The Value in Diversity of Minds

“Different Not Less”

Temple Grandin is an Inventor, Innovator, all round amazing person who is on the Autistic spectrum. Probably the best person in the world to tell you about Autism. You just have to read more, and listen to her talk. Claire Danes acted in a movie called Temple Grandin which you have to see.

As someone who knows autistic children, this really drives me to tears, the way we treat others without trying to understand them.. Listen to her.



 

“Boys who cry can work for Google. Boys who trash computers cannot. I once was at a science conference, and I saw a NASA scientist who had just found out that his project was canceled—a project he’d worked on for years. He was maybe sixty-five years old, and you know what? He was crying. And I thought, Good for him. That’s why he was able to reach retirement age working in a job he loved.”
Temple Grandin, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

On Design

Every design problem I’ve ever solved started with my ability to visualize and see the world in pictures. I started designing things as a child, when I was always experimenting with new kinds of kites and model airplanes. In elementary school I made a helicopter out of a broken balsa-wood airplane. When I wound up the propeller, the helicopter flew straight up about a hundred feet. I also made bird-shaped paper kites, which I flew behind my bike. The kites were cut out from a single sheet of heavy drawing paper and flown with thread. I experimented with different ways of bending the wings to increase flying performance. Bending the tips of the wings up made the kite fly higher. Thirty years later, this same design started appearing on commercial aircraft

“Now, in my work, before I attempt any construction, I test-run the equipment in my imagination. I visualize my designs being used in every possible situation”

“My first step in designing a better system was collecting all the published information on existing ‘wheels’. Before doing anything else, I always check out what is considered state-of-the-art so I don’t waste time reinventing the wheel.”

“That idea, like many of my best designs, came to me very clearly just before I drifted off to sleep at night.”

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