If I may ask: how old are you?

I used to have the same ability (and am still well above average) but it's lessened over the past 3 years or so. I've been trying to work out whether it's due to a) age (greater number of life experiences and/or memory naturally less good), b) studies (prioritising studied material over episodic memory), c) greater socialisation (I used to be fairly isolated, so it's possible that there were just fewer noteworthy things to remember), d) some other factor.

And relatedly: do you also have that sense of frustration when people kee... (read more)

Currently 22. The effect was present and seemingly unaffected moving from early school (no study) to final few years of school (lots of study) to university (some study) to current day (very little study). I've always been highly social, can't rule that out.

And yes! It's not quite as frustrating for me as it is for them, because I finish their stories for them, sometimes in the words they were going to use. I'm guilty of the same thing, though - I find it hard to remember which stories come from where. It's only once the person begins the story that the rest of the story becomes available.

5NancyLebovitz8yI can live with repetition over multiple conversations, but prefer it if the person will let me mention that I've heard and remember what they said. What drives me crazy is the extent to which most people repeat themselves in the same conversation. I may not be doing anyone a favor by pointing this out-- but if you listen, you'll find that the real world sounds rather like Waiting for Godot, though the topics are more varied.
2atucker8yWeird, I also used to be really good at this. Specifically, I could recite funny scenes from Futurama episodes verbatum after watching them once. It's gotten worse.

How is your mind different from everyone else's?

by Kaj_Sotala 1 min read5th Dec 2011267 comments


Partially to help reduce the typical mind fallacy and partially because I'm curious, I'm thinking about writing either an essay or a book with plenty of examples about ways by which human minds differ. From commonly known and ordinary, like differences in sexual orientation, to the rare and seemingly impossible, like motion blindness.

To do this, I need to start collecting examples. In what ways does your mind differ from what you think is the norm for most people?

I'm particularly interested in differences - small or large - that you didn't realize for a long time, automatically assuming that everyone was like you in that regard. It can even be something as trivial as always having conceptualized the passing of years as a visual timeline, and then finding out that not everyone does so. I'm also interested in links to blog posts where people talk about their own mental peculiarities, even if you didn't write them yourself. Also books and academic articles that you might think could be relevant.

Some of the content that I'm thinking about including are cultural differences in various things as recounted in the WEIRD article, differences in sexual and romantic orientation (such as mono/poly), differences in the ability to recover from setbacks, extroversion vs. introversion in terms of gaining/losing energy from social activity, differences in visualization ability, various cognitive differences ranging from autism to synesthesia to an inability to hear music in particular, differences in moral intuitions, differences in the way people think (visual vs. verbal vs. conceptual vs. something that I'm not aware of yet), differences in thinking styles (social/rational, reflectivity vs. impulsiveness) and various odd brain damage cases.

If you find this project interesting, consider spreading the link to this post or resharing my Google Plus update about it. Also, if you don't want to reply in public, feel free to send me a private message.