Genius is an indescribable and possibly ineffable quality, mostly because it is not thought to be a giftable state of mind.
Genius is a lucidity within the construct of a person's own mind. Its expression or even mere understanding is frequently bound by constraints due to language [ 1 ] See also the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which while wrong has some things to think about. , culture, education, motivation or environment.
If there is but one quality which describes the separation between creatures in this universe, it is the qualities that is genius.
It is common that genius is a two-edged sword, with such a person being afflicted with subtle but potentially crippling social or emotional disorders. Manic depression (bipolar disorder) is so common alongside genius as to be pretty much expected.
One way to think of genius is that it is the uncapping of both ends of a person. They are capable of great heights of intelligence, and yet are capable of a great callousness or cold privacy.
Often, genius cannot exist without a massive support-structure. People exhibiting such qualities in themselves can usually only bounteously express them while undistracted by normalcy.
Genius has jack-shit to do with IQ tests. Such tests are subjective. Their results are based on a comparison group which may not even be peers to a subject. A person's testing may vary widely, depending on their mood.
Genius is a quality that transcends experience. A person with such a trait is able to discern things with such clarity which are not even part of their normal set of experiences. It is as if they understand a little of a lot. More accurately, such a trait grants some small understanding of underlying generalizations. Once one knows about the colour red, one sees it in all things [filtering].
If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.
Genius qualities ∞
TODO - figure this out, just as the Enlightenment topic was.
Several exist, even some which are outright disorders.
- Confusion, sullenness, anger, etc.
- (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, "having learned much")
- A person whose expertise fills a significant number of subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply refer to someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today's standards.
- ego (lack, abundance, weirdness)
- Perfectionism or qualities of being systematic or planned or trying to grasp the world or events with such tools.
The range of human knowledge today is so great that we're all specialists and the distance between specializations has become so great that anyone who seeks to wander freely among them almost has to forego closeness with the people around him.
- A tendency to lean on your native ability too much, because you've always been rewarded for doing that and self-discipline would take actual work.
Geniuses in history = geniuses-in-history ∞
See also My heroes.
Just some random people I've come across.
Charles Sanders Peirce, philosophy, mathematics, semiotics.
- Founded pragmatism.
- Peirce suffered from his late teens onward from a very painful nervous/facial condition then known as "facial neuralgia", which would today be diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia. Brent says that when in the throes of its pain "he was, at first, almost stupefied, and then aloof, cold, depressed, extremely suspicious, impatient of the slightest crossing, and subject to violent outbursts of temper" (B:40). Its consequences may have led to the social isolation which made his life's later years so tragic.
- Never married. Seems to have never had a solid relationship.
- Obsessed with codes in the bible, and prophesy about the apocalypse. Non-trinitarian.
- "hidden papers" surfaced 200 years after his death. I suspect forgery / revisionism.
- "ADHD" (had to move to think)
John Forbes Nash Jr., mathematician
- Nobel prize winner in economics. Schizophrenic.
- Mentioned and interviewed in BBC's "The Trap" - Fuck You Buddy, part 2.
Georg Cantor, mathematician
- Played at the edge of infinities. He was very focused and determined and spiritual, believing that his mathematics was a communication from God. He exhibited manic depression and had multiple nervous breakdowns and never recovered.
Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist
- Extremely passionate about his work, considering it the meaning of his life. Also a manic depressive. Suicide.
S = k log W
Nikola Tesla, inventor
- .. looks to have been compulsive-obsessive, and manic-depressive.
Charles Darwin had alternating confidence and fear about publishing.
- Q0OlAElN434 (at 9:00)
Srinivasa Ramanujan, mathematician
- A neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.
- Numbers are coloured. Like that guy who sees numbers as shapes and colours and can do very complex math by them.
- Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz daydreamed the benzine ring. He told two stories, one of a snake biting its tail, or maybe multiple snakes biting their tails, and another of dancing atoms and molecules.