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RIP Kim Peek

  1. Dec 27, 2009 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2009 #2
    That's sad, that guy probably had more information in his brain than any two people.
    This keeps getting repeated, but I don't see how it's possible. I thought at first they meant it as hyperbole to show how fast he reads, but I think they're saying he literally does that.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2009 #3

    Astronuc

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    Wow - I'd be pleased to memorize 1 book.

    RIP Kim
     
  5. Dec 27, 2009 #4

    DaveC426913

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    What astounds me about these savants is the ramifications for the rest of us. We ALL have the potential to do this. There is no physiological bottleneck to reading and memorizing 8 books a day.


    btw qedprigmosyno, 'retarded' is a deprecated (and somewhat derogatory) term. He is autistic.
     
  6. Dec 27, 2009 #5

    Astronuc

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    I don't know of too many people with that capability - actually I know of no one else. He was autisitic and it takes a unique cerebral structure to memorize, especially the volume of books he did.

    On the other hand, how was he at solving problems or theory development. Could he have memorized technical books on general relativity or the standard model and worked out new directions? Or optimized materials for more aggressive operating environments? . . .
     
  7. Dec 27, 2009 #6
    [OFF TOPIC] I didn't recognise DaveC426913;2507645 without his open-skull-lookit-my-brain avatar [/OFF TOPIC]

    Peek sounds like an interesting fellow. I'm sure he'll be missed.
     
  8. Dec 27, 2009 #7
    i'm not convinced of this. didn't he lack a division between his hemispheres or something? he just wasn't wired like most of us.

    every superhero has his kryptonite.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2009 #8
    I believe he was exceptionally poor at critical thought which is the downfall of his miraculous ability. Just imagine with his knowledge, what theories he could have amassed.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2009 #9

    Astronuc

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    I think people like that are written off before it's too late.

    In the video, his dad talks about going to visit a neurologist, who spent 5 minutes with them and told his dad to put Kim in a state mental institution and forget about him. The neurologist was late for a round of golf. :rolleyes: Fortunately, Fran Peek, Kim's dad, ignored the neurologist.
     
  11. Dec 27, 2009 #10

    DaveC426913

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    What I mean is that there is no hardware bottleneck. Our eyes and nerves and brains are capable of processing and storing this amount of information at this rate. It is a software bottleneck only. It is the software that is throttling back the throughput.
     
  12. Dec 27, 2009 #11
    I wish I could have his capability without the crippling disadvantages. Then again with cybernetic enhancements that might actually be a possibility in the future......

    When did he go wisit the neurologist?
     
  13. Dec 27, 2009 #12
    Thank you for that youtube link. I watched all 5 episodes. Amazing.

    He lacked a key connection between the hemispheres of his brain. As a consequence he used his brain differently. He seemed to use his ability to connect to others. That seemed to be his motivation. Used what he had in the only way he could to interact socially. Just reinforces how we are all ultimately social animals and connect any way we can.

    Wow!
     
  14. Dec 28, 2009 #13

    Astronuc

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    At 3:29 into the video (timesonline link in the OP), Fran Peek mentions the visit to the neurologist when Kim was 9 months of age sometime in 1951. The neurologist recommended putting Kim in an institution, American Fork, and forgetting about him.
     
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