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Attributing all his behavior to his autism is wrong, you're right, but autistic people do have social problems that can influence some behavior, like the ability to pick up social cues and learn something is wrong before hearing others say it.

Also, you're doing a bait and switch, neuro-atypical covers a large swathe of people including autistic people. May be you're using it here as a mere synonym for "autistic" for lingual flare, but it includes people who are generally typical in social settings.




I agree with both of you, and I think stallman also had the misfortune here to be so beloved that people are willing to give him a pass on a lot of the things he's said.

It's absolutely true that neuro-atypical people can learn from others, even if they can't pick up on social cues the way neurotypical people can. I'm guessing stallman just goes unchallenged on much of this stuff because of the lingering effects of the rockstar syndrome in tech, where "great men," geniuses, whatever, get cut a lot of slack because of their position in the industry.

It's only recently that I've seen a shift away from prizing our jerk 10x rockstars ("hey, he's so smart he can keep the whole codebase in his head!") to valuing better-behaved people. stallman seems like he'd be even more isolated than the typical one of those, with less chance to have the rough edges smoothed off in the rock tumbler of social interaction.

Again, not an excuse, but I'm more interested in, "how did we get here?" (where "here" is a decades-long public figure questioning the wrongness of pedophilia and making jokes like the "emacs virgin" thing well into the 2000s).




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