Re: Genius - the evidence

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 21:48:03 -0600

[Lyle Burkhead:]
> What I said about Abel was graphic, but it was absolutely true, and there
> was nothing abusive about it. A genius can't be stopped by anything
> short of death. A genius will do anything, literally anything, to pursue
> his vision, even if he has to starve and spit blood. That's the level
> on which the game is played. When believers in the equality meme
> tell me that women would be geniuses if only their school counsellors
> didn't discourage them, it's bullshit.

Nonsense. Some geniuses stop on a dime and are easily distracted,
particularly the ones operating on a permanently low level of mental
energy. Being a genius doesn't require tremendous willpower, just high
intelligence/smartness. Many famous geniuses were highly persistent
("perseverant") individuals, and some were laid-back and relaxed. The
high-powered ones may have gotten more done, but again willpower has
little to do with innate intelligence, Thomas Edison to the contrary. I
could equally say that being a genius requires a will to publicity, a
willingness to expose oneself to the media, or a publishable personal
quirk (Hawking's illness) since many famous geniuses possessed these

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.