I was wandering the web today and started reading about Savants, (don’t ask). Anyhow I just learned that Kim Peek, one of the primary inspirations for the movie Rain Man died of a heart attack on December 19th.This started me thinking about other savants and how they viewed the world around them. One famous savant, Daniel Tammet, is what’s considered a highly functional autistic savant. Basically what that means is that Mr Tammet has a higher than normal IQ and fairly normal social abilities. On top of this he also has the ability to do things like recite PI to over 22,000 decimal places. He also invented a fully functional language as a child called Mänti. (An article that mentions Manti)

One of the amazing things about Mr Tammet is that he has the ability to describe what is happening in his mind when he is performing, to us normal folk, these amazing feats of intelligence. One thing he describes is that he sees numbers as shapes, colors, textures, and motions among other things. I was just perusing his blog and he’s posted a poem about PI that I find absolutely fascinating.  When you read this imagine it’s him describing what he sees in his brain as he recites PI.

PI

Three, One, Four, One, Five, and On
The numbers recount their endless tale.
Three – Barefoot green, a silent voice.
White as hunger, One is twice
Bright like babies’ eyes.
Four is timid, envious of E.
Five, Punctuation or a pregnant sigh
Precedes proud Nine, colour of falling night.
Two, an unfastened knot,
A wayward wind, the hollow of Six resounding.
Nearby, Eight, a cloud of fireflies above a lake
Over which I skim Sevens
Remembering that Zero is nothing but a circle.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to look at the world through another’s eyes, even if just for one brief moment?

Addition: I once thought I was cool. I could recite PI to over 100 places from my head. Then I met a girl at ARSC, who offhandedly mentioned her head could spill PI to over 1500 or so places. Since then, and through many other humbling experiences, I realized that no matter how amazing I thought I was, there was always someone else out there that could best me. (-; Live and learn.

FYI. 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 or there abouts.

Advertisements