Part of working in the IT Industry during the past five years is a requirement to emphasize all the exact same qualities that are naturally anathema to people with Asperger's Syndrome. As it happens, it is by and large people with Asperger's Syndrome who are the most effective, productive and canny of all the people in the workplace when it comes to software development.
It causes us physical pain to pretend something is true when we know it to be a lie. Medical researchers show stress hormones go through the roof in people with Asperger's Syndrome when they are put in situations that ordinary men and women flatline on. Ordinary people take lying and bullsh*tting for granted. It's an innate skill. It's part of their biology. It's like breathing, walking or having sex for them. It's a pre-existing groove in the brain from birth in normal people and all they have to do is practice the skill a bit and they do it like champions. They become marvelous liars for the simple reason that in order to be a good liar, you first must be good at lying to yourself. The neurotypical has a dedicated brain structure that helps him/her do just that. It's fully matured by the end of adolescence. Once they can put a smooth one over on themselves, doing it on others becomes as natural as blinking.
When you're in a big group meeting, talking about how great Rational Rose is and how productive it is and how it is streamlining the entire software development cycle into a methodical edjumificated process, look around you and see how relaxed everybody is. They love these social situations where they avoid actual work and just sit around reinforcing one another and trading affirmations of delusions. It's like putting Brer Fox in the briar patch. They excel in social arenas where the only real requirement is to convincingly exchange untruths with reciprocation on the part of all.
Do you know what the Asperger's sufferer is doing at that time, in back of the room trying to keep silent and just maintain a pleasant dazed stare like the other primates? The past ten years of research have informed psychologists worldwide with the hard medical data to back it up.
He's sweating. His heart is palpitating. It feels like there are ants crawling on his skin. His face is flushed and he feels like his internal organs are drying up. (They are, the blood is rushing inward and thickening from the fight-or-flight response) His scalp is crawling and he has weird tingles in his extremities. You know, the exact same sensations that neurotypical people display when they accidentally tell the truth once in a while. That's why ordinary humans go to pieces on the polygraph machine. They are trying to consciously stop lying and it is like holding their breath.
He's suffering. It hurts. The more people lie and share social baloney they know at a subconscious level is the opposite of truth, the worse it is for him. He can try really hard to make it look natural the way others do innately but the truth is he will always be a terrible liar whose face tells the whole story.
What will become of him if he follows his natural instinct and blurts out the Emperor is without clothes? It could lose him his job. He will immediately lose respect from others, although with most Asperger's people that's not far to fall anyhow. He will be alienated and rejected from the group. That's the way mankind works. It's also pathological. Over the long term, it can produce catastrophic population collapses. Those of you who believe purely in evolution should know that ours is far from complete. This "let's all believe in crap" instinct is very maladaptive in any situation that requires complex problem solving. In IT, it's a death sentence.
For ten years, I was that guy at the back of the room. Sometimes I honestly wish I had been tending a golf course during that entire decade. I have to pretend that really low IQ people who are really crazy and completely unqualified to even be working in software development are actually intellamajent and edjumificated and stuff. It's hard. I'm never convincing.
Yes, I am going somewhere with this. Here it is.
For ten years I've been hearing about multitasking. It's used frequently nowadays in corporations.
The problem is that I'm forty five years old and have never seen a person doing two things at once. I've seen people with ADD who never seem to get anything done and others who seem to be doing several things at once but in fact are not doing anything at all except moving around a lot.
I don't think multitasking exists. I think it's all bullsh*t, a huge mythological goal for mankind that has confused equal parts of real-time programming and Oprah Winfrey pop-speak with a very skewed understanding of how the human brain actually functions.
But don't mind me. You'll notice there is always a guy behind the water cooler at the office who fronts a sickly grin when you use the word and nods his head ... but he seems to have gone clammy and be sporting a sweaty brow. That's me. I'm doing my best but I just can't fake it the way the rest of you can. There' s no such thing. Doesn't that cause you pain like with me?