One afternoon in the summer of 2003 he was eating at a Mexican restaurant in Berkeley with his girlfriend, Jenna, and her young daughter. They were talking about empathy, a notion that baffled Cohen. "Then a baby cried, and my daughter turned and made a sad face," Jenna recalls. "He said, 'You mean like that?' I said, 'Yes, it's automatic.' " Not for Cohen, though, who told her that emotions seemed mysterious. Jenna, who had worked with autistic kids, suggested he might have Asperger's.After that comes more "bla bla bla, aspies are great, look what this aspie was able to accomplish" lovefest. And then the ridiculous comments:
Cohen never sought a formal diagnosis but turned his considerable attention to the matter. He learned how to detect and mimic human expressions, follow social cues, maintain eye contact, flirt. He began pretending to be normal. "Then I realized how out of it I had been my entire life," he says. Jenna likens Bram to the android Data on Star Trek: "He'd add information to his social algorithm and practice until it became natural. He's graduated to being an eccentric nerd."
"What a well written article on a seemingly great guy. You've got to admire anyone who acknowledges inherent 'differences' and actively works to improve themselves and their relationships. And to his wife, you must be a true saint to put the time and effort into such a complex situation. Thank you for sharing your story."And even more naive:
"Profoundly uplifting story. Mr. Cohen shows the world what it's like to see with the eyes of a genius"I'm seriously disgusted. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. I'll never understand empaths. What is the difference between this guy's crazy lack of empathy and a sociopath's? Is it really just because he seems sort of harmless? ("Little kids would be frightening psychopaths if not for the fact that they're relatively weak and dumb compared to adults.") But he can't be that harmless if he created a program that is used to share pirated movies and games with millions of users.
As I have said before, I am all for rights for the empathy challenged, but have a little consistency! How is that everyone hates sociopaths for having no conscience, but aspies can do no wrong? People are utterly creeped out by sociopaths learning and mimicking emotions, but with aspies it is "acknowledg[ing] inherent 'differences' and actively work[ing] to improve themselves"? I feel like I am taking crazy pills.