Friday, May 1, 2009

Heredity, Environment & Genius

My NYT Comment #329.
May 01, 2009 4:19 pm


May 1st, 2009 11:13 am
Heredity, Environment and Genius

There is a dynamic interplay between heredity and environment, to produce ABILITY, whether average, mediocre or at the so-called genius level. I would have liked to see included in Brooks' discussion, the 'outlier' factor developed by Malcolm Gladwell.

Part of the crucial role of environment is ACCESS to:

1.Goods (example a spinet or a Steinway)

2. Resources (a parent, a mentor)

3. Social capital -- what-you-know-is-as-important-as-who-you-know.

It also helps if you are not partly impeded by social location -- as a member of an oppressed minority or suffer other deeply stratified setbacks resulting from intolerance, bias and hatred.

On a geopolitical level, ability rising to the 'genius' level probably cannot be fostered under brutal imposition of "shock and awe."

Can SOCIAL JUSTICE cultivate more "geniuses"?
That would be a research enterprise worthy of us all.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
NYTimes copyright
Op-Ed Columnist: Genius: The Modern View
The latest research suggests a more prosaic, democratic, even puritanical take on great accomplishment. It’s not I.Q., but deliberate practice.

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