Rain Man’s Rainbow

Temple Grandin’s talk just went online, one of my favorites.

 

She talks about her autistic mind — how she thinks in pictures and sees how an animal sees, unfettered by language. With this cognitive empathy, she has designed new cattle-handling facilities, through which most of U.S. cattle now pass.

 

In watching her talk, it might help to know that PETA gave her an award stating:

“She is widely considered the world’s leading expert on the welfare of cattle and pigs.”

 

Oh, and she is a bit of a rain-woman star herself: HBO Trailer

 

“If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave. Who do you think made the first stone spears?? It was some Asperger guy, and it you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no Silicon Valley, and the energy crisis won’t be solved.”

 

“Normal minds ignore details.”

 

“Language covers up the visual thinking we share with animals.”

 

“We make good stage actors, learning social skills like in a play.”

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Taken on February 12, 2010