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look ma, no abacus

<< May 15, 2005 @ 15:47 >>

Woah, I just saw the craziest effing thing ever. There is this show on Discovery right now about a math savant, the show is called 'Brainman.' He apparently has a sixth sense with numbers, demonstrated in particular by his ability to compute nn ^ m in seconds with 100% accuracy. They aren't sure how he is doing it, so they went on a tangent to demonstrate what the human brain can actually LEARN how to do. The segment was in Japan, and it showed studented rigorously learning how to do math on an abacus. There was a twelve year old in a class with similar students, they all had something like eight years experience on the device. When they were given complex math problems, WITHOUT the abacus, they all turned their faces down towards the table and kind of twitched while they flicked the beads on an imaginary abacus that wasn't there. They could fly through crazy math with nothing but a pencil. That shit is crazy.

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