Geekiness with Micah Joel

I’m talking with Micah Joel, the author of several short stories about famous computer programmers and a new story about time travel. The topic of our conversation is geekiness and the autism spectrum.

The spectrum of “normal” is broad

Neurotypical and not neurotypical

Asperger’s syndrome


The Wrong Planet Asperger and Autism Forum

human universals

shaking your head to mean no is not universal

An Anthropologist on Mars


How do you write a culture you don’t understand?

Thinking Fast and Slow

Implicit bias

The framing effect and thinking in a foreign language

Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (not Nancy Kress, sorry!)

The Confederacy of Dunces

I could be accurate AND serve the story, but…

Is Sheldon Cooper autistic?


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  • Teri Miller

    Interesting perspective. Before I retired I mostly worked with children (I am a psychologist) and several were Autistic, but only a couple I would describe as fitting the Asperger’s diagnosis. We worked on side-by-side play and calming techniques, it’s been a while and I don’t remember all of the things that worked, but those 2 stick out in my memory. I held the personal theory that an Autistic child was not necessarily going to come out into my world, I had to go into his/her’s. Once they accepted me in their world we could expand on behaviors. I enjoyed this podcast, thank you for letting me know about it Mr. Joel!

    • Thanks for commenting. That’s a very interesting experience. How did you know when you were in a child’s world?

      • Teri Miller

        It varied by child. One would simply let me sit beside him. A girl who was very violent started giving me things, another really sad case of a severely autistic child who had suffered unspeakable abuse took about 9 months before she let me in. She would calm when I was in the room, and eventually would touch me on the arm and finally on my face. She never looked directly at me or anyone. My last case was a teenage male who was very violent. His elderly mother could no longer care for him and brought him to hospital. I worked with him several months and found he liked to laugh, so we would sit together and point at various things and laugh. Once I was accepted I could do some behavior mod work. Mostly I worked with children who had been sexually abused, sometimes these are co-morbid conditions.

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