Savant focus

anyways, i got into savants for a few days (shlomit laughed at me that i keep bringing up stuff about them) the coolest known savant is definitely daniel tammet (link to a story about him above) who sees unique shapes/motions for every number between 0 & 10,ooo.. which is way cool. (the article quotes him as saying the number five is a clap of thunder in his head) Anyways, he sees whole tapestries of patterns in numbers etc. visually, and also speaks and invents many languages, so naturally i emailed him to hear if he ever dabbled in gematria (since it ties numbers and language together pretty intimately) not like i'll ever hear from him--can't imagine the ridiculous loads of email he must get. anyways, on a side note, it's interesting he's the oldest of nine kids and also born in january(a year after me). While everything he can do is amazingly awesome, i wouldn't want to go through the traumatic life of being a savant.. I read up on a large number of different savants in Wikipedia, and also a group of articles called Islands of Genius. I went off on two tangents (well, three, ok, many more) from this vein of thought in wikipedia: Synaesthesia, (and famous Synaesthetes(about whom wikipedia has a lot less information), Famous Prodigious Calculators (I wish there were more accounts (no pun intended) of these as well--also followed the story of the hoax indian boy-genius who is pretty smart but i dont think he qualifies as a genius), Visual Thinking(Which to me is just an indication that modern science hasn't delved into the workings of the mind quite as thoroughly as kaballah and the deep differences of hochmah, binah, and daath as modes of thinking/understanding/learning/etc not to mention their accompanying sub-modes (don't get caught up though, in that habad dude's mind yoga book on kabbalah)) and Famous Stigmatics(while we are going through naturally gifted people what about those 'spiritually' gifted people--there've been so many hoaxes, and ancient tales seem unprovable due to the legends that surround historic figures and matters of faith--- conversely all of the famous prodigy mental arithmetists were tested by prominent and well-respected mathematicians of their time) Anyways i think there are some methods of mental arithmetic that are available to people who are willing to work at it, that are not taught to the public in dayschool. because otherwise i can't begin to imagine how people can multiply numbers like 10929393 x 29803902 in their head in a matter of minutes or seconds. (In the case of the savants it is believable because it's been proven, but for them the size of the numbers seems to hardly matter. In the case of some of the calculating prodigies, as the numbers grew, their response time grew practically exponentially.)

It's also really hard for me to imagine how these people's minds must work, because compared to the average person i'm pretty intelligent, but i have absolutely nothing of these kinds of skills. Though, i've been aware of certain sounds having corresponding shapes in my head (tho i think it's something everyone does to one degree or another-- sharp sounds, soft sounds, etc) and though my pattern recognition skills work often on levels and with speed not available to my conscious functioning. and though i do seem to go into an autistic trance (sometimes aided by caffeine) in order to code, There does not yet exist a discipline in which whatever goes on in my head could ever be classified as prodigious, or savant-like. Actually, as this post devolves into a self-absorbed free-thought piece, I remember how I used to put my unconscious mind to work on something, some subtle complicated metaphysical point, when i was in college, and for weeks or months i would feel stupid and slow until suddenly i would follow a train of thought and everything would be clear and i would have intense insight into the matter i'd set my mind to. Over the years the turn-around time on this problem has sped up nicely and now it's about 2-4 days of time my mind needs to digest ideas sub-consciously before i get back to proper functioning and have new insight into the problem at hand. This i think follows some kind of larger pattern that i wish i could harness where my mind goes through periods of intense creativity and intense hunger for information -- it's kind of like cravings but of the information variety, like i need tremendous input to satiate whatever is going on under the surface. I'm not sure if the type of input matters though i always seem to gravitate towards a certain different theme each time. (this time savants and other people who function abnormally by the measure of the rest of us) Anyways, there's that pattern that pulls my mind around, and there's another: the spacial-numeric/linguistic switchup: There are times where for a week or two at a time i can spell words faster than i can think them. and there are times where for a week or two i can remember almost all the numbers that i've seen recently. I've started harnessing these strengths though in phone number memory and spelling speed -- i've always been good at trusting my sub-conscious to handle a lot of the mental work load, and so far i'm getting good and moving some of this into my conscious mind --- as i get older i get far more organized and plan ahead a lot better. The creativity/info-hunger switchup still catches me often and i'm not sure how to channel that yet --- it gets expressed mainly as procrastination -- when i'm not in the creativity mood, i can't get work done, so i distract myself into learning, and then the pressure builds from the work being overdue and when the creative side kicks back in i channel it into very quickly picking up where i left off. In my case i don't think i procrastinate on purpose--- i'm not sure if most people do, or if it is a means of taking some unavailable time to mull the problems over before trying to tackle them constantly. [I do have proof to back up this case: when i was 4 they tried to teach me to ride a bike, but i just couldnt, when i was 12/13 one summer i just picked up a bike and started riding -- no learning curve at all. Similarly with roller-blades, i tried in eight grade, and i just couldn't for the life of me; in mid-highschool i strapped on roller-blades and i could skate--exceptionally well, again no learning curve. With me, and probably many other people, there's a sub-conscious exposure time necesary for people to learn certain things, to allow for your brain to develop the necesary connections, or strengthen existing ones-- and that probably accounts for a lot of people's procrastination.]

one more note, tho i have a meeting so i need to run: i attribute the linguistic part of my brain to my mother, and the spatial part of my brain to my father--both are reasonally exceptional, but i have no good interaction between the two types of functioning .. it's something i sorely aware of but probably it exists in most other people too -- they just don't notice.
Maybe it's not my mother & father though, just left and right hemispheres.. or perhaps it is my mother and father--as kaballah teaches mother and father are names of partzufim relating to binah and hochmah respectively. the hochma/father/right and binah/mother/left -- which works out nicely right-brain is spatial, left-brain is linguistic.. hmmm


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