What All Great Geniuses Have in Common

  • #26
503
0
That's not their job though for the most part. There have been some great discussions about how students are under the misconception that learning is a passive activity, something where the teacher throws information at you and you just need to soak it in and the professor must make it interesting for you. Students need to learn WHY they're learning this, they need to be the ones to ask questions, take the extra step to go beyond the lecture, and become motivated to learn. Let's face it, it's tough finding people with the knowledge to teach subjects at the level of a university. Demanding they do that plus be able to communicate to students why it should be important in a way each and every one of them can absorb is asking too much.

University isn't elementary school. You're there to learn because you want to learn, not because your parents told you to go......... although some people are like that :(
Yeah right, but if I fail your class it's your fault not mine! Just kidding, good post. I wish administrators would think like this.
 
  • #27
1,291
0
That's not their job though for the most part. There have been some great discussions about how students are under the misconception that learning is a passive activity, something where the teacher throws information at you and you just need to soak it in and the professor must make it interesting for you. Students need to learn WHY they're learning this, they need to be the ones to ask questions, take the extra step to go beyond the lecture, and become motivated to learn. Let's face it, it's tough finding people with the knowledge to teach subjects at the level w
University isn't elementary school. You're there to learn because you want to learn, not because your parents told you to go......... although some people are like that :(
First I want to say that I was talking about lower level education (middle school to high school). The pre-pubescent and adolescent age is when kids are most malleable. This is when their attitudes and beliefs mainly form about school and other aspects of life.

It isn't the teacher's job but it should be. If we had more people taught to TRULY appreciate the world's complexity then the world would be much different than from what it is today. We are in the 21st century, no longer in the middle ages where it should be simple pieces of information thrown at you to soak like a sponge.

You say students need to learn WHY they are learning but how are they to do that when the teacher hinders this by simply making the atmosphere of regurgitating information. This isn't what teaching is about, and if that is the definition...then it is what it SHOULDN'T be about.

Taking extra steps beyond the lecture and being motivated to learn should be in the responsibility of the teacher. You are not born to do this. It is a learned behavior (referring to pshychology); only through society do you acquire this.
 
  • #28
503
0
Taking extra steps beyond the lecture and being motivated to learn should be in the responsibility of the teacher. You are not born to do this. It is a learned behavior (referring to pshychology); only through society do you acquire this.
You forget that some students are resistant to being motivated for social-cultural reasons. I.e. they think school is for suckers. You can make it the teacher's responsibility but the students will gladly accept responsibility for discouraging the teacher as much as they can. They are simply convinced that the world runs on other knowledge than academic knowledge, and they may be right (sadly).
 
  • #29
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
First I want to say that I was talking about lower level education (middle school to high school). The pre-pubescent and adolescent age is when kids are most malleable. This is when their attitudes and beliefs mainly form about school and other aspects of life.

It isn't the teacher's job but it should be. If we had more people taught to TRULY appreciate the world's complexity then the world would be much different than from what it is today. We are in the 21st century, no longer in the middle ages where it should be simple pieces of information thrown at you to soak like a sponge.

You say students need to learn WHY they are learning but how are they to do that when the teacher hinders this by simply making the atmosphere of regurgitating information. This isn't what teaching is about, and if that is the definition...then it is what it SHOULDN'T be about.

Taking extra steps beyond the lecture and being motivated to learn should be in the responsibility of the teacher. You are not born to do this. It is a learned behavior (referring to pshychology); only through society do you acquire this.
Ah then yes, it certainly is on more on the teacher if you're talking about K-12 education. It's unfortunate that for the most part, high school teachers are the ones who didn't have much motivation in their studies in the first place so that doesn't translate well to students. Though that topic is a whole 'nother ball game.
 
  • #30
66
0
what they all have in common is that everyone around them, thought they were "odd".
story be told. Einstein could not tie his own shoe. true or not. I don't know. I didn't ask.
Many others could remember formulas that was 20 lines of code but could not remember if they ate that day. they are all "odd" not to say the guy you stuffed in the locker last week for being odd is a genius.
 
  • #31
disregardthat
Science Advisor
1,854
33
If you cannot afford one you probably become one of the many "quiet geniuses" that you probably encounter everyday and do not even realize is a genius.
I don't believe in such a thing as an uneducated(-self or not) genius.
 
  • #32
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,124
2,552
But intelligence is not everything. If Albert Einstein grew up in the Sahara Desert in 1300, the fact that he was gifted at math would not amount to anything.
But the fact that he was a genius may have manifested itself in other ways.

I'm not saying the story of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kamkwamba" [Broken] proves he's a genius, but it's impressive none the less that a 14 year old son of farmers growing up in the middle of Malawai could construct an electric power generating windmill, with only a book and a bunch of junk as resources. But the fact that everyone in his village, including his family, thought he had gone mad, kind of implies that he was.

As was already stated:

Genius surrounded by legos will express itself in lego-creations.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #33
1,291
0
You forget that some students are resistant to being motivated for social-cultural reasons. I.e. they think school is for suckers. You can make it the teacher's responsibility but the students will gladly accept responsibility for discouraging the teacher as much as they can. They are simply convinced that the world runs on other knowledge than academic knowledge, and they may be right (sadly).
That is what they have learned through society and peers, you can change their perception. The human brain or certain thought processes is a surprisingly malleable phenomena. Take for example morals, ethics, or non-instinct behavior apparent in everyday life. A large part of what you see is socially constructed; and with that also comes malleability.

what they all have in common is that everyone around them, thought they were "odd".
story be told. Einstein could not tie his own shoe. true or not. I don't know. I didn't ask.
Many others could remember formulas that was 20 lines of code but could not remember if they ate that day. they are all "odd" not to say the guy you stuffed in the locker last week for being odd is a genius.
I really don't know where you are getting your information from?

Anyhow whether your information is true or not, you have a confusion with correlation and causation.

Are they geniuses because they are odd? Or are they odd because they are self-indulged in the world and knowledge around them that they pay less attention to what other people find as "normal"?

I don't believe in such a thing as an uneducated(-self or not) genius.
I think he means that they have the potential to be a genius.

I think it is safe to say that to be a "genius" you need to master your area of mastery. Psychologists speculate that it takes around 10 years to master a specialization (be it physics or even ballet).

Though people have potential, unleashing your potential or not is the key point.
 
  • #34
disregardthat
Science Advisor
1,854
33
Though people have potential, unleashing your potential or not is the key point.
Yes, I believe it to be a key point. Geniuses have to evolve through hard mental work as everyone else. I don't think that the potential is just silently waiting to be unleashed at some point of choice for a person who have the potential to be recognized as a genius.
 
  • #35
1,291
0
Yes, I believe it to be a key point. Geniuses have to evolve through hard mental work as everyone else. I don't think that the potential is just silently waiting to be unleashed at some point of choice for a person who have the potential to be recognized as a genius.
It is a long process, but ultimately the thought processes and habits that you choose to indulge is is what separates you from the crowd, or lets you blend oh so harmoniously.
 
  • #36
66
0
I know people who's though possess are a,b,c,d,e,f,g. there is no other way for them. I define them as linear thinking.
then there is the guy that starts at one letter and may take the most absurd path you ever seen, but in the end arrives at the destination.
this I define as abstract thinking.

wish is more intelligent? the thought that is defined and follows the path that is set before them. or the thoughts that wander around each letter looking for a new path, for the thrill of a new path?
classic example.
we live on a rock. that rock is like many other rocks in the universe. what is it that you do that can make a true difference on such a scale?

The linear thinker automatically says "nothing"
the abstract thinker will pick up a rock. and move it. "that rock will never be in the same place as before. I have made a change in the universe. small as it may be."

this is not to say that a linear thinker cant be a genius, but I believe that more abstract thinkers are more likely to be so. and thus because they do not fit the "norm" of social perception. are thus, thought Odd.
 
  • #37
503
0
this is not to say that a linear thinker cant be a genius, but I believe that more abstract thinkers are more likely to be so. and thus because they do not fit the "norm" of social perception. are thus, thought Odd.
What I think you mean to do is to distinguish between conformist thought and non-conformist though. Intelligence can be expressed in both but only gets recognized as genius in non-conformist thought, I believe, because conformist thought usually leads to predictable results. Putting a lot of energy into non-conformist (i.e. independently-creative) thought and work leads to interesting results, but the reason those seem "special" is because they are defined in comparison with "normal," i.e. non-special, things. So, once again you run into the problem of normativity and conformity determining how the results of thought are labeled and viewed.

Without conformity/normativity, it wouldn't matter whether thought/work was special "genius" or not. The only issue would be utility. If something is useful, you use it. Normative evaluations form an intermediary filter between thought and action (or better said: between conception and utilization).
 
  • #38
149
0
What I think you mean to do is to distinguish between conformist thought and non-conformist though. Intelligence can be expressed in both but only gets recognized as genius in non-conformist thought, I believe, because conformist thought usually leads to predictable results.
Don't most leaps occur when "predictable results" have been exhausted and a non-conformist approach yields a result?
 
  • #39
63
0
Ramanujan NEVER attended even a decent school or college in his life!
 
  • #40
63
0
Ramanujan NEVER attended even a decent school or college in his life!
Ah good example RoughRoad! Indeed Ramanujan had almost no formal trainng in maths, and was taken to Cambridge I think, and he soon died because it was said he just couldn't fit in to his new life (died of malnutrition and other things I think). So the prestige school and surrounding actually killed him!
By the way his story is amazing. You should read it if you haven't heard of him.
 
  • #41
43
0
I really don't know where you are getting your information from?

Anyhow whether your information is true or not, you have a confusion with correlation and causation.

Are they geniuses because they are odd? Or are they odd because they are self-indulged in the world and knowledge around them that they pay less attention to what other people find as "normal"?
There is some truth in this actually. High functioning autistics, known as savants or asberger's syndrome, are often considered to be at the genius level in their area of expertise. Many have extraordinary memory for things like numbers. Kim Peek, they guy who inspired rain man, is a great example. He memorized 12,000 books, reading them two pages at a time (one with the left eye, one with the right). People with autism almost universally have a very difficult time interacting with people and understanding them, so they seem odd. Einstein also had autistic traits, such as having early speech difficulties.

I think the most common element in genius is that they are driven and fascinated to learn as much about a certain topic as they can. If they think differently I don't think it's because of conformist education, but because they seek out materials and ideas on their own and obsess over them.
 
Last edited:
  • #42
63
9
I know people who's though possess are a,b,c,d,e,f,g. there is no other way for them. I define them as linear thinking.
then there is the guy that starts at one letter and may take the most absurd path you ever seen, but in the end arrives at the destination.
this I define as abstract thinking.

wish is more intelligent? the thought that is defined and follows the path that is set before them. or the thoughts that wander around each letter looking for a new path, for the thrill of a new path?
classic example.
we live on a rock. that rock is like many other rocks in the universe. what is it that you do that can make a true difference on such a scale?

The linear thinker automatically says "nothing"
the abstract thinker will pick up a rock. and move it. "that rock will never be in the same place as before. I have made a change in the universe. small as it may be."

this is not to say that a linear thinker cant be a genius, but I believe that more abstract thinkers are more likely to be so. and thus because they do not fit the "norm" of social perception. are thus, thought Odd.
When we say the " Often the best solution is the simpliest. " is that because we always tend to overcomplicate things ? Is that why they are so easily overlooked ? For me, personally, when I finally understand something in a way that relates to what I already know, and understand how it fits, it is usually so simplistic in nature, so..far removed from the original question that there is that facepalm moment.

The proverb of " If you want to find the easiest way to do a hard job, give the job to a lazy man ", implies that the sometimes brilliant solution can come from somebody who appears mentally flaccid .

I have an interesting vantage point from this, in the respect I dropped out of highschool. I had started school 2 grades early, later held back 2 years, failed 9th once, gave up and got my GED and went to earn associate's in commercial design/graphic art . Then I immedietly went to work as a chef.:tongue2:

But I always had a fascination for learning things, read at college freshman level in 3rd grade, etc, at the same time, a total pain in the rear problem child.lol. An interesting turning point for me was in 2nd grade, where I had unknowingly stumbled onto Vedic type maths, but was berated by a frustrated teacher for doing so.

I was immedietly stricken with the thoughts " Are there different modes of thought for arriving at the same results , and how exactly do we see the world , store and access the information ? " ..." Is consensual reality merely a matter of semantics ? "

Could it be...? What was to be gained by willfully accepting only that which was being taught, when I realized that by my own logical deductions, I could get the same result faster ? I knew that I was being taught by somebody who had no passion, even at that age, but this also made me very interested in actually espousing traditional learning and education to some extent, at least what I was being offered, and trying to arrive at the same logical end conclusions of the great thinkers.

It made sense to me that were I able to follow the same trains of thought, and intuitional forays into things, that there would be perhaps a deeper fundamental understanding of how things relate, and why they relate, more importantly.

Now I'm 38, and going back to school this fall after a life of working and studying things on my own. I've seen demonstrated time and time again, that unorthodox thinking is where brilliance is found, the " outside the box " thoughts, that for some reason or another is overlooked. I posit simplicity. I did quite well for myself in the restaurant business because I was so good at making things simple.

Some would say that a chef has no understanding of science or physics, I would counter that cooking is physics you can eat with a little poesis thrown in to boot.

But enough about me :uhh:

I love to listen to Feynman talk about looking at things from a different perspective, this also is the outside-the-box thinking, imho.

An interesting story:

Last summer, while studying some things relating to the oil spew in the Gulf, I met a chemist omline who had worked for BP in Alaska. He told me that they had a problem on a platform with a type of automatic/manual switch mechanism of some sort that would get iced over. It was a fairly big problem, apparently detrimental to the operation.

The solution was found by a high school dropout, apparently somebody who has a name in the petroleum industry for being a self-taught genius , and is actually hired from time to time for engineering consulting purposes ( I'm not making this up :tongue2: )

* scribbled on a piece of paper *

" Remove both faceplate mounting screws of switch, pull switch out, rotate 180 degrees and reinsert into faceplate. "

40k he was paid for this....

Genius
 
  • #43
Yeah Ramanujan lived in a small farming village in india in the middle of nowhere.

Of course after he was discovered he quickly went to oxbridge where he did prolific amount of work. Mind you which considerable amount of it was wrong.
 
  • #44
151
0
I was immedietly stricken with the thoughts " Are there different modes of thought for arriving at the same results , and how exactly do we see the world , store and access the information ? " ..." Is consensual reality merely a matter of semantics ? "
Isaacsname, if you are not familiar wth Emile Durkheim, you ought to be, at least on the basis of the thoughts you have expressed. Key phrase: "Collective Representations."

A specific book I would recommend is his last work, "The Elementary Forms of Religious Life" (But, to provide a proper context, you might want to read a bit about that which constitutes a "Social Fact" first.)

Best,
Raphie
 
  • #45
63
9
Isaacsname, if you are not familiar wth Emile Durkheim, you ought to be, at least on the basis of the thoughts you have expressed. Key phrase: "Collective Representations."

A specific book I would recommend is his last work, "The Elementary Forms of Religious Life" (But, to provide a proper context, you might want to read a bit about that which constitutes a "Social Fact" first.)

Best,
Raphie
Interesting, Ralphie. Yes, this is similar to many conclusions I've had about things, I find sociology fascinating, the dynamics of societies and groups and how things are held in the public eye within them. The wax and wane of trends and beliefs is a window into how easily people are manipulated, Asch's conformity experiments are today's living for many, ie: things like flash mobs. Mirror neuron studies, I believe, will open a new door in how we understand functional societies and the subtle things that drive them. Vilayanur Ramachandran's work is fascinating, if not a little out of my scope of current understanding, but still..

Happy to have made your aquaintance on PF, I will do some reading tonight, Durkheim's first on the list.

Take care,

Isaac
 

Related Threads on What All Great Geniuses Have in Common

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
41
Views
12K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
559
Replies
56
Views
7K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
25
Views
6K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
32
Views
6K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
35
Views
7K
Replies
40
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
48
Views
3K
Top