I am reading Tyler Cowen’s “Create Your Own Economy”. He focuses on autism and Asperger’s syndrome. He rambles too much while making too few points. I have not found much of interest yet there are some good parts.

I enjoyed his observations on Sherlock Holmes and indirectly Conan Doyle.

Cowen’s characterization of Adam Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” is very interesting. The notion is that Smith was autistic and studied human emotions from a logical perspective. More importantly he wrote about them and described why they are efficacious, prefiguring modern evolutionary notions on the subject. This perspective is congruent with conventional views on Smith’s theory but suggests several ideas that would not have occurred to me. Perhaps high functioning autistics should be given Smith’s work as a hand book to understand ‘neuronormals’. Smith describes how normals think and emote, and even why such behavior makes for a smooth society. Many autistics enjoy understanding mechanisms and this might give them a good leg up.

Cowen describes Hermann Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game” with its opaque internal rules. It may be unfair but I could not help but be reminded of String Theory. While I enjoyed Cowen’s and Wikipedia’s description of Hesse’s book I have a strong urge not to read Hesse’s book.