Friday, 2 January 2015

Three lessons from the Genius Triad (Questing Creative Intelligence - QCI)

The Genius Triad is intelligence, creativity and long-term self-motivation - all focused on the same domain.

Psychologically the triad could be termed Questing Creative Intelligence; and QCI will be found with lower strength among non-geniuses (or small-scale geniuses) who nonetheless will tend to make original breakthroughs (whether these breakthroughs are noticed and exploited; or ignored and vilified)


1. Creative people always have difficult personalities; and conversely nice people with conscientious, obedient reliable personalities are not creative.

This means that employers and patrons must tolerate genius-type people, if they want those things that only geniuses can do.


2. The highest intelligence is not the same as attendance at the most elite institutions, the best reports and grades at school or top performance in exams - because modern institutions are not evaluating and selecting primarily on the basis of intelligence.

(Indeed modern institutions are not even trying to do select primarily by intelligence - the reality of which they often deny; but instead are implicitly - by the nature of their evaluations - and also by explicitly-stated policies - selecting on other grounds).

The most intelligent people are nowadays dispersed among variously ranked institutions (and no-instituions-at-all); and typically have sub-optimal - sometimes frankly bad - academic and employment records.


3. The most creatively intelligent people are not to be found in the most prestigious, best-funded, or fashionable subjects (unless they were the original founders of the field) - since a genius is stubbornly self-motivated, and will work only where his destiny leads him (and he may refuse or neglect work that interferes with his destiny).

The fields in which genius is questing are as various as the people with genius; and will often strike other people as futile or absurd; nonetheless, 'eccentricity' is intrinsic to the necessary autonomy of genius.



Dexter said...

If nothing else, this makes me feel better about dropping out of an elite school and attending a mediocre one. =)

Jables said...

A question then about Tolkien:

It seems that although Tolkien struggled at times in school, the education which he acquired in his youth and then at Oxford was a necessary prerequisite for the achievements of his genius. I would expect that some structure imposed from outside, some demands placed upon a person, would more often than not be an important component in bringing genius to fruition... So although we might expect, as you say, geniuses to have sub-optimal academic and employment records it does not follow that no expectation of academic or employment success should be placed on them, even once they are known as geniuses. Basically I am asking, do even geniuses need a push sometimes?

What do you think about this?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jables - I think that is a fair point, up to a point. Geniuses are autodidacts to a much greater extent than less-motivated people - and being an autodidact means leaving the curriculum and going off-canon.

I agree that there is certainly a possibility of benefit from following a standard curriculum - if that curriculum is a good one; but equally, the genius will drop that curriculum to plough his own furrow sooner than would more biddable and conscientious people.

It is not so much a question of what expectations or demands are put upon a genius - the genius will find his own path; and if the demands are interfering with this then sooner or later (probably sooner) he will opt-out.

So if the genius is 'pushed' for too long into doing something that he feels is not part of his destiny, it may well be counterproductive - he will just quit altogether (if that is possible).

Anonymous said...

"The most creatively intelligent people are not to be found in the most prestigious, best-funded, or fashionable subjects (unless they were the original founders of the field)..."

Or founders of the company. It reminds me of a thought I had in the '80s when someone, quoted in a trade paper article about the Walt Disney companies, wondered where the next Walt Disney would come from. I could have told him or her that there were at least two such people, but they'd had the lack of direction to form Lucasfilm Ltd. and Amblin' Productions respectively.
---360 decrees

Bruce Charlton said...

@360 - Good examples. I would mention Pixar and Dreamworks as having given us some of the best creative work of recent years.

Anonymous said...

Extremes always are extremes, with unbalanced costs and benefits. Like extreme intelligence's and extreme creativities profiles, extremes like mental disorders (or re-orders). Most of modern genius are in true, partial genius or highly intelligent and\or creative people with perfect combination of ideal ''cognitive traits profile'' (personality\intelligence\creativity), luck (perfect circumstances and events) and perfect long-term interaction among this circumstances ( intrinsically hard working, have incredible novel ideas as ''EUREKA moment'' even with lower or average novel ideas density, perfect chain of advantageous events).

Bureaucrat systems are made by select great number of people and not individually, quantity ''better'' than quality. Genius, generally a super specialized type, tend to be des-selected by this system. This help us to explain why greater empires commit suicide.
Because same way when a person commit suicide, REASON and WISDOM are despised by megalomania. Narciso syndrome.

In the past, greater majority of real genius was like Lombroso and Galton showed, extreme end of ability, with very higher benefits and costs.

Today, with ''psychological today'' magazine with ''little gurl with higher iq than Eishtein'', we are believing that geniuses can be selected by ''blind exames'' as ''iq, SAT, army american, etc''. This tests really measure intelligence, but there are a cognitive diversity, sometimes genius profile will can be captured by this tests, other (most) times not. Iq and other models of cognitive standardized exames, measure ''GENERALISTIC intelligence''. Some or many times, extreme ability can be in narrow cognitive components.