[LMB] Gene cleaning in real life

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Sat Nov 11 01:28:34 GMT 2017


On Nov 09, 2017, at 05:03 PM, Beatrice_Otter <beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com> wrote:

On Nov 9, 2017 1:24 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:

Excellent.  I'm a strong advocate of eugenics.

Given that there are, as I type this, people putting a lot of money and research time into trying to find a way to prevent people like me from ever being born, I am a strong advocate AGAINST eugenics.  Are there some particular cases where a particular gene has no possible good and lots of bad?  Yes.  Are there people who explicitly advocate using the same technology to get rid of entire groups of people, whether or not we think are lives are particularly tragic or bad?  Absolutely yes.  If the technology became commonplace, would parents be pressured to adjust the genetics of their children to make them more socially acceptable?  Hell yes.

Marina:

I happen to like the autistic people I've met. They lend a different way of looking at the world, which I can appreciate, and sometimes enjoy the experience of seeing through their eyes. Sure, some are more socially agile than others, but the utter cruelty of those dreadful parents you mentioned--and of Autism Speaks--is reprehensible in the extreme. Most in the neurodiverse community in the US highly dislike and distrust AS, and prefer they were never mentioned at all anywhere.

Beatrice:
 
I am autistic.  Autism Speaks is the largest and most prominent autistic advocacy group in the United States.  But they are NOTORIOUS for excluding actual autistic people from their policy-making, instead being controlled by a group of parents of autistic children who are incredibly toxic.  As in, in 2013 they made a video about autism in which one of their top people said she fantasized about murdering her autistic daughter, WITH THE AUTISTIC DAUGHTER SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HER, and they were surprised that people objected

Marina:

Like some judges of late, in their statements in sexual assault cases. Vile.
 
Beatrice:
 
Because, to them, autism is a HORRIBLE THING THAT STEALS CHILDREN AND DESTROYS FAMILIES and so OF COURSE any parent of an autistic child would fantasize about killing them.  This is why we need research into autism prevention and cure so that no parent will ever have to go through what they do!

Marina:

Retching strongly here.
 
  (Meanwhile, people who actually ARE autistic were appalled because imagine the kind of hell that girl's life is, with a mother who wants her dead and thinks she should be praised for not murdering her yet.) 

Marina:
a right piece of work, that woman is.
 
Anyway, all the money that Autism Speaks gives to research these days goes into trying to identify the genes that cause autism so that autistic fetuses can be aborted.

Marina:

I really have as many issues as autistics with that. For one thing, neurodiverse folks should unite against such nonsense.

Beatrice:
 
For those of you who don't know much about autism, it's a developmental disorder that causes the brain to develop very differently from "normal."  Which causes differences in executive function (i.e. how well our brain puts things together, regulates attention, etc.), sensory perception (we tend to be hypersensitive to some things and hyposensitive to others, but each autistic's set of what bothers us is different), social function (our body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions are different from other peoples', and we aren't terribly good naturally at interpreting the body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions of non-autistic people, causing misunderstandings in both directions), and a few other areas.

Marina:

Arthur, who had early-onset/pre-adolescent bipolar disorder, also had a minor difference in executive function, but was non-mainstream in sensory perception (not uncommon), not well able to interpret body language, tone of voice, or the secondary/tertiary rules of games or other rules, or social interaction with his age-peers. Seldom a problem with adults.

Primary problem in school was not giving him enough intellectual challenge to keep his interest, or to encourage him to enjoy school. Group projects where everyone was to receive a group grade, but where the other kids didn't pull their weight frustrated the hell out of him, was another. The tendency to treat the "emotionally disturbed" kids as slow learners--or as budding criminals, because in the early grades they had little understanding nor control of themselves--because of outbursts never helped. Middle school was a bit easier, as some leeway was given if the the kid was able to take a time-out somewhere quiet in order to self-calm. That's also where he found out that the bullies bothering him weren't very bright and he could bore them by speaking over their heads--even with insults--and leave him alone.  He always stood up for other victims, too.

He has never had any problem with any other neuro-diverse person. There's a homeless disabled man I've sort of adopted, who had ADD and incredibly bright and faster than the kids and some adults around him. Conversing with him is fascinating, and he's happy there are some nice folks who keep up with him--and bring him books.

Beatrice:

In order to "cure" someone's autism, you would have to completely take their brain apart cell by cell and rewire it into a different configuration.  And you would have a completely different person when you were done.  You would have killed the original person just as surely as a clone brain transplant kills the clone.  And most of the world thinks this is a good thing.  Most of the world wants us "cured" and cheers on the people trying to do it.

Marina:
This part of the world thinks that's a bad thing. Help in dealing with mainstream society, yes, but beyond that, forget it.
 
Beatrice:

There are bits and pieces of my autism that I would tweak or get rid of if I could, sure.  But I would fight to the death any attempt to "cure" all of it, because it would kill me even if my body was still walking around afterwards.

Marina:
You and me both.
 
And then they advocate that same "solution" for cases (such as autism, or deafness) where there ARE positives to the condition they want to eradicate, and it WOULD affect the core of who a person is.  And THEN they ignore or attack any person who actually HAS that condition when they try to point out the problems.

YESYESYES!

Beatrice:

I'm pretty terrified, actually, because we're starting to get to a point where we can actually put our money where our mouth is ... and our society does not listen to those of us who would be personally affected by it.

Marina:
Have noticed this to my dismay.
 
Beatrice:
You may not remember this, but late in DS9 it was revealed that Dr. Bashir had had some neurological differences and that his parents had had him illegally genetically modified to "fix" it.

Yes, and that is was a crime to do so.

Beatrice:
 
  Stubborn Mouths is about what would have happened if the condition was autism, and they were caught before they could go through with it, and Dr. Bashir ended up on DS9 anyway.  It's one of the best and most nuanced portrayals of autism I've seen in fiction, pro or fan.

Marina:

I'll see if I can find it.

You have a wealth of knowledge and information and intellect we've seen here, that I really appreciate. I'm glad you're the person you are, just the way you are.

Marina


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