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.
David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including "The Forgetting," "Data Smog," and "The Immortal Game." He is a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS. His new book, "The Genius in All of Us," will be published by Doubleday in March 2010.
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.
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