Bring Back The Monks And Hermits

I have complained elsewhere that the standard personality inventory tests are heavily biased towards one particular model of what human beings should be. Let us call it the Inane Chatterer. We are, apparently, supposed to spend all our time socialising when we have nothing to say, and have loads of friends to tell about the nothing that we are doing. Social media are, of course, literally just what the doctor ordered, and young people who are interested in knowledge for its own sake, nay, in the external world itself (external meaning something deeper than places to jig about and show off your designer duds), are stigmatised as nerds or even aspies. We are not supposed to have inner lives; these days, preferring a quiet read to a loud party can get you diagnosed as autistic. This is not science but a dishonestly-masquerading value judgment.

Embracing the opposite value judgment out of sheer perversity would be quite understandable. Going further and claiming to be a new and superior form of humanity makes me a little queasy, but nevertheless serves the Inane Chatterers jolly well right. Champions of Asperger’s Syndrome as, not a debilitating condition but a set of beneficial traits that will one day be recognised as such, win my sympathy, for the party animals have ruled for long enough. One such Aspie champion, Gary Westfahl, is perfectly right to observe that modern youngsters are deprived of all opportunity for solitary thought. They risk never being divorced from the way the world thinks – never being, in his words, “disconnected from the babble”. Perhaps the desire to constantly, emphasis on constantly, see and talk with other people will one day be viewed as “a harmful atavism”.

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 12:32 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Therapists And Other Health Hazards

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