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## #1 2009-01-07 05:04:18

JaneFairfax
Member
Registered: 2007-02-23
Posts: 6,868

### Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Autistic savant Daniel Tammet shot to fame when he set a European record for the number of digits of π he recited from memory (22 514). For afters, he learned Icelandic in a week. But unlike many savants, he's able to tell us how he does it. We could all unleash extraordinary mental abilities by getting inside the savant mind, he tells the New Scientist website.

What I admire most about Daniel Tammet is that he, just like me, is interested in both maths and languages!

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## #2 2009-01-07 16:59:41

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 24,626

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Exactly, JaneFairfax!
I haven't come across people who are good at both.
A dear friend of mine communicates and reads/writes most of the European langauges.
But she's not at all comfortable with Mathematics.
I shall try to get a copy of this book of his, 'Embracing the Wide Sky: A tour across the horizons of the human mind'. This would be a book I'd be reading after 'The Man who loved only Numbers' by Paul Hoffman which was about 4 years ago

From the interview:-

Can you give an example of a "lumpy" number?

For me, the ideal lumpy number is 37. It's like porridge. So 111, a very pretty number, which is 3 times 37, is lumpy but it is also round. It takes on the properties of both 37 and 3, which is round. It's an intuitive and visual way of doing maths and thinking about numbers.

This reminds me of an article on numbers I had read sometime back. The article mentioned one or more interesting properties of all the numbers from 1 to 36, and when it came to 37, it said, this is the first number which has nothing special about it. Thus, 37 was a special number for the wrong reason, ha!

Thanks, Jane, for the post!

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #3 2009-01-08 01:04:02

JaneFairfax
Member
Registered: 2007-02-23
Posts: 6,868

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

You are most welcome, Ganesh.

The first thing about Daniel Tammet that attracted my attention was his extraordinary ability to memorize π. As I learn more about his character, however, I find that I am more attracted to his interests  namely maths and languages, which are also the two things I am most interested in myself. I also love learning languages. Though I dont do it as well as Daniel, I can now read French fluently; Italian, Spanish, German, Norwegian and Finnish at advanced level; Portuguese, Swedish, Danish at intermediate level; and Dutch, Icelandic and Chinses (Mandarin) at novice level. I even have two books, Teach Yourself Korean and Teach Yourself Tagalog, which I scooped up from a recycling bank behind Sainsburys  and Ive wondering when I should start learning either of these languages.

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## #4 2009-04-15 03:22:09

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Hi;

A really fascinating guy. These abilities are not as rare as most people believe. I have encountered it several times. I knew a guy that learned to program in a single night before he had ever seen a computer. He went through the giant C++ book ( by Herbert Schildt) in about 3 hours, became a super programmer and now cannot remember any of it. He discovered he had the skill to beat fairly strong chess players blindfolded and then lost it. He suddenly had the urge to draw and produced a large amount of good drawings and now can't draw at all. We don't exactly live in a world that is actively engaged in finding or encouraging these people, so mostly they remain buried.

bobbym

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #5 2009-04-15 04:48:30

JaneFairfax
Member
Registered: 2007-02-23
Posts: 6,868

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Here is another interesting New Scientist article:

Savant skills may be widespread in people with autism

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## #6 2009-04-15 05:15:16

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Hi Jane;

Nifty comments (bottom of the page) relating to genius and insanity and using magnetic fields and brain overload.

bobbym

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #7 2009-04-19 06:54:11

G_Einstein
Member
Registered: 2008-08-30
Posts: 124

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Wow Jaine!!!
Where did you learn all those languag?
I m just 18 an  speak and write french fluently,I can read and communicate in spanis,I understand and I can read in Italian,portuguese,Albanian of course fluently,a litlle bit serbian,macedonina,montenegrin,bosnian ad slovenian(they are almost the same language),I can read in cyrillic of serbian language,some words in arabic,greek,swedish,norvegian,danish,japanese,I've learned to read arabic in just 2-3 days but I forgot because I didn't practise it.
learned all these thing from watchiing TV!!!!!!!!!
Where did you learned french???

Se Zoti vete e tha me goje,se kombet shuhen permbi dhe,por SHqiperia do te roje,per te,per te luftojme ne.
God said that all nation exincts on the ground,but Albania will survive,for it,for it we are fighting.

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## #8 2009-04-19 11:07:07

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,685

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

That is also quite an accomplishment, G.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #9 2009-04-19 11:30:05

quittyqat
Member
Registered: 2009-04-08
Posts: 1,213

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

I can only speak a little bit of French and Spanish and in Mandarin Chinese, I know:

Last edited by quittyqat (2009-04-19 11:30:30)

I'll be here at least once every month. XP

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## #10 2009-04-24 06:56:13

John E. Franklin
Member
Registered: 2005-08-29
Posts: 3,588

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

I have Daniel's first book, called
"Born On A Blue Day".  I've read the
first third of the book and it is really
neat.

igloo myrtilles fourmis

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## #11 2009-12-30 08:28:32

John E. Franklin
Member
Registered: 2005-08-29
Posts: 3,588

### Re: Inside the mind of an autistic savant

Oh my, I'm way behind on Daniel's writings.  He has 3 books now.  Just read about him on wikipedia.
I'm 90% thru "Born On A Blue Day", I skipped a chapter where he travelled doing language teaching,
something about it I couldn't read paragraphs without daydreaming.  I've just ordered his 2nd book that concentrates on his mental abilities.  The 3rd book has to do with his religion...

igloo myrtilles fourmis

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