One thing I have learnt is that despite what many people think, there are no subjects or fields of knowledge that are completely separated from one another. They are all knitted together in a massive interweaving web of connections that those who have the capability can navigate these network of connections.
This capability to navigate knowledge with efficiency is something that I call POA (Perceptive Observational Analysis). All humans can connect information together; it’s how we create and use the knowledge we learn.
POA, however, is a different type of processing altogether. It is not very common in neurotypicals, but those who have it become highly inventive thinkers, great intellectuals, artists, composers, or philosophers.
However, autistic minds are different from non-autistic minds, and because of this, all autistic people at least a little touch of the POA capability. This is why autistic people are often better at perceiving and picking up on things than most people overlook. It’s widely known that autistics are great at pattern recognition, but there’s not a lot of exploration about what that means.
This is the general capacity of POA; however, I’ve since assessed and defined two subtypes of POA, Focused (F‑POA) and General Eclectic POA (GE-POA). Of the many wonderful things that the autistic mind can do, these capabilities are possibly the slowest to develop because there is much you have to learn before they become active.
After all, they have to learn knowledge and information before they have knowledge and information to connect. But as they build that knowledge base, everyone prepared to be stunned by what they can figure out.
I am not a professional behavioral scientist, and POA is just a theoretical framework based on my own experience and understanding. I am writing about it to see if anyone else can relate.
Focused POA (F‑POA)
F‑POA is the more common of the sub-types of POA. Those autistic people who have it will usually specialise in only a few fields of knowledge. Within those fields, they will very quickly come to master them because they can make incredibly fast and difficult connections within their fields of knowledge with ease that most ordinary people would struggle with.
To help you understand how incredible this is, a couple of historical Focused POA masters are Mozart and Albert Einstein. Mozart’s speciality was sound dynamics in connecting tone, harmonics, resonance, and calculating the connections necessary to create some of the most wonderful musical compositions in history.
As for Albert Einstein, his knowledge in quantum physics and quantum mechanics let him to develop some of the most advanced theories in science. He also came up with one of my favourite quotes: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, only I’m not certain about the universe.” And, isn’t it nice that politicians all over the world make such a determined effort to prove Einstein correct?
General Eclectic POA (GE-POA)
GE-POA is the less common of the two, and takes the longest to develop because it takes a long time to amass the large amount of generalised knowledge and information– depending on each person’s own learning speed. This is my processing style.
Those autistic people who have GE-POA will become masters of navigating the connections between all the generalised knowledge fields, but unlike focused POA, it doesn’t happen fast because it takes time and patience to navigate and intake the vast amount of information that we gather in our lives.
But once we have made the connections we figure out all sorts of wonderful & amazing ideas, concepts, and epiphanies about all sorts of subjects in the world– things that most ordinary people wouldn’t be able to see for themselves.
I’ve always liked to believed that if all the people of the world could see the interconnectedness of everything in the world the way we with GE-POA do, then the world could be a much better and nicer place.
The Potential Price of GE-POA
There’s an old saying that, “More often than not, power has a price,” and this can be true about GE-POA. It’s something that I realised a little while ago.
You see, different parts of the brain help people navigate the world around them. But those of us who have GE-POA can, over time, lose the capability to do so, because those parts of the brain are gradually commandeered by our POA. The amount of information in the world one intakes begins to becomes too overwhelming to process all at once.
See, you can navigate in the real world or you can navigate the network of knowledge, but may not be able to do both. If it happens, it won’t happen fast. It takes time, the more active the GE-POA capability becomes the less and less you are able to find your way around.
I think it depends on when the GE-POA becomes active or hits a certain threshold, the older you get, the more knowledge you amass; the more knowledge you amass, the more complicated it becomes to navigate through it.
But then again, it might be that it depends on the individual if it affects them this way; after all, all I have to go by is my own personal experiences with what has happened to me.
When I was young, I had no problem finding my way around, but when I got to my mid-30’s, I slowly started getting lost and confused, especially in new or unfamiliar places. Nowadays, my navigating skills are somewhere between zero & none.
This can be the price of GE-POA. For me personally, I don’t mind because of the amazing way it allows my mind to work. Besides losing my navigating skills in the real world is something I can accommodate for myself.
I’ve got the maps and navigation app on my smartphone for that, which is just another wonderful invention in the world that brings greater independence and freedom for all autistic people.