Michael Forbes Wilcox

Author's details

Name: Michael Forbes Wilcox
Date registered: October 8, 2010

Latest posts

  1. The Language of Autism: “Special Interest” as a Stigmatizing Phrase — February 27, 2017
  2. Another Candidate for my Autism Hall of Fame: John Couch Adams — February 13, 2017
  3. The Road to the Kentucky Derby 2017 — February 12, 2017
  4. I Was Ahead of My Time (But I Knew That!) — February 11, 2017
  5. The Good Nudge — January 28, 2017

Most commented posts

  1. Was Steve Jobs Autistic? — 33 comments
  2. My appearance on “Where We Live” on WNPR November 2, 2011 — 10 comments
  3. Is It Time to Abandon the DSM? — 9 comments
  4. Gaze Aversion: An Autistic Adaptation — 8 comments
  5. Is There An Autistic Personality? — 8 comments

Author's posts listings

Feb 27

The Language of Autism: “Special Interest” as a Stigmatizing Phrase

When an a non-autistic person studies something deeply, it’s an “area of expertise,” and the acquisition of such expertise is considered a commendable accomplishment. When an autistic person studies something deeply, it’s a “special interest,” and it’s considered a symptom of pathology. #DoubleStandards Nick Walker Nick’s post on Facebook really hit home for me, because, …

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Feb 13

Another Candidate for my Autism Hall of Fame: John Couch Adams

Isaac Newton (1642-1726) is often mentioned (and rightly so, from what I can tell) as having probably been autistic. Now, I learn of a later-day (1819-1892) kindred spirit. John Couch Adams is known to history as having been hot on the trail of the discovery of Neptune, only to be beaten to the punch in 1846 …

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Feb 12

The Road to the Kentucky Derby 2017

February 12 This post is my placeholder for analysis of the 2017 Derby prospects, as the Derby prep season unfolds over the next two+ months. I will modify and update this post over time, rather than start from scratch when new information becomes available. February 26 The Risen Star unfolded pretty much as I expected …

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Feb 11

I Was Ahead of My Time (But I Knew That!)

Synopsis There is a new style of AI (artificial intelligence) that has, in recent years, taken the world by storm. Called Deep Learning, this approach has made possible self-driving cars, enhanced voice and image recognition, and audible translation from one language to another; to name just a few breakthroughs. Most of what we observe being …

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Jan 28

The Good Nudge

Another Obama program that may or may not survive in the new Administration. A recent (January 23, 2017) issue of The New Yorker contains an article (“Good Behavior“) that describes the final days of an Obama initiative to use behavioral science in the service of improving government performance. The article focuses on the Flint water …

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Jan 18

Look What I Got in the Mail

I was 15 years old. My grandmother had sent me this notecard. I knew it was coming, because she had told me about it. “Someday,” she told me, “you will be very proud to have this.” I didn’t have to wait; I was proud of it from the moment she told me about it. I …

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Jan 16

Let’s See if I Can Tape This All Together

What do cupcakes and chocolate have in common? I guess that’s pretty obvious, but Scotch Tape? In September 2009 Scientific American devoted an entire issue to “Origins” and I’ve chosen three of my favorites to link together here. First up: cupcakes: where and when were they invented, and whence the name?   If you click …

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Jan 14

Birds Did Not Evolve from Dinosaurs; They *Are* Dinosaurs

The January 2017 issue of Scientific American contains a fascinating article (behind a paywall) on the evolution of birds. Using birds as an example, the author makes several interesting points about evolution. Some are quite specific to feathers and such; others are more general, such as Evolution has no foresight; it acts only on what …

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Jan 12

What Do Plants See?

The latest (January 2017) issue of Scientific American has a short blurb entitled “Veggies with Vision” that harks back to speculation and studies of over 100 years ago.   In 1907 Francis Darwin, Charles’s son, hypothesized that leaves have organs that are a combination of lens-like cells and light-sensitive cells.   For some reason, research …

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Dec 04

Walking

Following my comments, you will find an excerpt from an original essay, “Walking,” by Henry David Thoreau that appeared in The Atlantic in 1862; there is also a link at the end for those who want to read more. Henry David Thoreau was the proto-environmentalist. said Bill McKibben. Thoreau was also the one who, perhaps in a …

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