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# Genius - nature or nurture watch

1. I've heard another saying that genius is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. The rest of us can have the 98% and get to be very good, but no matter how hard you try you cannot get the inspiration.
2. (Original post by Helenia)
I've heard another saying that genius is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. The rest of us can have the 98% and get to be very good, but no matter how hard you try you cannot get the inspiration.
Unfortunately, some us have 2% inspiration and 0% perspiration. Not that I like to blow my own trumpet or anything
3. (Original post by Helenia)
I've heard another saying that genius is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. The rest of us can have the 98% and get to be very good, but no matter how hard you try you cannot get the inspiration.
That was Edison I think, and he said 1% inspiration. He obviously wasn't a very inspired individual.
4. (Original post by Yannis)
teaching him the most complicated mathematics of the time is one thing. Becoming a complete genius in the middle of India on his own is another.
Tell me what great works of mathematics he developed on his own in India?
5. (Original post by ZJuwelH)
That was Edison I think, and he said 1% inspiration. He obviously wasn't a very inspired individual.
Dammit, someone misquoted to me then

At the moment I have about 0% anything. We have an entire dissection session tomorrow on a structure I still can't understand the point of.
6. (Original post by shiny)
Tell me what great works of mathematics he developed on his own in India?
Probably a formula for the number of grains of rice in the nth portion of lamb vindaloo...
7. (Original post by Dr. Blazed)
Unfortunately, some us have 2% inspiration and 0% perspiration. Not that I like to blow my own trumpet or anything
Hehe!
8. (Original post by ZJuwelH)
Probably a formula for the number of grains of rice in the nth portion of lamb vindaloo...

He did do some brilliant work on Bernoulli numbers in India but most of his ideas as a young man were too "raw". Hardy helped to shape him into an undisputable genius. I think that's the most important characteristic of a "genius" - someone who lives a lasting contribution to humanity.

I think without that stroke of luck that brought Ramanujan to England, and a partnership with Hardy, his genius would have been lost.
9. (Original post by shiny)
Tell me what great works of mathematics he developed on his own in India?
On his own, he developed the general formula for quartic equations, studied the Sum of 1/n series (aged 15-16) Later he gave lots of important results in elliptic modular functions and developed most of the theory of Bernoulli numbers. Those were only the most memorable of his achievements on his own before Hardy invited him over. Is that good enough?
10. (Original post by shiny)

He did do some brilliant work on Bernoulli numbers in India but most of his ideas as a young man were too "raw". Hardy helped to shape him into an undisputable genius. I think that's the most important characteristic of a "genius" - someone who lives a lasting contribution to humanity.

I think without that stroke of luck that brought Ramanujan to England, and a partnership with Hardy, his genius would have been lost.

there was also this bloke called Littlewood, whom everyone seems to neglect.
11. (Original post by Yannis)
there was also this bloke called Littlewood, whom everyone seems to neglect.
Poor bloke suffered from depression for most of his life.

Maybe you're right, maybe Ramanujan was a just a born genius!

I quite like the idea of using musicians as examples of genius though, i.e. Mozart! Can't really dispute the gene factor in that instance.
12. oh yea... coming back from a concert at 7 and reciting most of it from memory on the harpsicord... i agree. definite nature and no nurture.
13. many genii have the nurture factor, but I reckon they would still be genii without the education. It's just that neither they themselves, nor the rest of the world would ever realise that they are great
14. (Original post by shiny)
Maybe you're right, maybe Ramanujan was a just a born genius! .
Maybe? Maybe?! When Hardy found him he'd discovered, by himself, about half the proofs Western mathematics had taken 2,000 years to achieve. The guy was just about the nearest thing you could get to the definition of self-contained genius.
15. he did get some help at university level it must be noted as Madras wasn't the weakest educational establishment in the world, but nevertheless I agree. I think everyone agrees on that particular example now.
16. Outside of maths and music, what other areas of life can we find born geniuses?

I heard an argument that it is only in maths and music that we can truly find genius without nurture. Apparently these are the only areas in which one can readily find examples where children can exceed the performance of adults.
17. (Original post by Leeroy)
Did anyone just see that program about whether geniuses are genetically produced or whether its down to how theyre brought up as a child?

any thoughts?
After being in a rich prep school for several months - the ultimate 'nurture' environment - my views have changed to say its probably 70/30 to nurture. However, the really clever ones are probably born like that, because education doesn't teach you how to be a genius
18. yeah i agree that the truly exceptional geniuses are born.

did anyone see that program afterwards featuring people going to the university summer schools? eg Paul the best british mathematician, sum girl who's about 12 and learns about 6 languages etc...

a lot of repetition from the first program there, but i think it shows that for the lesser 'geniuses', hard work and nurturing is actually required..
19. (Original post by Leeroy)
Did anyone just see that program about whether geniuses are genetically produced or whether its down to how theyre brought up as a child?

any thoughts?
personally i think that there is no particular answer to this...nuture as if someone has the potential then they need to be bought up in a enviroment where they can release this potential. Nature, as what they have in the first place is needed in order to reach a full potentail xx

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