Owner of "the most remarkable mind on the planet," (according to Entertainment Weekly) Daniel Tammet captivated readers and won worldwide critical acclaim with the 2007 New York Times bestselling memoir, Born On A Blue Day, and its vivid depiction of a life with autistic savant syndrome. In his fascinating new book, he writes with characteristic clarity and personal awareness as he sheds light on the mysteries of savants' incredible mental abilities, and our own.
Tammet explains that the differences between savant and non-savant minds have been exaggerated; his astonishing capacities in memory, math and language are neither due to a cerebral supercomputer nor any genetic quirk, but are rather the results of a highly rich and complex associative form of thinking and imagination. Autistic thought, he argues, is an extreme variation of a kind that we all do, from daydreaming to the use of puns and metaphors.
Embracing the Wide Sky combines meticulous scientific research with Tammet's detailed descriptions of how his mind works to demonstrate the immense potential within us all. He explains how our natural intuitions can help us to learn a foreign language, why his memories are like symphonies, and what numbers and giraffes have in common. We also discover why there is more to intelligence than IQ, how optical illusions fool our brains, and why too much information can make you dumb.
Many readers will be particularly intrigued by Tammet's original ideas concerning the genesis of genius and exceptional creativity. He illustrates his arguments with examples as diverse as the private languages of twins, the compositions of poets with autism, and the breakthroughs, and breakdowns, of some of history's greatest minds.
Embracing the Wide Sky is a unique and brilliantly imaginative portrait of how we think, learn, remember and create, brimming with personal insights and anecdotes, and explanations of the most up-to-date, mind-bending discoveries from fields ranging from neuroscience to psychology and linguistics. This is a profound and provocative book that will transform our understanding and respect for every kind of mind.
Daniel Tammet is a writer, linguist, and educator. A 2007 poll of 4,000 Britons named him as one of the world's "100 living geniuses." His last book, the New York Times bestseller Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, has been translated into 18 languages. He lives in Avignon, France.
In 2004, autistic savant Tammet reeled off 22,514 digits of pi from memory, setting a European record. How did he achieve such a feat? Is an autistic mind different from others? Yes and no, Tammet answers in this follow-up to his bestselling memoir, Born on a Blue Day. His own brain may be wired a little differently, but we are all capable of remarkable mental feats, he asserts. Tammet seamlessly blends science and personal experience in a powerful paean to the mysteries and beauty of the brain. Intelligence is a complex phenomenon that synthesizes various skills and abilities. Tammet illustrates this with his own abilities in memory, language and number sense. For example, he points out that his extraordinary memory for numbers is augmented by the unusual way in which my mind perceives numbers as complex, multi-dimensional, coloured and textured that allowed him to compose something like a visual song. Tammet concludes that all humans have something unique to contribute to the world, and he himself has a gift for rendering science accessible and even delightful. (Jan.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.