TIL that when Kim Peek managed payrolls of 160 people, he was able to complete this task in just hours without a calculator and when he was fired to be replaced by a computer, it took two full time accountants plus the computer just to replace him.

TIL that when Kim Peek managed payrolls of 160 people, he was able to complete this task in just ...

Peek also enjoyed approaching strangers and showing them his talent for calendar calculations by telling them on which day of the week they were born and what news items were on the front page of major newspapers.

Unbelievable how he could do stuff like this but then struggle to button his own shirt. Savants have incredibly interesting minds.

When I was younger I worked at an ice cream shop. We had a Savant as a regular. He could do the same sort of tricks... Tell you what day of the week you were born on... How many weeks since you were born... Etc. Lots of number tricks...

But he was exausting to deal with. Youre trying to work and this guy doesnt understand you cant give him 100% of your attention for the next four hours.

But he was exausting to deal with. Youre trying to work and this guy doesnt understand you cant give him 100% of your attention for the next four hours.

TIL I've only dated savant women.


He also could read a book, and remember 98% of the words, while reading the left page with his left eye, and the right with his right eye, taking about 10 seconds for each set of pages.

He memorized maps and could tell you turn by turn directions between any two cities in the country.

He memorized phone books and would tell people who lived next door to them 15 years prior.

Really an amazing guy.

During his employment, the company was.....


( •_•)>⌐■-■


at its Peek.

Lot of stupid comments posted already. Kim was a unique talent and his death was a loss to the world.

We learnt much from him and his father about people born like this.

Edit. The stupid comments are now by far the minority, thank you Reddit.

You could tell him any town in America and he could tell you the zip code.

I remember being sad when I heard he died a few years ago

We had a more autistic than savant guy in my school system growing up. He would make random noises like peacock calls across the school field. But, his memory was a steel trap. Could tell you any name and any phone number that he read. Whenever I'd run into him he'd ask how my older sister was doing and confirm that my old home phone number was still the same. Luckily, it was such a small school district there was quite a bit of one on one time available to him to teach a lot more than maybe the average student of his situation was given. So, those times I would run into him, he'd ask me those question then suddenly break off the conversation like "Okay I should go now bye!" Last I heard before I moved away he managed a kindling business.

I was privileged enough to have coffee with him and his father at the University of Utah. He told me the day of the week I was born, what the weather was, several paper headlines and the moon phase for that day. Then his father and I chit chatted for a bit. I was attending a conference for school. He was the coolest guy.

I had to look it up to see if he was correct, which he was. First thing he did was ask for my birthdate and where I was born then spout off that info. All before saying hello!

Well yeah you can't have all your eggs in one basket either, especially with payroll. Something happens to the guy and all the sudden no one is getting paid.

Keep in mind that your mind uses a lot of brain power to handle social situations without you even realizing. People go to school for years to learn the intricacies of the body language you use everyday without even thinking about it.

So your brain is incredibly capable it's just that most of us are capable in the same way so we only really notice the oddballs.

4 hours is an under statement if anything... There were days he would be the first one in when I opened, and he would still be there when my shift was over at 4.

We're talking about a grown man with money to spend, but with the maturity of a 10 year old... Did I mention we sold confections too?

He was a kid in a candy shop. Literally.

And he would come up to the counter and want our undivided attention, while he talked about whatever. He was big on Cars. So he would show pictures of all the cool cars he saw that day. Or saw on the internet or whatever.

Also really into WWII stuff. So he would be reading a book of WWII history and everytime he would learn something new he would want to show us.

ha i thought the boss was about to pack his things up and leave

Savants implies they are actually talented

They probably love challenges. Remembering news articles and calculating dates/days years ago is a freaking challenge.

I think you may be thinking about it exactly backwards (or at least describing it as such). They do this passively, without having to really try or think about it. It's not like they set out to prove something by being able to do this - they just realize they can. And, like most people, they enjoy doing something that they're particularly good at.

Buttoning your shirt isn't even a challenge so they don't even think about it; they are too busy thinking about more difficult challenges.

Okay, this part is definitely wrong. It's not like they're so disengaged that they don't care. We're talking about people genuinely struggling and failing to figure out tasks that are second nature to most people. It sounds like you may have overly romanticized savants (of the Kim Peek variety) as incredibly lazy, cognitive-adrenaline junkies. A far more accurate interpretation is that they are often incredibly intellectually disabled (colloquially referred to as retarded) in all aspects of life, save for one very narrow, specific task, at which they can wildly outperform even highly intelligent experts.

I think what's much more amazing about this is, is realizing that this is what our mind is capable of. We just can't normally do it. But apparently this is possible. Isn't that incredibly? What a ridiculously low amount of capability of our brewing we actually use, how much of it is completely untapped?


What a ridiculously low amount of capability of our brewing we actually use, how much of it is completely untapped?

You use only 33% of a traffic light at any moment, thank God.

Your computer files are only half made out of 1s.

And each letter in this comment uses only 1/26th of the alphabet.

Long story short, we use our brains pretty damn well, and if you were using 100% of your brain we call that a seizure. Cases like Kim's always seem to come with pretty serious trade-offs. Put it this way: how many spreadsheets can your PC crunch in the effort it takes to render a perfectly realistic tree, or recognize a human face? Shit we take for granted because it's so common is actually insanely hard.

So this was a thing before the internet.

First, you'd take an educated guess. Confidential sounds like it starts with a c, probably not a k. But you might check the k first anyway. No loss. Move on to the Cs. Con. Like Conman, a little like cool. So you know to go to "con..." and so on and so forth.

It teaches you how to use the dictionary and how to spell at the same time.

You should have seen her in bed. There’s a reason he dated her.

I work for an CPA. We do payroll for quite a few small to medium size businesses.

less popular was Peek's habit of ending the conversation by telling the stranger when and how they would die.

I had a chance to meet him, but didn't go...more than once since he died I wish I had.

Lot of stupid comments posted already.

A few. But the vast majority are complimentary. Try to focus on those, it's won't distress you so much.

Ok sit there and bitch and blame your disability, don’t know what else I can say.

I’ve never heard of a company using a CPA to do payroll. Certainly not one with just 160 employees.


It is honestly blowing my mind that you tried to compare what you can accomplish in 2018 (a time when employees are 10x more productive thanks to technology), to this.

Just like the time I could have met Mr. T at the mall.

The entire day I kept saying,"I'll go a little later. I'll go a little later." And then when I got there, they told me he'd just left. And when I asked the mall guy if he would ever come back again, he said he didn't know...

When they complained about stupid comments

Should also mention what a selfless legend and hero his father was. No many people could do what he did for decades with a smile

So why fire him. The point is it would've been cheaper to just higher another accountant.

Rest in peace Mr. Peek.

I pity the fool..

It's not comforting, reassuring or validating, there's a weird feeling of knowing that you and me deal(t) with the same personality and just made the best of it. I guess it should be "empathetic' but in a way that discovering someone to relate to brings happiness

But buttoning his shirt IS difficult for him..

But..retarded people ARE retarded. It's the medical term, not an insult.


we use 100 percent of our brain.... it consumes the most calories out of any body part, and if we didn't get payment on that we'd already be extinct.

Thats an urban legend. Most of your brain process is being used to manage things other than your conscious thought.

Did you do a lot of accounting in 1969?

I think they wanted to replace him with a computer, so they fired him. After everyone's checks were wrong, they realized they should have someone feed it input. Then they hired another person because the first got lonely.

*May cause irreversible brain implosions.

When he mentions what weather it is on some historical day, I wonder if he just had it remembered for his hometown. Or did he remember the historical weather in many different cities?

I know 4 hours is an exaggeration but how much could he be there in one day that it's exhausting? like did he just talk non stop the whole time?

But if we could get him with no trade offs?

Fuck yeah bring on the genetic engineering.

Try harder.

Because this guy was a unique talent and training someone to get anywhere near as fast as him is not as feasible as switching to a computer solution that is scalable, will improve with time and requires at most a few hours training.

Not to mention how flexible a software solution is. Payroll software I have used in the past has tons of features that you can't get from a guy with a calculator. For example remote access, no one at the office but you need to check how much wages for every employee were paid for the month of June? No problem can do it from home. Automatic payment system. Would you rather this guy works out how much everyone is meant to get paid, writes it down, forwards it to accounting who then manually pay every person on the books or have the same program that calculates pay automaticaly take the funds from the business account and pay everyone with no additional labor required.

i'm guessing phonics

Pick something useful and apply your above average learning ability to it for a few years.

We know.

Autism probably isn’t even your biggest problem. It sounds like you have a really negative, self-defeating, blame others type attitude.

Here was fudging the numbers. I guarantee it.

he was able to complete this task in just hours without a calculator

Yeah but everyone got checks for tree fiddy.

Yeah but he insisted on blasting The People’s Court in the breakroom