The Origin of Genius

During my Creativity Class last summer we began the entire class on the statement that creativity occurred at the intersection of disciplines. That it required no particularly great intellect, no large cranial matter or not genetic predisposition for intelligence nor focused upbringing that predetermined a creative mind, but that an individual merely needed to be familiar enough with two different scopes of knowledge to draw parallels and connections with solutions that would otherwise be restricted to their own scope.

I would like to expand on this a little. As a member of Mensa, an organization that prides itself on the intelligence of its members, I have found a significant lack of actual, true genius amongst their ranks. Individuals whose Ideas are so profound, so earth shattering that they redefine even the basic patterns of thought that we, as individuals, are used to. No, instead I find these insights in individuals whom I encounter in everyday situations, people met in parks or coffeeshops, individuals whose names I don’t even remember but who manage to convey in a few short words what other “intelligent” individuals might take years to discover, simply by virtue of experience.

True Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. IQ, as tested today, is a measure of capacity and potential, not use, and to give an individual a ranking based on their capacity is like telling a Prius it’s better than a semi by virtue of gas mileage alone. And thus the more I think about it, the more I realize that Genius, true Genius, is not defined by such things as IQ, but rather defined by how useful the intersections of domain knowledge that an individual has are. It’s your education, your life experiences, and your memories on how your brain has met and solved problems that define genius, not the details that you might have retained from each of them.

Don’t ever discount someone’s ideas because you think they are less intelligent than you. Given their background, they may very well hold the key to your problem.

In the case of brains, it’s definitely not the size that matters- it’s how it was used.


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