It all depends upon what you define as "genius," I suppose. If you compare a totally uneducated person with a person who has attained a PhD, then
you could say yes
, our modern educational system is one way to produce a genius. A neurosurgeon is a genius compared to a ditch digger.
Assimilating the collected knowledge of mankind has always
been a path to enlightenment, albeit a long and tedious path.
I assume, however, that you're talking about transcendent thinking
, the kind of brainpower that appears only once or twice in an entire
generation, like an Einstein or a Tesla. People like that are possessed of mental ability that the average person can't even comprehend. Did you
know that Nikola Tesla could visualize
his inventions in 3-D and test them in his mind before he even started building? The same way we use
virtual reality today to test experimental technology — Tesla did that in his head
Einstein could visualize travel at lightspeed, and then explain
it in layman's terms. But even with Einstein meticulously explaining things,
his students and those who built upon his ideas didn't spontaneously turn into Einsteins. So, apparently, transcendent thinking
You can't force
a snake to shed its skin. By that I mean people expand their minds only at the natural rate of mind expansion. Their minds
grow through experience, through trial and error, through imitation, through routine, et cetera; and there is
a natural and almost predictable
progression of mind expansion.
But, occasionally, there are catalysts
that advance human awareness by leaps and bounds. I'm not just talking about mind-expanding drugs,
which certainly work — they serve to disrupt the incessant flow of sensorial information and allow your soul/id/observer
to step back and
enjoy the cosmic perspective. But there is also spiritual epiphany
through meditation or religious ritual, and there are certainly
other ways to expand awareness. "Getting in touch with the Universe" is humanity's favorite pastime, dating back into prehistory.
But "genius" is something else. Genius
is surfing the vast and diaphanous aether of cosmic consciousness, feeling the thrill of omniscient
understanding, then coming back to earth with a valuable nugget of innovation
that causes a technological revolution. It always boils down to
"making it available to the common man," right? That
is the measure of "genius"... Can your ingenious ideas be applied in the real
That's the catch.
"Build a better moustrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."
Remember the book Flowers for Algernon
? In which Charlie Gordon changes from retard to genius in one surgical procedure? That's a dream,
dream of humankind, to become smarter instantly
, but today we're making
that dream a reality. We're doing it right
now without surgical procedures or brain implants.
We're sitting at our computers and we're becoming smarter
, our brains are changing, assimilating information in a torrent, adapting,
incessantly gathering and processing data. Interacting with these artificial intelligences is actually changing the way we think, the way our brains
I think the personal computer has transformed all
of us into geniuses.
— Doc Velocity
[edit on 7/3/2009 by Doc Velocity]