Date of Degree

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Christopher Schmidt

Subject Categories

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Science and Technology Studies

Keywords

Neurodivergence, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Ideology, Libertarianism, Richard M. Stallman, Linus Torvalds

Abstract

A common theme in public discourse is the recognition that technology in general, and digital technology specifically, has an enormous impact on the everyday lives of people from all walks of modern life, in almost every corner of the globe. This thesis interrogates the connection between neurodivergence—the presence of neurological variations considered outside the cognitive norm— and individualistic ideology within the information technology industries. Through the biographies, substantial record of activities, public statements, and writings surrounding two influential figures in the contemporary practice of computer science, Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds, it conducts an investigation into this convergence and its resulting impact on the surrounding culture.

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