Michael Forbes Wilcox

Author's posts

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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Georging

For the past few (4+) years, I have been a “Georger” — a person who uses the website http://www.wheresgeorge.com/ to track the movement of US currency that passes through my hands. I’ll have a lot more to say about this in future posts, I just wanted to start the conversation here with an observation about …

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Swarm Intelligence: I

I’ve been meaning for some time to write about swarm intelligence. The basic insights have been around for at least 30 years, and, since then, the ideas have percolated into awareness and are now appreciated outside the scientific community. One excellent summary can be found in Len Fisher’s 2009 book, The Perfect Swarm. I read this …

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Anxiety: Who? Me?

I’m participating in a panel on Friday (June 9) at Northeastern University on Anxiety, as part of the CHATTER event. Of course, I’m quite nervous about this. As part of my preparation (which helps to reduce anxiety), I have been reviewing my past talks and writings on the subject. I discovered that my blog does …

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The State of the World is on My Mind

For many years, most of my blogging was about politics. In the period from early 2005 until late in 2008, I devoted my energies to political organizing, and I wrote nearly every day about opportunities for people in my region (the western four counties of Massachusetts) to participate in activities in support of causes and …

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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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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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