Monday, 29 December 2014

Genius is a DWEM kind of thing, hence its current unpopularity

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Human Accomplishment by Charles Murray (2003) makes clear that world-historical, genius level accomplishment is - or rather, was - numerically and proportionately a Dead White-European Male (DWEM) thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment

This probably goes a long way towards explaining the current hostility to the concept of genius, and the non-evidential assertions people make about genius.

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Dead - because there were more, and a much higher proportion of, geniuses in the past than at present; indeed, in modern times world-historical geniuses are all but extinct (and and other potential WHGs unknown or unacknowledged)

White European - because that is what nearly all world historical geniuses were. The reason for the pre-eminence of WEs is presumably some kind of combination of personal qualities (high average intelligence and the best type of personality for creativity) and the qualities of the societies which themselves were created by the work of earlier geniuses (which noticed and valued the works of geniuses) - but this is poorly understood. 

Male - because that is what nearly all world historical geniuses were; and the reasons are pretty-well understood. There are several-fold more men than women of the very highest intelligence; and the male personality is better-suited to high accomplishment (being, on average and at extreme, more motivated towards functional achievement, more creative, less empathic, less conscientious, more autonomous &c.).

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But the fact that genius is a DWEM kind of thing naturally makes it almost-impossible for modern, New Left, Progressive, politically correct people to acknowledge the reality and importance of genius. 

The a priori assumption of modern leftism is that ability - including genius - is (indeed must be) absolutely equally distributed over time, between places, races, sexes, classes and subjects.

However, this belief is refuted by all evidence and knowledge; so there is necessarily a pretence that genius is not real, not significant; or nowadays so common that the reason genius has apparently disappeared is actually because now we are all geniuses - so that nobody in particular stands-out!

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So not only has genius almost disappeared, but so has acknowledgement of its reality, its presence, its importance; the pretence is that genius is obsolete; modernity has superseded genius - and committees of the industrious, compliant and mediocre, with members appointed according to quota, can now accomplish more than was done by the geniuses of the past.

Which is presumably why modern multi-culti, PC-approved, state-subsidized, prize-given, non-'ist' egalitarian work has by so far surpassed Shakespeare and Dante, Beethoven and Mozart, Newton and Einstein, Aristotle and Plato - and all the rest of those nasty DWEM geniuses.

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1 comment:

charlie said...

I didn't think Murray's book was all that western centered.

I think the Dead and the Male were more obviously coming to the top than the European and the European--he did compile lists of noted Arab and Chinese poets, for example.

Murray's book was an accomplishment all its own. It probably was ignored by many who would benefit from reading it.