Cambridge cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen (his cousin is the comic Sacha) classifies different low-empathy types below. See this podcast talk and this earlier post about his book on autism and the systematizing / empathizing spectrum. His latest book is specifically about empathy.
I’m O.K., You’re a Psychopath (NYTimes): ... For Baron-Cohen, psychopaths are just one population lacking in empathy. ... Baron-Cohen calls these ... groups “Zero-Negative” because there is “nothing positive to recommend them” and they are “unequivocally bad for the sufferer and those around them.” He provides a thoughtful discussion of the usual sad tangle of bad genes and bad environments that lead to the creation of these Zero-Negative individuals.
People with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, Baron-Cohen argues, are also empathy-deficient, though he calls them “Zero-Positive.” They differ from psychopaths and the like because they possess a special gift for systemizing; they can “set aside the temporal dimension in order to see — in stark relief — the eternal repeating patterns in nature.” This capacity, he says, can lead to special abilities in domains like music, science and art. More controversially, he suggests, this systemizing impulse provides an alternative route for the development of a moral code — a strong desire to follow the rules and ensure they are applied fairly. Such individuals can thereby be moral without empathy, “through brute logic alone.”
David Brooks addresses related themes in his recent book Social Animals. I highly recommend this podcast talk. His opening monologue is actually very funny -- he notes the similarity between politicians and people with the genetic condition Williams Syndrome :-)
Wikipedia: ... Most individuals with Williams syndrome are highly verbal and overly sociable, having what has been described as a "cocktail party" type personality, and exhibit a remarkable blend of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Individuals with WS hyperfocus on the eyes of others in social engagements.
... While patients with Williams syndrome often have abnormal proficiency in verbal skills, they do not perform better on verbal tasks than average. This syndrome is characterized more by a deficiency in other areas of processing. [Glib, but often mildly retarded.]
I would guess that "neurotypicals" strike aspies the way that Williams sufferers strike the rest of us. Imagine how disturbing it must be to live in a society dominated by and structured around people so different from yourself.