the lost man chronicles
41. the garden of genius
"Why, as the pool of available humans has risen from one hundred million to one billion to five billion, has the production of geniuses—Shakespeares, Newtons, Mozarts, Einsteins—seemingly choked off to nothing, genius itself coming to seem like the property of the past?~ Genius, James Gleick
It is all but seeming, for in fact the world is teeming with genius. It is only that the realms in which it thrives have become flatter, as well as fatter.
The latter is merely a matter of laziness. I purport that everyone has the potential for genius. And although I lie knowing this only to be half-true, I will proclaim to you that comfort and subsequent sloth, more than anything, stands between the making of universal genius.
Edison had it right. Light comes to those who pedal further and faster. It is only that most of us do not have the will to work so hard, and rather allow life to be more meaningless by swimming in lard, watching the sun set upon the horizon of the wasteland, and allowing our grand potential to retard in the wake of this ignorant bliss called conformity.
Now, the leveling of the plane does not aid the development of widespread genius either. To a certain extent it really is only a matter of perception and the lack of opportunity, or rather the flood of it that overruns all the prodigies that might have shone brighter in the past. For the stupefying advance of technology which now so immediately and persistently connects the world is ripe with examples of budding, if not flourishing, genius. Extraordinary acuity, agility and creativity is all but blossoming around us.
This proliferation disbands the monopoly of a once-more discriminating community, and enables any individual inclined to be free, fast and furiously expressive of their greatest passion, to share their insight and imagination or their ingenious expression thereof.
So, it is not that suddenly genius has all but disappeared, rather it has dispersed. And if anything, it appears all too often before us, so that the focus of the once-honing spotlight continually expands, illuminating more acts than we can follow.
Moreover, it only seems that the mind of the masses is more hollow because we all are apt to spread time and attention too thin. For no one can ever expect to win, if they are running more than one race at a time. And the graces of gluttony and material leisure are inclined to urge you to live life that way.
The sublime fruits of Genius only grow when you hoe one garden.
a rich man's dream .40 42. the heart of a genius