Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:48 am
Today I was bored and decided to go through some old notes from one of my classes, and I stumbled upon this wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on true genius:

Quote:
But true genius seeks to defend us from itself. True genius will not impoverish, but will liberate, and add new senses. If a wise man should appear in our village he would create, in those who conversed with him, a new consciousness of wealth, by opening their eyes to unobserved advantages; he would establish a sense of immovable equality, calm us with assurances that we could not be cheated; as everyone would discern the checks and guaranties of condition. The rich would see their mistakes and poverty, the poor their escapes and their resources.


Of course that is typically not how it works in the real world. The genius typically is not the person pulling the strings in the modern world. Instead, it is the automatons following the orders of others that have aquired power--whether with merit or not. Does this suggest that the world is intimidated by genius, or genius by the world?

Anyway, to get the discussion rolling here are some questions. What is genius? Why is there a connection between genius and insanity or is this only an appearence? Would the world be better off fostering a social environment that nutured genius?
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hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 02:19 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus, it is impossible to know when a genius is going to arrive, or where, or how. Those who think they're geniuses, e.g., Ayn Rand, are narcissists. True genius consists of more than just ability. It also needs a fair amount of luck--to be in the right place at the right time. Do you think if Newton were born in 1443 he would have discovered gravity? Of course not. His theories developed from the work of the mechanists (and directly countered them in some ways); the same goes if Einstein were born in, oh say, 63 BC. Without Newtonian gravity and the Victorian unification of electricity and magnetism to guide him, he would have never developed relativity. Known true geniuses--Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Newton, Darwin, Einstein--were influenced by developments in their chosen fields; had those developments never existed, their breakthroughs would have never happened.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 06:06 pm
@hammersklavier,
"Talent is hitting a target no one else can hit; genius is hitting a target no one else can see."

Can't recall who said that. May have been Schopenhauer.
0 Replies
 
Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:28 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Why is there a connection between genius and insanity or is this only an appearence? Would the world be better off fostering a social environment that nutured genius?


Language and social manifestations are in my mind total disorder - by their very nature as intended conceptual manifestations; >language is a lie, truth is ineffable, etc< .

So, for some 'genius' is a state comparable to intense animal cognition (like the skills of a King Cobra or 'lion whisperer'), for me it is a state closer to order than is possible by social order... if that makes any sense then it makes sense that genii are sometimes considered 'insane'.

Second question - yes. How about free city keys for the genii's uses?
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:23 am
@Theaetetus,
Genius is warry of the world... Consider how you might feel crossing a room full of drunk punks with knives??? Those who seek power have none, and those who have power usually have te sense to save it, or use it wisely...And genius is a certain power...The really dangerous people must use power to prove they have it, and find their power diminished and people resentful... To see what is going on means recognition of the absolute unremitable madness of life, to see people are not rational, and are dangerous, even deadly, self destructive...Apart from being welcomed in any community, the philosopher better recognize that he is a plague, and he ought to be very damned certain of what he says before opening his mouth, chosing words wisely... Anyone can be useful, but no one is seen as more useless and unnecessary than that one asserting what all else are trying to deny...
0 Replies
 
shadowyxgold
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 04:55 pm
@Theaetetus,
". . .and those who have power usually have te sense to save it, or use it wisely..."

This depends on how you define wise. If you define wise as "for self-gain," then you're right on.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 08:18 pm
@Theaetetus,
Tell me; will you cry, when the battery dies???
0 Replies
 
shadowyxgold
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:47 pm
@Theaetetus,
"Tell me; will you cry, when the battery dies???"

wtf?
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 06:06 am
@Theaetetus,
Part of a poem I wrote in my head once, about a time in the not too distant future when we run out of fuel, even nuclear fuel, and have to live under ground for protection from radiation, and have to face a long night for humanity in the dark...

As is said: How to define wise...Well how does a society define wise use of any resource when it generally demeans wisdom and forethought in any activity and raises anti-reason on a pedistal...Look at how much of lives and politics is given to faith??? Look at how we consider government control in banks even after handing billions to the banks...We refuse the rational, that is, the responsible control of our economy, and so let the economy control our lives without defense... You know, even if you accept that people are emotional, faithful, antirational, and irrational; that is no good reason why people should not in their public and social lives be governed by reason...Our society denies time... What rational people denies cause and effect working through time...We feel blessed so we need not fear consequences??? We know we will die so we need not fear for the next generation and protect them from our stupidity??? No...Only this moment exists...If you have it prove it by using it...If you got it flaunt it...If you got it waste it... Our history should make a philosopher of every person, because we must surrender our whole existence to the magic of the market place, or seek a new day for reason...
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 07:59 am
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier wrote:
Theaetetus, it is impossible to know when a genius is going to arrive, or where, or how. Those who think they're geniuses, e.g., Ayn Rand, are narcissists. True genius consists of more than just ability. It also needs a fair amount of luck--to be in the right place at the right time. Do you think if Newton were born in 1443 he would have discovered gravity? Of course not. His theories developed from the work of the mechanists (and directly countered them in some ways); the same goes if Einstein were born in, oh say, 63 BC. Without Newtonian gravity and the Victorian unification of electricity and magnetism to guide him, he would have never developed relativity. Known true geniuses--Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Newton, Darwin, Einstein--were influenced by developments in their chosen fields; had those developments never existed, their breakthroughs would have never happened.


I think that had Newton or Einstein not have existed when they did, other people would have made the same discoveries. Discoveries are often made by two different people independently from each other. I agree that preceding developments are far more important than the actual person making the discovery.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 10:56 am
@Theaetetus,
Genius keeps pace with the ability to sense and measure through technology what genius suggests is true... Clearly, the Greeks had their share of genius, but what hey lacked was the tools of science... The mind must often tell the eye where to look....

Who says Newton discovered gravity??? I did as a child the first time I fell on my assss... Newton formulated the laws of gravity...
0 Replies
 
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 02:13 pm
@Theaetetus,
Newtons laws actually deal more with motion.

(just fyi):poke-eye:
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 07:22 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
Newtons laws actually deal more with motion.

(just fyi):poke-eye:

You may be correct; but I thought he was the one that found the ratio of the force with the radius squared... I am a long way from my old physics book...
0 Replies
 
vajrasattva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 06:50 pm
@Theaetetus,
In roman mythology a genius was a guardian angel. I believe that an angels wings represent quickness of intellect in Judao-christian mythology. In fact in paradise lost they say in a more eloquent fashion that angels eat, sleep, drink, and [email protected]# just like everyone else. The root word of the word genius is genii like the one in the lamp. So what is a genius? All three of those descriptions look like things I could use. However, I am a genius (by classification anyway) so I'm a little confused. Please don't pray or make wishes and no I can't fly. To be frank, I feel no different than anyone else walking around looks and probably screw up more often.
God bless America
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 07:03 pm
@Theaetetus,
I've met a Nobel Prize winner and I've gotten to know a lot of extraordinarily accomplished people.

The one thing that unites them is that they work really really hard.

Theaetetus;46643 wrote:
I think that had Newton or Einstein not have existed when they did, other people would have made the same discoveries.
Certainly true for Newton. In the Islamic world they had already discovered calculus about 500 years earlier.

Also, if Newton or Einstein had lived in a different era, they might not have stood out.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 10:34 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I've met a Nobel Prize winner and I've gotten to know a lot of extraordinarily accomplished people.

The one thing that unites them is that they work really really hard.

Certainly true for Newton. In the Islamic world they had already discovered calculus about 500 years earlier.

Also, if Newton or Einstein had lived in a different era, they might not have stood out.

Well I hope no one expects me to be smart and work too...It's one or the other folks...I got to enjoy my life too...I think..
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 10:49 pm
@Theaetetus,
I am smart, I work hard at what I do, and I enjoy life. I don't see the issue.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 11:08 pm
@Theaetetus,
If you do not see the issue, that fact may or may not have two meanings..
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 11:10 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I've met a Nobel Prize winner and I've gotten to know a lot of extraordinarily accomplished people.

The one thing that unites them is that they work really really hard.

Certainly true for Newton. In the Islamic world they had already discovered calculus about 500 years earlier.

Also, if Newton or Einstein had lived in a different era, they might not have stood out.

I am not sure about that...I think a Turk was very close to a differential calculus, but it was no five hundred years before Newton... Are you sure of your facts...
0 Replies
 
The profits pen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:28 am
@Theaetetus,
Genius, the collaboration of the soul. A spirit unto itself, it is created by those who stand with a sense of purpose, a part of this universe, and dis-attachment to themselves. the word change comes to mind, certainty of change and the ability to cause change, as well as the ability to prevent change. The world exist in symbols and metaphors, which in term are put together to manifest a certain type of change.
 

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