The World Needs All Kinds of Minds


If you saw the Golden Globes this year, then you probably saw Claire Danes accept the Best Actress award for her role as Temple Grandin (in the HBO movie Temple Grandin). It's a bio-pic about an autistic woman who uses her astounding ability to "think in pictures" and her unusual empathy (I mean that in the strictest sense of the word) for animals to change the cattle industry, designing better and more humane ways to herd and bathe and even slaughter animals. It's fascinating and inspiring, as is Temple herself -- who was at the Globes, and has been traveling the world doing talks and lectures of late, including this great TED talk. It's all about how her mind works, and how she can do things few other people can do -- she describes her own type of visual thinking as "Google for pictures" -- and goes on to discuss different types of the Asperger's/autism mind, and how they could better be served in schools, which she seems as keen on redesigning as she did cattle pens. (Insert schools-as-cattle-pens joke here.) Anyway, take a look at her talk, it's wonderful.