” The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions, and the quality of your decisions is determined by the quality of your thinking.” Schick and Vaughn, How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age
That quote is the essence of what I try to convey to my students, to my children, and to those who choose to come by and sit a spell and visit with me at my blogs.
It’s something you ought to take a minute to say out loud a couple of times like we’re at one of those awful cheesy self-help workshops. Seriously. You should. It’s something that really matters.
An introduction: in the online autism community, there are a lot of heated debates. One of them is related to the nature of autism research. Some are insistent that more research focus on vaccines. Others push for more research on treatments. Still others insist that autism research is skewed because studies, especially brain imaging studies, have narrow parameters and exclude intellectual disability. The following post is a response to this last argument and an explanation as to why studies are conducted as they are.
Fear blinds us, immobilizes us, and makes fools of us. Scary stories abound on the internet, through emails, and in conversations, and dangers lurk in the dusty corners waiting to pounce on us and tear our loved ones from our grasps. We know this. We feel it viscerally. And sometimes we shake in our boots.
We've got enough real dangers, and we do, without adding in made-up ones. We do a terrible job at assessing risk. Don't believe me? Which is safer? Driving or flying? If you said driving, you're so terribly wrong and have let both the illusion of control and the availability heuristic make you run with your gut.
Semantic: "of, pertaining to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols: semantic change; semantic confusion."
Pedantic: "overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, esp. in teaching."
We are driven (some of us more than others) to identify, classify, and organize.