“Half of Silicon Valley has something you’d call Asperger’s—I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg has something like that,” Grandin says. “You’d almost have to have a touch of Asperger’s to be that good a programmer. Social circuits take up a pile of processor space in the brain, and then you don’t have the processor space to make stuff like Facebook.”
In some ways, she feels that the advancements in technology and social media have helped humans develop a more fractured type of visual thinking closer to animals, though in some ways this worries her.
“To create something like Google, people had to sit still for hundreds of hours to learn how to program,” Grandin says. “We’re getting a lot of people today texting all the time, fragmenting their attention. It’s ironic that the thing that they text on has to be made by someone who is not distracted and is looking at information in whole bits for long periods of time.”