How to be a genius
by Craig Wright
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (15 min. read time)
“A genius is a person of extraordinary mental powers whose original works or insights change society in some significant way for good or for ill across cultures and across time.” — Craig Wright
G = S x N x D
Genius (G) = Significance (S) of the degree of impact or change effected x Number (N) of people impacted x Duration (D) of impact
“genius is indeed cultural; the notion of individual immanent genius seems to have emerged during the 18th century, in part because it mapped well on to a Western, expansionist, capitalist ideal under which individual property, especially intellectual property, could increasingly be generated and would enjoy legal protection.” — Craig Wright
“What’s not pure genius? IQ, it turns out, is overrated and so, too, are other standardized tests, grades, Ivy League schools and mentors…If IQ is overrated, curiosity and persistence are not. Nor is a having a childlike imagination through adult life, the capacity to relax so as to allow disparate ideas to coalesce into new, original ones, and the ability to construct a habit for work so as to get the product out the door.” — Craig Wright
Ernest Hemingway’s third wife (Martha Gellhorn) said this of him, “A man must be a very great genius to make up for being such a loathsome human being.”
“If you work for a genius, you might be berated or abused, or you could lose your job. If someone close to you is a genius, you might find that his or her work or passion always comes first. Yet to those so abused, made miserable or redundant, exploited or ignored, sincere thanks is in order for ‘taking one for the team’, the team being all of us who subsequently benefit from the greater cultural good that ‘your’ genius has done.” — Craig Wright
Craig paraphrases the writer Edmond de Goncourt: almost no one loves the genius until he or she is dead. But then we do, because now life is better.
My two cents: Yeesh, that genius equation seemed to be pretty spot on. Craig points out that it isn’t perfect, but I’d never seen another equation (or equation at all) that maps out what genius is. Genius is so nuanced, though. What about a genius soccer move (FYI I probably know more about soccer than anything else in my world) or some other act of genius that is only seen as genius to a small subset of people? I guess, according to the equation, it’s not actually genius.
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