Mind

Mind: Genius flares … yet often just goes out

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Recently, we were apprised that the rarest of intellectual qualities, true genius, is merely an overdose of testosterone before birth.

You heard it here first and forgot it here first.

Recently, real news – of another child genius – has been making the rounds

At 12-years-old, Jacob Barnett is a genius. He’s already in college, his IQ is higher than Einstein’s, and for fun he‘s working on an expanded version of that man’s theory of relativity. So far, the signs are good. Professors are astounded. So what else does a boy genius with vast brilliance do in his free time? Disprove the big bang, of course.For a minute, just a minute, try and follow his logic. He explained his thinking recently to the Indianapolis Star:

According to those who study the phenomenon, while child geniuses usually grow up to be intelligent adults, few are super genius adults and many are creditable but not remarkable achievers. As one student of the subject puts it,

Gladwell cited a mid-1980s study (Genius Revisited) of adults who had attended New York City’s prestigious Hunter College Elementary School, which only admits children with an IQ of 155 or above. Hunter College was founded in the 1920s to be a training ground for the country’s future intellectual elite. Yet the fate of its child-geniuses was, well, “simply okay.” Thirty years down the road, the Hunter alums in the study were all doing pretty well, were reasonably well adjusted and happy, and most had good jobs and many had graduate degrees. But Gladwell was struck by what he called the “disappointed tone of the book”: None of the Hunter alums were superstars or Nobel- or Pulitzer-prize winners; there were no people who were nationally known in their fields. “These were genius kids but they were not genius adults.”

Besides which

The other way to look at precocity is of course to work backward — to look at adult geniuses and see what they were like as kids. A number of studies have taken this approach, Gladwell said, and they find a similar pattern. A study of 200 highly accomplished adults found that just 34 percent had been considered in any way precocious as children. He also read a long list of historical geniuses who had been notably undistinguished as children — a list including Copernicus, Rembrandt, Bach, Newton, Beethoven, Kant, and Leonardo Da Vinci (“that famous code-maker”). “None of [them] would have made it into Hunter College,” Gladwell observed.

Sometimes they end up as unhappy failures.

Which only makes the nature of genius more elusive.

3 Replies to “Mind: Genius flares … yet often just goes out

  1. 1
    Kyrilluk says:

    Genius is a social construct. Einstein, Newton, etc.. were considered genius, not because of their highest abilities but because they produce a work that was considered as being important by the society. I recently encoutered more and more people that consider Darwin as the greatest genius of all time, even thought the guy is far from being the clever guy in town (well for a start his mathematical skills were rudimentary compared to people like Galton, Mendel, etc..).

    If tomorrow the world looks like the movie “Idiocracy”, the new genius are going to be Lady Gaga, Dawkings and other famous “thinker”.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Exceptional (Genius) people, whether they be children, adults, or autistic savants, have always fascinated me;

    “An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality”
    Akiane – Child Prodigy – Artwork homepage – http://www.artakiane.com/
    Music video – http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4204586

    Autistic Savant Stephen Wiltshire Draws the City Of Rome From Memory – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200256

    Kim Peek – The Real Rain Man [2/5]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;index=1

    The Musical Genius – Derek Paravicini – Part 1/5 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kwjDLHX92w

    The Boy with the Incredible Brain – Daniel Tammet – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1453380070

    The Human Calculator – Ruediger Gamm – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200252

    Savant Syndrome: An Extraordinary Condition— A Synopsis: Past, Present, Future – article
    http://www.wisconsinmedicalsoc.....e/synopsis

    of related interest;

    The Near Death Experiences Of Children – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109139

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    Theres no such thing as genius.
    its just someone doing something that relative to a few others is better.
    in fact all the claimed genius’s always just do one or two things in their field. They simply have ideas.
    in fact they move in obscure areas that few men put their minds too.
    Come on people.
    Just accept someone did something better.
    Just because they dud better doesn’t make them a genius. It seems this word is realy just to keep propped up those slightly behind but think they are hot stuff.
    Newton or Einstein did very ordinary advancements in very obscure areas. No big deal.
    credit for imagination and thinking but no credit for a general higher intelligence.
    just concentration and then ideas popped into their head in rather rudimentary fields of discovery.
    Everyone just think and imagine more. Genius never existed and never will.

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