It's Not Too Late for You to Be a Genius
The word genius tends to get thrown around pretty liberally these days, especially when everyone from Bob Dylan to Mike Myers has been tagged with the superlative. But in an age where academics and researchers are looking to decode the genius myth, we’re learning more and more about what quantifies genius and where it comes from. Turns out you could have been a real genius at some point.
Journalist David Shenk attempts to debunk the concept of genetic genius in his new book, “The Genius in All of Us,” analyzing cases from Mozart to Michael Jordan. While genes do play some role, Shenk described genius to the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog as “an accumulation of skills.” By that rationale, the idea that genius was something reserved for a small group of genetic anomalies is false. In a word, any number of us could have been and perhaps still can be geniuses. It’s a concept that science is now beginning to back up.
The scientific community has started attesting to the resiliency of the brain in recent years. We now know that simple games targeting brain function can stave off senility and even grow new brain cells. While neuroscientists have begun isolating the parts of the brain that process information, the very concept of genius has become its own cottage industry. With companies touting everything from training regimens to Trivial Pursuit as a means of enhancing brain power, there seem to be a number of real-world activities that can help us become geniuses. But it mostly appears that much of what we think we know about genius is wrong.
The contemporary idea of genius is mostly tied to the Genius Study established in 1928 by Louis Terman at Stanford University. The program, which looked to refine the minds of child prodigies, failed to produce a single Nobel Prize winner. Meanwhile, two Nobel winners (William Shockley and Luis Alvarez) were rejected by this study as children. Now that we have managed to categorically associate genius with other traits like promiscuity, autism, manic depression, and even psychosis, the scientific community seems to have divergent theories about genius as the term itself become diluted. The debate today has mostly been reduced to nature versus nurture.
It appears that genius is wasted on the young. The Genius Study showed that child prodigies didn’t necessarily fulfill the lofty goals foisted upon them. Those who had a eureka moment long after their childhood, like Stephen Hawking, who was well into his twenties before he began to cultivate his genius reputation, tended to fulfill those goals instead. Then again, Malcolm Gladwell points out that most so-called geniuses unveiled their most-famous works both late and early in their careers. This indicates that there is no real timetable on realizing genius, especially considering the variance of contributing factors from case to case. So in the end, we can simply chalk up luck, genetic and otherwise, and a lot of hard work and motivation to what enables our inner genius. Of course, that’s assuming the definition of genius hasn’t changed entirely by now.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.
- Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
- Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
- Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.
- A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
- However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
- In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.
- The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
- The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
- The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
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