Tuesday, November 23, 2021

George P

George is an old friend of both Jenny and myself and I always made a point of including him in invites to family occasions that I was organizing. Covid however has put a stop to family reunions as Paul and the twins both now live overseas. That has strangled travel between Australia and elsewhere.

So to make some allowance for that, Jenny and I had George join us for one of our family dinners, with Joe also in attendance. It was a congenial occasion. Jenny served up egg-rolled pork for our dinner, which is always a hit

Monday, November 22, 2021

IQ and autism

There is an interesting video about IQ by Edward Dutton below. Ignore his manic introduction. I have noted his work before. His interest in IQ has, regrettably, made him something of an outcast in academe. Last I heard he was teaching at a university in sub-arctic Finland, which is a long way from his origins in Northern England.

In the video below he presents the Baron-Cohen theory of an association between autism and a very high IQ. He does not define the high IQ group precisely but he includes Mensa members in his coverage so he is apparently discussing people in the top 2% of IQ and perhaps some a bit lower than that. Since I am a former Mensa member and organizer, I am inclined to see him as talking inter alia about me.

And I do fit his major claim about high IQ: That high IQ is associated with autism. I am clearly a high-functioning autistic. I have outlined the evidence for that elsewhere. And many of the things that he says of high IQ people are indeed recognizable in me and by me. So I think there is considerable truth in his generalizations.

There are however some problems with his presentation. The largest problem is that there are a wide range of autistic behaviours, Some people are severely disabled by it and some, like myself, suffer only mild limitations. And not all autistics are highly intelligent, though they do often have some unusual "gift" in some way. My gift is to do even the hardest adademic tasks at lightning speed. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation in 6 weeks, among other things.

Another problem is of the chicken and egg variety. Does autism cause high IQ or does high IQ cause autism? Dutton seems to think that what makes you highly intelligent also makes you autistic. Maybe -- but there are surely SOME high IQ people who are not autistic. That is obviously a testable proposition but I am not aware of anyone who has tested it

There is some obvious truth in it however. A high IQ person does see the world very differently from Joe Average and that must create social difficulties. And social difficulties are the hallmark of autism. My own social skills are certainly not the best but I have had a rather nice time with the ladies over the years so they cannot be too bad. Many good memories.

So I think Dutton is right in seeing autism as the characteristic ailment of high IQ people but I strongly doubt that all highly intelligent people are autistic. Dutton does tend to overgeneralize.

There is however a research literature in support of his ideas



Thursday, November 11, 2021

A rather good Armistice day

Today, Thursday, started out well with the dressings on my face finally coming off.  The wound looks well-healed so there should be no problem when the stitches come out tomorrow morning.

On Tuesday I noticed extensive subcutaneous bleeding from the wound so I had to go in to get that attended to.  Fortunately the treatment  -- using pressure and ice -- worked well and the bleeding stopped

So last Friday's surgery had a persistently gory aftermath, which was no fun at all.

But the day did have some nice moments,  The doctor attending to me asked me if I would like to observe the traditional minute's silence at 11am in memory of the cessation of WWI. As a former military person, I was delighted to participate.

The other good thing was that I heard today from two different ladies whom I had met but who had decided that they wanted to see no more of me.  Both have changed their minds so I now have new dates with them.  Rather amazing.  I must still have something

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Some pesky surgery

I undergo a lot of surgery for my skin cancers but I rarely make mention of it here.  The surgery I had on Friday morning was particularly notable.  I had a BCC just under my left eye right beside my nose that was going to be difficult.  Excising the BCC was not the problem.  Getting the skin back together in that area was the challenge.  So I went to a very experienced plastic surgeon for the job.

He took quite a while to get the job done but he got a result. He uses diathermy reluctantly as it impedes healing.  The risk of that is post-surgical bleeding.  And I have had that a couple of times in the past.  So I was apprehesive of waking up that night with blood on my pillow and blood streaming down my face.  Unpleasant!

It didn't happen that night but it did the next night.  The bleed was very small, however so just changing the dressing fixed it.  Jenny helped do the new dressing. It was upsetting while it lasted though.

Another complication was that the wound got infected, presumably with staphylococcus aureus.  And that shows by edematous swelling around the infected site.  So as soon as I saw swelling I got some erythromycin into me which fixed the problem.

So on Sunday evening as I write this I have had no bleeding and no swelling all day. Much relief. Healing is well underway.