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5 most common myths about geniuses and genius
5 most common myths about geniuses and genius

It is not so easy to understand that there is a genius next to you. Largely because we can't come to an agreement and decide what the word means. The delusions associated with genius also interfere.

5 most common myths about geniuses and genius
5 most common myths about geniuses and genius

It is not easy to understand that we are in the company of a genius. Sometimes it is also because we do not know what this word means.

For example, in ancient Rome, a spirit that patronizes a person or a locality was called a genius. In the 18th century, the modern meaning of this word appeared - a person with special, almost divine abilities.

Today we can easily call someone a marketing genius or a political genius, without thinking that a real genius does not need such clarifications. True genius goes beyond one area. Therefore, we must not use this word so wastefully. Let's remember the main misconceptions about genius.

Myth number 1. Genetics is genius

This idea appeared a long time ago. Back in 1869, the British scientist Francis Galton published the book "The Heredity of Talent", in which he argued that genius directly depends on our heredity. But genius is not genetically transmitted at all like eye color. Brilliant parents do not have brilliant children. Heredity is just one factor.

Another factor is hard work. In addition, the attitude towards one's business also influences. This is confirmed by a study conducted among children involved in music. It showed that student success is not determined by the number of hours spent rehearsing, but the attitude towards music in the long term.

In other words, it takes a certain mindset and perseverance to be a genius.

Myth number 2. Geniuses are smarter than other people

This is refuted by examples from history. Thus, most prominent historical figures had a fairly modest level of intelligence. For example, the IQ of William Shockley, the Nobel laureate in physics, is only 125. The famous physicist Richard Feynman has the same result.

Genius, especially creative, is determined not so much by mental abilities as by the breadth of vision. A genius is one who comes up with new, unexpected ideas.

Also, genius does not necessarily require encyclopedic knowledge or excellent education. Many geniuses dropped out of school or did not officially study at all, such as the famous British scientist Michael Faraday.

In 1905, when Albert Einstein published four articles that changed the understanding of physics, his own knowledge of this science was inferior to that of other researchers. His genius was not that he knew more than others, but that he could draw conclusions that no one else could.

Myth number 3. Geniuses can appear anytime anywhere

We usually think of geniuses as a kind of shooting stars - an amazing and extremely rare phenomenon.

But if you map the appearance of geniuses around the world in the entire history of mankind, you can notice a curious pattern. Geniuses do not appear out of order, but in groups. Great minds and new ideas are born in certain places at certain times. Think of ancient Athens, Renaissance Florence, 1920s Paris and even today's Silicon Valley.

The places where geniuses appear, although they differ from each other, have common characteristics. For example, almost all of these are cities.

The high population density and sense of closeness that arise in an urban environment fosters creativity.

All these places are characterized by an atmosphere of tolerance and openness, and this, according to psychologists, is especially important for creativity. So geniuses are not like shooting stars, but like flowers that naturally appear in a suitable environment.

Myth number 4. Genius is a morose loner

There are many such characters in popular culture. And although geniuses, especially writers and artists, are more prone to mental disorders, in particular depression, they are rarely alone. They want to be in a society of like-minded people who can calm them down and convince them that they are not crazy. Therefore, geniuses always have a "support group".

Freud had the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, which met on Wednesdays, and Einstein had the "Olympic Academy". Impressionist painters got together and painted together in nature every week to keep their spirits up in response to criticism and the public alike.

Of course, geniuses need to be alone sometimes, but often they switch from solitary work to communication with others. For example, the Scottish philosopher David Hume sat in his office for weeks and worked, but then he always went out and went to the local pub to live and communicate like everyone else.

Myth number 5. We're smarter now than before

The number of university graduates and the IQ level are now higher than ever, which is why many people think that we are living in the era of geniuses. This misconception is so popular that it even has a name, -.

But people at all times believed that their era was the peak of development. And we are no exception. Of course, we have witnessed a huge breakthrough in digital technology, but the question of our genius is still open.

Many monumental discoveries have now been made in science. While impressive, they are not important enough to change the way we think about the world. There are no discoveries similar to Darwin's evolutionary theory and Einstein's theory of relativity.

Over the past 70 years, significantly more scientific research has been published than before, but the percentage of truly innovative work has remained unchanged.

Yes, we are currently producing record amounts of data, but this should not be confused with creative genius. Otherwise, every smartphone owner would be a new Einstein.

It has been proven that the flow of information around us only hinders major discoveries. And this is really alarming. After all, if geniuses have one thing in common, it is the ability to see the unusual in the ordinary.