Supergenius

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Who loves ya, baby?
In the MJ documentary that recently came out, somebody who knew him talks about how he was always 'in the moment' when playing (and possibly generally, although he bore grudges for years if not decades) ? so that he never worried about missing a shot, which fucks up most players.

Perhaps that sort of mindset can be trained and cultivated.

Savants don't seem to be trained to think as they do, it's innate and irrepressible.
The real secret behind top athletes' genius, then, may be as esoteric and obvious and dull and profound as silence itself. The real, many-veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player's mind as he stands at the center of a hostile crowd-noise and lines up the free-throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all...

Tracy Austin's actual history can be so compelling and important and her verbal account of that history not even alive. It may also, in starting to address the differences in communicability between thinking and doing and between doing and being, yield the key to why top athletes' autobiographies are at once so seductive and so disappointing for us readers. As is so often SOP with the truth, there's a cruel paradox involved. It may well be that we spectators, who are not divinely gifted as athletes, are the only ones able truly to see, articulate, and animate the experience of the gift we are denied. And that those who receive and act out the gift of athletic genius must, perforce, be blind and dumb about it -- and not because blindness and dumbness are the price of the gift, but because they are its essence.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I don't think that makes him uniquely tortured or maladjusted though. There are plenty of people who aren't geniuses who also think that.
Oh I'm not saying he was a monster or anything - his argument was, in a sense, sound. Well, logical, at least.

Incidentally, it's freaky how many of the absolutely first-rate mathematicians and physicists of the last century came from central- or eastern-European Jewish backgrounds. Hungary stands out in particular for some reason.
 
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Who loves ya, baby?
A fair few of them even went to the same school,

Von Neumann entered the Lutheran Fasori Evang?likus Gimn?zium in 1911. Eugene Wigner was a year ahead of von Neumann at the Lutheran School and soon became his friend. This was one of the best schools in Budapest and was part of a brilliant education system designed for the elite. Under the Hungarian system, children received all their education at the one gymnasium. The Hungarian school system produced a generation noted for intellectual achievement, which included Theodore von K?rm?n (born 1881), George de Hevesy (born 1885), Michael Polanyi (born 1891), Le? Szil?rd (born 1898), Dennis Gabor (born 1900), Eugene Wigner (born 1902), Edward Teller (born 1908), and Paul Erdős (born 1913). Collectively, they were sometimes known as "The Martians".
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Feynman sounds fun despite being a supergenius. Very sociable, great communicator, mischievous.

John wheeler though, the letter his daughter wrote to him after his death is scathing.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Yeah, Feynman sounds like he'd have been a blast to hang out with. (Especially in his Los Alamos days, ho ho ho!)

When Murray Gell-Mann died last year, his obits generally mentioned three things, in addition to his obvious genius for physics: the huge range of his knowledge (by the sound of it he was an authority in more subjects than most people have a passing interest in); his enormous personal fastidiousness and pedantry; and his friendship with Feynman, which must sometimes have seemed paradoxical or humorous to other people, I think.

I can just imagine the two of them meeting for lunch in a restaurant that Gell-Mann private regards as slightly vulgar, but which does this one particular fish dish you can't get anywhere else. He's immaculately dressed in a tailored English three-piece suite with silk tie and polished brogues; his colleague/rival/friend is in a Hawai'ian shirt, cotton pants and loafers (I don't know if Feynman ever wore Hawai'ian shirts, but he just strikes me as that kind of guy.) Murray has so far taken 15 minutes trying to decide on a wine to pair with his main course while also chewing over something that's been bothering him about the decay of doubly-strange baryons; Dick is already on his third margarita and is flirting outrageously with the waitress...
 
Sometimes in my head I'm watching a pre-record acceptance speech at an award ceremony I'm too important to go to. I sometimes imagine myself being interviewed in high-end magazines wearing more flamboyant clothes than I usually do. Sometimes I imagine myself scoring the winning goal in a world cup final for rebublic if Ireland, I don't even particularly like football. The fantasies are personal but they aren't fully ours, are they? C'mon what are they for you? This thread is about you and your aspirations and inadequacies, Who gives a fuck if Michael Jordan is happy, how could we say, what does it even mean?
 
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