:

    Mike,

    I have 11 brothers and sisters. Like yours, my siblings all contribute. Those of us who aren’t stay-at-home mothers (who home school btw) are mostly self-employed, some as professionals, a physician and a lawyer included.

    I think growing up in a big family has contributed to making us both self-reliant and also mutually supportive. We’re all “give back” to our communities in different ways.

    As for Margaret Sanger: I’ve known about her views for years. She has enjoyed quite a white-wash.

  19. John Says:

    Neo,

    Happy Mother’s Day.

  20. Ilíon Says:

    Grey Fox:She has actually been a pretty good teacher, apart from her infatuation with Sanger and Ghandi (”The most important man of the 20th century”, says she.)

    The Gandhi Nobody Knows

  21. Ilíon Says:

    Sorry about that … if I’d read all the posts, I’d have seen that the piece on Gandhi had already been linked.

  22. will Says:

    Happy Mothers Day to all!

    Can’t help but echo all the above sentiments. Again, the humiliation, “what the hell was I thinking?”

  23. expat Says:

    Elaine May has an op/ed in today’s WaPO. Some of the comments are downright depressing.

  24. Brian Davis Says:

    Just a minor point, there were plenty of antibiotics available to doctors prior to the mass production of Penicillin in 1945. Here is a little history:

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    The Book of Vasili Mitrokhin Archive II and the KGB Agents in India

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18053053/The-Book-of-Vasili-Mitrokhin-Archive-II-and-the-KGB-Agents-in-India

  26. evinrude Says:

    The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disasterby Richard Brautigan

    Richard Brautigan
    When you take your pill
    it’s like a mine disaster.
    I think of all the people
    lost inside of you.

  27. chip Says:

    I note that some scientists are now saying that the hormones from widespread use of the pill are finding their way into local rivers and streams (via septic tanks and water treatment plants) and causing developmental aberrations in frogs and other aquatic life.

    But what harm is that as long as women can have as much sex as they desire, right? The left is only worried about the environment when it doesn’t conflict with their god of dissolute sexual mores. But more than just the environment, they sacrifice their children to their god as did barbaric civilizations of old, with the only difference being that today they’ve figured out how to do it without having to see the blood and unsightly carnage.

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    But what harm is that as long as women can have as much sex as they desire, right?

    what harm to the women… most don’t want to have all the sex they desire… (women ALWAYS were able to do that!!!)…

    In fact many get depressed as they do lots of things they dont want, just to be part of their collective.

    women are natural collectivists, as biologically, their world was always inside the world that men created by holding reality away from them.

    that is, you want happy women? have them live apart but near. let them team to work, and make the whole of the enviornment around them be percieved as safe.

    want unhappy women? remove the protective barrier between their inner world and the outer world..

    [even in miltary, its a big problem that they are not allowed to talk about. halliburton (who i know people that work for them), knows that the lady soldiers break down. they become dysfunctional when the real deal hits the wall. their superior desire to save themselves (ie, protect the future of the population she is a part of), causes them to revert to their instincts in bad situations.

    and unlike jaimie far in mash, the women tend to get pregnant to get out of the area.

    they also cause the men to risk their lives when its better to let them die... men are much less likely to close the door and watch them drown through a porthole. or let them bleed out int he field.

    they are a big big big target for snipers for this reason.

    their biology also makes them not be able to take the living conditions... men would take their boots off and their toes would fall off as they did due to trench foot.

    and, you can smell them... that is, if they are upwind of you, and you know the scent, you can smell women.. (especially if its their time of the month).

    for each woman who gets killed, another woman has to have 5 children to stabilize the population. (same with any woman that doesnt have children)

    pretty much the ideas they were given were not empirical to the ends that they wanted. it was empirical to the ends of the progressives to make a soft form of eugenics so the peoople that listened to them, would destroy their own familes and their genetic lineage.

    but how can you now oppose a normalized cult who has been so good at things that they ARE women, and any woman that disagrees is apostate and not a real woman. ]

    a womans world is not honest and violent…
    its dishonest, dissimulative, and manipulative psychologically… and so, you want to beat men, you have to honestly fight them.

    you want to beat men and society through women, you screw with their heads playing their vanity, desire to be part of their collective, and so on.. ]

  29. a mom Says:

    I wonder if the uptick in auto-immune diseases (asthma, allergies, maybe autism??) is related to women being attracted to and marrying men who are too similar to themselves.

    And yes — women may be attracted to, and marry, men who are similar to themselves b/c they are on the Pill. Then, a few years later, they’re off the pill, they have a baby or two, and then … divorce. The attraction is gone and they wonder why.

  30. Tom Grey Says:

    Hi Neo — Happy Mother’s Day!

    Chip noted that Pill estrogen is suspected of polluting — it is a fact that fish, frogs, and many other animals are beginning to suffer from low sperm count. A recent article about it cleverly avoided mentioning estrogen or the Pill, but the pro-life community is becoming more aware of it.

    The Pill leads to more promiscuity — is this really good for women? Is it really good that most University men can only marry a non-virgin (slut)?

    The greater promiscuity leads to a LOT more sex, so probably a similar number or more of abortions.

    Well, other recent articles by the pro-Roe, pro-Pill, pro-sex feminists are noting how many young people, and young women, are joining the yearly March for Life.

    Evolution in action — the pro-sex pro-abortion folk are losing out demographically; talk of “giving back” to the community, without having 3 or more kids (2.1 needed for replacement), is hypocritically empty, and will be seen as selfish in the near future.

    When in college I believed in “responsible promiscuity”. That was one of my biggest mistakes, and is a mistake in Heinlein and many other beloved SciFi books.

  31. GayPatriot » The Pill, the Sexual Revolution & Gay Sex Says:

    [...] what really caught my attention was this in neoneocon’s (must-read) post: Now we have to worry about rampant promiscuity among teens and even preteens, and the deep [...]

  32. Artfldgr Says:

    I wonder if the uptick in auto-immune diseases (asthma, allergies, maybe autism??) is related to women being attracted to and marrying men who are too similar to themselves.

    autisms increase is a combination of better diagnostics and an expansion of the kanner spectrum… now with aspergers.

    asortative mating is thought to be the reason. that is, women enter the workforce, take the same jobs as men next to men. the result is that you get two analytical minds mating. next generation, the children go into a tech career, and the women do, and so it happens again.

    the rate of autism in silicon valley is pretty high.

    what people dont understand any more (because we no longer raise and mate animals as part of most peoples life experience), is that when women were home (living mostly the same life they would if they had an allowance or trust fund of whatever means to match a mate – ergo feminists idea that you can use economics to replace men as thats all they are to them)

    her selecting mates based on performance, would not allow such assortative mating in direct match of aptitude.

    women are the genetic anchors, and we are adapted to live a certain way.

    autism is a result of a new mix, making a new adaptation. if i had to make a pop psycg bio estimate.. full autism is the failures that would not survive the mix…

    based on some recent theory, they think that this has to do with information processing and mental capacity.

    autistics dont filter information, so they get inundated… most then developmentally try to tune out the world, ignore it all except what they are fixated on. they objectify everything.. people are objects…

    so when you have a normal mind and you have this flood you become autistic if you cant handle it.

    if you can handle some of it, and try to make sense, but dont, they think that leads to some forms of schizophrenia.

    and if your brain has he IQ to handle the info flood, and you have greader capacity, you end up with aspergers.

    aspergers would be the more successful result. they often are your geeks. the really smart, odd people with big memories and a ability to systemize.

    some, like me. have eidetic memories… if they are the low functioning kanner autistic, they end up like rain man… high functioning, they can do like me. memorize every article, film, book, etc

    aspergers is also less definitive… since its better integrated, aspergers people tend to be similar but have different mixes of things.

    i have been told that i am too functional to be aspergers… but thats not a good result, in that i have a very high capacity, and a whole lot of adaptative tricks (some from my deafness)

    asthma and allergies have a different basis and is not related to mating, its related to moving from living in a natural world connected to life and everything. and living in a zoo where no pathogens and such exist any more, and so forth.

    that is, we are adapted to our parasites, and when we dont have them… well, we get allergies and asthma

    [warning... autism and aspergers and those conditions are generally male deseases... however, since you can get special educations and can play it, women are being diagnosed with aspergers that probably dont have it. (with adhd its boys who may not have it, but be medicated for being independent and kinetic). the idea of making desease equal so that a person with a desease doesnt get an advantage others have (yes its bizzare, but when has bizzare every stopped women? wearing underwear outside your body, hating yourself so much your mini man comes out, and tons of other schizo normalized stuff)]

    some of the things from aspergers is that they have forms of face blindness… that is they cant remember faces in some cases, or in others they can remember fine, but cant read them for emotional changes that everyone else takes for granted. (and cant understand this!!!)

    they do not see people as objects and such, they like them, and want to be with them. they refer to them as neurotypicals and there is a string of really nasty behavior that comes from ‘normal’ people. very nasty, sometimes violent, and always ok with no one stopping it… (unlike other things)

    they tend to systemize a lot, and have odd interests. trains, train schedules, languages, tons of stuff… but no two are the same… one loves trains. the other cars… they will talk about thier interests and not understand why american idol would be a better more normal conversation.

    most live very very very very lonely and painful lives with a high rate of suicide.

    their keeping away from people is because ‘normals’ dont accept others (so much for tolerance)

    whats interesting is that in england, it was harder to find them. why? because england has a history of eccentricity being normal.. and good..
    while in america, and in socialist stuff, they are really not normal at all, as we are all to be equal

    but how can you be equal when you have a memory that they cant even comprehend. there is a woman with aspergers that works for the phone company… she memorized the phone book..

    so autism, aspergers, savants are related.

    being so analytic they will make SERIOUS relational mistakes. that is, they will come accross as very insensitve, when they are not… some are very literal, and so when you ask if your ugly, they will say the truth. (i learned this the hard way… a woman caught me off guard knowing i do runway photog and everyone is looking for an in. i forgot the rules, and so told her the truth. i crushed her and realized too late she couldnt handle such honesty… (she was half a foot too short for runway). the diagnostic for me is that i have austistic qualities, but not autism)

    each one of the qualities separated from the whole are things that people fantasize about.. they dont realize that the result of their fantasy is a level of dysfunction that they cant imagine.

    take my memory… its not perfect, but in my self isolation, and lack of sleep, i devour books, literature, text books, manuals, and anythng that catches my fancy (mostly anything i can find that i dont know already!)

    so the reason i know all this history is that every history book i ahve read is recallable. newspaper articles are recallable.. and its got strange facets to it.

    so the systemizing, the advanced reading ability (college level by 3rd grade), very high IQ, lots of systemizing. and i am lucky in that i also have high creativity, inventiveness, and am not physically clutzy… (having a very adventurous personality (generally lucky to still be alive))

    one nice thing… if your with people that are self confident and that your recal and information ability does not make them feel small. you can develope these really deep freindships that most people seldom if ever have!!!

    most of the time, they just want to cut me off at the knees and throw me away…

  33. Artfldgr Says:

    The Key to Genius

    Autistic savants are born with miswired neurons – and extraordinary gifts. The breakthrough science behind our new understanding of the brain.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/genius_pr.html

    [the article is not very good and claims things not valid but i cant find better rigtht now. i am away from home)

    but it DOES allow me to give you a peek into something.

    i have lots of amazing talents... and generally punished for them since i was kept from college due to diversity and women equality (easiest way to make em equal, is to kick out the aspergers savants with 180 iq and super systemization)

    [dont worry, this hasnt stopped me other than confounded a success story what would have been easy rather than massively ego crushing. i am a prodigious creator. so i do artwork, photography, and all that kind of stuff at a high level. but i also am a good systemizer. and so without ANY degrees i am partners with a top stem cell researcher and we are redefining the way we all think about how multicellular organisms function at a grany level. on other projects i have a book thing that fades in and out with a friend which we will one day get it out (he is a really good pro author!!!!)]

    here is an example
    Matt Savage launched his jazz career by attempting to improve a Schubert sonata. His piano teacher told him that the G-sharp he just played was supposed to be a G-natural. “It sounds better my way,” he protested. She replied that only when he wrote his own music could he take liberties with a score. Keen on taking liberties, he became a jazz composer. He released his fifth album this year, making guest appearances on the Today show, 20/20, and NPR. Recently, his trio booked two shows at the Blue Note in New York City.

    amazing isnt it… well, here is the blow your mind part.

    In May, he will celebrate his 12th birthday.

    by the time i was his age, i had performed in lincoln center, carnegie hall. entered bronx science high school, and lots of other things.

    so here is the punch line… when he is 12, we all can see what he is like and his honesty at being such.

    when he grows up, he will have to come to terms with a world in which everyone claims to be as good as he and as capable, but is no where near it. his early success may not last given other peoples desire to remove that level of competition from the feild.

    I am an adult version of matt…

    When Matt was 3, he was diagnosed with a form of autism called pervasive developmental disorder. Autism and savant syndrome overlap, but they are not the same thing. Nine out of ten autistic people have no savant abilities, and many savants suffer from some form of neurological impairment other than autism. Savant syndrome itself is rare. The rarest of the rare is the prodigious savant, like Rain Man’s Raymond Babbitt, who could memorize phone books, count 246 toothpicks at a glance, and trump the house in Vegas.

    i cant memorize to his detail exactness. but i memorize and count everything. i learned to flash count (babies can do it)… and like him, they dont like me at atlantic city (my game is roullette as the other players wont yell at me for making bets they dont like and then blame me for losing)… the tables odds have some holes in it… so when we go, my wife goes to sleep, i dont sleep as much, so i go downstairs to get the money to pay for the trip.

    i am usually 4 out of 5 at winning… now the pit bosses agravate me… they make me move my seat, they put assholes next to me.. they accused me of stealing chips, and on and on. just to blow my game…

    But Matt is even rarer than that. While the IQs of most savants are below 70, he is highly intelligent. And while the musical prowess of savants is often confined to playing thousands of songs from memory in a stiff and mechanical way, Matt is a prolific composer and skilled improviser. With the precocious abilities of a savant and the melodic imagination of a seasoned musician, he has dual citizenship in two countries of the mind.

    i was first string soloist. a bit more than 50% deaf, and was the belle of the ball for liberals who then knew that i was an inner city kid of a poor immigrant family… they wanted to take credit for me. (some making my childhood miserable by probing, testing, setting up cameras in the windows of the transomes)

    In every culture, the enhanced skills of savants cluster in the same narrow domains: numerical and calendar calculation, artistic and musical proficiency, mechanical aptitude, and feats of memorization. These tasks draw primarily on the strengths of the brain’s right hemisphere, indicating that, in many savants, a healthy right hemisphere is overcompensating for damage to the left. Many savants are left-handed, and most have deficits in language – additional clues that something is amiss in the left hemisphere.

    i am not autistic that way, but i have savant things. and no… i am no good for their studies. my brains adaptation to total deafness in one side, means that their brain scans have no equal reference

    i have music ability, very high abstract math ability, language ability. and high level art ability.

    however. its all too much… that is, if i had ONE of these i would be much more succecssful, having all of them, and moving from one to the other in boredome makes it not so good.

    [the geneticist friend who i am working with finds me a pip. we talk one on one, but with a language barrier (That comes from not having the formal schooling and someone yell at me for using better terms that are nto the right ones (any bio person will giggle at this as a norm). i have memorized science papers from biology, anthropology, cosmology, physics (my love), philosophy, chemistry, systemics, AI, mechanical engineering, materials scieince... so working at a research hospital where i have access to the complete lexus nexus and other science paper journals is a big plus for me... i also read policy papers, theoretical stuff in anything..

    oh.. and law... right now i am attempting to read Gould's summary of NY law.. you can measure the books on a shelf by feet... i have read the entire encyclopdia britannical... and as a child i read a large library unabridged dictionary... cover to cover. the bible, koran, and mormon bible. the vedas, sutras, zen and all that. sartre, hegel, and down the line... the cannon of literature... most greek and roman works of note.

    and a whole lot more.

    but as anyone can see here, no one respects the volume and veracity of the knowlege. that is, the factg that i can answer these things, pull out names that people never heard of and can look at it as a complete whole whithout many holes in it that all fits together... means nothing.

    so matt in one respect is lucky. being an autistic, they will noticec him different and he will kind of be protected..

    but for me... no one sees me as special, they see me as arrogant... when all i want to do is participate and help and be liked (and with aspergers type social skills, being useful to others with our skill is our way of being social)

    oh... and if you want to know my key system that i focus on... its hidden, which is why they dont diagnose me... its not trains. its not schedules, or science.

    my system focus is REALITY...

    down to its lowest level up to its biggest. a part of the stem cell work i am doing is showing how suppositional states from the quantum level suffuse up to the larger levels, and showing how this kind of suffused functionality that such suppositional states can bring to structures system (hint: quantum suffusation allows reality to compute on all levels. that the easiest quantum computer you can make is a bag of marbles - but we dont realize it)

    of course all this makes me very lonely.

    the geneticist friend is an amazing man. he didnt want to kick me out until he refuted me. REALLY refuted, not the bs most people do. how do i know? he refused to start doing that till he understood everything i was saying. THEN starts the process of refutation (out here everyone guesses what i mean, then runs with that, and doesnt pay atention to all details, and so on)

    it took him 4 months to understand how to make a system that would searxch strings at clock speed (yes clock speed. i can go through 100 gigs of unformated data stream, checking for 1 to 3 million different target strings (not direct matching, but partial matches and special matches), dependiing on core size. at 5 gigbytes a second, it would take 20 seconds to do all that!!! however how do you get such things to market?

    thats a big problem for me... super skills and no way to move them forward (The few that have gone, were stolen. usually others make me wait till its a known quantity. by then its too late, and they are happy that i was prescient and so forth. but thas a screwed up prize when you have things.

    i get some socialization here...but have no real equals to talk to... the doc is smart. and VERY capable. but he deprecates his ability against mine... (and is amazed that someone who has only a HS degree self learned all this without college)

    who do i talk to?
    you try to talk to the elite academics (even my son, who just graduated this weekend with honors achieving a BS degree in biology), you get them not tolerating that you didnt learn the exact terms and such.

    but the geneticist is old school, and got past that. now i am trying to show how genetic systems of high order life incorporate and discorporate qualities which define the beings and their abilities.

    i also think i have the solution to fermats last theorem that he had. NOT the complicated one which employs some VERY complicated curve math. but alas, touch that, and you touch the plague.

    no one to talk to about what i am interested in
    and so i learned everything i can about other stuff, so i can talk in what they are interested in. however there is no give and take with normals, they will not give you time for your thing if they dont like it, but they do expect you to sit and like their bs. :)

    i have notebooks of work... designs. solutions.. doc knew that when myrvold just made the laser mosquito device... he saw my plans for it from over a decade ago...

    so now i am learning how do electronics...

    one of my best solutions for that was a way to make pc boards without using photoresist material, and nothing more complicated than a laser printer..
    it will also work on irregular surfaces... and allows for boards to be made with custom changes as well as being in a continuous process...

    [best one i have is now to make plastic razor blades]

    all these things are puzzles, and puzzles are my other thing (games are puzzles, discovering reality is puzzles… politics is a puzzle)

    ah well..
    i always digress too much..
    and get yelled at for it.

    but life and the world is so interesting. so amazing, and people are so wonderful.. its hard once i get a chance to share and volunteer my ability for others.

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    The Geek Syndrome

    Autism – and its milder cousin Asperger’s syndrome – is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

    By Steve Silberman
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html

  35. Happy 50th, Pill « The Lyssa Says:

    [...] 50th, Pill Posted on May 9, 2010 by Lyssa Neo-Neocon has a thought provoking post on the anniversary of the Pill.  (via Instapundit)  By the time I [...]

  36. Raquel Welch: | Little Miss Attila Says:

    [...] their own fear of the shame of pregnancy are free to enjoy sex—but how many of them are really having all that much fun, and at what cost? How many of them have the maturity to understand what they want and with whom [...]

  37. MisterH Says:

    Many of these modern problems were predicted by Pope Paul VI’s prophetic “Humanae Vitae:”
    http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2009/07/41st-anniversary-of-humanae-vitae-on.html

    Perhaps the answer is Natural Family Planning.

    Benefits of Natural Family Planning:
    http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2009/07/benefits-of-natural-family-planning.html

    Natural Family Planning resources and links:
    http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2009/07/natural-family-planning-awareness-week.html

  38. Tom Says:

    Artfldgr: Stay off of thin ice. Asthma and allergies have definite genetic components, as do other hyper- and auto-immune diseases. You know a lot about a lot of stuff, but human medicine is not near the top of your list.

  39. JBalconi Says:

    Both estrogen and anti-depressants have been found by Canadian scientists in samples of water from the Great Lakes. It’s defined as “traces” (I forget how many parts per billion) but that’s still significant when you consider the amount of water and its movement in the Great Lakes system.

    It’s especially bad considering all the water treatment plants don’t filter out such contaminants.

    It’s one of those dirty little secrets. Can you imagine anyone running the campaign: Save the Environment, Stop Using the Pill?

    Then again, last year I found out that the average desktop computer uses more electricity in one year than the average washer/dryer set does in four. Do you think anyone will campaign to give up the Internet to save electricity?

  40. Raquel Welch: Ladies, gentlemen – be more responsible with your bodies « Sister Toldjah Says:

    [...] neo-neocon weighs in as well on today, what could be considered the 50th anniversary of The Pill: Now we have to worry about rampant promiscuity among teens and even preteens, and the deep psychological and even physical damage it can cause (such as STDs). Girls who once were protected by the mores of society and their own fear of the shame of pregnancy are free to enjoy sex—but how many of them are really having all that much fun, and at what cost? How many of them have the maturity to understand what they want and with whom they might be happy? How many are giving in to the age-old pressures of popularity and the needs of teenage boys? How many boys are fathering kids early in life and bearing that burden? How many boys and men are brokenhearted at the loss of their potential child when a women unilaterally decides to abort? [...]

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    Tom:
    Artfldgr: Stay off of thin ice. Asthma and allergies have definite genetic components, as do other hyper- and auto-immune diseases. You know a lot about a lot of stuff, but human medicine is not near the top of your list.

    read below, and next time try to refute using actual links to medical data, information,studies, or such.

    NOT start your refutation with an ad hominem. then a warning to stay away from my job… (duh)

    read below, then send me or link to the refutation data.

    -=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-

    when i said that people get it when they dont have the parasites WE HAVE ADAPTED TO…

    thats a hint to genetics….

    Parasite reaction link to asthma
    A faulty immune reaction – where the body reacts to non-existent parasites – could trigger asthma, a study suggests.

    Yale University scientists found high levels of an enzyme called chitinase, produced by the immune system, soar in mice with asthma-like disease.

    The enzyme is linked to parasites because it breaks down chitin, found on the surfaces of parasites and insects.

    Writing in Science, the researchers say their findings may lead to new ways of treating asthma.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Parasite Link to Asthma Cases
    A theory which says asthma is caused by a misplaced reaction to parasites has been bolstered by a surprise discovery reported yesterday.

    Scientists found that levels of an enzyme called chitinase soar in mice bred to have an asthma-like disease.

    Studies of lung tissue from humans with asthma also revealed high levels of chitinase.

    The enzyme is linked to parasites because it breaks down chitin, a component of fungal cell walls and the shells of crustaceans and insects.
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/63871/parasite_link_to_asthma_cases/index.html

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Identification Of Immune Cells That Fight Parasites May Promote Allergies And Asthma

    Millions of people in both the developing and developed world may benefit from new immune-system research findings from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

    The Penn Vet researchers, studying how the immune system operates, have discovered a previously unidentified cell population that may be the body’s double-edged sword, fighting off parasitic infections but also causing the harmful immune responses that can lead to allergies and asthma.

    This cell population, termed multipotent progenitor cells, or MPP, appears to be activated in the context of allergies or infection with parasitic worms and may be one of the earliest cellular events in the developing immune response. The research published by David Artis, assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology at Penn Vet, and colleagues may identify an important process in the immune response to helminth parasites and allergies.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    GUT WORMS MAY PROTECT YOU AGAINST ALLERGIES.
    news.discovery.com/animals/gut-worms-may-protect-you-against-allergies.html

    But nature works in mysterious ways, even where the seemingly lowly hookworm is concerned. Check out the following press release, issued today by the University of Nottingham:

    A study conducted in Vietnam has added further weight to the view that parasitic gut worms, such as hookworm, could help in the prevention and treatment of asthma and other allergies.

    Led by Dr Carsten Flohr, a Clinical Scientist from The University of Nottingham, and Dr Luc Nguyen Tuyen from the Khanh Hoa Provincial Health Service in central Vietnam, the study is the largest double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial to date looking at the potential links between hookworm and other gut worm infections and allergic conditions such as asthma and eczema.

    -=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    ok tom… verdict? did i refute your position?

    maybe YOU should stay away from medicine tilll you take a vacation and start reading the latest information…

    yes.. in know, sometimes new information makes the old information no good… and if you dont keep up. you get left behind telling people who know the new stuff, that they dont know..

    time to update your subscriptions…

  42. expat Says:

    artfldgr,

    I would like to thank you for giving me some insight into what it is like to cope with information in a way I can’t imagine. Sometimes I have to stop midway in your comments because there is too much information, too many dots that my brain can’t process and therefore shuts out. I will try harder to understand what it is like when this shut-out mechanism functions at a different level in others.

    As to genetics, the new information coming out truly is mind boggling. Have you seen this?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/25250/?a=f

  43. NJcon Says:

    Research is showing that there is a confirmed link between the pill and breast cancer.

    The study, authored by Jessica Dolle and other researchers at the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, appeared in the April 2009 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

    It shows a strong connection between the use of oral contraceptives and the deadly “triple-negative breast cancer.” The study found that the connection was highest among women who began using oral contraceptives while they were teenagers.

    http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/pill-cancer_link_confirmed/

    Additionally, the study showed a 40% risk increase for women who have had induced abortions.

    Ironically, a portion of donations sent to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation are given to Planned Parenthood.

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    expat,
    until you wrote that I didnt realize that my info flood transfers to my writing, and then impacts the readers that way!!! and note that most of us, unless we have a reason, believe others think the way that our personal selves do.

    wow. thanks. that is some interesting fodder for me, as that, out of all the stuff people have complained as to length. gives me something that might help. (but that remains to be seen, writing styles and such are very hard to change… while other things i do, i can change in a snap)

    and as to the article… yes i have read it…

    what i think is happening in the big picture, is that in the past, we tried to isolate things and think of things as separate. now we are realizing that things are more synergistic.

    i talked to the doc about this, but havent heard a response yet (he is a busy person)

    my angle is that the way higher order life works, is that it adapts to anything that lasts long enough.

    its search mechanism really has no way of telling if a force that it can exploit is some code in itself, or an outside condition, or created by this interweaving, or created by a mistake in coding, or by something it percieves (that is chemically it can know and act on something) that is new in the environment.

    under such things, REMOVING something is changing a condition… that if we had all this for a long enough time, we may find that we become symbiotic. (check out angler fish sexuality… whoa – that is in a recent discover issue, i think this month)

    you know how people say there is no way not to make a choice in a situaiton, and that bowing out, or not voting is a condition.

    well, they are waking up to applying such abstractions to biology… though they are not seeing it that way, and unless through my doc friend, maybe wont.

    the doc likes the way i can make very hard complicated systems stuff, be revealed as collections of pretty simple principals. (easy enough for high school kids to get it if i could figure out how to transfer it – language sucks as an exchange medium, but like capitlism, its the best…

    and we fantasize a better that is not possible – at least not unless we have a lot more capitalism, and no socialism, and our genes favor the good and cooperative people that do better, while the less cooperative end up off the game table. it is a pet theory of mine that what hobbes spoke of is a temporary condition we were progressing out of, until the progressives decided to fiddle with it.

    heck… i would love to use thomas nash work to show that hegel was and is wrong.. :)

    thanks again for the wonderful comment…

    [its not often that i get something like that to think about that is new... but it can literally come from any 'level' of person. (i hate saying that and i cant figure out a way to say it without it being taken wrongly... as your not the subject of the sentence, but its a generalization. especially for those who think you need some super quality to participate, or to have important things to offer... heck, babies teach me (and your no baby... )]

  45. expat Says:

    artfldg,
    When I was in high school, I never studied math. Algebra, plane and solid geometry, trig all just made sense when I heard the concepts in class and on tests I would just rework the problems. When I got to calculus in college, that didn’t work any more and I hadn’t learned anything about how to learn math, so I did poorly. Possibly with a better teacher, I might have gotten a handle on how to approach math in a different way, but I was overwhelmed. The fun part of math for me had always been that AHA aspect. When it disappeared, I completely lost interest. The experience did teach me something about limits in brain capacity.

  46. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Tuesday morning links…

    The Pill turns fifty: are we having fun yet?
    Obamacare discourages employers from hiring the young, and part-timers.
    64% Still Rate Being A Mother As A Woman’s Most Important Role
    Government ‘Cancer Scare’ Report So Bogus Even the New York Tim…

  47. the gold digger Says:

    But what harm is that as long as women can have as much sex as they desire, right?

    And men. Men can have as much sex as they desire and without consequences. Women either don’t get pregnant or if they do, they can get an abortion. It’s the woman’s choice. The man is not expected or even allowed to to marry her. Cool!

  48. NYT’s Collins Praises Margaret Sanger as Birth-Control Savior, Ignores Her Support for Eugenics :Natural Diabetes Treatment Says:

    [...] noted by the Neo-Neo-Con, Collins managed to write about Sanger, birth-control activist, without hinting at her darker [...]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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