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Counting in Colour - Daniel Tammet

As a very young boy, Daniel Tammet suffered severe epileptic seizures that seriously damaged parts of his developing brain. Doctors diagnosed him as autistic, and he retreated into a world of his own. At the same time, Daniel also began to show signs of extreme mental abilities. He could perform complicated mathematical computations with astounding speed and accuracy. He saw numbers differently from the rest of us. For him, every number possessed a different colour and a unique, three-dimensional shape. Daniel Tammet spoke with Paul Kennedy onstage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, in Montreal.
Daniel Tammet (LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

As a very young boy, Daniel Tammet suffered severe epileptic seizures that seriously damaged parts of his developing brain. Doctors diagnosed him as autistic, and he retreated into a world of his own. At the same time, Daniel also began to show signs of extreme mental abilities. He could perform complicated mathematical computations with astounding speed and accuracy. He saw numbers differently from the rest of us. For him, every number possessed a different colour and a unique, three-dimensional shape. Daniel Tammet spoke with Paul Kennedy onstage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, in Montreal. **This episode originally aired June 13, 2016.


Writer Daniel Tammet talks about how numbers were his first language 1:06




 

Books by Daniel Tammet

  • Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant (2007) [autobiography]
     
  • Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind (2009)
     
  • Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning and Math (2014) [brilliant essays!]
     
  • C'est une chose serieuse que d'etre parmi les hommes (2014) [translation of poems by Australian writer Les Murray
     
  • Mishenka (2016) [a novel about chess and life, unfortunately thusfar only published in French]
     

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