It’s fascinating to me what lies, even thrives, on the edges of humanity. Sometimes the hardest place to be is in the middle, among the unsung masses, the insignificant majority–the irony of wanting our children to be normal and special. There are, of course, many such ‘edges’. It could be genius-level (standard linguistic-mathematical) intelligence. It could be idiot savantism. (It could be riding a motorcycle too fast down Highway 1 or damning the lives of a billion people.)
It’s hard to believe I’ve never read Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. I’ve always know this book (always: there was no moment when I first saw it’s cover or heard it’s title, my brain has redacted the memory of that first discovery by telling itself that it has always know the book), but never looked inside. The downside to reading (almost) only fiction. Neurological disorders are so interesting. There really are cases documented by reliable medical practitioners of people who have perfect recall of their entire lives to the minutest detail, of people who can ‘count’ instantaneously the number of matches scattered accidentally onto the floor (as popularised in Rainman). There really are recorded cases of brain damage where the part of the brain that is damaged is the part of the brain that tells the brain that a part of it is damaged (like the Grebulon ship in Mostly Harmless), of amnesiacs who can’t remember their amnesia, or patients who can’t recognise their own body. It really opens your mind to what our brains are really capable of and all the things that can go wrong. This stuff is real!
-Reading the Why
 As are experiments into consciousness like the rubber hand illusion or the barbie doll illusion.