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I was reading about a criminal in England who was thought to be “on the autism spectrum”.

I’m no rocket surgeon, but doesn’t the idea of “spectrum” run from roughly zero to 100%?  Measure it in colors, measure it in furlongs per fortnight, I don’t really care – there has to be some min and max for the population, even if those get changed occasionally (like the hottest and coldest places on earth).

I found this comic book which explains that it isn’t a single dimension, but rather a color wheel of different parameters. Fine.  My argument remains the same – the center is zero and the outside is 100%, no matter where you are measuring.

If the argument arises that even if someone measures 0% on all areas, that they are merely high-functioning autistic, my counter-argument is that the scope isn’t big enough.  Make it go up to 11, or 200%, or down into negative numbers, or whatever.

Just doesn’t make sense to say that some people simply aren’t on the autism spectrum.  There has to be some justification for including people on the list.  I say put everybody on the list, and then draw a line (somewhere, somehow) to say “this is autism”.  Otherwise, if everybody on the autism spectrum, say “they are autistic, and here is how”.

This picture, from the DSM, shows my thought.  There are different areas of concern – intense focus, repetition, etc. – and the impairment increases from the center of the circle.  There are examples of different individuals. Person A has impairments in all areas.  Person B has no impairments in the area of “intense focus”.  Person C has no impairments in the area of “sensitivities”.

I would like to propose Person D, who has no impairments in any of the five areas – they would be a black circle with the letter D in it – and they would still be on the spectrum!  The DSM has shown that individuals with measurements of zero are still in the spectrum.  That would seem to indicate that someone with zero in all measurements is still on the spectrum.

Another perspective: I don’t have diabetes – I’m on the diabetes spectrum. I’m not overweight – I’m on the fat spectrum.  I’m not employed – I’m on the job spectrum.  I wasn’t speeding – I’m on the velocity spectrum.

I dunno – maybe I’m obsessing.

Seen as I was clearing out my Hotmail spam.

doctor doctor

The “don’t do this” side…

This was in my spam folder today.

The mix of “mean” and “dear” struck me funny.

I often find myself waking in the small hours of the morning, unable to get back to sleep. I suppose if I really worked at it, even for a few minutes, I would be able to return to slumber, but I have no real desire – there is a room full of books just beyond the door.

From ISBN 978-0-399-53398-3

The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
By Sam Walter Foss (1858–1911)

“THE PROPER way for a man to pray,”
Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“And the only proper attitude,
Is down upon his knees.”

“No, I should say the way to pray,”
Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight, with outstretched arms,
And rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh no; no, no,” said Elder Slow,
“Such posture is too proud:
A man should pray with eyes fast closed
And head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be
Austerely clasped in front,
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,”
Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

“Las’ year I fell in Hodgkin’s well
Head first,” said Cyrus Brown,
“With both my heels a-stickin’ up,
My head a-p’inting down;

“An’ I made a prayer right then an’ there—
Best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
A-standing on my head.”

I’m thinking of opening a new restaurant – the Nike Craft Beer and Down-home Cafe.

I’m having problems with my motto.

It’ll be “Just Do It”, or “Just Brew It”, or “Just Stew It”.

Instant rimshot

In the State of the Union speech, the most-used word will be “I”.

Also making an appearance will be “sad”, “great”, “America”, and “we”.

Validation later from the official transcript.

I’ve gotten email recently from a Japanese chap.  Not reading Japanese and not knowing anybody who speaks only Japanese, I have been deleting them.

Tonight, in avoiding the work I need to do, I translated the latest message.

Japanese

According to my friends at Google Translate, this comes out to

Ōburī sensei sei-gai ofisu no Yamamotodesu. Osewa ni natte orimasu. Hyōki ni tsukimashite, sonogo ikagadeshou ka? Chōsei no ue go kaitō itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Nao, satsuei ni tsuite wa, kōho-bi to jikan ni tsuite mo go shitei itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Dōzo, yoroshikuonegaītashimasu.

and in English,

Mr. Aubrey

It is Yamamoto of the office of the government.
We become indebted to.

Regarding the markings, how about after that?
Please adjust after adjustment and thank you for your reply.
For shooting, please also specify candidate date and time.

Thank you very much.

He is indebted to me, and trusts me to make adjustments after someone else makes adjustments. And wants to shoot someone of my choice.

So I’m not sure whether to be honored or scared.  But give it up, Tetsuhisa.  Either way, it’s not worth it.  Trust me on this one.

 

I enjoy reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I probably shouldn’t – these things are violent. The hero and the bad guys leave a trail of bodies and bruises from one end of the book to the other. 

I was surprised to find out that the genre is not new. I probably shouldn’t be – there is nothing new under the sun.

I recently finished reading a big book of all Dashiell Hammett’s novels. There are five of them, including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. (side note: those movies are great. The first Jack Reacher movie was OK. Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher. End of discussion.)

The first of Hammett’s novels is 1929’s Red Harvest. Given the body count of around two dozen, you can guess what makes the harvest that color.

The later books are not as gory as the first, but his short stories are very reminiscent of Reacher – smooth and understated, strongly masculine without being macho, and slyly humorous. In one short story, a policeman comes into money but doesn’t change his habits, including very low end cigars. The unnamed narrator, working for Continental Op, calls it a “cigar-thing”. That’s funny.

I found Lee Child before I found Dashiell Hammett. I’m glad I kept going. 

Time for another list of potentially profound sayings, that other people have created and I have harvested.  Here are the previous six entries.

Aug 16: Cows may not be smarter than people, but some cows are smarter than some people

Sep 16: Don’t get bitter, get better

Oct 16: You don’t have a soul.  You *ARE* a soul.  You have a body.

Nov 16: There is some probability that rational decision is not the governing phenomenon here.

Dec 16: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Jan 17: When you see hoofprints, think horse and not zebra

Feb 17: Eveyone who overgeneralises is always an idiot

Mar 17: Argue for your limitations, and soon they will be yours

Apr 17: You cannot make everybody happy.  You are not pizza.

May 17: The Venn diagram for age, experience and wisdom is not one of concentric circles

Jun 17: You manage what you know

Jul 17: “Carpe diem” is my favorite saying. Fish are ten cents each.

Aug 17: What you expect, you must inspect

Sep 17: Semper Gumby – forever flexible