Genius, pt. VIII

Eric Weiner in “The Geography of Genius” discovered a lot of things about the Renaissance when he was in Florence. One of those is Florence had no decent university so formal education didn’t really help create the geniuses of that time and place.

The author listed some geniuses who dropped out of school and mentioned a study that looked into the number of creative geniuses who didn’t finish school, and he concluded that “some education is essential to creative genius, but beyond a certain point, more education does not increase the chances of genius and actually lowers it.”

He thinks specialization is the reason and also because so much information “exists in every field today.” As he wrote, “if genius requires first mastering the body of knowledge in your chosen field and then, and only then, making your own contribution, well, good luck.”

I wonder if the author’s discovery about “mind-numbing exams” in China is also related. But while I was thinking about that and what I should write next, I wondered, does it even matter?