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The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator

Soulskill posted 1 year,9 days | from the future-bond-villains dept.

Education 163

An anonymous reader writes "A lot of us grew up tinkering with electronics and cherishing the one or two reference books we could find that explained exactly what we wanted to know. Nowadays, with internet access widely available and online educational materials coming into their own, we're going to see a lot more kindred spirits coming out of places all over the globe. The NY Times has a story about one such, a lad from Mongolia who hacked together complex sensors at the age of 16 and was one of the 0.2% of students to get a perfect score on MIT's first Massive Open Online Course. From the article: 'Battushig, playing the role of the car, moved into the sensor's path to show me how it worked, but it was clear he was not entirely satisfied with his design. "The use of the long wires is very inconvenient for my users," he said, almost apologetically, clasping his hands together in emphasis. He realized that contractors would be reluctant to install the siren in other buildings if they had to deal with cumbersome wiring, so he was developing a wireless version. ... Battushig has the round cheeks of a young boy, but he is not your typical teenager. He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?") and doesn't like listening to music (when a friend saw him wearing headphones, he couldn't believe it; it turned out Battushig was preparing for the SAT). His projects are what make him happy. "In electrical engineering, there is no limit," he said.'"

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limits (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850069)

"In electrical engineering, there is no limit,"

In real life, there is.

Re:limits (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850431)

Generally only because other people put them there. Nice to see this boys parents aren't forcing him to listen to Justin Beiber to fit in with the other kids.

Re:limits (2)

war4peace (1628283) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850505)

Oh my, the genius boy who doesn't like music.
Therefore, if you listen to music, you're dumb :)
(doesn't matter which music...)

Re:limits (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850569)

Exactly what does Justin Beiber have to do with music? I refer to him as an example of pop culture. Yes, I realize he is marketed as having something to do with music, but that's quite questionable.

Re:limits (1)

war4peace (1628283) | 1 year,9 days | (#44852293)

TFS says "doesn't like listening to music" - which implies he doesn't like listening to ANY music. That sounds like the guy's missing a lot in life.
justin bieber is not music - so he might even listen to justin bieber and still hold TFS true... - but I digress.

Re:limits (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851363)

Yes. I agree. It is all the fault of those damn killjoys like Einstein, Coulomb and Newton!

Re:limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851439)

Yes. I agree. It is all the fault of those damn killjoys like Einstein, Coulomb and Newton!

Fact: Neither Coulomb nor Newton listen to recorded music! EVER!

I don't know if Einstein did. If he did, I'm sure it wasn't Beiber.

Re:limits (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851455)

Wrong story there bud.

Re:limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851501)

"In electrical engineering, there is no limit,"

In real life, there is.

c seems to be a limit in both real life and in electrical engineering.

Re:limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851867)

given that it's electrical, it's more like 0.69 * c

Re:limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852513)

Yep, Chu's Limit, Bode Fano limit, Shannon's limit. etc.

Must we call him a genius? (5, Funny)

KingTank (631646) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850083)

When we could simply call him "Master"?

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850181)

When we could simply call him "Master"?

OK. "Master, you are a genius."

Re:Must we call him a genius? (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850235)

We'll be calling him burnout or a shrink in 5 years sadly. No music, no recreation at all? Yeah I've met a few of those types over the years and...well it never ends well. It is like they bottle everything, using the pressure to gain forward momentum, problem with that? No vessel can contain infinite pressure so sooner or later they blow and when they do its ugly.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850437)

We'll be calling him burnout or a shrink in 5 years sadly. No music, no recreation at all?

You are confusing earplugs with listening to music and/or recreation. You never see me listening to recorded music, either. Particularly not while I am working. Or driving a car. Or doing anything else requiring concentration. Or, realistically speaking, ever. Listening to music requires attention for me. Because music makes sense. If I need to space out between concentration, I practice music. That's ok. It accomplishes something. Listening to music, in contrast, just burns attention for nothing.

And it's badly paced, too: I could never listen to an audio book: I'd go crazy with impatience. Reading books, in contrast, is fine. When I practice and/or play music, the pacing is mine. It may even be slower than music I listen to, but if it is, it is so for a reason.

There are places for eating dinner who play music. Mostly I can deal with that fine. But not if there's things like baroque music or so. Either I focus on the music or on the food. Not listening to the music is similar to throwing the food on the floor. It just does not make sense.

People confuse music with background noise and get uncomfortable when there is silence. That's really sick, and of course it lends a heavy advantage to braindead music.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm annoyed at people who think the right way to consume music is to treat it like white noise.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

aevan (903814) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851021)

Have to agree with you. I can't fall asleep to music: I can narrow focus to just the music (and so be 'relaxing' as opposed to multitasking)...but it hits a certain plateau and from there never reaches sleep. At this point it's the music that's keeping me awake.

For background noise, just leave a fan on.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851265)

I agree. Music is like many things. It is fine is moderation. The current mentality is to make it a defining aspect of ones life. It is unhealthy.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852647)

> You never see me listening to recorded music, either.

And you end up trolling Slashdot. QED.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850447)

Another Genghis Khan in the making? The kid's in puberty. Wait until he's in male menopause. That should slow him down a bit.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850473)

TFA mentions his interest in photography, tennis and billiards, so it is unfair to say he does not have any time for recreation. As for music, not everyone is interested in music so much that they would bother to actively seek out opportunities for listening music. I am also an electronics guy and I don't listen to music either (instead, I have a passion for movies).

Re:Must we call him a genius? (5, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850563)

Pretty much. You look at the geniuses that are identified and lauded at that age and few of them are still doing well 20 years later.

The brain does decline somewhat with age, but not to that extent. At some point you hit a wall you can't figure out and if you haven't developed other interests, then you can spend 50 years banging your head up against it without noticing the door on the other end of the room.

But, more than that, this kind of focused genius isn't particularly resilient in the long term. The brain needs to have various stimuli in order to function best. Sometimes the answers you need are only accessible with mental flexibility.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

zullnero (833754) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850887)

There are plenty of prodigies who grow up to continue being quite important members of their particular profession. It's not automatic that someone born with a gift will implode and go berserk just because you see it in movies and you had that "one friend" who was smart but then he found drugs.

A lot of people make this exact point as a result of insecurity. No one really enjoys knowing that there's someone out there who's beating the pants off you and they haven't even gone to college yet. At some point, you just learn to let it go and do what you can.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850937)

Insecurity has nothing to do with it. I've got an IQ that measures in the 140s despite learning disorders, a head injury and significantly less working memory than average. I've literally never met anybody that's brain functions on the level mine does.

And I still take note of the fact that these prodigies rarely ever maintain that lead for long. Having a high IQ and talents like this is hardly the only factor. The people who wind up leading their fields are typically much broader in their abilities. Sure, they might not be the best in their area, but they've spent enough time with other disciplines that they can tell which way the wind is going and make appropriate plans.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851395)

The fact that you have to tell us all that in the 1st paragraph makes you sound super insecure.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851945)

And the fact that you're commenting on it makes you sound like your jealous. I don't give a shit what you think of me, but the fact of the matter is that the GGGP has a point, these kids tend to burn themselves out before they've had a chance for their brain to peak.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851381)

" just because you see it in movies and you had that "one friend" who was smart but then he found drugs. "

I'm his one friend you insensitive clod!

Re:Must we call him a genius? (1)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851989)

Stress and pressure do horrible things to the brain. Not to mention that the choices these kids are pressured into making so they don't waste their gift tend not to be particularly good for the hypothalamus either.

I don't personally care, by the time I was 8 I was already smarter than most of the adults I came into contact with. And at 32 I'm smarter than I've ever been. Mostly because I wasn't identified and single out. Sure, I haven't been able to make the most of what I have because I lack access to the things I'd need to do so, but it's allowed me time to mature and gain meaningful understanding of most areas of inquiry that I've come into contact with. Truth be told, most people are too stupid to grasp even the basics of economic theory, what do I care if they respect my intelligence?

Specialism is great, but it's not a viable long term strategy if you want to maximize the impact you have. You do marginally better in a few areas, while giving up a huge amount you could have contributed in many others. Not a tradeoff that I'd like to make.

Re:Must we call him a genius? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850409)

When we could simply call him "Master"?

Master of Ulan Bator? Only if he's "hands on" ;-)

Re:Must we call him a genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850445)

Relax. All we have to do is tell him that we hate the Tanar'ri. Then he'll be on our side.

Hero of this story is the high-school principal (5, Interesting)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850119)

Not taking anything away from this young man's abilities but what struck me most about the article was his high school principal, Enkhmunkh Zurgaanjin. To quote from the article:

The answer has to do with Battushig's extraordinary abilities, of course, but also with the ambitions of his high-school principal. Enkhmunkh Zurgaanjin, the principal of the Sant School, was the first Mongolian to graduate from M.I.T., in 2009, and he has tried since then to bring science and technology labs to his students. "My vision," he told me, "is to have more skilled engineers to develop Mongolia. To do that, everything has to start from the beginning."

Here is a man who graduated from M.I.T. but rather than entering the private sector to cash in on his hard work he instead went back to his home country to bootstrap his fellow countrymen. Kuods to this man.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (2)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850245)

It's a kid with a mentor who works hard. The right person in the right situation.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850389)

Anyone in this part of the world with a Western education who has gone back home is probably on the take somewhere. Chances are he holds some local government position that allows him to force bribes out of the local people. Travelling often in these post-Soviet nations (yes, I'm aware that Mongolia was not formally in the USSR but nonetheless), I have never seen an state employee educated in the West who is not abusing the authority that such an education gained them in their homeland.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (0)

quax (19371) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850453)

What a vapid comment.

Western arrogance at it's worst.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850517)

Western arrogance at it's worst.

Western spelling at its best.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850527)

Pardon me, I am not the above poster, but it is your comment instead that reeks of never having been outside of the USA.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (1)

quax (19371) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851083)

Born in Germany, worked several years in the US, currently live in Canada. International enough for you?

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851291)

Nope. You and the OP are very naive.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (1)

quax (19371) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851679)

And you are very cynical.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850741)

The guy runs a private school for children of Mongolian elites and had his hand in the OLPC boondoggle before that. Face it, he's a grafter, he probably took that kids MIT test for him, scam story.

Re:Hero of this story is the high-school principal (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851907)

Kuods to this man

Is that the local currency?

Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (4, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850161)

Seriously - Every couple of weeks there is news that some 12 - 18 year old spark somewhere in the world has come up with something ingenious. Anything from devices that create/save electricity, to some bio-trick that means that treated food doesn't spoil or decompose easily. And then comes - drumroll - NOTHING AT ALL. We never hear a word about these young geniuses again. We never see ingenious products/inventions created by them on the market. In all likelihood these "young geniuses" get recruited by some multinationals, and disappear into the belly of said multinationals, into some company lab, never to be heard from again. And its been this way for a while. The only "magic innovation" from a young genius that HAS made it into the market recently is Euclideon's Geoverse software. And with that one, everybody said/swore it was "vapourware", despite realtime videos showing the Euclideon 3D tech working as it should. ------ Wake me 5 years from now when these "young geniuses" have contributed something tangible to the real world; Something you can buy/lease/use in some way. My 2 Cents....

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850201)

You're absolutely right. I was a childhood genius and now look at me. I'm posting on /.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851603)

Can't tell if sarcasm or tautology. Definitely genius.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850257)

Well, Reiser did make KFS, killer filesystem. At least, that's what I personally (who am nobody) renamed it to after.........certain events.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850285)

Agreed. They all probably burn out quickly and settle into something mundane. Same goes for all these breakthroughs that are written about. How long have we been hearing about 3 dimensional data storage?

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (1)

jonfr (888673) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850913)

You can only store data in 3 dimensions in quartz like materials. The problem is writing and reading and I just don't think the technical level is just there yet. They are now testing 5 dimensional storage. I am not sure how stable that is (due to quantum factors that is impossible to predict for) in the short and long run.

I am sure they are going to work out the issues in the end. It might take 30 to 100 years until they do so. I am not up to speed on how the progress has been going in this research.

Information:
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/jul/17/5d-superman-memory-crystal-heralds-unlimited-lifetime-data-storage [physicsworld.com]
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2013/jul/13_131.shtml [southampton.ac.uk]

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851413)

"You can only store data in 3 dimensions in quartz like materials. "

Presumably you mean 4 dimensions. We store data in 3 dimensions all of the time.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (1)

jonfr (888673) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851675)

Data stored on hard drives are just in the physical form of the universe they are in. While our environment is in 3-D that might not apply on quantum level. I am not sure yet, since I currently do not study in this field of science. I am just interested in it as is.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850311)

Wow, way to shit all over someone who is working hard and shows promise. What do you do on weekends, go to the old folks' home and shout at them for failing in life because they ended up in an old folks' home?

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850483)

What do you do on weekends, go to the old folks' home and shout at them for failing in life because they ended up in an old folks' home?

Well, you have to -- their hearing is not what it once was!

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850333)

Given that it's impossible to track the lives of all these individuals how do you know how they turn out later in life? Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean they're not doing significant work.

The problem with you, and most people for that matter, is that they've been educated by Hollywood to expect that everything important must be immersed in fanfare and drama. Most of it goes unnoticed until one day; holy shit, we're all driving cars, or browsing the internet or buried in our smartphones. The vast majority of human progress has been a very deliberate and iterative process.

But you unfortunately, in your mind this kid will be a failure because he'll never live up to your Iron Man-fueled fantasies.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (5, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850549)

It's not at all impossible to track the lives of these people. And you're right that they very well might be going on to do great work that never see's the light of day for most people. Which is exactly what everyone else does. I think his point is that there are lots of smart people doing really great things out there, but the media has an over-fascination with these extreme cases where the kid ultimately ends up like everyone else.

You see it in the high school sports world as well. There will be some article about a 7 foot tall 9th grader who's tearing up the competition and is destined for the NBA and then... nothing. You actually can find out what happened with a little research, and it usually ends up being something like they weren't nearly as good in practice as they were on paper, at the higher levels of the sport. So they go on with life and maybe even play some college basketball, but eventually settle into something completely unrelated, but more realistic.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (3, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850627)

I'd say you missed the point then. You accuse dryriver of needing Hollywood-fueled fanfare and drama, when in fact dryriver was questioning the need to play the "child genius" card every time a young person does something exceptional. That means nothing without some sort of followup so the second half of the story is told, hopefully involving living up to the early promise.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850485)

Something you can buy/lease/use in some way.

So more of the same then? How about not limiting these 'kid geniuses' into the standard norm of what is modern society! You know... Post college job picked out by a adult who has been mentoring the kids higher ed for a few years? How about we give kids free fucking reign in a lab with REDICULOUS amounts of tech! And no timeframe for anything! Let them create, and not be bound by the rules that society, and money, has placed on every fucking person living today!

You say nothing ever comes of these 'child geniuses'? That's because they're molded into the regular system! That system you, I, and 99.9% of everyone else on the planet is restricted to! ONLY way to stop that, is to monkey wrench what has become standard form for anyone with above significant, genius potential.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850491)

I pretty much ignore these kinds of articles. I think they're more about "feel-good journalism" than anything else.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850571)

That's a great way to console yourself for your own mediocrity.

Of course, your "mediocrity" might be completely untrue. Or it might be accurate. Much like your judgement of bright young people.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (2)

SteveAstro (209000) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850703)

Some kill themselves.
Like Aaron Schwarz

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850749)

so we stop celebrating achievement? it generates clicks, so no.

do we vet their solutions before publishing? hopefully editors do that.

ignore promising contributions because they are not commoditized? that's just stupid.

where is your misplaced anger really directed? at the companies that buy up promising tech and bury it to ensure their flagship product continues selling? let's be angry at the right people.

go track what happened to your shining stars and be frustrated at that. don't know? you'll have to be more specific if I'm going to do your homework for you. I don't think you really care, you just have your anti business screed ready to go.

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850809)

Uh-oh. Salieri [wikipedia.org] is alive, and he has a Slashdot account!

Re:Nothing ever comes of these "child geniuses" (1)

russotto (537200) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851987)

Other things we don't ever see:
Practical flying cars
Huge (10x or more) advances in battery technology (charge time, power density, energy density)
Practical and scalable renewable energy
Practical fusion power
Decent low-power lighting (that's why they had to mandate it)
Diesels that don't smoke.
Novel cures for diseases, put into practice.

Technological progress is going slow. It's all been hidden by the semiconductor revolution, but everything else is grinding to a halt.

Suspicious (3, Funny)

Squiddie (1942230) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850203)

He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?")

Confirmed for replicant.

and no music? (3, Interesting)

nten (709128) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850395)

Not only has mathematical ability been correlated with music, people who don't enjoy music scare me a little. Someone once said that liking at least one song by Nina Simone was a prerequisite for humanity. Shakespeare regularly had his antagonists show an indifference to music. I think he might have been on to something.

Re:and no music? (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850555)

Not only has mathematical ability been correlated with music, people who don't enjoy music scare me a little. Someone once said that liking at least one song by Nina Simone was a prerequisite for humanity. Shakespeare regularly had his antagonists show an indifference to music. I think he might have been on to something.

I don't listen to music very much, and it always annoys me when people ask "what kind of music do you like", as if it were some basic human need like eating. People like different things, and I sometimes resist the urge to ask "what programming language you prefer" or "which is better, Xilinx or Altera?" in return. Now, I actually enjoy music a lot, but I enjoy a bazillion other things too, and I don't want to spend a considerable part of my time consuming some product someone else made.

Re:and no music? (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851441)

"I don't listen to music very much, and it always annoys me when people ask "what kind of music do you like", as if it were some basic human need like eating. "

No. They ask it because you are literally a freak if you don't like any kind of music. There are people who don't feel, but it is common to ask someone how they are feeling. The reason is - what for it - if they don't have any feelings then they are a freak.

I am of course excluding deaf people. I once heard someone ask a deaf person what kind of music she liked. I was appalled, but it didn't seem to bother her a bit.

Re:and no music? (1)

Cederic (9623) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851697)

i know deaf people that like music. I'll ask them what sort they like.

Being deaf doesn't mean that you can't identify vibration, notice a beat or fail to see a performance.

Re:and no music? (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851717)

No. They ask it because you are literally a freak if you don't like any kind of music. There are people who don't feel, but it is common to ask someone how they are feeling. The reason is - what for it - if they don't have any feelings then they are a freak.

Hmm, actually, the really annoying question is "what kind of music do you listen to", as if everyone had a hobby of actively listening to music. Of course, most people are exposed to a lot of music, and they can form opinions without an active interest.

On another note, I think my relationship with music is rather complex, and I don't like giving a brief answer consisting of this or that popular genre.

Re:and no music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851845)

How can you interpretate the GP saying "I actually enjoy music a lot" to mean "don't like any kind of music"? Music just isn't a central part of his life, and he is not a freak in that sense, there are plenty of others like him (myself included). There is so much more to life than music.

Re:and no music? (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851923)

I don't listen to music very much, and it always annoys me when people ask "what kind of music do you like", as if it were some basic human need like eating.

I don't listen to music very much either, and have trouble answering that question myself. When my entire office was exploding with the twerking news and asked me if what I thought about Miley Cyrus's performance my answer was, "back up. Who's Miley Cyrus, and what performance?"

That said, music is a basic human need like eating. If you've never listened to any song that emotionally moved you, even though you had no idea what song it was or who was playing it, you've missed out on a basic human experience. You should work to correct that, and go in search of interesting music. It doesn't mean it needs to become the most important thing in your life, it doesn't mean you need to know every popular artist and be able to enter into a conversation about music with other people. It most certainly doesn't mean you need to like the same music as other people. You just need to have that experience, at least once, of really identifying with a piece.

Think of it this way: your brain has awesome circuitry you haven't used. It's capable of a deep emotional connection with language and sounds. You're not curious what that's like?

Re:and no music? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850599)

Perhaps he listens to music he creates himself in his head.

Re:and no music? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850609)

Love your sig, by the way. I'd also add "buggy", in that it frequently doesn't behave as intended.

Re:and no music? (1)

ruir (2709173) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851503)

I personally think Nina Simone is a terrible example ;)

Harry Potter? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850269)

Wow, it really says something about the mentality of the reporter..."you're young therefore you read Harry Potter." WTF? These are not universal values, they are just YOUR values from inside the bubble.

Hurrah for his response, by the way. Stick it to 'em.

ignorant and arrogant (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850329)

He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?") this is both an ignorant and arrogant statement. an intelligent individual would read the books and then say there was nothing to learn from them, yet this kid assumes there is nothing to learn from it. the fact of the matter is that one can learn something from anything, it's merely dependent on perspective. he could learn things like loyalty, courage, conviction, friendship....many life lessons that he won't learn unless he pushes himself outside of his comfort zone of academic achievement. just like he needed help from others to make his reality a possibility.

"I want to make good things for humans."

how can he do good things for humans if he doesn't understand humans or have perspective? but the kid isn't smart enough to figure that out. some genius.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850385)

It's true. I read a Dan Brown book. I learned that Dan Brown should not be allowed to write books.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (5, Insightful)

VAElynx (2001046) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850425)

One doesn't need to taste a shit to tell it isn't chocolate.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (1)

bytesex (112972) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850731)

Harry Potter is crap, man. I don't know why you would defend that.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851051)

Actually, he is right. He's not going to learn anything important or practical from fiction for children.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (1)

naasking (94116) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851273)

He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?") this is both an ignorant and arrogant statement. an intelligent individual would read the books and then say there was nothing to learn from them, yet this kid assumes there is nothing to learn from it.

Or maybe he reached his conclusion via a logical argument, instead of an assumption like you're assuming. For instance, the fact that non-fiction books collectively contain more knowledge than fiction books, leads to the inevitable conclusion that if one desires to optimize the acquisition of knowledge, one is better served by avoiding fiction in preference to non-fiction.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852161)

I used to think this way too until I stumbled into literature in my 30s...people who think fiction is not important probably don't understand it and I say that as someone who used to say "why read a story some guy made up when I could read a history book of real stuff", boy i sure looked like an idiot saying that but I thought I was so smart at the time.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851303)

You seem to be completely unfamiliar with the concept of ROI. It isn't ignorant to say that a highly acclaimed fiction book will have less educational utility than a highly acclaimed non-fiction text book.

Is this kid's time better spent on "Ender's Game" or "dspguide.com"? Fiction works are generally useful to me as inspiration of what engineering could make possible, or as escapism. Non-fiction makes me more effective at achieving my dreams. If I'm not wanting for inspiration then what do I need from non-fiction?

Re:ignorant and arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851513)

While his answer is, as expected from those "kid genius", as arrogant as possible, it isn't ignorant. It should be obvious teenage literature books have much less to teach you than a math or physics book.

Re:ignorant and arrogant (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851561)

He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?") this is both an ignorant and arrogant statement. an intelligent individual would read the books and then say there was nothing to learn from them, yet this kid assumes there is nothing to learn from it.

Uhm...what about English? Great stuff for the adolescent foreigner with a good dictionary.

Batushig Insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44851821)

He hasn't read Harry Potter ("What will I learn from that?") this is both an ignorant and arrogant statement. an intelligent individual would read the books and then say there was nothing to learn from them, yet this kid assumes there is nothing to learn from it. the fact of the matter is that one can learn something from anything, it's merely dependent on perspective. he could learn things like loyalty, courage, conviction, friendship....many life lessons that he won't learn unless he pushes himself outside of his comfort zone of academic achievement. just like he needed help from others to make his reality a possibility.

"I want to make good things for humans."

how can he do good things for humans if he doesn't understand humans or have perspective? but the kid isn't smart enough to figure that out. some genius.

So you're saying he's Batushig Insane?

Re:ignorant and arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852879)

He knows enough about the books to not say "What's Harry Potter". There is a lot of space between being aware of the title and reading it, and you don't know where on that continuum his awareness is.

I've read the first half of the first book, and based on this kid's story, my experience, and listening to people discuss the remainder of the books and the movies, I can say he wouldn't learn anything useful. Plenty of other books he could read instead, and should, but that wasn't the question he was asked.

Based on the answer to one question, you have built up your own personal back story of what he does read, and why. And, whether he has experience in "things like loyalty, courage, conviction, friendship" and whether he pushes himself outside of academia. It's all assumption, and you're an idiot.

He's a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850401)

He'll find the limits soon enough when he finally grows up. He'll still be playing with LEDs and wires at 40 when all his peers will be married, had sex for the last 25 years and can do far more in life.

You never hear about teenage savant lawyers.

Re:He's a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850459)

... You never hear about teenage savant lawyers.

Hey, you are correct -- the great Goog reports:
  No results found for "teenage savant lawyers".

Re:He's a kid (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851465)

That's weird. I got two hits.

Re:He's a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852185)

That's weird. I got two hits.

Nope, tried Google again (6:44 pm eastern USA time), same report, no hits. Of course there are lawyer ads above and non-quoted results below. Maybe your Google has indexed this /. conversation already?

Re:He's a kid (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851607)

He'll find the limits soon enough when he finally grows up. He'll still be playing with LEDs and wires at 40

...on board of a spacecraft to Mars... :)

Re:He's a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852251)

It's sad that you think this is some kind of intelligent reply. Mars is a dead desert, a cold, lifeless rock. So what? A kid that throws away everything that's fun and cool about being young to play with some wires is to be pitied. It's not some sort of life goal to be in a tin can, even more isolated from the rest of humanity to go live out YOUR demented vision and your delusional sci-fi soap opera fantasies.

my buddy's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the co (-1, Troll)

Carol_Stanfield3 (3084669) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850565)

my buddy's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay was $21619 just working on the computer for a few hours. discover this.... http://www.cnn13.com/ [cnn13.com]

Re:my buddy's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850655)

This is truly amazing! I just happen to have $14 million locked in a bank account. Unfortunately all my savings are there, and I cannot afford the bank fee to release them, which happens to be $21,619! If you could please forward me the sum I will unlock the account and give you $1 million as compensation.

my buddy's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the co (-1, Troll)

Carol_Stanfield3 (3084669) | 1 year,9 days | (#44850587)

my buddy's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay was $21619 just working on the computer for a few hours. discover this.... WWW.CNN13.COM

and you say H1Bs aren't good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850649)

I guess this goes to show all those loser American whiteys who say no Asian could their job better than them are full of shit!

Kein Wunder (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44850745)

This Wunderkind is in for a rude shock when strong AI accelerates beyond him, never to look back.

Really bad choice of article quote (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851857)

From the article: 'Battushig, playing the role of the car

Huh? What car?

moved into the sensor's path to show me how it worked

How what worked?

"The use of the long wires is very inconvenient for my users,"

Well, obviously.

He realized that contractors would be reluctant to install the siren in other buildings

What siren?

TL;DR: Next time, pick a paragraph from the article that makes sense in isolation.

Re:Really bad choice of article quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852731)

Yeah, but he's 16 and MIT and genius and engineering! I'm just surprised there was no Raspberry pi or 3D printer mentioned.

Stop linking to fucking NYT articles (1)

c5402dc53929211e1efb (3084201) | 1 year,9 days | (#44851985)

Really fucking informative. Die.

PLEASE LOG IN Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Don't have an account yet? Create an account Subscribed through iTunes and need an NYTimes.com account? Learn more In order to access our Web site, your Web browser must accept cookies from NYTimes.com. More information E-Mail or Member ID Password Forgot Password? Remember Me

welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44852133)

welcome, Aspergers. trust me on this one.

Get the name right (3, Informative)

myowntrueself (607117) | 1 year,9 days | (#44852809)

Ulan Bator is based on a misunderstanding. The correct spelling is Ulaanbaatar.

It means 'Red Hero' and, surprisingly, predates Communism despite its reference to the color red. The city is named for a historical character whose real name, deeds etc have been forgotten. All that it is remembered is that they were a woman.

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