At 15:03, I bought the book Less Than Zero written by Bret Easton Ellis in English and republished by Pan Macmillan in 2010, ISBN:9780330518888, from bookshop Broekhuis for € 11.95. Around 15:08, I bought my first soft serve ice cream for one Euro.
For this I did Faux Pas Recognition and Projective Storytelling Cards tests. The Faux Pas Recognition test is a test for adults whether the have a theory of mind. In each faux pas story, you are told something that is known to first actor in the story and then a second actor is introduced who makes a remark that would be offensive with respect to what you know about the first actor. If you feel that the second actor has made an awkward remark, you might have missed that the second actor did not know about the special fact known to you about the first actor. With some of the stories, I felt that the second actor did made an awkward remark, but then I realized my mistake, when an additional question was asked to me about the story. I noticed that I had problems focussing on the story and processing all the details, because it was at the end of the day, and I already had done a lot of talking. That I did not score very well on this test, might be contributed to other factors, like my language processing problems and being slightly exhausted due to my introversion. I do know that do have a theory of mind, because I am quite good at explaining things (like the rules of Go). I know that I am good at judging what the other person is understanding of the problem and finding ways to increase the understanding.
The Projective Storytelling Cards test consists of a number of drawing of all kinds of social situations and you are being asked what is happening. I probably scored low on this test, because I was taking a rather analytic approach. For some of the situations, I could make up a story about what might be happening, but because I did not have any way to verify it, I did not mention it, becuase I wanted to be factual. In some cases I even could think of several situations and with one situation, with father and a child standing around a pregnant woman, I remarked that pregnancy can be over shadowed by many worries. I am sceptical and a divergent thinker, which prompts met to often generate alternative explainations, where others are satisfied with the most obvious answer.
It is true that as a child I did not have many friends, but it also seems that I did not care much, probably because other boys of my age did not share my interests and I was ahead of them with respect to comprehension of science (astronomy, space flight, electronics and such). I was also an easy child, not having any rigid behaviours or limited interest. It is true that I was not much interested in social activities and that I lacked some abilities with respect to this. My uncorrected near-sightedness during the first seven years of my life probably did hinder my development in this area, not being able to see facial expression from more than a few meters away.
It is true that I do not have many friends and that most contacts with friends are organized, but the friendships I have are not superficial. It is also a fact that intelligent people usually have less friends. I am able to build friendships with both men and women. It is true that I have strong daily routines, but that is mainly because I do not want to spend time thinking about these every day matters. It also true that I stick to some strange routines of recording certain events, but that is mainly a means of giving meaning to my life and/or to give me a feeling of achievement. It is true that I am sensitive for artificial smells and tastes (such as alcohol and artificial sweeters) and that I am sensitive for touch. But although these things are often found with people who have autism, they are not characteristics. I also have no problems with sensory overload. I do noticed, that now that I get older, that I have more problems with concentrating when there are a lot of distractions around, but I understand that that happens to all people when they get older. I cannot remember having experienced a typical autistic meltdown, but I have experienced a type of shutdowns, which seem to be different (at least with respect to cause) from autistic shutdowns. There have been moments that I felt so emotional or rational confused, that I did not know how to proceed further, because every move seemed to make things worse. At these times, I just need to be alone to organize my thoughts. If people press me to make a move during such shutdowns, they only make things worse. The best way out is usually giving me the opportunity to write in my diary. It always helps me to write about what I am feeling of thinking, as a way to organize my emotions and thought and take some distance from them.
Although some people have concluded that I am within the spectrum, and then only at the most lowest level of severity, I tend to conclude that I am probably not, because there are other factors that could explain my behaviour, just like not every nerd is on the spectrum.
I also met with Marina Toeters from by-wire.net, who had just given a small workshop (for children) about how to intergrate LED's into clothing. I told her about Eth:0 and how I met a woman also working on wearable electronics. She showed me some of the things she had brought. I also told her a little about TkkrLab and how we have people solving problems with respect to programming small devices. She also worked on Cliff: the automatized zipper and I shared the idea of using a spiral to open and close a zipper that I had got when looking at it. While biking home, I thought some more about it and I also shared the idea with Annabel.
We also went to see the exhibition of the collection of Groninger Museum. There we found Cluster 6 by Peter Struycken. I also liked Winterlandschap 1839 by Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, the works by Wobbe Alkema, and Elzenboompjes, huizen en Martinitoren by Job Hansen.
Afterwards, we walked around the city, visiting some shops: Second hand bookshop and art dealer Albert Hogeveen, Kunstkadootje, and Wirwar, a games and puzzle shop. We also sat on a bench on a small square near the entrance of the faculties of Dutch literature and law of the Universiy of Groningen. At the market we got some vegatables and prepared us some meal. In the evening, we visited the bar where the members of the Go club from Groningen come together to have some drinks and play a game of go, if they are in the mood. I had to leave rather soon, in order to catch the forelast train home. That was a good decision, because the transfer at Zwolle was very tight, and I might have missed it if I had not ran. I made a KML file for Google Earth of the route that I walked in Groningen (view in Google Maps).