Massive number of hits on the blog yesterday when Chris Packham publicly announced his problems with Apserger’s. Good for him to acknowledge however obvious it had become to the rest of us, and sad for him to suffer the problems. Seems he suffered from it earlier in life and sees his “all consuming interest in wildlife” as helping him deal with it. I wish him well.
As therapy it may be good for the patient, but it’s bad for the rest of us.
My interest isn’t specifically with the “disease” of the individual on the Asperger’s / Autism disorder spectrum, though obviously they’re connected naturally with my main interest; the general human psychological error / fetish / addiction of scientism. That is, humanity actually believing that the objective / logical / scientific end of the rationality spectrum is to be valued over all others that contain any hint of subjectivity (for want of better terminology).
I’d held-up Packham three years ago as an archetypal scientistic public scientist based on his wildlife media appearances, and the motivations and attitudes he spoke about on Desert Island Discs. I knew nothing of his Asperger’s history until a commentor on that thread mentioned person-to-person experience of his autistic behaviour. It came as no surprise to me (see the comment thread) – and indeed I’ve had hundreds of Packham / Autism / Asperger’s search hits on the post since 2013 before being inundated with hundreds more yesterday.
Hearing the public announcement of his suffering from, and dealing with, his spectrum disorder yesterday on BBC Radio 4 Today [41:28] Chris Packham’s Asperger’s story was followed by two wonderfully counterbalancing items of historicity and poetry. War and the beautiful game.
Jim Naughtie Meets the Author [43:25] had Pat Barker talking about the predicted historical perspective looking back 500 years hence on the 20th Century seeing WWI & WWII as a single war. Like many other historical wars – the hundred years war, the wars of the xxxx, etc – labelled historically as a single war even if there were lulls in the belligerence and multiple triggers to action, there were common underlying issues being worked-out. (I’m sure the ongoing Middle-East / Islamic problems of today are still a part of that same war too – the increasing speed of our media perversely, but predictably, slowing down our human chances of achieving solutions.)
The caterpillar on the leaf,
Repeats to thee thy mother’s grief.
“Blake’s words can’t be translated into any terms other than itself.
We have no idea what that means, but we know it’s true.”
Immediately after that was Martin Rome’s Thought for the Day [49:13] – Sport is more than the sum of its parts – [Shankly / Hillsborough / Leicester City / Ranieri / Wenger] – It’s about us. It’s about our character in cooperative competition.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
…. rage against the dying of the light.
Like the poetry of Dylan Thomas, “sport says the unsayable”.
Science [objective logic] says only the sayable, as Wittgenstein tried to warn us.