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How Do You Spot a Genius?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the look-for-the-striped-crest dept.

Education 385

Hugh Pickens writes "Ingrid Wickelgren reports in Scientific American that people have long-equated genius with intelligence, but it is more aptly characterized by creative productivity which depends on a combination of genetics, opportunity and effort. 'Nobody can be called out for outstanding contributions to a field without a lot of hard work, but progress is faster if you are born with the right skills. Personality also plays a role. If you are very open to new experiences and if you have psychopathic traits (yes, as in those shared by serial killers) such as being aggressive and emotionally tough, you are more likely to be considered a genius.' True creativity and genius depends on an unfiltered view of the world, one that is unconstrained by preconceptions and more open to novelty, writes Wickelgren. 'In particular, a less conceptual and more literal way of thinking, one more typical of people with autism, can open the mind up to seeing details that most people miss.' Our schools devote few resources on nurturing nascent genius, concludes Wickelgren, because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind. 'We need to train teachers to spot giftedness, which may take a variety of forms and often needs to be accompanied by creativity, drive and passion. Offering a greater variety of enrichment activities to children will cause many more hidden talents to surface. And accelerated classes and psychological coaching are essential for nurturing talent as early and vigorously as possible.'"

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How do I spot a genius? (5, Funny)

Deathlok's Bear (695862) | about 2 years ago | (#41710409)

I look in the mirror.

Re:How do I spot a genius? (5, Funny)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#41710431)

You have a genius following you??

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710485)

I had a genius following me once, but I ducked into an ally and lost him

Re:How do I spot a genius? (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41710727)

Or whom ever is following him, IS a genius.

Re:How do I spot a genius? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710443)

I look in the mirror.

And then you cut his ear off!

Re:How do I spot a genius? (-1, Offtopic)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41710585)

I look in the mirror.

That is what I said, fellow genius!

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710617)

U 2?

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710645)

Well duh, everyone know that the narcissism gene is linked [wikipedia.org] to the nearsighted genius gene.

Re:How do I spot a genius? (4, Funny)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 2 years ago | (#41710751)

Really? I use permanent marker.

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711099)

Or go to an Apple Store?

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710787)

Oh, you too?

Re:How do I spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710909)

Look! A moron. [emoticonswallpapers.com]

Re:How do I spot a genius? (1)

DuChamp Fitz (987592) | about 2 years ago | (#41711007)

What are you doing with my mirror?!

Steve Jobs said.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710413)

steve jobs just looked for the crazy ones, the misfits, the trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes....

Re:Steve Jobs said.... (1, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#41710495)

Why bother looking. The local country jail is brimming with just such credentials.

Re:Steve Jobs said.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710499)

The people who hold their phones wrong.

Well, I guess I'm not a serial killer. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710427)

People can actually hurt my feelings. Why the people who are sure to downmod me? They're going to make me cry!

Smart young kids (1)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 2 years ago | (#41710463)

Young kids should copulate geniuses, then they'd all be smart.

How to spot a genius. (4, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41710473)

Take away his pocket protector.

Re:How to spot a genius. (2)

LucidBeast (601749) | about 2 years ago | (#41710763)

I wait patiently until a genius is close enough and after that pretty much any pen will do.

Re:How to spot a genius. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711151)

For those who aren't geniuses (who marked parent off topic): if a genius has no pocket protector, his pens will eventually leave a large spot on his shirt. It's a joke, but you had to think about it.

Re:How to spot a genius. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711187)

Or take away her maxi pad.

Duh (3, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | about 2 years ago | (#41710497)

His (her?) UID is less than five digits, of course.

Re:Duh (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41710511)

I might beg to differ.

Or, I might not. That's the way it is, with Genius.

Please don't ask me to explain it to you. :-)

Re:Duh (0)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41710607)

All things are plaussable, possible, or predictable.
Nothing is by chance, math conquers all, bad grammar is key.
The Genius I am.

Re:Duh (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41711133)

I wonder who is number ONE? Does he exists? Is he a god? Or at least his incarnation? Or, NO, for god sake, what about number ZERO?????

Re:Duh (1)

digismack (262459) | about 2 years ago | (#41710543)

So I'm smarter than you because my Slashdot ID is lower?

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710619)

Yes! And I am the smartest of you lot!

Re:Duh (0)

RyoShin (610051) | about 2 years ago | (#41710679)

No, because your UID does not meet the requirements set forth (UID.length<5). Once that fifth digit hits, it's anyone's game! :)

Re:Duh (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41711005)

Do you really think there is a high enough rate of genius in the tranny demographic that all you have to do is find one that joined slashdot early?

We Geniuses (2)

badford (874035) | about 2 years ago | (#41710507)

are misunderestimated. Just because I can memorize pi to 1000 digits, lift 75 lbs with my weiner and compose French poetry in the bathtub don't mean I should be treated like a freak.

I'm just a people, too.

Re:We Geniuses (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41710863)

I'm just a people, too.

Well, with so many unique individuals inside, it would be weird if you weren't really clever. Teams have an unfair advantage over single brains.

Re:We Geniusess (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 2 years ago | (#41710937)

You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.

Begs the question... SIGH (4, Informative)

ath0mic (519762) | about 2 years ago | (#41710517)

From TFA

"People attach the label âoegeniusâ to such diverse characters as Leonardo DaVinci, Bobby Fischer and Toni Morrison. The varied achievements of such individuals beg the question: what defines a genius?

False. It raises the question. We've been over this.

Toni Morrison? (5, Funny)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41710749)

"People attach the label Ãoegeniusà to such diverse characters as Leonardo DaVinci, Bobby Fischer and Toni Morrison. The varied achievements of such individuals beg the question: what defines a genius?

False. It raises the question. We've been over this.

Blithely assuming that Toni Morrison is generally considered a genius is begging the question.

Re:Toni Morrison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711179)

Yes indeed. After all, she's only won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer, and the Presidential Medal of freedom for her writing.

We should focus our praise instead on writers who dream up new ways of putting large-breasted, beautiful women wearing bikinis in zero gravity. Because that's what takes REAL genius.

Re:Begs the question... SIGH (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41710977)

False. It raises the question. We've been over this.

This is probably a battle we'll end up losing. If things continue as they are, it will eventually mean "raise the question" - if it doesn't already - simply by dint of popular usage. I won't be using it, but to be honest I'm getting fed up of trying to explain the difference to people who could* care less.

*joke

Autism != Genuis Savant (5, Insightful)

Dogbertius (1333565) | about 2 years ago | (#41710541)

The problem with these articles is that they suggest that in order to be a brilliant savant (ie: can do difficult arithmetic mentally without a calculator, or can play chess at an expert level with minimal tutoring), one must be autistic. This is not the case. One may be autistic, and not brilliant, just as well someone could be a brilliant savant, but not be on the autism spectrum. The two cases are effectively statistically independent of each other.

Another issue is that autistic savants often get much more attention than their typical (ie: non-autistic) counterparts due to being able to carry out an apparently amazing mental feat despite suffering from a crippling set of mental limitations and/or deficiencies. Someone not suffering from such a condition is just generally thought of as very smart, and being an educated savant is not such a crowd pleaser, especially in an age where anti-intellectualism is on the rise. Everybody likes a hero story, but few people are comfortable accepting the notion that there are much smarter people out in the world.

If parents are lucky enough to have the funding to send their kids to private schools with a Behavioral Interventionist (BI), then the strengths of the child are usually discovered early on, and it can make the kid's life a lot easier. If the parents don't have the cash though, the kid likely won't enjoy that benefit.

On a side note, one should consider noticing talent amongst the non-autistic population in a school. How does one filter on this criteria when kids are not challenged? I turned out to be a math whiz in school, and was doing calculus by the time I was entering high school. If it weren't for my parents, I would've had to endure 5 years of boredom in high school math, as most of the teachers just came with a hangover, passed the daily readings out, and sat at their desks playing minesweeper. Thanks to my parents, I was allowed to fly ahead in math, and use my spare time for more shop and science courses. If the teachers don't care in the first place, the odds of them helping out their brightest students is minimal.

Background: Been debating this topic with a colleague who has 10 years experience in this field for years over lunch.

Re:Autism != Genuis Savant (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710685)

That's not what is being said here at all. The claim is that brain development in geniuses shares some similarity to traits found in psychopathy and autism, not that any one of those traits is a superset of any others. These things are all spectra.

In other words, it is perfectly possible to be a brilliant savant without being autistic, there's just evidence that some portion of that genius has to do with a world view that shares some commonalities, if not as strong a deviation, as autism. You're not constrained needlessly by preconceptions, but are not so incapable of understanding those preconceptions that you can't make use of them to interact normally with other people.

The accuracy of above statements is another question entirely, but this is not the article you were looking to complain about.

Re:Autism != Genuis Savant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710737)

Interesting, however as Autism is a "spectrum disorder" it can be said that literally everyone is autistic it's just that most are only .001% autistic. Based on that reasoning, every genius (and everyone else) is autistic.

Re:Autism != Genuis Savant (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41710785)

Which means that the term, as any term that is so widely defined, means absolutely nothing.

Where's Waldo? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41710545)

We need to train teachers to spot giftedness...

You're a genius kid, now back in line for your standardized test. Or will government officials approve extra resources to cater to the geniuses? If so, how will they handle irate parents of the "unspotted".

Re: education vs. learning (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710791)

I've heard numerous variations of this by parents trying to justify why their precious snowflake doesn't do well in school. Usually it is the teacher's fault, and their child is just so much smarter than the other students. BS. If your child is so super intelligent that ordinary schoolwork bores them, they should be smart enough to breeze through the tests. They should just "play the game" while at school and do their own learning at home, or in additional enrichment programs (most are free for low income).

It is much more fun to pursue your own course of study in whatever you feel like learning about than be lead in some school based program. It will be tailored for the child because you come up with the plan yourself. If you want additional ideas, there are plenty of teachers/counselors/professors that would be glad to provide ideas. Look at how many things that are available now that weren't a few years ago on the internet. You can learn astronomy, poetry, language, engines, math, physics, programming, etc., etc. Stop expecting everyone else to do it for you.

Re: education vs. learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710857)

And why should we expect our kids to "play the game" and waste 7 hours a day 5 days a week of their youth? They're kids. The only way to get them to do that is with hard core stimulant cocktails like aderrall. I'm not pretending that all of these people who make excuses have a genius child, nor am I suggesting that the teachers really are at fault, but you're attitude is the prevelant one in the public school system and it's why the public school system is failing in most parts of the nation. Unfortunately, No Child Left Behind just reinforced this attitude into an unescapable foundation of the establishment.

Re: education vs. learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711029)

This is modern life for the most part. Even in college you have to play the game. For most jobs you have to play the game. In the military you have to play the game. For many social situations you have to play the game. That is part of life.

It is unrealistic to expect any fix for this in lower grades if it is not fixed at the college level. In college there are endless numbers of brilliant people that would have many ideas on how to address this in college -- but look, there is no fix for above average college students! (except in the rarest of circumstances, of course)

You don't have to waste your time in class, they can't control your mind. Fill your brain after hours and then you can carry it and re-live it anytime. Your mind can be racing figuring things out while you are waiting for the other students to catch up.

Re: education vs. learning (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 2 years ago | (#41711057)

Aderrall is for poor people, Vyvanse is the fancy stuff and Desoxyn (adderral made of a tenth of the mg but with meth salts instead) is on the rise...

Re: education vs. learning (3, Informative)

riker1384 (735780) | about 2 years ago | (#41710917)

I've heard numerous variations of this by parents trying to justify why their precious snowflake doesn't do well in school. Usually it is the teacher's fault, and their child is just so much smarter than the other students. BS. If your child is so super intelligent that ordinary schoolwork bores them, they should be smart enough to breeze through the tests. They should just "play the game" while at school and do their own learning at home, or in additional enrichment programs (most are free for low income).

You aren't allowed to just breeze through the tests. You are also required to do hours and hours of repetitive, mind-numbing homework that is below your level and serves no useful purpose if you're smart enough to just listen to the lecture and then ace the test. If you don't do the busy-work, you receive a failing grade regardless of how well you do on the tests.

Re: education vs. learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711089)

I was lucky enough to be put into "individual education"-high school here in the Netherlands, which meant you could go through the courses at your own speed. Although the test would normally be done at fixed periods together with the rest of the class you could do them over as you wish. The homework was separated from the tests, although you still had to do the homework.

Of course I never did the homework and aced all the tests when they were given. My mom took me from school the last two months of the year, and she just made me do all the homework in one go. When I got back to school I handed in stacks of notepads to each of my teachers with all my homework for the year. I believe they were not entirely happy with grading a whole year of homework at the end of a school year.

It is much easier to scram through a whole year of boring homework in a couple of months than to spread it out over a year.

Re: education vs. learning (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710963)

I'm an actual genius - 146 IQ. You have no idea what you're talking about.

If your child is so super intelligent that ordinary schoolwork bores them, they should be smart enough to breeze through the tests. They should just "play the game" while at school and do their own learning at home, or in additional enrichment programs (most are free for low income).

That works for about 3-4 years. At some point you just stop trying.

Here's a video on division [youtube.com] . I know you already know how to divide... that's the point. I want you to watch it. It's about 10 minutes long.

Have you gotten through it yet? Yes? Great. Now go watch it 10 or 15 more times.

I'm serious. Because that is what it is like trying learn with normal people. I got it the first time it was explained... but the teacher wants to explain it over and over and over and over again so that everyone gets it.

In 2nd grade I was reading 8-9th grade science books. There were YEARS in elementary school when I did not learn a single thing.

It kills a persons soul to sit through lectures on things they already know for that long.

After fighting with teachers to get me into higher level courses, I was finally pulled from school, and was home schooled. I was in 6th grade, and studying junior-level college material.

Re: education vs. learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711201)

Thanks for making that point, in the way you did. Wow, did I ever hate school. I learned most of the things I needed to know the first time I heard about them; sitting through repetitive lessons and lectures would have damaged my psyche if my teachers hadn't tolerated my reading habit.

For the last four years of elementary school, I read a novel a day. Junior high was a nightmare, and in high-school I used drugs to cope with the boredom. Somehow, I made it through to college, left with a 3.85 GPA, and returned to school to do real learning (research).

Re: education vs. learning (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41711189)

Can you tell me the result of 2+2? Is it 4? Really?
And again.....
And again.....
.............
How many times you need to repeat it until you become mad?

Re:Where's Waldo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711069)

We need to train teachers to spot giftedness...

Or will government officials approve extra resources to cater to the geniuses?

They do spot gifted students. But, I don't think they can figure out how to help most of them.

I remember back in elementary school, I scored pretty far above average on a juvenile intelligence test. The first thing they did was transfer me to a private school. I'm sure they did that to inflate their school's merit though, as a cheaper alternative to hiring the most expensive teachers. I failed miserably to adapt and went back to public school a week later. The best memories I have were of a student who viciously hated me, and listening to bagpipes in the gymnasium one day.

Following that, I was in a gifted and talented program for a couple years in a row. I remember going on brief field trips. One of which involved the song, "Lean on me" playing while we literally leaned back to be caught by another student. Apparently, old marriage counseling games can help kids open up and trust each other.

Other than a few strange memories, it did absolutely nothing to help me as intended. Maybe I was too much of a misfit.

Disadvantaged vs advantaged (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41710573)

Without getting into the main topic being discussed, I would argue that is the biggest downfall of the public school system, at least in the U.S. We are so dedicated to pampering the less intellectually capable that we complete discard the gifted and those with well above intelligence.

Re:Disadvantaged vs advantaged (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41710603)

*I obviously fall into the less than intelligent catagory. It's suppose to read "..discard the gifted and those with well above average intelligence.

Re:Disadvantaged vs advantaged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710943)

I, for one, am well above intelligence. I find it to be a lower form of enlightenment.

Re:Disadvantaged vs advantaged (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about 2 years ago | (#41711123)

The problem is the way curriculums are designed. In Grade X, students are required to be taught this, this, and that. More time and effort must be put into helping those who struggle, lest they won't be prepared for Grade X+1. There's little room for letting the smartest go beyond what's required. We really ought to let students advance (in a particular subject) at whatever pace they're capable of, rather than this one size fits all, everybody moves up one grade per year (in all subjects).

Gifted Is Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710579)

That's what my childhood development coach said when I was six. I believed her and it has been fun.

Not sure where I fit (2)

FrigBot (1459361) | about 2 years ago | (#41710581)

But it isn't genius. I don't have those two psychopathic traits, am not emotionally strong not aggressive. I'm not very good at defending myself or my ideas - from my boss, the owner of this machine shop I work in as an engineer (which I have the degree for). He doesn't believe in safety, and I haven't been able to convince him it's important to at least manage the internal liabilities. He just yells and throws tantrums. Like a psychopath (as described in the description).

I've also always never felt like I fitted in, in the places I've worked. I don't know what it is, seems like suspicion of what's going on or who's in charge. But I do know I don't want to be here. It just feels like something is out of alignment.

My biological dad is the same way. He told me about the jobs he had before going off on his own to do consulting, and even though he was competent, people didn't like him. Could be because he showed up late - but stayed late.

So I don't know what the hell to do. I just don't fit in. Maybe I need to go off on my own too.

Re:Not sure where I fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710681)

my boss, the owner of this machine shop I work in as an engineer (which I have the degree for). He doesn't believe in safety, and I haven't been able to convince him it's important to at least manage the internal liabilities. He just yells and throws tantrums. Like a psychopath (as described in the description).

I hope you're not saying your boss is a genius.. because he sounds like a retard.

... But I do know I don't want to be here. It just feels like something is out of alignment.

Do you think it could be the lack of safety standards?

Re:Not sure where I fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710765)

Maybe I need to go off on my own too.

Not sure why I misread this, but the first time I saw it as "Maybe I need to get off of my own lawn, too", which I thought was funny. For what it's worth, I like working for myself. It's annoying to have a constant conflict between working on my own projects that won't pay for a while or working on short term contracts that bring in some cash right away. The short term contracts tend to win, since I have to pay the bills, but I get sort of angry at myself for slipping on my own projects... that's the way it goes for now, though.

A Common Misunderstanding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710587)

"Our schools devote few resources on nurturing nascent genius..."

That's because our schools are not meant for such a thing. They are meant to indoctrinate social order. "Nurturing nascent genius" would be in direct conflict with this goal.

Re:A Common Misunderstanding (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about 2 years ago | (#41710731)

And to keep kids out of Mom's hair while she performs her motherly duties. And to keep as many kids off the streets as possible during business hours. And to make sure at least half or (best case) two thirds of them or so end up gainfully employed during most of their adult lives.

Re:A Common Misunderstanding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710873)

It's important to see the whole quote to understand what is wrong with it.

"...because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind"

The problem with that quote is that many times genius, autistic savants and plain old just smart kids fall into this category. It is still quite common for very smart children to be labeled difficult, ADHD, learning disabled, to have separation anxiety issues and many other emotional and developmental disabilities. I am surprised by such casual and uneducated comments in this day and age. There is plenty of research by child development, education and cognitive experts that has exposed this.

The real problem is that kids are being evaluated by people without proper (or modern) training in a strict clinical/professional environment.

Local Genius Groups (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710595)

I needed some geniuses but couldn't find any that were qualified and I said to myself, "well, gosh, can’t we find some geniuses that are also qualified?" so I contacted some local genius groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of genii.

Look in the Swiss patent office (0)

Jeff1946 (944062) | about 2 years ago | (#41710601)

Or Silicon Valley

Just go to Genius Bar (NT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710611)

Just go to Genius Bar (NT)

Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710631)

I just look in the mirror.

Sociopathy Training (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#41710677)

'If you are very open to new experiences and if you have psychopathic traits (yes, as in those shared by serial killers) such as being aggressive and emotionally tough, you are more likely to be considered a genius.' ... 'Offering a greater variety of enrichment activities to children will cause many more hidden talents to surface. And accelerated classes and psychological coaching are essential for nurturing talent as early and vigorously as possible.'

We should also have people they trust randomly hit them with no explanation, to nurture that desirable sociopathic trait.

Now, wait... That doesn't sound right. In fact, it sounds so wrong that there must be some other explanation. How about this:

Perhaps the answer is not to hold sociopaths up as geniuses just because they succeed in an economic system that can be exploited by sociopaths. Perhaps when Scientific American discusses genius, it should not accept the average idiot's perception but should delve a bit deeper and even explain why sociopathic business success is not a good measure of genius. Perhaps Scientific American should focus on actual geniuses rather than merely people in the top 1% in intelligence, who are also willing to harm society to win.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Scientific American's role is to reflect the average man's perception of genius. Perhaps Scientific American should report on the coach of the next Superbowl winning team, since that is what all the beer-soaked fat-part-of-the-curve folks at the pub seem to shout after the game, "That coach is a genuis!"

Re:Sociopathy Training (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41711215)

Who said anything about business? Pure projection on your part. You're thinking about it all the time, so naturally it spills out of your brain without you even thinking about it.

I note both your condescending, spiteful attitude towards both Scientific American, a respected publication, and average people. Where is your empathy? Have you taken the sociopath test? Let's see, off the cuff in your post I see superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily. No evidence of promiscuity or juvenile delinquency though, so it could be just that you're an asshole.

Re:Sociopathy Training (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 years ago | (#41711227)

This is the second Scientific American article [scientificamerican.com] I've seen today glorifying psychopaths. I wonder what the deal is?

Step #1 (0, Offtopic)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#41710683)

Navigate away from /.

Mit Zer GeniuzDiscuvernScope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710689)

Zo, vad elz is nu

Left Behind (4, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about 2 years ago | (#41710703)

because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind.

Wrong. Schools focus on the kids roughly within the first standard deviation limits on the normal curve, not because they care but because they are usually a one-size-fits-all solution. People above or below the first standard deviation or so are too different to work well under those circumstances, so they start falling out of the system. Ironic that someone felt the need to link to the No Child Left Behind Act wikipedia entry. That law was an exemplary piece of parent con job, government pork for companies that provide utterly worthless metrics that in no credible way have improved education, and I challenge everyone to refute that in a credible, empirically, and extensively documented fashion. To the contrary, "teaching to the test" has become synonymous with "education" in the US. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but we will pay a steep price for that in the not too distant future.

Re:Left Behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710969)

Well.... I challenge you to prove it. So there!

Re:Left Behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711241)

because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind.

Wrong. Schools focus on the kids roughly within the first standard deviation limits on the normal curve, not because they care but because they are usually a one-size-fits-all solution. People above or below the first standard deviation or so are too different to work well under those circumstances, so they start falling out of the system. Ironic that someone felt the need to link to the No Child Left Behind Act wikipedia entry. That law was an exemplary piece of parent con job, government pork for companies that provide utterly worthless metrics that in no credible way have improved education, and I challenge everyone to refute that in a credible, empirically, and extensively documented fashion. To the contrary, "teaching to the test" has become synonymous with "education" in the US. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but we will pay a steep price for that in the not too distant future.

Well, well. An intelligent answer. A refreshing change from the auto-responder-political-nothink.

I was going to be more terse and simply point out that the setup was designed with the idea that half the students had an IQ of less than 100, but that would have just set off a different set of auto-responders.

Creativity and Independent Thought... (5, Interesting)

Grog6 (85859) | about 2 years ago | (#41710707)

...were treated as a disease to be cured, by any means necessary, by the time I got to 7th grade.

I could read at 4, and was encouraged well by my parents, who spent a great deal of time defending me to Administrative staff.

My HS Principal taught me Karate for several years prior; he knew I wasn't a problem, no matter how bad the asshole teachers hated me. :)

I survived, and managed to do well while my detractors have mostly died off thru poor genes and stupidity.

Odds are, I designed something, somewhere, in a machine that almost everyone here or their relatives have been in.

Sorting out the geeks early is a Great Idea, as long as we can keep the other idiots from either exterminating us, or keeping us in concentration camps. (yes, the TSA isn't the Gestapo, but it's a 'like organization'...)

What times we live in... :)

They spot you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710717)

(Tap on shoulder, startled) Stop that! Get back in your seat. I don't consider myself a genius, but school was a bit like that for me. It was like... oh crap, these people are teaching me?

How do you spot a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710757)

Sara Connor is trying to kill him.

Oh, and he's Japanese [slashdot.org] , apparently.

Wrong idea. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710799)

Gifted programmes as they have been developed over the last 30 years are in fact probably the worst thing for someone with exceptional ability.

Too often gifted education:

- stigmatizes children in a way that causes a wide disconnect between their self-esteem and self-confidence.
- encourages kids for being "smart" or "intelligent" which rewards them for something they cannot control, and causes weird neuroses.
- isolates kids from their peer group based on criteria they don't understand, and prevents them from forming natural relationships with their classmates.
- presumes that these "gifted" kids can be engineered somehow into whatever the popular ideal of citizenship is. For example, gifted kids are not encouraged to do sports are a part of their enriched education, primarily because of middle-class ideas of "intellectuals."
- discourages solving problems with discipline and work, which is why you see so many "gifted" drop outs and burnouts.
- shields "normal" kids from the disruptive exposure to intelligence that they too should understand and adapt to.

I spent much of my education in these programmes and they are misguided, idealistic, and reinforce the astonishingly stupid idea that intelligence is a kind of secular holiness.

Should we have streamed classes? Absolutely, but enrichment should be available as an option for kids who are up to it, perhaps with qualified interest, but not the fatuous anointment it has become.

If you ever resented not being in the gifted class, I can assure you that you dodged a bullet.

Re:Wrong idea. (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#41711063)

Gifted programmes as they have been developed over the last 30 years are in fact probably the worst thing for someone with exceptional ability. ......

I'd mod you +1 interesting if I had points

Not exactly shocking news (5, Informative)

ubrgeek (679399) | about 2 years ago | (#41710801)

In a 2010 article, Svetlana Holt & Joan Marques wrote the following:

"Supporting Brown ... assertions about the transition of narcissistic tendencies from business schools to business
organizations, Pepper (2005) reveals a concerning fact about narcissism in business leaders. While this quality is
often sought in corporate leaders, because the right dosage of narcissism can lead to optimal innovation, there is often
only a thin line that distinguishes brilliant thinking narcissists, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and
Jack Welch, who are also charismatic and visionary, from psychopaths such as Bernie Ebbers and Dennis Koslowski,
who use their skills in harmful ways that we have all come to witness in recent years. Andrews and Furniss (2009) take
it a step further and link excessive narcissism in business organizations to psychopathic behavior. They assert that,
perfectly matching to the description of a psychopath, these business executives are superficially charming, grandiose,
deceitful, remorseless, void of empathy, irresponsible, impulsive, lacking goals, poor in behavioral controls, and
antisocial."

(The doi in case anyone wants to see the whole article is http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0951-5 [doi.org] )

You are all wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710813)

Get a picture or me and look at it! You will see THE genius.

Its Obvious! (1)

gpronger (1142181) | about 2 years ago | (#41710817)

Wearing a /. 15th Anniversary T-shirt!

Ain't gonna happen (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41710835)

We need to train teachers to spot giftedness, which may take a variety of forms and often needs to be accompanied by creativity, drive and passion. Offering a greater variety of enrichment activities to children will cause many more hidden talents to surface.

Parents of Bubba the jock are going to make damned sure he gets into all the 'gifted' classes. Just so he'll look good getting into a decent university. And perish the thought of putting him into a remedial class because his IQ is on his football jersey. There will be no charter schools to place actual gifted students into. Not if they can send the losers back to the general population. Bubba's parents watch this stuff very carefully.

So you have an educational system that fails both ends of the curve.

Interesting the factors involved (4, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#41710867)

Most have some brain disorders like dyslexia. There's something about the type of brain wiring involved in certain disorders that frees up the problem solving areas of the brain. I think part of the hard work involves overcoming the disorders. Most geniuses are unconventional thinkers. I remember a quote that genius was being about to connect A to C without going through B. It's that out of box thinking that defines true genius. Being able to take an equation with 12 steps and reduce it to 3 or 4.

Re:Interesting the factors involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711175)

I was diagnosed with dyslexia and one of the problems I have is finding words to say something, even relatively simple words. I just forget whole groups of similar words, so I cannot simply take a synonym. So instead I often have to quickly think of another way of expressing myself. This yields sometimes in very comedic descriptions of what I want to say.

Anyway, I was thinking about what you wrote. And maybe I can skip step B, because I have practiced trying to go via another way for the whole of my life because of this issue.

Start by looking somewhere other than slashdot... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41710877)

This place is overrun by people who qualify for something far, far, from genius.

From personal experiene... (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41710915)

In 6th grade I was tested for a number of things when I broke the standard tests. The best guess pegged my IQ at around 165-170. By that time I had mastered algebra, had a firm grasp on a couple dozen sciences, and created a number of interesting small inventions (I reinvented the DC motor and came up with a simple rotary engine.)

The next 3 years of my education inside the LA School District involved watching old movies, repeating the times tables, taking field trips (which in fact I found quite enjoyable) and creative writing. This was an attempt to keep me occupied while my peers caught up, which of course never happened... for obvious reasons it couldn't. However, they pissed away the most important educational period of my life. I could have accelerated and been done with my traditional education by the time I was 13 or 14, and moved on to college perhaps completing that by the time I was 18. Our schools are not designed to teach the bright, and in fact, are often punitive to intelligent and creative young people. In a time when we most need these traits fully empowered and present in our culture, such behavior from our leaders and institutions is criminal. However, it is consistent with the large scale conversion of the American mouth-breathing public into obedient, subservient consumption units in the vast corporate engine that is our culture.

Perhaps it time for a new revolution. One in what's possible for being human.

Nothing New Here.. (1)

jmd (14060) | about 2 years ago | (#41710923)

My father was a research professor in curriculum and foundations @ ohio state univ from mid 60s to mid 80s. he would suggest genius is an irrelevant term. misleading at best. he would never tell me my IQ test results as a kid. IQ was not a good measure of anything. creativity, discipline and a host of other factors contribute to the overall picture.

he is rolling over in his grave if he looks at the state of public education today from early childhood development through post secondary education and graduate degrees. education in his mind was not meant to obtain a better job, but mostly to increase one's understanding of the world around them.

our public education system has failed... and since we have a pretty uneducated public, so will the democracy we live in.... (or has it already?)

GATE program? (1)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about 2 years ago | (#41710971)

"The Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program, authorized by Education Code (EC) sections 52200-52212 (Outside Source), provides funding for local educational agencies (LEAs) to develop unique education opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving pupils in California public elementary and secondary schools who have been identified as gifted and talented. Special efforts are made to ensure that pupils from economically disadvantaged and varying cultural backgrounds are provided with full participation in these unique opportunities. "

Source : http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/gt/gt/ [ca.gov]

Don't look for geniuses (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41710997)

Look for smart and motivated people who do brilliant and interesting stuff instead. You won't always know who those are at age 9, and who qualifies will change over time as some really bright kids decide to spend their time killing their brain cells while some not-quite-as-bright kids choose to hit the books.

Slapping the label "genius" on a kid doesn't help them, and arguably stunts their social development. Taking any kid that wants to do something awesome (and reasonably safe) and giving them the help they need to do it helps any kid whether they're a genius or not. If the kid wants to do some science, great! If the kid wants to compete in a chess tournament, great! If the kid wants to play the violin, great! Find a way to make that happen.

We can't all live in a GATEd community. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711043)

http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/gt/

By looking at (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 2 years ago | (#41711087)

the ones getting beaten while the teachers laugh at their little cockmonger bullies antics.

I look in the mirror! (0)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#41711091)

duh

It is even worst. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41711095)

The current education systems is not only ignoring the genius, but it is even worst: they are chased, bullied, put in prison, declared state enemy, and in the best case scenario they become just another psycho next your door.

Don't look for MENSA members (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711119)

Everyone I've known who was in MENSA thought they were much smarter than the rest. And they were always wrong.

Me, obviously (0)

aoeu (532208) | about 2 years ago | (#41711145)

Look no further. Send money . . .

Determination over cognitive abilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41711195)

Leonardo da Vinci did not become the genius he was by sitting on his ass. IMO his amazing drive and motivation to explore and produce had a larger impact on his work than his cognitive abilities which I believe is the reasion why he is considered the icon of genious.

How Do You Spot a Genius? (3, Funny)

EvilSS (557649) | about 2 years ago | (#41711221)

Well duh! They are they guys wearing the blue shirts behind the bar at the Apple store!

*ducks for cover*

Maria Montessori (5, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 2 years ago | (#41711225)

There was a set of circumstances that allowed Maria Montessori to express her genius. She was born smart and put in the effort == yes, she had those two components -- becoming the first female physician in Italy, and having majored in engineering prior to that.

But then something happened to propel her into the work for which we know her today.

She became pregnant -- recall this is circa 1900 Italy -- and the father of her child refused to marry her. So she secretly gave up the child to an orphanage and was heartbroken over missing the child as well as the father of the child, and actually more over the latter. It was at this point that she launched herself into the scientific study of children.

She loved the study of children and appears nurturing of them in photos, yet her writings speak of the children in a cold and scientific manner. Oh, there is a lot of purpose expressed in her writings, a lot of "this is the future of the world," and "this is how we will achieve world peace," but the day-to-day observations are eerily at arms-length. It is just so natural for the rest of us -- too natural -- to "think of the children" with emotion rather than intellectually and scientifically think of the children. My personal theory is that her mothering nurturing was prematurely ended when she gave her son up for adoption.

One of her biographers theorizes that the reason she restricted her study of children to those 3 years old and up -- until 50 years into her career when she was 80 years old and relented to creating a toddler program -- was because it would remind her of her son.

And no one since Maria Montessori seems to have been able to scientifically analyze children and create a resulting pedagogy. Tallying filled scantron bubbles is too narrow -- Maria Montessori was able to observe motion, behavior, and motivation. And other pedagogies are derived from preconceived notions, much as pre-Renaissance "physics" was.

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