Are We All on the Autism Spectrum?

Something Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in The Black Swan on page 194 raises the question whether we are all on the autism spectrum in some sense:

This mental block about the future has not yet been investigated and labeled by psychologists, but it appears to resemble autism…. Autistic people cannot put themselves in the shoes of others, cannot view the world from their standpoint…. Interestingly, autistic subjects, regardless of their “intelligence,” also exhibit an inability to comprehend uncertainty.

Just as autism is called “mind blindness,” this inability to think dynamically, to position oneself with respect to a future observer, we should call “future blindness.”

To me this raises the question whether in some respect we are all on the “autism spectrum,” but that those we diagnose as autistic are at the extreme in exhibiting a disability shared by all.

Interested in comments: Does this make sense?

Autism Spectrum

AB — 24 April 2010


Kodak’s Evocative ‘Turn Around’ Ad From the 1960s

I was happy to find a YouTube version of this Kodak ad from about 1963. I’m not sure why a 12-year-old would understand how it feels to watch your children grow up, but I remember I used to cry watching this ad.

I would have to say this is good advertising — makes a strong emotional connection with the viewer and an excellent tie-in to the product. Until today, I hadn’t seen this ad for over 40 years, but I still remembered that it was for Kodak.

Interestingly, the ad is two minutes long. I understand that the song “Turn Around” is by songwriter Malvina Reynolds.

AB — 7 April 2010

A. Roy King Publishes Bible Quiz Book

Author A. Roy King has recently published The Bible Student’s Quiz Book, a challenging Bible quiz book. The book’s questions represent a range of difficulty but tend to be difficult — best to read it with Bible in hand.

King has used the classic Bible drawings by Doré to add some drama and design to the book, and some nicely done Bible maps. The quiz includes sections on Jesus’ Apostles, the Judges, the Prophets, Bible Bad Guys, Uppity Women of the Bible, and Famous Uproars of the Bible.

I’m told that the book will soon be available through regular retail channels like Amazon, but is available right now through

AB — 4 April 2010