Friday, May 11, 2007

Neurodiversity: a video that beautifully illustrates the concept

There is a really interesting symposium now available by webcast from MIT's Media Lab. Though the name, "Human 2.0" is sort of irritating to me, some of the content is fascinating, including a talk by Oliver Sacks, some introductory remarks by John Hockenberry, and presentations of interesting work by Media Lab researchers.

I am still making my way through the day-long proceedings, but as I watched some of the morning session today, one speaker mentioned a video by Amanda Baggs--who was in the audience--that I went and watched on YouTube. I found it to be both a lovely work of art and a striking political statement. I hope you'll watch it. The videomaker (whose blog is here) introduces her work on YouTube this way:

The first part is in my "native language," and then the second part provides a translation, or at least an explanation. This is not a look-at-the-autie gawking freakshow as much as it is a statement about what gets considered thought, intelligence, personhood, language, and communication, and what does not.


MAK said...

That was fascinating. I watched it twice. My company, a hospital cooperative, is giving a class on Autism Awareness to emergency responders (fire, EMS, police), to help them properly interact with people with autism, and I am going to ask them to show this.

Thank you to Ms. Baggs for producing this.

Joe Wright said...

I'm glad you liked it, and though I've just started reading it today, I definitely recommend her blog as a window into the second half of the video--the politics and ideas.

This video is going to be a classic for all kinds of educators, I think.