Monday, March 13, 2006


Daniel Paul Tammet

Daniel Paul Tammet is an amazing savant. According to the Wikipedia, for Tammet, each number up to 10,000, has its own unique shape and feel, and he can "sense" whether a number is prime or composite and "see" results of calculations as landscapes in his mind. Tammet holds the European record for remembering and recounting pi.

One day, Tammet will be the Rosetta Stone for planet Earth. He can speak English, French, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Icelandic, and Esperanto. Tammet is making a new language called mänti. Mänti has many features related to Finnish and Estonian.

Tammet can learn a new language within a week. For example, Tammet was challenged to learn Icelandic. Within seven days he was conversing well enough in Icelandic to undergo a live TV interview about his skills, and chat freely with the hosts. He is a avid golfer. He also created an online educational company named Optimnem. More information here, here, and here.

Synesthesia! That's a useful way of seeing numbers though.
The Rosetta Stone comment in the Wikipedia is related to his ability to explain savant brain function to normals.
His inner life must be amazing. I wish I could learn new language that fast! I also think it would be cool to experience synesthesia.
I saw the show on him. Amazing. I find it interesting that he doesn't "think" the answer as much as it comes to him. After having a near death experience, I think I understand what he is saying. There seems to be this "library" of intellect that streams unseen and external to our world but has a psychical conneciton to our brains. I don't want to sound new agey, but there is something there that is not being "calculated" by these people but "downloaded". When I died I got a brief taste of this knowledge/energy is image based.

There must be a pleasure center being stimulated in them when doing these organizational activities that most of us would find boring. We only feel this joy when we solve a puzzle or win a game of strategy...but for him he lives it. Every puzzle probably seems solvable and rewarding to him because he gets to see the friends that he grew up with: numbers.

I would love to see a CAT scan of his brain when he is "downloading" these images. Might be a clue to where our spiritual/mystical experiences come from, or what realm the brain is tapping into outside of our physical world.
What more can he do than your average creative artist, I wonder? His 'abilities' are not only unique to him but are universal phenomena.
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