Aspergers and a What If romance that did not happen

Yesterday I had dug in a box expecting it to be some of my long-ago stuff but found a bunch of books apparently my mother had saved for me, and that was a bit interesting too. One of the books was my Junior year (Gallup, NM) High School yearbook, "Zill Ho Zhuni 1953"

and I took a photo of the page which had my photo on it.

And looking at that photo this morning, I saw where I missed a chance for maybe a successful romantic relationship back then. She had signed her photo in my yearbook, she on same page as I was; her name was Peggy Brown. I also noticed elsewhere in that yearbook that she was one of the school cheerleaders - which I was not aware of back then - and those photos of her look cute. I ponder a "What if…." I had dated her at the graduation prom instead of Jean M. how different my life might have been; presumably much better.

Thinking back of those high school years, I can see how intensely Asperger's Syndrome I was experiencing, not just the easy schoolwork and craving for knowledge and reading an average of a book a day besides doing my schoolwork; but at the same time I was extremely unaware of my classroom surroundings. Such as, Peggy Brown being there in the classroom.

I now remember a few more details of the very embarrassing event I endured in High School, and how Asperger's affected that. I remember sitting at my desk in the classroom when suddenly Peggy Brown came to me and urged me to follow her. Wow, she wanted me to go with her and I eagerly followed, noticing the classroom was empty except for me, and her of course, as she apparently had specifically come to get me. Empty room. That was odd; but I had not noticed that, before. Anyway Peggy was explaining that all the students were outside registering a complaint about something; it was unclear as to what the complaint was.

Then I found myself in a sea of people milling around; Peggy had vanished and I was dazzled by all the commotion as I strained to figure what it was all about, but I felt pleased to have been asked to participate.

Suddenly a huge man appeared, red-faced with rage; I recognized him as the Physical Education teacher, a subject I did not do because of asthma. His name was Mr. Cox, and I noticed he seemed aimed at me and in an instant he had plowed through the crowd and grabbed my arm and was dragging me through the sea of students milling around, and I found myself sitting in the principal's office, apparently getting blamed for the riot going on. Presumably I got it on my school record that I was a something, a bad person, the only one disciplined because of the student body group complaint. I have no idea what it was all about, even to this day.

And so I can now see better how severely my Asperger's social dysfunction affected me back then; the term "Asperger's Syndrome" did not exist then, and I sometimes was called "a brain" as the characterization of what is now called Aspergers, who were also sometimes called "genius" too. But the extreme lack of awareness of my surroundings, particularly what the people were doing and why, is now getting my attention as I think back on those times.

I probably associated Peggy Brown with that severe embarrassment and is why I did not think of dating her. Could also be that Mr Cox, the P. E. teacher & football coach had spotted the cute cheerleader with me and so pounced on me in jealousy.

Those details might be important, but the main thing for me now is the recognition of my very weak awareness of my social surroundings, combined with a hunger to be involved in the fun things that others seemed to be doing. I am dimly aware of those traits I have even now, but the desire to "be involved in the fun others are doing" also comes with the many memories of the unpleasant results of my efforts to "participate" and so am also now just resigned to living isolated, even lacking a woman in my life.

An insight, that my ability to rapidly assimilate knowledge from books, was related to my "ability" to block out awareness of what was going on around me socially, otherwise I might have been too constantly interrupted by distractions to be a knowledge sponge anymore. Starting in my Freshman year in college, intense distractions were constantly overwhelming me, such as the constant severe tinnitus that started that year. And so far, has never quit distracting me.

And I think about Peggy - who wrote "Love, Peg" in my yearbook, what she looks like now. No longer that cute cheerleader, no more than I the nice looking young man of that yearbook page's pictures. And - the "What If's" are but dust blown away in the winds of time and events, gone to entropy.

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Space Day 2012 from Jim Cline's viewpoint

The internet news this morning had no word of Space Day 2012, but instead was steeped in politicos pointing fingers claiming conspiracy of one brand of religio-gunmen brand vs some other religio-gunmen brand; also another "lone gunman" clad in all-black calmly killing a dozen helpless defenseless strangers in a theater in Colorado - but no mention of the spectacular achievement of people cooperating together on a big project, reaching a milestone way back on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong first stepped on the surface of the Moon, soon followed walking on the Moon by "Buzz" Aldrin.

July 20, 1969, thus eventually became "Space Day" each July 20 in later decades, a time for space activists to set up booths to tell about the wonderous potentials of space.

But the media clearly knows it shapes public opinion through what it portrays as "news" and the spin-opinion those news articles are wrapped in. Well, I want to write a July 20 Space Day 2012 blog post today, honoring a better America, even though apparently my writings here don't seem to find their way to the outside world. That no American currently walks on the Moon, makes it all a news non-item, of course. Still, there ought to have been mention about Space Day.

Space colonization advocates cheered that first Moon landing back in 1969; but fact is, that the Moon landing and first Moon walk only happened then as a "move" in the "Cold War" game with the Soviet Union, both of whom saw each other as having the goal of world domination through military action, and the Moon was seen as a high ground from where missiles could be launched against the "other side." The subsequent years have accented peaceful uses of space, yet has become mere business-profit-maximization guided, instead of guided by civilization-quality-and-sustainability principles.

Perhaps it is "The media givith, and the media taketh away," since the Apollo project itself was instigated by a media article in a Sunday Parade magazine insert in the Sunday newspaper, which had on its cover an artist's graphic portrayal of an imaginative scene of domes and missile launch batteries on the Moon's surface, put there by the Soviets and aimed at us Americans.

This of course "pushed the buttons" of the American public which was freshly recovering from the Cuba missile crisis (where the Soviets were putting nuclear-tipped rockets aimed at us, mere miles off the Florida shores) and the resulting spread of info of how to build emergency fallout shelters, and the public was aware they would have at most some fifteen minutes to get to such a shelter, if the mad men got to pushing the nuke-rockets at each others' countries, us being one of them. We had breathed easier when Cuba backed down re hosting Soviet nuclear tipped rockets aimed at America, no 15-minute warning then, mere seconds to go boom on America from Cuba. But now the media clearly showed how an even more impregnable launch site could be made on the Moon.

Now note that the subject was not one of can humans actually travel to the Moon and back, building a research outpost there on the Moon; it was from the start a portrayal of the Moon being used as a military fortress. And that vision was what got the American public to fork up the considerable money to create the Mercury-Gemni-Apollo project - an amount of money that was less than the sum of quarters that kids put into arcade machines during the same time span back then, or the money that women spent on cosmetics in the same time period. Yet it was a huge amount of money to go the the Moon and back, and only the raw fear for survival got us to clamor for creating a counter-assault on the Moon in conflict with the Soviets.

Surely people can achieve far better things than war games. Yet, the reality-testing of even the recent past, shows the actual data, that in fact people do not choose to do far better things. "But we could have and still can do" I mentally protest. That the facts of the past don't support that fantasy I have, still has not fully sunk into my mind. And that same "media" has suppressed intensely the vision I showed starting in 1989, the "KESTS to GEO" concept, and industry-media-politics still hides those potentials for achieving far better things. Why?

Having indulged in the above rant, much as I have done on prior Space Days of recent years, I now can focus on the booby prizes, the leftover efforts of exploring and utilizing space, that have continued. The International Space Station circles the Earth some 200 miles overhead, now with five men and a woman aboard, ready for receiving a lot of supply spacecraft in the near future, some of them even private industry achievements; this orbiting facility represents the best compromise we can make re space potentials at this time. In a couple of weeks a very complicated new type effort to land a robot on the surface of Mars is set to happen, and if it works as designed, will enable some subsequent years of the robot Curiosity exploring Mars and calling home about what it finds there. Other robotic spacecraft are busy watching other planets including one headed to Pluto, while the old Hubble space telescope reports finding another moon of Pluto. I cheer all these very difficult space efforts on; they appear to be the best that humanity can do at this time, (despite that humanity blew the chance to do so extremely much better) considering that things like people doing shoot-em-ups and blow-em-ups still getting most of the attention, instead of people doing constructive projects based on long-range wisdom.

But the eccentric hoop-shaped internal-centrifugally-supported electrically powered space transportation structure (called KESTS to GEO, ) spanning between the Earth surface and the Geostationary Earth high Orbit, providing continuous lift and lowering of large payloads from ground to high orbit without use of any rocketry, still remains a hidden enormous potential for space, and quite possibly is what stimulates private investors to fiddle with the rocketry game, positioning themselves to get powerfully in the enormous space game when KESTS to GEO (or whatever they choose to name it pretending it was all their thing all along) so as to continue their big business games for wealth and influence over other people.



To correctly solve a problem

Here it is a mere five days until July 20 Space Day 2012, and I have not made a blog post here in a long time.

Sure, I feel it is like what if the makers of buggy whips and conestoga wagons had teamed up to protect their immediate business territories by blocking the creation of the railroad system that opened up the interior of America to expansion from the east and then the west coast. Who knows, maybe Mexico and Canada would now own the middle part of what is now America, if we had been unable to access and protect its resources; we might have lost the WWII fracas and be experiencing that kind of world. So now humanity's access to nearby space is in much the same situation, stuck in the extremely limiting reaction engined access constraint, and thus constraints as to what can be economically built and maintained in space. And, does it really matter in the longer history of life?

So what, if we could be already utilizing significant quantities of solar power satellite solar energy from GEO orbiting facilities, built economically by KESTS to GEO? Sometimes the greedy and power-addicted folks muddle up the situation big-time like they did re that; but, at least so far, life goes on amidst unnecessary human turmoil and suffering, but it still goes on. And, we humans are apparently addicted to drama of the inter-human conflict type, and this is a way to maximize that drama.

But, maybe I will remove that grump from the above. For now I will leave it there, as I helplessly "rail" impotently against what seems to be a monster industry that ought to have been very much my friend and helper in mutual successes. Is this fine drama or what? More like yuk.

Anyway, I had some moments of insight this morning while doing my Morning Pages, and want to record it here. Not really new at all; just a welcome and hopefully useful restatement of an old principle:

To correctly solve a problem, the problem must first be correctly be observed and characterized, then potential solutions need to be designed; then utilizing those solutions to solve the problem or if they don't fully work, use their results to better define the problem and from that redefinition of the problem, design new potential solutions to the problem, and explore them.