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My best friends: me, myself and I

I talk to my computer. It responds better when I do. My friends and family look at me sideways and pause to make sure I’m not addressing them; I’m talking to myself. Aloud. With purpose. They ask, "are you feeling okay?" They think, "he’s flown over the cuckoo’s nest!" Now, I’m vindicated!

In a recent study published in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, psychologists Gary Lupyan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Daniel Swingley (University of Pennsylvania) conducted a series of experiments to discover whether talking to oneself can help when searching for particular objects. … It was found that speaking to themselves helped people find the objects more quickly.

[Source, Science Daily, It Doesn’t Mean You’re Crazy – Talking to Yourself Has Cognitive Benefits, Study Finds]
[Derived from Source, AlphaGalileo Foundation, It Doesn’t Mean You’re Crazy – Talking To Yourself Has Cognitive Benefits, Study Finds]
[Original Source, Taylor & Francis Group, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology – Self-directed speech affects visual search performance]

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My affair with Jott

I was amazed with Jott when it first came out and it quickly became my favorite memory aid, mind declutterer, and to-do list organizer. Jott allows you to speak a message and have it transcribed to your Jott dashboard, Twitter, Remember The Milk, Google Calendar and many more services. It works through a combination of speech recognition and human transcribers. Then the honeymoon ended and Jott brought its free version to a close. I recently deemed this tool important enough to me to sign up again and it has already paid for itself.

I let Jott send me reminders to both SMS and email. Our neighborhood lacks an association so I sent myself a note. This is what Jott sent me in email. (Click the picture for a larger view) Thank you Jott! Shh. Don’t tell Cathy.

jott reminder.egg  on Aviaryjott reminder.egg on Aviary.

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Computer with early onset Alzeheimer’s

Nothing makes Black Friday blacker than rebooting your development server to see the ever familiar memory test run and instead of completing having the message "Memory Error!" appear on the boot screen. My first game console was an Atari 2600 circa 1978. My first computer was an Atari 400 around 1980 and my father with me helping (looking over his shoulder) upgraded the memory from 8kb to 32kb by soldering a chip to the motherboard. Can you imagine the tech support calls if that was the procedure today? "Yes sir. My name really is Steve. Now, did the soldering iron go all the way through the motherboard or just your CPU?" I have never seen a memory error until today. I made it through a reboot so hopefully it was a fluke.

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Social Ineptitude

As my stress rises, the ability to recognize faces and recall names goes away. At the levels of stress I am currently experiencing, it is a wonder that I am functioning at all. I just ran into an old acquaintance at the grocery. I blanked on his name. For that matter, I couldn’t think of anything to say beyond "hi." So I stammered and searched for words which only made things worse. It was very uncomfortable. I have had to deal with this feeling much of my life as my family moved frequently during childhood. Each move meant a whole new set of faces and names to learn and be able to recall.

If this is how someone with Asperger’s feels everyday, the social torment is understandably very isolating. The knots in your stomach are enough to dry you into never leaving the house.