EDUCATION: Genius Schools

David Musick (
Fri, 3 Jan 97 05:47:23 UT

I made the assertion that humans are operating at *far* below our true
potential and that I believe a typical human has the potential to become a far
greater genius than past geniuses, such as Newton. Robin Hansen asked what
evidence there is that we are operating so far beneath our potential.

The geniuses themselves are the evidence that most of us are operating beneath
our potential. The people who excell show us some of what is possible. I
have no reason to assume that there is anything magically different about the
geniuses that made them excell. I think we all have the same basic equipment
and that we can all take it to at least the same level of quality that the
geniuses do. I also believe that they could have taken their abilities much
further than they did, especially if they had been working together with other
geniuses, for that purpose.

In the past few years, I have been working quite dilligently on creating
genius within myself, with very significant results. I learn skills and
understand concepts much faster than I ever have; I am much more creative and
inventive than I ever have been; the sheer quality of my thinking is beyond
anything I have ever experienced. I can trace my significant results directly
to the personal discipline I have been developing within myself. My genius
was created consciously, by perseverence and a lot of hard work, not because
I'm "gifted" (except maybe for the fact that I'm the type of person who would
have the ambition and the belief that I could transform myself into a genius).
The point is that I had much more potential than I really imagined a few
years ago, and much more potential than I had any evidence to support my
belief in.

There are certain types of activities and attitudes which promote the
development of intelligence, activities which challenge the mind and attitudes
which cause minds to always work to improve themselves in whatever ways they
can. Typical humans rarely engage themselves in highly challenging
activities, and they are not generally encouraged or taught to develop the
attitudes required for continual self-improvement. Most people aren't really
even *trying* to become smarter, especially since most people have the belief
that their intelligence is set on a certain level. Typical humans are not
encouraged to think deeply or to regularly solve difficult and complex
problems. People are simply not doing the excercises required to develop
genius. This is why I believe they are far below their true potential.

All the geniuses, such as Newton, DaVinci, Einstein, Feynman, and millions of
others through the years, were not instant geniuses. They spent many years
excercising their minds, working on difficult problems, constantly refining
their thinking. It was this constant excercise that made them geniuses, not
some special, magical quality. Yes, there were some people that got started
early, prodigies like Mozart, and what probably happened is that he became
very fascinated, even obsessed, with certain types of thinking and with music
at a very young age and his obsession caused him to learn very quickly. This
happens with many people, where they become obsessed with something and learn
very quickly. Genius happens enough that I believe nearly all humans have the
capacity to develop it, given a sufficiently strong determination and focus.
Getting someone to develop that determination and focus is something I'm not
clear how to do, though. At least not yet.

- David Musick

-- Nothing is too ambitious for an Extropian. --