Friday, February 15, 2013

Stuff that I've been writing.....

"Tammet explains his abilities to recognize prime numbers and to factorize on page 147, but I believe that again Tammet fails to explain the calculation that would surely need to take place at some level to provide number visualizations that offer mathematical insights. I can find no explanation of how visualizing numbers as shapes helps in any way to separate numbers into meaningful parts. On page 148 Tammet asserts that prime numbers look smooth and round, but he doesn’t explain how his mind is able to first identify primes in order to synaesthetically impart these numbers with this spatial property. The process of forming personal and idiosyncratic mental connections between seemingly unrelated concepts that characterizes synaesthesia is often unknowable, even to the synaesthete, and synaesthesia researchers understand this, but in a special case such as Tammet’s in which there is a claim that synaesthesia is intimately linked with or gives rise to savant skills, there is little point in studying the case if the mechanism by which genuine insights are generated is unknowable. It is not enough to assert that the synaesthesia does it. Tammet needs to explain how synaesthesia does it, but I believe he has failed to do this. The onus is also upon Tammet to demonstrate how his supposed synaesthesia adds anything to the processes of arriving at mathematical insights above what any person could achieve using education and training in mathematics. I think he has also failed to do this."

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