TED Conversations

Dara Singh

Student - B.E - Computer Engineering,

This conversation is closed.

Should we switch to Geniocracy??

Geniocracy is the " Government of the people ,For the people and by the Genius".
And as Teilhard De Chardin said" Nothing in the Universe can resist a suffieciently large number of linked and organized Intellects".
Now its the time for Scientists,Genius,Intellects and Giants to take a step toward Global development and Peace.

Will geniocracy help to achieve World Unity and Happiness?

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    Aug 19 2011: I don't know if I want the smartest people running the world. Just because they're smart, doesn't mean they have the best interest at heart. Also I don't know if the smartest people are interested in a career in politics. I'd like to see geniuses where we need them the most in science.

    Also one needs to remember that democracy is supposed to be a vote for ideas, not people. The head of a party is only supposed to be a representative of those ideas. By replacing them with genius, we would make persona more important and than policy.
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      Aug 19 2011: awesomely argued Matthieu and thats the reason that u r one of my favorite member....thnx for ur opinion....
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    Aug 19 2011: Let geniuses run the country? Are you mad?

    Lets start by putting Vincent Van Gogh in charge of health and human services and see how that goes. If it works we'll find somebody like Sylvia Plath for transportation.

    The problem is that by definition genius is a disruptive force, not a simple matter of intelligence. Also, you can't even be sure that genius is a real category—the idea of genius as something more than just clever or smart is a vestige of romanticism and comes with a lot of cultural baggage.

    You might say, okay forget genius, lets just have testably smart people in charge. But then you run into the problem of figuring out what exactly you want to test. IQ? Have you ever been to Mensa meeting? Believe me, you don't want some of those people running your bath water let alone your country. Testing intelligence is not the same as testing competence for particular tasks. Intelligence is too broad and too context dependent. Also intelligence seems to be independent of ethics.

    The things we really want in a leader are: experience, compassion, ethics, common sense, a good sense of rhetoric, and the ability to recognize talent in others and use it well. You can't capture any of this on a standardized test. Having said that, you also might not be able to capture any of this with a national election either, so your criticism of the current arrangement is well taken.
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      Aug 19 2011: I love the way you write when you are passionate Mark! 'You don't want some of those people running your bath water!" Hahhhhaaa
    • Aug 20 2011: I agree, letting the geniuses run the country would be mad.

      A genius isn't necessarily a genius in everything. Often only one thing and then only a tiny aspect of that thing.
      Getting a bunch of them together would not be pleasant. Cooperation would be hard to come by since they are all geniuses,. It would be worse than the situation with the idiots we have now.

      I would rather see government by renaissance men (and women). You want someone interested in everything with a wide variety of abilities, capable of learning when he or she doesn't know and admitting when he or she is/was wrong.

      Now mind you, these people don't want to govern so we will have to take them by force.
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    Aug 22 2011: It would depend a great deal on what you define by genius...

    If it means: talented people with knowledge and great moral judgement and above average altruism who are trained in various fields required... then I could start to agree.

    Another point is the problem of selection: they cannot be selected by non-genius, can they, so a danger of selection bias and nepotism is always there...
    I would try to keep some forms of democratic elements, where needed or something like referendums, maybe weighted...

    Above all: absolute transparency should be kept.
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      Aug 23 2011: Just out of curiosity, why can't they be selected (voted on) by the general population?
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        Aug 23 2011: I think it is difficult to recognize genius...
        Voting has other aspects: campaigning, charisma, eloquence,... all skills that have their geniuses in those fields, but that are not the attributes we'll need for government.

        I think a lot of people don't know where the person stands for, or even care (well, in Belgium, we are obliged to vote, so maybe there is some important difference in perspective).

        In short: I don't think a general population makes the right choices (though individuals should be able to contribute in their fields of expertise)
      • Aug 31 2011: Hi Gisela,

        At times it seemed that the entire G.W. Bush campaign was predicated upon the idea that science and smarty-pants liberals were bad, while Jesus-loving, beer swilling, gun-toting, cretins are good. It worked for George, I don't know if it would work for Kip Thorne, even if he wanted the job. There exists an anti-intellectual bias in huge swathes of the USA, which seem to closely coincide with the swathes of evangelicals. A certain level of ignorance must be countenanced by a population hell-bent on rejecting evolution in favor of creationism.

        I think it significant that in all countries in which education levels have risen, a decline of the catholic church has been registered. They have moved their heaviest recruiting to Africa, where circumstances have diminished the population's educational opportunities, and the church, for the time being having good success.

        It will be an up-hill battle to reverse the trend of anti-intellectualism. It is much easier to remain ignorant and curse the night.
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    Aug 20 2011: And what if they don't WANT to? Are you going to force them? And how would you go about that?

    Why would anyone who is capable of other greatness want to piss away their time administering bureaucracy and listening to people bitch and moan?
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      Aug 22 2011: Hi Gisela!
      I didn't read anything in the question about forcing geniuses to do anything. I do think though, that there have been times in history and in the best imaginings of patriots of all countries where serving their country to the very best of one's abilities was considered a priveledge and an honour. I hope the wheel turns again so that the very best among us, the most brilliant and the ones most full of character take up the mantle of service again (even if for the first time). Someone without this spirit would certainly not be forced to do so.

      Interestingly, though, one of the early markers of genius in children appears to be a social conscience.
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        Aug 22 2011: The thread jumped immediately to "why we wouldn't want geniuses to lead a nation" and skipped right past "would they even want to?"

        Let's face it, most who would qualify would not have "bureaucracy" as their area of proclivity. There is a big difference between providing vision for the direction of the country and the day-to-day intricacies of actually running it.

        And since today we lost Jack Layton, and I think all would agree he at least had a vision of Canada that extended beyond lining his pockets and those of his cronies (whether or not we agreed with the implementation is another matter), probably the first since Trudeau (also regardless of agreement) maybe we should look at what traits they had in common along with others past rather than jump to "genius" as the defining factor so that we can avoid the Philosopher King.

        And really? social conscience as a marker of genius? What field of aptitude would that relate to? I could see it maybe in polymaths, but in general those I have encountered have run the gamut from highly developed social conscience to damned near devoid of it. Genius and sociopath are not magically mutually exclusive.

        Many seem to barrel down their path and realize the damage they have done after the fact when they try to undo or make up for what they have created. They're just people running a wide span of emotional intelligence levels.

        Possibly because I would define genius as "liberated from the mundane", which would explain a lot of the whining about their insensitivity from the people around them, the idea of sticking them in the land of the uber-mundane (bureaucracy) seems impractical.
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          Aug 24 2011: Thanks for mentioning the passing of Jack Layton, a man I consider to be among the best of Canadians and definately the type of person that I was referring to when i spoke of 'genius leaders'. I am delighted to see that we admire some of the same people. My point is that perhaps it is time to redefine 'genius' and 'leader' into a more workable form that enables us to get the best out of our leadership.
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        Aug 22 2011: Oh, I meant to say that I completely agree with you that the population (increasingly here in Canada - which is the only thing that explains Rob Ford to me) has moved from selecting the "best representative" to the "most representative" i.e. the guy I want to have beer with because he is most like me.

        It doesn't matter whether they want to take up the mantle as long as "smart is bad" in the collective mind.
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          Aug 26 2011: I am somewhat surprised by the 'smart is bad' idea. I hope that we can defeat that by helping smart people with better PR.
  • Aug 19 2011: It is an interesting topic to talk about but to be frank, I don't know if there are enough geniuses to run the government.

    There are enough people in the government that are smart. The problem is that money seems to be more influential than I.Q. It doesn't matter how smart you are if the opponent has more money to influence public opinion against you. Take the tea party for instance. Money used by the bucket full to influence common people into making awful decisions. Money talks more than sense. Even if a genius were to be president what could he do against opposition flush with cash banding together to oppose everything he says even if it makes sense. There is too much "we can't let him win because it will make the democrats look good" crap going on. Too much self serving. Too much business first, liability later. The problem is that a band of intellects will have the same problem. They will all have loyalties that lie elsewhere. Plus what is logical is not always what is popular. Bring a benign dictator is still being a dictator. People will not always follow sense because they have a different world view. Last of all a Genius still relies on people to provide information. If the quality of information is bad, it doesn't matter how smart he is, mistakes will be made.
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    Aug 19 2011: Well, the only problem with democracy is that what's best for society is objective. It is a fact that there is a certain way of handling the economy that is better than any other.

    The current President of the United states has done a great deal to advance the liberal agenda! For this I am grateful. However, he also created an entire laundry list of new entitlement programs despite the fact that we were already several trillion dollars in debt before the end of his first year in office. To add insult to injury he spoke out to the news media about out-of-control government spending & allowed us to just about hit the debt ceiling before taking action & cutting all of the entitlement programs that he himself signed into law over his years in office... but paid the bitter & embarrassing price of being the first president in history to witness a credit downgrade for his lack of foresight.

    Now that wasn't too smart... I wouldn't have done that. Not saying I should be president... but just look at the candidates!

    Rick Perry:
    Literally suggested that Texas secede from the United States. As the Governor...

    Ron Paul:
    Suggested that he would get rid of Social security & Medicare... Apparently no one told him about the London riots.

    Michele Bachmann:
    Highly Conservative. Possibly the best candidate... but only because she can win.

    Gary Johnson:
    Hands down the best canidate! "The former Libertarian Republican Governor does not attend church, is pro-choice, anti-big government, pro-immigration, an outspoken critic of the war on drugs and favors legalizing marijuana. He led New Mexico for eight years, during which time the state saw no tax increase, and he vetoed over 750 separate pieces of legislation to keep the government from growing." However, I don't think this man can win any conservative votes... unfortunately...
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    Sep 2 2011: Hey guys, great to finally see a real discussion and debate on geniocracy, it's been a while.
  • Aug 23 2011: Cristphe hi ,

    Yes high level specialist whomw are respected and care for society can do the job. But i belive more in ex business politicians then ex teacher and lawyer and helath care politicans , who are not creators but the best manipulators((( So why not let normal people chiose their un uncle or star they trust and let the etical leaders chose themselevs denpending on how many respect them by their votes ??
    Political parties ar epower houses like banks with for sure double agendas and bookpeeping , so we should forget them , they are second hand car dealers that sell third hand truths with a lot of m edia training and nice smiles ...

    REFERENDUMS
    sweet for all people tom play important , but form most problesm normal peopel understand not more thn 5 % of real decison factors , so they just listen to the main moneypulators !! Will u let ur workers in ur comapny decide important things they completely not understand ?
  • Aug 23 2011: Gisela hi ,
    If geniusses or politcians will be voted for , u will get an allmost accpetable democrasy. But since 90 % of politicians are controlled by sponsors , famileis running the party for many years , short term voters interest and the party program and the press who only wabnt to see or create shocks to sell and the Governent program for 4 years , only flexible power cameleon foxes (rats) can dance parralel on 6 different songs with 6 different ladies ))

    When all people above 18 chose any person above 18 to be their capable representative whom they trust , the local chaimen of the footbal team , a great singer etc. These votes are counted and these reliable capable leaders vote then the parliament , preferable forgetting all power concentrations in political parties. For economics all political colour economs will chose their own leading Minister Econom they trust and will work with representing their voters interest.

    Danish and Dutch societies are the second best alternatioves since they have the lasty 25 years the most happy in the world people and children. Also they have cool social images eevrywhere and in abortus , legal gay and lesbians marriages , legal softdrugs , euthaniasi and now working 4 days a week Holland created mroe positive change then the another 25 big countrie stogther )))) Its just 5 or 40 years BUT ALL COUNTRIES FOLLOW US )))
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    Aug 22 2011: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/tim_harford.html

    Please this video.. this not so related to the take though the politician or the ruler who thinks himself as a human capable as error and would talk initiatives regardless of its resulting failure or successes ?(no god complex) would do great.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_stewart_time_to_end_the_war_in_afghanistan.html

    If i would want politicians, as described by Rory Stewart the person who understands the people.
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    Aug 20 2011: I would like all of you to also give suggestion about
    ► what type of administration you would like to have?
    OR
    ►What type of changes or advancements you would like to make in Democratic System?
    • Comment deleted

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        Aug 27 2011: I would ammend your idea to say that we should have teams of specialists who are empowered to make decisions by conscensus. Have you ever noticed how every 'expert' has another expert who is diametrically opposed to his opinion? In conscensus we should be able to approximate the best course of action.
  • Aug 19 2011: I agree. Something has to change. Capitalism will only stand so long.
  • Aug 19 2011: Democracy is based on opinion, and opinion is a shifted sand
    this quality makes democracy tolerable. Nothing lasts long.

    and how do you suggest to organise Geniocracy?
    On the same election/vote ground?
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    Aug 18 2011: anything short of anarchism is an failure of realization, and failure of human potential in general.
    In my opinion.
  • Aug 18 2011: The problem is, who decides what Genius is and how this "network" should run? Is a brilliant orthopedic surgeon capable of administering a nation?

    While I loath the current political polarization in the United States, I do not see how a "Geniocracy" could fix the human tendency to become enamored with particular view points that become policy of an administration.
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      Aug 18 2011: well argued Bob_____
      The basic principle of geniocracy consists measuring Raw Intelligence (which has nothing to with the number of diplomas someone has) of the entire population with the help of sophiscated scientific tests.This done,only those having raw intelligence more than 10% will be elligible to vote and those having mre than 50%( the Genius) will be allowed to govern.
      What is more natural than wishing that those governing indeed be the most intelligent?
      And even if you consider a brilliant orthopedic surgeon with required raw intelligence....that person is more able than others to think,reflect , has imagination to forsee further and can understand immense posibilities of their discoveries. Atleast that surgeon is knowledgeable in his field....So he can handle welll the problems related to public health and wellfare in a better way. In the same way we can think about other fields.
      Thnx for joinig Bob...it would be great to hear more from your part.....
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        Aug 18 2011: I don't know, Dara. There are a lot of very bright people out there with not a wit of common sense.
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          Aug 19 2011: For that the principle of geniocracy ....suggests to sort the people who r really smart and deserve govern the nation.
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          Aug 19 2011: Lynn! you must have been particularly brilliant this week or loaded with common sense because I am out of thumbs up for you! Well said!

          I could see a government with different people given different areas of responsibility based on intellect, character and knowledge. Together they could decide issues that included or encompassed several areas.
      • Aug 19 2011: The main issue I was trying to point out is that intelligence (raw or focused) does not imply supreme abilities in imagination, critical thinking or analysis. Raw intelligence alone does not make a person capable of being a successful leader of people.

        In addition, as far as I know, we do not have a perfect way to determine "raw intelligence." One might point to IQ tests, but those are rather flawed and do not give an accurate measurements.

        Could governments be arranged in such a way to incorporate more specialists and recognized experts? I do believe so.

        But should we accurately or inaccurately gauge the intelligence of people and deny those seen as lacking even though those denied might have something to contribute? I say no.