Beyond the obvious reasons (e.g. keeping an eye on one's enemies, being aware of arguments against positions I hold so I can prepare for when they're inevitably used against me), I also occasionally find out information of interest from them. By this, I don't mean information of interest about what they're up to (I'd file that under the category of "the obvious reasons"), but rather information about the neurodiversity movement.
You see, they're usually doing the same thing that I am -- namely, keeping an eye on the other side of the "debates" (kinda hard to call it a debate when the "other side" doesn't regard you as capable of rational argument, but I digress...). The fact that they report it from a position which is biased against us doesn't change the fact that they do report on said news.
This comes in handy on occasion. For a variety of reasons, I sometimes miss information that really would have been of interest to me... or that I'd find comment-worthy.
I was rather firmly reminded of this yesterday when I came across some information at one of them.
I won't link to the post... or to the blog in question. I don't want to raise that... person's... Google ranking any. I will remark that his hate-filled invective has managed to generate a response blog which typically comments on the blog's inane deluded ramblings... which often somehow manage to be more offensive than Encyclopedia Dramatica's entry on the word "offended".
No, I won't link directly to that, either. If you are morbidly curious enough to want to see a page which actively attempts to be the most offensive thing on the Internet, please don't say I didn't warn you. I probably wouldn't even bring it up if I wasn't under the influence of narcotics, but, in my current mental state, I literally can't think of a better way to convey just how offensive That Person's hate speech is.
In the midst of one of his hate-filled rants, however, he managed to mention something genuinely interesting, something that I wasn't aware of.
You see, I'm almost certainly not going to be able to attend this year's AutCom conference. It's a simple matter of funding -- I blew most of the money that I could have used to go there by going to Autreat instead. As I knew I wouldn't be able to go, I'm afraid that I didn't check out the agenda for the AutCom conference in as much detail as I should have.
Simply put, That Person mentioned (in as offensive a way as possible) that Amanda Baggs would be re-presenting her talk from Autreat at AutCom. This drew me short for a moment -- to say that Amanda's talk had been good would be a major understatement.
I checked over the agenda to confirm... and there it is. I don't know if Amanda will be representing her talk exactly as she gave it at Autreat or if she's revised and/or made additions. Either way, I can't reccommend it enough.
And no, Amanda's isn't the only breakout session which appears to be a rehash of an Autreat presentation. Right now, I'm really wishing I could go to AutCom.
Who knows, I may be able to find a way. It'll just be extremely tricky.
And this entry took me well over twenty four hours to write. Gyah, the painkillers are effecting my functioning level...