Re: Devils advocate
"With this understanding, can you can see why someone with autism who receives an email saying his sexual predilections are going to be publicly announced might respond in the way he did?"
Yes, I can easilly understand the predicament but I would suggest that the email was merely the heat at the end of a very short fuse, sooner or later the bomb was going to go off.
What I think many people fail to see is that the email in question was never intended to cause anything other than personal embarassment, and like most spam messages, was decided to catch maybe 1 in 1000000 people.
In my personal opinion, this guy was one of those "extremely" out on the edge, extreme cases that no amount of protection will ever cover. If it wasn't this email, or an image, or a particular sound then it could have been any of a thousand other reasons that would have pushed him over the edge. We here about teenage suicide for far less serious issues than this.
Like most people, I too have days when certain things get me down, upset or damned angry and I am incapable of predicting the how, why or when they will happen. I will never be able to fully protect myself from all and any future threats, unfortunately this guy's limits were a lot lower than most of us and we will never be able to detect or protect fully for such cases.
If we lived in a world where we understood more about these things and took action against them then we would probably inadventantly create people with even lower levels of tolerence.. Nature has an almost uncanny capacity for adjusting /re-adjusting to our contexts.