Gut Rumbles
 

August 11, 2005

genius

I've known two people in my life who totally astounded me with their intelligence. One was a friend of my brother. He was a sorta geeky guy, but he scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT, made straight-A grades all through school, was a national STAR student and ended up working for the government.

He was a smart guy. But he had an AMAZING ability to solve word-puzzles. I've enjoyed crosswords and logic problems all my life, and I'm pretty good at solving them. I've just never seen anyone else who could do what he did.

Ever seen those WORD SCRAMBLE puzzles? Those are 10 letters, all scrambled up that form a word when put in the right order. I watched that guy work an entire page of the "Expert" puzzles in about one minute. My jaw dropped. He looked at those letters and SAW the word in them. He could do it every time.

He's also was the only person I ever saw pick up a Rubik's Cube for the first time and have it all figured out in five minutes. It was easy for him to do.

The other guy is a friend of mine from high school. He was Captain of the Jenkins High Quiz Bowl team the year we won the state championship. He claimed that his area of expertise was "trivia." He was cursed with a lack of ambition. He flunked out of the University of Georgia because he seldom bothered to go to class, and ended up working as a projectionist at the "Paris Adult Theater" for a while.

He never did get a degree.

But he DID get into the auto parts business, made a killing, built his own home (I helped him some with that work) and retired at an earlier age than I did, in a nice place on a salt water creek. His garage is where my old band once practiced. I think they still play there today.

I once thought I was a pretty smart fellow. But after meeting those two guys, I saw that I was wrong. I was "bright," but I was no genius.

They were.

Comments

I thought I was pretty bright until I went to College and met some true genius types. It is a real kick in the ass to discover you are just incredibly average.

Posted by: hoosierboy on August 11, 2005 02:09 PM

I think most of us are ingenious at something-maybe shooting skills, or fishing or coonhunting are just out chasing skunks. I thought I used to hold the worlds record in the 6 inch dash but after reading your posts I have discovered that I was way down the list behind you and catfish. My late sister's husband is a genious-a true more brains than god type genious. But he didn't learn to drive until he was in his twenties and never did learn to play dominoes worth a damn. But he has an IQ close to200. Designs computer hardware and software for the government. Charmin' fellow though.

Posted by: GUYK on August 11, 2005 02:54 PM

Is Tom reading your blog now? lol Saw him at the reunion! That home on the creek, he remodeled, added a second floor, I haven't seen it but he told me the tax man thought it was worth about $900,00.00. By the way we are coming to Savannah and going on the gambling cruise if you want to go, Sunday morning. See if Rick and Georgia want to go, also! I can feel your spirit and your happiness is showing. Be careful or you'll have to change your name to "Flower man" lol.
Love you brother.

Posted by: ken on August 11, 2005 05:53 PM

I grew up around John Nash (A Beautiful Mind) and his pals in Princeton. I was a kid and my father is one of Nash's colleagues.

Genius has benefits, but most people don't talk about the considerable downside. The cost of genius is usually imbalance, often debilitating.

Posted by: Aaron's cc: on August 11, 2005 06:09 PM

I thought I was pretty smart until I started reading blogs. Acid, Steve H., Rodger, Kim duT, LGF, SondraK, Michelle Malkin - and many more - made my "intellect" hunker in a corner and cry.

Posted by: RubyTuesday on August 11, 2005 07:38 PM
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