I have an incredibly poor memory regarding spatial relations. I still have to look where the night stand is by my bed is to avoid hitting it, and it's been there for more than a year now. I get lost constantly, I can memorize routes from point A to point B, but I can't extrapolate routes between points based on location, because I have no general idea of location outside of specific routes and landmarks. Given that my verbal and visual memory are superb, and that I can absorb relatively large amounts of information in short amounts of time for most things,... (read more)

This seems like a pretty good example of what I was talking about in my reply to the OP. You gave a significant disadvantage, but then a great advantage to even it out. As always, it's socially easier to sell an identity that's a well-balanced bundle of strengths and weaknesses than it is to go around claiming to be 100% awesome.

It may also be important to point out that with each pair, the drawback tends to be more mundane (clumsy, bad at socializing, etc.), and the benefit is usually something much more "majestic" (can't think of a good word fo... (read more)

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.