Aside from the proliferation of acronyms, which I've covered before, what are some other pretty clear signs that modern societies select for a personality that's quite further in the systematizing Aspie direction than it was for all of pre-modern existence? Here are a few others that come to mind.
- Top Ten lists
- Numerical ratings where only vague qualitative information is given. E.g., rating cultural products as however many stars out of 5, rather than using words like terrible, not very good, OK, pretty good, and excellent.
- Complete collections. This is where someone aims to collect, e.g., every video game released for a certain system, every action figure released for a certain toy line, or every pressing / issue of a certain band's entire discography. The reward is not the item in itself, although it may also be worth something on its own to the person, but rather to coming one step closer to completing their collection.
As far as I know, it was never a hobby to aim to collect, say, one leaf from every tree (perhaps just of a certain species) within your village, or all the leaves or nuts that a particular tree produced.
- Nearly constant use of "that's my opinion," etc., when expressing your opinion. Well no shit. Autistics fail the "false belief task," so statements of fact and opinion are much less separable in their minds. Communication between Aspies and non-Aspies thus requires more of these stupid qualifications just to make sure both understand that only opinions are being discussed.
These are true differences between the modern and pre-modern mindset because they are just as easily implemented in both types of society, as long as the people are of that mindset. Obviously "computer programming" can't count since pre-modern societies didn't even have computers. But any pre-modern society could have made a list of the Top Ten best songs or animals or reasons why a woman is like a ____.
What else is there? The traits of online fanboys, no matter what they're fans of, is the easiest place to start for clues. They're the extreme right tail of the systematizing distribution, so they're easy to spot, and they do tell us something about the average being higher than it used to be.