Autistic Spectrum Digest (Autism) Issue 22, September 2015 - Page 60

For example, my first edit ten years ago was to fix a spelling error. My second edit was to fix a conjugation error. My third edit was to fix both a spelling and a conjugation error. That's how my journey as a Wikipedian started ten years ago. Wikipedians are obsessed with citations, references, and verifiability; fact is king, and interpretation is taboo. As long as you stay in the main namespace, that is. As soon as you step out of article pages and venture into talk pages and community spaces like the "Village Pump", those high standards don't apply any more. There are plenty of unsourced, exaggerated and biased statements in Wikipedia discussions. That's in addition to the problems I mentioned earlier. As an autist, it can be hard to let go of arguments about things or people you care about. It's often said that autistic people lack empathy, which basically makes us look like cold-hearted robots. However, there is a distinction between being able to read the feelings of other people, and feeling compassion for other people. Neurotypical people have mirror neurons that make you feel what the person in front of you is feeling; autistic people have a lot fewer of those, which means they need to scrutinize your signals and try to understand what you're feeling. But they're still people with feelings. If you're interested in learning more about autism in the Wikimedia community, there's a great essay on the English Wikipedia, which I highly recommend. One thing it does really well is avoiding the pathologization of autism, and instead insisting on neurodiversity, meaning autism as a difference, not a disease. 60