Great innovators, musical composers, visionaries, boundary pushers, literaries, mathematicians, artists, philosophers, lunatics.
What defines the genius?
Genius is something that is happens within a person. Something that is bursting to get out by whatever means. It is something that must happen regardless of situation or circumstance. Then it takes something extra, once it is starts to heat up, just before it boils, it takes mental stamina and motivation, talent, knowledge, concentration and intelligence. To become a genius you must struggle with genius. You can not sell out, give up nor can you let it evaporate. It is worked at and the it is kept at a perfect temperature. To be genius you have to think differently to everybody else. Originality, is key. But how do you become an original? How do you become a genius? It is a mental illness, an obsession. Genius IS madness.
Is a genius defined by it's audience? for example I would not class George Best as a genius but many would. I would be tempted class David Bowie as a genius millions wouldn't. Then there is that controversial observer 100 living genius list, where clearly the west is dominating the genius scales. I would like to debate whether genius is common enough for there to be more than say fifty geniuses (or a much smaller number even) alive at one particular moment of time. Perhaps the term genius is used too loosely, perhaps regulations on the word need to become tighter, so tight that it is almost taboo. That way when you use it it will truly have the desired effect. As it stands there is no scientific basis for genius. Nothing can offically define genius beyond individual interpretation, which means for anyone to be classed as a living one can be highly controversial. Perhaps no one can become a genius until they have stood the test of time (possible exception of scientists). It is the likes of Homer, Socrates, Plato, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Goethe, (incidentally, discovered the correct pronunciation. Quite suprising (because I would never have guessed.) Is in fact (not entirely easy to pronounce at all with a British tongue, especially my screwed up one! But at least sounds a little like) Ger-tuh) Dostoevsky, Kafka, Orwell, Einstein, Darwin, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, that spring to our mind rapidly because they are all very much standing that test of time. (How many of these can be linked to mental illness/human struggle? Autism, isolation, loss of hearing (to a musician this is torture) tourettes, OCD)But I am always a fan of the underdog, the genius vanished into obscurity. The one that was racing through my mind when I realised that I will never have the vision, the muse, nor the mental illness to become a genius. Nikola Tesla. I will list interesting points: experienced intense visions that would blind him momentarily, similar to syesthesia I guess, obsession around the number three, multiples of three, OCD, for a time would not touch anyone unless he was wearing white gloves, celibate, GENIUS! He could create a lasting supply of energy without need for fossil fuels, he created wireless technology, he had plans (but no funding due to a right bastard of an investor) to supply the whole world with wireless electricity for free (hence the no funding - money being the great oppressor of the world!)and much much much much much more. All before the turn of the 20th century. Genius right? Unless you have seen/read The Prestige my guess is you have never heard of him. He did much more on top of that too. I am currently in the process of searching for more geniuses slowly vanishing into obscurity, just about as difficult as it sounds!
The closest I get to visions surrounded by light come from the glow of my mac's screen. Hmm.
You never know...
'A man possesses talent. Genius possesses a man,'