Friday, March 01, 2019

"Obsessiveness—that was another trait he came to think of as peculiar to himself. His mind had no temperate zone: he was either possessed by a subject or not interested in it at all. There was an obvious downside to this quality—he had more trouble than most faking interest in other people’s concerns and hobbies, for instance—but an upside, too. Even as a small child he had a fantastic ability to focus and learn, with or without teachers. When it synched with his interests, school came easy for him—so easy that, as an undergraduate at U.C.L.A., he could flip back and forth between English and economics and pick up enough pre-medical training on the side to get himself admitted to the best medical schools in the country. He attributed his unusual powers of concentration to his lack of interest in human interaction, and his lack of interest in human interaction . . . well, he was able to argue that basically everything that happened was caused, one way or the other, by his fake left eye."

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