Links between Synaesthesia and …..

synaesthesia notes
Blurry pic

I was writing some notes (blurry pic above) about the links between synaesthesia and empathy then looking for a picture for this blog post. Then I soon came across this article about the links between synaesthesia and poly-rhythms. That page includes a video of a TED-type talk on the subject (the talk is mind blowing!).

I did first see the idea suggested in an article in the Independent newspaper (UK) that featured an interview with Kevin Shields from the band, My Bloody Valentine, talking abut his synaesthesia. Many years ago, I realised that when I experience/enjoy music that I see a visual representation of it subconsciously. But I think I always knew it but never questioned it.

Since then I have kept an eye out for articles and info on the subject. The Independent article above also described how one person was able to use the subconscious visualizations to see a model of that person’s psyche (something like that anyway). This is all sounding quite weird and kooky when I type this but that’s not a problem to me as this is more real to me than most other things.

This would probably be classed as quite an autistic thing. I have often seen reference to links between synaesthesia and autism. (Ref example)

So, it blew me away when I realized that I also use synaesthesia to empathize with a person – I understand and model their “inner being” from this abstract image that is floating in the back of my mind. Maybe it’s evolved to balance out the missing neurotypical empathy function. Or maybe it’s pushed closer to consciousness because of the missing typical functionality related to empathy.

When I say empathy, I’m thinking of an emotional-type empathy – where I can get to understand that person in an emotional/intuitive way.

NOTE: The blurry notes pic above shows a rough representation of how the synaesthesia manifests when I enjoy music plus a rough sketch of how it appears when I am connecting to a person.

UPDATE: Brilliant! Another 5 seconds googling and I’ve finally found a reference to the type of synaesthesia that I have – “much of their repertoire is an exploration of the timbre-to-shape synesthesia that causes Jarvis to involuntarily perceive all sounds as floating abstract visual forms.” This is describing the music of the band Flowers of Hell on Google Play. Read all about them on Rate Your Music and their Wikipedia page and check them out on Soundcloud.

War | Syria | Videos | Youtube | Playlist

After you have searched for something on Youtube you can choose different filters such as to only find playlists – instructions.

So I searched Syria Aleppo and it came up with quite a few playlists but mostly war footage by the look of it. Here I’ll just embed the playlist created by Vice magazine for films they’ve made in the region.

Also, if you want to embed a playlist you get the code exactly the same way that you get the code for a single video – just click “Share” and then you can choose which video the playlist will start from.

WARNING/DISCLAIMER: I haven’t watched this playlist yet but I have seen some of the Vice films before and the chances are there will be a lot of very graphic and disturbing content, so please be careful if you intend to watch these videos.

Update: I have watched most of this playlist and some of the content is extremely graphic and disturbing.

Video | PyCon | How to | Writing | Blogging | Review

The video is a very nicely paced talk about how to write a great programming blog (or any other topic really). It’s at PyCon 2016 in Portland, Oregon. He really takes his time and has great slides that simplify what he’s talking about. The Youtube description also has links to the actual slides on Github too.

It’s 27:00 minutes long roughly and it has great audio with the speaker in the corner of the screen to leave room for the slides. He uses a classic teaching structure:

  • tell them what you’re going to tell them
  • tell them
  • tell them what you’ve told them

I personally found it very inspiring as I have been publishing blogs since 2005 (e.g. such as this short post written by myself from almost exactly 11 years ago that links to an intriguing article by George Monbiot about choosing a career). Sometimes I may spend hours over one blog post so it’s great to hear someone describing blog posts as articles or essays.

At the end of the talk he provides a link that takes you to his essay about writing great content (which I’ve not read yet). He provides some great yet simple ideas such as reading articles all the way to the end and asking yourself whether it was an effective article or not. The main idea behind the talk is that he provides techniques, concepts and structures that will help if you write blogs but struggle to find the time etc.