Talk:Daniel Tammet/Archive 1

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Archive 1

comment

Removed "and enjoys nothing more than driving a good tee shot or sinking a long putt." That seemed less encylopedic and more colloquial than necessary. Istvan 02:58, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

             I agree --ThisDude415


I have a stupid question (I don't even know where the right place is to make this question!). I want to translate this article into Vietnamese. What is the easiest and/or convenient way to do that? I want to keep the format of the article as in the English page and don't want to go to vi.wikipedia.org to do it from scratch? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dieppu (talkcontribs) 19:49, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Can anyone verify quote from book about Tammet's memory ability?

Quote from the article: "In this book Tammet claims to remember everything from the point of conception in the womb to present 'as lucidly as yesterday'."

Does anyone know upon which page of the book "Born on a blue day" this claim is written? This is an extraordinary claim to make, and I'm sure many scientists would claim it is highly unlikely that anyone has a memory like this, even a savant. I've read some of the book but have not come across such a claim. If Tammet does have an extraordinary autobiographical memory he could be a case of "Hyperthymestic syndrome", a condition which appears to be linked with autism and savantism (or may be just a variant of savantism).

I emailed Daniel Tammet and he replied "No, it is completely untrue - nowhere have I ever stated this." Until we get a more specific reference, I will remove the statement. 80.235.57.239 (talk) 11:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Gay?

Most of the comments in this section are absolutely absurd and offensive. Hasn't anyone bothered to read his autobiography before posting comments about Mr Tammet? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.206.39.207 (talk) 02:43, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I noticed he's on a list of gay/bisexual people, but his sexual orientation was not mentioned in the article. I plan to remove him unless someone can verify this. --jp3z 00:49, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, according to the first external link which says:

"He met the great love of his life, a software engineer called Neil, online. It began, as these things do, with emailed pictures, but ended up with a face-to-face meeting. "Because I can't drive, Neil offered to pick me up at my parents' house, and drive me back to his house in Kent. He was silent all the way back."

Apparently he is homosexual. Should we add that? 67.84.82.127 22:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

It's very intriguing that he is also gay! 75.24.193.39 21:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Since people who are autistic savants are almost always asexual is it not odd that Tammet is a homosexual. --NikolaiLobachevsky 02:09, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

unless you are a doctor or otherwise an expert on the subject of asbergers, i'd characterize that statement as a load of crap....--emerson7 | Talk 03:09, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
If they are almost always asexual, it is odd that he is not asexual, namely homosexual.--Urod 22:09, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

It is not a load of crap. Studies have shown that autistic usually do not respond very much to emotion and usually are asexual. --NikolaiLobachevsky 18:27, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Crap. Both studies, and anecdotal evidence within the LGBT and Science Fiction Fandom communities, reveal a wide, Kinseyian range of intimate behavior amongst persons with AS. There have been recent articles in magazines discussing Tammet's relationship with his partner, as well as persons who are thought to have AS. I'll get some more cites in the next few days. Bearian 22:39, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I am adding the cite (The Advocate) and minor edits now. BYW, yes, some autistic persons may be asexual, but so are some "normal" people. Bearian 17:15, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Could you prove that? I've heard that most of them are heterosexuals because there's no relation between sexuality and autism. e.g. savants Jerry Newport, known for his calculating skills, is married (his wife Mary is also autistic), Gilles Tréhin french artist ditto. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zoomazooma (talkcontribs) 13:32, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Source? He was like 14yo at the time, do you think that a epileptic autistic would have much sexual experiences at that age?

Human mind likes to make associations, this is good, because it allows to develope logic connections, this also the basis for racism and prejudice in general, if you see a person with a particular trait making something, you might associate "trait makes person do something", even if the trait has nothing to do.--189.89.238.194 (talk) 13:06, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Surname

The article states that he chose Tammet as his surname. If you know the original, please include it. ИΞШSΜΛЯΞ 13:29, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe his original surname is "Paul", but I could be mistaken. ~ Oni Lukos ct 14:11, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

paul what? i'll be the first to voice an interest in the training/upbringing & family line of this savant.

His original name is Daniel Corney. In 2000 he competed in the World Memory Championships in London and finished in 4th place: http://www.msoworld.com/brain/mental/_mso4memorypopup.html Curiously he won the names and faces event, yet in the 60 minutes documentary he tells the interviewer that he will not remember their face after the interview.

The article doesn't mention anymore, that he "chose" his new surname, why is that? It's pretty confusing that the article mentions his "real" name but doesn't say anything where the "new" name comes from. 95.222.140.174 (talk) 12:01, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

He called himself by his birth surname of Corney.[1][2](Shaun1995 (talk) 16:10, 19 April 2013 (UTC))

The msoworld link does not count as a published source according to Wikipedia's rules. Unless someone can come up with a published source from Tammet's writings or media interviews we need to stick with the verified information available to us. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.193.84.62 (talk) 09:17, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

"He was born on January 31 1979. He smiles as he points out that 31, 19, 79 and 1979 are all prime numbers - it's a kind of sign. He was actually born with another surname, which he prefers to keep private, but decided to change it. It didn't fit with the way he saw himself. "I first saw 'Tammet' online. It means oak tree in Estonian, and I liked that association. Besides, I've always had a love of Estonian. Such a vowel rich language."

Richard Johnson The Guardian Saturday February 12, 2005 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.110.16.235 (talk) 00:45, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

The article does not mention his birth name. You still haven't provided a published source for the birth name you claim. Please remember that speculation and original research are not allowed according to Wikipedia's rules. I have now included the name change information in the 'early years' section of the article. 86.193.84.62 (talk) 08:35, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

In 2000 he competed in the World Memory Championships in London. He is listed as Daniel Corney, and finished in 4th place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.210.180.155 (talk) 11:20, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

This looks like original research, which is prohibited by Wikipedia's rules. Please do not repost speculation without published sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.193.84.62 (talk) 12:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

From Wikipedia's Biographies of Living Persons Page: "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion.[2] As of January 2010, a push to source all material about living persons is under way. A discussion of how to accomplish this is taking place at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people.

Biographies of living persons must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid paper; it is not our job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives. The possibility of harm to living subjects must be considered when exercising editorial judgment.

This policy applies equally to biographies of living persons and to information about living persons on other pages. The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia rests with the person who adds or restores material. Therefore, an editor should be able to demonstrate that it complies with all Wikipedia content policies and guidelines."

The burden of evidence for any edit rests with the person who adds or restores material. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.193.84.62 (talk) 12:19, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

In 2000 he competed in the World Memory Championships in London. He is listed as Daniel Corney, and finished in 4th place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.210.180.155 (talk) 11:20, 8 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.210.180.155 (talk)

This is confirmed in the book Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. The official scores are here: http://web.aanet.com.au/memorysports/competitor.php?id=84 Let99 (talk) 06:40, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

His passport shown in the TV Documentary also has his name as Daniel Corney. SEMTEX85 (talk) 10:20, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Autistic?

It says he is but that it doesn't affect social interaction, yet the article on autism says that part of the definition of autism is that it affects social interaction Mernst 01:35, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Quite simply, he got lucky. Autism doesn't exactly hit the same way in everyone, and he was lucky enough not to be affected socially. ~ Oni Lukos ct 02:17, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Has he been clinically diagnosed with autism? Obviously he is brilliant, but where is the evidence he is autistic. Is this merely speculative because he has abilities attributed to people who are otherwise handicapped? I can't find anywhere outside of wikipedia that claims he is autistic.

Autistic people don't like to interact, they can't live alone, they ussually can't compute if lets say some item, candy, a meal is expensive or not. They can 't ussualy estimate if they buy something, there will be change left over. They go berserk when things are not the way they are or changed a little. Is he like that?--Jondel 00:22, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

JOndel, that is very narrow minded and simply quite wrong... it sounds like you got most of your information from rain man... these behaviours you have mentioned can be true in some autistics, but it is important to keep a very open definition when speaking of autistics in general... there is a HUGE diversity.

Not at all. According to the Science Channel special, he exhibited autistic behaviour as a small child but eventually outgrew it. He still gets a little uneasy in certain situations, such as strolls through big cities (the skyscrapers cause his mind to project a lot of 9's, which he says "can be intimidating"). Prior to learning about this remarkable man, I didn't know that autism could be outgrown.

People with handicaps learn how to MANAGE their problems, which may look like they have outgrown them, but they are still there. Deaf people learn to lip read. If they become good at it, it still does not mean they can hear! There's no luck in it - just real hard work. I should know, I have my own handicap and it is hard work every day, but it will never stop me trying to do what I want to!! Geoff2DoThat 10:37, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

..and they always seem to be rather self-absorbed.209.131.62.113 (talk) 16:06, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Well then, by definition, he now has Asperger Syndrome, not Autism, right? --Farry 19:22, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Asperger's is definitely on the Autism spectrum... ~ Oni Lukos ct 22:51, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Asperger's isn't considered to be a form of high-functioning autism anymore. Asperger's affects the left brain, while autism affects the right (or vice versa, I don't remember). Autism also affects the amygdala, while Asperger's doesn't. Compare Rainman and Forrest Gump: Forrest Gump's IQ was 75, yet he was able to attend mainstream school, graduate University of Alabama, join the US Army, interact with people, start and run his own business, get married, and have a child. That's high-functioning. Now with Rainman, he had to be institutionalized because he couldn't take care of himself. He couldn't even go out in the rain. That's low-functioning. High-functioning has to do with one's functioning ability, not one's intellectual ability. ForestAngel (talk) 01:17, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
uh, I apologize if anyone was slighted or offended. Well, how would autism be defined? Concerning Daniel Tammet himself , the truth is I have great admiration for him and his language and other mental skills.--Jondel 20:54, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
  • On 60 Minutes they said it was it Asperger's Syndrome. -LtNOWIS 14:45, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

How could we be asking whether or not he is autistic, of course he is. All idiot savants are autistic, although not all autistic people are idiot savants. It is not possible to have as great brain power as he has and not have some serious disabilities. NikolaiLobachevsky 00:35, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Kim Peek, the inspiration for Rainman, doesn't have autism.

He taught himself how to interact. He said in the 60 minutes interview that as a child he was very autistic but learned how function "normally" because he had a big family and felt forced to "learn" how to interact and socialize and so on. He still displays certain elements of autisms such as compulsivity, slight agoraphobia or social disorder and certain brain deficiencies. As he mentioned he can only remember details but cannot remember the whole. This is truly a astonishing individual not only for talents but because he can describe basically "how autism works". Instead of running tests he can straight out tell us what his cognitive deficits and abilities are.24.203.165.168 21:54, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

It's difficult to say his mental condition. Obviously, he has a great deal of mathematical skill, but from interviews and such, it is clear that he does not show autistic symptoms, or at least he shows very little. Wikipedians who edit this article need to make sure that he is diagnosed autistic, not just assume that he is. I realize that the 60 minutes interview provides a great deal of information, however, we need more than just that source. We need to be sure of our facts when writing any article, especially one about a living person. Thunderlord 23:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

See People speculated to have been autistic. Bearian 22:44, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Concerning whether or not Daniel Tammett is autistic (or more strictly, on the autistic spectrum) none other than Simon Baron-Cohen one of the world leaders on austism spectrum disorders (ASD) has interviewed and tested Daniel, and agrees that he shows the major features of the ASD. Daniel discusses this in his autobiography, which, please note is subtitled "Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant". That is, Daniel self-identifies as someone with ASD. Finally, when I was doing my PhD with V.S. Ramachandran I met Daniel, and noted that he showed many of the features of high functioning ASD. Although my own anecdotal evidence is not citable, the "Brainman" (a slightly edited version of which appears as "The Boy with the Incredible Brain in" the U.S.) documentary, and the follow-up with Morley Safer are. I don't think there's any doubt that Daniel is "on the spectrum" but he is clearly high-functioning. Edhubbard 08:14, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I take issue with the whole idea of Asperger's Syndrome and Savant Syndrome. Almost all good creative artists worth their salt, poets and musicians have lives as socially abnormal outsiders, often leading unreal childhoods doing unusual things and playing unconventional games.

Artists/"geniuses" both externally and internally actively 'alienate themselves from the collective' in order to a have a Hawk's Eye perspective of the world.

Wickers Poet (talk) 00:51, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

In Tammet's autobiography he says he was diagnosed with AS at the ARC in Cambridge. A documentary shows Tammet being given a clinical interview by Prof. S. Baron-Cohen of the ARC, a world authority on autism. I'm sure Tammet's mother was also shown at that interview, which strongly suggests that she was asked about what Tammet was like as a young child for the diagnosis. Baron-Cohen wrote a foreword to Tammet's autobiography, so if the claim about being diagnosed with AS was false, presumably the professor wouldn't have written this piece. Another foreword by international expert on savantism, Dr Darold Treffert, confirms Tammet's diagnosis of AS/HFA. How much more evidence could anyone want to show that this person is autistic? It's a fact, accept it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.206.39.207 (talk) 03:48, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

My point was not to deny that Tammet has autism at all but that it makes him unique in the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SEMTEX85 (talkcontribs) 23:17, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

  • laugh* Try looking at it from the opposite direction. If his diagnosers had known first how he perceived numbers for as long as he can remember (and it does not match conventional synaesthesia either), for example how he perceived the skyscrapers of NYC as looming "9's" -- and then took into account the incapacitating schizophrenia suffered by his father: tell me which diagnosis they would come up with? - Tenebris —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.112.26.209 (talk) 23:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Birthdate

Regarding WP:BLP#Privacy_of_birthdays .. Tammet is a public and famous person, he has had film documentaries and has published his personal memoirs... His birthday is even included in the Guardian article which has already been linked as a source in the article. He is using fame and notoriety for personal gain and benefit, he has purposefully disclosed personal information to the public in his memoirs. -- Stbalbach 17:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

i'm in partial agreement with your position. somewhere i saw an image of his passporte in an article also. i'm not all that convinced about his privacy being violated. --emerson7 | Talk 17:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
actually, i found it. it's in the five-tv piece at 1 min 22 seconds into to video, showing his passporte and date of birth. whatever privacy he once may have had was surrendered with that shot. --emerson7 | Talk 17:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Icelandic language

The two citations to support Icelandic's status as one of the world's most difficult languages to learn are to a survey without any data and a typo-riddled forum page. Surely this is unacceptable? Goodnewsfortheinsane 21:49, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Jirojuki Goto

Does anyone know anything about Jirojuki Goto, the man described in the article on the University of Oxford website as the world record holder for reciting Pi to 42,195?

There is nothing on Wikipedia and a quick Google search doesn't reveal much. Anotheruserhere (talk) 22:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

No wonder since his name is Hiroyuki Goto. --ざくら 12:01, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Merge Mänti

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The content of Mänti has now been merged into Daniel Tammet.  LinguistAtLargeMsg  15:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I propose a merge of Mänti with the Daniel Tammet article for the following reasons. (1) There is not enough information available on the language for it to ever be more than a stub. (2) Persumably no one but Tammet knows or uses the language. (3) The Tammet article is not so long that this information needs to be broken out to a separate article. Please state your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with me below.  LinguistAtLarge  16:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Support per nom Λύκος 17:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support since neither topic is remotely notable enough on each's own merits.--KJRehberg (talk) 18:45, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The Boy With The Incredible Brain -- Critiqued

Should the claims by the author of this blog be somehow included in this article? http://infopractical.livejournal.com/77298.html Namely, that Tammet is largely a showman who is not gifted more than other memory and calculation "hobbyists". The blog entry seems to present an extensive critique of Tammet's abilities as presented in The Boy With The Incredible Brain. Askedradio8 (talk) 08:51, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

This looks like it would fall under Wikipedia:RS#Self-published_sources_(online_and_paper). Haukur (talk) 13:05, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. If I find a reference that looks appropriate, I'll post it. Askedradio8 (talk) 07:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Major Article Clean-Up/Edits

This article needed major clean-up and editing of all poorly-sourced claims. There was almost no information on Tammet's two published works (there really ought to be a separate article for 'Blue Day'). I don't know how to add links to the article so will post a couple important ones here:

http://www.booklistonline.com/default.aspx?page=show_product&pid=1850180

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3341454/A-life-that-is-beginning-to-add-up.html

The Kirkus and Publisher Weekly reviews are easily found online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.200.253.214 (talk) 09:03, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Sections can be tagged asking for better/more sources, rather than removing information and the sources themselves.Utopial (talk) 09:17, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Languages (Estonian)

Tammet states in 'Born On a Blue Day' that he speaks 10 languages. Some websites have claimed more, but I haven't seen any published sources to back that up.

Estonian (added on several occasions to this article) does not figure in the list of 10 in 'Blue Day'. In a 2005 Guardian article Tammet states his admiration for Estonian but doesn't claim to speak it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.193.84.62 (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Edit please...

{{editprotected}} could I get the article revert to the other version as this version includes the uncited claim, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 22:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC) User:Freshacconci 's recent version is the correct one. Off2riorob (talk) 22:09, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

After reviewing the source, I agree that this claim is not supported so I have removed it. When we have a reliable source for this, it can go back in. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:19, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Subject changed his name, an IP has been entering a name from this list but there is nothing to support that this name is actually the subject. So the name is still in the article stating that it was his birth name but there is no citation currently in the article that supports this claim, its synth and OR and should be removed until it is cited correctly, if is is even corrct as I have no idea. Off2riorob (talk) 22:24, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Pi section

I removed the recent edits giving additional information on the European Pi memory record held by Tammet. Such details belong instead to Wikipedia's in-depth article on memorizing Pi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piphilology) A link to that page from the Pi section is a good idea and sufficient.

This article already bloats with unnecessary and unencyclopedic info (ie, the 'careers' section) and lacks meat on far more relevant themes such as neuroscientists' research with Tammet, Tammet's own theories on the mind (which he discusses at length in his second book and which are discussed in numerous press articles including: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/a-savvy-savant-finds-his-voice/story-e6frg6to-1111118714550) and his two books.

86.193.83.15 (talk) 19:27, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Sounds more or less ok, remember we are not writing for intelectuals but for the general public, I for example quite like the career section and find it informative and interesting. Off2riorob (talk) 19:38, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

France's bestselling authors of 2009

Tammet's second book 'Embracing the Wide Sky' (Embrasser le Ciel Immense) was just named one of the country's bestselling books of 2009 by the Express magazine. Here is the link, plus photo: http://www.lexpress.fr/culture/livre/les-best-sellers-de-l-annee-2009-reunis-au-fouquet-s_857556.html

86.193.209.232 (talk) 08:39, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


What does he see in Pi?

So I read that he finds the number pi beautiful. In the documentary ("The boy with the incredible brain"), it seemed as though he does not only find this irrational number beautiful but rather its decimal digits. I'm curious: Is this because he "senses" from the digits that this number has all those mathematical properties that define pi? So if those are not arbitrary digits to him, did he actually learn the digits one by one or did he rather derive them as he was reciting them?

I am not sure whether this information belongs in the article, but anyway I'm curious. Maybe someone knows the answer. However I bet you read your own Wikipedia article so maybe you can answer yourself ;) --Betterworld (talk) 02:06, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Disputed claims

After reading Joshua Foer's interviews with this guy he sounds like a fraud. "a British writer with high-functioning autism and savant syndrome"? To me it seems more as if he:

  • Learned mnemonic skills and calculation skills (he's not even close to being best at that?)
  • Tried to apply his skills in the World Memory Championships in London and ranked only 4th (no fame in that)
  • Starts making claims about synesthesia and seeing colors instead of numbers
I [Joshua] read back to him [Tammet] the descriptions he'd given me of 9,412 the last two times I'd seen him. They could hardly have been more different. I told him my theory, which I realized would be very difficult to prove: that he was using the same basic techniques as other mental athletes, and that he invented these far-out synesthetic descriptions of numbers to mask the fact that he had memorized a simple image to associate with each of the two-digit combinations from 00 to 99--one of the most basic techniques in the mnemonist's tool kit.
Lied about being bad with remembering faces (in the interview with 60 Minutes he claims to not even recognize his close friends)
  • Instant fame, profit!
  • Other recognized and world champion mental athletes, such as Dominic O'Brien, suspects he's a fraud

This is from his own website from 2001:

  • "My own interest in memory and conversely Memory sport was sparked by my casual acquaintance with a children’s book on broad memory concepts for better exam performance at the age of 15. The following year I passed my GCSEs with some of the year’s best results and subsequently performed well at A-level, mastering French and German along the way with the help of these tried-and-tested techniques."
  • "Thereafter, my obsession with the sport grew, and following months of strenuous training and hard work I climbed into the World’s Top-5 rated Memory sportsmen."

Andreas Brekken (talk) 19:03, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi Andreas,
I have not read Joshua Foer's book, but in an otherwise very positive review of it for the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/books/review/book-review-moonwalking-with-einstein-by-joshua-foer.html) the author Alexandra Horowitz (a professor of psychology) calls Foer's critique of Tammet a "misstep," stating:
"Foer inexplicably devotes space to attempting to convince the reader that Daniel Tammet, a renowned savant who memorized 22,514 digits of pi, may not actually be doing it naturally, but only by using the same kind of mnemonic aids used by Foer and his fellow competitors (would it matter?)."
As I stated in the view history page, a discussion of Tammet's techniques for his Pi recitation isn't really germane and falls outside the scope of a Wikipedia article. Oughtprice99 (talk) 15:09, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't fall outside the scope of the article. You keep deleting well-referenced material.
Tammet had spent years training himself in tried-and-tested techniques for memorizing numbers, at one time ranking fourth best memorizer in the world:[1][2]

My own interest in memory and conversely Memory sport was sparked by my casual acquaintance with a children’s book on broad memory concepts for better exam performance at the age of 15. The following year I passed my GCSEs with some of the year’s best results and subsequently performed well at A-level, mastering French and German along the way with the help of these tried-and-tested techniques. Following teaching stints in Scandinavia and as a volunteer lecturer of English in Eastern Europe, I competed for the first time at the World Memory Championships in London in 1999, managing 12th place overall. Thereafter, my obsession with the sport grew, and following months of strenuous training and hard work I climbed into the World’s Top-5 rated Memory sportsmen. My performance at the 2000 World Memory Championships earned me a discipline gold medal and two more event medals, the highlight of one performance being where I bested the World Champion’s time by a fraction of a second, with the successful memorisation and subsequent perfect recall of an entire shuffled deck of cards in a time of 1 minute 11.69 seconds. In another round, I achieved a new personal best memorising 1,460 digits backwards and forwards in 1 hour, one of the largest amounts of digits ever memorised within that time frame in the Championship’s history.

Bill121212 (talk) 18:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi Bill121212,
I've removed once again your insert which you put back in without discussion. Off2riorob has already warned you of the need to discuss potentially contentious edits on the talk page.
Please refer to the Wikipedia verifiability page here: Verifiability as my comments draw from it.
According to the 'No Original Research' Rule, edits should be based on "reliable secondary sources". The rules regarding biographies of living persons ([[Wikipedia:BLP#Misuse_of_primary_sources)|]] clarify further that edits should be made using primary-source material only where it has been: "discussed by a reliable secondary source". This is not the case for your claim.
The edit you have repeatedly added is contentious and poorly sourced. I have removed the edit so that the article complies with Wikipedia policy.
Wikipedia's verifiability page further states that 'exceptional claims require exceptional sources'. See also: Fringe_theories It is important to note that your claim is "contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community" - the vast majority of scientists (including all who have studied Tammet themselves) and journalists reporting their findings confirm his synesthesia and its role in his savant abilities.
The only third-party source that cites the claim you make has itself been criticised by a Professor of Psychology in a review published by the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/books/review/book-review-moonwalking-with-einstein-by-joshua-foer.html
In short, the overwhelming scientific consensus (as reflected in all published and peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the hundreds of third-party published media articles on him) is that Tammet's savant abilities are the result of his synesthetic perception of numbers and language. Any further discussion regarding the precise nature of his talent, its historical background, and the role of any 'training' (what kind, how much, comparable to what), is - as I stated previously - not germane and outside the scope of the article.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 13:52, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I added the required secondary source. You said you haven't read Joshua Foer's book, so you should read that before editing the article again. It provides answers to your comments above. The book confirms that danieltammet.com was Daniel's. If you want to dispute it, let's pull up the WHOIS history and put the question to rest. Your opinion about the edits is in the minority. Bill121212 (talk) 03:47, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi Bill121212,
You have once again added a contentious and poorly-sourced claim without discussion, in spite of the warning from Off2riorob to contribute instead to the talk page.
You have not added any further source beside the one I have already highlighted as having been critiqued by an expert in the field of psychology in a review appearing in the New York Times The book's author advances what amounts to a tiny minority viewpoint on Tammet. Wikipedia articles are not appropriate places for the promotion of viewpoints when they do not represent a significant contribution to the understanding of the article's subject.
Please refer to: Fringe_theories It is important to note that your claim is "contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community" - the vast majority of scientists (including all who have studied Tammet themselves) and journalists reporting their findings confirm his synesthesia and its role in his savant abilities.
As to your other comments, please be aware of the Wikipedia 'No Original Research' rule. Also, it is reasonable to doubt a text's authorship when the supposed author's name itself appears misspelled. The 'a' with two dots above it is *not* a style choice as you claim because - as the article already states - the name derives from the Finnish/Estonian word for 'oak tree' (Tamm). It would thus be equivalent to the difference between Mr. Oaks and Mr Oaeks. Note finally that Tammet's name has never appeared with dots in any of the hundreds of articles about him.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 10:08, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I did continue on the Talk page. I added the reference to Moonwalking with Einstein which you said you didn't read. Read the book, then come back to the talk page. It could have been a mistake by a non-native speaker or a style choice to make the name look exotic. Who else would register danieltammet.com as Tammet's official website with an accurate biography? There is more proof here[3] which is confirmed in the book. One possible explanation is that you are Daniel and don't want that information to appear on your Wikipedia page. I'm going to stop editing the page though. Bill121212 (talk) 22:28, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I would like to support the opinion to at least add a paragraph on the claims. Joshua Foers book is ranked in the Top10 of the New York Times bestseller list and his proofs of the fact that Tammet is not a savant seem solid. Especially competitiors of the World Memory Championships, where Tammet competed under his surname Corney back in 2001, suppot Foer unimously. Sources for that are non scientific but substaintial. For example see the blog of the multiple times World Memory Champion Ben Pridmore at zoomy.blogspot.com. Also 8th World Memory Champion and memory author Dominic O Brien gave his supporting opinion. From the world of science there is the comment of the leading savant researcher Prof. Niels Birbaumer who also stated Tammet does not fullfil the criteria of being a savant, eventhough Birbaumer does not go on to claim he is a fraud. 145.253.118.83 (talk) 15:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I came here after reading Foer's book on the Memory Championships. It is surprising that there is no mention of the controversy surrounding his memory skills -- specifically whether or not they are the result of intensive training. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.99.60.219 (talk) 16:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Joshua Foer - Off2riorob (talk) 16:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Tammet's Savant Abilities

The article is being regularly revised toward a tiny minority 'conspiracy theory' view of Tammet's abilities as it appears on a handful of blogs. Needless to say, a Wikipedia living biography page is not the appropriate place for such speculation.

Bill121212 has repeatedly attempted to insert information from a book by Joshua Foer, contrary to the warnings of Off2riorob. Not a single major published source besides Foer's own work supports his speculation. In the same book (I've finally read it), Tammet repeatedly denies the claims put to him by Foer. Finally, in the only major published source to pick up on Foer's claims - a review appearing in the New York Times - Foer's speculation is described as a 'misstep' by the psychologist-reviewer.

Bill121212 has also now decided to insert specific event results for Tammet's performance in the 'World Memory Championship'. Of the 18 results over 2 years, he only includes one of the 'names and faces' results. Why? Because the conspiracy theorists argue that Tammet lies when he says in interviews and his books that he has difficulty remembering the faces of people he meets. Such claims, or bad faith attempts to insinuate them, are - again, needless to say - totally inappropriate to a Wikipedia living biography page.

In the brand new 'scientific study' section, Enchanter quotes from a group study. I've revised his text with reservations. A group study does not have the same value as an individual study. The text does not make specific evaluations of subjects. Enchanter twice refers to the 'method of loci' which seems to be a further attempt at insinuating the 'conspiracy theory' view. In fact the paper is vague about the exact strategies used by the memorisers (I have quoted their exact words in my revision). They also state: "Nine out of the ten SMs (superior memorisers) used the mnemonic known as the 'method of loci' for some or all of the tasks". Impossible from this to say whether Tammet is the exception to the other memorisers, or not. http://www.uni.edu/gabriele/page4/files/maguire002820020029brains-behind-superior-memorizers.pdf

I also removed the contradicting sentence stating that Tammet was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in 2006. The article already has a sourced sentence for diagnosis in 2004. Any other revisions were grammatical.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 09:47, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

It's not a conspiracy view, and it isn't even necessarily true. It is a well-referenced source that should be included. You are the only one objecting to its inclusion. You have repeatedly deleted the cited sources that Foer mentions as evidence in his book. Tammet performed at the level of a "6-8 year old child" when recognizing faces in scientific tests, yet outperformed the world's best memorizers at recognizing faces in competition a few years earlier. The only conspiracy is that you keep deleting relevant facts from the page. Bill121212 (talk) 13:35, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I've already explained why Foer's speculations are not sufficient for inclusion in the article, unless such claims are supported by other major published sources.
Bear in mind the seriousness of what is being alleged: That Tammet knowingly misled researchers on tests. In Foer's book, Tammet repeatedly denies any such behavior. It's an extraordinary claim that would require extraordinary evidence, which is perhaps why the only major published source that has picked up on Foer's claims has called them a 'misstep'.
It can be pointed out that the 'names and faces' competition is about linking photos of faces with corresponding names underneath'' with points awarded for the correctly recalled forename and surname. http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/memory.html#faces Whereas, Baron-Cohen's surprise recall task involved photos of faces alone. That's a big difference.
I'm now sending this dispute back to resolution.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 16:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Several people have already posted hard evidence from Tammet's own website and you have repeatedly deleted it. It isn't an extraordinary claim to mention that there is a public controversy. There is a lot of evidence that Tammet is a genuinely brilliant human being who mastered mnemonics to the highest levels and then claimed that his abilities were natural. Bill121212 (talk) 16:39, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
There is no public controversy - that's the whole point. Just a single book with speculations that no other major published source has chosen to reference, except one and then only to critique it as a 'misstep'. As such it is a tiny minority viewpoint according to Wikipedia's rules.
Wikipedia has strict rules regarding biographies of living persons. No original research or syntheses are permitted. A claim which is controversial, contentious, and which goes against all settled opinion on a subject would require extraordinary evidence in the form of multiple reliable major published sources.
No one is denying that Tammet is 'a genuinely brilliant human being'. The dispute arises from claims (implied or otherwise) that Tammet is a liar who has misled researchers and journalists. That is a very serious allegation, with potentially serious legal consequences.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 17:22, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
To add my thoughts, there is an important balance to be struck here between two important issues:
  • This is a biography of a living person, and as such, it needs to be written conservatively, and without contentious material about the subject unless it is very relevant, very well sourced, and very well attributed to those sources; and
  • This is an article which deals with extraordinary scientific claims; that is, Tammet's abilities as described by him make him a unique, one of a kind case, with important scientific implications. It is important that Wikipedia does not endorse such claims without those viewpoints being very well sourced and very well attributed.
So we have a delicate balance to strike. We should not claim or insinuate that Tammet's claims are untrue and that he is a liar (unless such claims are extremely well sourced and attributed). Similarly, we should not claim or insinuate that his claims are all true, along with all their scientific implications (again, unless this is extremely well sourced and attributed to those sources). This is a difficult balance to get right.
A good place to look is the scientific studies, for example that by Baron-Cohen and others in 2006; this paper treads the fine line well and neither insinuates that he is a liar, nor insinuates that that he is telling the whole truth; instead, it reports neutrally on his claims and the scientific observations. We should strive for the same kind of balanced approach in the article.
Here are my thoughts on the specific points of contention at the point of the article being blocked:
  • Original research from blogs and similar sources is clearly out of place here. I think it's borderline whether the claims in Joshua Foer's book deserve a mention; it is a reasonably well known book, and the claims appear to be backed up by primary sources (eg the internet archive), but there are no other good quality secondary sources making similar claims that I'm aware of. If these claims do get a mention, in my view they should have a low profile in the article, and be treated in a sensitive way.
  • There's been some debate about whether or not the fact that he won the "names and faces" event at the world memory championships deserves a mention. I think there is a case for mentioning it; he won that event, and didn't win any of the others, so it's the obvious one to mention. However, it shouldn't be mentioned together with his poor performance in tests of memory for faces to insinuate that he is lying about his ability to remember faces. As OughtPrice observes, the conditions of the tests were very different and there are other possible explanations for the discrepancy; it's not our place to speculate.
Enchanter (talk) 19:56, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Enchanter,
Thank you for your contribution to the discussion.
You state that Tammet's claims are extraordinary and one-of-a-kind. You should be aware that Tammet himself makes a distinction between his own and the scientific reporting of his savant abilities, and the reported claims which have appeared in the press and on TV and the Net. Tammet's second book 'Embracing the Wide Sky' devotes many pages to refuting the idea that his case is as unique as sometimes portrayed. While his synesthesia is clearly highly elaborated, it is not as rare a phenomenon as many people think. The same goes for Asperger's syndrome. I suspect that if some of the conspiracy theorists actually read Tammet's own words, rather than relying on media reports concerning him, they might be surprised.
I do not see any reason to specifically include Tammet's scores from past competition performances (his overall standings should suffice). The same for the various results from all the scientific studies on his abilities. The article would not benefit, in my view, from that kind of detail.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 21:23, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
That there's even a controversy over including this material shows what a colossal joke Wikipedia will always be as long as it's ruled by petty martinets who just love the power of the delete button. The article makes claims (eg, "unusually vivid and complex synesthesia") that, at best, would raise an eyebrow in all but the most slavish of believers. Someone - a respected journalist and writer - has first-hand evidence to cast doubt (not necessarily dispute) the claims. And yet, not even a "Doubt of claims" section at the end? Nothing? We all must read only the Tammet-approved bio, with nothing about his various aliases or facts that detail his use of mnemonic aids (throwing new light, surely, on his outlandish synesthsia claims)? So, truth doesn't matter, as long as a Wiki editor gets to wield a little bit of power. That's what Wikipedia has always been about. I don't see it changing soon. A real joke. 99.7.244.51 (talk) 23:01, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
You should focus on content and reliable externals to support it. Your opinions about one of the massive internet projects seem of little no value here on this talkpage. Off2riorob (talk) 23:07, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
This dispute is an example of Wikipedia at it's worst. Enchanter, you are correct, and that is how the article was until Oughtprice99 edited it.
It isn't libelous to add sources that question incredible claims about a living person. No one has made original libelous claims that Tammet is a "liar." Citing evidence that contradicts research that a few scientists did on a well-known public figure has absolutely no legal consequences at all.
It isn't a conspiracy to quote Tammet's old website. You can't get any more well-sourced than that. If you claim that Tammet didn't write the content on danieltammet.com (who would elaborately impersonate Tammet in 2001?), we could easily find out definitively for a small fee.
The question isn't whether Tammet has synesthesia or Aspergers, but only whether he has training in memory techniques, as he himself has stated in the past.
The problem is that IF Tammet was trained in mnemonic techniques as he claimed on his old website, it could mean that neuroscience itself is being corrupted. People have called Tammet a "Rosetta Stone," which may not be entirely accurate if the feats have been performed through training and not synesthesia. All that people are doing is adding additional sources to the article.
Here are Tammet's own words in 2001:

My own interest in memory and conversely Memory sport was sparked by my casual acquaintance with a children’s book on broad memory concepts for better exam performance at the age of 15. The following year I passed my GCSEs with some of the year’s best results and subsequently performed well at A-level, mastering French and German along the way with the help of these tried-and-tested techniques. Following teaching stints in Scandinavia and as a volunteer lecturer of English in Eastern Europe, I competed for the first time at the World Memory Championships in London in 1999, managing 12th place overall. Thereafter, my obsession with the sport grew, and following months of strenuous training and hard work I climbed into the World’s Top-5 rated Memory sportsmen. My performance at the 2000 World Memory Championships earned me a discipline gold medal and two more event medals, the highlight of one performance being where I bested the World Champion’s time by a fraction of a second, with the successful memorisation and subsequent perfect recall of an entire shuffled deck of cards in a time of 1 minute 11.69 seconds. In another round, I achieved a new personal best memorising 1,460 digits backwards and forwards in 1 hour, one of the largest amounts of digits ever memorised within that time frame in the Championship’s history.

The only conspiracy here is that Oughtprice99 and Off2riorob are deleting well-referenced information and threating people who try to add it back. Bill121212 (talk) 12:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The issue as I see it is the weight and the personal assessment and assumptions you are claiming to these these comments. All you can say is the subject said - When the subject was five he was interested in memory... whatever - your position is that these comments assert something and then you are summarizing his comments via original opinion to reflect your opinions - you can t do that - and you can't quote reams of text self spoken by him anyways, large quotes from his website creates copyright issues - you also should stop pointing accusatory fingers claiming this and that user is stopping me adding what I want - wikipedia does not work like that - your addition is disputed - you should attempt to find an agreeable compromise. Off2riorob (talk) 16:10, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

(undent): I think there are two main issues here: The first is a classic either/or fallacy. Both sides seem to be arguing that either Tammet has synesthesia, or he is using strategies ("neuroscience itself is being corrupted"!). It is possible that both are true, and indeed, Solomon Shereshevsky whose synesthesia and extraordinary memory were documented over the course of 30 years of studies and interviews by the Russian neuropsychologist, Alexander Luria is a well-known case in point. Luria carefully documents how Shereshevsky (whom he referred to as "S." in accord with traditions of protecting the anonymity of research subjects in neuropsychology and neurology) experienced five-fold synesthesia, and how he uses classic mnemonic strategies like the method of loci. More recent studies have demonstrated that enhanced memory for stimuli that elicit synesthetic associations is a common feature of both grapheme-color synesthesia [4] [5] [6], but see [7], and time-space synesthesia [8] [9] [10], and that synesthetes tend to explicitly use their synesthetic experiences to help their memory [11], so the link between synesthesia and memory in Tammet's case is hardly unique or ground-breaking in and of itself. What is unique is the extreme degree of both his synesthesia and his memory, matched only by S. in the scientific record.

The second is the attitude (suggested above by the quote "a few scientists") that the scientists here are a bunch of rubes or dupes who had the wool pulled over their eyes, and it took someone without any training in experimental psychology or neuroscience (yes, I mean Joshua Foer) to show us the error of our ways. As a scientist who studied Tammet's abilities when he visited our lab at U.C. San Diego as part of the filming for BrainMan, I might be too close to the issue to be entirely objective, but I also have detailed knowledge of what we did to assess his synesthesia, and his memory, and I can tell you that we generally approached this with a skeptical attitude (Shai Azoulai, who was a beginning PhD student at the time, was the least skeptical, and was therefore included prominently in the video, since it makes for better copy while I was nearly completely edited out). Anyway, on to what we did, and the caution we took in coming to our conclusions (as best we could in the limited time frame with the cameras rolling; science normally doesn't work like that!).

First, one of the classic metrics to verify synesthesia is test-retest consistency. As shown in the BrainMan video, and as subsequently verified by Simon Baron-Cohen's group (as included in our current wikipedia article), Tammet passes that metric of synesthesia. Now, of course, as someone with enhanced memory (remaining agnostic about how, for now), this probably sets a pretty low bar for his synesthesia, but nonetheless he did pass this standard metric of synesthesia (see [12]).

Second, the rarity of this form of synesthesia is attested both by my own extensive research into synesthesia (see my peer-reviewed publications here: [13]), and by the absence of this type of synesthesia in the reported forms cataloged by Sean Day [14], a synesthete and synesthesia researcher. As can be seen, "grapheme-color", in which letters and numbers elicit colors, is quite common, but having numbers elicit 3-D objects with size, shape, and texture has not been reported by any other synesthetes. Hence, it must be rare. Tammet is probably not entirely unique, but there are no other reported cases of this type of synesthesia. We can explain how such a form of synesthesia might arise by looking at the functional subdivisions in the parietal lobe, in particular the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). It is well-established that the mid-portion of the IPS is involved in numerical processing (see numerical cognition and the bio pages of two important researchers in this area Stanislas Dehaene and Brian Butterworth), and injuries to this region lead to deficits in calculation (see acalculia and dyscalculia). We also know that regions in posterior portion of the IPS are involved in complex 3-D shape and texture analysis, both in macaque monkeys [15] and in humans [16], in the service of being able to make the appropriate hand shapes to grasp objects (see Two Streams hypothesis#Dorsal_stream). If there were increased cross-talk between numerical regions in the mid-IPS and these 3-D shape and texture regions in the posterior-IPS (perhaps as a consequence of his childhood epilepsy), then Tammet would automatically, involuntarily experience 3-D shapes and textures every time he thinks about numbers, just as he reports. We suggested this mechanism when Tammet visited our lab, and it is illustrated in cartoon form in the BrainMan video. Although it is conceivable that Tammet himself has a detailed enough knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology to confabulate a unique form of synesthesia that is also consistent with the known neurofunctional properties of the brain, it seems highly unlikely, and thus suggests that these are accurate reports.

Turning then to testing his mathematical abilities, as shown in the video, we did test his arithmetic, and his ability to say if a number was prime or not. One of the tricks we used was to include among the numbers some non-primes that have only very large factors, in order to rule out simple algorithmic processes. This cannot rule out that he actually memorized just the numbers that we tested him on, knowing that these are tricky cases, but again we did not simply present him with a bunch of easy primes and a bunch of non-primes. We tried to catch him out, and he passed those tests with flying colors.

Finally, we tested whether presenting stimuli that elicit his synesthetic experiences in either a format that matches his synesthetic experiences ("congruent"), or in a format that does not match his experiences ("incongruent") affects his memory performance. This strategy had been used by a number of previous studies of memory in grapheme-color synesthesia [17] [18], and we adapted it to his reports that the different digits had different sizes. As can be seen here [19], we found that his memory for digits presented either all in the same font size ("neutral") or in congruent font sizes were better remembered than digits that were incongruent with his synesthesia. This was true not only for immediate re-test, but also for surprise 24 hour and 72 hour re-tests. Strikingly, for the 24 and 72 hour retests, Tammet showed zero forgetting, except for in the incongruent condition. Control subjects, of course, performed far worse than Tammet, but importantly, they did not show this same modulation of performance by congruence, and their forgetting was equivalent across the three conditions. We also used letters to examine the specificity of his synesthesia, and while he performed better than controls, it is clear that his performance for stimuli that do not elicit his synesthesia is substantially worse than for stimuli that do elicit his synesthesia, again consistent with the findings from a number of other labs showing the specificity of the synesthetic improvement.

Taken as a whole, the specificity that we see in tests of Tammet's abilities, the fact that it coheres with known neuroscientific findings, and that multiple labs, have independently verified Tammet's synesthesia (our lab and the Baron-Cohen lab) all argues against the idea that his synesthesia is a fake. It is also possible (indeed probable) that he is using strategies. Note, for example, that our poster was titled "Does synesthesia contribute to mathematical savant skills?" (emphasis added) as it is unlikely that any one thing will explain all savant skills. Edhubbard (talk) 15:30, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

You left out part of my sentence when you quoted me. I said, "it could mean that neuroscience itself is being corrupted." People are only suggesting to mention all the possibilities in the article and to have an open discussion about it. Also, I wrote, "The question isn't whether Tammet has synesthesia or Aspergers..." but only whether things like pi were memorized purely by synesthesia or whether years of intensive training in "memory sports" was involved. The synesthesia part is irrelevant to the discussion. Instant recognition of all the prime numbers can be explained by these same memory techniques, unless you went well above the first hundreds (or thousands) of primes, in which case there is a strong case that it wasn't done with memory techniques. Consider that people memorize up to 67,000 digits of pi with these techniques. I didn't mean to imply that the scientists are just a bunch of dupes. Foer may not have any background in neuroscience, but he does have a background in these techniques, which I'm assuming the scientists don't have. Bill121212 (talk) 18:10, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
This is not the correct place to opine all this hair splitting position. Its also uncitable in reference to this person - have your though about adding this stuff to asspergers or savant - this is a wikipedioas BLB not a soapbox for such opinions and POV positions. Off2riorob (talk) 18:15, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article says, "Baron-Cohen, Bor and Billington...state that the memory training used by other memory experts does not explain his abilities, as he had not had explicit training," which apparently isn't true, by Tammet's own writings on his website. Another of the scientists that studied him writes above on this talk page, "It is also possible (indeed probable) that he is using strategies." This isn't hair splitting or my personal opinion. If the researcher above gives examples of the largest prime numbers that he tested Tammet with and they are beyond the explanation of memory techniques, then that fact should be added to the main article to counter the criticism and the issue will be put to rest permanently. Bill121212 (talk) 18:36, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I and wikipedia care less about research. What we/you need are reliable secondary reports. Post what you want to add here on the talkpage and lets have a look at it, please. Off2riorob (talk) 18:40, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Bill, you'd be completely wrong in your assumption that experimental psychologists don't know about memory strategies. The method of loci is standard introductory undergraduate cognitive psychology stuff. See for example, this undergraduate textbook here [20]. And, as I mentioned above, Luria clearly describes this technique in S. in a book published over 40 years ago (actually earlier than that, but the first English translation was 1968). Finally, see our own mnemonist article, and the scientific studies of memory strategies carried out by psychologists and neuroscientists that are cited there. As for your point about "beyond the explanation of memory techniques", there's no such thing. Any particular number could be memorized. Our research was aimed at showing that memorization alone could not explain Tammet's performance. Edhubbard (talk) 18:51, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Bill, to reinforce Ed Hubbard's comments above, the scientific papers quoted in the article all make it clear that the scientists involved knew about the existence of memory strategies (for example, two of them mentioned the method of loci specifically).
I would encourage you to look at these scientific sources; they tend to give a measured and balanced view, reporting neutrally on the known facts, in contrast to journalist's writings which tend to be sensationalist (ie media sources may often take an exaggerated "Tammet is an amazing genius!" or, in Foer's case, a "Tammet is a fake!" view rather than a more balanced and measured position). Enchanter (talk) 22:31, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Reading a book on neuroscience is not the same thing as being a neuroscientist, just as reading about the method of loci is not the same thing as being a trained memorizer. IF Tammet used techniques to recognize the prime numbers, he might not have used the method of loci. You should try the same tests on another competitive memorizer, giving advance notice that you will test recognition of all the prime numbers up to 9999 and run tests for synesthesia. Without that, your research is missing one piece. No one is trying to say Tammet is a fake in the article, but there are unanswered questions about why there is no mention of his self-described memory training. All that editors are asking for is Enchanter's "balanced and measured position" and not the complete omission of any mention that Tammet has years of training in "memory sports." The article is locked though, so there's nothing more to say about it. Bill121212 (talk) 17:31, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Not really - the disruption surrounding this desired addition has gone on long enough. This is it - please present your desired addition with the supporting citations for discussion and evaluation - waiting until the article is unlocked and inserting it yet again without consensus is not an option. Off2riorob (talk) 17:34, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

"I and wikipedia care less about research." Great. Not only a petty martinet, an ignorant one. 99.7.244.51 (talk) 05:58, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

This is worth clarifying. Wikipedia cares a lot about research. Researching and organising verifiable material is absolutely fundamental to our mission of writing a reliable encyclopedia. What Wikipedia is not is a place for discussing or publishing original research - i.e. material that cannot be attributed to reliable published sources. Enchanter (talk) 21:53, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
No one is adding original research. In the case of this article, even reliable published sources are deleted. Foer is an expert on memory techniques with a well-referenced, bestselling book. Here is another book author who not only questions Tammet's explanation, but the researchers' too:[21] Another reliable source that contradicts this Wikipedia article is Tammet's own website. These things should be not be omitted from the article. Bill121212 (talk) 08:54, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Live journal is not a reliable external for any content in a wikipedia article. Off2riorob (talk) 09:16, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is. LiveJournal.com is even cited on the NY Times page.[[The New York Times]|The publishing medium is irrelevant. Only the content matters. The author of that content is a published expert on the subject. Bill121212] (talk) 09:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, it was first produced here Talk:Daniel Tammet/Archive 1#The Boy With The Incredible Brain -- Critiqued in Dec 2009 by User:Askedradio8 and has not been accepted yet - see here for the amount of articles this external site is used on wikipedia english - none. If you want to use this source to add content to this BLP I suggest you ask at the WP:RSN the reliable source noticeboard and I will be happy to accept whatever consensus arises there, regards. Off2riorob (talk) 09:56, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Who do you think you are to say that you will accept it? The consensus on this talk page is 5 to 1 against you to include a balance of points instead of omitting all sources that question the full accuracy of the official claims. I'm not counting Oughtprice99 or the researcher whose work is criticized by one of the sources. The fact that you are trying to make people jump through hoops to add citations from experts in their fields, and that Oughtprice99 is militantly blocking additions, suggests a possible editing conspiracy. Bill121212 (talk) 10:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Your losing focus, the focus is the desired addition and the supporting citations. Claims of a conspiracy are completely groundless. I just said, I will be happy to accept whatever consensus arises at the relevant noticeboard, that seems quite a correct reasonable position to me. Off2riorob (talk) 14:56, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
It isn't up to you to approve it. Your objections are keeping the article unbalanced, and you are outnumbered 5 to 1 on the talk page. That a memory expert questions the official story in a bestselling book belongs in the article. Evidence on this talk page shows that the Wikipedia page in its current form cannot be correct. If you want, we can add some of the original sources that Foer used too. Have you even read the book? Bill121212 (talk) 18:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I have no idea about this five one, there is only me and you here. Anyway, an unreliable source is unreliable even if ten people want to add content from it. Have you asked at the WP:RSN yet? Would you please provide your desired addition here for evaluation and discussion - post it complete below this comment with the citations that you want to use to support it, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 18:39, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Here are 5 people on this talk page who have said the article should be balanced, or have expressed surprise that the article has absolutely no mention of the controversy:
  1. User:Andreas Brekken
  2. User:145.253.118.83
  3. User:24.99.60.219
  4. User:Enchanter
  5. Bill121212
In addition, Edhubbard, one of the researchers cited, wrote, "It is also possible (indeed probable) that he is using strategies." This contradicts the current Wikipedia page. Bill121212 (talk) 08:02, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Strategies is mentioned and memory techniques are alluded to in this section already - Daniel Tammet#Scientific_study - Is this the section you want to add some detail to? Off2riorob (talk) 08:49, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm one of the other original researchers who worked with Ed Hubbard ... the "least skeptical one" as he mentioned above ... though to be fair I think all of us were quite skeptical and I don't blame the editors for making things exciting since that is one of the best ways to bring new minds into science. Ed's expertise in this area both then and now is far greater than my own and it is a shame that he was not included more in the program.

In any case there was one other memory test we conducted with Daniel, I won't go into extreme detail, but basically it was a memorization task in which he was given 60 seconds to memorize as many numbers (and in one case letters) as possible. Then there was a three minute discussion to prevent him from using a verbal loop to help encode ... and finally he was given 60 seconds to recall as many as he could. He performed extremely well but to be fair his answers were written down as number pairs ... which means he was almost definitely using some memory tricks. However that does not take away from his performance ... nor the fact that he still performed amazingly well a month later when given a surprise recall test of those same numbers. I think it is almost impossible to determine whether or not any person in such a situation is being completely honest. As scientists all we can do is try to conduct unbiased experiments and let the data speak for itself. However I completely agree with Ed that "It is also possible (indeed probable) that he is using strategies." But using such strategies does not mean that he does not have a genuine talent unrelated to the additional advantage one gets from such strategies. Ed's account above is detailed, clear, and should be carefully considered in the context of other RS and the article balance as a whole. 98.155.76.35 (talk) 01:39, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


Desired addition

This is not my text, only one of the statements that I have objected to the removal of:

Joshua Foer suggests that study of conventional mnemonic approaches has played an important role in the reported feats of memory.<ref name="Moonwalking" />

The claims are well documented in the book. It was written by a respected journalist who is an expert on memory techniques. Bill121212 (talk) 08:02, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Your careful obstruction of well-referenced, respected sources is highly suspicious. You haven't read the book, while the people asking for inclusion have read the book. Read the book and then come back and make your objections. If you don't know about the subject, stop writing as if your "approval" is needed. Like I said, this is Wikipedia at it's worst. Bill121212 (talk) 09:15, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia at its worst imo is single purpose opinionated accounts attempting to add weakly referenced negative content about living people. You are losing focus again - if you want to add something reference it correctly - stop your attacking accusatory focus on me. Off2riorob (talk) 09:17, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia at it's worst is inaccurate information on articles (added or omitted), blocked by one or two editors who either have agendas or who don't know about the subject. Certain editors obstruct adding balance to an article by endlessly citing Wikipedia rules and aggressively threatening other editors. Foer's book is credible in every way, as is Tammet's old website, which directly contradicts the Wikipedia page. You are the only person out of five or more Wikipedia editors on this talk page who objects to making the article balanced, and you haven't read the book. Bill121212 (talk) 06:40, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
This is endless...please if you want to add anything regarding claims in regard to these claims, just be a bit clearer, explain what you want to add, cite the reference and the page and the content that you are referencing and any location it is accessible so it can be assessed. That is not much to ask is it, all I see here is complaining without specifying what exactly the problem is. I also find it extremely strange that we have a bunch of claimed researchers turning up here - just keep it simple present your desired addition for discussion. Off2riorob (talk) 10:02, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
This isn't getting anywhere. The proposed sentence has already been given. It's cited from a book, and like other books this is not available online; it's widely available at bookstores and libraries and in ebook form. The part of the book discussing Tammet is in chapter 10 (most of that chapter is about him). In the book, Joshua Foer does suggest that Tammet may be using conventional mnemonic techniques. This has not been disputed by anyone (including Oughtprice who removed the sentence in question), so the above discussion isn't helping at all. To allay your suspicions about a "bunch of claimed researchers turning up", note that Ed Hubbard has been a contributor to this and many other Wikipedia articles for years.
The question at hand isn't what Foer's book says; it's whether what Foer says is notable enough and appropriate to be included in the encyclopedia, particularly in a biography of a living person; OughtPrice presented some possible reasons why it may not be. My own view, already given above, is that while it's borderline, I think it may be appropriate to mention Foer's suggestions provided that they are given an accordingly low profile in the article, and it's done in a sensitive way. This is on the grounds that it is a well known book by a professional writer, which does discuss Tammet at length and give it's own sources. I emphasise I do think it's borderline, and does need to be treated with sensitivity, so further suggestions, for example on amending the sentence, are welcome. Enchanter (talk) 19:54, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Speculation, even from a professional writer, should not be inserted into a living person biography page - even more so when it is denied by the individual concerned and represents a tiny minority viewpoint of him (as witnessed in part by the total absence - bar a notably critical comment in the New York Times - of a single major published secondary source concerning the comments in question).
It's important to remember that living persons in the public eye will always be subjects of a certain number of theories and speculation from both professional and non-professional writers. Blogs, books, and other forms of media commentary, give these views an airing from time to time. The encyclopedia's role differs: to summarise the person's life and career according to multiple major published secondary sources. Potential edits need not be treated with 'sensitivity' but only by these rules that hold for all encyclopedic articles.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 21:53, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Off2riorob continues his meticulous obstruction of information. I agree with Enchanter that the sentence has already been given. I don't think that Foer's book is borderline. The information in the book is referenced, and Tammet's old website confirms that the statement is true. Bill121212 (talk) 07:55, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
It seems you are mistaken about my position, my main interest here has been to stabilize the article which has been a revert to and fro situation for quite a while and it is tiresome to be constantly personally focused on by you Bill as if I am the problem. I am only interested in a correct addition without assertions and two plus two type original research - I have boldly added this which seems a reasonable addition although primary cited, better if you have a secondary report but for such a simple addition it seems fine. - In his book Moonwalking with Einstein,Joshua Foer suggests that study of conventional mnemonic approaches has played an role in Tammet's feats of memory.[1]Off2riorob (talk) 10:03, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. The article is now more balanced. The reason I was focusing on you is because you were creating obstacles to a simple, credible citation that doesn't even say anything about Tammet that he hasn't said himself. Bill121212 (talk) 10:48, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I would leave it at that, but now Oughtprice99 is editing the page to downplay the link. His addition is really stretching what a single book reviewer wrote. If we are going to have another edit war, I'm going to propose that a link to Tammet's old website also be added, because his own words contradict the Wikipedia page. Bill121212 (talk) 12:46, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I quite like the rebuttal added by Outright. I like to add both sides of a story and that looks like a decent rebuttal imo. Off2riorob (talk) 12:53, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Each objection to published facts that you make looks more suspicious. But it's fine to keep it as long as it's accurate. Bill121212 (talk) 13:20, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. No one is downplaying anything. Compromise goes both ways. If a contentious poorly-sourced claim is added to a living person biography page, the very least is to provide balance: in this case from the speculating writer's own book (during the conclusion of the chapter in question) and the sole review - a major published secondary source from an important figure in psychology - that treats Foer's speculation at all, and then negatively (which should tell us all we need to know about its actual notability). Oughtprice99 (talk) 16:51, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Like I said: this is Wikipedia at its worst. You are removing a citation of Tammet's old website that proves that the Wikipedia page in its current form is wrong. The NY Times review was written by an expert on dog psychology. Bill121212 (talk) 19:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I didn't add the link to the old website back, but I changed it back to Rob's less-biased wording and clarified why she called it inexplicable. Bill121212 (talk) 19:29, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
"Alexandra Horowitz teaches psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University. She earned her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California at San Diego, and has studied the cognition of humans, rhinoceros, bonobos, and dogs." http://insideofadog.com/author.php It's relevant that Horowitz is a psychologist and not simply a reviewer.
Horowitz does call Foer's speculation a "misstep" - one of several in the book, but the one that is relevant to this article. It's noteworthy coming from such an authority, especially when it's the only comment on the book that has appeared in a major published secondary source.
Finally, Foer's chapter attempts balance by agreeing that Tammet meets the medical criteria for savant syndrome. It's important that any comment drawn from the book reflects this balance.
Oughtprice99 (talk) 19:49, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
You are exaggerating the meaning of her words. Bill121212 (talk) 08:09, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Chiming in as another Moonwalking.. reader who wondered how Tammet would be covered in wikipedia, I find the laser-beam focus on single comment in a book review to be really bizarre. Rickterp (talk) 14:55, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Here's Horowitz's paragraph in full (note that this is the only comment she - or any other major published secondary source writer - makes on the speculation):

"Irregular images aside, Foer's missteps are few. Discussing the neurological underpinnings of memory, he repeats some commonly held myths about it, for instance, that obscure facts -- where I celebrated my seventh birthday -- are lurking somewhere in my brain, waiting for the right cue to pop back into consciousness. In fact, not only are many such memories lost for good, even the memories we do have are often quasi-fictionalized reconstructions. Foer inexplicably devotes space to attempting to convince the reader that Daniel Tammet, a renowned savant who memorized 22,514 digits of pi, may not actually be doing it naturally, but only by using the same kind of mnemonic aids used by Foer and his fellow competitors (would it matter?). And at times he seems to have lost some perspective on his endeavor, as when he states, without apparent irony, that the Memory Championship, begun as a one-day contest 20 years ago, has now expanded to fill an entire weekend.

Note that the line comes right at the start of the paragraph - meaning that it applies to all that follows. This is confirmed by the use of plural 'missteps' with an 's'.

Horowitz chooses to preface her comments on the book's speculation with 'missteps', so it's important to add it to any summary of them.

Finally, when Horowitz says 'would it matter?' she refers to Tammet's savantism: 'a renowned savant'. As Foer himself concedes in his book, Tammet meets the medical criteria for savant syndrome. It does rather make all his speculation "inexplicable" as Horowitz points out. Oughtprice99 (talk) 10:36, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a page number for the passage where Foer says, "Tammet meets the medical criteria for savant syndrome?" Bill121212 (talk) 21:11, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is the passage, from page 194:

“In his book Extraordinary People, Treffert defines savant syndrome as “an exceedingly rare condition in which persons with serious mental handicaps…have spectacular islands of ability or brilliance which stand in stark, markedly incongruous contrast to the handicap.” According to that definition, the question of whether Daniel uses memory techniques would be irrelevant to whether he is a savant. All that matters is that he has a history of a developmental disability and can perform phenomenal mental feats. According to Treffert’s definition, Daniel would indeed be a prodigious savant, albeit one whose disability is less pronounced."

Dr. Darold Treffert, it should be noted, is "the leading researcher in the study of savant syndrome" (according to Wikipedia's article of the condition). His definition is the standard for diagnosis.

I will edit the article's text to quote Foer's words directly. Oughtprice99 (talk) 07:53, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:RS to support addition

<ref name="Moonwalking">Joshua Foer: Moonwalking with Einstein, Penguin Press 2011,</ref>

Question

If he was really fluent and impressive in Icelandic, why doesn't the Icelandic page exist for him? Isn't he famous there? Also, how about mentioning psychic carrer? and memo[22][23]--211.5.25.103 (talk) 10:47, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Was it fraud[24]? Is this him[25][26]? Really has a medical licence?--211.5.12.49 (talk) 03:31, 1 September 2011 (UTC)[27]--211.5.25.181 (talk) 11:41, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

People can study a language without being notable in the corresponding culture - Latin, to give an extreme example ! Although IIRC no-one speaks Latin, so that may be a poor example. The principle stands.
"He learned conversational Icelandic in one week"
may never have been there ? Not likely to have become notable.
--195.137.93.171 (talk) 02:00, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
He was interviewed in an Icelandic TV.--211.5.14.12 (talk) 11:39, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Memo[28]--210.196.13.171 (talk) 10:16, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Please explain what this link is supposed to be, it does not work for me and if there is no context I plan to remove it from this talk page shortly. -- (talk) 10:26, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh!You have joined discussion without reading Foer's book. Daniel Andersson is Mr Tammet, which he himself (reluctantly) adimitted.--210.196.13.171 (talk) 11:16, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
What I see is an unexplained commercial link to a yasni.co.uk people search page (overloaded with advertizing) that in theory might provide random search results for the text "Daniel Andersson" but after several attempts at trying to load this page in my browser (the last attempt running for over 10 minutes) displays no content whatsoever. This appears to be giving a false impression of providing a link to information that might justify a claim about a living person. If a meaningful context is not given soon, I shall delete these revisions on the basis that this appears to be the result of anonymous IP accounts using the discussion page to support a BLP violation. -- (talk) 12:42, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
210.196.13.171's link was broken, but I was able to load it with the link at the top. Here is a direct link to the content.[29] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bill121212 (talkcontribs) 17:39, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Foer's book (Moonwalking with Einstein)(p.192). Foer presents evidential document implicating that Tammet worked as pyschic. Tammet admits pretending to possess pyschic ability for financial gain. User 210 sharing Foer's evidence. Go to following links:

Talk pages are not a forum. So far listed are apparently illegally reproduced copyrighted text on scribd.com and a link to a google group forum; neither of which am I going to waste time looking at. I propose to remove this thread within 24 hours on the basis that none of this appears to propose anything helpful for article improvement and still appears to be a BLP violation as per my earlier comment. -- (talk) 18:53, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

You had problems opening link. Simply informed you how to open link. Also provided book link (presumed ebook version) which details aforementioned undisputed fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.130.236 (talk) 20:12, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

With my PC, the link above opens promptly, without any additional click. And mail account Danielius is Mr Tammet. It is a pity someone who does not take time to read relevant books or material forcefully joins discussion.--211.5.11.51 (talk) 02:44, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

That link may be replaced by [30]. If you think reading Foer's book is waste of time, please do not touch this article. If you want to join, buy a copy or go to a library.--211.5.11.51 (talk) 02:50, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Posts on google groups are not a reliable source and should not be used as evidence for anything controversial on a biographic article. Equally, links to search pages are also not a reliable source. I have given no opinion on Foer's book or said whether I have read it or not. I will raise this talk page up for an independent review rather than take direct action. (talk) 05:46, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Re. Tammet's work experience as psychic

Tammet's own admission to working as psychic stated in Foer's book (Moonwalking with Einstein, p.192). Note, book previously accepted as reliable source. Think User 211 wants reliably-sourced fact edited in article. Yes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.86.79 (talk) 16:14, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

All the links were safely copied to the previously mentioned blog. But don't make that a battleground.--211.5.9.108 (talk) 11:18, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Pi Record?

http://www.pi-world-ranking-list.com/lists/details/tammet.html Please explain?

This is news to me. It may be true that there was an error someplace in the recitation, even though he recited 22,514 digits. We should check this carefully (see WP:BLP), as many references cite the 22,514 number. Edhubbard (talk) 15:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
This article seems to utterly contradict what's claimed at the first link I gave, but what's the source of the info about Tammet Pi recitation? - it's in a US newspaper and the record was supposed to have been done in the UK: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/garden/15savant.html The NYTimes article includes a claim that the recitation was monitored by people from "Oxford Brookes University", which is apparently a real university in Oxford, UK, but not the well-known University of Oxford, while a page that looks like it is from the University of Oxford verifies that it all happened at a museum which is also a department of University of Oxford. I guess it's not impossible, but it's a mite confusing. http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2004/040315_1.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.231.124 (talk) 16:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
The sources are the ones currently in the article as 17 and 18: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2004/040315_1.html, http://pi-world-ranking-list.com/lists/memo/index.html. In addition, you can search for the "BrainMan" documentary, which had a camera crew there rolling the whole time (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4913196365903075662, starting at 4:55). During the filming, there was no one that stood up and said, "this is an error". So, if we assume that all of the sources are reporting to the best of their knowledge, this error went uncaught for some time years. However, the website you've listed above is the only one saying this, so we'll probably need some additional confirmation of this (see WP:RS and WP:BLP). Edhubbard (talk) 16:16, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I've seen the Brainman documentary myself, and no way in the world are solid, uninterrupted hours of reciting Pi shown in the doco, and I'd never assume that any filmakers will automatically report every aspect of an event depicted in a doco. This was an event held for charity - hence a certain pressure on all for it to be a success, thus there could have been a motivation to overlook rules. Perhaps we need to ask if there is a difference between a serious record attempt within a set of established rules, and a less formal event done for charity, science or entertainment with less stringent rules. Is there an established body or organization who overlook record attempts? I've noticed that in one media story about Tammet that mentioned the Pi recitation, the journalist stood out as a better investigator for telling the reader about Tammet's change of surname, and he also did not himself state the number 22,514 as the number for the European record, but left this number to be given in a quote from Tammet, while himself mentioning 22,514 as the number of places simply recounted by Tammet. Evasion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.231.124 (talk) 03:29, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Everything I've seen suggests that this was a serious, verified record attempt. In particular, as noted in the references and in the video, there were at least two checkers there (maybe even three or more), verifying that Tammett was reciting pi correctly, which according to the only website that seems to be tracking this, is what they require for an official record attempt ([31]). The video does show conspicuous failures when Tammett was in Las Vegas, so I don't think it's so far-fetched that they would have mentioned it if he had failed. Similarly, the press releases, for example, from Oxford and in the New York Times and other places wouldn't have come out if someone had stood up *at the time* and said that there was an error. Major outlets, like the NYT, and so on have a duty to get it right, and so have fact checkers. This why we here in wikipedia count NYT times and other major papers as WP:RS. But, if this source is correct that there was an error that was identified after the attempt, we should be able to find other sources for it too. Edhubbard (talk) 03:45, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Oops! Forgot to give link to last article mentioned: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2005/feb/12/weekend7.weekend2 This press article by Richard Johnson from The Guardian stands out among all the articles by jouros and also science journal papers by academics as the only one as far back as 2005 which noted that Tammet had changed his surname, which it turns out was a major clue relevant to Tammet's past. I could cite a number of later papers by academics who studied Tammet who appeared to be blissfully unaware of Tammet's name change and past life as a memory champion, so it is not true that articles in well-known papers or even papers by academics are infallible or even slightly investigative.

I noticed that Dominic O'Brien (memory champ?) was in the credits of the Brainman documentary. Was he present during the Pi event? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.231.124 (talk) 04:34, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Quote from Tammet in US radio interview in 2007: "Pi is one of my favorite numbers. I devote a chapter in the book to it. I have a peculiar claim to fame with the number pi. I hold the European record for reciting the number pi to 22,514 decimal places at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford in 2004 on pi day - 3/14 - March 14th. And it took five hours to recite from start to finish. There were mathematicians to check the digits to make sure that I was accurate." http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=6860157 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.231.124 (talk) 15:20, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Here is relevant (maybe your) blog--211.5.11.43 (talk) 10:54, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Here's an interesting bit of info - way back in 2001 Daniel Tammet contacted Karen Ammond from the publicity and marketing firm KBC Media with the aim of having his interests represented. This was the same year that Tammet changed his name, 3 years before Tammet's Pi feat and 6 years before he was a study subject featured in a number of journal papers. Tammet was just a naive autistic boy with inexplicable abilities? I think not. Tammet is case study number 5 here: http://www.kbcmedia.com/ Ammond was an Associate Producer of the documentary Brainman: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447877/fullcredits I'd say she could well have experienced a conflict of interests as Tammet's commercial agent and also a co-creator of a doco that is held up as an impartial record of events. Baron-Cohen and Darold Treffert appear as themselves in the documentary - HA HA HA! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 15:45, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Need for a Wikipedia page about the Brainman / The Boy With the Incredible Brain documentary

I've not been able to find any Wikipedia page devoted to this controversial documentary alone. It was the launching pad for Daniel Tammet's career and has also been the subject of claims that it was deceptive ( http://myreckonings.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/LightningCalculators/lightningcalculators ) and could have had an error in Tammet's recounting of Pi edited out of it, and had as an Assocate Producer Karen Ammond from the marketing and publicity firm KBC Media which was also Tammet's PR firm ( http://www.kbcmedia.com/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447877/fullcredits#cast ), and despite all this was nominated for a BAFTA Award and won some other big award, and has been referred to as a serious record of a scientific phenomenon by researchers. These are reasons enough to justify giving the doco a page, as there are many questions about it, and it has been very influential in the world of science and pop psychology. There is also much confusion about the two different versions of the doco under different titles for different countries. Apparently they are not exactly the same, and I've seen conflicting info about the producers and directors for each title.

Trained Mnemonist - Yes/No?

There appears to be verifiable evidence Tammet is a trained mnemonist.

  • Wayback Machine (which archives snapshots of website content) evidences (from Tammet's own early website in 2001) Tammet studied and used mnemonic memory techniques, and sold a course based on mnemonic memory techniques.

Source: [32] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.61.121 (talk) 18:44, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

E.Hubbard (Scientist: U.C. San Diego lab) tested Tammet. E.Hubbard confirmed Tammet passed the tests, but remarked "it is possible (indeed probable) that he (Tammet) is using strategies." (See statements above by author of study). S.Azoulai, researcher (referred to by E.Hubbard as, "the least skeptical" in the team), noted in a particular memorization of numbers test, the results were expressed in a manipulated form, quote "his (Tammet's) answers were written down in pairs, which means he was almost definitely using some memory tricks." (See statements above).— Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.118.84 (talkcontribs)

Where was this test documented? You added these quotes to the article, but only provided a "Statements specifically authored by scientists in Talk Page" as your source. A Wikipedia talk page obviously isn't a reliable source, we should cite the document you're quoting. --McGeddon (talk) 16:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
E.Hubbard's comments, along with a long discussion critical of the Wikipedia article, were deleted by Off2riorob. Here is a link to the deleted information. Bill121212 (talk) 00:48, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Reminder of Wikipedia's rules regarding Living Persons Biographical articles

I see one or two 'conspiracy theorists' have (once again?) taken to obsessively editing this article to their point of view. Please note Wikipedia's strict rules regarding living persons biographical articles:

No original research No_original_research

In particular: "Any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources" and "Even with well-sourced material, if you use it out of context, or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source, you are engaging in original research."

Foer's chapter specifically discounts the likelihood that Tammet has 'faked' anything:

"If Daniel had concocted his story of being a natural savant, it would have required a degree of mendacity that I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe he possessed"(Page 189).

Foer equally disavows any of the certainty that a few here like to attribute to him:

"The one thing I know I can say for certain about him (Tammet) is that he is exceptionally bright” (page 193).

In fact, no reliable published source has specifically claimed that Tammet has lied or faked (very serious allegations, with potentially important legal and other consequences) at all.

Similarly, 'conspiracy theorist' claims about documentary makers faking scenes, or media reports lying about Tammet's Pi performance etc. clearly also constitute original research.

Neutral Point of View

"This policy is non-negotiable and all editors and articles must follow it" and "Ensure that the reporting of different views on a subject adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity, or give undue weight to a particular view."

Foer's perspective represents a tiny minority viewpoint, alone among the hundreds of reliable sources in published media and the scientific community. To dedicate an entire section of the article to Foer's claims would seriously distort the article's balance, in contravention of Wikipedia's rules.

Wikipedia is not a forum

"Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advertising and showcasing. This applies to articles, categories, templates, talk page discussions, and user pages" and:

"Scandal mongering, something "heard through the grapevine" or gossip. Articles and content about living people are required to meet an especially high standard, as they may otherwise be libellous or infringe the subjects' right to privacy. Articles should not be written purely to attack the reputation of another person".

Wikipedia is not a democracy

"Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy or any other political system. Its primary, but not exclusive, method of determining consensus is through editing and discussion, not voting."

Oughtprice99 (talk) 08:20, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Oughtprice99. Contributions history 100% on Tammet. Aprrox. 60 edits in article. Incessant removal of verifiably sourced material. Suspicious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.118.41 (talk) 20:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Many people told you to sign at the end, but you do not conform. If you do not respect the rules, you are not welcome.--119.173.188.106 (talk) 06:43, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Someone who forgets to sign their comments is still welcome. Editors should comment on the content, not on the contributor, though. "I think this guy is suspicious!" is not a useful rebuttal of the points he makes. --McGeddon (talk) 09:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Fæ said, "If you believe there is conflict of interest, please raise it for review at WP:COIN." Bill121212 (talk) 00:53, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Erroneous Statements

Above statements by Oughtprice99 are incorrect.

  • Foer (former US Memory Champion) does suspect Tammet is feigning ability. Read (Moonwalking with Einstein) p.188-193. Amalgamation of points: Foer remains skeptical/doubtful.
  • Reliable published sources do exist detailing speculation of trickery. In his book, Ronald Doerfler believes Tammet uses memorization of 1/97 to recite answer to division sum. (Parlour trick known in math circles - Prof. Aitken previously performed division trick).

Request aforementioned user to refrain from cherry-picking and distortion. Discord with several users is inhibiting an effort to balance article. Conflict of interest is evident. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.91.84 (talk) 18:37, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Fæ is complaining to wiki admins about people using anonymous IP addresses on this article. It would be better to create an account and login before criticizing the article. It's interesting that Off2riorob deleted a huge section of this talk page on the some day that the review of the talk page was requested. Bill121212 (talk) 19:28, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I raised the issue of this page having poorly sourced potential BLP violations on BLPN at Wikipedia:BLPN#Daniel_Tammet for independent review. This is not the same thing as asking for admin intervention and although I have mentioned that these issues seem to be related to the use of anon IPs, this is not the same as complaining that anon IPs are contributing here. It is, however, self evident that if the same person is using different anon IPs on a discussion page, it becomes rapidly confusing to follow connected discussions. I have not reviewed Off2riorob's recent actions. -- (talk) 19:43, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I believe Rob archived older discussions. I don't think he deleted anything.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:50, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for the choice of words. "Hid" is a better description. We are still actively discussing that content. Off2riorob said he didn't read the book in question, so he shouldn't be blocking additions to the page. There are two sources that should be added to the wiki page: Tammet's old archived website and Moonwalking with Einstein. There is no reason not to add them, and the only two users blocking it are Oughtprice99 and Off2riorob. Most everyone else is for their addition. See the content that Off2riorob removed. Bill121212 (talk) 22:13, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Tammet admits working as psychic in Foer's book. Foer's book (Moonwalking with Einstein) is reliable source. Request user support to submit reliably-sourced fact (which Tammet himself does not deny). BLP violation is not applicable here.188.29.135.220 (talk) 17:14, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

I think your version was good and this revert was unjustifiable.--210.196.10.252 (talk) 02:42, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

BTW it is a shame that Fae tries to deemphasize the importance of the bestseller. Everyone please look here.--210.196.10.252 (talk) 04:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Relevant point--211.5.18.119 (talk) 03:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

See this, Mr IP, you can summarize Foer's findings, and this is not valdalism. Mr Tammet, you are still a marvellous person. You can seek a different career.--211.5.24.21 (talk) 02:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit protection

Due to the recent edit war on this article and in consideration of an apparent history of previous disputes on similar lines, I have fully protected it for a week. Please use {{editprotected}} to propose and discuss changes and take note of The three-revert rule which has already been broken. -- (talk) 16:14, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Mention of Tammet's 2001 old website in article

In Tammet’s own website from 2001, he states during school using “these tried-and-tested techniques” to improve exam performance. [2] Reliably sourced and exact.188.29.13.109 (talk) 16:26, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Problem with link? Go to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php then next to “Take Me Back’ button enter http://www.danieltammet.com click on “2001” bar then click “3 May” then click “About Me.”188.29.13.109 (talk) 17:18, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

There is justification to mention in the article that Tammet launched a website in 2001. For reasons of accuracy and balance there is justification to mention that Tammet previously (during school) used "tried-and-tested techniques" to improve exam performance.188.29.13.109 (talk) 17:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

As mentioned in the article, and scores of published secondary sources, the website belonging to Tammet is called Optimnem and did not appear online before 2002.

User 188.29.13.109’s cited primary source is a long defunct webpage, the owner and author of which has/have not been confirmed.

Furthermore, the sole secondary source to mention the webpage is Foer’s book, whose (minority) perspective has already been included in the article following much discussion and eventual consensus between editors.

The possibility that Tammet uses or has used mnemonic strategies (of whatever nature) is also already stated in the article, including a link to Wikipedia’s ‘Method of Loci’ article.

User 188.29.13.109 has repeatedly attempted a number of poorly sourced and contentious edits to this article over a period of several days, without once seeking consensus, deleting a talk page thread, and ignoring other editors’ comments.

Finally, Wikipedia’s rules are clear that living persons biography articles should be edited conservatively. Poorly sourced and contentious claims are always to be avoided.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 18:06, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Erroneous claim. Admin advice was sought prior to the recent well-sourced edit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.216.124 (talk) 10:30, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Foer's perspective is a "minority" perspective? I bet his/our skeptical perspective wouldn't be seen as a fringe view if we had a top American PR firm selling our story. I've been able to find many media stories supposedly written by journalists about Tammet, and most of them fail to mention important facts about Tammet, including his name change and anything that happened in his life that wasn't written about in his autobiographies. I've found media reports of his Pi recounting that don't even give an exact number for how many decimal places he got to. I've also found some journal papers about Tammet that are full of methodological flaws, questionable and unsupported assertions and important omissions. I've found a relationship between Tammet and a supposed scientist/clinician in which the two write nice forewords for each other's books. A big pile of slovenly and sycophantic press articles, some bad science and two autobiographies that only tell a portion of the story doesn't represent a majority view, it just represents very good media management and partnerships with some scientists who don't deserve to be described as such. I'm insulted by characterizations of the skeptical view as conspiracy theories. I'm sure that I am not the only interested person who has always held a degree of skepticism towards Tammet's story, even though I am myself a synaesthete. Believing the official story as told in Tammet's books is the more outlandish view which violates Occam's razor, requiring a high degree of credulity. The findings of the journal paper about Tammet published in 2007 in Neurocase can only be reconciled with Tammet's self-description as a synaesthete with mysterious untrained abilities by special pleading, that Tammet is some special type of synaesthete whose brain scan does not conform to expectations about brain scans typical of synaesthetes. There's nothing odd or eccentric in expressing skepticism about such a paper. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 18:06, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Talk of libel is silly. Verifiable facts mentioned only. Something serious: Embedded point legitimate to mention given its importance (i.e. Tammet admits use of “tried-and-tested” memory techniques in his earlier website). Note: No quotation from Joshua Foer’s findings. Edit is imbalanced.

Suggestion: In his book Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer speculates that study of conventional mnemonic approaches has played a role in Tammet's feats of memory, citing contents from Tammet’s old website. However, in a review of his book for The New York Times, psychologist Alexandra Horowitz described Foer's speculation as among the book's few "missteps", questioning whether it would matter if Tammet had used such strategies or not. (Add references)

Regarding Manti (unpublished/unverifiable). Represents tiny point within Tammet’s work. Superfluous in article. Suggest removal and put the following sentence alongside edit which mentions language ability.

Suggestion: Tammet has invented his own constructed language called Manti, which uses vocabulary and grammar from the Finnic group of languages.188.28.83.176 (talk) 20:57, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Interesting points User 124.150.32.120. Thanks. Can you provide source regarding Tammet's brain scan which does not show interaction with areas of the brain responsible for sensation of colour. Post here. Fact should be represented in article.188.28.83.176 (talk) 21:20, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I already did provide the necessary info! As I already stated, it is in the Neurocase paper which is behind a paywall. In brain scanning they found evidence that Tammet was using chunking, a technique of trained memory experts, and they found a lack of activation of areas of the brain associated with colour-grapheme synaesthesia: “Given the earlier fMRI study of synaesthesia had found extra-striate activation, using the same contrast we also specifically examined visual regions that corresponded to DT’s extra-modal percepts of colour, form, shape and texture. Neither the V4 ROI taken from Nunn et al. (2002), nor the anatomically defined visual ROIs showed any significant activation (all p>.1).” (p.315) Bor, D, Billington, J, Baron-Cohen, S. (2007) Savant memory for digits in a case of synaesthesia and Asperger syndrome is related to hyperactivity in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Neurocase. 2007 Oct;13(5):311-9. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/psych/nncs http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a791809555 I'd like to make it clear that is not "original research"! I am doing nothing more than restating what is clearly in this paper which was published in a supposedly reputable science journal. I did not conduct this study myself and my name is not among those of authors of this paper. I have quoted the words of researchers. I have not made up these quotes. Feel free to verify the info given by me yourself. you will need to either buy the paper or access it thru an academic library. Wikipedia's rule about "no original research" has the effect of reinforcing the elitist power structures that are in our society, often at the expense of the pursuit of the truth. Wikipedia very questionably regards just about anything published in print or written by an academic as credible, even if it logically contradicts other sources, while at the same time discounting people like me who base arguments or quote directly from published sources that are not readily accessible thru the internet. Over all the years that I have been scrutinizing the Wikipedia, I have seen huge discrepancies between the quality of materials that have been accepted by the Wikipedia as sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 05:13, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Who talked of libel? I only pointed out the gravity of your claims that Tammet is a 'liar' and 'faker' etc. Your suggestion: "Tammet admits use of "tried-and-tested" memory techniques in his earlier website" requires a high level of evidence. Here's why:

  • "Tammet admits..." The verb is loaded, so let's change it to the more neutral "Tammet states..." But the only primary source for this 'admission' or 'statement' is a long defunct webpage of uncertain origin (name misspelled, no copyright notice, etc.). The only website belonging to Tammet for which there are multiple reliable published secondary sources is Optimnem.co.uk which went online in 2002.
  • "...use of "tried-and-tested memory techniques..." This very precise claim counts as an extraordinary claim, seeing as no published secondary source (with the exception of Foer's contentious claims) has ever mentioned these techniques, beyond Tammet's synesthetic descriptions of colored words and numbers etc. Wikipedia's rules for living persons biographies require that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, i.e. multiple reliable published secondary sources.
  • "in his earlier website" Again, this precise claim counts as extraordinary. No mention of it beyond Foer's claims which are contentious (and are disputed by Tammet in the same chapter of the book). Wikipedia's rules for living persons biographies require that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, i.e. multiple reliable published secondary sources.

As for Manti, Tammet talks about it in both of his published works. Multiple reliable published secondary sources describe it. I don't see any reason for cutting it.

Finally, please bear in mind that Foer's book - from which you cite heavily - represents one journalist's personal and subjective point of view regarding Tammet. In the same book, Foer says that he can be certain of nothing that he says about Tammet except that he believes him to be extremely bright. The consensus among editors here was that Foer's minority perspective should be included, but only very briefly and with caveats (see earlier discussions above). No new published reliable secondary sources have emerged since book's publication to alter that consensus. Cherry-picking quotes from the book is not appropriate for editing a living person biography article.

As for the claims of 124.150.32.120 (AKA 'Lili Marlene'), refer to Wikipedia's rules regarding original research and fringe theories.

If one of Tammet's brain scans "did not show interaction with areas of the brain responsible for sensation of colour" (User 188.28.83.176) it's because the researchers conclude based on their findings that Tammet "has an unusual and more abstract and conceptual form of synaesthesia" (quote from study). The idea that synesthetes' brains always show interaction with colour areas of brain is plain wrong. Take the abstract of this 2011 study for example:

"We observed no activation of ‘colour areas’ by graphemes in ten synaesthetes, whatever the strength of their synaesthetic associations, and no structural difference between synaesthetes and twenty-five control subjects in the ‘colour regions’. The localizationist conception of visual processing is therefore too simplistic to account for the synaesthetic experience, and further research should look for distributed correlates of synaesthetic colours...The key to synaesthetic colour experience might not lie in the colour system, but may be related to the complex construction of meaning by the brain, involving not only perception, but language, memory and emotion." (http://www.perceptionweb.com/abstract.cgi?id=v110285)

Oughtprice99 (talk) 09:24, 8 November 2011 (UTC) You've managed to dig up a single-author paper by an author who I've never heard of, (and I have read a lot of the research in the area of synaesthesia), which goes against the general consensus of researchers in the area of grapheme-colour synaesthesia. Is there soome kind of prize for this type of trick? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 18:42, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Lack of balance in reporting of face memory testing and ability of Tammet

The article as it stands today mentions that Tammet's face memory ability was tested by Baron-Cohen and team (using an unnamed test) and found to be impaired, but it fails to mention that Tammet's face memory ability was also tested by Maguire, Valentine et al in their study of World Memory Championship participants, and I found nothing in that paper to suggest that there was a member of the group of subjects who had impaired face memory. One also needs to consider that Tammet reportedly got a gold medal in a World Memory Championship event titled "names and faces", and also two early press stories claiming that Tammet has face memory consistent with "super-recognizer" ability. At least one of these conflicting reports must be untrue. A careful reading of Tammet's first autobiography also provides reason to feel skepticism about Tammet's claims that he has a face recognition impairment. Would a prosopagnosic use the phrase "a familiar face" to describe an old friend? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 18:34, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

The Maguire study was a group study, looking for characteristics common to the participants rather than any individual differences (that's what individual studies are for).

The 'names and faces' event: The names could have served as a trigger for each photo. The Baron-Cohen test used only photos of faces.

The press stories you refer to were from British tabloids and would not be considered reliable sources.

No source (including Foer) suggests Tammet has ever been diagnosed with prosopagnosia.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 09:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

"The 'names and faces' event: The names could have served as a trigger for each photo." Trigger for what? A person who has prosopagnosia, which is the proper term for what Tammet has claimed to have a number of times, has no memory of faces to trigger. Tammet may not have been explicitly given the label of prosopagnosia, but in the Journal of Consciousness paper of 2007 Baron-Cohen et al wrote of Tammet after testing "...his face memory appears impaired...” and Tammet has clearly claimed to have serious problems with recognizing faces in his second autobiography "In my own case, I have great difficulty remembering faces, even those of people I have known for many years.", hinted at face memory issue on the Australian 60 Minutes show in 2007 and claimed to be impaired in recognizing people on the US 60 Minutes show in 2009. My point is that Tammet himself has claimed, post-first autobiography, to have big face memory problems, in stark contrast with earlier accounts of his face memory performance, including some text from his first autobiography. There are so many vast inconsistencies to find, if one bothers to look.

I hope everyone realizes that importance of Tammet's genuineness for all of the many conditions that he claims to have. As a case study he has become thoroughly embedded in the scientific literature, in many published science journal papers and apparently also some textbooks, and has also made a huge impact on the popular understanding of psychology. If he is not genuine, this is a huge problem for psychology, and a huge embarassment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talk) 18:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with 124.150.32.120. This article is Wikipedia at its worst. Bill121212 (talk) 00:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Consensus process?

Hi, I see only two people in these discussions, so far, with little sense of consensus. If others have not spontaneously come forward, perhaps asking for a third opinion using Third opinion or expressing a neutral question for wider community comment using Requests for comment might provide useful alternative views and proposals? Thanks (talk) 14:00, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

There seem to be 3, not 2. IP 188.... and 124....(shifting) seem to be different.--210.196.9.19 (talk) 02:25, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, I see IPs in Australia, the UK and Japan so it is fair to assume these are different folks even if some may use dynamic IPs. -- (talk) 09:58, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Fae. Believe first title in talk page re-edited recently. Was titled 'disputed claims'. Opening lines recently added and user's whole original posting removed. Please check.188.29.61.207 (talk) 12:16, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

don't worry, that safely remains. just click Archive 1.--211.5.11.221 (talk) 02:46, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Andreas Brekken's edit and following edits still missing (see Archive). Inserting edits/deleting threads is strictlly forbidden and contrary to Wikipedia's rules.188.28.215.91 (talk) 12:19, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

The article protection has expired. As I was asked, I have now looked through the archive and the discussions here. My opinion on the archive of danieltammet.com as a source is that it is a poor site on which to single-source information in a BLP. The same archived page claims he is a "leading authority on Mindpower", and I doubt that anyone would want that added to the article. If the information is to be re-added it would need more than an old archive of a now non-existent self promotional website. Sources for biographies of living people need to be of good quality and contentious information would require multiple quality sources. If this contentious information is re-added without a demonstrable consensus here first, it may be entirely legitimate for any editor to remove it; see WP:BLPREMOVE for the specific policy.
Warnings for previous edit-warring were given, please take careful note of the WP:3RR policy and make good use of this talk page instead in line with WP:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. If discussion here is reaching a dead end, you may find WP:BLPN helpful. Thanks (talk) 14:56, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Request re-think. Claim: International web archiver, Wayback Machine (which simply captures website content) is not a reliable source for Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.61.71 (talk) 17:02, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Consider that Oughtprice99 may be Tammet. Wayback Machine records webpages, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it as a source. Tammet's own website is a very reliable source. It just happens to be available on the Wayback Machine. Many people have tried to add links to it, but Oughtprice99 blocks it. Bill121212 (talk) 00:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Such speculation as to the identity of editors is unlikely to be helpful and may be seen as harassment. If you believe there is conflict of interest, please raise it for review at WP:COIN. Thanks -- (talk) 00:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Dual roles of Karen Ammond and KBC Media need to be mentioned in this article

Karen Ammond from the PR firm KBC Media which Tammet has, by KBC Media's own account, been represented by since 2001, was also an Associate Producer of the documentary Brainman that arguably launched Tammet's career and reputation in the worlds of science and also in the popular eye. This is a potential conflict of interest, and it also goes against what the man in the street would expect from a documentary. Documentaries are generally understood to represent a non-commercial and non-fictional treatment of a subject. Science documentaries are definitely not expected to be creations of a PR person or to act as promotional vehicles. It has been many years since I bothered to actually edit Wikipedia, so don't look to me to do this work, but I'm mentioning it here for at least some readers to see. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talkcontribs)

I agree that it should be mentioned in the article. It's obvious that this Wikipedia page is missing a lot of important information. Bill121212 (talk) 00:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

More complete account of research done on Tammet please

I see no mention of the old study of Tammet done by Ramachandran, Azouli et al which included the appropriately cautious statement "As in all cases like this we need to consider the fact that Arithmos may be performing almost of his ‘mental feats’ via pure memorization.", or the other documented research studies done by Gary Morgan and Neil Smith, or the recent book in which some of this research is described, co-authored by Ianthi Tsimpli, Bencie Woll, Morgan and Smith. I think readers might be interested to know that in testing Tammet has been compared to another language savant. There is too much emphasis on the research done by Baron-Cohen and his colleagues. To my knowledge Tammet has never been reported as doing the state-of-the-art test of grapheme-colour synaesthesia, The Synesthesia Battery, and he has never been studied by experts in the field of face recognition and prosopagnosia. Baron-Cohen et al's inquiries in these areas were using instruments which I believe are no longer the best available tools. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.32.120 (talkcontribs)

Third Opinions Please

Anon IP 188.28/9... continues to make persistant edits to article (13 consecutive edits in a 5-hour period on 11 Dec) with as sole reference the Foer book. I kindly ask him to refrain from further edits until editors have had the chance to discuss and see what consensus can be found.

188.28/9... is attempting to reproduce one of the claims made in the book, namely that Tammet once worked as a 'psychic' and now 'regrets' having done so. I have several reservations about reproducing this claim in a BLP article:

  • Foer's perspective on Tammet is clearly hostile and minority. Previous discussions including Enchanter, off2riorob, EdHubbard (etc.) reached a consensus that Foer's perspective should be incorporated into the article in a sensitive and marginal way to avoid undue weight. The book's title, author, and viewpoint are already listed in article. Cherry picking specific claims from it in addition would appear to go against this existing editorial consensus.
  • Revisions to a BLP article typically require multiple reliable published secondary sources. For example few, if any, claims in article draw exclusively from Tammet's published works. The same principle would appear to be at least equally applicable to Foer's book, for which no such sources exist - save for a negative comment in a review by a major psychologist in the New York Times.
  • The specific claim is of a highly sensitive, contentious, and potentially defamatory nature. No other secondary source even hints at it. BLP article rules would seem to require multiple reliable published secondary sources before reproducing such a claim.

For these reasons I have undone the edit and requested page protection while discussion is underway.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 08:07, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Citation needed? I see a lot of claims that this opinion is hostile and inflamatory, but there does not seem to be a lot of evidence provided. Could someone please verify that this is clearly a minority view? This seems to be a little explored issue, and so the weight of one view in the matter is extremely hard to determine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.2.144.111 (talk) 07:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Misleading. Foer's book has been reviewed in various publications.--211.5.17.178 (talk) 11:09, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

I beleive that Foer's book is generally very well regarded by ppl who have read it. I've seen it mentioned in various places on the internet and it's recommended by many.

As good as Foer's book is, it only sparked more open discussion of issues that many ppl have had with Tammet's claims for a long time, and the most damning evidence against Tammet is provided by himself - in the countless inconsistencies between his own two books, inconsistencies between the many claims that he has made in books, websites and media interviews, inconsistencies between his claims and real events, and the many inconsistencies between what he has achieved and done in his past and his post-name-change claims about his own life and abilities.

I love the hypocrisy of the wikipedia - one time we are advised that Wikipedia isn't a democracy, then later we are told that the realistic and broadly-based view of Tammet should be given less coverage because it is a minority view, and the viewpoint of many different groups and individuals who disbelieve the official Tammet story is dismissed repeatedly as fringe and conspiracy theory. Numbers shouldn't matter - the truth should matter above all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.206.44.152 (talk) 16:48, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Checking the talk page and biographies noticeboard, there is an established consensus to mention Tammet's psychic work. Tammet openly discussed his work experience as a paid psychic in Joshua Foer's book (2011), "Moonwalking with Einstein". This fact is in the public domain. Foer's book is an international best seller. The author is a science journalist and former US Memory Champion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.190.242 (talk) 12:12, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

No Mention of Questions About Fraud Surrounding Daniel Tammmet?

Why isn't there a section of the Wiki page that lists many memory experts debunking Daniel Tammet's claim or listing historical records of this guy that show strong evidence his claims are a fraud? Recently, Joshua Foer's book Mooonwalking With Einstein makes a compelling case for Daniel Tammet being just a hard working person who just taught himself memory techniques. If this is true, and it appears likely, Daniel Tammet's main trait is that he is a very dishonest scammer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.26.150.64 (talk) 06:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC) One thing I did not see mentioned in the discussion is the odd fact that Tammett once sold services as a psychic. One of the oddest things about this is that people with autism or even Asperger's syndrome tend to be honest to a fault, because lying is extremely complicated and requires good theory of mind (which autists, by definition, do not have). Seeing as Tammet's performances in both memorization and mental calculation are easily replicated or even surpassed by normal people who are trained memorizers/mental calculators, and Tammet's surprisingly good PR and social skills for an autist, the Occam's razor conclusion would be that it is more likely that Tammett is a bright person with excellent (self)training in memory skills, but also with some sociopathic tendencies (meaning great theory of mind, but not too much empathy/fear about being found out, which, ironically, would be the inverse of a true autist). This being wikipedia, we can't be certain about either possibility, though I think at the moment the article is unbalanced in favor of Tammet's own claims. The facts that Foer presents are too many and too consitent to be swept away in a simple sentence by a psychologist, who seems to ignore the inconvenient fact that if ordinary people can do the same as Tammet with a year or so of training, there would be no reason to assume that Tammet's mind is special outside Tammet's own claims, and what people claim themselves all of us (including psychologists) should take with a grain of salt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.10.107.164 (talk) 22:57, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Great read

Recently added (and reverted) ref is quite a good research.--211.5.16.49 (talk) 11:32, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

"Anyone can create a personal web page or pay to have a book published, and then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published media, such as books, patents, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs, Internet forum postings, and tweets, are largely not acceptable as sources. Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.[4] Take care when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have done so.[6] Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_sources

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research

Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:43, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

"Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Doerfler is established expert in field of calculating prodigies - Amazon sold book "Dead Reckoning: Calculating without Instruments" (Publisher: Gulf Publishing Company, 1993). Note, secondary remark by Doerfler refers to documentary not living person - hence argument not relevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.98.131 (talk) 09:25, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Tammet first reached public attention in 2004, 11 years after Doerfler's book was published. Your insertions appear based solely on a blog maintained by the author. Have refered matter to Wiki living persons bio articles Noticeboard. Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Mention of Doerfler's earlier book (1993) highlights his expertise in the field. Note, Martin Gardner (renowned author of Scientific America - 25 years) wrote, "no author has gone as far as Doerfler in covering methods of mental calculation". Doerfler's expertise has been praised in several reviews as well. Doerfler's later ebook (2008) is available via his website. The author makes two detailed criticisms in "Lightning Calculators". He claims to debunk Tammet's calculating ability. And, he comments on the deceptive nature of the documentary. Given the authors endorsed status as an expert in the field, the criticisms appear worthy for inclusion in the article. Opinions? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.28.190.242 (talk) 11:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

What an outdated and clearly wrong idea is the one that self-published written works should be assumed to have less quality credibility than books or articles published by some business or body independent from the author. These days bloggers break important news stories. Take a look at Wikipedia's page about self-published best-sellers. Many of the greatest names in literature self-published. How patently absurd and sad is the belief that conventionally published works automatically have some credibility. A few minutes browsing in the self-help section of any popular bookseller shop should confirm that shoddy and ridiculous rot by unqualified authors often gets published by major publishing houses and is aggressively promoted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.7.178.157 (talk) 17:32, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 26 April 2012

This page has been protected following my repeated and detailed requests to the living persons bio noticeboard. Unfortunately the current version preserves all the latest edits by the anon user in question, and which breach Wikipedia's guidelines for living person bio articles.

-A sentence lifted out of context from subject's memoir and constitutes original research. This should therefore be removed.

-User has removed referenced statement that subject 'says' he speaks ten languages (reference comes from subject's memoir). User claims the statement is not verifiable - this is original research. Previous version ought to be restored.

-User claims subject gave an interview in Icelandic for 'a few minutes' - original research. It is also inaccurate as the spoken Icelandic actually says 'next minutes' and subtitle reads 'next few minutes'. No published secondary source states interview duration.

-Final edit removes referenced statements from subject's book or blog, or other media articles that refer to these, conform to Wikipedia's guidelines. User has removed these without consensus. Please restore.

User's (long-running) pattern (under several aliases/IP addresses) of editing behavior constitutes vandalism. This is at least the third time that the article has been edit protected because of it. Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:56, 26 April 2012 (UTC)


Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:56, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

 Not done Please read WP:WRONGVERSION. mabdul 10:09, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi Mabdul, A little humor is never a bad thing!

To Wiki editors, could someone actually weigh in on the above? Would be good to establish some form of consensus. Else, I fear this new dispute will drag on pointlessly like others before it.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:30, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Ok, sorry, I want to try to explain it better. As described in WP:PREFER - a part of our protecting policy - full protection because of edit warring / a content dispute, there is never a right version. One of the parties always claims that the wrong version is the current version. As you were the only contributor here proposing that edit, I safely can cite the PREFER link: "Pages that are protected because of content disputes should not be edited except to make changes which are uncontroversial or for which there is clear consensus". So, get a consensus and especially try to settle down that discussion with that user. And keep always in mind: we have no deadline! mabdul 10:28, 27 April 2012 (UTC)


Exceptional claims of language ability need verification. There is no evidence of other languages spoken other than French, German and Icelandic. Impressive self-written claims and inconsistent claims made to the press (reported differently and reported as “can” speak) where there is no consensus and a self-claim of ability which cannot be independently verified makes for a poor edit. Put simply, anyone could claim in a self-written memoir to speak say 12 languages – it hardly makes good editing to include touted claims of grandeur absent of reported consensus and verification. To accept mention of self-made claims would reduce every Wikipedia biography to the temptation of distortion and PR filling.

My edit read, “In his memoir, talking about algebra, Tammet states not experiencing a synaesthetic response for letters.” On page 117 of “Born on a Blue Day” (publisher: Hodder and Stoughton, copyright 2006 Daniel Tammet), talking about maths/algebra in the leading sentence, Tammet (in his own self-written memoir) wrote: “I found it very difficult to use equations that substituted numbers – to which I had a synaesthetic and emotional response – for letters, to which I had none.” I trust users and admin will agree that my edit is faithfully and accurately phrased. I have rightfully restored the reliably sourced edit. That said, if admin deem the latter wording is preferable, please insert the edit on my behalf. However, I assert that Tammet's wording is written in an awkward way and for ease of understanding my version which, says exactly the same thing, is clearer. User Oughtprice99 falsely and oddly labels the edit as original research – obsessively reverted. This is clearly wrong. Also, Oughtprice99 originally complained the reproduced sentence did not include its context or a page number – both have been given. There is no justification to discuss this point any more.

I, and several users or administrators, have intervened previously regarding user Oughtprice99’s frequent, fallacious and disruptive conduct – leading to warnings and reverts (for example, see User Oughtprice99’s Talk Page). To cite an example of vandalism, user Oughtprice99 was recently stopped by a user and myself for deleting irrefutable scientific findings and then pulled up again for altering the scientists’ comments to suit his own bias – evidence of vandalism and COIN. Another example of vandalism by Oughtprice99 involves covertly adding wording not attributable to the original author (I can cite the sentence if requested). Also, I noticed in a recent BLPN, user Oughtprice99’s claims were denounced/rejected by two users and furthermore, Oughtprice99 was told he should not make personal assumptions about a user’s identity – same mistake made again. Be aware also that the same user obsessively reverted Joshua Foer’s reliably sourced (book published) criticism, upholding a consensus of 5:1 for several weeks (see Talk Page history) – mistakenly arguing to block a criticism before eventually being forced to concede.

Additionally, user Oughtprice99 also blocked Joshua Foer’s (Moonwalking with Einstein) criticism about Tammet’s face recognition ability. Citing a reliable, secondary source (World Memory Championships), the author highlighted Tammet’s gold medal Name/Face results and compared the findings with the Cambridge study “impaired” results. Note, pictures of faces are given, and upon recognition of the faces, the contestants have to recall the names). Science journalist and former US Memory Champion, Joshua Foer, outlined the anomaly in his award-winning book. A several user consensus was established in the Talk Page. User Oughtprice99 obsessively blocked all attempts to sensitively mention the reliably sourced, referenced point – demonstrating further dogmatic control the site. This edit is unresolved.

These are just a few examples, of which there are many, showing ill-intent or misguided judgement. There are a plethora of instances of invention and falsities, in addition to umpteen edit wars all involving the same user throughout the Talk Page. Several users have complained and it appears several users have felt sidelined or disheartened as a result of lengthy, quarrelsome exchanges with Oughtprice99. Bar some genuine objections, it is clear that the protectionist, COIN user (several users in the Talk Page speculate is Tammet) is controlling the article and solely shaping the article with approxiametly 150 edits of late, and furthermore, obsessively acting to prevent ordinary statements from been edited in. To give an example, user Oughtprice99 is defending vagueness over preciseness, e.g. preventing editors from inserting the exact list of universities which have tested Tammet (i.e. all major media sources state two universities only: Cambridge (ARC) and UC San Diego Center for Brain Studies). Also, user Oughtprice99 is misleading readers by quoting the NYT reference – he knows full well the reference points to the previous sentence – two, two word (adjective/adverb) unsupported insertions of no substance. To give yet another example, Oughtprice99 is obsessively deleting the reliably sourced fact that the Icelandic interviewers spoke to Tammet for a few minutes, as stated verbally in Icelandic and stated in English subtitles, as evidenced in the UK documentary, The Boy with the Incredible Brain. Moreover, user Oughtprice99 is deliberately misleading readers by not disclosing that the TED related sentence was copied from a website, specifically referenced as blog material which, constitutes poor and inadequate sourcing as per Wikipedia rules. A few users in the Talk Page have attributed misleading edits to Oughtprice99 before. Finally, I have also noticed that Oughtprice99 appears to have posted an originally researched finding about a female user’s background in a previous BLPN and posted a somewhat disparaging remark about author Joshua Foer in a user’s Talk Page – which I feel is disrespectful and unacceptable.

User Oughtprice99 is arguably taking ownership of the article and at times is abusing his privilege to edit the article – deleting reliably sourced edits, edit warring and obsessively quibbling on and on about factual edits from reasoning which is baseless and erroneous. The user has a long history of malpractice. Collectively there is a compelling case for admin to recognise the user’s often problematic and persistent disregard for Wikipedia rules and practices which, I have only partly summarized above. Can something be done to curb or stop further flagrant malpractice?

Regarding edit protection, one reasonable suggestion would be to indefinitely protect the reliably sourced edits I have made to prevent embedded alterations/deletions being made within legitimate future edits by user Oughtprice99 or an anonymous IP user. User Oughtprice99 has altered paragraph wording before while adding legitimate details to a citation (see edits related to scientific study findings – no activation of colour areas in regions of the brain).

It is reasonable to assume given Oughtprice99’s history further disruption is highly likely. There is evidence of COIN, insistence on OPOV only, vandalism, constant edit warring, controlling the site – the collective impact of which is spoiling the editing experience of Wikipedia users from editing reliably sourced material – i.e. inserting edits into the article from Tammet’s own self-written memoir. As a result few people edit now. I petition admin to act.XNQlo (talk) 10:43, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

XNQlo (talk · contribs) you appear to have created a Single-purpose account for this article, would you like to explain why you feel you needed to do this? Do not feel obliged to answer, and I'm sorry if this might come over as a bit bitey, but given this context it appears unlikely that this is your first time contributing here. Thanks -- (talk) 11:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

XNQlo's comments are both unfair and inaccurate, but I don't want to engage in pointless tit-for-tat when our sole focus should be whether the edits made by the above user meet Wikipedia's guidelines for a living person biography article.

I think this page is a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources

- Can sentences be lifted from Tammet's memoir by a Wikipedia user and inserted into the article? The above guidelines suggest the response is no: "we only publish the opinions of reliable authors, and not the opinions of Wikipedians who have read and interpreted primary source material for themselves."

- XNQlo has removed a sentence from Tammet's memoir (note the contradiction - he inserts sentences from the book that constitute original research, having never appeared in a third-party reliable published source, while removing sentences from the same book, but which have also been republished in third-party reliable published sources) stating that the subject 'says' he speaks 10 languages. XNQlo argues that this claim needs to be 'verified' before it can be reproduced here. But the guidelines given above suggest that statements from the subject's book can be used. Here are two examples of reliable third-party published sources that also report the claim:

The Independent, by Hermione Eyre, published July 23 2006: "Daniel Tammet can speak 10 languages, including Lithuanian and Welsh, as well as his own invented language, "Mänti", which has about 1,000 words."

Spiegel, by Philip Bethge, published 3 May 2009: "Using his own special technique, the 30-year-old, who has a mild form of autism, has learned to speak more than 10 languages."

- XNQlo wants to insert a sentence stating that the Icelandic interview lasted 'a few minutes'. He bases this on the documentary subtitles that show 'we will try to speak to Daniel Tammet in Icelandic for the next few minutes'. How many minutes? 'Next few minutes' is very imprecise - was it 5 minutes, or 10, or 15? And does it even matter? Isn't it already clear from the article that a live television interview won't last for hours?

- XNQlo has removed the statement that Tammet appeared among the invited speakers at TED2011 in California. The source is Tammet's blog. XNQlo claims that blogs are not reliable sources. But the above guidelines suggest that this is incorrect: "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:

1.the material is not unduly self-serving; 2.the material does not involve claims about third parties (such as people, organizations, or other entities); 3.the material does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject; 4.there is no reasonable doubt as to the authenticity and source of the material; 5.the article is not based primarily on such sources."

Also: "Never use self-published books, zines, websites, webforums, blogs and tweets as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the biographical material."

The statement can also be sourced from TED's own website: http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_tammet_different_ways_of_knowing.html

Oughtprice99 (talk) 12:06, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

XNQlo makes some valid points. The quote from Tammet's book about non-synaesthetic response for letters is unquestionably acceptable. I do not accept the generalisation that Tammet has been tested by researchers in America and Britain. Why? I favour accuracy, i.e. only two centres of research are mentioned across all media sources. I suggestion the following: "Tammet has been tested by researchers at Cambridge University Autism Research Centre and UC San Diego Center for Brain Studies." I agree with XNQlo about self-serving claims of language ability without any test of fluency. It is not an appropriate edit. Regarding the matter about acceptability of blog material, it represents poor and improper sourcing, and so any quotes taken from Tammet's own website or his blog or any other blog is no good. I noticed that two, approximately one and a half minute clips of Tammet speaking in Icelandic are shown in the documentary. The interview was very short. It is handy to know how long the interview lasted as Tammet in his memoir does not disclose the duration of the interview. XNQlo is aiming for precision I think. The Icelandic interviewers mention "next few minutes" and XNQlo states "few minutes" - it is hardly original research. Just an observation . . . why has user Oughtprice99 created a single-purpose account solely representing the Tammet article?194.238.70.70 (talk) 10:43, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Please read BLPN for update.XNQlo (talk) 02:17, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Article should mention specifically that Tammet was tested at two universities only. 188.29.185.217 (talk) 10:14, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Seeking Consensus (Foer viewpoint)

User 188.28.190.242 has again raised the issue of Foer's viewpoint on Tammet as discussed in his book 'Moonwalking with Einstein'. As old hands will know, this is a long-running issue which previous discussions here have repeatedly sought to settle.

My own view is that Foer's viewpoint is noteworthy, but minority. Attempts to create a new, dedicated 'criticisms' section therefore threaten article balance: it already incorporates Foer's viewpoint using wording previously agreed here by consensus.

Specific details from Foer's book concerning Tammet have appeared on some blog pages, but not in any reliable published media reporting. The lack of any secondary sources (and therefore lack of established notability) weighs against their inclusion in the article.

Oughtprice99 (talk) 07:04, 30 May 2012 (UTC)


--Robert Saunders (talk) 12:13, 30 May 2012 (UTC) The fact that Tammet (then Corney) won the gold medal in the 2000 World Memory Championships names-and-faces event is not just Foer's viewpoint. It is a fact that is confirmed on the statistics pages of the Official World Memory Championship's website (http://www.world-memory-statistics.com/competition.php?id=wmc2000&discipline=namesold15). This fact must be included in the article for two reasons: 1) because it is the only event Tammet/Corney has ever won in the World Memory Championships, and 2) because it contrasts so markedly with Tammet's performance in Baron-Cohen's face memory test.

Also, the reference to Foer's scepticism is too vague in the article as it stands. Foer specifically casts doubt on the veracity of Tammet's synaesthesia. This should be mentioned.

Agree with User Saunders points. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.207.81 (talk) 12:44, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Also, checking the talk page and biographies noticeboard, there is an established consensus to mention Tammet's psychic work. Tammet openly discussed his work experience as a paid psychic in Joshua Foer's book (2011), "Moonwalking with Einstein". This fact is in the public domain. Foer's book is an international best seller. The author is a science journalist and former US Memory Champion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.207.81 (talk) 13:54, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

This looks like original research. I have raised at BLPN. Oughtprice99 (talk) 06:48, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

This Wikipedia rule appears particularly pertinent here: WP:WELLKNOWN

"In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is notable, relevant, and well-documented, it belongs in the article — even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out." (my emphasis)

Oughtprice99 (talk) 14:25, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes - its undue, opinionated and imo attacking content that is repeatedly being added by the same user under different IP addresses - Youreallycan 15:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Stick to content issues only. Foer's criticisms satisfy notability and relevance requirements. Foer's book covers several pages on Tammet and therefore appears well-documented. Tammet makes several contributions on pages 188-194 approximately. The latest edit by User Saunders captures the essence of Foer's notable opinions. Perhaps use of more direct quotes would be better? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.238.70.70 (talk) 11:29, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
its undue, opinionated and imo attacking content are all content issues - Youreallycan 17:01, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

--Robert Saunders (talk) 13:16, 1 June 2012 (UTC) As nobody appears to have raised a coherent objection to the points I suggest above, please will someone re-instate the content that I added to the criticism section (or similar)? I would be happy if it were decided to add a longer direct quote from Foer, as suggest above. At the very least, the fact that Tammet won the 2000 WMC names-and-faces event must be included somewhere as it is factually accurate, verifiable and relevant.

If you want to add large quotes from Foer , I suggest you add them to his own article - As for the 2000 WMC names-and-faces event under a different name? What are the citations for such a claim? - Youreallycan 16:59, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

--Robert Saunders (talk) 16:47, 2 June 2012 (UTC) The citation for the Tammet (then Corney) winning the 2000 WMC name-and-faces event is the link I give above, which can also be found by clicking on the "memory achievements" link on the home page of the Official WMC website (http://www.worldmemorychampionship.com). It is also stated in Foer's book. Unless anyone can provide any evidence to suggest that this fact is inaccurate, it must re-instated in the article.

--Robert Saunders (talk) 16:38, 2 July 2012 (UTC) It's over a month since I posted the citation above. Nobody has responded. Does anybody still object to the inclusion of the fact that Tammet (then Corney) won the gold medal in the 2000 World Memory Championships names-and-faces event? Also, does anybody object including a reference to the fact that Foer specifically casts doubt on the veracity of Tammet's synaesthesia, as I suggest above?

Buzan, Tony and Keene, Ray (2005) Buzan’s book of mental world records. D&B Publishing, 2005. In this book Daniel Corney is at number 33 in the table The World’s Top 100 Memorizers on page 56 for his world competition achievement in the year 2000. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.169.94.80 (talk) 03:18, 14 July 2012 (UTC) Page 56 of the above published hard-copy book is the second page of a table of "The World's Top 100 Memorisers", and it confirms that "Corney, Daniel" at ranking 33 competed for "GB" in the world competition on the 21st and 22nd of the eighth month of 2000 and scored 3644 points. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.169.94.80 (talk) 02:58, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Foer disbelieves Tammet. Cites (using web archiver) www.danieltammet.com - therein Tammet admits training in mnemonic techniques. Cites pyschic work which Tammet admits in interview - honesty issues. Cites attempt to sell mnemonic training courses - Tammet admits. Cites studying Buzan - Tammet admits. Tests synaesthesia (same 4 digit number given three times) - different answers given by Tammet. Conclusion: Foer states explicitly disbelieve. The article is misrepresenting Foer's view. 188.29.185.217 (talk) 11:13, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Joshua Foer: Moonwalking with Einstein, Penguin Press 2011,
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010623043910/http://www.danieltammet.com/fr_about000.htm