The gradual slide off-topic in the 'banned' thread (and some interesting stuff about autism)

This was supposed to reply to @aran, I don’t know why it says tatjana
To be honest, I was worried that the last thing novem sent was at the beginning of this thread. I do hope she wasn’t frightened away. Another victim of autism wrote just before her and I’m not sure if he has been on the forum since or not. Obviously, I may, probably did jump to conclusions, but i worried.


Don’t worry, I’m still around; there just hasn’t been much on the forum of late that I felt I could really contribute too beyond simply agreeing with stuff that had already been said.


I’m still here too :slight_smile:
The problem I have with posting is that immediately after pressing “reply” I start to overanalyse and regret what I’ve written, and it takes a while to get over it. That’s not anyone on this forum’s fault, it’s my problem. The reason I’ve even been able to post here more than once is that you’re all so friendly, usually I’m too scared to join any conversation :smile:


Oh, and because I didn’t think to point it out earlier but it might be useful for future conversations, most autistic people don’t consider themselves victims of autism (in my experience, at least). I personally consider “autistic person” or “person with autism” to be semantically identical, but I understand some people prefer “person first” language.

I, for one, certainly don’t consider myself a victim of autism. Certainly I have difficulties related to my autism that other people needn’t worry about, but autism isn’t all bad. In particular, hyperaccute senses cause problems in crowded and loud places, but at the same time I notice things that others don’t, making it easier to pay attention to the details (which is a really good thing when developing software).

I’m not upset about your wording or anything like that; after all, I think it’s fairly obvious that you weren’t trying to be offensive. It’s just that it can be hard to tell what will offend some people (as I know better than most :wink: ), and I know that some people might actually take offence to being called a victim when that’s not how they personally feel about it.


Were you in academia or research?

Both, I suppose. I’ve PM-ed you my IT life history :slight_smile:

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Indeed I don’t, @raymondkefford. I live in the “soft underbelly of England”, aka Kent. But I understand your point about Yorkshire. The handful of Yorkshire men and women who I’ve met over the years have certainly not been shy about speaking their minds!

In an early stage of my working life in England, I had a boss who hailed from that part of the world. He and I got on extremely well because I appreciated his directness, and he mine (the rest of his staff didn’t agree!) I once said to him, “I find you more like a fellow ex-colonial than a true-blue Englishman”. To which he replied, “I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult!”

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I am truly sorry. I have no excuse. My Mam fought her need for a wheelchair for ages because of the attitudes - calling it ‘confined to’ and people talking over her head, “How is she?”
“My mother is not deaf!” I would practically spit at them! (She had MS). And she did suffer from it because it hurt, but I realise a better set of senses than most people, which must have been ultra-useful in our early times, but which are overwhelmed by the row, lights, movement etc. of modern life - well, it isn’t an illness and I should know that and be careful with my language! And me fretting that ‘I do not have a good enough vocabulary in Cymraeg’, when I can’t even pick the right words in English!!
This is for @Novem as well!


Both those, mainly Janet I think - Joint Academic NETwork? We had an internal net for folk who worked for the research organisation and that got used a lot, but Janet for elsewhere. As it was virtually all work, I don’t recall any problems. I was trying to make sure games were only played outside Prime Work time, so had to send “stop it!” messages, but folk were very good about that!

Don’t worry about it; like I said, I know you didn’t intend to be offensive, and the way I see it the intention behind the words is more important than the wording itself. Besides, we all grow up with various biases and misconceptions that take time and effort to deal with later on - it doesn’t help when medical understanding of a disability increases greatly over the course of 20 or so years, but popular understanding doesn’t. When someone says the word autism, most people picture someone unable to speak, unable to look after themselves, who screams and lashes out violently if touched and so on. Not only that, but most people seem to think that autism is somehow a new thing, and that clearly something (usually vaccines) must be to blame for it.

I don’t blame anybody for a lack of knowledge, especially about something that hasn’t affected them personally. Like I said before, we all grow up with various misconceptions, me included, and we have to actually find out that they’re wrong before we can actually do anything about them…


Yes, that’s the one. JANET was home-grown, whereas Bitnet was a US academic-research network, and it spawned a European related network called EARN - European Academic & Research Network, and there was a linkup (“gateway”) between the 3 of them. Among other things, I remember that EARN had a “chat” system called RELAY, which seemed quite sophisticated at the time (probably quite primitive by modern standards). It had serious purposes, but was also used for “playtime”, as a form of social media, with all the good and bad aspects.

There were also some early systems that worked a bit like internet forums, but without the fancy graphics.Mainly meant for exchange of technical info, or for asking and answering technical questions, but inevitably, that too developed a social side, with good and bad effects.
(I used to take part in one group that discussed “The Archers” (and there can’t be much that is more socially shaming than that! :slight_smile: ).


Hence why it’s the autistic spectrum not the autism disease. I’ve just started working in a school for people with increased needs, many of whom live with ASD but do not benefit from mainstream education. The work that this school produces (particularly programming and artwork) definitely highlights what you’re referring to. Their level of detail is incredible!

I’m glad you’ve taken the positive from the earlier post :slight_smile: I did cringe and then rebuked myself for cringing because that’s not a positive response. Yours was.


Most of the time I was working predated any graphics!! We started to get PCs as terminals towards the end - I early retired at 50! Anyway, I had great fun decorating programs with nuclei and electrons buzzing round them! The games were all verbal. I think the first very simple graphics came in, but on the PCs, of course, which were not my problem! I volunteered to control playing of games on the main computer so they didn’t get turfed off altogether by the powers-that-be! (I was only a ‘power’ when it came to radioactive material and radiation. Else where I was my usual rebellious self!)