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Old 12-29-2016, 12:35 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,558
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
I read a description one of a fellow in Stalinist Russia who had a "photographic" memory. When someone challenged him on the minutes of a meeting he had typed up, for example, he could recite the conversation from the meeting verbatim. however, he was described as boring and unimaginative.

Similarly, Aspergers or other autistics may have good or even better abilities in some brain function areas but lack in others. A single adjective or a single number can't truly summarize a complex collection of capabilities. Like Jennshark, I am the least educated of my siblings or parents (only a BSc), yet I haven't see the same imaginative spark in them.
Eric Raymond had an interesting essay on this topic. His claim is that autistics can exhibit brilliance in narrow areas because they are using brainpower that most people allocate in other areas, like social awareness:

Originally Posted by Eric Raymond
Yes, there is an enabling superpower that autists have through damage and accident, but non-autists like me have to cultivate: not giving a shit about monkey social rituals.

Neurotypicals spend most of their cognitive bandwidth on mutual grooming and status-maintainance activity. They have great difficulty sustaining interest in anything that won’t yield a near-immediate social reward. By an autist’s standards (or mine) they’re almost always running in a hamster wheel as fast as they can, not getting anywhere.

The neurotypical human mind is designed to compete at this monkey status grind and has zero or only a vanishingly small amount of bandwidth to spare for anything else. Autists escape this trap by lacking the circuitry required to fully solve the other-minds problem; thus, even if their total processing capacity is average or subnormal, they have a lot more of it to spend on what neurotypicals interpret as weird savant talents.