Re: Noise pollution
Totally agree with that.
Yes, some of us specialise in focussed attention, ideal for technical and mechanical pursuits... others in a broad awareness, good for fuzzier processing as in social situations. As you say, this is a necessary spectrum of human traits - we need people at both ends for society to function.
My own experience is that I can be closer to either end of that spectrum on a given day. At times, when I've worked at the business/customer facing side of IT, my people skills were to the fore - easily and intuitively. On other occasions I've been doing pointer arithmetic 12 hours a day, and would have seemed like the most abject sociopath to the untrained. Can't be both on any given day: I'm able to concentrate when needed ... if that freaks out all the one-trick-ponies/empathic-airheads that the 21st century so favours - tough s**t! Concentration MEANS blocking out irrelevant information, and the more complex the task, the more blocking required.
... now, why do we currently medicalise the 'aspie' end of said spectrum? I don't believe it was always so. 19th century wives of professionals were diagnosed as hysteric for displaying 'symptoms' that would now be written down as a healthy response to sexual and social frustration. Every age sets its parameters of mental hygiene based on distance from its ideals. Then, the 'overly feminine' traits of emotionality were outrageous. Now, the 'excessively' male behaviours of the asperger's personality are considered disordered.
[I don't have time to give detailed medical science to back up that last paragraph - I'm on a half hour self-imposed furlough from coding - but one of Sapolsky's excellent Stanford Human Behavioural Biology lectures that can be got on youtube goes into how autistic traits are just exaggerated male ones. Zeitgeists, The Clinic, hegemony, blah, blah, blah... check out European Philosophy if you can be bovvered: Hegel, Foucault, Gramsci might be a good start.]
We live in a world where, compared to 80 or 100 years ago, form is favoured over substance, appearance over intellect, concensus over genius. The shift in emphasis has its roots in the rightful horror at what the patriarchies and ideologies of the past created - Nazis, Stalin etc - and should have been a good one: I'm all in favour of humanising and democratising things, and recognising that people ain't machines etc. ... but it's gone too far when an ability to focus coupled with a dislike of cocktail parties makes you disordered!
We need focussed thinkers more than we need a few billion more kardashian watching bubbleheaded gonks who only ever say safe and appropriate things... blubbering little slave sheeple norks that they are!
Say it loud, I'm Aspie/Sociopathic/otherwise IT and I'm proud!!!