Michael Forbes Wilcox

Author's posts

AANE Workshop: The Language and Mythology of Autism

The Language and Mythology of Autism The words we use reveal our values, and the language we use can shape our beliefs. To be autistic is to be neurodivergent, and to be neurodivergent is to enjoy a different way of life. Identity Pathology Euphemisms   Empathy Functioning Special Interests   Michael Forbes Wilcox, MA, CFA …

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Autism in the Age of Neurodiversity: Course Announcement

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting a series of six lectures on autism in this winter’s Berkshire OLLI program. NB: the venue has been changed from BCC to Simon’s Rock. One of my objectives will be to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings around autism. Here is everything you need …

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Does Our National Accounting System Reflect Our Values?

A rhetorical question, I’m afraid. We (I’m wearing my Economist’s Hat here) have long been aware of the hidden cost of externalities, those insidious, unmeasured penalties incurred by society in a profit-driven economy. In our national accounts, for example, we measure the dollar value of energy produced (such as electricity or gasoline), but we do …

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Carbon Sequestration: Our Only Hope?

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Kolbert’s writing. I’ve read just about everything she’s written in the past few years, and I also attended a talk she gave at a local college (she lives not too far from me). The most recent (November 20, 2017) issue of The New Yorker published a piece by …

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Before the Days of Dial Phones

In doing some research at the Stockbridge Library, my brother came across an article (reproduced below) that appeared in the Berkshire Eagle in 1958, five years after the events he described in his recent article. A related picture appeared the next day. Notice the phone numbers given. I think dial phones came to Stockbridge in …

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Guest Blog: Historic Preservation in Stockbridge

My interest here is in the family connection, as well as my own memories of Stockbridge in the 1950s. I have reproduced here, without further comment, an article written by my brother that appeared in the Berkshire Edge recently. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1953, the Berkshire Evening Eagle published an op-ed article penned by Grace Bidwell …

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Guns Do Not Stop Crimes

Vigilante Justice I’ve abbreviated the more awkward title of a Scientific American (SciAm) article that, in full, reads More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows. It appears to me that the full article is publicly available, not behind a paywall, which would be a praiseworthy public service, although I’m a SciAm subscriber so I …

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“Schizophrenia’s Unyielding Mysteries”

“Schizophrenia’s Unyielding Mysteries” is the title of an article published in the May 2107 issue of Scientific American magazine. Quotations in this blog post are from that article unless otherwise specified. Schizophrenia and Autism: Similarities and Differences I’m interested in schizophrenia because it is so closely associated with autism. At one time, autism was labeled …

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A 5-Mile Ride Through the Alford Valley

A recent day (October 2) was an absolutely spectacular autumn day for a long ride on the trails near my house. Alice (on Spot) and I (on Stewart) headed north (as we usually do) and wandered through the sun-dappled forest, seeking out some trails we hadn’t traveled for a while. There are so many trails …

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In Search of Doctor Beebe

I hardly know where to begin this story, because its roots stretch back a long way before my time. It centers around an old foundation, abandoned more than 100 years ago, that is now in the middle of the woods, but in its day was at the center of much activity. I first encountered this …

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