What Kind of a Word is 'Genius'?

David Shenk: I don’t think it’s really important to make a dividing line to try to figure out when you’ve crossed over into genius.  

Genius is an amorphous term to be sure. I actually try to stay away from it.  What I talk about is this idea of high achievement - people becoming great at stuff, becoming really, really good at stuff. 


I don’t think it’s really important to make a dividing line to try to figure out when you’ve crossed over into genius.  The point is gathering your resources, doing the best you can, pursuing whatever it is you love to do with an intensity and a resilience and a passion and just going as far as you can possibly go.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

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Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
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