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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Haley Joel Osment as Aspie Poster Child? 
2nd-May-2008 12:11 pm
Trevor baby stare
It seems like most people thought less of AI: Artificial Intelligence than I did. I wonder if it appeals to me so much because the lead performance feels a lot like a kid with Asperger syndrome and I identify with that sort of kid*. Folks without that identity wouldn't have felt such a strong resonance and their opinions of the film would be less personal. I also wonder how people's opinions would differ if the movie stopped at the first ending point.


* I've never been diagnosed with (nor, to my knowledge, evaluated for) Asperger's or highly-functional autism in general, and I don't think a diagnosis would change anything for me. As a kid I displayed a lot of Asperger traits: language acuity, introversion, empathy challenges, dairy allergy. When I hear descriptions of aspie kids I think "Hey, that sounds like me." Many of the traits are less pronounced for me now than they used to be. Some of that difference may be due to growth and some may be due to practice.
Comments 
2nd-May-2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I thought it was pretty terrific.

Most people want oranges when they are being fed Kiwi. It wasn't ET. It wasn't the book. Good stuff.
3rd-May-2008 02:49 am (UTC)
It would've been much better if it had just ended.

Of course, it would've been even better than that had it been about Allen Iverson.
3rd-May-2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought about it that way, but I think I was busy being distracted and horrified by all the awful things that kept happening to the poor kid. Watching that movie was like seeing a puppy get kicked in the face for a couple hours. It was excruciating. (Although even if it were horrible to watch, it could have been redeemable if it weren't for the ending. I seem to find myself at the end of every Spielburg movie going, "Seriously? WTF?") I'm pretty fond of the Simpsons Halloween spoof, where faced with a choice between Bart and a robotic boy, Homer ends up taking Bart for a drive and abandons him out in the woods.
5th-May-2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
I'm struck by the irony of the notion that Aspie people would have more empathy for the HJO character than "normies" or NT's (neurologically typical people.)

Autism is a spectrum, with Asperger's being a lesser but still pretty broad section of it, specifically characterized by no language delay, but still some language differences. (Yes, I am formally diagnosed.) The rhythms and particulars of your speech, as well as your sense of humor and the little I know of your sensory acuity, tell me you are comfortably on the spectrum. But unless you're looking for a place to start looking into sensory integration therapy, or maybe a little language analysis as an extension of your computer interests, no, it really doesn't matter. It's more like a categorization of personality and behavior than some kind of illness or even physical trait. The word "Aspie" has almost replaced "logical" in some applications. Or "geeky".

Tangentially, have you heard of hyperlexia?

Asperger's is also called "Little Professor Syndrome". I would have liked to know you as a child.
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