Monday, November 07, 2005

where's your blog at?

Is it just me, or do other people have mental maps of where blogs (and other webpages, but mostly blogs) are in relation to each other? For instance, looking at my blogroll, Adrian's blog is on the lefthand side of mine, Beyond Lilith and my knitting blog are on the right. I just went through the list and realised that for each one, there's a specific direction, mostly left or right, some diagonally. It seems entirely arbitrary. I thought perhaps there might be some logic to it, e.g. male on the left, female on the right, but Brosdee's view is also on the right and Lori Smith is on the left, so that doesn't work. I don't think it's political either. It's just further proof of the oddness of my brain.

Perhaps it's a synaesthete thing. The UK Synaesthesia Association calls synaesthesia "a harmless condition in which people experience perceptual sensations that are not shared by most other members of the population. For example, people with synaesthesia may experience colours with letters, sounds, or words; they may experience shapes with tastes, or smells with sounds, to name a few varieties. It has a biological origin and is found in at least 1 in 2000 people." I think it's more common in women than in men.

For me, most numbers and letters and days of the week have colours. Words and sounds have shapes and colour. I also have a kind of mental number line. the cardinal numbers are arranged as if on a rollercoaster, climbing up from 0 to ten, then steeper from 10 to 20, a long shallow slope up to 100, then spirals getting tighter and tighter away to infinity. The negative numbers are there too, droppping away from zero into their own spiral. I can fly round my number line, zooming in on different bits. If I get close enough, I can see the numbers in between, the fractions, decimals, irrational roots. Somewhere over to the left are the complex numbers, sideways branches out from -1. This number line serves no practical purpose, it's just always been there, ever since I can remember. I also have mental maps for years, months, days of the week. Sometimes they help me plan, or think about time. I often have to think in shapes when I work out when things are happening. If you see me doodling in the air while thinking about a particular date, that's why. So perhaps my having a mental map of the internet is inevitable. It's just that I've only just realised it.


Nathan said...

Pigwotfies is amazing because:

Her synaesthetic number line INCLUDES A SECTION FOR COMPLEX NUMBERS.

Sheesh. Build on an extension for imaginaries, why don't you =o) =o) =o)

Bekki, you are a DUDE.

Dave Routledge said...

Hi Bekki

Not just me then. I am afraid my number map is much more basic. The numbers 0-50 go up in a vertical line; 50-100 go off at right angles to the 50, and there my number map ends. No wonder I'm not very good at maths!

I saw a fascinating programme, which followed a young man who could do incredible things with mental maths , including, I think, Pi to a million places in his head! He described a process by which he "sees" numbers as shapes and colours.

What colour is 2524 divided by 9.07868?

Pig wot flies said...

My number line is of no practical use for doing calculations, but 2524 divided by 9.07868 is roughly 278.014.
2 is yellow, 7 bluey green and 8 green. 4 is red. 0 and 1 don't have much colour. 0 is sort of white, 1 sort of black, but I think that's as much about blank space and filled-in space as anything.