There was a comment towards the end of the broadcast interview, wondering about what the autistic did before computers.
I've never been overtly identified as autistic, but I can look at myself and note traits that are strongly congruent with that diagnosis along with others that are not. I can't tell you what others did to keep occupied in those days, but I found plenty to keep me busy.
I would manually calculate hundreds of points to graph a three-variable equation. Once I had several sheets of calculated points, I would take a clean sheet of paper and transfer those points into a two-dimensional representation of that three-dimensional figure (In Ink). This took many long hours. When done, I would briefly color the figure. My artistic mother saw the swooping forms and colors as an expression of artistic temperament. My engineer father saw the math and focus. Both were delighted with my similarity to themselves.
Later, after I deliberately learned enough social skills to function in limited social situations, I kept meeting people who were deeply invested in astrology. I decided to do a study of that belief system. I studied how to calculate the positions of the planets in the skies. When I met new people, I would calculate their charts and analyze them as carefully as did the astrologers of old. I would re-chart for each major event in their lives and add that to my data as well. Eventually, I was able to conclude that astrology can predict, to a limited degree, someone's personality. The more effectively they were parented, the less the astrological chart matched their personality. I found no correlation whatsoever between life events and someone's progressed chart.
These days, SuDoKu helps calm me down. I like doing it both online and on paper (In Ink).
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