Posted by Toe_Nail on April 18 2008 12:15 AM
Yes, I already know you and possibly others disagree with me on this, only the last time I stated my opinion about this, I really failed to express myself clearly... and yes, made myself look quite foolish.
This said, not that I'm trying to make you change your mind about this and neither should you, but rather now that I've managed to put my thoughts together and find the right words to express them, I'm only trying to demonstrate a different perspective.
We're seen as stupid. Lazy. Freaks. Having a famous face that people like, helps them to understand that we are not freaks.
Now I'll show you how having a famous face that people like can be twisted around and used against us to say that we're lazy stupid freaks with the following all too common scenario:
Andy is a dyscalculic, he's smart, talented and self-reliant but certain situation when he needs to perform certain specific tasks, and espescially when there is pressure, he feels stressed and overwhelmed. He could very well do the said task on his own, only it would take him a lot of time to double check and verify and time is lacking. His friend and collegue Bruno is getting impatient at Andy which in turn, is becoming fearful that he might be criticized again and yelled at for his 'careless mistakes' (Haven't we all been there, right?)
So Andy decides to ask Bruno for help but here's the thing, Bruno sorta 'dumped' the work on Andy because he(Bruno) didn't have the time or courage to takle the work on his own (Don't we all know someone like that?)
So when Andy asks Bruno help, Bruno's reply is something along the lines of:
"Why? You're a big boy, can't you do a simple thing by yourself?"
Of course, Bruno doesn't know Andy is dyscalculic and so common sense says that if Bruno would know why Andy needs help and how the thought of tackling this on his own makes him feel stressed and fear criticism, Bruno would likely be more inclined to offer help and be more understanding.
So Andy explains to Bruno why he needs help and explains how his dyscalculia makes certain things more difficult to do and how he feels stressed and affraid of making mistakes and be yelled at. Bruno listens and sympathises.
"Oh, I would have never guessed...' Bruno says, "it doesn't show at all. But you know, we all make careless mistakes, it happens to everyone. You just need to pay more attention, be more careful." (Haven't we all heard that one before?)
To witch Andy realizes that his friend Bruno doesn't quite understand. So Andy explains that he does verify and play closer attention but that the dyscalculia does create 'careless mistakes' which sometimes completely escape him.
"Bogus, there wouldn't be any careless mistakes if you'd pay attention and verify carefully" Bruno says
"You don't understand..." Andy says,"I can't
verify too well on my own, well I can, but it would take me a long time and even then, there might be some mistakes that I haven't seen"
Bruno: "Oh, stop putting yourself down like that. Never say that you can't do something. If you belive that you can't do something, of course that you wont! Ernest Hemingway was dyslexic and he was a writer!!
Put yourself in Andy's shoes, and say how would you feel?
Angry? Hurt? Very much so and for a reason because by pointing out that Hemingway was dyslexic and that that didn't stop him from becoming a famous writer,the hidden message that is sent says that Hemingway became a famous writer despite the fact that he was dyslexic, likely because of his strong will and determination... unlike you Andy, who's a whinner and complains that you can't do something on your own because you are dyscalculic but really, you're just lazy, or maybe you're really stupid.
That is called a twisted truth by the way. It's a type of logical falacy which consists of using one statement wich is true (Hemingway = dyslexic writer) in order to make another statement which isn't necessarily true sound to be true (in this case: you're nothing but a lazy whinner and the proof of that is that Hemingway was a dyslexic writer... see?) :@
Falacies such as twisted truth are often used by manipulators and they are really hard to un-twist in part because you have to see them comming ahead of time. Manipulators are very good at covering their tracks. But sometimes Twisted Truths and falacies can used by people who don't necessarily mean any harm. They don't even realize what they are doing. Mainly, it is often because of ignorance, or they want to cheer you up by saying "hey Einstein was dyslexic" but the context in which that was brought up is comepletely wrong which makes things sound like "Hey, Einstein was dyslexic what are you whinning about?" in which case I believe it is good to remind people that for every 100 geniuses there are 6 dyslexic ones and 94 non-dyslexic ones,so they don't have anything to whine about either. It put things right into the right perspective. It doesn't take away that Einstein or Hemingway or whomever was/is dyslexic but it prevents people from assuming and spreading rumors that only 'dys' can be geniuses, talented writers and etc because if it really was the case, well, I guess that they'd be kinda right to tell us off and point-out that 'dys' are more of a blessing than anything else.
This said, sorry (again) for the long post. I know it's an un-popular subject but I can't help to feel deep inside of me that there is something really wrong in there when people miss-use and generalize information like this.