Do autistics dream of neurodivergent sheep?

While I sit in bed, watching videos of cute babies on Instagram, and waiting to see if I caught COVID on Thursday, I think of the weirdest stuff.

In the 2020’s, in America, corporations have the rights of natural humans without the responsibilities and robots can assume the property of natural humans without having to attribute original ownership.

And meanwhile we have Supreme Court Justices who are using 17th century common law as justification for opinions.

Even at lower court levels, judges tend to skew older and less technologically aware. And legislators…we can infer how much they know about science and intellectual property from how they handled COVID. Neither are capable of handling the rapid pace of technological advancements.

Public policy is always evolving, even when government isn’t actively shaping it. Right now it’s being shaped by private interests who’ve gone from influencing traditional Democratic players with donations and lobbyists to acting directly as pseudo-governments. Except there’s no built-in transparency when they can make proprietary knowledge claims about anything that could hurt them. And there’s no built-in accountability when they can off-shore liabilities to subsidiaries formed in friendly venues to defeat anyone they’ve harmed.

That goes double for the military who can hopscotch between private and public when it suits them.

Fixing the problem is above my pay grade. There are ethicists who are looking at sustainable solutions to addressing tech changes, social equality, access to resources, environmental justice, etc. Looking at their proposals through the lens of a lawyer, it looks like the new structures are going to have to work around and not through American law. The skeleton of American democracy isn’t holding up to pace of change (it’s almost like someone designed it to fail…could you even imagine?).

Maybe that’s better if it makes us more locally and globally conscious and increases the power of individuals and groups to act without government support. But in our lifetimes, I think it means that the U.S. loses the international influence it gathered in the lead up to WWII, the Space Race and the tech booms.

Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. I’m just a weirdo who would get screened out by A.I. because I don’t think or act predictably. It’s a curse and a blessing because I get really good at maneuvering in ways that algorithms can’t detect. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a useful skill in the future.

I went to a show last night. Alone.

If I go to a show with someone, it’s usually because I love the band.

If I go alone, I’m going to check out the band, but also to steep in human drama. Since I can’t expect anyone to understand how I perceive the world, just imagine you’re a radio and you can tune into frequencies. Tiny moves. I notice everything to the tiniest details. I get flooded with information that forms a picture that gets clearer as more information comes in.

It forces me to practice: is this my energy or is this someone else’s? Am I picking up on reality or is my imagination filling in the blanks? What patterns am I recognizing on a subconscious level that are coloring my perception of the moment?

Call it people watching. For me, the most accurate depiction comes from this German film from the 80’s called Wings of Desire. Angels walk among humans, giving them comfort. Feeling their human frailty. Providing them with inspiration.

When I go out alone, I get to forget the me that exists as a personality in the fleeting consciousness of this current existence. Whatever my superficial identity is sheds and humanity comes flooding in. I fundamentally do not feel human in these moments, except for the fact that something usually hurts to remind me I’m in a body.

I feel collective energy but then I can look at one person and tune everything about them in. Doesn’t matter how big the crowd is. I’ve done it at basketball games at McKale.

Counterintuitively, the more conspicuously I’m dressed, the more invisible I become. Conspicuous means that people get to project their own stories onto me, which makes me less approachable. And then I can slice through the crowd with as little resistance as possible. Or I can stand in one place and watch as people are forced to move around me.

Going places alone is absolutely crucial for me. That doesn’t make it less scary or lonely. It just means I have to be bold. That’s how every opportunity has ever come my way.

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