An interesting correspondence I found in someone else’s writing.
The melonhead is thus even more problematic in terms of genius. The stereotypical melonhead is an all-rounder: performs extremely well in all school subjects and has a very high ‘Grade Point Average’ as it is termed in the USA. He is excellent at sports, Captaining all the major teams. He is also attractive, popular, sociable and well-behaved.
The melonhead will probably be a big success in life, in whatever terms being a big success happens to be framed (he will gravitate towards such aspects of life) – so he might in some times and places make a good marriage and do a great job of raising a family; in another time and place he might go to a top-notch college and get a top-notch job – and pursue a glamorous and infertile lifestyle of pick-up artistry; with desirable mates.
But the melonhead is not, cannot be, a creative genius. The genius is pretty much everything the melonhead is not. He (or she) is lop-sided in his abilities – truly excellent at some things or maybe just one thing, he is either hopeless or bored by many others. He won’t work hard for long periods at things he does not want to do. He will not gravitate to the prestige areas of life and cannot, or will not, do the networking necessary to get-on.
The melonhead can never be a creative genius because he does what other people want by the standards they most value. He will work harder and at a higher standard in doing whatever it is that social pressure tells him to do – and he will do this by whatever social standards prevail, only more thoroughly. Meanwhile the creative genius will do what he does because he must.
The melonhead will not want to alienate potentially powerful allies. Meanwhile the creative genius is indifferent or hostile to the opinions of others so long as he knows he is right.
The melonhead is great to have around, everybody thinks he is wonderful. Meanwhile the creative genius is at best a person who divides opinion, strongly, in both directions – at worst often a signed-up member of the awkward squad.
This is a quote taken from Dutton and Charlton’s book The Genius Famine from the section “The Head Girl”, with all references to the Head Girl replaced with “melonhead” and a couple of other minor alterations. What’s intriguing about this correspondence is it suggests a natural, Sapiens-based origin story for melonheads emerging from a bubble society of Mandarin “Head Girls” (and Head Girl-leaning boys). This would explain 1) the tendency of melonheads to become high-achieving polymaths (“superstars”, in terms of the three high-IQ types), and 2) the common observation that male melonheads have a strong touch of the feminine in their cognition, and particularly in their social style.
I would expect this to occur in a cro magnon, scaled-up hierarchical civilization rather than a proper “sapiens” society, which tends to be relatively flat, despite sociosexual hierarchy, purely for lack of scale (see Dunbar numbers post).