To illustrate why I think this, I refer you to my earlier statement that I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. Now I know, and you know, and you know that I know, that by making such a statement on this subject I do the following three things. I buy myself a bit more latitude to be forthright on the subject. I deflate some of the strategies that could conceivably be used to argue against me. And I help the organisers of this conference deflect any accusation that the speaker line-up is not representative of relevant interests.
What I am describing here is far from being a politically healthy situation.
It’s a situation where if you establish your identity credentials with a declarative personal statement, you earn tolerance and goodwill from the people you’re talking to. And if you fail to establish such credentials, you’re more likely to be met with intolerance and bad will and find yourself accused of the great heresy of our times, namely speaking from a position of privilege. In other words, the merits of your identity take logical priority over the merits of your ideas.