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Lightning Calculators http://www.heinleinsociety.org/thsnexus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1099 
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Author:  BillMullins [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:03 am ] 
Post subject:  Lightning Calculators 
Lightning Calculators show up several times in Heinlein's works (Max Jones, Andrew Jackson Libby, etc). Those interested in the subject may find THIS useful. 
Author:  Blackhawk [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:38 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators 
Max Jones was not a lightning calculator. He had perfect recall but he fed what he recalled into a computer to do the calculations. 
Author:  DavidWrightSr [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:23 am ]  
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators  
Whether or not he was a 'lightning calculator', he was able to perform all of the calculations in his head. That was how he caught Simes' mistake at the crucial point.

Author:  Blackhawk [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:29 pm ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators 
Good point. I'd forgotten that part. What I remembered was his photographic memory that let him recall the complete texts of his uncle's astrogation books. 
Author:  holmesiv [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:57 pm ]  
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators  
I believe he did not do the calculation, but remembered the number sequence perfectly from the bool. Answers in the back, haha! 
Author:  RobertPearson [ Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:14 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators 
I recently read the book Moonwalking With Einstein and think it's fascinating that the skills of the socalled "savants" to both memorize and calculate can be learned to a large degree. Not true eidetic memory or calculation to the level of "Rain Man" but a good bit in that direction. Any normal person can, for instance, memorize a 52card deck after perhaps 1015 hours of practice. I'm working on it right now, and can feel a certain uptick in my overall functioning just from the mental excercise. 
Author:  holmesiv [ Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:48 pm ]  
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators  
Well, there is Renshawing, and it is real. Don't know why the public and private schools don't all teach it in the first grade. We'd be so far ahead of China and India if we did they'd never catch up! 
Author:  VeraLenora [ Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:59 pm ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lightning Calculators 
I saw a TV program (sorry don't remember any details) that had a 'lightning calculator' work while inside an MMI. Turned out his mathematical work was being done in the area of the brain usually used only for language. The researchers speculated that the math was being done just as humans normally talk, without any need for conscious mental sortings of subtlety, choice of words, grammar, syntax, and so on. We just talk. 
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