Sunday 20 November 2016

What is genius and why has it almost disappeared? My Genius Famine (2016) book free online

My 2016 book (co-authered with Ed Dutton)

The Genius Famine: Why we need geniuses, Why they’re dying out, and Why we must rescue them

is now available online, complete and free of charge.

The Genius Famine is a wide ranging examination of the nature and potential causes of genius; the possible reasons for its decline; the effects genius has had on human society; and the expected effects of the recent (all-but) disappearance of geniuses of 'world historical' stature.



This book is about genius: what it is, what it does, where it comes from. And about geniuses: especially why there used to be so many and now there are so few; what was the effect of an era of geniuses, and what will be the consequences of our current Genius Famine. 

This book describes the genius as an Endogenous personality; that is, a person of high intelligence combined with a personality driven from within, an ‘inner’ –orientated personality: that is, a dominated by the Creative Triad of (1) Innate high ability, (2) Inner motivation and (3) Intuitive thinking. When high intelligence and this type of personality are confluent, a potential genius is the result. 

But to fulfil this potential the Endogenous personality must find and accept his own Destiny, and must undergo the trials and tribulations of a Quest before he is likely to be rewarded by an Illumination: a breakthrough. Even then, the breakthrough must be noticed, understood, accepted, implemented by society at large; and we describe how past societies were much better at recognizing and making a place for the potential genius. 

Because the problem is that the Endogenous personality is usually an awkward and asocial character at best; and often an actively unpleasant person and a disruptive influence. Geniuses are altruistic, in the sense that their work is primarily for the good of the group; and not for the usual social rewards such as status, money, sex, and popularity. Therefore many geniuses need to be sustained in a long-term way; and their work demands careful attention and evaluation. 

We argue that modern societies, by means both indirect and direct, have become hostile to genius and indifferent to the work of those relatively few remaining geniuses. However, because the work of a genius is necessary and irreplaceable, we argue for a change of attitude. Modern society needs geniuses for its own survival in the face of unfamiliar, often unprecedented, threats. 

Therefore, we must in future do a better job of recognizing, sustaining and accepting guidance from as many geniuses of the highest quality that can be found.

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