Both could be rude, but with Gates—who early in his career seemed to have a typical geek’s flirtation with the fringes of the Asperger’s scale—the cutting behavior tended to be less personal, based more on intellectual incisiveness than emotional callousness.
(Quote from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson)
In this sentence what do "flirtation" , " fringes", and "scale" in this context mean?
Overall, what does "typical geek’s flirtation with the fringes of the Asperger’s scale" mean?
Here are what I found in my dictionary:
1 : to behave in a way that shows a sexual attraction for someone but is not meant to be taken seriously
2 : to think about something or become involved in something in a way that is usually not very serious — + with
3 : to come close to reaching or experiencing something — + with
1 a border made of hanging threads used to decorate the edge of something (such as clothing, rugs, and curtains) a lampshade with a fringe
2 a narrow area along the edge of something
3 an area of activity that is related to but not part of whatever is central or most widely accepted
1 a series of musical notes that go up or down in pitch
2 a line on a map or chart that shows a specific unit of measure (such as an inch) used to represent a larger unit (such as a mile) : the relationship between the distances on a map and the actual distances
3 a range of numbers that is used to show the size, strength, or quality of something — usually singular
4 a range of levels of something from lowest to highest
And as for scale I think the sense 4 suits the context... Am I correct?