American Geniuses

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

  1. jaypee

    jaypee Senior member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


  2. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    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.
     


  3. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


  4. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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  5. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Ding ding ding we have a winner.
     


  6. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     


  7. why

    why Senior member

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    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!
     


  8. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    "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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


  9. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse Senior member

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    Beat you to it :slayer:
     


  10. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse Senior member

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    How can we be certain?
     


  11. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    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.
     


  13. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     


  14. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I think limiting genius to mathematics and sciences is too narrow and confines the discussion to only one type of intelligence.



    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(?).
     


  15. why

    why Senior member

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    Good one. I thought he was British.


    :rotflmao:

    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).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012


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