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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:07 AM

Head injury turns college dropout into a maths genius

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?section=international&xfile=data/international/2012/April/international_April816.xml

Head injury turns college dropout a maths genius

(IANS) / 29 April 2012

In an incident which appears be a perfect plot for any reality-based fiction work, an American college dropout after being brutally attacked by a group of street robbers has turned a mathematics genius.

It happened after 41-year-old Jason Padgett’s brain was damaged in a brutal attack by muggers. He was left concussed after being ambushed outside a karaoke club and repeatedly kicked in the head, the Daily Mail reported.

Now, wherever Padegtt looks, he sees mathematical formulas and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand.

He is the only person in the world known to the skill, which experts say, was caused by his head injury. They believe the damage to Padgett’s brain has left him with a “remarkable gift” for figures.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:17 AM

2. Gives new meaning to "use your brain".

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:42 AM

3. So, forgive my confusion. Are people impressed by the result of the accident or by the work itself?

Because my take is that it is only interesting because he did not have the skill before and he does now.

The work itself is no more unique or interesting than these Arabic stone engravings from the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. And I would suggest it is much less difficult to accomplish. Stone carving is absolutely unforgiving. There can be no mistakes.





And that's just one example among many in the history of image making.

I think it's an interesting development based on brain damage, but that is sort of like being impressed that chickens lay eggs. It's what their bodies do. They have no control over it.








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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:17 AM

4. Yeah, it's so fucking common.

I mean, shit, who can't do that??

Some people....my gawd.

Julie

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:28 PM

7. You've GOT to be kidding. Stonework is SLOW, you make MANY drawings, it's HARD to fuck up

 

You have to really bust something big-time to screw up a stone carving. Or do something stupid like try to go fast. And the patterns are often simple repetitions and tilings. There's a REASON stone carving goes back to prehistory and math doesn't.

The brain damage didn't CAUSE his skill, it stopped whatever in his brain was stopping it from manifesting. You don't create complex, elaborate brain structures through crude damage.

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Response to saras (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:30 PM

11. actually, this happens now and then. Some become music savants

and others to other things. No one knows why.

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Response to saras (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:32 PM

12. consider this. Some research neurologists believe the mind lives outside the body.

since most people with traumatic brain injury, like my dad and his strokes, keep their memories, if they existed in the cells they would be lost. They aren't. Many is the neurologist that says the mind must exist outside of the body and the brain in the mechanism it uses to function in the world.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:26 AM

5. That's amazing.

Considering that usually serious head injury works the other way around and a person loses some of the skills they had.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:27 AM

6. 41 year old college dropout governor in WI still math inept, though :D

Actually I think he's 45, but who's counting?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:02 PM

8. That is awe-inspiring

I like that his goal is to help others by teaching math.

"Padgett said his goal now is to get out of the furniture store and into the classroom to hopefully teach others that math is as beautiful and natural as the world around us."

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:18 PM

9. In what way do these figures "represent" mathematical formulas ?

Pretty pictures, but the techniques are mostly Sixties-era op art.

I don't see any attempt to distinguish between true mathematical insight, and the hallucination of the experience of mathematical insight. I've experienced the latter during an intense migraine, but it didn't stand up to later re-examination.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:40 PM

10. And then he falls in love with Sandra Bullock.

There's your movie.

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