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What makes a genius?

Could you have come up with Einstein’s theory of relativity? If not – why not?
Are geniuses an extreme version of ourselves?
Or, are their brains fundamentally different?

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    May 26 2012: I am not sure but it starts with excellent prenatal nutrition.
  • May 18 2012: I would say it is a different perception of reality. Einstein and Feynman shared several quotes along their work; reading them is a way to realize, how different their perceptions of the world were.
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    May 18 2012: To say in one sentence, "Commitment and Discipline towards ones passion makes a genius" .. :)
  • May 15 2012: Walking where others fail to see the path. Not being stuck in a specific field of study or school of thought . Being autistic and having a busted brain thats wired wrong. Being Alone because you think different. Having weak social skills. Having LOW EQ. Being exposed to prescription drugs at a young age because doctors like making machines out of people. Having a father who sucked up a bunch of agent orange and spit out a kid with pudding pops for legs and eyes that were jacked up and shitty DNA.

    Some genius is born out of less then pleasant conditions as a survival mechanism or conditioning process. Too real for ya. Sorry my apologies and some insight to my condition just a form of art i tap out manual unlike no other in the world a simple visual jazz manual tap tap tap lots out wires. Feelings that are void in personal engagements with others.
    Doing art and avoiding having anything in common with any other artist and hiding out because its more comfortable to create a reality then fit into one.
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    May 14 2012: Genius is related to access to the intuitive part of our mind, I think.

    I don't know for sure, but I think the eureka moments come to geniuses when they are not particularly thinking about it (if that makes sense).

    The conscious and rational part of our mind needs to think within the confines of safety, provability, certainty and evidence. This is not where genius is found.

    Genius is found in the unconscious part of the mind - where it is perhaps unsafe, unproved, doubtful - and crucially, lacking in evidence - in places where no-one has ever been before.

    This might be why our best ideas come to us at the point where we have just woken up - the point at which the unconscious is affecting our thoughts, uncontaminated by the awakening conscious mind.
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    May 14 2012: I beleive that genius is a way of thinking rather than a quality of a person. A so called genius will be in touch with their unconscious mind so as to gain insights into otherwise intractable problems - “Eureka” moments. Genius ideas often arise after sleep or while "zoning out" during long walks in the countryside or during meditation. If a person undertaking these mental activities pay attention to their inner voice, an answer may arise or at least a new direction to be followed. Everyone has the potential to gain flashes of genius - most revert to uninspired human thinking and behaviour.

    The more "open" a person's mind is, the greater the potential for genius ideas.

    Scientists such as James Lovelock and Rupert Sheldrake have open minds because they allow science and human thinking to be without boundaries - scientists like Richard Dawkins have closed minds becasue they think they are right and assert that science and human thinking should have boundaries.
  • May 14 2012: To me a genius isn't a person born with innate talent or abilities. I think they are people who are dedicated to there craft enough where they excel at a faster rate then others. For example the kids at the international spelling bee's, I think some would say they were geniuses. When honestly, i believe It was really just constant practice and support by there parents.
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    May 13 2012: i dont know whom to call as 'genius' or whom to refer as 'genius' but according to the facts stating how people perceive a person as genius depends upon his success rate!!!if a person is successful in what he does he is referred as genius!!
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    May 13 2012: Anyone who has an exceptional intellectual or creative ability
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    May 13 2012: I am not comfortable with the term genuis. We apply it to scholars in many subjects (Newton and de Vinci) and also to one subject (Tesla, Einstein, Hawking). So are we just identifing mastery of a subject. If someone is a mass murderer they have mastered their profession so are they also geniuses. Elvis rose to the top of his profession so certainly he was a genius. I read about a Chemist who was a "genius" but had no social knowledge. He never cashed his checks, bathed, paid his cafeteria bill, etc, The company finally hired a super nanny MBA to manage his life.

    So the answer is probally that we elevate those we deem worthy as masters to the "genius" level.

    So does that mean that a TED member with 500+ points is a genius. I am in the presence of greatness. All the best. Bob
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    May 12 2012: Usually it's by popular demand..
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    May 12 2012: Hi Pat
    Of curse you are. But the question is: what makes a genius?
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      May 12 2012: Uh oh maybe I'm not a heinous after all as I have no idea.
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        May 12 2012: there might be a problem with my question.
        i should change it.

        but unfortunately i cant...
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    May 12 2012: Like most people I'm a genius as far as I know.