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American Geniuses - Page 2

post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post

Emerson. And why is wrong about Pynchon and Frost.

Agree. I love quarks and string theory as much as the next guy, but genius can be found in music, art, literature, rhetoric, and cooking.
post #17 of 92
Hendrix, Ellington, Dylan.

The word is kinda fraught, no? What's the criteria? What about Babe Ruth? Michael Jordan? Barry Bonds?

I'm comfortable calling Einstein or Newton or Mozart geniuses because they had talent and accomplishments that were greater than merely generational. They were an order of magnitude beyond that.
post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post

Hendrix, Ellington, Dylan.
The word is kinda fraught, no? What's the criteria? What about Babe Ruth? Michael Jordan? Barry Bonds?
I'm comfortable calling Einstein or Newton or Mozart geniuses because they had talent and accomplishments that were greater than merely generational. They were an order of magnitude beyond that.

How interesting that you pick the three names that pop into my head every time I hear the word. Yes, if you want to talk in those terms, we really don't have an American genius.
post #19 of 92
Jerry Lewis

/Etienne
post #20 of 92
This guy

feynman_finger.jpg
post #21 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post

Hendrix, Ellington, Dylan.

The word is kinda fraught, no? What's the criteria? What about Babe Ruth? Michael Jordan? Barry Bonds?

I'm comfortable calling Einstein or Newton or Mozart geniuses because they had talent and accomplishments that were greater than merely generational. They were an order of magnitude beyond that.

This is one of the reasons why I started this threak - the history of the U.S. is very short so statistically we'd have less of a pool to consider, plus I'd like to consider some athletes as brilliant but I think some coaches would get closer to, but not over the line into the realm of genius. I think of Tony LaRussa or Phil Jackson as strategists who are unequaled in their realm of coaches (in my mind).

As far as musicians, I have to say that a true contributor to the world of music is Miles Davis. Genius? Yeah, I feel strongly that he's a genius and that his name will be known two hundred years from now.
post #22 of 92
Gell-Mann? (annoying personality but, with Feynman, has his name on most of the big physics accomplishments since the 1950's)

Pennglock's list is good; I'd add to Jaynes a mention of Claude Shannon.

In any case (channeling Howard Gardner) there are different "types" of genius/intelligence that make it hard to compare. So, it's hard to see how Feynman and, say, Martha Graham or Glenn Gould, might be on the same list.

There is also political genius; the number of (non-political) smart people who knew Richard Nixon (including Friedman, IIRC) called him as much. Others have said similar things about Bill Clinton.

I wish we could include the Hungarian-born but happily US-citizen John von Neumann. Look the guy up if you've never heard of him; he died sadly in his early fifties, but he had his fingerprint on 2/3 of everything we take for granted these days, from quantum mechanics to nuclear power to game theory to the personal computer. He was also a snappy dresser.
post #23 of 92
would you consider bill gates to belong in the conversation?
post #24 of 92
Liberace
Michael Jackson
Elvis Presley
Jimi Hendrix
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

Liberace

"...a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love."

Sounds a bit like our own Prof Fab (haha)

Given the celeb culture of the 21st century, and the young average age of SFers, I think it's hard for most to realize the phenomenon that was LIberace (and the fact that only in America could a flamingly gay, unattractive, mediocre concert pianist named Wladiu become the highest paid entertainer in the world)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdBEqQWaRuc
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcaimen View Post

Jerry Lewis
/Etienne
lol8[1].gif
post #27 of 92
Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers discusses this topic if anyone has read it.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

Gell-Mann? (annoying personality but, with Feynman, has his name on most of the big physics accomplishments since the 1950's)
Pennglock's list is good; I'd add to Jaynes a mention of Claude Shannon.
In any case (channeling Howard Gardner) there are different "types" of genius/intelligence that make it hard to compare. So, it's hard to see how Feynman and, say, Martha Graham or Glenn Gould, might be on the same list.
There is also political genius; the number of (non-political) smart people who knew Richard Nixon (including Friedman, IIRC) called him as much. Others have said similar things about Bill Clinton.
I wish we could include the Hungarian-born but happily US-citizen John von Neumann. Look the guy up if you've never heard of him; he died sadly in his early fifties, but he had his fingerprint on 2/3 of everything we take for granted these days, from quantum mechanics to nuclear power to game theory to the personal computer. He was also a snappy dresser.

Tesla was also a snappy dresser, one more thing he had over the slovenly gangster Edison. There are plenty of immigrants who were snappier dressers than Edison though, Kurt Gödel for example.
post #29 of 92
I think that art, as subjective as it is, precludes a consensus of "genius". At least in the short-term. I think there are a few who withstand the test of time.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

Liberace
Michael Jackson
Elvis Presley
Jimi Hendrix

All very talented, but psychometrically none of these people were geniuses. You are just naming famous people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post

...Iggy Pop, I could go on and on

I can't tell if you're having a laugh or not?

Christopher Langan was a genius.. Amadeo Giannini was a very intelligent man..
Edited by jaypee - 7/19/12 at 5:51am
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