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text 2017-03-23 00:15
Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 527 pages.
Charles Darwin: A New Life - John Bowlby

So far there is little to suggest Darwin suffered the social difficulties that form an important part of an autism diagnosis. It might be necessary to go directly to his letters to get a better idea about this. The fact that Darwin clearly had what are referred to as "special interests" from a young age still gives autism more explanatory power than the bereavement/difficult father theory. I have arrived at no firm conclusion either way, yet. This is in contrast to Einstein and Dirac where the evidence seems to me overwhelmingly in favour of an autism diagnosis.


For my purposes I need 3 extremely influential scientists who were probably autistic; I have two. If I conclude Darwin probably wasn't or at least the evidence is inconclusive, I can fall back on the suggestion of Newton and see how that turns out - but I do have a deadline - the talk is to be given during the first week of July.

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text 2017-03-22 10:29
Crack TISSNET to Get Admission in Tata Institute of Social Science

TISSNET is the national entrance test to seek admission in any full-time post-graduate programmes (MA, M.Sc, MHA, MPH) in Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS). These courses are offered in independent centres across TISS Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Tuljapur. All the campuses of TISS have experienced and dedicated faculty, engaged in teaching and research. In addition, the college follows a unified campus placement policy and process.


TISS admission procedure is a computer-based national entrance test. It is an objective type test and even applicants with a basic knowledge of computer can apply for it. The exam will have 3 sections including General Knowledge, Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability and Verbal ability.   


1. General Knowledge


This section will test the student on topics related to general awareness and current affairs. The questions will be based on Indian and world history, recent social issues and movements held across the world, etc.    


2. Analytical Ability and Logical Reasoning


Analytical and numerical ability section will include questions related to mathematics, data interpretation and logical reasoning. To score good marks in this section, the applicant needs to have a strong hold on topics like time & distance, ratio & proportion, average, HCF & LCM, percentage, etc.  


3. Verbal Ability


A strong hold on the English language is very important in order to clear this section. The candidate will be asked a set of questions based on a comprehension. Apart from the passage, the questions are related to topics like synonyms & antonyms, omissions, etc.  


4. Selection Procedure


Candidates will be shortlisted based on their performance in the TISSNET. The selected candidates are called for a pre-interview test (PIT) or group discussion, followed by a personal interview (PI). While the national entrance test carries 100 marks, Pre-interview test and Personal interview contain 50 & 75 marks respectively.


How to Apply for TISSNET?


For pursuing the master’s degree, the candidate is required to follow a specified admission procedure in Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Apply for TISSNET on the official website and keep the following factors in mind when filling the application form:  


  1. In order to apply online, applicants are expected to register themselves at https://appln-admissions.tiss.edu/register/ and log on to the official website. Candidates can apply for TISSNET from there.
  2. Fill the application form carefully, mention all the necessary information and make sure it is correct. Also, keep all the required documents ready.
  3. Once the form is completed, pay the requisite application fee and submit your application form.
  4. It is important to download and take a printout of the application form for future references.


Tata Institute of Social Science brings together high-quality scholars and practitioners from social, political, economic, engineering, health and environmental sciences to create interdisciplinary teaching and research programmes amalgamated with field training to address the most critical issues of the nation. Candidates having a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3 years duration are eligible to apply for the TISSNET. Candidates studying in their last semesters can also apply for a master’s degree in TISS but only if they have scored passing marks in all their previous years’ semesters.    

Source: www.fuccha.in
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review 2017-03-22 02:36
Autobiographies, Charles Darwin
Autobiographies: Charles Darwin (paper) - Sharon Messenger,Michael Neve,Charles Darwin

Reading this feels a bit voyeuristic, in that it was intended as a family document rather than a public one. It's short and not a very good biography; it talks in little detail about Darwin's life or character, whilst rambling about the personalities of various other contemporary scientists, Darwin's religious views and his own books. It's nevertheless of some interest and so short as to hardly allow for getting bogged down. It's nowhere near as fun as The Voyage of the Beagle or as important as On the Origin of Species, however.


It is probably most useful for the section on how developing his theory of evolution eroded his faith in literal interpretation of the Bible and eventually in Christianity altogether.

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text 2017-03-22 00:56
Reading progress update: I've read 24 out of 527 pages.
Charles Darwin: A New Life - John Bowlby

Darwin was ill for extensive periods of his adult life. There is convincing reason to believe that he was prone to anxiety and that many of his physical symptoms were caused by chronic hyperventilation. The author argues that the anxiety (and rarer bouts of depression) are a result of childhood trauma, vis, bereavement and trouble with his father. The hypothesis of autism, however, not only explains all of the above but also the kind of single minded focus that leads one to spend 8 years classifying every know living and fossil species of barnacle and 20 years developing a theory of evolution, as well as apparent aspects of his interactions with others. It also explains the specific triggers of Darwin's anxiety. The two theories aren't mutually exclusive, but since autism explains more, I am currently convinced by it, though I gather that the idea remains controversial. Still a very long distance to go, though, and I particularly want to check if the social interaction ideas stand up to closer examination.

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text 2017-03-21 22:39
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 527 pages.
Charles Darwin: A New Life - John Bowlby

I go into this monster biography a little warily, because the author admits to having a bit of an axe to grind in respect to the causes of Darwin's adult bouts of protracted illness. The entire biography resulted from a hypothesis that the illnesses were psychological/psychosomatic and heavily influenced by a Freudian notion that it's all down to the death of his mother and a difficult relationship with his father.

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