That was remarkably beautiful to watch for some reason.
God...um...where to start on this topic, it hits so many points in my list of personal topics, um....
Well lets start with the basics. I myself was a math prodigy back at my childhood school. But not in Daniel's sense. I just simply had a highly developed intuition geared heavily towards the physics and mathematical nature. Actually in truth I just had and overall highly developed intuition. I would have been a wizard at grammar and linguistics as well had I had teachers who taught it in a more intuitive fashion rather than 'memorization' based, but in any rate, tangent. I was so obnoxiously gifted with the subject that I have had several teachers in my past, put me out in the hallway because she couldn't give me enough work to stump me mathematically.
Although I was never tested or diagnosed with it, I've always suspected that as child I had some degree of autistic like tendencies. I always had horrible communication skills with other people, or more specifically kids my age. My mom always talks about how I would have no problem walking up to other adults and having intelligent conversations on highly abstract topics, but when it came to interacting with kids my age I just seemed to be on a mental level that they just simply could not comprehend, and as such shied away from me because of it.
I was never to the degree that Daniel was at, I never had the visual abstract style of mathematics in my head, and in truth my ability to simply memorize things is limited, (or more specifically not designed in a way they originally thought I was geared towards.) But thanks to an old short term friend in my senior year of high school, opening me to the world of psychology and introspection, I was opened to a new world of understanding, and from that point have grown remarkably well into my understanding of humans and their thinking processes. (Without the overly-technical or formal education and version of it.)
In middle school my parents had me tested at a 'Sylvan' Learning center to see what kind of 'learning' style I possessed, my reading level, and organizational skills. At the time I had tested as an unusually 'balanced' learner between the three categories of visual, audio, and tactile (kinesthetic) learning, learning with your hands so to speak. My reading comprehension rates were above even college level understanding. My only problem was simply that I read at an extremely slow pace.
As I've realized now in my older age, I was never really that balance of a learner, and in fact that supposed balance I had was simply a mistake of the manner in which the test had proposed their questions. I discovered in my own means that I was a tactile learner. But not in the sense that I always used my 'hands' per say to remember things. I used situations as a whole. I cannot memorize anything simply by being told to memorize it, or by looking at it. I have to associate the object with a situation, or as I begin to understand the concept, I can associate the object with the general abstract idea or 'understanding' of the meaning rather than the text book definition of it.
Now that subject alone I haven't done a huge amount of personal research on, however there is one other subject that I particularly fancy. Cognitive processing, especially those topics centered around the studies begun by Carl Jung and the 16 personality type testing, MBTI testing.
For those who don't know it, I'll explain it simply. Carl viewed each individual person as having four main aspects as to how they observe and interact with the world around them. Introverted vs Extroverted determined the general 'attitude', someone who was either more inclined to expose themselves to the world and interact with people, or someone who was more inclined to look into themselves and keep to themselves for their own truths.
The second type, which I personally find the most interesting aspect, was the perceiving functions, as to how we 'see' our world. iNtuitive vs Sensing. Sensing was categorized as those who simply see the world as it is. They see a 'red chair' or a 'cold winder morning'. Its simplistic in nature, seeing only what was there or is there. iNtuitive function relies on looking beyond what one would physically 'see'. Perceiving beyond the object, seeing what 'created' the object, or why it is the way it is, or what may become of the object or situation. Its a highly abstract aspect, not geared towards 'knowing' what one sees, but 'understanding' what one sees.
The third function is the decision-making aspect. Marked by those who judge through either Thinking or Feeling, (however feeling does not imply 'emotions' per say nor does thinking dissolve the understanding of emotions.) Thinking is merely trying to ascertain the most 'logical' point and does generally try to keep to a 'detached' perspective from the emotions, where as feeling is based on ethical values and empathizing rather than the flat lined logic of a situation. (One point I would like to make is that empathizing doesn't per say mean you feel sorry for someone, it just means your able to understand that they are feeling 'sad'.)
The final aspect is called the 'life-style' of one's personality. Perceiving vs Judging. Essentially Judging people are generally highly governed by their 'decision making' aspects and prefer to create or enforce rules and regulations and typically are the defenders of 'tradition' (simply for tradition's sake.) Perceiving people tend to rely on their 'perceiving' functions either Sensing or iNtuition as their primary focus, and generally value looking at all possibilities and perspectives of a situation before making a decision, and generally prefer to 'keep their decisions open'.
When these four aspects are mixed together, (in 16 different combination's) they begin to interact with one another in a unique way to general a general flow of one's personality. Why did I find this relevant to the topic of Daniel? Well I mentioned the whole autistic thing. I personally feel that much of the 'autistic' factor isn't per say because a person has an unusual 'brain' condition. Instead I feel that most Autistic people are generally people with unusually developed iNtuitive aspects.
For example, I myself, throughout my childhood was shied away from by my peers. Never really fully accepted by any 'friends' for who I was, because I viewed the world in a way they couldn't understand, or because they simply preferred not to try to understand it. I've tested myself, and examined the flow of this Jung typology test format, I've established that I myself am an ENTP. What I find particularly interesting in my studies, and interaction online with people who've tested similarly, is that we've all had the same issue in our childhoods, dealing with almost the exact same thing, however as we have matured, we've become remarkably charismatic and now people who once shunned us for being 'strange' now flock to us.
I love the way Daniel said it in his interviews. "The bullies just never really knew how to bully me, so they just left me alone" This was classic for me. The only problem for me was that being an 'extrovert' I always wanted to be involved with other people and because of my 'strange' habits and behaviors no one wanted to deal with me and always blocked me out. Honestly I can tell you that until my Senior year of high school, until that year, I had NEVER had a single one of my friends willingly of his/her own will call me to hang out with me or do anything with me. If they did it was because their parents made them or because it was simply for a 'school project' or something akin. The only way as a kid I could play with my so called 'friends' was to call them up and practically beg them to let me come over.
But as I said before for my personality type as an ENTP, as I've grown more mature, I've become this completely different person, not because I've changed my way of thinking, but because I've learned to understand people and know now how to interact with them on 'their level' while keeping my own 'higher level' thinking present. Now I'm not saying that I feel my highly intuitive nature makes me better than others, or that I am at the same level as Daniel. In fact Daniel blows me away, I could only dream of being that gifted in linguistic abilities, or that abstract with my mathematics.
However to flaunt a tiny bit I will say it was the very same friend who introduced me to the MBTI, who also said to me in the most serious tone possible one day, "The man who came up with the concept of quantum physics, not even he himself could fully understand his own work, and to this day no scientist has been able to really fully understand the concept," He turned to look at me directly in the eyes saying, "You are probably one of the only people on this planet who could truly understand quantum physics."
Sadly I quit majoring in Physics in college for other reasons, but I do still to this day get an eerie chill at his words.
So...to keep things interesting...I'm curious now, or rather have been curious for quiet some time, the people here who found themselves drawn to Shamanism...
I've read in several reports that ENTP and ENFP's are generally seen as the type of people who have the best chance to 'fully' understand the world around them... So...how many people fit that ENFP type? Cause I'm willing to bet that most of those here are at the very least xNFP.
If you want to take the test...take this http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
Its a bit long to be ready to sit for a few minutes to do it.