It's April, so it's autism awareness month. Even though we're more an autism acceptance family than an autism awareness family, I figured I'd get with the program and light something up blue.
I was hoping for one of those old-fashioned, normal looking light bulbs.
But they didn't have any of those. Instead, they had this extraordinary twisty blue coil. Not even our autism awareness light bulbs are normal around here.
When I got it home, I said to the sweet girl's dad, "Look, I got a blue light bulb for autism awareness month."
"What's a blue light bulb going to do for us?" he asked.
He's got a point there.
A month or so ago a group of autistic people petitioned Google to change their search completion algorithm. Seems that the auto-complete function of a search for "autistic people should" came up with these as the most frequent searches:
I wondered how anyone – let alone the majority of people doing Google searches – could think this way about my dear girl. About my friends' dear sons. About all of our kids and our friends who are on the spectrum.
Who are these people that think that 2% of the population should be exterminated? Who are these people typing hate into the syntax of the internet that my girl loves? I guess we won't know who they are, but we do know they were the majority of folks searching this phrase that month.
Google changed its algorithm – it no longer reflects the majority view. Rather it aims to shape the majority view. This is what it generates today:
And I got a blue light bulb – an energy efficient one, at that.
I don't know what it's going to do for us. I don't know what Google's altered algorithm will do for us either. But it's a start.