How many 'Geniuses' have you known?
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28-09-2011, 09:56 PM
RE: How many 'Geniuses' have you known?
I think the label genius is a huge misnomer. These days we connect it with testing and IQ which is hogwash. Who started that ridiculous idea? At a given point on a particular scale someone arbitrarily pins the word genius based on a percentage of population that take tests.

A genius is someone who stands out among humans in ability to change the direction of mankind... Mozart was a genius, Einstein was a genius, Ramanujan, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pythagoras, Edgar Allen Poe, Michelangelo... these people represent human genius. Not someone with some number pinned on their lapel at a Mensa meeting.

Example; William James Sidis, considered probably the highest IQ in history in the neighborhood of 300. Look it up. He was a very interesting person. He was known to be very congenial. Totally useless in the scheme of humanity... I would never put this person or anyone above or below an IQ of 140 in the same ranks as the above mentioned true geniuses simply based on arbitrary testing of people who take tests.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
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28-09-2011, 11:10 PM
RE: How many 'Geniuses' have you known?
I think everyone has different kind of intelligences.

Usually the 'geniuses' I met were gifted in math and science, yet very poor with cultural knowledge or language.

I think there is many ways to measure intelligence, and to be honest I think everyone has the same ability, all it requires is practice and determination.

Sure from time to time we get savants, but that is EXTREMELY RARE.

We all have 'gifts'

Though loathe to use the phrase, gifts, as it is assumed it is given, usually be some sort of creator-- which is of course, false.

Need I remind everyone of the movie, GATTACA?

Maybe it's the educator in me talking... but the topic of intelligence always gets me. I see potential and ability in every human, no matter what.

So those snooty mensa club members can take their IQ and shove it. I refuse to be labeled and pigeon holed based on a very biased test.

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01-10-2011, 07:13 PM
RE: How many 'Geniuses' have you known?
(22-09-2011 09:56 PM)dredmal Wrote:  I do not like stating this publicly but technically I am a 'genius' by measurable standards and I hate it.
Personally, I feel this gift is a curse. This gift has led me to a life of withdrawal and seclusion and I see no signs of me coming back.

Yeah....I can identify. I tested out really high in grade school. what. It didn't help me. In many ways, this made my life hard. I'm sort of Asperger's Syndrome. Like many such people, I had a college level vocab before kindergarten, so spent the next several years in a state boredom guaranteed to create one seriously cynical & pissed off student. I did not have a general excess of ability, rather it was highly specific to verbal skills, & certain higher maths. As a result, my parents' expectations upon seeing the results of the testing were, in the main, unmet. My mother was never satisfied unless I got 110% on everything. ("You're smarter than this, you're just not trying,") while the kids at school abhorred me, (ALL of you failed except Susan, who got 110%, why can you be more like her?")

But all that was back in the stone age. Now we know a bit more, & understand that IQ cannot be distilled down to a simple number that tells all. My husband's mentor was what I would call a true genius. He was a professor at Cornell & various depts fought over him, as he was an expert in so many areas. He could study something for a few days & simply know it. He worked on the first neural networks. Regrettably, he died in his early forties. When my husband relates this man's abilities to absorb complex knowledge completely & rapidly, I think, THIS was genius.

I think intelligence above the pack is isolating. Especially if it's very lopsided, as happens in Asperger's, which by the way I suspect is common in higher IQ people. It's rare to find someone whose entire brain in dialed up. MUCH more common is extra ability in some areas, while others are left hungry.

Also I think a functional genius is on a spectrum between dangerous & regular. Someone who can see a new product, invention, path - that person must be both clever enough to see this new thing, & also confident enough to trust his own judgement, rather than listening to naysayers. Someone who totally ignores input is closer to being a sociopath, or some other type of person too detached from societal feedback. Yet you let others guide you too much, & you won't follow your own vision.

So there are several factors:
  • raw potential
  • nurturing (my parents didn't get that I should have been in college at 12)
  • enough confidence to ignore critics
  • enough connection with others to listen to some criticism
  • some way to leverage the specificities of one's intelligence

Every time you say you don't believe, Jesus rips the wings off a fairy. -
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02-10-2011, 12:28 AM
RE: How many 'Geniuses' have you known?
I'm telling you that everyone I meet is genius. ...

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