Thoughts on Genius

Does our culture still honor true genius?

If you toured the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, you would find an remarkable collection of famous medical specimen, including the bladder stones of a former Chief Justice and an ex-presidential cancerous tumor. More popular than any other exhibit in the museum however, is a series of 46 microscope slides containing slices of Albert Einstein’s brain.

Last week National Geographic released an article discussing the makings of a genius. Unfortunately, studying dismembered brain matter of the egg man proved to be as useful as connecting the dimples on the skull of Immanuel Kant… so science has yet to reach the cellular anatomy specific to a genius, but the requisites for genius are no mystery to us.

It is a remarkable intellect, combined with a daft sense of creativity, and a turgid determination of will that makes a genius.

We should stress the importance of the people in this world who are smarter than us. A neuroscientist who discovers a new mearuement for frontal brain activity, an improvisational jazz musician taking the scene by storm, or a sociologist with a new proposal for clean water systems….

Yeah sometimes these brilliant people pop up on the news and I’m sitting on my couch in Costco sweats eating cereal because I can’t figure out how to work my damn microwave. But other times it can be very inspirational.

I noticed one thing that every brilliant person I meet has in common. All of them, every single genius I’ve ever met is able to draw beautiful connections between disparagingly different ideas. It’s the right and left brain connection that puts a genius in another box.

So now I’m thinking wow smart people are great and cool — gee whiz it’s so good that we have them, then I look up and see this orangutan making executive orders.

Stop. Wait a minute….

Maybe if we started paying some attention to the actually remarkable people in this world, instead of romanticizing and idolizing the ridiculously wealthy, we wouldn’t be in this little pickle. Hmmmm?

Keep an eye out for a genius in your workplace. Put an eggman poster over your desk. Be creative.