The Mystery of Why Some People Become Sudden Geniuses

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The Mystery of Why Some People Become Sudden Geniuses

Zaria Gorvett


Quote:There’s mounting evidence that brain damage has the power to unlock extraordinary creative talents. What can this teach us about how geniuses are made?



Quote:But until recently, most sensible people agreed on one thing: creativity begins in the pink, wobbly mass inside our skulls. It surely goes without saying that striking the brain, impaling it, electrocuting it, shooting it, slicing bits out of it or depriving it of oxygen would lead to the swift death of any great visions possessed by its owner.

As it happens, sometimes the opposite is true.



Quote:Why does this happen? How does it work? And what does it teach us about what makes geniuses special?

There are two leading ideas. The first is that when you’re bashed on the head, the effects are similar to a dose of LSD. Psychedelic drugs are thought to enhance creativity by increasing the levels of serotonin, the so-called “happiness hormone”, in the brain. This leads to “synaesthesia”, in which more than one region is simultaneously activated and senses which are usually separate become linked.

Quote:In fact, though they often don’t need to, sudden savants work hard at improving their craft. “I mean, I practiced a lot. Talent and hard work, I think they are indistinguishable – you do something a lot and you get better at it,” says Sarkin. Padgett agrees. “When you’re fixated on something like that, of course you do discover things.”


My worry is that these interpretations are based on the Physicalist faith, so rather than try to improve in a way that includes the spirit people might [hurt] themselves [through being] inclined toward bogus "smart drugs" or even self-injury.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-03-07, 06:58 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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Honestly, if this stuff has a physicalist explanation, which it might based on what's in the article, I don't see why we shouldnt use it to our advantage with proper research. Release our inner creative abilities.
(2021-03-07, 06:19 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: The Mystery of Why Some People Become Sudden Geniuses

Zaria Gorvett

My worry is that these interpretations are based on the Physicalist faith, so rather than try to improve in a way that includes the spirit people might [hurt] themselves [through being] inclined toward bogus "smart drugs" or even self-injury.
I agree in the danger present in a "magic matter" version of the brain, as encouraging abuse.  Think - Trephination.

Quote: “They are usually able to have a normal life, but they also have this obsession,” says Brogaard. This is something universal across all sudden savants. Jon Sarkin compares his art to an instinct. “It doesn’t feel like I like drawing, it feels like I must draw.”

Instinct makes sense to me.
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-08, 01:07 PM by stephenw.)
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(2021-03-08, 06:51 AM)Smaw Wrote: Honestly, if this stuff has a physicalist explanation, which it might based on what's in the article, I don't see why we shouldnt use it to our advantage with proper research. Release our inner creative abilities.

I think Sci was just adding a note of caution.

Myself, I was picturing people beating themselves over the head with a large hammer in a search for enlightenment. Smile
I might have this all wrong but what this phenomenon suggests to me is that the theory that the brain is more of a filter than a creator of ideas and perceptions is justified.

Perhaps we all have access to many "talents" but we become focused in a particular way and we train the brain to filter out the rest. If we are (and I think this applies to the vast majority) generalists, then we can't afford the kind of intense focus that genius requires. However, if we switch into another mode and switch off a lot of the generalist (lack of) focus, then we can possibly experience a level of understanding that was closed to us before.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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