May 26, 2013

May 25

I am studying birth order.

Since the 1970s, one of the most influential theories to explain why firstborns frequently score higher on intelligence and achievement tests than other children is the confluence model of Robert Zajonc. This model states that because firstborns mainly have adult influences around them in their early years, they will spend their initial years of life interacting in a highly intellectual family environment. This effect may also be observed in siblings who, although later born, have a sibling at least five years senior with no siblings in between. These children are considered to be “functional firstborns”. The theory further suggests that firstborns will be more intelligent than only children, because the latter will not benefit from the “tutor effect” (i.e. teaching younger siblings).

~~excerpt from Wikipedia article on Birth Order

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Sexuality and birth order:

The fraternal birth order effect is the name given to the observation that the more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual orientation. The fraternal birth order effect is the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation, with each older brother increasing a man’s odds of being gay by approximately 33%. Even so, the fraternal birth order effect only accounts for a maximum of one seventh of the prevalence of homosexuality in men. There seems to be no effect on sexual orientation in women, and no effect of the number of older sisters.

~~Wikipedia (“Birth Order”)

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In 2007 Norwegian epidemiologists Petter Kristensen and Tor Bjerkedal published work showing a small but reliable negative correlation between IQ and birth order: the more older siblings one has, the lower one’s IQ. Whether birth order affects intelligence has been debated inconclusively since the late 1800s, although the sheer size of the study (about 250,000 Norwegian conscripts) and the rigorous controls for family size make this study especially convincing. ~~http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ruled-by-birth-order
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Victoria seems to be a bunch of middle class, retired Caucasians trying to exert control over others. This is their facade after lifetimes of being told what to do (by their bosses) and telling people what to do. Ami and Andre told me that the gulf between First Nations people and Caucasians here on the Island is huge. And the gulf between those two groups and others (immigrants from other places) is also huge. I discovered this myself on my first day in Victoria when I approached that small group of First Nations folks on the grass in Centennial Square.
People in Victoria, or at least here in Cook Street Village, don’t smile at or look at each other on the street (unless, of course, they know each other). It’s so much like New England! And old men and old women are trying to retain their former dominance or find new ways to be socially dominant.
The requisite, entrenched politeness of Victoria society allows people to assert themselves in covert ways. This aggression is not dealt with openly; confrontation and public displays of anger are frowned on. But, perhaps in accordance with the English ideal, people’s social status is preserved (saving face). I presume that most social interactions here are  manipulated by whoever can fake niceness long–convincingly–enough.
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The position of dominance that first-borns and only children try to maintain gets very tiring. I am no longer thrilled by dominance. it’s more fun to be receptive and open.
It’s hard to be open to people with big egos; they are always showing off. I don’t want to give them attention to boost their already disproportionate egos. They play lots of mind games in places like cafes, trying to assert dominance.
These games go on in the individual mind. Meditation and letting go of thoughts stops these games. People often don’t want to let go of their personalities and their mind/power games. The game is based on self-image: a picture of oneself as superior to others. And a main component is devaluing other people and getting those people to accept that devaluation as truth.
These are invariably people whose main focus and perhaps the only reference point they really know in the world is themselves. Everything is oriented toward them (or so they think).
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May  26
Keep things new by moving around. Gogol Bordello sings about “new ways to think and see.” We Travellers don’t get jaded; we don’t get cynical because we keep moving, and we constantly have new challenges and new vistas. It’s like being an immigrant: you get really excited by the new place. A new home, a new job, new friends, new work… it’s the excitement and truth of change.”
Sherlock sees the crime all around him. I see homeless people,  families, gay people. Nerds. Immigrants. Global travellers. New parents and all the work they have. Birds and animals on leashes. Trees, flowers, trash, pretty girls and handsome men. At night, I see prostitutes. I don’t recognize criminals or people who are high on drugs. I see sad people and crazy people.
West End, Vancouver: no homeless people here. Wealthy gays? Families. Many Asians. Well-dressed people. Athletes. Disabled people like me. Old people, losing our minds, leaving our bags behind, missing our bus stops.People who are out of step, not mainstream, looking at other things than the mainstreamers, walking to a different rhythm. NOT IMITATING THE NTs is always a goal.
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What do I still do  that I was taught (brainwashed) to do/think/say/be and that’s not really me? What was I told I HAD to do/be… or else? Or else what? Dad and Mom undoubtedly knew how,  in moments of heightened passion, crowds can respond to social outcasts. This always has to be watched for when different people walk the streets.
Sitting here at Blenz Coffee in the West End of Vancouver, listening to Bob Dylan and his interpreters on WWOZ: yesterday was Bob’s birthday. It’s early afternoon. At 3pm I go a few blocks over to CSer Greg’s house; he’s just coming back from at trip. Who is Greg? He lives here in upscale Vancouver where a plethora of tall, handsome, undoubtedly well-educated men and women in good clothes parade by. And scores of old codgers stumble and limp around.
The boreal forest mixes here with palm trees (or is this palm tree outside the cafe the only one in Vancouver?).
“If you ever go to Houston, you better act right… or Sheriff Benson will arrest you. So let the Midnight Special shine its light on me.” What’s Vancouver like? Like Houston? Where “you better act right or Sheriff Benson will arrest you.” Miss Rosy comes to the penitentiary and tells the Captain: “I’m losing my man, so let the Midnight Special shine its light on me.”
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I am definitely more right brain. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I have both and, yeah, they work together. But I am primarily an intuitive artistic, romantic dreamy type of person.

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

Of course, my Aspergers limits some of these abilities (like reading emotions and expressing emotions). I express emotion better through writing than in words. And my Aspergers increases my (potential) creativity. My love of music is huge; must be just me, and it’s in the Boswell genes (if Daddy sang in New Orleans… Hello!).

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People walking through this crossroads at Barclay and Denman in the West End and the people right here in the cafe are confusing. Who are they? I don’t know. Some people look at me (some stare at me), but they don’t usually smile or say “hi.” (Sometimes they do, but rarely.) I am a harmless, a good person. “The Saints Are Comin’ Through” is a  line that appeals to me. I am of no interest to anyone, an anonymous person, someone not interested (was I ever?) in negativity or badness or hurting others. Minor misbehaving? Yes, OK. But only that. I am quite transparent, or I try to be. This blog is an effort in the direction of self-revelation.
People are around who are criminals, people who hurt others, I can’t tell who they are. Police and detectives are around; I can’t recognize them either. I just know there’s a lot going on at this corner, but what it is, I have no idea. The Aspergers prevents me from understanding the social scene. I think it protects me from the dangers of most social scenes.
Maybe this is a gay cruising corner. Maybe the West End has a huge underground movement of some kind. Perhaps a police sting that has been in the works for years is about to go down; probably tonight. I wouldn’t see the clues Sherlock sees (who would, except him?). I don’t even want to see those things. I don’t need to live in others’ minds; I have a beautiful mind of my own.
I want to see the things that turn ME on: love, friendship, birds, families, children, beauty, kindness, wisdom, understanding, people trying to be better people and trying to make the world a better place. It’s all about ME. I am my Higher Power: the I, the Self, the Me. The joke is in the contradiction that, while,  it’s all about ME, it’s also about ME trying to be a better person and help others (others = all Sentient Beings).
I know what it is here. I have never come across such SERIOUS people. Maybe among the Russians I’ve met, but, as far as I know, these people are not Russians. Intensely serious looks. Are these people unusually serious (and, if so, why?) or is the style here just to look serious? Has something happened here lately that makes these people look so dour and closed-up into themselves? Could it be because I’ve been in Southern, warm climates for a year? Have I forgotten how a gray environment (which this is: usually overcast) can affect the populace? Are  love and kindness and gentleness confined to home here? Is it not in fashion on the street?
Even in Boulder, Colorado, where a large percentage of the population have Ph.D.s, I have never felt this alternation of ignoring me and appraisal and assessment.
I do see one more thing here: it’s almost all Caucasians. A certain number of other ethnicities (Asians, Latins, Blacks), but the vast majority are Whites. The middle and upper-middle class. An old man collecting cans and bottles from trash cans on the street;  a man spare-changing (“spanging”)–he’s holding out his cap (I don’t see anyone giving him anything [he could be an undercover cop]). It’s a Sunday afternoon in the spring.

SPANGE

To collect spare change, either from couches, passerbys on the street or any numerous other ways and means.

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I have picked my areas of life to focus on (love, beauty, kindness, compassion, dreams; nature/camping, travel, music, movies). And I have picked the path of righteousness. I don’t mess with anything else anymore. I am basically an artistically-based interpreter of my own life, the social scene, and the mystical world. I maintain the positive and “eliminate the negative.”

Text from Austin (CSer I will visit tomorrow here in Vancouver): “I live in a bohemian neighborhood full of dykes, schizophrenes (sic.), and natives. A gypsy traveller nomad is not out of place for us.” I am the gypsy he writes of.

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