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American Geniuses - Page 3

post #31 of 92
double post
post #32 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

Sam Maloof who makes the rocking chairs with exposed joinery? He's a marvelous craftsman but genius? I'd take Krenov over Maloof, but that's just my preference. Also, not sure Krenov's origin

How about:

T. Edison
B. Franklin
M. Anton
S. Clemens
R. Oppenheimer

I've been giving thought about Maloof and suppose I brought him up because of my love of his work and thus to use him as hopefully a catalyst for discussion.

I agree with you on S. Clemens and of course M. Anton.
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by HORNS View Post

I've been giving thought about Maloof and suppose I brought him up because of my love of his work and thus to use him as hopefully a catalyst for discussion.
I agree with you on S. Clemens and of course M. Anton.

Well, it's kind of hard to discern genius in some arenas: Craftsmanship for its own sake is always fun to see, but how it manifests is up for discussion. For instance, the Newton Bridge might be termed a work of genius, at least if you buy the story of its original construction. Similarly, there was a story (probably apocryphal) about an nameless itinerant carpenter who many years ago built a spiral staircase for a convent using no screws, bolts, or nails. That, if it exists and still stands, could be genius - but it's a mechanical genius in one sense and might be an aesthetic genius as well.

Speaking of genius, how about Leonard Bernstein?
post #34 of 92
Linus Pauling
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

Linus Pauling

Ding ding ding we have a winner.
post #36 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

Linus Pauling

Damn, that's a good one. I thought he was British for some reason.

Here's a picture of his father, a straight-up pimp:

post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

Linus Pauling

I knew there was a very influential American quantum chemist but I was fixated on Fritz London. Good one -- can't believe I forgot about him and his Vitamin C prescriptions!
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post

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

"Genius" to me calls to mind someone who has made majorly original intellectual contributions.

Too broad of a definition including athletes. Michael Jordan dunking from the free throw line does not make him a genius, although it was unprecedented.

Richard Feynman, Linus Pauling, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson... those are the types of people I have in mind.
post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

a convent using no screws, bolts, or nails. That, if it exists and still stands, could be genius - but it's a mechanical genius in one sense and might be an aesthetic genius as well.
Speaking of genius, how about Leonard Bernstein?

Beat you to it icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

Linus Pauling

How can we be certain?
post #41 of 92
Bill Gates anyone?
post #42 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post

Beat you to it icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

Yes, but I beat you to Edison. Unless you're referring to the younger nephew Jasper "Jimmy" Edison, who invented sleeping in the lab, urinating into empty beer bottles, and patent trolling.
post #43 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post

All very talented, but psychometrically none of these people were geniuses. You are just naming famous people.
I can't tell if you're having a laugh or not?
Christopher Langan was a genius.. Amadeo Giannini was a very intelligent man..

Hendrix was such a prodigy and so utterly sui generis. He couldn't read music, was self trained and just completely reinvented his instrument in a breathtaking way. There's really nobody comparable in jazz or pop music. I feel more comfortable calling him a genius than just about any other american artist.
post #44 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

I don't see the point of including anyone outside of mathematics and the sciences as a genius. Maybe some people like Shakespeare would qualify, but Thomas Pynchon? Robert Frost? I wouldn't even include them in a list of worthwhile writers let alone among people like Gibbs.
Good call on Witten. Weinberg should probably be up there with him too.
I think limiting genius to mathematics and sciences is too narrow and confines the discussion to only one type of intelligence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post

The hard sciences have already been well represented in the thread. One could argue that any PhD in physics is a genius in terms of raw intellectual power. But I don't think listing Mensa or physics faculty was the purpose of OP; after all, Teddy Roosevelt was included in the list.
Your view of genius is far too narrow for purposes of this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post

All very talented, but psychometrically none of these people were geniuses. You are just naming famous people.
I can't tell if you're having a laugh or not?
Christopher Langan was a genius.. Amadeo Giannini was a very intelligent man..

I think the "psychometric testing" rubric is too simplistic and some measure of outstanding accomplishment, in whatever field, is the critical determinant (Henry Ford, anyone?). I've known plenty of brilliant people who've never done anything with their gifts and never will.

Having said that, there are any number of lesser known, brilliant scientists who might be considered geniuses, among them

Josiah Willard Gibbs (mentioned earlier by why)
G.N. Lewis
Robert Burns Woodward

If you're unfamiliar with them, you might read a little about their accomplishments
rach, John von Neumann was truly remarkable, though unfortunately we can't claim him as an American. There must be some American dancers and musicians that we're forgetting(?).
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

G.N. Lewis

Good one. I thought he was British.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post

Hendrix was such a prodigy and so utterly sui generis. He couldn't read music, was self trained and just completely reinvented his instrument in a breathtaking way. There's really nobody comparable in jazz or pop music. I feel more comfortable calling him a genius than just about any other american artist.

rotflmao.gif

I realize the problem here is that we can't agree on terms, but most people have at least kept certain bounds on their definitions. Hendrix was arguably not even a musician, let alone a musical genius (and I'll make that argument).
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