There are days when I feel deeply out of touch with conventional wisdom and have to console myself that what I am engaged in is more art than science.  Right now is one of those times that I am experiencing a deep hole in my stomach that feels a lot like grief.  Regarding business and organizing for social change, I feel integrated into a larger network and feel supported for the work I do.  When it comes to evolutionary theorizing and my conjectures around the cause of autism, I have so few discussions with academics on specifics that the occasional positive regards that I am provided by an academic are difficult to connect to any particular insight or hypothesis that I’ve formed.  A problem is that the network of hypothesized relationships that I am calling “The Theory of Waves” involves many moving pieces built on several unorthodox assumptions.  It is difficult to have discussion around specifics.

I am feeling insecure.

A deep premise of my work is that heterochronic theory (which includes neoteny and its opposite, acceleration) informs both human conditions characterized by maturational delay (autism and Asperger’s) and contemporary social transformation (democratic horizontalization and the Internet).  The influence of the environment on a woman’s womb combines with social structure/sexual selection societal tendencies to inform both the features of the individual and society.  Testosterone and estrogen mediate these changes.  Testosterone manages the rate, estrogen the timing.

This is classic, century-old heterochronic theory integrated with the new epigenetic view of how the environment and individual interact, fused with an understanding of how societies transform.

In my mind’s eyes, the theory has acquired an Internet-like hub and node structure with a number of interlocking theories connecting to one another, depending on one another.  Yet, if sections are shown to exhibit faulty reasoning or defective conjectural foundations, the larger structure stands.  Sections exhibit independent integrity.

Still, I am entranced by, in love with, certain aspects of the theory.  I don’t imagine this is a good thing if you are a scientist.  Regardless, scientists with careers committed to specific outcomes behave as if the practitioner is entranced by or in love with particular results.  I don’t imagine it is easy to avoid adoration of specific patterns.

I’m feeling now like I need to get clearer on the hormonal mechanics of human maturation rate and timing.  I’m afraid that the words “testosterone” and “estrogen” may be grossly simplifying a process that involves a number of gonadal steroids that may be executing this dance of change in ways beyond my ability to describe or understand.  The outcome or result of this black box of endocrine activity may support the dynamics I have been describing, but the description of the process may be a story I cannot tell.

Or, I might just be wrong.

I’m lucky theorizing is not my career.  The safe paths continue to hold no appeal.


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