I’ve discoved “Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind” by Daniel Tammet entirely by chance. As I was touring the UK in a car, my favorite radio station of choice became BBC Radio 2. I specifically liked the Jeremy Vine show. During one of the shows Jeremy interviewed the author of this book. The show really caught my attention as Daniel was nothing like “The Rain Man” , a stereotypical autistic savant as depicted by Hollywood. Just by listening to the interview you wouldn’t be able to tell that the person speaking memorized 22,514 digits of the number Pi. So as soon as I could get my PC connected to the Internet I checked Amazon for Kindle version of this book and downloaded it.
“Embracing The Wide Sky” is a book about human mind and how it works in general. Daniel also goes into some detail about his special abilities related to math and linguistics. This book contains collection of interesting facts and factoids related to human mind and percenption. An example of such factoid would be: “Russian language speakers are on average better at distinguishing shades of blue than English speakers, which is most likely due to the fact that Russian language contains two distinct words for “blue”: “синий” which correstponds to the darker shares and “голубой” which corresponds to the lighter shades as opposed to one commonly used work in English”. Things like that made me think about how I think and perceive the world around me.
Entire chapter of the book is dedicated to the topic of how to treat everyday life analytically, mathematically and statistically and why being innumral is almost just as bad as being illeterate. The same chapter also goes into exploring things related to chance and coincidence such as lottery, elections etc.
“Embracing the Wide Sky” is however much more than collection of peculiar factoids. And while I personally disagree with the author on the point of human brain having nothing in common with a computer that was stated several times thoughout the book I still enjoyed reading it a lot and would highly recommend it for reading.