Wednesday 24 February 2021

The Future of Neurodiversity

I'm afraid I don't have the gift of clairvoyance. When I look into my crystal ball, I see through the glass  darkly, very darkly.  And even more so in these times. Now pandemic, global warming, the rise of populism and the decline of what we called "Western Civilization", in all its horror and glory,  point to a future of socio-economic upheaval and uncertainty. History teaches us that in such times the dominant majority, and those who indentify with it, will turn against minorities and seek to eliminate them. 

The best advice in such times is to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. 

It will require courage to stand up for minorities - not just our own, but that of others, because divided we must beg but united we can bargain. 

And it will require us to work together. By "work" I'm not just referring to "paid work" though it is good to have if you can get it. But I will venture a prediction that paid work will be harder to get for more and more people, while employment terms and conditions will deteriorate. 

Instead, I'm talking about real work in the service of the future of humanity, not “busy work” as commercial and industrial conscripts goaded by the carrot of consumer goodies and the stick of a punitive “welfare” system. 

Don't  buy in to the belief that the possession of  paid work, no matter what the terms and conditions, is inherently a virtue. See also my awkwardly but meaningfully titled piece,  Is Paid-workliness Next to Godliness?

Work is not a virtue when our labour is used to pollute the planet for the sake of producing consumer junk for people in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction and desire due to the meaninglessness of their working lives.

And as for the Zero Sum Game of substituting an occasional autistic coder to replace a non-autistic coder in a shrinking employment market, think: 

Playing Musical Deckchairs on the Titanic 

Musical chairs game sinking couldn't find an image of the Titanic

So here's what I think are the most important aims that the Neurodiversity Movement can have, beyond the core goals of advocacy for recognition and respect for human variation 

  • the recocnitiongof  neurodiversity as a necessity for cultural sustainability, in the same way that biodiversity is a necessity for ecosystem sustainability
Going into an uncertain future, I advocate joining movements who are working towards
  • A living UBI - Universal Basic Income (see pilot results from Finland)
  • An end to the vilification of Unemployed People, and who wouldn't like to bet that a high proportion of them are Neurodivergent? 
  • Investment in public housing
  • Investment in Health
  • Investment in Inclusionary Education... 
You know you want it! Especially an UBI. It used to be a fringe idea. Now it's going mainstream. 

But, you cry, "How are "we" to pay for it?"

That's a political issue - you get what you fight for. NeuroMinorities when lobbying together, are a big voting bloc!

Image 1: Globe as Crystal Ball by Gerd Altman on Pixabay
Image 2: Downsizing Musical Chairs, adapted by JSinger


Uniq Eu ORG said...
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Paul said...

Just thinking out loud, Neuro divergent could be to big an issue and to vague. NeuroAutistic scans well, Neuro psychotic scans well as does NT. but... NeuroADH or NeuroOC of course missing out the D for disorder each time does not scan well.
I really do believe the whole world of people has diverse thinking each and everyone of us not just the Autism side of life and some is caused by their environment, health and wealth.
Give a person a fish makes no odds if they are a vegan
Thank you.