Tags: Geniuses, Foresight or Hard Work?, Outliers, Wasserman and Blumberg,
We focus too much on the perceived superiority of exceptionally smart people to be our inventive geniuses. Sure they need to be able to think abstractly and the ability to learn and understand what has gone on before. Professors scratch their heads to understand why high grades in undergraduate school or lower has very little correlation in predicting geniuses in who makes major discoveries or inventions leading to major progress in both understanding and applications of the new knowledge.
Sure we get some exceptional scientists and innovators, but also many more duds. Was it the school or the individual?
Einstein, a maverick thinker, was not considered a person who will achieve great things because he did not accept the thinking of the professors because they were professors.
Finally a study by a couple of University of Iowa psychologists, Edward Wasserman and Mark S. Blumberg present ideas that challenges the thought that ideas and inventions come from foresight. The dirty knowledge rarely expressed by those highly successful individuals is they got where they are by making lots of mistakes and learning from them! The Beatles were not born great musicians and entertainers. They got so good by lots of trial and errors and practice. See "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell on how The Beatles succeeded. See Edward Wasserman and Mark S. Blumberg http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/num2/2010/3/designing-minds/1
I believe that talent plays a role but unstoppable interest in what we are doing plays a larger role in great achievements.
Jim Kawakami, April 18, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com