This post is in the Empathy category

Dear Reader

Here’s a thought. Davis (1996) suggests that empathy has developed as a social response to genetic survival mechanism and you could happily surmise that reproductive success depends pretty strongly on social skills, since the standard concept is to get to know someone before having children together.

I wonder could apparent increases in childhood ASD diagnosis be partly accounted for by technological developments reducing the reproductive undesirability of low empathy individuals. Computer assisted written, remote and informal communication must surely boost the social desirability of individuals with ASD traits. If you are not so good at team work, a bit slow to get jokes, don’t smile much, but exhibit the good parts of ASD, (perseverance, attention to detail, slightly odd sense of humour, good vocabulary) maybe its easier to form relationships, perhaps with other like-minded people, to the point of increasing the ASD gene pool?

I suppose the written word has a place in historical literature as a way into the heart and pants of the opposite gender, so much easier to write than speak, when you have time to think about the reception of the words without trying to decipher the face. On the other hand I’m not convinced that txt msgs r mch gd!

In the  field of musical collaborations, the computer and internet allows a communication style, in writing using email, chat and other forms to conduct faceless, and not-quite-synchronous conversation and share meaning and ideas, forcing all collaborators to carefully consider their use of words.  It’s a bit old fashioned, but the Macbeth  experience of using a fax machine for long distance collaboration was a nice example.

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