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Old July 24th, 2014, 07:41 AM   #51
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Thinking about exceptional talent

Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
asimov, heinlein, clarke, ... those are old masters. ellison will always be a punk.
(My bold)

Yah, Jesus & Einstein have a lot to answer for. In popular culture, both set the model for the holy man/fool & genius. I can't answer for Jesus, but Einstein was not - from what I've read - an easy person to get along with.

The same with Ellison, the same - I suspect - with the majority of high-functioning people. Even the literary models - Sherlock Holmes, for instance - are difficult people, scarcely competent @ ordinary life.

For that matter, most ordinary people - you, me, the next 99.9% or so of the World - have our quirks. I dislike crowds, shopping malls, being physically present @ sporting events.

There's a short story - SF - someone goes back, rescues Mozart from history, brings him back into the present. Where he becomes a rock star, & of course, goes out of control, & dies @ more or less the same age as before, except this time it's drugs, groupies, dissipation in general. Gifted, but self-destructive. If I can track it down, I'll post the title here. An instructive story, & useful to make the point that talent doesn't automatically imply a nice personality. (Or see Turing, WWII Brit. mathematician; or Galileo, or ...)

No, we (the popculture) simply expect far too much of our heroes, or exemplars, or role models, or whatever you want to call them. Popculture makes these excruciating demands of the people @ the eye of the media-storm - in counterbalance, I think - because it makes no demands whatsoever of the consumers/mob.

It's the old sports conundrum - Do you recruit & train exclusively the best players you can find, in order to win? Or do you take everyone who's interested & work with them to help them play to the best of their ability? The answer depends on the mission: Is it to win games, or is it to help build individuals? I know where I stand.

Last edited by hoosier88; July 24th, 2014 at 07:48 AM. Reason: add
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