Daniel Tammet is an extraordinary, creative savant writer and mathematician. His unique and vast manners of applying math, beyond the common equations and tricks, are colorful and unique. Simple to the mind, even. It’s interesting to see how he involves the audience in order to answer questions not only mathematically, but on foreign words and poetry quotes. Such range of examples shows his advanced intellectuality. Tammet certainly stands out in relation to other people of the world, as his intellect and blatant understand of things is so advanced and so dominated by his understand that he can achieve amazing things. As Daniel Tammet states, “Our personal perceptions, you see, are at the heart of how we acquire knowledge ”, he shows the way he perceives things and shows a vast understanding of human minds in general. It seems he is strongly connected to interpreting and creating hypothesis that could most likely be usable and appropriate for any person on the planet. Overall, I found his conceptions and view on mathematics, as well as his overall connection with the audience, exquisite and unique.
I really liked this video for it showed mainly how learning really is not as complicated as it seems. I had already heard of Daniel Tammet through another interview he had done in which he has showed the prowess of his math skills by calculating the day that people were born on by learning their age. I had also known that he was a savant and suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. What was different about this video was that instead of showing off his talent he was showing that you don’t need to be a savant with super intellectual abilities to learn efficiently. He explains that everyone has a different way of learning and some do it better than others. The way he showed the math problem was very interesting because traditionally in school we would learn how to multiply each number individually to get a big result. Daniel showed that through the use of visual aids, the problem could be solved using basic mathematics and no need for any long multiplication process. This is not something only a savant can do, anyone can do it, and it just took a savant to show us. Unlike regular people Daniel associated colors with many things helping him to understand and remember them. I find this very cool because it is a lot like people with perfect pitch who can associate sounds with colors. Our brain is able to store information in the long term memory section only by making connections with other things thus making it easier for us to remember. Daniel’s abilities allow him to make the utmost connections and solve and remember a lot more than an average person.
Daniel Tammet, unlike the vast majority of savant writers, does something unique to learners- he transforms subjects that apparently seem hard and complex into easily-solving figures. It is interesting how he comes up with a series of different ways to solve and interpret things by the association of a variety of elements. By linking first-sight enigmas with colors, shapes, numbers, sounds, among the usage of other senses (also referred to as synesthesia), he perceives knowledge and understands the world. I would like to give special emphasis to his approach of numbers, which differently from what is taught in schools and what is used by most of the people in the world (including myself), associates numbers with colors, rather than with other numbers and numerical patterns themselves. Although this approach is exquisite because it is not the universal way of identifying numbers and mathematical operations, it is amazingly interesting to observe his portrayal of the number “pi” through a colorful figure whether than by using the universally recognized expression 3.14(continues). In another example, it is also a fascinating experience to observe how Daniel associates illustrations with words (the hare example) to show how our brain operates without us even noticing it. I never quite stopped to think about how my understanding of the world is perceived. After watching the video and learning that synesthetic association plays major role in the knowledge we acquire, though, I was able to identify the ways that I, too, associate terms to prior sensory experience, and still, learn several other ways to promote the link of terms and names with the external world. “I hope you all forgive me if I don’t perform a kind of one-man savant show,” Daniel affirms in the beginning of the video. He does not realize that he doesn’t only perform a “one-man savant show”, unlike what he expects, but also, in fact, presents the most brilliantly performed “one-man show” ever known to men.
Daniel Tammet has a very unique ability that separates him from the rest of normal people because he is able to realize numbers and words in a different way from everybody else, he feels it and sees it. Synesthesia is a literary device used to describe something with the use of one of the senses, such as vision and smell. This capacity of Daniel to perceive this words and numbers in a different manner is fantastic because he is able to differ and memorize much more easily these things. Furthermore, he is able to associate things because the same feeling he gets from a word he might get with a similar word or synonim, thus giving him a cognitive advantage over normal people. His explanation is very intersting because it teaches us that people perceive things differently from us, thus it is one more reason for their perspective on something to be different from ours.
The video ‘Ways of Knowing’, shows a new way of understanding life. Mathematical problems that are predetermined to be hard are easily solved through common shapes. Unknown words are understood through sound. And symbolic meaning is perceived through images. Daniel Tammet, has a different view of life and in a few minutes is able to translate his way of seeing life to the viewers. Being a savant allows him to see and understand things that other people can’t, by simplifying problems, literature and unknown language, Tammet is capable of teaching in several minutes what may take much longer in school. He is the first one to admit that his way of learning is easier than the way school teaches. Using the methods that he did, he is also able to prove that not only are there other ways to understand things but there are easier ways too. As a cause of his synesthesia he is able to connect and understand things through a different way that people do. People naturally interpret words with word and numbers with numbers, Tammet is able to connect things and senses and interprets words with colors or images, and numbers with well known forms. The video is able to show that there are several ways to learn things and that unifying the sense things that are presumably hard can become easier.
The first thing I thought about this video was, "I want to think like that." I want to be able to perceive the world differently and with more understanding than most normal people. I also realized that everything we see isn't the extent of our knowledge. There is more that exists that we can't perceive. Realizing that other humans can perceive more than what the normal human can see gives us proof that we are living in a reality where there is more out there. There is more to learn, and to visualize. Most of us can't see numbers with colors or do complex math problems in seconds but there are a few of us humans out there who can. Maybe this is the next step for the evolution of science and knowledge. This is proof that there is still more science to be explored. Would it be possible to teach people how to perceive numbers with colors and shapes? Would that cause people to be able to do more complex math calculations in their own heads? To me this proves that the extent of knowledge is infinite and that our own personal perceptions of things control the knowledge we possess. Because Daniel Tammet can perceive numbers through colors and shapes, he has a different kind and amount of knowledge than anyone else. We can't perceive colors with numbers so our knowledge is limited by what we can personally perceive. I find this fascinating and want to know what causes his brain to think like that. In the future, will there ever be a way for us to think like him too? Could we lift a cover up off our brains and see through a pair of new eyes?
Someone once said to me that if you make connections between differnet sets of knowledge you can be able to understand things faster. In fact, by connecting words with popular known figures I was able to memorize and recite the Brazilian former emperor D.Pedro I's entire name (well this seems easy at first glance but his full name was Pedro de Alcântara Francisco Antônio João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim de Bragança e Bourbon) when I was in fouth grade. Recently, I have watched Daniel Tammet's video Ways of Learning. Daniel Tammet is an autistic savant, which, differently from the other humans who suffer from Asperger syndrome, is able to explain what happens within his mind as he solves mathematics problems that seem complicated and matches terms with their correct meanings with only mental skills. Daniel Tammet's method of knowledge, synesthaesia, is quite similar to my fourth grade method of memorization as his process of understanding also involves a several number of connections between the knowledge desired to be absorbed and his prior knowledge. Nevertheless, what makes this autistic savant's way of knowing impressive and unique is the fact that he uses human sensory skills such as touch, sound, and sight in order to develop these links. According to literature, synestheasia, his way of learning, is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. This means that only through his senses he can be able to solve any type of complex mathematics or reading questions. Furthermore, I look forward to understanding a little bit more of this way of learning so that I can also one day have enhanced mental skills, thereby I have recently entered Tammet's online tutoring site Optimnem.
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