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Railfan vs. Foamer

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Posted by Norm48327 on Sunday, June 18, 2017 5:07 PM

[quote user="BaltACD"]

A Sunday drive in Kansas, being passed by another competitor and my son.

 

[/qoute]

Chuck,

I've known for some time you are into racing.  Enjoy it to the fullest as long as you are able. Put the "wannabees" into their place and enjoy the rewards of doing so. Never concede defeat. Never give up.

There may not be money involved but trophies on the mantle make for good conversation.

Go for it my friend.

Norm


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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, June 18, 2017 1:44 PM

A Sunday drive in Kansas, being passed by another competitor and my son.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Sunday, June 18, 2017 1:23 PM

   Just for the record, I do remember schlimm mentioning in the last year or two that he was a psychologist.

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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, June 18, 2017 9:33 AM

challenger3980
I felt your "(consciouness, attention, memory)" line was uncalled for, especially towards someone as respected here on the forum as Larry, when he made such a justified reply.

You misunderstood.  I was referring to threads in which I commented as a professional, not an insult directed at Larry.  I never stated my background explicitly because it is not rail-related.

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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, June 18, 2017 9:20 AM

schlimm

 

 
tree68

 

 
schlimm
You are left to your own devices only if you do not acknowledge that at least one member has 30+ years as a licensed clinical psychologist. Your choice.

 

Well, there you go, then.  I'm not sure any of us here knew that, except you and the other person (if it's not you).  

 

 

 

I (at least) never stated it so directly, though I did say "--- as a professional" on several threads where it was relevant (consciousness, attention, memory).

 

Well you can put Me at the top of Larry's list of those that didn't know we had a Mental Health Professional on the forum. If you HAD stated so directly, many of us would have given more credence to some of your comments.

I know that Larry(Tree68) volunteers at Adirondack(Spelling?) Scenic as an engineer, and is professionally a Firefighter/Paramedic, because he has stated so directly. Many here on the forums know that I am a Professional Driver, because when I have corrected inaccurate comments about my profession, I will add that I have been driving Tractor/Trailor for more than 28 years/2,500,000+ miles.

 If you don't "State it so Directly" Please don't expect all of us to know your occupation and credentials.

 I felt your "(consciouness, attention, memory)" line was uncalled for, especially towards someone as respected here on the forum as Larry, when he made such a justified reply.

Just MY thoughts,

Doug

Moving America's freight from point "A" to point "B" for over 28 years/2,500,000+ miles.

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

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Posted by schlimm on Saturday, June 17, 2017 4:18 PM

tree68

 

 
schlimm
You are left to your own devices only if you do not acknowledge that at least one member has 30+ years as a licensed clinical psychologist. Your choice.

 

Well, there you go, then.  I'm not sure any of us here knew that, except you and the other person (if it's not you).  

 

I (at least) never stated it so directly, though I did say "--- as a professional" on several threads where it was relevant (consciousness, attention, memory).

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, June 17, 2017 1:35 PM

schlimm
You are left to your own devices only if you do not acknowledge that at least one member has 30+ years as a licensed clinical psychologist. Your choice.

Well, there you go, then.  I'm not sure any of us here knew that, except you and the other person (if it's not you).  

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Posted by schlimm on Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:42 AM

tree68
No question.  But while we have folks here who are well versed in railroading, I'm not so sure we have any similar expertise here regarding mental health.  So we're left to our own devices..

You are left to your own devices only if you do not acknowledge that at least one member has 30+ years as a licensed clinical psychologist. Your choice.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:25 PM

schlimm
I am saying there is expert knowledge on mental health and education, which goes far beyond one's experience of a classroom or a person who has autistic features.  The same is true of many fields.

No question.  But while we have folks here who are well versed in railroading, I'm not so sure we have any similar expertise here regarding mental health.  So we're left to our own devices...

Just remember - it isn't the kids giving themselves the trophies.  Blame their parents for that.

Bingo!  My point exactly!

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Posted by schlimm on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:04 PM

tree68
Too - all of us have experience with education, even if we've never been in the seat of a locomotive.  The nature of that educational experience can be wide ranging - and again, it may be right, or it may be wrong.

I am saying there is expert knowledge on mental health and education, which goes far beyond one's experience of a classroom or a person who has autistic features.  The same is true of many fields.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:53 PM

tree68
They all get a trophy, too....

Just remember - it isn't the kids giving themselves the trophies.  Blame their parents for that.

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of

my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:04 PM

schlimm
Apparently this is different since everyone's an expert on mental health and education.

I am reminded of the story about some office workers who asked their boss why he was such a stickler regarding relative minor purchases, when he dealt with huge sums of money every day.

He replied, "To tell the truth, millions of dollars is beyond my comprehension.   But fifty cents - that I understand!"

Most folks here can understand the physics of railroading, at least in a broad sense.  Slack, run-in, HP, grades, etc, etc.

Heck, even a problem with a computer can be understood, at least in basic terms.

Trying to understand a mis-firing brain (for lack of a better description) can be a challenge - especially if each brain in question is mis-firing in a slightly different way.  So we form impressions and opinions based on our limited knowledge and experience.  

What appears to be mis-information may simply be how a given person understands the issue.  It's possible that the autistic person they have dealt with is different than the autistic person someone else has dealt with.  Neither is right or wrong.

Too - all of us have experience with education, even if we've never been in the seat of a locomotive.  The nature of that educational experience can be wide ranging - and again, it may be right, or it may be wrong.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by schlimm on Friday, June 16, 2017 6:54 PM

So much misinformation!  If this thread were about modern rail practices, someone (Murphy's Siding, for example) would suggest the railroaders who are experts be deferred to. Apparently this is different since everyone's an expert on mental health and education.

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Posted by chicagorails on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:55 PM
if everybody wins wheres the competition at? scary
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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:11 PM

BLS53
I don't understand why kids today have to have a label of some sort, and have to be intellectually subsidized to some extent or another.

They all get a trophy, too....

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Posted by BLS53 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:59 PM

Saturnalia

 

 
BLS53

 

 
schlimm

 

Speaking professionally, I am certain many "foamers" are not on the spectrum.  Additionally, I  believe the condition is badly overdiagnosed.

 

I agree with it being overdiagnosed. My daughter's a Special Ed teacher, and her classes keep increasing in size. Asperger's Syndrome appears to be the "trendy" one.

 

 

Speaking for personal experience here, being one who has grown up with Asperger's, having a sibling with it, and knowing several others with it as well, some of whom are also into railroading. Allow me to make a few points. 

First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders". The finicky thing is each case is vastly different from person to person. For many, the "disorder" is really just an abnormality, while for others, it is dibilitating. So the question of this is nearly impossible to resolve while this is unsettled. Many are "overdiagnosed", but at the same time the definitions are somewhat loose, and the symptoms of the issue are really over-treatment than the diagnosis (as in the special ed example above). At the end of the day, the steps taken post-diagnosis are the most important. Many end up taking medications for things such as improved focus. Like the "disorder" itself, sometimes it helps, other times people search for years and years, even when there isn't a huge issue. That's just bad parenting and medical care. None of this is to say that there aren't any bad diagnostic cases - but the majority are onto something, generally speaking.  

Second is the interesting point about Asperger's in particular. Remember here, I've been diagnosed with it for a decade, have grown up through school with it, and it is really the driving force behind my interest in this industry, and is already leading me into the industry as a clear career path. The thing about Asperger's is that it is a spectrum, and really appears, more than probably anything else in the "autsim spectrum" to be more of a different way of thinking than something mentally "wrong". A good way to describe it is being "wired differently" up top, as far as a metaphor for it goes. 

This sort of thing, as a medical diagnosis, no doubt annoys some because it again isn't like polio or cancer where the diagnosis is "yup, x y and z are the issue, here is how it is fixed or isn't". Truth be told, it is nebulous and the "solution" could be just about anything, on a case-by-case basis. 

So long story short, Asperger's generally impacts two things: social skills, and acedemic/mental capability. The spectrum starts with increased mental "skill" as far as things such as studying or picking up skills, and comes with some social skill holes, which make these people, especially in school/adolescent years, seem "odd" or "different". But, there are a LOT of very smart people in this part of the spectrum. In fact, many experts believe that many of the "big names" in the STEM fields in particular had Asperger's, with the hallmarks of social weakness yet brilliant minds (think Archimedes, Da Vinci, Edison etc). Essentially, these people generally spend much more time interested or focused on one particualar topic in life (enter trains here), and generally do very well in school or picking up new skills. Farther down the spectrum, this increased acedemic capability trails off as the social issues get worse. This is where it becomes debilitating. 

Third: So we know it is a real "thing". Again, huge amounts of debate as to whether it is a real "disorder" or is just "different", or where on the spectrum the boundary lies. In either way, many benefit from the use of medication of various forms. And for Asperger's particularly, railroads are often the "one big topic" people pickup on which guides much of what they do from a personal standpoint. It can help them to focus on one particular area of interest.  

Fourth, for example: Now maybe this is too much information about myself, but for the sake of the discussion, here we go: 

As I said, I have Asperger's. I'm on the part of the spectrum where I do really really well in school/acedemic settings - many would consider me part of the "gifted student" crowd - a label which is misplaced in many contexts. Great GPA, 99th percentile in most subjects, the ACT, etc. On the flipside I tend to struggle in social settings, most noteably those with unfamiliarity. Generally speaking, once familiar with the people, myself and others like me tend to do alright, but can be very uncertain in new places with new people. For me, the two balance each other out, by and large. 

So, looping all of this back to why we're here: trains. My "one big topic" is railroads. Since as early as I can remember, it is been a burning interest. Many people are able to turn this "disorder's" burning interest into a career, providied they have the skills and ambition match. That is why currently, I'm studying Civil Engineering, minoring in Railroad Transportation, and this summer I'm working an internship at a railroad engineering firm, out of my freshman year in college. For others, they might become auto engineers/mechanics/custom designers for example, following an interest in that industry. Yes, people generally gravitate towards things that move, that's just how it is, nobody seems to really know why. 

So when it all comes back to railfan versus foamer, you're going to find a significantly increased amount of "autism" in this hobby. No doubt, many people are "normal", who just happen to have an interest. But you're also going to find the type who probably has some social handicap but an interest beyond even their comprehension. Some of these people are going to fit right in, others will be driven to do bad things in their prusuit, or be "annoying" to many. This can be frustrating to those who are "normal" and don't understand how the thought process works for somebody with Asperger's in particular. 

As always in life, the best solution is just to be respectful at all times, even in the face of disrespect. We're all here because we enjoy the hobby. For some it just is, for others it is a product of different mental continuity. That shouldn't change how we treat other people. 

So now I'll alight my soap box. If you don't like what I said, if you think Autism and Asperger's is a total sham, then you're probably going to have ongoing issues with members of the hobby, who mean no harm, and just think differently than you! 

 

Never said it was a total sham. Quite frankly, I wouldn't recognize someone with Asperger's if I happened to meet them. So it would be kind of difficult to discriminate against them, if I have no idea who they are.

Like most of the general public, I have little knowledge of the subject. The only reason I'm somewhat aware of it, is through my daughter who's a Special Ed teacher. 

Nevertheless, there appears to be a long legacy of successful individuals, who are now known to have had the disorder. The majority lived in a time before Special Ed existed. So it makes me question as a taxpayer, the value of having such education for affected students today.

Honestly, I think there's a little bit of Asperger's in a bunch of us. I was shy, had manual dexterity issues, and liked trains as a kid. This was in the 1950's and 60's. I might of qualified. But, I outgrew the issues on my own, without any special treatment, as many of my generation did. I don't understand why kids today have to have a label of some sort, and have to be intellectually subsidized to some extent or another.

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Posted by Saturnalia on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:13 PM

At the end of the day, the word "foamer" is just like any other word. It is only an insult if used as one. It isn't the word which is an insult, the use is. 

If I call my railfan friend a foamer, that's a joke. If I were lighting up somebody, obviously attempting to make offense, well then of course you're making it an insult. 

And I have never else heard of the word "foamer" being applied to any other category of person other than railfan. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:59 PM

RME
Thanks, Balt, you're restoring my faith in America: crankin' up the nitrous in an enclosed space as we channel the spirit of Benjamin Silliman Jr.

'

Go big or go bang!

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Posted by RME on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:10 PM

Thanks, Balt, you're restoring my faith in America: crankin' up the nitrous in an enclosed space as we channel the spirit of Benjamin Silliman Jr.

'

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 5:48 PM

RME
54light15

I have several, including one of the ones with the flashing lights in the 'arms'.  My two kids have them and love them.  On the other hand, I think this was one of those fads, like Footsie or Clackers, that will be mercifully over as soon as the requisite number of generations of knockoffs and derivative products has been peddled and/or remaindered out on the bargain shelves.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 5:47 PM

tree68

 

 
Saturnalia
First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders".

 

Perhaps this is because we're in a big hurry to find "mental disorders."  Just because a person has a strong interest in [name your topic here] and isn't a people person, are they mentally ill?  Somewhere on the "spectrum?"  If that's the case, we reach the point at which everyone who doesn't think like the editorial "me" must be mentally ill.

"Normal" is what someone determines it to be.

Teachers are seeing this on a regular basis.  Parents want the teachers to determine that their rambunctious seven-year-old needs medication.  Maybe he just needs a little discipline (and I'm not necessarily talking about physical discipline - maybe junior just needs his Xbox taken away a little earlier each day - or entirely).  But it's a lot easier to just pop a pill in the kid than to be an effective parent.

Again - that's not saying that there aren't folks who do suffer from autism - but pretty much all of us know someone who didn't utter a word until they were almost three - but then came out with full sentences (and haven't shut up since).  Nowadays, they'd be treated for some mental affliction because they aren't "normal."  

There lies the rub.

 

 

 

[/quote]

I'm not sure how this got revived.  There is a lot of misinformation here and on the internet. Speaking as an experienced professional I will simply mention a few points.

1. We know more about spectrum disorders than before but there is a great deal we do not.  I have seen children and adults on various parts of the spectrum and they differ more from each other than they are alike.  I have never heard any person with that diagnosis mention the term "foamer" in any context.  There is no simple treatment and medication is not generally useful for it.

2. ADHD is better understood.  Like the spectrum disorders, it may be mildly overdiagnosed, especially by pediatricians, but this is not because of lack of treatments. Although there is still no single diagnostic test, a combination of tests by an experienced clinician can produce a valid diagnosis.  Medication is helpful.

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Posted by RME on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:33 PM

54light15
Fidget Spinners are sold all over Toronto but I have never seen anyone play with one.

I have several, including one of the ones with the flashing lights in the 'arms'.  My two kids have them and love them.  On the other hand, I think this was one of those fads, like Footsie or Clackers, that will be mercifully over as soon as the requisite number of generations of knockoffs and derivative products has been peddled and/or remaindered out on the bargain shelves.

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:25 PM

Fidget Spinners are sold all over Toronto but I have never seen anyone play with one. Not at work, home or play as it says on the package. Not on the subway, in a car, in the check-out line at the supermarket, weddings, funerals, confessional booths, nothing. So what gives? Not to change the subject. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:18 PM

Yes, Larry, there are children who say little until they see a need to. There  is the story of the boy who said nothing until he was three or four, and when he did speak, he was asked why he had not spoken before--he said, "I did/t need to."

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:51 PM

In a world of 7 Billion people - Normal just isn't normal.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:23 PM

Saturnalia
First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders".

Perhaps this is because we're in a big hurry to find "mental disorders."  Just because a person has a strong interest in [name your topic here] and isn't a people person, are they mentally ill?  Somewhere on the "spectrum?"  If that's the case, we reach the point at which everyone who doesn't think like the editorial "me" must be mentally ill.

"Normal" is what someone determines it to be.

Teachers are seeing this on a regular basis.  Parents want the teachers to determine that their rambunctious seven-year-old needs medication.  Maybe he just needs a little discipline (and I'm not necessarily talking about physical discipline - maybe junior just needs his Xbox taken away a little earlier each day - or entirely).  But it's a lot easier to just pop a pill in the kid than to be an effective parent.

Again - that's not saying that there aren't folks who do suffer from autism - but pretty much all of us know someone who didn't utter a word until they were almost three - but then came out with full sentences (and haven't shut up since).  Nowadays, they'd be treated for some mental affliction because they aren't "normal."  

There lies the rub.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 12:47 PM

On another forum on which I participate I have known Saturnaila for some time. I havn't always agreed with his posts but given his revalations on this forum have developed ne found respect for him. It takes intestinal fortitude to out one's sel as he did . Alex, I participate on both Michigan railroad forums and have read your posts with interest and wondering where you were coming from. Thanks for the explanation of autism. You taught me much in your post; more than I would have found researching it on line. I've always been one of those who walked to his own drummer, and upon graduating high school spoke with a few teachers who recognized that I was not one who wished to be one of "the crowd". One of them said it was those of us who stood out were the ones he remembered rather than the all A students who filled his memory at graduation.

Alex, all I can offer is get the best education you can in the field of your interest. I personally know a civil engineer who is employed by BNSF. His advice, get educated int the field of your interests, then take it and run with it. I know a signal supervisor with Cn who is a railfan. You may know of whom I speak. The company hired him knowing hs background but acknowledging he gets the job done. I've met tha5at man several times; been to his basement recreation of the C&O in the ninety sixties  and can only say he has a mind for detail, current or past.

 

Alex, Now that I know where youre coming froming, hang in there.

Norm


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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:02 AM

challenger3980
Unfortunately, Trolls are very common to internet sites, and I am still not convinced that geomodelrailroader is anything more than a Troll, whether he is Autistic or not.

I've seen folks who take things all too personally.  A local woman here is so vehemently opposed to windmills/turbines that she can't be in the same room where they are being discussed.  She had to be removed from one such meeting.

I suspect that geomodelrailroader rather falls into that category - he's bought into the idea that the term foamer is specifically derogatory to the autistic.  As we've discussed, that's not the case.

There can be no question that there is crossover - those on the spectrum who like trains may be indistiguishable from those who are simply very interested in trains.  

Unfortunately, we seem (as a society) to want to categorize everything - kids can't just be kids.  They must be ADD, or ADHD, or autistic, or whatever.  Rambunctious isn't a medical diagnosis, so we can't prescribe any medications for it.  The old cure, a hand to the bottom, is no longer socially acceptable.

I did a search on "foamer" plus "autism" and the only truly related link that came up was this thread.  Everything else was either about foamers or autism.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by challenger3980 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 12:38 AM

BLS53

Not shooting the messenger, that was interesting, but geomodelrailroader is still the first person that I know of to claim that the term FOAMER, has any derogatory conotation towards AUTISTIC people, yep it IS considered a derogatory term to rail fans.

 It MAY be used regarding Autistic people, but if it is, I am not familiar with it in that use. when used in a railfan context, I have never heard of any connection to Autism. The word FOAMER, like MANY words, may have multiple meanings, and in the Railfan context, there is no reason for an autistic person to feel that it is being used to belittle their condition.

 Unfortunately, Trolls are very common to internet sites, and I am still not convinced that geomodelrailroader is anything more than a Troll, whether he is Autistic or not.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

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