Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Link Between Genius and Insanity

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the skullcrusher-mountain dept.

Science 402

An anonymous reader writes in a story about the link between certain mental illnesses and high intelligence. "Genius and insanity may actually go together, according to scientists who found that mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are often found in highly creative and intelligent people. The link is being investigated by a group of scientists who had all suffered some form of mental disorder. Bipolar sufferer Kay Redfield Jamison, a clinical psychologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that findings of some 20 or 30 scientific studies confirms the idea of the 'tortured genius' or 'mad scientist.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This just in... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214227)

Emotionally unstable researchers find flattering results!

Re:This just in... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214321)

I question the results. I don't think scientists have yet to find a valid method to test the intelligence of someone who is mentally ill. Intelligence tests are positively correlated to the motivation of the test taker, and the mentally ill are often not motivated. I guess a bipolar person in a manic state might do well on one of these tests, but a depressed schizophrenic or a bipolar person in a normal or depressed state would probably do worse. How are they correcting for this?

Re:This just in... (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214375)

I question the results...

Suggestion: find out what kind of dat she's having before you challenge her:

Bipolar sufferer Kay Redfield Jamison...

Cheers,
Dave

Re:This just in... (1)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214349)

Why don't they just study the link between reading ./ and being more creative and intelligent than average?

Re:This just in... (2)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214379)

especially when compared to those that read /. ...

Re:especially when compared to those... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214595)

Yep,

When ordinary mortals were visiting Zombo.com, the mentally altered geniuses visited Obmoz.com.

http://zombo.com/ [zombo.com]
http://obmoz.com/ [obmoz.com]

Re:This just in... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214549)

Get a random sample of 100 people, send them to a shrink, then see how many the shrink considers to be insane. Most shrinks consider any person they see to have a disorder of some sort even if they would be normally considered to be sane in regular society. I've known someone who went to 10 different shrinks to see which diagnosis they made. Each one claimed he had a different illness (bipolar, schizophrenic, etc). Turns out his problem was simply being overworked (it was just fatigue). He took a leave of absence, rested for a month, and got perfectly fine. The doctors prescribed all sorts of shit which had worse side effects than the "illness" they were supposed to help treat (not cure).

Re:This just in... (5, Interesting)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214823)

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti [wikipedia.org]

Re:This just in... (1, Funny)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214851)

Wibble.

Really? (2)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214251)

Crazy.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214749)

being the smartest person on earth is like being a kindergarden teacher, only the kindergartners own your apartment, the streets, the guns, the hospitals, the psychiatrists, everything, and when they do something horrible it's always an accident, because they don't know any better. Then they will cherry pick your ideas, steal the ones that work and have you committed, or sued for the theft of intellectual property. In fact think of the language surrounding intellectual property regarding any workplace, any idea you have on the work floor is typically laid claim to by the property owner simply by virtue of the location where you were when the idea was conceived, this is a blanket attitude of intellectual theft. There is nothing to gain from being smart, it's a service and nearly thankless service to humanity and hell, do you think Einstein HAD to study physics? No, he didn't, he very well could have become a semi famous drunken chess player instead.

Re:Really? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214803)

Spoken like an idiot who thinks he is smart.

Humanity has periods of hundreds or thousands of years of going almost nowhere. Genius does not exist in a vacuum. "Intellectual theft" is when you take someone's bike cunningly - you cannot steal ideas.

Stack overflow? (4, Interesting)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214255)

Maybe there is just a tippingpoint where the genius part of the brain has expanded that far that gets often out of bounds. Where the actual creativity is actually not a random set of neurons, but neurons primed for another task maintaining our common accepted singular personality.

I suspect it's more to do with (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214345)

the work ethic, the subversion of conventional wisdom and norms, and the increasingly esoteric and complex lexicon of the specialist being incompatible with social life, ultimately leading to isolation, stilted interaction, and resultant mental illness (some of it a matter of social construction, some of it legitimate disability).

At least, that's my experience—it's not that bright people are "inherently" socially awkward so much as that their practices, habits, and knowledge are incompatible with the lives, thoughts, and communicative practices of virtually everyone else, leaving them to be lonely, without much of a reliable support system, and feeling tremendously misunderstood, perhaps even hated, as well as having to deal with the knowledge (which can be quite persuasive) that everyone *else* thinks they're crazy, and the total lack of cooperation and support that can come with this.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214551)

...the subversion of conventional wisdom and norms, and the increasingly esoteric and complex lexicon of the specialist being incompatible with social life, ultimately leading to isolation, stilted interaction, and resultant mental illness...

Nah, Issac Newton was nuttier than a mercury laced fruitcake, and there was no esoteric complex lexicon of the specialist around for him, he was just starting to create it.

Mental illness causes isolation far more than isolation causes mental illness - of course, the observation is more than a little circular since "all well adjusted individuals enjoy the company of others" by definition.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214757)

Hmm. Funny that you should mention Issac Newton. Having reviewed some of his writings myself, he appears have to be suffered from a version of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Mercury exposure probably didn't help things.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (4, Interesting)

Stalyn (662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214739)

I don't think that's true. Take for example Terence Tao [wikipedia.org] . No doubt a genius but he doesn't seem to suffer from any "isolation, stilted interaction, and resultant mental illness". Then examine Grigori Perelman [wikipedia.org] , another genius but definitely suffers from what you described.

You don't have to be "tortured" to be a genius. But it doesn't hurt either.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (4, Funny)

Domminir (2053622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214775)

Wow, I've never seen it put so eloquently. I just prefer to say I was driven crazy by a world full of stupid people.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214791)

Where did you say the link for the subversion of conventional wisdom was? My copy is deprecated.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214801)

I don't think there's a single type or explanation, but I have known people who fit the stereotype. Both people in school and in my extended family have had creativity and brilliance mixed with madness, and it was pretty clear that these were intertwined and present since childhood. It wasn't acquired later due to reasons like you mentioned.

If anything, the mad ones who succeed in developing their creativity and intellect had a supportive environment as a bubble within the larger society. I suspect that those without the support just end up wrecked, with nobody recognizing whether they have greater intellect. You don't demonstrate brilliance while virtually strapped down with Haldol/Thorazine.

Re:I suspect it's more to do with (1)

supercrisp (936036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214849)

Sure. But that doesn't do anything to explain bipolar disorder, which is orders of magnitude beyond alienation/depression/anti-social behavior. The mania is unbelievable, people literally thinking they are god or can read minds, or losing any inhibitions in pleasure-seeking.

Re:Stack overflow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214395)

I believe I'm cyclothymic (mildly bipolar). My theory is that my brain doesn't properly clean up after itself, allowing me to accomplish a lot more and think of a lot of ideas over a period of time, but eventually either something chemical, or some need for neuronal pruning builds up and then I get overwhelmed and have to slog through depression as I go through the process of getting back to a normal state.

In general, I think that self-maintenance is a form of intelligence. I think that if you account for things that don't show up on an IQ test in your definition of intelligence, people who score highly on IQ tests aren't that much more intelligent than other people. I think there are some variations in total mental capacity, which accounts for what is called g factor (which IQ attempts to measure), but there are only so many points on your character sheet, if you will, so you can completely stack one category and be really great in it, but the deficiency shows up somewhere else.

What's wrong with me? (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214259)

"The link is being investigated by a group of scientists who had all suffered some form of mental disorder."

Shocking.

It's wyy most psychologists become psycholgists too. I have insecurity disorder. I try not to get angry when somebody calls me "stupid" and remind myself, "It doesn't matter what they think since I'm clearly not stupid." Still annoying though.

Re:What's wrong with me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214367)

If you often find yourself in situations where people have occasion to call you "stupid," and if you assume that you're not stupid, you might want to consider any/all of the following:

  1. Your behavior may appear "stupid" to other people.
  2. You may need to find a new workplace.
  3. You may need to make new friends

Re:What's wrong with me? (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214463)

Or "You may actually be stupid."

Um, that's probably not helping. Nevermind.

Re:What's wrong with me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214445)

......stupid

I guess that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214263)

Sometimes it takes someone mentally unstable to accept or think about science that is unthinkable to a sane mind,

Re:I guess that.... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214639)

People thought I was insane by thinking you could link quantum sciences with biological sciences.

And here I am, working with single-wavelength quanta growing plants.

Shows them!

schizophrenia (1, Funny)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214265)

one of me believes in it, the other one thinks it is a myth.

Re:schizophrenia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214335)

And neither of you know that schizophrenia and split personality disorder aren't actually the same thing.

Re:schizophrenia (0)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214359)

And neither of you know that schizophrenia and split personality disorder aren't actually the same thing.

you are right it was the voices in my head that made me write it

Re:schizophrenia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214795)

Why was this comment modded down? Multiple personalities would be classified as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It is usually caused by trauma (typically child abuse and molestation). DID is a defense mechanism against further psychological trauma (for example, you partition your mind so that the repeated molestation is happening to someone else).

Schizophrenia is most likely a genetic disorder and does not appear to be caused by psychological trauma or abuse. It does not involve splitting personalities. It involves hallucinations, delusions, and disorganization in thoughts and behavior.

Really, schizophrenia and DID hardly resemble each other. While a person might be generally disorganized and confused in both cases, a little digging will reveal the cause. One is abused, the other is genetic.

Re:schizophrenia (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214581)

How do the two of you feel about split personality disorder? Do the voices tell you it doesn't exist?

Re:schizophrenia (1)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214641)

How do the two of you feel about split personality disorder? Do the voices tell you it doesn't exist?

No one is busy telling me how smart I am and the other one is telling me to kill the smart arse.

Re:schizophrenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214769)

Mine just chant, "kill, kill, kill" all day. Except on Friday when they chant, "fire, fire, fire".

Re:schizophrenia (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214903)

One of him suspects a schism from reality, the other of him is perfectly sane, thank you very much.

Why isn't everyone a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214269)

If being a genius, or for the sake of argument, having a high IQ, is such big advantage, why haven't we evolved to have higher IQs? Or conversely, are their disadvantages to having a high IQ that prevented the average IQ from rising.

Of course, an IQ of 100 is defined as the average IQ, so maybe I should ask substitude "IQ corrected for inflation (or deflation)" rather than the standard meaning of IQ.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (4, Informative)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214317)

Compared to 1960 test results for IQ, slightly-above-average intelligences from today would be considered genius. IQ shifted almost a full standard deviation upward between 1960 and 1990.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (2)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214409)

Not only that, there is even a different result calculated per country. The main goal of an IQ test is to determine whether subject is higher or lower in points than the average. For every group there is a bellcurve set up, and the vast majority is in the 100's, if not, than the scores are changed to make it so.
Therefore someone scoring 90 in the US, tested in France might come out as 110 or the other way around. (insert jokes here).
Also over time the test is subjected to regular validity audits.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214529)

This is the Flynn Effect [wikipedia.org] . But it is much more obvious and less controversial on a longer timescale - we are all geniuses compared to our single-celled ancestors.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214587)

This is the Flynn Effect [wikipedia.org] . But it is much more obvious and less controversial on a longer timescale - we are all geniuses compared to our single-celled ancestors.

I guess you've never been to Walmart.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214407)

For starters, the genetics of intelligence have a large number of factors, and interactions between those genes is probably not all that simple. Secondly, some intelligence factors may not be expressed in all environments. If the limiting factor is diet, than those genes may have little value, or even be a disadvantage. Finally, humans are social creatures, and excessive deviance from the norm may be strongly selected against for reproduction, even if it is advantageous for the individual's survival.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214707)

Speaking about genetics. Warning: Anecdotal

My family/relatives seem to be doing quite well from an intelligence standpoint.Going back to my grand-father(5th-grade education), we all grew up semi-poor in large families who did manual labor. Turns out several of my aunts/uncles got offered free rides through college back in the 70s, most of my aunts/uncles are now well-off in highly technical fields. My siblings/cousins are also doing extremely well, getting A's in AP courses and many being labeled as "gifted". Some of us didn't do as well while in high-school, but did extremely well in college after working/paying our own ways through. We are now working in well paying technical fields, out excelling many of our peers.

I find it interesting that the majority of us are doing well above average, even though we came from poor families. The only thing we really have in common is a strong work ethic and most of us like to help other people.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214499)

Compared to the other primates, almost everybody is a genius. If you're not, you most likely have an identifiable disorder.

A better way to put your question might be, "why does the species have some members with noticeably higher intelligence than others?". It could be that intelligence really is on a bell curve, and the geniuses are just outliers. It could be like asking why most of the bees in a hive don't participate in reproduction.

OK, another way of looking at this. We're more intelligent than the other primates, so the average IQ of this species DID rise. It probably can't rise all at once. Maybe it's still rising. What is perfect intelligence? That would be the ultimate limit, right? Now maybe the question is like asking why rats don't see as well as hawks. For that matter, some birds see better than others--but don't fly as fast, or have such powerful beaks.

So. We've got enough intelligence to do well in the environment we evolved in. We don't need hawk-like vision or super brains to live as hunter-gatherers, or even as peasants in the Middle Ages. We're as intelligent as evolution says we need to be.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (5, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214553)

You caught yourself on using a technically incorrect definition of IQ - Thanks! You're halfway to understanding what you are wondering about, because you are at least trying to phrase your questions accurately.

A few points:

1. Intelligence does seem to be rising with each generation, if you use some of the standard tests and factor out a few questions for obvious logical reasons, (Such as one, for one example, that shows a picture of an old style rotary phone.). I.Q. remains at 100, but how many questions you get right to score that 100 goes up a smidge, in general, with each generation.

2. Intelligence is greatly affected by more than one gene. It's quite likely there are genes that together create a higher than average intelligence, mentally stabile person if they are all there together with a gene we'll call (as a convenient fictitious example) I.Q.Factor3A, but create a person with a higher than average intelligence, and a dehabilitating mental illness, if they are in the same organism as the gene I.Q.Factor3B version. It's also fairly likely there are cases where the I.Q.Factor3 gene doesn't, by itself, cause any problems in a person of average intelligence, whether it's version A or B.

3. One example of this is Aspergers syndrome. People (including many researchers) have tended to assume that a person with Aspergers has a lot of good genes for general intelligence and a bad gene that causes Aspergers, and that the same bad gene causes more 'typical' Autism in people without the bunch of good genes. But, that doesn't have to be the case. It could be, just for example, that a certain combination of otherwise good genes causes Aspergers if you have all five of them, but if you have any three, you get better than average intelligence without the problem side, and if you have any four, you get the smarts, plus only a few mildly limiting side effects that in general don't cause enough problems to be diagnosed. Factor in environment on top of this, and you see what a puzzle researchers are trying to unravel.

Re:Why isn't everyone a genius? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214555)

If being a genius, or for the sake of argument, having a high IQ, is such big advantage, why haven't we evolved to have higher IQs?

And who's to say that we have or have not evolved higher IQs? 20,000 years ago, Neanderthals weren't exactly sitting down to take baseline tests that would enable a comparison to current-man's intelligence. In 20,000 years, however, future-man will be able to run through today's IQ test and see if the average of his contemporaries is higher than that of current-man. (That is, if the differences between the culture expressed on our IQ test and his aren't so great as to make our tests meaningless to him. They're supposed to be culturally neutral, but that's nothing more than a guess about how people think in today's world, let alone 20,000 years from now.)

One thing we do know is that people choose mates likely to produce successful offspring. Think about all the factors that people consider attractive and therefore lead to mating: beauty, strength, intelligence, charm, wealth, power, courage, etc. Wealth and power are interesting because they're not necessarily inherited traits, but they provide evidence of someone who used whatever traits they had to become successful -- therefore they are likely to be good providers for their offspring.

Evolution isn't just about a single mutation. It's about the acceptance of mixing of that mutation back into the culture. People have to repeatedly demonstrate that they choose mates based on that trait for us to call it a success factor. In other words, you haven't seen it because you aren't old enough. (If you want, you can study history to try to figure out if the ancients were as smart as we are now, but that will probably yield nothing more than a debate.)

If higher IQs yield more successful people, they will eventually produce a population with higher IQs. Just don't look for results overnight. Set a reasonable timeframe.

Yeah... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214283)

I hate to be bipolar. Its awesome!!

Simplified headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214293)

Bunch of nutters excuse their loopiness by pretending they're just cleverer than you.

Programming analogy (5, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214315)

Linux games that try to make use of advanced features of OpenGL often suffer from driver bugs.

I'm sorry for writing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214329)

This is going to sound like the dumbest post (at least in this thread).
But I've taken a couple of "official" IQ-test. I've also been member of Mensa (Norway). They say my score is at least 170+, but you can't measure it any better with the tests they had.

I would say, maybe not insanity, but "not normal thinking" (how could it be normal?) and genius goes hand in hand. And yes, it's extremely easy to be considered bipolar, when you are almost always, with just a few exceptions, surrounded by idiots. You have to actively ignore most of what people do and say. Think about that! How lucky one would be, to work with people, interact with people more clever than your self. You could say, "Yes! That was a very clever idea!", even tho it is/was really amazingly obvious.

Re:I'm sorry for writing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214435)

they say my score is at least 7000+, but you can't measure it any better with the math they had...
too bad i don't know how to write engrish

Re:I'm sorry for writing this... (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214453)

it was so obvious that you came up with it first...

Re:I'm sorry for writing this... (1)

second_coming (2014346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214777)

You're obviously far more intelligent than me, I haven't a fucking clue what you are talking about.

Ive thought this for a long time (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214337)

Many great minds are called "eccentric" but when we break down what that REALLY is, usually it is some kind of disorder, Howard hughes comes to mind, a very very smart man by any account, but he was batshit crazy when it came to some things, You could make the argument that steve jobs was slighty off balenced, and Many other great minds over the years have had some form of mental disorder, usually something autistic.

Re:Ive thought this for a long time (1)

Ken McE (599217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214577)

Not sure Huges is a good example. Before the crash he was not that bad.

Re:Ive thought this for a long time (4, Informative)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214805)

Other examples:
  * Nikola Tesla (OCD and more)
  * Glenn Gould [wikipedia.org] (one of the greatest 20th century classical pianists; maybe autistic, definitely eccentric)
  * Paul Erdos [wikipedia.org] (20th century mathematician, also eccentric, referred to children as "epsilons", which is hilarious)
  * Alexander Grothendieck [wikipedia.org] (20th century mathematician; he's probably a hermit in the Pyrenees right now; Grothendieck is basically the definition of the reclusive genius)
  * Grisha Perelman [wikipedia.org] (mathematician of Poincare conjecture fame; also withdrawn)

Re:Ive thought this for a long time (1)

Domminir (2053622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214833)

If random capitalization and using commas instead of periods is counted as "eccentric," you should consider applying to Mensa.

Not unique (4, Insightful)

proslack (797189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214339)

From TA "Many prodigies like painter Van Gogh, author Jack Kerouac and mathematician John Nash had displayed self-destructive behaviors, and it is unclear as to why humans have evolved this trait. " Many people who *aren't* prodigies display self-destructive behaviors *all the time*.

Re:Not unique (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214433)

Good point. I'd like to see a study on the proportion of tortured geniuses versus tortured regular people.

Re:Not unique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214487)

Nice you pointed out a flaw the study could have possibly made in their reasoning but probably didn't. You must be a very smart fellow.

Re:Not unique (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214599)

Many people who *aren't* prodigies display self-destructive behaviors *all the time*.

Quote from the article

people who excelled when they were 16 years old were four times as likely to go on to develop bipolar disorder

The story here is that people who are gifted are more likely to be cursed with bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia. No one is saying the reverse is true, that people who are bipolar or depressed are more likely to be gifted.

There seem to be multiple causes of bipolar and schizophrenia. Perhaps some combination of genetics may predispose one to genius and also increases the likelihood of a disorder. That doesn't mean ALL the causes of disorder will have increased creativity or intelligence too, in fact they probably don't.

Re:Not unique (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214675)

I think it is possible that dumb people aren't going to be diagnosed as often because
1) intelligence make the symptoms more acute
2) nobody cares about dumb people

Re:Not unique (0)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214667)

Agreed: My brother's wife, $diety Bless her, is severely bipolar. And not very bright/intelligent at all. I'm not sure what my brother sees in her...

Re:Not unique (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214783)

Her soul ?

Re:Not unique (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214879)

Look lower...

Re:Not unique (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214865)

What makes you think this behavior was "evolved"? Maybe it's a defect or side effect? Self-destructive people do not necessarily appear to reproduce at a lower rate than the social norms.

Also what psychologists may classify as a disorder or disease may just be natural variance; it may be outside of what some people define as "normal" but that does not necessarily mean these are faults that must be corrected.

My mother knew the truth... (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214341)

"He's not crazy, he's just....special."

Take that, fourth grade teacher!

Never guessed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214351)

You mean, like a Savant? Thanks for the breakthrough there.
Next, you'll tell me that in a benign/benevolent environment, most of a person's behavior comes from their genetics- solving the obvious nature/nurture question that's about as obvious as the difference between day and night. One of many examples of nature vs nurture is the silver foxes. They bred the "passive pairs" and guess what? Now they have tame silver foxes.

Well here is some really up to date news! (2)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214357)

It has been a well known fact for years that the line between being a Genius and a Psychopath or a total idiot is a very thin one. It is also a well known fact that most of the greatest geniuses and psychopathic mad-men have all been left handed as well. I am left handed with a borderline genius IQ. Don't piss me off, I could either bury you in tons of intellectual garbage you would never understand or just bury you in the back yard! ;-)

Re:Well here is some really up to date news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214711)

...modded -1? A little too close to home, I guess... XD

tortured genius, mad scientist (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214369)

i prefer "mad tortured genius scientist"

Rope (4, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214371)

Think of it like rope. The longer the length of rope you have, the more you can do with it, but it's also much easer for it to get tangled up in knots.

Re:Rope (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214431)

. . . or hang yourself with it . . .

Re:Rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214447)

Think of it like rope. The longer the length of rope you have, the more you can do with it, but it's also much easer for it to get tangled up in knots.

Around your neck

Have I ever told you the definition of insanity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214381)

It's a lot more genius than you think.

not so sure (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214423)

my genius and insanity were endowed by lsd in my teenage years. well, i was reading and writing by age 3, but that proves nothing. i still think it was the lsd.

Re:not so sure (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214569)

LSD shuts down inhibitions... very liberating, but not mind expanding in quite the way that it is often described.

Re:not so sure (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214655)

are you speaking from experience?

So... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214437)

It was a good thing when I got excited and giddy about being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Everyone else was just jealous and too fucking stupid to understand me. Just like I always thought.

But (1)

woollyreasoning (2645455) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214661)

Everything changed when the fire nation attacked

I think people don't understand genius... (4, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214495)

If genius came free, without HUGE DOWNSIDES then selection would ensure that we'd all be geniuses. Think about it for a second, virtually every renowned genius had huge emotional or operational baggage. Dyslexia, autism, bipolar, monopolar, synesthesia... the list of common problems suffered by the exceptionally intelligent is legion. It's guessed that significantly more than half of all the great works of art and science were accomplished by Bipolar people in their manic phase. Personally, I think the hardest part for someone of profound genius, is being torn between the clear vision of what it possible and the sad reality of what is allowed by people to persist. There are some interesting conversations about ways of coping with genius. The Greeks had a very healthy concept, externalizing genius, such that it was a resource to be tapped and that some were simply better at getting to it. That took the onus of brilliance off the person, freeing them up, to simply pursue whatever it was they were pursuing. Here's a great TED Talk about that. [ted.com]

Re:I think people don't understand genius... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214785)

That's one potential theory. Another is that being a genius doesn't confer any particular reproductive/survival advantage. Furthermore it takes extra energy to think that much, and a larger brain at birth makes it harder to actually be born. Lots of potential reasons.

Considering that nearly everyone has a personality disorder of some kind, it's not surprising that smart people do as well.

Yes and no. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214507)

All geniuses HAVE to have some mental instability, since stability is the enemy of creativity. If you're fully stable, you've no reason to invent for yourself new methods of working through a problem. If you're fully rational, a small discrepancy between theory and observation won't keep you awake at night until you damn well fix the theory. If you're fully functional, you're going to be too busy doing regular work and won't have time for creative thought.

Very, very few insane people are geniuses, although many will think of themselves as such.

Whole lot of stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214525)

Genius and insanity is just a Hollywood construct.

Not worth any studies. Nor is studying genius and anything else.

When Psychology stops getting their ideas from Hollywood, maybe we will take them seriously.

Depressing news (1)

eruci (1546315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214557)

Mad scientist ponders mad scientists

Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214559)

Who didn't see that "Dr. Horrible" documentary? I should think this conclusion would be obvious after seeing that!

Obligitory Bond quote (1)

ian_po (234542) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214573)

"The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success." from Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) [imdb.com]

stupid govt wants justification to remain stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214621)

stupid govt wants justification to remain stupid....

Not the first study on it by any means (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214625)

This is roughly 2 years ago [thelocal.se] , and the study then concluded the same thing. Hey figure that back 100+ years ago, Oscar Levant wisecracked himself with the "There's a fine line between genius and insanity." Go back through classical literature on figures writing about others, and you see the same thing. Genius and Insanity are on the same coin, it's how far between the halves that makes your brain go round.

The Drama of the Gifted Child (Alice Miller) (1)

datorum (1280144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214631)

comes to mind...

I forgot the name, but he claimed that highly-above intellectual capacities are usually the result of childhood-trauma. Maybe just bullshit, but strangely the "childhood" section of "great persons" in wikipedia usually are quite "interesting" with that perspective... but if you look for something, you will usually find something.

Reason for this (-1, Troll)

physburn (1095481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214645)

Psychiatrists hate people who are cleverer than themselves, and invent new diseases just to label them.

Re:Reason for this (1)

datorum (1280144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214663)

Szasz what are you doing here on slashdot ;)

Various possibilities (4, Interesting)

shoor (33382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214695)

I saw a documentary not too long ago, about autism (and similar afflictions) and superior ability in some special field. One example was a patient suffering from dementia. His hobby was painting and his doctor noticed that his painting got better as his dementia increased. There were other examples but the theory, which some people were getting ready to test, was that a 'healthy' brain filters out a lot of sensory input. In the case of this patient suffering from dementia, some of that filtering failed and he was seeing the world 'bare' so to speak. The filtering has a survival value in that it keeps us from being overwhelmed. To have the brain processing power to handle a greater input we'd need bigger brains, consuming more resources; birth would be more difficult, etc.

Another thing to consider with people who lack social skills, is that it could be the lack of social skills that leads them to focus on, say, science, as a compensation or a way to pass the time, rather, than their concentration on science leading to underdeveloped social skills. I'm not saying that's the way it is, just that when seeing a correlation, to be careful about which is the cart and which is the horse.

No ! (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214779)

Im not crazy! My mother had me tested.

It's just God's practical joke/sense of humor. (1, Insightful)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214843)

"I'll tell you what I'm gonna do." God said to me. "I'm gonna make you a really creative ahrtist. People from everywhere are gonna talk about you and what you've produced. But just to keep it interesting, every now and then, you're gonna want to kill yourself. Have a nice life."

A creative mind is somethign to treasure (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214857)

Creativity is something that we dont value nearly as much as we should.

Maybe the difference between a Genius and an Insane person has more to do with how we see them than any real difference in them.

If someone tells you an idea that you havent heard of before its fair to consider them creative, but unless that creativness is within your area of rational then you will think them stupid. If its a creative idea that is in an area fam,iliar with you, and you havent thought of it before, you will have a much better opinion of them.

Personally, I blame the monothiests and the empiricists !

Really? (2)

Adam Appel (1991764) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214883)

I thought I was a genius, turns out I was just crazy.

I don't suffer ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214891)

... from mental illness. I am a carrier.

F%^&ing crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40214905)

I dunno... Im pretty crazy and I'm not smart or creative at all. So statistically, 100% of the people i give a shart about are crazy dummies.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?