Friday, March 12, 2010

Genius: An Artifact of Social Design pt. 1

Today I was contemplating on all the times that people have called me or someone else a genius, I asked myself "what defines genius?" Come to find out according to the internet and many sources there are many kinds of genius, which I will not elaborate on for times sake. So now I'm thinking a genius is actually something that is socially constructed by culture and is attainable by anyone with the power to do so and if so then why does our society see it as such a rare and inherent label of human intelligence. Could be our overall lack of resources among the middle and lower class? I could argue so, but instead I'm going to talk a bit about becoming a genius.

As I was thinking about this idea of being more intelligent than the average person it hit me that the notion that only some of us can have the status of genius is actually creating less geniuses. Many people see this as a barrier, a cultural truism that has yet to be challenged, and that we are either born with genius or not born without it, but in reality it is just result of our socialization. Anyone can be trained or taught to be a "genius". For some this might take a longer amount of time and for others they might experience a shorter amount of time. It is pretty simple to become a genius if you weren't socialized to be a genius already, all you have to do is educate yourself about whatever kind of genius you want to be preferably something you're passionate about. For example if you want to be a musical genius all you'd have to do is be very familiar with all styles of music and how they are made. Then practice writing and playing all those styles of music as well as many different kinds of instruments. Depending the the pattern in which you do this you will come out with a different end result, the "genius" is simply another way of saying something/someone on a level of infinite levels that has never been seen or heard before. This is just one of many ways to become a genius. It almost seems too simple to most people but it does require a lot of dedication. And this is because the idea of genius that has been created by our society is based on someone's ability to understand and interpret ideas and then creatively regurgitate them. This idea of creativity is based on creating something new and abstract and is subjected to all norms and natural laws therefor it changes with time as the amount of new things become old things. So the genius is constantly changing as well to meet the societies standards of creativeness. Everyone has the ability to be a genius, it's just that not everyone has the chance to be one considering their social context.

"One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius"
- Simone de Beauvoir

No comments:

Post a Comment