Daniel Tammet on TED

I’ve been a fan of Daniel Tammet (website) for quite a long time although he is nothing of a star in the conventional sense.  I just adore the way he thinks, because as a child I used to share some of his traits.  Although I’ve grown up to be rather ‘normal’ and my early years of awkwardness in my social interactions have ceased, knowing that you can have a unconventionally-constructed brain and still be able to lead a successful and sociable life is very intriguing and extremely reassuring!

Daniel Tammet a savant who wrote a book named “Born on a Blue Day” of which I wrote a review on.  (You can read my review here)

I knew he had given a TED talk quite a while ago, but was really excited when I found out it was now online!

In his TED talk, he talks about the nature of perception and how different kind of perceiving created different kinds of knowing/understanding.

He ‘suffers’ from synesthesia, a condition where the part of his brain to do with imagery and the part dealing with numbers link together.  Thus he’s able to create landscapes out of numbers and by remembering the landscape, he can remember a tremendous amount of digits.  In 2004, he recited 22,514 decimals of Pi() which took him 5 hours and obtained the new world record for reciting the highest number of digits of Pi ever recited out of memory.

This is the summarized landscape of Daniel’s .

During his TED talk, he briefly showed us how he would go about multiplying huge numbers.. by combining the two pictures and ‘seeing’ what comes out inbetween.

He also got the audience to multiply 64 by 75, in an unconventional (and a “much easier”) way, using this chessboard and another picture below:

And the picture below as a hint:

So, if you find out the answer to 64*75 without the traditional way of multiplying and adding individual digits (NOR the calculator!) without spending too much time, and let me know the thought-process, you will certainly get a lump sum of my respect, and a significant amount of suspicion that YOU might also be a savant and/or a mathematical genius.

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