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Accounts of the most brilliant people I know:
-One guy I knew in high school was took Calculus his freshman year (of highschool). He got a job with NASA right out of high-school.
-A different guy from my high school, this one a friend of mine. He was brilliant in a different way. Not as much mathematical but this guy you could just tell from the way he talked, wrote, theorized, and debated that he was extremely intelligent. Not even two years into college - he fell into using drugs, decided he wasn't really learning anything, and dropped out. He has an okay job and seems happy with his life... but the wasted potential still bothers me.
-My father will always outshadow me with his intelligence. I would be happy to be 1/8th as brilliant as he is.
But in some ways i'm glad i'm not, because his life has been crippled by his genius in several ways. For example, he never had friends as a kid and so just read books instead.
As a related tangent- The only friend he ever mentioned having got a perfect score on the SATs. And when the SAT people thought he had cheated, they made him do it again and he got another perfect score.
Even so, my dad's knowledge of history and science is terrifying in ways you can't imagine. He used to watch Win Ben Stein's Money - his favorite quiz show because it didn't have any pop culture questions, which he doesn't know... He'd watch and sorta 'play along at home' and always knew every answer, every single time. He was too humble and shy to ever actually go on the show though, no matter how much we insisted he should.
My father now has a chronic disease, and his brain is deteriorating. The nice thing though is, much like the guy in Memento - his ability to form new concepts is being damaged, not his long term memory. So anytime I need to know anything - I can still turn to him, up until he dies, which is the most reassuring thing to me, as his lectures are the best he's ever really managed with his crippled social-senses at expressing any fatherly love, so i'm glad that's not torn from him.
-The biggest contender to my father as far as most overall brilliant person I ever met was a nuclear chemist I met at Cambridge University. He explained he was working on lightbulbs that never burned out and were extremely energy efficient. Prior to that, he was an environmental chemist, working on stopping the greenhouse effect. He and his team actually came up with a solution that worked, apparently -but was never implemented, sold, or talked about because it was shunned for political reasons. It solved the problem but not in a way that fit environmentalist groups' agendas, so it was shunned - hence why he got bitter and changed his scientific feild. Before even that, he got bitter and left industrial chemistry for the enviro-chem after being screwed out of a patent for a chemical compound he invented for his country's mining industry.
That said - this guy was the single most entertaining person to talk to i've ever met because he was clearly brilliant, working on fascinating things and lead a fascinating life... yet was the biggest party animal ever. Whenever he was around, during the day you'd have intellectual conversation filled with some good laughs and your mind totally blown by his knowledge of just... well, everything! - by night, parties would inevitably form around him with drinking, drugs, and generally inappropriate, fun and sexy behavior. He was strangely like the Fonz - people just did what he said, his word was law - and the actual law never seemed to catch up with him despite all his oft-illegal shenanigans.
After meeting him, I understand why quantum physics is so fucking weird, with words in it like truth flavored quarks. The man is truely a mad scientist in all the best ways.
-One person I knew only online, she was absolutely brilliant in ways I (nor anyone else for that matter) fully got to appreciate.
Apparently she won 5 national science awards in her respective country by the time she was 13. She was also working on her degree by then - at friggin' 13!!
She always wanted to invent or discover something that would make the world a better place for everyone.
Once she learned of her cancer, and especially as it got worse, her goals for life got smaller and smaller. Eventually it was just to live to see her 18th birthday, which would have been yesterday had she not passed away just nine months ago, less than a year short of her smallest goal.
Oh lordy. Let's test our children's IQ and then make unrealistic expectations solely on that number, disregarding all emotions, all needs that aren't paper pencil pens computer Internets study time good food good sleep. Nevermind social development and fufillment. Nevermind support for your child as they try to find out what they contain inside themselves. They need to get through school. They need to attend college. They need to have a way to support themselves and their offspring. This is the most important thing. Their personality will develop on it's own, yep yep.
This is one of the most ignorant plans I've ever come across. There are children who will do what they're told, buckled down and suppress discontent and other emotions. With a child that is at all anti-authoritarian, is at all willing to fight what they don't like, what they feel or know is wrong, it won't work. If they need something, they will seek it. If they don't want to devote their entire existence to schooling, they won't, More later ~