My first autism book

I finally got a hold of a book that I've wanted to read for a long time. It's a book called The C...

I finally got a hold of a book that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. It’s a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It’s about an autistic boy’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog. He knows all the countries of world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

I began reading the book today and already have come across a section that I thought was interesting. As the narrator/author of the story, the boy numbers that chapter using only prime numbers because he likes them. Here is what he had to say about them:

This is how you work out what prime numbers are.

First you write down all the positive whole numbers in the world.

Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 2.
Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 3.
Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and so on. The numbers that are left are the prime numbers.

The rule for working out prime numbers is really simple, but no one has ever worked out a simple formula for telling you whether a very big number is a prime number or what the next one will be.

Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.

Interesting analogy.

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2 Comments

penguingolfer89 May 9, 2005 Reply

9 isn't a prime number, but it's the days that Star Wars 3 is coming out! Woohooo!

Fiat Slug May 9, 2005 Reply

Wow… I like that analogy. If life is defined by a finite set of rules (albeit a huge set of rules) and computers are essentially governed by a predefined set of rules, can we one day program artifical life? But I guess the programmer (humans) have to figure out those rules first. So I guess my job is safe for now…. I don't want my job outsourced to a metalhead! hahahahaa

Talk to me, Goose.

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