On occasion I receive death threats in comments on my blog. This doesn’t bother me, I had more than a few pathetic losers say similar things to me in high school but the difference is that a pathetic loser on the other side of the world can’t do much about it.
The latest one is on my post “Is Asperger Syndrome a Good Thing?” . At 11:04AM my time (00:04 UTC) on the 23rd of November someone using IP address 18.104.22.168 (registered to “NTL Infrastructure for Tesco – Guildford”) and with the claimed email address of sharkbait @ tesco.net told me that I’m on his “to kill list“.
He was angry because my post apparently didn’t satisfy his need to “prove to people that they don’t want AS“. As it’s not possible to choose your DNA there is really no point in trying to prove that one set of genes is better than another, unless of course you want to harass people who have different genes to you.
Naturally he didn’t read my post, in fact the differences between his comment and what I wrote made me suspect that it’s something he was pasting in to lots of blogs, but it seems unlikely that he would use an iPhone for such a copy/paste job so he must just not read. For example he rhetorically asks “did you even mention it was a form of autism in your ‘negative points’” when I gave a link to the proposed DSM changes where Asperger Syndrome is being merged with “Autistic Disorder” and the word “Autism” appears 5 times in the post.
He has one specific complaint about people he knows who are on the Autism Spectrum, he says “Every time someone speaks to them they get angry and tell said person to back the fuck off. I’ve been on the receiving end.” Generally there are two possible reasons for being told to “fuck off”, one is that the person telling you is an asshole and the other is that you are being an asshole. If you are the type of person who sends death threats to bloggers then you really should consider the latter explanation.
He also suggests that I watch Boston Legal – presumably because that show has one character who is an Aspie. Now I have actually watched that show and it’s the worst legal show I’ve ever seen, when a legal show has such unrealistic portrayal of court scenes I don’t think it should be relied on for information on any other topic. I watched a couple of episodes of Boston Legal and only saw one scene with the Aspie guy, so I can’t even determine whether it’s a realistic portrayal – he’s a minor character. In any case there are plenty of Aspie guys in the Free Software community who I interact with regularly, I read forums such as AspiesForFreedom.com, and I’ve read some text books on the topic. So even if a TV show had a very accurate portrayal of an Aspie character I still doubt that I would learn anything by watching it.
As a general tip for flamers, if you want to accuse someone of being a member of a NAZI or KKK type organisation then the word you are after is Aryan not “ayrien“. If you don’t know a word then don’t use it.
Please note the conditions of sending me email , I reserve the right to publish all threats in any way that I wish.
A Final Note
Thanks sharkbait for adding me to your “to kill list“, I’m sure that there are lots of nice people on it and I’ve got good company.
If I didn’t get the occasional death threat I would worry that I’m not writing well enough or failing to address important issues. I will write more about Autism in the future.