Unseen is not Unpresent

Once more into Freya’s day and ambivalent over it all. Courtesy of the weather beavers, the week out is doubly depressing given a cold front and the promise of at least one night of pipe saving drippage. A small thing but a pain all out of proportion to effect for both FD SCP and myself. Somehow the plumbing always conspires to discooperate and make what is intellectually a trivial task one of great demands on patience, attention span, and frustration level.

This brings to mind an article [Link] entitled “Is Scientific Genius Extinct?” that makes itself quite clear that the question is merely a come-on.

I should say here that while I have, or had, considerable intelligence, I do not consider myself a genius. The genius traits I have are more those of that strange condition somewhere between jerkism and mild Asperger’s. The term is freely passed about these days, almost as commonly as “awesome”, and almost as degraded and polluted. Admittedly I hear it less among GEN Y (and educationalists,) mostly because that would be a differentiation anathema to their excellence of sameness. I shall defer comment on that contradiction and denial elsewhere and when.

Part of the aspect of genius is effect. Many can be described as being genius. The characteristics are not that rare. What is rare are the effects. Statistically, for any discipline, being careful not to be too exacting on what that means, a mean time between genius effect of a century is not too unreasonable. While this is not as rare as an extinction level meteorite, it is rare enough for whole generations to go and not see genius effect in a discipline. Scant wonder then that pundits decide that mundanity has set in.

But I have to reject the idea that genius effect has gone away in our visible modern environment of big science. Such is as much an artifact of past genius effect as it is our overpopulating the planet. It is not sustainable, along several azimuths. But it does hide the efforts of solitary genius and actually delay the transmission of genius effect. The more nodes in a network the longer information diffusion takes. Admitted it tends to scale as SQRT(N), but acceptance time scales as N^2 (approximately.)

In this I have to consider the case of von Clausewitz whose genius effect was not felt until years after his death. It may be the model that applies now that we are a bloated, unimaginative, consumptive rot.

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