The Common Character Trait of Geniuses | James Gleick


I’m tempted to say smart, creative people
have no particularly different set of character traits than the rest of us except for being
smart and creative, and those being character traits. Then, on the other hand, I wrote a
biography of Richard Feynman and a biography of Isaac Newton. Now, there are two great
scientific geniuses whose characters were in some superficial ways completely different.
Isaac Newton was solitary, antisocial, I think unpleasant, bitter, fought with his friends
as much as with his enemies. Richard Feynman was gregarious, funny, a great dancer, loved
women. Isaac Newton, I believe, never had sex. Richard Feynman, I believe, had plenty.
So you can’t generalize there. On the other hand, they were both, as I tried
to get in their heads, understand their minds, the nature of their genius, I sort of felt
I was seeing things that they had in common, and they were things that had to do with aloneness.
Newton was much more obviously alone than Feynman, but Feynman didn’t particularly work
well with others. He was known as a great teacher, but he wasn’t a great teacher, I
don’t think, one on one. I think he was a great lecturer. I think he was a great communicator.
But when it came time to make the great discoveries of science, he was alone in his head. Now,
when I say he, I mean both Feynman and Newton, and this applies, also, I think, to the geniuses
that I write about in The Information, Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, Ada Byron. They all
had the ability to concentrate with a sort of intensity that is hard for mortals like
me to grasp, a kind of passion for abstraction that doesn’t lend itself to easy communication,
I don’t think.

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Comments

  1. Most who think they are a genius, aren't. Also genius comes in many factor. Some geniuses are highly philosophical, while some are artistic.

  2. I love geniuses and ppl who live in their heads. They are fascinating to me. I could listen to them forever.

  3. I really find myself stupid. But then I go to my therapist and he says how my thoughts are really dense and powerful. I don't know. I didn't want to humble brag. Just trying to itch in my own personal thing I guess. Wait, why did I even make this comment and then continue to post it. And why would people only react to that previous sentence if I hadn't typed this one after it. am I predicting to much… Ok I should post this before I go in to a rabbit hole.

  4. Feynman collaborated effectively with Hans Bethe in the Manhattan project, and was also made a group leader there. Maybe your point is that ingenious reevolutionary breakthroughs in physics aren't collaborations, but don't say Feynman couldn't work with other people.

  5. firstly, comparing these two distinct personalities is a mistake. they were probably 40 iq points apart and better than 3 centuries. newton was isolated and solitary because of his supernatural intelligence and feynman was well socialized because he was able to straddle the intellectual fence, as it were. be more circumspect in your next comparative analysis, for all of us who discern,carefully..

  6. Just discovered….I am a genius !! Anti social ……loner ……all I need is the elusive …intense focus !!!

  7. analyzing the replies to this video message has made me conclude that the key to being a genius is not abiding to peer-pressure..
    thanks, after all these people told me to do so, I will ignore others.

    yes, I will not ignore others and ignore others.

  8. Now we have a shitload of socially retarded (and probably generally retarded) people thinking they are geniuses

  9. I don't think he was being fair to Newton. Never mind putting this Finyman (whoever he was) in the same sentence with Newton. It's the idea that he speaks so critically of him like as if it's just a given that Newton was a miserable scoundrel towards about everyone and it's settled and needn't be questioned.

  10. When I'm in a creative rush, I can't finish almost until fatigue in a turbo af mode and most people I know get along with me superficially, but when they see my processes, I'm a freak!

  11. Concentrate really hard on the problem you are trying to solve. Take longer walks thinking only about how to solve it. "Live with the problem" for quite some time. Do not interact socially with others since it is an distraction. If you are lucky your brain will then eventually solve the problem while you are sleeping so make sure to write down the solution when you wake up.

  12. Today’s famous “intellectuals” have 0 accomplishments.
    da Vinci intelligence is extinct.
    Forget that level, there are great inventors, and innovators today, but they certainly are not cultural figures.
    Famous intellectuals of today are unaccomplished dorks who debate religion and nonsense like that.
    Jaque Fresco is dead
    I think a lot of his ideas could have been too easily abused in the wrong hands, but he was undoubtedly one of the greatest minds until his death.
    You’ve never even heard of Kevin Hay, some Canadian modern Tesla.
    There’s this one Asian dude who invented the floppy disk. . . That guy is fucking inspiring.
    That might be the closest thing to da Vinci intelligence left, along with a few other inventors, and silicone valley fucks no one has ever heard of.
    Guarantee no one has ever heard of them.

  13. Just remember you don't need to be a genius to be a great person. or even to go down in the history books.

  14. In my sociology book, it points out a study that found out thinking by yourself yields better and more creative results in less time than participating in brainstorming with other people. It's just that most people tend to enjoy working with others more and therefore perceive their results more favorable when they work with others.

    I've never liked study groups or group projects for this reason. I learn faster and better on my own. I only like group study if I don't understand anything.

  15. Thank you for stroking my ego, now I can say I'm lonely because I am genius and not because I'm boring as hell and can't carry a 5 minute conversation

  16. So Newton Was A "Shelton Cooper"..But The Other Guy Was A Very "Smart Tommy Boy"..Luckiest Of All To Be A "Marine Corps Grunt"..That Can Dizzle You With My Brilliants And Baffle you With My Bull Shit..An If I Can Not Convince..I Will Confuse You..Because We Have Been Doing So Much..With So Little…For So Long..That We Can Do Anything..Without Nothing..Yours Very Truely L/CPL Alfonso Cantu USMC

  17. If you can be happy, have peace of mind and don't suffer depression then you are a genius in my book

  18. The first step to Genius is to reject stupidity like Equality, Diversity, and Tolerance. Then continue from there.

  19. How do you even make such videos in which people speak but tell you nothing at the same time? It is such a talent to be honest, Disliked

  20. According to Jungian Psychology
    Both Newton and Feynman had Intuition as a dominant cognitive function, but in different orientations.

    Newton had the following cognitive structure
    INTJ
    Dominant Ni: Subjective Intuition (Perspectives, insights)
    Auxiliary Te: Objective Thinking (Effectiveness, Inductive Logic)
    Tertiary Fi: Subjective Values (Authenticity)
    Inferior Se: Objective Sensation
    Other INTJ's: Friedrich Nietzsche, Nikola Tesla, John Nash.

    Feynman had the following cognitive structure
    ENTP
    Dominant Ne: Objective Intuition (Possibilities in the outside world)
    Auxiliary Ti: Subjective Thinking (Internal Logic Structure, Deductive Logic)
    Tertiary Fe: Objective Values (Interpersonal Harmony)
    Inferior Si: Subjective Sensation
    Other ENTP's: Leonardo Da Vinci, Socrates.

  21. Loneliness . Intellectual loneliness but not physical loneliness. My biggest problem is I'm aware of this and have come up with multiple end results all end up pretty much the same .

  22. Geniuses are like the rest of us. It's their ideas that are interesting. Not trying to be insightful here.

  23. I'm always in my head 🕵️‍♀️ Dmass LoL
    Why me and technologies hyperDigi
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsZVwu74ZZI&list=PLfN09hf0oyUxA5rHdORmzENkMz7NsVdaR&index=68

  24. Being smart and creative aren't character traits. That's like saying being white is a character trait. Character is changeable and influenced by societal mores. Intelligence is genetic. It is stupid statements like that that make geniuses avoid common people.

  25. Why are we so retarded. Honestly, we know fucking nothing and we likely never will. All we know is a fraction of a fraction of what is possible, and we will never reach that level. It's taken us more than 5,000 years to discover how to effectively fuse the hydrogen atom with efficiency. Its pathetic. We may never know and the answer is right in front of our ignorant faces.

  26. I am an INFJ personality type and IQ 157…. we need to time out from people and it is then that we get very creative…so I can relate to what he is saying…well done

  27. Being a genius don't change de fact that we all will desappear…and the time will erase everything you know..

  28. In a world where people generously suck, the simpleton human, lacking the desire for their company, considers himself a "genius".

  29. “Full of self”

    God’s inconvenient Truth: God told us specifically of this time. Be not surprised. Go see it for yourself.

    2 Timothy 3 King James Version (KJV)

    3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  30. We as humans would be able to concentrate because we have the power to. unfortunately, that power is reduced by social media which has only made us have the attention of a squirrel. We have lost the power to focus and concentrate on one thing for a long time due to our ficklemindedness. Our biggest creation is the reason why we are losing who we are as humans. It's making us more and more prone to simple things in life and things around us, therefore we never take a keen look into the depth of something. Our curiosity and ability to think, has decreased because of how simple it has become to find answers by just googling it instead of working or thinking to find the answer or solution to a certain problem.

  31. damn i can relate to these geniuses so much which means im a genius too. yes i came to that conclusion using my genius intelligence and reasoning!

  32. everybody is dumb in a way. in a dumb person way yall Don't have l the facts that makes you kinda dumb but I do deserves not even to be known..

  33. Take note on how he speaks. Notice how he thinks about what he is saying while he's talking and takes his time. This is how a well read person communicates.

  34. im not genius cause i had to look at the last comment to spellit. I will say this, I have a lot of both. I get along with every one and love to tell jokes. at the same time i like to be alone. i think im smart but i also think im dumb. and i sometimes think that i must be from another place. i dont care for grammer as long as i can get my point across. but rarely i do. can you relate? And i searched am i as smart as i think i am? i cant find something to help me tone it down and just be like all the rest. one of the most intresting inventions to me is how wipers on an auto work. it is crazy!

  35. I feel so alone. I feel like no one gets me at all. I’ve always tried to be social but most never really got me.

  36. nobody nowdays are even close to the iq of newton, tesla, alexanderson, galileo and edison. what we have now are celebrits like dawkins, daniel dannett and others. the new ones are just dog food material. to be the star in the show of bullshit is what is now a hype of the media. i hardly find anyone of the media showbiz industry of scientists intelligence other than average. a real genius is one that could make flying cars and force fields. this person would not seem very intelligent among others as he does not reflect the masses ideas of intelligence. only average people think those slightly above average in iq are geniuses. if the person was 3 times as smart as average he would been seen as a utter moron for doing things that does not make sense to the average person and must be done because of stupidity. i wish there was more people like newton and less people like idiots. newton was in some sense way byond average in iq as myths to him was not read like a person with learning disability like the norm in a higher sense of functioning. my point, lets say math, a person is told how many apples that fred gave to linda. a retard brain would wonder what did linda need apples for instead of reading the example as numbers. newton read myths like he chould. other people read myths like retards. they read the myth as a story rather than a riddle. newton read the myth as a riddle for alchemy and created some of the ancient alloys of the ancient alchemists. this would been impossible if he head read the myth like a retard. newton was in some sense way smarter than me. iq is a spectrum. tests only look for math intelligence and not other types of cognitive skills. we are all geniuses in somthing but most anything else we are stupid as hell.

  37. On December 20, 1997, Gleick was attempting to land his Rutan Long-EZ experimental plane at Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, New Jersey when a build-up of ice in the engine's carburetor caused the aircraft engine to lose power and the plane landed short of the runway into rising terrain.[18] The impact killed Gleick's eight-year-old son and left Gleick seriously injured.[19]

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