Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Just as I was drifting off to sleep last night, at about 2am, amongst my muddle of thoughts came this blog post. I apologise if any of it is incoherent but it was late and I only managed to scribble down some notes to jog my memory before I slipped off into the land of dreams.

It came about after watching an episode of Derren Brown called THE SYSTEM where he basically devised a way of predicting which horse will win at a race in order to make lots and lots of cashola. That's not really the point though. I was thinking about how he must be a combination of things:

> Highly intelligent
> Skilled mathematician
> Extreme attention to detail
> Very logically minded

Amongst other things of course, since he studied Law at university and has mastered the amazing ability of absorbing and learning information straight into long term memory. In one of his shows he demonstrates that he has learned the entire London A-Z, and claims that it took him just 4 months. Incredible.

Bearing the above in mind, can you just imagine if this guy worked for intelligence? If he was a spy or secret agent or something. Even an interrogator. He would be INCREDIBLE and potentially extremely dangerous. He did a show (which is also available on 4od, same one where he learned the A-Z) where he loosely hypnotises the audience and tells them they will forget the show when they leave. The guests are interviewed at the end of the show and surprisingly they can only remember extremely vague details of what the room was like etc but NOTHING of the content of the show. HOW CAN HE DO THAT!!!!???? How can he possibly just make people forget something, by telling them they're going to. How can the brain put those memories aside JUST because he put the people in a meditative state and told them to forget. It confuses my poor little brain and makes it ache. He often stresses that the "meditative state" is not hypnotism, it is just a level of consciousness that enables people to process and understand information better. From my psychology studies so far, I know this technique is possible and is used by therapists, but never on this scale and never, ever in a way that works SO well, and that works every time.

I only wish that he could come put me in a meditative state and read my psychology text book to me cover to cover. Theoretically, it would only take a few repetitions in order to translate the whole book into my long term memory. Not only would I remember the whole book, I'd also understand it all, very deeply. INSANE!

One thing that strikes me with the meditative state and being able to manipulate thoughts and take in vast amounts of information seemingly effortlessly, is that it sounds a lot like traits of autism...
An estimated 0.5% to 10% of individuals with ASD show unusual abilities, ranging from splinter skills such as the memorization of trivia to the extraordinarily rare talents of prodigious autistic savants.[35] Many individuals with ASD show superior skills in perception and attention, relative to the general population. (WIKIPEDIA - AUTISM)
Upon thinking about all of these things, I considered myself and what sort of person I am (in a logical sense). I've always know myself to be a very logical person. It's as if I create this bare "logic skeleton" in my mind, which is like a blank map of every situation and scenario I encounter and then I fill it in as I go about the activity or situation. I like to write lists and make structures for my essays and I like things to be organised (most of the time). I also seem to have an extremely accurate memory for where things are. Tony asks me numerous times everyday "do you know where ----- is?" and I always know, even if I didn't see him put it there myself. Confusingly, I am not so fantastic at knowing where my own things are, it seems my memory cannot quite stretch that far.

One thing that has lead to extreme frustration recently is that I'm having trouble with my skeletons. I had never consciously realised that I tackled problems in this way until I stopped being able to... how convenient. The last four or so assignments I've had to do, where the skeletons are most useful, I've simply looked at what they are asking of us and more often than not, felt completely lost and begun to cry. I can't organise my thoughts anymore. I don't seem to be able to arrange all the information into a neat little hierarchy of what's important and what can be dealt with later. I can't make a plan in my head of what order I need to do things in. Maybe it's just end of semester stress, but it's not exactly loosening the pressure any.

Another thing that made me realise I'm very logical is that I often get frustrated with people using objects for something other than what they were meant for. An example - Tony, Han, my mum and I were shopping in the Range for god only knows what. Tony and Han picked up these huge long citronella candles and started to use them as swords to fight each other. When asked if I thought they would make really good swords, I honestly couldn't answer "yes" at all. I didn't get it. No, they aren't swords, they're candles and that's that. Not being able to differentiate objects in this way (but at an extreme level) is also another characteristic of autism. To be perfectly honest though, where I'm concerned, it really isn't anything to do with autism, just a tragic lack of imagination.

What is Santa's favourite pizza?
One that's deep pan, crisp and even!

* OK, can someone please explain this joke to me? Because I DO NOT get it at all. Dos it even make sense???? Why is that Santa's fav pizza? Am I missing something or just being really blonde here?

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