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Ideawizard
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16 Sep 2011, 9:00 pm

Some of you might be geniuses in your own field. Others might specialize in something that is seemingly insignificant.

I honestly don't care. I am on a mission to find out how to crack open my own savant abilities ( I am a high functioning Aspie) in an effort to better myself and help better other people.

I am not looking for an overnight miracle; just tell me what special savant abilities you have, what they feel like, and most importantly of all where you think it comes from. Don't be afraid to get weird or metaphysical on me!



Fnord
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16 Sep 2011, 9:06 pm

Ideawizard wrote:
... just tell me what special savant abilities you have, what they feel like, and most importantly of all where you think it comes from. Don't be afraid to get weird or metaphysical on me!

I see the "big picture" while others are fixated on the details. It's like a flash of insight into the internal workings of an electromechanical system. This comes from ~40 years working in the field of electronics. There is nothing "Metaphysical" about it.


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Ideawizard
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16 Sep 2011, 9:27 pm

When I said "metaphysical" I don't mean that it is too foreign to understand. I know there isn't a short and easy answer to this kind of question.

Im not looking for a short and easy answer; I'm looking for a true and helpful one.



XLCR
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16 Sep 2011, 9:31 pm

An interesting subject, indeed. My father had some really great talents, he could play about any musical instrument, though he was best on the piano, and he played in a road band throughout the 1930's. His coolest talent was something called a splinter skill, he was a card counter. He never had to worry about money, he could start a card game any time and walk away with a pocket full of cash. He never knew he was autistic. It was only after I was diagnosed that I put memories together and realized that he had been the same in many ways.

The most controversial thing about splinter skills is of course where they come from. Back before I knew about all of this I just assumed he had worked hard at his math skills at some time in his past. But as I look back I recall that he was not an intellectual. He wasn't a book reader or a data-hound like I am. He dropped out of high school to go on the road at the age of 16. So I don't think he really learned to count cards in the way we would normally suppose. I think it just came to him. Now, I know that puts me among the mystics, and I'm really more the hard-headed logical type. But savant skills really do seem to come out of nowhere sometimes.

I'm not the talent my father was, but I am a professional lead guitarist. I can't count cards, but I do have a very unusual memory. I'm one of those that puts together lists of data, mostly historical facts, and I can remember almost anything I read. I've never really had to work at any of it. In fact, I learned to play bass guitar in one night, and the next night I was playing for money on stage in a bar. I can't really explain it, it just seems like everything falls together and suddenly makes sense.



Ideawizard
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16 Sep 2011, 9:36 pm

Your father sounds like an amazing person XLCR. Its too bad we know so little about what truly made him talented in such unusual ways.

I used to have a superior ability to analyze chinese characters and statistics. I wonder where they went.



Fnord
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16 Sep 2011, 10:20 pm

Ideawizard wrote:
When I said "metaphysical" I don't mean that it is too foreign to understand.

Foreign? Nothing foreign about it. You are either exceptionally good at one thing or you are not, just as you are either a savant or you are not. Besides, "Metaphysical" means "philosophically addressing aspects of existence and the theory of knowledge". It also refers to the alleged existence of the supernatural - magic, psychics, et cetera.

Ideawizard wrote:
I know there isn't a short and easy answer to this kind of question.

I know differently. There is no evidence of any magic spell, psychic encounter, or occult ritual that will endow savant-like skills on anyone.

Ideawizard wrote:
I'm not looking for a short and easy answer; I'm looking for a true and helpful one.

My "short and easy" answers are intended to be both truthful and helpful. Here's one more: Don't knock yourself out trying to become a savant - generally defined as a person with developmental disorders, and having have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance that are in contrast with the individual's overall limitations. Such a person would be typified by an Autistic who can play the entire Mozart portfolio from memory and get every note and dynamic expression perfect, yet who can not feed, bathe, or dress himself without assistance.

This person would be commonly referred to as an "Idiot Savant" - is that the kind of label you are seeking?


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should be judged or defined only
by their actions and choices, and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


jamieevren1210
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17 Sep 2011, 12:32 am

I have a very strange long memory. I remember stuff including when I was born and someone held me beneath a water faucet. And I started to read long before could talk.

Does that count?? :D



Ideawizard
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17 Sep 2011, 3:35 pm

Yes that counts jam.

And I have the same kind of memory. It just isn't as reliable as I hoped.

I also have no intention of being an "Idiot Savant", although I could care less if people want to call me that. I am not defined by other people's perceptions. This is an exercise in communication and a research project on what Savant skills are and how they develop.

Fnord, I appreciate your skepticism and willingness to splash ignorant people's faces with cold water, but all I am asking are peoples experiences with the phenomenon. Nothing else really.