Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daniel Tammet - Savant Genius

Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world’s few ... all » savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film ‘Rain Man’. (2005)

Very interesting. It's great to see someone who was lucky to be a Savant but not autistic, so he can actually explain what he perceives in his mind. At around 17 mins, he explains what numbers "feel" like to him: 1 is like someone "flashing a light on his face", 2 is "a movement from right to left, kind of a like a drifting motion", 5 is like a "thunder, a clap", 6 is like a "hole or a chasm"... every number up to 10 thousand he perceives like a distinctive sinesthetic impression.

Here's his interpretation of Pi:

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