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Zylo
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23 May 2015, 2:48 pm

One of my friends has mentioned it in relation to me several times, but I'm really not sure how to feel about it or what to do with it. I'm sure I have Asperger's or something related - I haven't been officially diagnosed because my counselor said the diagnosis wouldn't help me at all (gifted education doesn't exist in my state and it's kind of too late for that anyway) - and I've heard of savants and how several of them (but not all) have severe impairments. I never really felt the label fit me because I didn't want to be associated with that. But now... I'm questioning it.

I turned 18 last month, and I've done many things already. I can put up links to some of them if you're interested, but I won't talk about most of them initially. I've found that many people don't typically like to hear about these things. The main thing to note is that I don't really have a particular aim... I just find something interesting and see where it goes. For example, several years ago when I had more computer restrictions (I was bored as hell), I wandered around my house until I found my dad's guitar and some books about it. 16 hours later, I was able to play some pretty complex songs by just reading it off the paper. And then I got bored of it, so I put it down and haven't touched one since. Stuff like this happens quite frequently, but there are some things I still haven't put down yet.

I've actually had to deal with a lot of depression because of this. On my own, I don't really do well socially. When I find something new to focus on, I spend a great deal of time on it. I don't necessarily find it fun, but I find it interesting or challenging, so I do it... so much so that if I had been forging a good relationship with someone beforehand, I'd feel absolutely nothing for them after. Sometimes I completely forget. I'll feel lonely until I find someone else to talk to, but then the next thing comes along and wrecks that relationship too. It's been an endless cycle. There are some people that I don't even remember anymore. That's with the exception of the friend I've been talking about - he's been the only person to really stick with me all this time.

To me, the way I go about things is the standard. It's what I've always done. I thought that others could do the same if they really tried or cared, but my friend told me that a lot of people just can't. He was offended once, because I held this assumption and thought that he could as well, but we got past it and he sees me differently now. A lot of this stuff just comes so easy to me, I'm barely even trying at times. I'm just doing it, and it's normal.

I see many people say that they are jealous of the abilities that savants have, but if this is it, I don't see how it's so appealing. Sure, if you were one you might be able to do all kinds of things you couldn't do otherwise, but in my case, there's a tradeoff. I can't even describe the thing that I find most meaningful to me, and having someone else understand it comes in second. Whenever I try to get it out in any of the ways I've learned (words, music, art), it vanishes from my mind. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this, and that in itself is depressing to me. My friend tells me to hang in there until all my projects take off one day (and become successful), but all of this will still be here after. I really don't know what to feel about it. Savant or not, how do you think I should deal with it?

If you want to see some of what I've done, just tell me and I'll link it.


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kicker
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23 May 2015, 4:01 pm

I'd like to see what you've done since you've peaked my curiosity.



kicker
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23 May 2015, 4:02 pm

You can send it by private message if your unsure you want to share with everyone.



Zylo
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23 May 2015, 6:33 pm

Hey, I guess it's alright... Others might ask later anyway.

So, to start, my latest thing has been music. I started learning how to make it in December last year, and I made my first album in January (actually, in the course of four days). I've pulled most of the songs from my Soundcloud page because I've gotten better samples and I'm doing them over with the new ones, but here's my latest song. It's for my third album... Generally, it takes me 3 to 10 hours to make a song, but this one took a bit longer because I was learning about strings in the process - https://soundcloud.com/baumarius/rymm

Next, I wrote a science fiction novel last June. It took about three weeks. It's getting published traditionally through a small publisher in July or August this year, and is currently undergoing the final edit. It's the first in a series, and you can read some of it here: http://baumarius.weebly.com/ - (I haven't bought the domain yet for that website, but when I do I'm going to start promoting it more)

I also do 3D animation. I have my own business online where I make 3D models and renderings for people (usually inventors). Below are a few pictures. I designed all of these myself. Something I do when designing anything is to take it through a sort of mind palace where I add on or destroy different parts of a design. Where that design comes from, I don't know... It's a fast process though. I designed some of these in under 30 seconds! Some of the designs might not necessarily be "exceptional," but I find it fun to do.

Image
Image
Image
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I'm in the process of learning how to do digital art too (most of what you see on my website is done by me), but the things I've made that are the closest to me were done by hand. Digital art doesn't really come naturally, but these ones definitely did. I just started drawing in class one day and I liked what happened. The first image shown was my first attempt at it. They're done in tribal style with micron pens on vellum. Each picture I draw has some deeper psychological meaning.

"Self-Image" - The wolf on the bottom is real, and the one above is how it sees itself.
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"My Infinity Rift" - This one is about that thing I spoke of earlier, where the thing I want to describe keeps disappearing from my mind whenever I try. I can see it in full detail too, which is really annoying. I named this phenomenon "koanthymia," because I couldn't find another word for it. ("koan" + "-thymia")
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"Purge" - This one represents a meltdown. The spike on the top is the cause, and different aspects of its personality disappear out of the bottom. Also, I didn't mean to do this, but the evil face that was created is probably the best way to show how the subject feels about the one who caused it.
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There's more of those, but the last picture I'll show you has to do with something entirely different. Here it is:
Image
This is a certain kind of synesthesia that I experience. It looks exactly like this, but red and orange. If I ever get too frustrated - usually in social situations where there's too much noise or yelling - that will overtake my vision. It looks like there is fire flying into my forehead, and it feels and sounds terrible. I can barely speak when it happens, and it usually takes several hours for me to recover. Interestingly enough, this also happens when I'm extremely happy, except it is blue and green and doesn't really hurt. It's also going upwards, instead of directly at me. This is one of several forms of synesthesia that I have.

The only other things I can think of right now are business and school... I got some books after Christmas last year and made a full business plan by the beginning of January, while learning music as well. I'm waiting until after I graduate high school to finish refining it before I approach investors about it. While I don't find it too relevant, I've also taken several college courses at my local college since I entered high school. They were all psychology classes. I started off with a beginning course, and then jumped to some senior- and junior- level stuff (like cognitive and physiological psychology). I enjoyed them a lot. My professors and I had a few discussions about animal consciousness, which was a topic that interested me at the time.

Overall, this is what I generally do with my spare time. I'm usually searching for a challenge, but I'm usually not met with anything extremely difficult. That is, with the exception of koanthymia and trying to understand neurotypical people. To me, all of this is normal. It's still hard to believe that it might not be...



cavernio
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23 May 2015, 6:41 pm

"I can't even describe the thing that I find most meaningful to me, and having someone else understand it comes in second. Whenever I try to get it out in any of the ways I've learned (words, music, art), it vanishes from my mind."

I experience this to a degree I think. Even when words fit, they don't appear to myself as representing meaningful things. The speech isn't connected to the emotion.

I am not a savant though.


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Zylo
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23 May 2015, 6:43 pm

Yeah... I don't really know how common it is. I'm not around people enough xD



cavernio
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23 May 2015, 6:46 pm

From my perception, not common at all. Closest thing I can think of is some form of dissociation.

When I am most emotional I cannot talk or convey things that my body doesn't naturally do on its own, so like, cry or jump up and down. I specifically cannot put emotion into music when singing for instance, it must be faked when I do it and that is a place where I cannot fake it well.


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Not autistic, I think
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Have celiac disease
Poor motivation


Zylo
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23 May 2015, 6:56 pm

Oh... I see. I suppose you have it more on a surface level then?

I have this sort of thing with very deep emotions and concepts. If it were just emotions, I could easily say that it is alexithymia... but there's more to it than that.



kicker
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23 May 2015, 7:30 pm

Those are some pretty cool accomplishments. I didn't read your story, I'm not really into fiction so I would be a poor judge of it anyway. I did however listen to your sample and it was well conceived. I also saw the images/drawings. The 3d work is nicely rendered using the tools you have. (I realize that you probably don't have the 'greatest' software/hardware for pro results). The drawings I am just going to say that if you continue to refine your skills they will only get better.

To answer your question though, you are gifted, but not savant. Savant is usually only applied to someone who is exceptionally gifted in one specific area while below average in everything else.



Zylo
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23 May 2015, 7:38 pm

Ah, I see. Thanks!


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Aniihya
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23 May 2015, 8:05 pm

Your stuff is pretty nice. Regarding the 3D designs, you should check out the demoscene. They do competitions on those things and you can learn a lot from them. Additionally when I went to one of the bigger demoscene events here in Europe, I was surprised that I didn't get anxiety because you will notice how many people are like you. At least every third person seemed to have Aspie traits there too.

Here is what this years PC animation demo looked like

Personally, I do not have the best motivation even though I know I could do a lot. But after years out without anyone willing to assist me with other things that make my life so difficult, I ultimately lost my drive. The one thing I can do well is soak up information and read very fast (I read the DaVinci Code within a night and took less than a month to read all volumes of the Britannica encyclopedia, the latter when I was still in primary school). However I probably still remember half of it of which not everything may be accurate anymore. I forgot some stuff after an accident that resulted in an head injury, however my long term memory still functions well and I can remember things very far back (up to when I was 10 months old and some distorted memory of the sounds I heard when pulled out of my mothers womb). However, to be a savant, you need to be exceptional in a specific interest. Learning to play a guitar quickly is not that uncommon. With effort, you can learn things quickly. If you can recite all the exact words of a book you read ten years ago, then maybe you are a savant. And regarding playing guitar: It is impressive when someone can improvise as well as Joe Pass, a jazz guitarist.



Aniihya
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23 May 2015, 8:09 pm

And about the video posted, the concept of the demoscene is art, which means that complex design means nothing without other elements in a video. Many of the people at that event were people employed at EA and Valve subsidiaries and DICE as well as known video game piracy groups like Razor1911.



Zylo
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24 May 2015, 11:17 am

Ah... I almost lost motivation for that reason as well (it's hard doing everything without some help now and then), but I grew accustomed to it after a while.

That's pretty amazing. If I ever went, I'd either join the music or animation competition.



Aniihya
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24 May 2015, 12:24 pm

There are also various music competitions with specific conditions like 44KByte executable or specific platforms like Amiga. Same goes for animation, such as animated GIFs, 3D models, 3D video, 120hz demo and digital illustrations.



Zylo
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24 May 2015, 1:35 pm

Yeah, I saw on their website C: