A Gift of the Immaterial | Tzemah Yoreh

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A Gift of the Immaterial

A generalization of people on the autism spectrum that I find to be true at least in my case is that we are relatively non-materialist.

I could mostly be a brain in a jar for all I care about objects and their acquisition. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to eat blueberries if this were the sum of my existence, so this route to immortality is probably not for me.

I care about utility and function, I care that things work. I am writing my book from a banged up computer, with an interesting spider web of cracks adorning every edge. A while back I thought I could balance a desktop computer on two pillows while I scratched a mosquito bite, and I was wrong. My computer got smashed, and the touch function was gone, but I can still type, so who cares. Well probably most people would care, but really the only thing that frightened me was that I wouldn’t be able to write a poem extolling an impossible burger in Hebrew, and I could, and I did.

My spouse backed into a badly parked golf cart and banged up our car this past summer. Most people would have been apoplectic with rage. Me, I just shrugged. We took it into a body shop and asked whether we could drive it on our 2000 mile roadtrip and the guy stuck a nail in it and said sure. Good enough for me. My wife meanwhile was conferring with the mechanic with the purpose of making the insurance agency pay as much as possible. I guess that is what insurance is for. I just don’t care.

I have never cared. I think that even relative to other non-materialists, I don’t care. I have never met anyone who cares less than I do in my life, and I have looked.

When I was a kid, my bro and I had our special drawers full of objects. I honestly cannot remember what I had in it, not much probably. My brother though is very acquisitive, and he had hoards of knickknacks. I would occasionally buy some of those knickknacks so he would not beat me up, but then he would steal them back. That made sense to me, I didn’t care about the knickknacks or the money, and considering my relationship to pain, I did not totally suffer when I was beaten up.

My lack of care for material extends to intellectual property as well.

If anyone chooses to steal an idea from me, and some have, I take it as a compliment. That means it was a good idea. If you wish to honor me with a footnote that’s really up to you. And if you monetized the idea, then kudos to you, I’d appreciate if you let me know how you did it.

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