Applied Savantism

question-2004314_1280Functional variation and diversity generally in 19th century Europe was conceived of as a problem and the purpose of the state was to homogenize and eliminate human diversity. This laid the ground for totalitarianism where anti-diversity policies became particularly extreme. Many forms of functional variation are still subjected to harmfully stigmatizing pathologization although Savantism (Savant syndrome) is an exception for which there is no formal diagnosis.

One reason may be that Savantism occurs in members of different diagnostic categories. Half of all people with documented savant skills have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), yet only one in ten of all people diagnosed with ASD have documented savant skills. Other people with Savantism have various neurological disorders and a small number have developed savant skills after a suffering brain damage.

Savantism is the phenomenon where functions of the brain that are usually reserved for the subconscious become available to the conscious. Savant skills are usually only documented as associated with diagnosed disability or medical injury. Savant skills in e.g. academic scholars are not studied as the notion of genius has become something of a taboo in academia due to the fact that in the recent past were unfortunately only men with light complexion recognized as geniuses. Yet genius is indeed a name for highly developed forms of Savant syndrome whereby extremely intelligent persons develop prodigious intellectual capabilities.

We need to change conceptual paradigm whereby society needs to begin to learn about personhood generally from persons with diagnosed functional variations. Instead of as in physionomistic manner thinking of people with diagnosed functional variations as social problems need we commence to cherish human cognitive diversity as the most important economic resource in the emerging era of Talentism which is increasingly supplanting the dying era of Capitalism.

Almost every highly intelligent and creative person with savant skills is a potential genius and every genius is a potential universal genius. How is this so? Savant skills often seem trivial such as memorization of calendars, dates and bus schedules but what few people realize is that the underlying cognitive skills could with appropriate tailored educational stimulus become applied to the exact sciences and to science generally.

There are also most likely many people whose intellectual interests are actually reflective of moderately advanced savants skills and those with high intelligence and creativity therefore also have the capacity to develop savant skills and hence potentially also genius. There are also mostly likely many persons with cognitive capacity for developing savant skills who have not yet done so. Furthermore, if a person has developed into a genius is there simply no reason whatsoever why these cognitive skills could not be applied to further fields of science as well.

If highly intelligent, creative persons of all ages with documented savant skills were given tailored educational stimulus in order to inspire them to develop personal interest in as many fields of science as possible could academia become completely revolutionized within a decade with an exploding mass of universal geniuses all over the world. Persons with savants skills who have average or lower levels of IQ could be aided to develop their savant skills in ways that would help them develop highly specialized individual professional skills for the benefit of themselves, society and the world.

Society needs completely change its attitude towards functional variation generally and savantism specifically and recognize these as valuable resources for future economic growth and societal development indeed.