The “Geek Disorder”

There’s a fascinating article in the NY Times on Asberger’s Syndrome, a disorder related to autism. It is best described, perhaps, as the “geek disorder” because of the particular traits that those who have it seem to suffer: inability to interact socially, usually combined with high mental capabilities, particularly with engineering, mathematics, computer science, etc.. Those who have Asberger’s may have a range of symptoms in the spectrum — anywhere from complete inability to read social situations to slight akwardness or making innappropriate comments in social situations, and obsessive interest in certain kinds of information. While certainly not all geeks have Asberger’s, nor are all that have Asberger’s “geeks,” it certainly goes a long way to explaining the difficulties many have who are afflicted with this condition, and the tendency for “geeks” to be drawn to computer science and similar fields

Incidently, a classic case of someone likely suffering from Asberger’s is the character Toby Radloff from American Splendor.