Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lili's other thought for the day

The idea of using Barbie-doll pink as a gimmick to market things to women infantilizes women. We're expected to find appealing colours that have in the past been limited to to dolly aisle in the toy section at K-Mart.


Lili's thought for the day

Every year parents of school students will waste their hard-earned money buying items on school textbook and stationery lists which will never be used even once all year.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lili's next thought for the day

That letter, that letter, I want to know what is written in that letter! One copy will be in the custody of a stern librarian for decades into the future. Where is the other copy?

Lili's thought for the day

There are synaesthetes out there who want to know exactly how you non-synaesthetes manage to think without the sensory aids. Please explain.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

Julia Gillard's right shoe is more in touch with the people than it's owner.

'Julia Gillard Shoe' for sale on eBay
Stephanie Gardiner
Sydney Morning Herald.January 27, 2012
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/julia-gillard-shoe-for-sale-on-ebay-20120127-1qkyr.html#ixzz1kdAOZ3LQ

If I had the spare time....

I'd be finishing and publishing my list of scientific and academic publications in which Daniel Tammet is mentioned or discussed. This list has a lot in common with other stuff I've published already. In most items in my list Tammet is discussed in an uncritical way, which is my point - that a story that is not the complete truth has become a part of the world's scientific literature, and that's a great shame, and this piece of stupidity that makes a joke of science is a lesson that everyone should try to learn from.

Fascinating documentary about the behaviour of a little girl

I was entranced and fascinated while recently viewing the British documentary Can't Sleep Kid in full for the first time on the ABC. It was a repeat, but I never saw the whole thing when it was first broadcast. This documentary follows the search for a diagnosis or an explanation by the parents of an adorable little British girl named Jessica, who has had a disturbed sleep pattern since very early in her life. Contrary to what it says in one summary of this doco, the doco is not "a fascinating look at sleep disorders in children", as the doco focuses on one child patient (Jessica) of the Evelina Children’s Hospital paediatric Sleep Disorder Unit in the UK, and it turns out that she doesn't actually have a sleep disorder, but something which I find much more fascinating and amazing.

I urge the many readers of this blog who are interested in the tragic life story of the American girl Jani Schofield to take a look at this documentary, and maybe consider a couple of ideas while viewing it:
- how many similarities and differences can you see between the two cases of Jessica and Jani?
- if Jessica had lived in the US not the UK and like Jani had been covered by the Oprah Winfrey Show rather than a British documentary, what difference might that have made to the way that she was made to look to the viewer? The night-vision video of Jessica in the doco reminded me of similar video of Jani as a baby that was, as I recall, used by the Oprah show in a way that was given a very negative spin. Little Jess could easily have been depicted as a Possessed Child of Satan with a bit of misuse of the eerie night-vision video, with the glowing eyes and the inexplicable behaviour, but the makers of the documentary Can't Sleep Kid were responsible adults with ethics and values.

I can't resist adding one more comment about Jessica, a prediction. I bet she turns out to be a smart child, maybe even having an IQ as high as the one that Jani Schofield apparently has. I know that Jessica's parents have shown great dedication already in looking after a child who has had an extremely trying sleep pattern, but I hope that they are also prepared for a future in which their child is still different and still presents special challenges in parenting and also in education, because I suspect that little Jess might be more than a gorgeous kid who resists sleep. Resisting sleep is a common trait of little kids who turn out to be intellectually gifted.

I believe this doco is still available to view on ABC iview. I'm not sure whether people from the US can use this service.

Petition against anti-vax ratbags in Australia - like to sign?

Stop misinformation about vaccination #stopAVN.
Petitioning Federal Health Minister of Australia (Minister Tanya Plibersek)
Created by Sue Ieraci

"Stop misinformation about vaccination by the Australian Vaccination Network."

"...in some areas where the AVN is active and eroding group immunity, cases of whooping cough rose by almost 400% in 2011."

Lili's other thought for the day

The music of Paul Kelly is a celebration of dreariness. There are many dreary people. That is why he is so popular.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

Tony Abbott makes stupid comments which spark angry protests, then everyone else pays the price. This is a man who simply does not care.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Australian of the Year 2012 is a Synaesthete!!!

Top Australian - Geoffrey Rush. Sydney Morning Herald. smh.com.au January 25th 2012.


Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year.
by Jessica Wright
Sydney Morning Herald.
January 25th 2012.

Astle, David (2007) Geoffrey Rush: a man for all seasons. The (Sydney) Sun-Herald. May 20th 2007. Edition: first, Section: Sunday Life, p.24. Grippers.com.au
["Rush confesses to a kind of synesthesia, where two senses cross wires. In his case, days of the week are linked to discrete colours..."]

Geoffrey Rush's top ten for 2012. The Age. theage.com.au January 21st 2012
["...he sees images, shapes and colours triggered by the sensory stimulation of music..."]

Famous synaesthetes or possible synesthetes: a list of amazing people with references.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

For a fraction of a second I considered applying for the job. Out of curiousity I Googled the name of the supervisor in charge, and found a Facebook page. I don't think I'd last too long working for a boss who is a huge fan of Celine Dion. No point applying really.

The other Baron-Cohen is also good at comedy

Mathematician's test score does not add up

A very horrible story that just can’t be ignored

Is this guy for real? Baron-Cohen's latest book is a real urban legend!

A quote from a 2007 paper published in the Neurocase science journal

The Curious Case of the Autistics Who Don't Really See Like Eagles: a reference list in chronological order

Another Baron-Cohen autism-related theory looks like a real dog

Another blow to notions of testosterone and systemizing and gender and behaviour

Freudian f***wittery still practiced in France, and they inflict their noxious nonsense on autistic kids

A French Film Takes Issue With the Psychoanalytic Approach to Autism.
New York Times.
January 19th 2012

Lili's thought for the day

Science hides it's dirty laundry behind paywalls.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review of Spoilt Rotten: the Toxic Cult of Sentimentality by Theodore Dalrymple

This book could be described as a work of ethics or moral philosophy which examines the malign influence of sentimentality on contemporary British society, except that Australian society also falls under the author’s critical gaze - the shameful Chamberlain case and the treatment of Joanne Lees following the disappearance of Peter Falconio are some examples that illustrate some of Dalrymple’s points. It’s nice to see that Australia has not been let off the hook, because as an Australian I know that my country is a similar kind of dystopia as the one that Dalrymple has been describing in his books for many years.

Dalrymple (not his real name) attacks the subject methodically. In one chapter, in workmanlike fashion the author defines sentimentality, lists arguments that have been made to defend it and then refutes these points one by one. Although I believe that at times Dalrymple (a psychiatrist who has had a long career dealing with the British underclass) underestimates the intellectual sophistication of his fellow man, this book is far from a bout against a man made of straw. This is one of those engaging books in which the author reaches conclusions that people aren’t allowed to make, even if the premises are true and the argument is rock solid. One example of Dalrymple’s refreshing emotional incorrectness would be his clear articulation of the misgivings that I’ve felt for a long time about the concept of the family impact statement. I know of no other writer who has explored the meaning and the role of these emotive public utterances and highlighted some of the more distasteful implications. When we see a family member or spouse or friend of a murder victim interviewed on the TV news or making a statement in court, listing the many admired and positive qualities of the victim in order to impress upon everyone the full scope of the loss, we cannot avoid reading the flip-side of this message – that the murder of a person who lacked the achievement, the likeability or the social connection of this victim would be less of a crime and less of a tragedy. I don’t want to live in a society in which notions of individual rights and justice have become degraded into something resembling the rules of a popularity contest.

The section of this book which I found to be the most powerful depiction of the evils of sentimentality in public life was also my biggest disappointment. Dalrymple examined the phenomenon in which people in the public eye are judged by the public and elements of the media to be cold or even a murderer because they have failed to make expected emotional displays in public in response to a tragedy. Lindy Chamberlain claimed that a dingo took her baby but she did not cry in public over it, so many concluded that she was the villain, not an unidentified dingo, in the absence of a body that could settle the mystery. Lindy was convicted of murder and sentenced to life, a truly horrible injustice for her and her family, and was later exonerated of all charges. When young Madeleine McCann disappeared her mother did not make the expected emotional display, so many accused her of murder. Joanne Lees was expected to have made more of a public display of emotion in the period following Bradley Murdoch’s murder of her boyfriend Peter Falconio in the Australian outback. The case remains unresolved to a degree due to a lack of a body, leaving open an opportunity for accusations that the survivor Lees was the murderer. When Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident, the media and the public judged that the response of the royal family did not meet the expected standards of public displays of grief, and inevitably conspiracy theories in which the royals were behind her death grew and prospered. The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had been criticised for “for seeming "wooden" during tours of disaster areas” following the flood crisis of the summer of 2011, and the importance of the public display of emotion in Australian public life was confirmed by the extensive media coverage when Gillard finally did the right thing by the nation and came up with some tears in parliament. Things had gotten to the point where some Aussies were making jokes that Gillard must have been behind the floods, due to her clearly guilty demeanour. I think it is just the greatest thing that Dalrymple has highlighted the utter stupidity and unfairness in the way that so many people make assumptions about others based on nothing more than body language, but at the same time I’m astounded at what Dalrymple has failed to note. He discussed all of the true cases above except for Gillard and the floods, but he failed to make comment on a very important common characteristic of all of those judged unjustly. These stoic public figures are all women. The author wanted to write a book about sentimentality, but I think he has inadvertently written a book about sexism and sentimentality. Why has Dalrymple ignored the bleedin’ obvious? I can only conclude that he has a great big blind spot when it comes to sexism, and that is not an attractive trait.

This is a wide-ranging book and I was pleasantly surprised to find a discussion of a subject that has become a special interest of mine in the last few months – deceptive autobiographies and their authors. Bruno Grosjean, Laura Grabowski/Lauren Stratford/Laurel Rose Willson, Monique De Wael, Margaret Seltzer and James Frey are discussed. Perhaps if Dalrymple had taken a good look at the autobiographical literature about autism and Asperger syndrome he could have enlarged his discussion.

Dalrymple has been accused of being many things, including a misanthrope. Having read a few of his books I believe this is far from true. I find he is a writer who cares about the truth, who cares what happens to people, who knows what evil looks like, and absurdity, and refuses to practice feeling as a substitute for thinking. I enjoy his books and I believe they add a very valuable perspective to our understanding of contemporary society, but there are just too many inconsistencies and oversights in his work and in this book in particular, for me to call it great. Dalrymple accuses the philosopher Peter Singer of being utilitarian to the point of an inhumanly cold impersonality, while Dalrymple’s insistence that we should let our fellow men suffer from the consequences of their own actions doesn’t seem much warmer. Dalrymple subjects his readers to pages of complaint about a decline in educational standards, carping on about bad spelling, then complaining about those who complain about those who make such complaints, then in a later chapter he makes the case that education is not a necessary or sufficient requirement for a functional society. This reader was left wondering what the point of the pedantry was, then. I suspect that Dalrymple is one of those folks who just likes to show off his education, at everyone else’s expense. Every time I pick up a Dalrymple book I encounter words that are new to my vocabulary. It’s impressive, but I’d be more impressed with ideas that are followed through with more diligence.

Some favourite quotes from the book:

“When sentimentality becomes a mass public phenomenon, moreover, it becomes manipulative in an aggressive way: it demands of everyone that he join in. A man who refuses to do so, on the grounds that he does not believe that the purported object of sentiment is worthy of demonstrative display, puts himself outside the pale of the virtuous and becomes almost an enemy of the people.”

“...the notion of tattooing oneself as a means of expressing one’s feeling for another is both savage and sentimental, a sign of an empty heart’s search for emotion.”

“ The cult of feeling destroys the ability to think, or even the awareness that it is necessary to think.”




Lili's thought for the day

The Financial Ombudsman Service (Australia) is not an ombudsman in the accepted sense of the word. By all appearances, it is merely a dispute resolution service. Big difference. If you are a whistleblower who has witnessed a misdeed that was done by or involved a bank or financial institution, or has discovered that the bank or financial institution's normal procedures are not secure, I can't see how the Financial Ombudsman Service can intervene in such a situation. If you have witnessed a third party being wronged by a bank or financial institution, or through the misuse of the services of a financial institution or bank, I can't see how the FOS could take a role in that matter either. Some service.


Wilde on Sentimentalism / Sentimentality

A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. - Oscar Wilde

OK, it's time to come back from holiday

What's happened to the transcript of the ABC Radio National's Health Report story by Kathy Gollan about the "autie" autobiographer Donna Williams from 1996? This most interesting and controversial investigative journalism report has been available from the Radio National website for many years, then some time before Christmas last some older radio show transcripts disappeared from the Radio National's website, including this one, possibly in connection with a website revamp. One of those transcripts has re-appeared, but not the transcript of the report about Donna Williams, which calls into question whether she really is on the autistic spectrum, with suggestions from people who knew her a very long time ago that her autism was an act. It's a good thing that the Internet Archive Wayback Machine still has copies of the report, but I'm a bit troubled by the idea that Australia's public broadcaster might have self-censored it's own journalism.

Autism - a special report by Kathy Gollan
Health Report.
29th July 1996
ABC Radio National.

Postscript August 2012

It appears that this story is still missing from the ABC Radio National's website. The website of The Health Report, hosted by Dr Norman Swan, gives access to info about stories going all the way back to the year 1997, but no further it appears. The most interesting story about the controversial Australian Donna Williams was once accessible from the website of The Health Report, but no more. Could I have my 8 cents a day back again, please?

Lili's thought for the day

Holy Smoke! The Wikipedia (English version) is going on strike! Not happy about SOPA and PIPA:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

I've got to respect Hillary Clinton for looking as old as she is, but I still wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lili's idle thought for the day

In some parts of the UK the word "food" is pronounced "feeeeuuwed". Perhaps it is a linguistic echo of the way that the simple concept of food and eating has been complicated and f***ed up beyond all comprehension.

Lili's thought for the day

We can send a man to the moon, but we can't build a double CD case that will actually hold the CDs in place for more than a couple of weeks of use.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

Many years after I started this humble blog, the figures for readership of this blog continute to climb and hit new heights. Thank you readers! You make it feel worthwhile.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Neuropsychology case study subject as celebrity: Jill Price and Daniel Tammet compared

Both have or had their own publicist/PR representative and also a literary agent.

Both have written first books that are autobiographies which include description of their own (claimed, actual) cognitive exceptionalities.

Both have been the subject of at least one published neuropsychology journal paper as a case study.

Both have been questionably identified as being the first case of their type described in the scientific literature (Price as the first case of hyperthymesitc syndrome and Tammet claimed to be unique as the first known autistic savant who has the social and verbal ability to explain his own mind, and it has also been argued that he is a rare and newly discovered type of synaesthete because his brain scans were found to be not typical of those of synaesthetes).

Both have been written about in a journal paper by a professor researcher who has made many mass media appearances (Price described by Prof. James McGaugh and Tammet described by Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen)

Both have been the subject of papers that were published in the science journal Neurocase.

Both have been discussed as savant or savant-like synaesthetes with autistic features in this journal paper:
Simner, Julia, Mayo, Neil, Spiller, Mary-Jane (2009) A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits. Cortex. Volume 45, issue 10, November-December 2009, Pages 1246-1260.

Both have been referred to in journal papers and scientific articles with an anonymous name consisting of initials - Price's name being AJ and Tammet's name being DT (Tammet has also been given the name "Arithmos" in one brief paper, but this name didn't catch on.)

Both have been identified by researchers as having some superior cognitive abilities and also some deficits.

Both have fame based at least partly on their superior memory performances; Tammet's Pi recitiation and Price's hyperthymestic syndrome / superior autobiographical memory demonstrated to researchers.

Both have been the subject of scientific debate about the basis of their memory superiorities, with one faction of researchers arguing that repetitive self-directed training is the cause, while other researchers have argued that a developmental difference in brain structure is the cause.

Both have been identified by a synaesthesia researcher as a synaesthete, while this was not noted by other researchers.

Both have been the subject of an article in New Scientist magazine.

Both have been featured or interviewed in reports on the TV shows US 60 Minutes, Australian 60 Minutes and the Australian science series Catalyst (Tammet in the Brainman "documentary" screened in two parts in 2006 under the banner of Catalyst).

Both have been featured in many mass media reports in print and the electronic media, in a number of countries.

Both have been written about by journalist Joshua Foer.

Both have been discussed as a memory case study (directly or indirectly) by researcher K. Anders Ericsson.

Both have past intellectual achievements that have perhaps been understated (Tammet having performed very well twice in the World Memory Championship while this was not mentioned in his autobiography, and Price described as a mediocre academic achiever despite having a degree).

Both have been described as obsessive.

Both have achieved extreme and interesting results in tests of face memory (Tammet performing at an elite level in a test of matching faces and names in the World Memory Championship, but later found by a researcher to have scored at such a low level in a test of face memory that he was judged to be impaired in this area. Price scoring at an impaired level in the Warrington Test of face memory, while also getting a perfect score in the Benton Face Test of face perception (apparently perception of facial expressions)).

Both found by researchers to perform very well in "digit span" testing (Price scoring 15, "near ceiling" at the "Digit Span subtest of WAIS-R", and Tammet scoring 11.5 in some "visual digit span test" in one study and performing with "a high degree of accuracy" in a "Digit span task" in another study).

Both have been regarded with skepticism by some researchers and laypersons.


For the relevant Daniel Tammet references see the references in this post:

Daniel Tammet - The Boy with the Incredible Story

For the relevant Jill Price references see my list:

Famous synaesthetes or possible synesthetes: a list of amazing people with references.

Lili's thought for the day

Isn't it ironic that Obama's "Secure Communities" program has caused so much insecurity and injustice to the Latino community in the US? I'd say the naming of that program is a political variation of what I call the Advertising Inverse Law, in which advertising sells a message that is directly the opposite of the truth. It's the reason why politicians have the word "Honourable" in front of their names.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

I want a personalized car number plate that says "Life is Suck". At least it is not quite as moronically meaningless as all those plates that say "Life is Such".

Why a chick lit novel is not a place to look for parenting advice

I've just finished speed-reading the young Australian author Jessica Rudd's chick-lit novel sequel Ruby Blues, just to see how the other half thinks, and I know it is only supposed to be a work of fiction, but still, I think fiction shouldn't contain details that sound like facts but which are actually a long way from the way things are in the real world. On page 260 there's a male fictional baby born prematurely weighing 1.8 kilograms or just under four pounds. On page 270 it is revealed that this made-up premmie boy bub being cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit was born at 32 weeks of gestation, with a claim that such babies "can double their body weight in a week". On page 319 the fictitious infant is found to have doubled his birth weight in only five days! Talk about hot-house babies! They must be adding human growth hormone to the formula these days.

I very much hope that there isn't some forlorn mother of a newborn premature baby somewhere in Australia reading this completely ridiculous book and feeling very inadequate about her efforts at establishing breastfeeding because her baby boy has only REGAINED his birth weight in a week, as you'd sensibly expect a well-cared-for newborn premmie to do. I believe it is a general rule that babies, including premature babies, lose some of their birth weight straight after birth because they are water-logged or something after having bathed non-stop in uterine fluid for up to 40 weeks. In the first week after birth a newborn generally sheds this pseudo-weight while only starting to replace this weight loss with real body growth. After looking at a variety of growth curves for newborns, including some for preterm births, I feel confident in stating that it is completely and absolutely impossible for a newborn premmie to double it's birthweight in less than a week, whatever you feed it. I've got to wonder whether Ms Rudd had been taking advice on statistical matters from the Australian reporter Allison Langdon of 60 Minutes fame, you know, she's the pretty fair lass who apparently doesn't know that standard deviation isn't the same thing as multiplication. Life imitates blonde joke.

Growth of preterm newborns during the first 12 weeks of life.
Lêni M. Anchieta; César C. Xavier; Enrico A. Colosimo
J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) vol.80 no.4 Porto Alegre July/Aug. 2004

60 Minutes reporter stuffs up and the name of hyperthymestic syndrome changed again but still no recognition from US of link with synaesthesia.
Lili Marlene
Incorrect Pleasures
September 5th 2011

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Lili's disgusted thought for the day

What kind of miserable f***s would prevent children from being given gifts at Christmas-time? What kind of power-crazed c*** would forbid children from having coloured crayons or coloured pencils outside of formal classes?

DASSAN Press Release: Serco Ruins Christmas for Children in Detention
Refugee Rights Action Network

5 January 2012.

Serco drops ban on coloured pencils and crayons for asylum-seeker children
by Kirsty Needham
Sydney Morning Herald.

January 7, 2012.

Serco drops ban on coloured pencils and crayons for asylum-seeker children
Refugee Rights Action Network

7 January 2012.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Lili's thought for the day

Those celebrity chefs with TV shows are a load of nonsense. Ever noticed how at the end of the show when they sample what they've just cooked, they give an instant rave review of their own cooking? Proper taste perception takes longer than a split second, and it can sometimes take quite a while. They are full of it!

Lili Marlene's List of Favourite Euphemisms

"Excess adiposity" - fat, obesity

"Tired and emotional" - drunk

"Non-standard design features" - birth defects

"Excess brain activity" - epilepsy, seizures

"1930s moment" - catastrophic global economic depression

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Did Christopher Hitchens have a photographic memory?

Mark Colvin on Christopher Hitchens -

"Hitchens spoke as most of us struggle to write - in unbroken sentences, organised into paragraphs. He was aided in this by an astonishingly capacious memory, which could give you the impression that he had instant photographic access to everything he'd ever read."

"I mentioned a line (Wodehouse's description of aunts calling to each other "like mastodons across the primaeval swamp"), which he instantly capped with half a dozen of his own favourite lines. And he could do that with dates, places, people, historical events: an enviable trait in itself, but also the foundation of his strength as an essayist and polemicist."

Colvin, Mark (2011) Don't be a fan. Never be a fan. The Drum. ABC News. December 16th 2011.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Mr Qayoom, I think you have a very naughty friend!


Many thanks to "Mr Anon" for letting me know about this link to some interesting info. This is an untitled comment on a blog post titled “Imp” at a blog that is not the comment writer's blog, written by a person who appears to be Daniel Tammet’s childhood best friend who was mentioned by name in Tammet’s first book. In this comment Rehan Qayoom recalls how Tammet/Corney was once obsessed with Anna Anderson, presumably in his youth. Anna Anderson was one of many imposters who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, who was one of the Russian royal family murdered by the communists. This is an interesting piece of information for a number of reasons. Firstly, it shows that Tammet had a strong interest in an imposter early in his life, which was perhaps the origin of his grand deception. Secondly, Tammet changed his surname in 2001 from Corney to Tammet. His explanation is that his original surname “...didn't fit with the way he saw himself” while he liked the name Tammet “It means oak tree in Estonian, and I liked that association.” (Johnson, 2005). But it seems to be too much of a coincidence that Tammet appears to be an imposter of a sort, and the surname Tammet was once used by an imposter who like Anna Anderson claimed to have been a surviving Romanov. His real name was Ernest Veermann, AKA Heino Tammet AKA Alexei Tammet-Romanov. The third reason why the link between Tammet and Anna Anderson is interesting is that some people believe that Daniel Tammet was the same person as the one who went by the name “Daniel Andersson” claiming to be a psychic at an internet forum, and also the person who went by the name “Dr. Daniel Andersson” claiming to be “a qualified medical practitioner with more than thirty years’ clinical experience” at an online internet forum. It would seem to be a neat arrangement for an impostor to take on the names of his predecessors in pretence for his deceptions, but is it true?


Qayoom, Rehan (2010) [untitled blog post comment on the post titled "Imp"] Ana the Imp. October 16th 2010.

Andersson, Daniel (2001) Psychic Daniel Andersson. Psychics. Yahoo Groups. August 2nd 2001

Andersson, Daniel (2001) Doctor's Advice on the Atkins Diet. Epinions. October 19th 2001.

A tip for readers

If you find a post of interest, go back later and check it out again, as I have a terrible habit of editing and ading to posts after I've published them, my more substantial posts altered and added to very substantially long after publication. I plan to do a major renewal of the list of references at my post titled "The boy with the incredible story". There is never enough time in the day!

I also often add tags to old posts, to help my readers to "see the connections".

A quote from a brief article in the journal Science from 2005

"To see whether this form of synesthesia is at the heart of Tammet's talent, neuro-scientist Vilayanur Ramachandran and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, gave the 26-year-old savant from Kent, Great Britain, a series of tests. The team now plans to investigate the multiplication skills of Tammet, who says he...."

What happened to these plans? Was there an investigation? If not, why not?

And I've just noticed an amusing detail in this article:

"This article reports that scientist Daniel Tammet has set the European record..."

Scientist? Really? I've also found a book published by the deplorable Jessica Kingsley Publishers in which Tammet was laughably described as a mathematician. People say blogs are self-published rubbish written by amateurs, but hey, there's a lot of crap in print, some of it in very prestigious science journals.

Holden, Constance (2005) Coloured memory. Science. April 22nd 2005 Vol. 308 Issue 5721, p.492. EBSCOHost Accession Number: 16911231