An idiot savant is a person with autism that has extraordinary skills
in certain domains in spite of cognitive deficiencies in most others.

If you think about it, that description characterizes most people – probably even you. You know a little bit about a lot of stuff, but for the most part you're clueless about the way most things actually work. Try to explain to someone how a computer functions or what makes plants green or how airplanes resist gravity. We take these things for granted with only a cursory knowledge of the underlying principles. We're all dullards when you come right down to it.

But you also probably have intimate knowledge on something that intrigues you or something you collect or do. You know the lines from your favorite movie verbatim. You remember the statistics of every player on your favorite team. You excel at a certain sport. You're a master at what you do. It's what makes you unique.

That's what the Internet is all about. The net is teeming with idiot savants, experts with home pages devoted to singular topics. Many argue that the Internet has fragmented society, but it has also brought people with similar interests together. You probably have more in common with a fellow Pez dispenser collector living in India that you e-mail or chat with on the net than you do with your own neighbor.

Idiot Savant was founded on this idea...
and of course, the idea that there are monkeys in my bathwater.

More on Idiot Savants

The Internet Movie Database lists three memorable movies with an idiot savant as the lead character:

On television, MTV aired a game show named Idiot Savants.

On The Tick cartoon show there was a great idiot savant character called The Sea Urchin who speaks like Rain Man.

There was even a band in the late 80's named Idiot-Savant, "a post-punk-funk-rap-crack group that arrived on stage in a cloud of cannabis smoke and proceeded to play the music that was channeled through their ultra creative jellied brains."