Friday, May 05, 2017
NatGeo presents article "Genius" to accompany is new cable series
The National Geographic issue for May 2007 has a feature cover story on p. 30, “Genius: Why some people are so much smarter than the rest of us.”, link (paywall) here .
An important measure of genius is whether the person’s output lives throughout the ages. Beehoven’s output takes on a life of its own.
The article gives some attention to the life story of Leonardo DaVinci.
The years of highest probability of major output are the late twenties into the mid thirties.
An important and controversial variable would be how versatile the person is with "real life" skills. The best of today's young adults simply are or were much more mature than I was at ages like, say 16-21. But it helps to be born later.
However, there are real prodigies, in coding (Mark Zuckerberg) and in music. In music, prodigy becomes harder to show after Mozart. But Eugen d’Albert’s gigantic first piano concerto (as published, in B Minor) was composed before age 20 and shows real intellectual brilliance as to harmony, counterpoint, and form. Brahms, on the other hand, waited until his forties to compose symphonies. Genius enters new territory in the latest years, as we know from the last nearly-complete symphony of Bruckner.
There is a new series on National Geographic Channel which I have not seen yet.
The issue also has an article on the Central African Republic, the Burning Heart of Africa, and “United in Protest” against the North Dakota oil pipeline.