A book review I read in the New Scientist. (And my thoughts on what I can remember.)
Sudden Genius? The gradual path to creative genius – Andrew Robinson
The article describes a book, the central theme of which is about Genius and where it comes from.
The author aparently looks at 4 scientists, a linguist, an architect, a musician, a writer, a film maker and a photographer. They all walk into a bar…
The article argues that genius is merely your brain doing background work, and that it is the process and way of thinking that makes genius rather than the thinker him or herself. However, my brain’s background work all seems to revolve around food, sex and alcohol. It is true that I believe myself to be a genius at food and sex whenever alcohol is involved, however…
This is based around the thoughts of Poincare on the subject. He was a mathematician and a Frenchman, so you can turn off now if you wish, it may not be the most thrilling of ideas.
The Poincare conjecture is a mathematical phenomenon, in the same way that I am a sexual phenomenon – I look good on paper, but I have very little practical use…
Poincare came up with this conjecture and then, 30 years later, post rationalised how he came up with it. So he came up with an idea and then spent 30 years working out how to come up with the original idea. Surely he could have then come up with another idea in that time?
He believed in a four stage process. Very logical. And still a virgin.
Concious thought, (I’m thinking about the girl)
Unconcious thought or incubation (I don’t realise I am thinking about the girl),
Illumination, (I stalk the girl on Facebook),
Verification, (I can confirm she is a girl, the police have warned me to stay away from her)
However, the article also refers to the fact that this has not been seen in laboratory conditions. (Apparently rats don’t think through things in the same way that we do. Well there’s a surprise! Although the subjects weren’t rats.)
It then goes on to say that of course it would not happen in laboratory conditions because the subjects were not as interested in the subjects (now I’m confusing myself. If the subjects were subjected to experiments involving subjects such as what it is like to be a royal subject and objectified like hairy round objects, would they object?)
Having read this article, you don’t have to.
My review of the article: 1*