Kim Peek (aka Kimputer) was known as a gentle and friendly man who above all else, loved to read books.
The fame that eventually found him, must have taken him by surprise, yet he handled it with dignity.
He remembered almost everything he ever read, experienced or otherwise learned about – and the world will always remember him.
Kim Peek was born Laurence Kim Peek on November 11, 1951
Kim is one of the most well known savant’s in history – in 1988 the movie Rain Man was released which was based on Kim Peek along with other savants.
He was born with macrocephaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum and damage to the cerebellum. Although there is a more complicated explanation for this we sum it up as saying – he is missing some of the connectors between his left and right hemispheres.
Fran, Peek’s father, tells how Kim was memorizing things before he was two years of age.
Legend has it that by the age of 3 Kim was already looking up words like “confidential” in the dictionary!
As a young child once he had read and memorized a book he would place it upside down on the shelf to show that he had finished with it. This is something he continued to do throughout his life.
Peek really struggled with basic motor skills, he could not button up his own shirt, shave or other simple activities.
Kim Peek’s Super Powers
Kim was a MegaSavant – One with an incredible memory.
He could read much faster than the average human with his left eye scanning the left page of a book, and his right eye scanning the right page!
Its almost like the disconnect between his hemispheres aided his ability to inhale information like a walking Google.
Strangely dolphins also have the ability to use one side of their brain at a time, this helps them stay halfway alert, whilst sleeping.
The Times newspaper reported that even though he had read at least 12000 books, he could recall the contents with 98% accuracy!
Surprisingly he scored relatively lowly on IQ tests. Kim scored 87, on most iq charts this score would count as low average.
The Kim Peek – The Real Rain Man
What is Kim Peek currently doing?
Unfortunately Kim passed away in 2009.
What can we learn from Kim?
He was a wise man, there is no doubt about that. The below quote sums up the core of what Kim would like us to learn from him.
Recognizing and respecting differences in others, and treating everyone like you want them to treat you, will help make our world a better place for everyone. Care… be your best. You don’t have to be handicapped to be different. Everyone is different! ― Kim Peek
It’s a simple message, recognize that everyone is different, and treat others how you would like to be treated.
Genetic or Learned Super Power?
It appears that some of Kim’s special abilities could be attributed to his medical condition.
That doesn’t mean that special training could not help humans to also have these abilities, we just don’t what that training would entail as we haven’t discovered it yet.
With the aforementioned in mind, we state that Kim Peeks super powers were genetic.