Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Spark of Difference

What makes a genius? Or even an above-intelligent person?
How does one recognize the SPARK? The Spark that differentiates lowly mortals from the true geniuses?
No, this discussion is not sparked (pun intended) from 3 idiots. Though of course, parallels can be drawn. But I still think that a lot of people who get into the IIT do not necessarily have the spark (having been in one, I know!)
I was actually thinking about this for the last few days, and was wondering what makes a genius. I have seen a lot of people do really well in school, but that is mostly a ton of hard work and diligence. They don't have the spark.

So what is it? How do we define it? How do we find it?

Are we born with it? Or can we grow into it?
Is it a mindset? An Attitude? A brain?

Since I had no answers, I decided to do an observational study. Divide all the people I know into two categories "Spark" and "No Spark". But this turned out to be a reflection of my thoughts, and an extremely subjective process. It was simply, and ONLY, my own perception. Which, I am the first to admit, can be and IS extremely biased.
I still don't know. Grades don't cut it for me- you can be bad in school, and still have the spark. The closest that I can get to is what Rancho says in 3 idiots- that grades ke peechhe mat bhaago, knowledge ke peechhe bhago.

Is that the answer?


Richa said...

Hmmm..I am not sure what makes a genius but I think there are few people who are better in some field than rest of us though not necessarily studies. I guess it's all about finding your calling and following it through.

Rachna said...

@Richa- not just calling, I also think its about attitude. Some people are so pedantic and bookish in everything they do...
And some people are good in everything they do!

Pradeep said...

I have seen people who can solve some tough problems in minutes, that above average intelligent people cannot even comprehend. There are people who are so good that you can't believe that such a brain can exist. That's what defines genius, and I have seen only one or two people like that.

But, are they going be to the next Einstein? May be. Interestingly and fortunately, the lesser gifted ones can become Einsteins, because a whole-sale success requires much more than a sharp brain.

This should give more idea of what I am talking about. http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/YouAndYourResearch.html

Anonymous said...

did you read Outliers !
this book to some extent explains your comments !