Retread – The dual requirement of humility and charity for genius

Comment I left at VP apropos of nothing, because I was triggered. Nothing new here, but it’s a good summary and worth repeating.


There is no room for false modesty – Not where genius is concerned

Vox Day
There is no room for false modesty

Okay, this is true but there’s a counterbalance that needs to be acknowledged.

Humility is absolutely essential to genius because it is more important for obtaining correct answers than intelligence (I won’t have to convince anyone here of the importance of intelligence). I won’t get into the detailed reason for this. In contrast, false modesty is a form of peacocking and is a perfect predictor of self-aggrandizement, which is the opposite trait of genius.

The key is to understand the difference between relative and absolute measures, which requires a belief that aesthetics and truth are objective. A genius understands that in the grand scheme of things, he is an insignificant mote of dust. However, he acknowledges that he has some truth he is morally obliged to share with his fellow man out of generosity, which assumes a position of relative superiority. That superiority could be as simple as the understanding that “I have this great story in my head, and nobody else does”.

In the West, this moral obligation arises either from Christian charity or some form of secular humanism, but very few geniuses hail from the latter camp because the belief in one’s relative superiority (in some significant way) leads to absolute superiority within that system. It is a contradictory delusion to believe otherwise, although the existence of a few atheist geniuses like Bertrand Russell shows it is possible.

(Russell achieved this by being depressed and miserable for his entire life, which is a sinful but effective way to starve one’s self-aggrandizing instincts of motivation.)

Advertisements

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Retread – The dual requirement of humility and charity for genius

  1. Heaviside says:

    Don’t you want to feel totally superior?

    I think arrogance is more important than humility for genius. If you fail, you must at least fail spectacularly.

    • Jdc says:

      But if you fail spectacularly then wouldn’t that impede tenacity? And isn’t genius part obsession, hence the requirement to keep at something until a paradigm shift is acquired?

      • Jdc says:

        In saying that, there’s such thing as a calculated risk. Fortune favors the bold.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          But the muses favor the goofballs.

          • Jdc says:

            Okay, so a labor of genius must be carried out in social isolation? Is a goofball necessarily humble, egotistical or neither? Perhaps a goofball is simply someone who lives in their own delusions therefore they are unaware of the ability to fail or that their work is somehow unnecessary for the facilitation of day to day activities. In which case arrogance is a natural outcropping or byproduct of this? And failing to be arrogant, to be humble is to see reality naked, to see the truth then there is no madness and no genius?

            • Aeoli Pera says:

              >Okay, so a labor of genius must be carried out in social isolation?

              Generally yes, perhaps 99% of the time. The abstraction level matters: what I do requires less interaction with other intellectuals’ previous literature than what Koanic does.

              >Is a goofball necessarily humble, egotistical or neither?

              Goofing off requires humility. This is not to say self-deprecation is the same; as above, this is a form of peacocking.

              >Perhaps a goofball is simply someone who lives in their own delusions therefore they are unaware of the ability to fail or that their work is somehow unnecessary for the facilitation of day to day activities. In which case arrogance is a natural outcropping or byproduct of this?

              You’re overthinking.

              >And failing to be arrogant, to be humble is to see reality naked, to see the truth then there is no madness and no genius?

              Madness isn’t necessary for genius, it’s just correlated. My definition of genius-as-chemical addiction only requires the addiction to 1) problem solving (i.e. creativity) and 2) presentation to the greater community.

            • Jdc says:

              Thanks, it was late and night and I kind of was burning my brain out trying to analyze what you were trying to say.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Keeping at something may actually reduce the odds of paradigm shift over time. As often as not it happens immediately upon viewing the problem. Tenacity is important for doing the grunt work, but that’s pretty much it.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Don’t you want to feel totally superior?

      No.

      >I think arrogance is more important than humility for genius. If you fail, you must at least fail spectacularly.

      Focusing on oneself produces ambition but it stands in the way of solving problems.

  2. Pingback: Communication style differences between aspies and neurotypicals | Aeoli Pera

  3. Pingback: A mnemonic for bullshit detection: PPEECS | Aeoli Pera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s