American Geniuses

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HORNS, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse Senior member

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    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.
     


  2. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     


  3. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse Senior member

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    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.
     


  4. redcaimen

    redcaimen Bigtime

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    Jerry Lewis

    /Etienne
     


  5. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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  6. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    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.
     


  7. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Prof. Fabulous Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012


  8. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    would you consider bill gates to belong in the conversation?
     


  9. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Liberace
    Michael Jackson
    Elvis Presley
    Jimi Hendrix
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


  10. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Prof. Fabulous Dubiously Honored

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    "...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)

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


  11. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    :lol:
     


  12. FtRoyalty

    FtRoyalty Senior member

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    Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers discusses this topic if anyone has read it.
     


  13. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    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.
     


  14. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    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.
     


  15. jaypee

    jaypee Senior member

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    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..
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


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