A genius = an intellectual’s brain trapped inside an artist’s personality

I like this description. It’s concise and it communicates to people on multiple levels. Unfortunately, it lacks staying power because it’s based on a colloquialism about trannies. Probably will not stand the test of time for that reason :-P.

It’s also pretty obvious in retrospect, but it gives immediate vantage for some trivial corollaries. For instance, if you want more geniuses in a population, you have to breed intellectuals with artists. The social problems geniuses experience (amongst themselves and in their dealings with ordinary folks) are also nearly identical to those that artists face, and will have similar solutions (if they exist). Etc.

I think it is important to look at the premises of this enthymeme as well (spell check suggests “hymen” for enthymeme = the modern West in a nutshell). The societal function of an artist, as I understand it, is to draw generalizations about phenomenal impressions and to communicate these through the medium of aesthetics. Typically this is done using the tools, tropes, and language of the arts. Art becomes culture and culture becomes politics, which is the unified action of classes of people. The function of an intellectual is to be a user-friendly reference book with human perception, who preserves important knowledge, prioritizes that knowledge by utility according to situational awareness, and communicates correct ideas to the right people at the right times.

A genius also internalizes generalizations about phenomenal impressions, but he expresses this through the medium of “communicating correct ideas to the right people at the right times”. Though he is affected by art as strongly as an artist is, he is unlikely to feel an insatiable hunger for art like an artist is. He will instead have an insatiable hunger for information, like an intellectual. Like an artist, he will tend to fixation upon a single form of expression (knowledge) and specialize to such an extent that it is tempting to compare him to an idiot savant. Like the artist, he becomes essentially incapable of pursuing any desires other than the overwhelming drive to express generalizations through the tools of his fixation. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that he might as well not have any other desires, for all that they influence his behavior.

To contrast the creations of an artist vs. a genius, consider the impressions communicated by J.S. Bach (an artist) and Isaac Newton (a genius). Both men celebrate the harmony of a clockwork universe, but where Bach used music Newton used geometry. A painted rendition of this impression might look like this and a genius with a different fixation might express this like Kant did:

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily reflection is occupied with them: the starry heaven above me and the moral law within me. Neither of them need I seek and merely suspect as if shrouded in obscurity or rapture beyond my own horizon; I see them before me and connect them immediately with my existence.

Here’s some music, H/T Spirit Bear:

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About Aeoli Pera

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12 Responses to A genius = an intellectual’s brain trapped inside an artist’s personality

  1. Nottuh says:

    This was a brilliant post, Aeoli. I think this article explains a lot about the way geniuses are.

    Taking your point on breeding intellectuals with artists to yield geniuses, I think the best breeding combo for this purpose would be Jewish and East Asian mathematicians breeding with Jewish and East Asian visual artists and musicians.

    • Heaviside says:

      >Jewish visual artists

      Yeah, all zero of them. Jews don’t have (a) culture.

      My mother was a painter and my father was an engineer.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        >Yeah, all zero of them.

        This is a good point

        >Jews don’t have (a) culture.

        Not since the days of the first temple, it would seem. They had apparently become a tasteless bunch by Jesus’ time or before.

        >My mother was a painter and my father was an engineer.

        Show-off :-P

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Jews produce a lot of intellectuals (as defined) but not much in the way of artists. The “artists” they claim tend to be either hyperconservative, conscientious technical masters (about 1 in 4, ex. Mendelssohn) or hypersubversive progressive neurotics (3 in 4, ex. gay Hollywood Jews). Neither sort is properly an artist.

      East Asian visual artists appear (from way over here) to be restricted almost entirely to Japan, which has a thriving visual arts culture. Because they also produce some intellectuals, it is not a surprise that Japan produces a fair number of proper geniuses by themselves.

      If the Jews went to Japan and assimilated (not likely!), the rest of the world would be in serious trouble.

  2. Nottuh says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Heaviside. I’ll look into that.

  3. Pingback: M-back intelligence is specialized for seeking optimal strategies in game-like activities | Aeoli Pera

  4. Pingback: Working memory dysfunction in geniuses | Aeoli Pera

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