Category Archive: Personal

Dec 11

Hello OLLI Interview: Autism in the Age of Neurodiversity

Advance publicity for my OLLI course on autism is in full swing. Last week (on December 6), I attended an Open House in Pittsfield and gave a short pitch, and then (on December 7) I appeared on local public access TV in a half-hour interview, available here. The interview was a lot of fun, giving …

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Nov 15

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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Nov 12

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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Oct 09

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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Sep 29

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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Sep 03

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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Jun 07

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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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 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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