Is it bad form to dip into books that you buy as gifts for other people? Probably. Never mind, I couldn’t resist. Embracing the Wide Sky is the second book by amazing Daniel Tammet, who is ‘a high-functioning autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical and natural language learning’.
I read a fascinating interview on Tammet, by Jonah Lehrer in Scientific American Mind last month so I could help flipping through his new book before wrapping it.
These are Tammet’s inspiring closing paragraphs:
“With all that we have begun to learn in recent decades about the intricacy and idiosyncrasy of ‘normal’ brains and minds, and with the growing awareness of the wide variability in conditions as complex as the autistic spectrum, such distorting and hurtfull misconceptions will, I hope, decline in the years ahead. Better still, society will find way to make best use of the talents and energies of differently able minds, maximising the depth and diversity of its intellectual capital in the face of the many different challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for all of us.
The future need not belong to the futurists. Given the chance to contribute meaningfully within a truly inclusive meeting of every kind of mind, each one of us can use our brains to do what they have always done best: imagining a better and brighter tomorrow.”