[ExI] high quality minds

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 20:08:29 UTC 2018

OK, then, let's take a different slant - what is a genius?  There are
plenty of people who have IQs above 145, like me, who have done nothing.  I
realized very early that I was deficient in imagination, creativity, or
whatever you want to call it.  So I think we have to move beyond IQ.

If we define genius in retrospect, anyone who makes a major contribution to
the field could be called a genius, regardless of IQ.  Musical elites have
estimated Mozart's IQ to be around 190, but Beethoven's only around 120,
and arguably Beethoven was more creative.

Turning to math and science, I have no idea how to rate discoveries, but
I'll bet some of you do.  The main definition problem to me is the binary
nature of how we are using the word genius - have it or don't.  It's got to
be more nuanced than that.

It seems to me that the greatest genius is the one who has made the
greatest leaps in intuition, relying less on previous people, like Darwin
did on his grandfather Erasmus (how much is known of this?).

bill w

On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 8:45 AM, SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:

> In a certain way, I subscribe to both theories, but I don't hear it talked
> about much more.
> I think that the basic foundations of our modern science might have
> required geniuses. Not because non-geniuses would be incapable of
> discovering those things, but that non-geniuses require a modern-like
> education system and scientific apparatus in order to make the types of
> contributions that they do today. Without that framework, I'm not sure many
> non-geniuses would have the education or mindset to properly consider
> questions, and even less to formulate usable *scientific* answers.
> After an initial foundation of education and scientific methodology is
> established, I believe most of scientific progress is inevitable. I do,
> however think that the 90/100 view is too rosy. Genius is really not all
> that uncommon, I don't think, and it is concentrated in scientific and
> similar fields. If we take the easy way out and just define a "genius" as
> someone with an IQ over 145, then that's about 1 in every 1000 people, or
> 7M geniuses alive right now. Of course, depending on how we define genius
> there might be more, or less.
> But I also think that scientific progress is only inevitable as far as
> people looking in the same direction. For example, as long as people are
> trying to scientifically determine the origin of the species, then I think
> it is inevitable to end up with a theory somewhere near what we have today.
> But I'm not sure that the idea to look there is actually inevitable.
> And another issue, of course, would be that sometimes we lose knowledge.
> For example, how many brilliant minds were cut short by poverty, disease,
> alcoholism, and prisons? For example, we know that we have lost knowledge,
> sometimes quite significant knowledge, before. Some of it we have
> re-discovered (Roman Concrete) and some of it we have not (Damascus Steel).
> Even though I believe it is possible for us to rediscover Damascus Steel, I
> don't know if we actually will. Not because it is impossible, but because
> the focus of modern science is not on forging "magical" swords to slay our
> enemies. Weapons technology has moved in a completely different direction.
> On Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 11:48 AM, William Flynn Wallace <
> foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> OK, got your attention, since all of us, (ahem), in this group have
>> them.  My question:
>> Do you subscribe to the genius view of scientific progress, or the
>> inevitable finding view?
>> Was it inevitable that someone would 'discover' zero and negative numbers
>> if Brahmagupta hadn't done it?  (that's my answer).  Ditto evolution,
>> Newton's laws, relativity, etc.
>> Or am I just out of date (likely) and this is no longer a controversy?
>> As someone said (I think it was me): without geniuses, 100 years of
>> history has only 90 years of happenings (progress, inventions, etc).
>> bill w
>> _______________________________________________
>> extropy-chat mailing list
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
>> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20180910/6b6680b0/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list