But I won’t talk about me. I’ll talk about a friend of mine. He stepped away from his role with the US Gov’t and spent the last year wandering through Africa and Eastern Europe. I don’t concern myself with him having a roof over his head, because he always will. He just doesn’t define himself by living in SF and putting a roof over his head; nor does he bemoan what could have been. He just is.
There are things that don't matter (someone a bit clueless working earnestly) and things that do (scammers, violence, etc). The goal is to differentiate and respond appropriately.
IMHO, it's neither. If others want something from you then they pamper you to get what they seek, and the more indispensable you are the more they tolerate. Over time you feel no pressure to adapt your behaviour because those who deal with you feel compelled to adapt to you.
Is your comment supposed to be satire? No one has ever said "When did they become a genius?" about someone who is considered a genius. I think, at least colloquially, genius is considered to be innate.
By understanding how a thing works, the more power one has to change it. Therefor, the better one understands their own intelligence, the more power they have to change their intelligence. However, being able to tease apart intelligence requires a high prerequisite intelligence, muddying the water between innate and not. In whole, I do not think intelligence is exclusively nature or nurture.
Asking someone, "When about do you think you became a genius?" is a great question. I might have to steal that one next time I bump into a genius offline.
Consider the interaction between John Carmack and Steve Jobs that was posted the other day:
> One time, my wife, then fiancée, and I were meeting with Steve at Apple, and he wanted me to do a keynote that happened to be scheduled on the same day as our wedding. With a big smile and full of charm, he suggested that we postpone it. We declined, but he kept pressing. Eventually my wife countered with a suggestion that if he really wanted “her” John so much, he should loan John Lassiter to her media company for a day of consulting. Steve went from full charm to ice cold really damn quick. I didn’t do that keynote.
Do you really want to be remembered for anecdotes like that?
But if you question everything, try to work things out from first principles, and wonder what happens if things are done differently... well, you're "eccentric", at best.
It seems logically possible for a person to be a perfect conformist socially, and a wild free-thinker intellectually, but it wouldn't usually happen that way.
My comment, in the context of yours, comes across as childishly excusing/justifying antisocial behaviour. I'm not sure what to thinkn= of that. But I just meant that tendencies tend to transfer.
By its nature, it's hard to notice this in yourself. I like to think of myself as capable of independent thought. But when I've been solo camping for a few days, some of my perspective evaporates on contact with others, like a dream on waking. It's hard to even notice it leaving. I imagine they leave imperceptibly in daily life.
I think I know myself pretty well, better than most, and this allows me to make a pretty good guess about the way I would react. I think that if I were to answer wrongly to the Ash experiments, I would do so because of what is described in the Wikipedia entry as "distortion of judgment". This stems mostly from my view of the world and my belief that human observation, without aiding tools and methods of quantification, can be very unreliable. That applies for me as well, leading to poor confidence in my direct observation.
Thankfully, creating new ideas or solutions has several steps, observation being just one of them, another being the processing of the stimuli into the final idea. This, I consider, is where I am far better than the observation stage. Given a set of observations I arrive at a pretty complex solution and/or idea, and this is where most of my deviation from the norm usually stems. But I am aware of the possibility of mistaken input data of vicing this process, and forming the wrong conclusion because of it.
Anyways, sorry if I came of a bit arrogant, this was more of an introspection exercise and me musing and a little bit over-generalizing about the way people think.
These two sometimes works together, against each other or are absolutely ambivalent to each other.
So the question of eccentricity becomes a question of how do you need to project yourself upon others.
"All the world's a stage" as they say.
I think there are a couple of factors at play here. The first is that you never hear about how normal an artist was. Nobody talks about how Ansel Adams didn't beat his wife and wasn't an alcoholic, because that's just normal. We only talk about Hemingway's alcoholism, or Van Gogh's mental condition. So we're conditioned to believe that artists are flawed people.
The second factor is that people want to justify why they're not a great artist. "I'm not a great writer, but at least I don't emotionally abuse everyone I know and I'm not a raging alcoholic".
Plus there's doping in athletics. People love to criticise Lance Armstrong for doping (among his other flaws), but there's no way, even with doping, that the average person would be able to compete in pro cycling, all the steroids, clenbuterol, EPO, and other PEDs in the world couldn't dope you up enough to be competitive at that level.
People love to justify their mediocre existence (not that there's anything at all wrong with mediocrity). They could be a businessman if they were more sociopathic, they could be an athlete if they used steroids, they could be an artist if they took drugs or were more eccentric.
Maybe the average mediocre person is not just justifying their mediocre existence.
Maybe you are rationalizing bad acts bad on idea that being socially celebrated matters more then ethics and moral.
The beautiful wife will get old as any other women, unless you exchange her ever few years. Being wife merely as a social status trophy is not the kind of relationship I would find attractive at all. I know that some girls are raised to believe that is what they are supposed to be, but that is another category of things I would rather avoid.
If you have an obsession to be number 1, then probably you need that extra edge (no matter how slim). But I think the deeper question is why does anyone need to be number 1? I think the reality is that most "nice guys" just don't care. You can be "successful enough" and ethics don't even enter into it.
<insert big jerk who is massively successful here> will never enjoy the simple pleasures I do -- because they are driven to be a big jerk who is massively successful. (Not necessarily implying that I'm not a big jerk anyway ;-) )
>The creative occupations considered in these studies are overwhelmingly in the arts, which frequently provide greater autonomy and less rigid structure than the average nine-to-five job. This makes these jobs more conducive to the success of individuals who struggle with performance consistency as the result of a mood disorder.
People with emotional problems or substance dependence wash out of more structured jobs pretty quickly.
Another example is the stereotypical eccentric mathematical genius, of which there are endless examples. Pure math shares something with art here, in that a single gifted person can produce important results independently. I mean, I'm having a hard time coming up with very many examples of famous mathematicians who weren't a bit strange.
There IS actually a proven connection between schizotypal traits and creativity where there really isn't with mood disorders (except bipolar to an extent), since you're "mad" but not so much so that you can't function well enough to execute your ideas. It's worth googling about.
Genius is a distinctly one-in-a-million phenomenon, this is about people of above average creativity and how they relate to those of below average creativity. And very dubious categorization at that.
Einstein is the best example of this. Relativity, and its implications, are intuitively insane and absurd. Yet his logic led him there and he invested an immense amount of effort and energy trying to prove it. And it turned out he was correct. In a parallel universe where the laws of physics are more sane, Einstein would have been labeled as insane for even imagining such an 'absurd' idea might be reality.
"To say that a great genius is mad, while at the same time recognizing his artistic merit, is no better than to say he is rheumatic or diabetic"
His daughter had mental health issues. She went to see Jung and the exchange allegedly went
“Doctor Jung, have you noticed that my daughter seems to be submerged in the same waters as me?” to which he answered: “Yes, but where you swim, she drowns.”
I could focus on a project 24-7-365. That's how great projects get done. And people who get great projects done are what we call "geniuses".
I'm better now. Sometimes I think of the great projects that I could do but then I think, "no thanks, life is bigger than that".
Okay for some this is children, but that's hardly a legacy in many cases. You have greatness born to fools and fools born of greatness, so in the end you're just leaving your mark as a roll of the dice which is hardly unique in any case.
But what we create and help bring to light are things that can reshape and redirect humanity, changing our path forever.
Foucault M. History of Madness. Khalfa J, editor, translator & Murphy J, translator. New York: Routledge; 2006. ISBN 0-415-27701-9.
Of course, if there is a birth advantage there- all the meritocratic idealism and work wont get you or your kids there.
So its very very anti-equalizism. Its okay, though, if that "benefit" messes up someone elses life and strands him/her living in a box. That is just how the world is supossed to work. Sick people must suffer, if they do not fit into the world tailored for average people by average people. No sense in protesting gods wanted order. Move along.
It is hell.
Not only for them but often for those who care about them. It's not about a rosy, whacky persons that the society whimsically outcasts. It's often legitimately tortured people that almost always need serious treatment and constant care, otherwise they risk falling into a very dark abyss.
They often wind up hobos or sometimes in prisons/asylums because they don't have treatment and a very supportive family available, falling in disrepair, not because an evil plot of society.
If this condition were the price to pay for breakthroughs, I'd consider the price too high. But indeed it isn't -- there are no examples of seriously ill paranoid schizophrenics that put out meaningful work. It's a massive hindrance, fogging your view of the world and yourself. Often cited cases like John Nash actually stopped being able to conduct any good work once the disease got hold of them. There are countless examples of extremely brilliant people productive through their lives that never showed signs of delusion, and almost no cases of delusional persons doing good work.
This disease largely embodies the obscurantism, mysticism, fear, distrust, that scientific enlightenment was idealized to fight against. I can't wait for its root causes to be found and it completely eradicated (along with MS, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, please).
I daresay Adolf Wölfli is one counterexample. Institutionalized for most of his life, beleaguered by paranoid delusions (some of which found their expression in his work) but it was under the circumstances of that illness that he produced the art he is so acclaimed for.
Utter hogwash. There are countless artists who struggled with schizophrenia and bipolar and produced beautiful, amazing work -- Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson, and Daniel Johnston spring to mind.
Creativity and intelligence are considered different, but related, and Kahneman talks about how the activation of System 2 allows people to make more well informed (smarter) decisions.
People such as Mozart were known for feeling nervous anxious etc, until they wrote music which was cathartic, which nowadays I'm sure would be diagnosed as some sort of mental illness.
That's postulated as a given. If it's not a given, then it's a red herring. The author supplies no evidence that it's a given. As far as I got, the phrase 'mood disorder' was undefined.
... But is there any scientific reason to believe in a connection?
Science doesn't believe, science constructs and improves models based on repeatable observations. That which cannot be observed cannot be modelled. People can choose to 'believe' those models ... which is 'faith'. Which science was invented to get away from.
So in the first two paragraphs, the author prepares us for the illucid neo-phrenology which follows.
That's confusing the scientific ideal, with how actual scientists operate. Actual scientists hope that they get something right, they feel strongly about their research like the mother of a child, they're just as clouded by emotions as any other human being. And if you add corruption into the mix, then yes, what we call science is not as solid as it looks, but it still provides useful results sometimes.
But we can still talk about a scientific reason to believe. Because the reason might be scientific, but it still might be something which we can believe or not. Because scientific reasons are about as flawed as their creators.
The replication problems in many fields are evidence that science is only as ideal as the people producing it.
My own unempirical take on genius is it's not so much "you need some insanity to have groundbreaking genius-level ideas" but "some people are so into doing thing x that they will choose to do it almost all the time, and some of these people have talent and luck in thing x too, which is a potent combination that looks like what we'd call genius".
I saw it all. Seizures. Fistfights. One girl was pretty sure there were secret messages from the principal in the tests I gave. Lots of them started taking drugs early too.
The culmination happened in the Fall of 2012, when one girl convinced her friends that, if they killed themselves, they'd wake up already graduated from college, with school behind them. Luckily, they didn't succeed. And so, in a class of 30 people, I had 6 out and in a mental hospital.
Mad geniuses. They're real.
Probably half the class or more had some form of condition, Autism, ADHD, depression, etc.
Looking back at it now, I don't think it was the case that gifted people are generally "mad". I'm a fairly normal person, and so were a lot of other people in the class. I think that rather, it was that these kids didn't integrate well into conventional education, but this gifted education class was very understanding and accepting of people's "quirks", and had a much more open learning environment where people could grow in their own way. I ended up there because I struggled with the structured nature of normal school.
I've met plenty of people over the years who could be considered gifted (in this case, top 5% IQ), most of them are completely normal and probably just dealt with the overly structured nature of normal school.
The promoter of doctors handwashing wound up instituionalized. And it isn't a in the past problem. I mean look at interviewing etiquette and ideals for one. They distrust people who can't or won't put on a mask convincingly enough as untrustworthy. Not even as "unsuited for a job where it is relevant like sales or acting". That is frankly barking mad to only trust those capable of faking.