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Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 2
Between Genius and InsanityPage 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
John Nash is a good example. He walked right over that line many times.

A more cynical view would have it that an "eccentric" is a lunatic with money.
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 5
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/7/2008 9:09:13 AM
IF the person is making some kind of sense...they may be ingenius. If not, they may be "out there". "Turning into a lion." I have a cat that wants to grow up to be a lion...he's practicing.....but a human? Please....the guy is "out there". Unless he's pulling a "Dr. Moreau" and actually running experiments on himself or others using genetics, etc to transform people. then he's becoming dangerous and needs to be removed. Forcibly if necessary. But a mental belief? Nope...not unless he's educated enough to write about it, and make sense to others.

You can be totally nuts and come up with some bright ideas....but you have to get the down on paper or whatever. Otherwise it is only mental masturbation.
Joined: 2/8/2007
Msg: 6
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/7/2008 1:54:26 PM
Our world, especially the inner world is now constructed and understood through language. But language to some is specific, and words have specific meanings. The God brigade are a good example of the word being static. Having a limited knowledge of language can to some create impenetrable psychological walls, keeping such an individual stationed in a limited area. Psychology can often find the origin of such self imposed imitations but often fails to see the wood for the trees. Being stuck in specific thought processes, meandering around static ideas can be seen as madness, especially if the idea seems to have no real point to others. Genius is more or less the same thought processes but with the ability to leapfrog over or around obstacles.

If life is like a journey really going nowhere in particular, however convincing the reasons, then on this journey people come across boggy / swampy land. Some individuals plough straight in and find they get stuck to varying degrees which focuses their attention and imaginations at a specific point. If madness is this state, then genius is the mind set that realises the immediate difficulties, retreats from the observed threat, thinks of a solution, and crosses the swamp of madness like it was never there. But then sometimes even geniuses can get obsessed which is again a form of madness.

Feeling you have nothing in common with other human beings is a common thing in a individualised self obsessed culture. This is not the case in traditional tribal cultures where individuals do not give themselves identities in order to be taken as a real person, but are given their individuality by and through others.

I hope this is not too abstract?
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 7
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/7/2008 3:45:47 PM

Personally I think that line is context.

No! Sorry.

Have you ever heard the saying "Think out side the box"? What do you think the "box" is?

Imagine a person who can judge correctly without giving or having a reason. Being is genius is a lot like that.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 11
view profile
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/8/2008 11:43:43 AM

What makes a person crazy as opposed to ingenious?
Good question. The answer is, not much. Cantor developed major advances in Maths, and he became mentally ill. So did Newton. So did a lot of other famous thinkers. See, if you're ingenious, it just means that you're imaginative and you use that imagination to think up new ways of solving an existing problem. If you're crazy, it just means that the product of your thinking doesn't make any sense at all to anyone else. In both cases, you are thinking of things in different ways than other people. Sometimes people love what you say because it's different, new and exciting, with all sorts of wonderful new possibilities, and sometimes they hate it, because it's different and scary, with all sorts of strange unknowns.
Now, why are some people consistently regarded as crazy, and others are consistently regarded as ingenious? The answer is simple: it's all down to how skilled you are in communicating your ideas to others. Mostly, that depends on if the gifted person is given positive support, encouragement, and helped to develop good communication skills and methods of thinking through how your new ideas could be made acceptable to most people in society. Some gifted children are sent to schools where they learn to deal with their gifts in society, and others are just ostracised for their gifts, and taunted until they feel that they are just not like other people, and so the rules of others don't apply to them.
In general, most people are only interested in what interests them. They will be happy to hear an idea that they can see helps them, but won't think about how it affects the other person. So people like Newton were encouraged in their creative thinking, because people saw the benefit in their ideas. But they never thought about how Newton felt. So here you have a guy, who finds it really hard to meet people on his level, and everyone just ignores him unless he's telling them something they can use for themselves. It makes him socially isolated, and he's unable to express his thoughts, because no-one wants to hear them. So he became paranoid that others were stealing his ideas and claiming them for his own, and eventually descended into madness.
So a lot of the time, crazy people are ingenious people who are left to figure out what to do with their ingenuity on their own, and ingenious people are imaginative people who are taught how to get on with others in society, or are stil crazy, but because they are benefitting others, their craziness is excused.
It would be nice to think that ingenious people can figure out how to be social on their own. But it doesn't seem to happen very often. It seems that thinking along unusual lines of thought, makes the person less likely to think along the lines that others think. So they tend to be social outcasts and find life very difficult because they feel alone so often. Hence the term "tortured genius".

My older brother best explained the difference between a genius and a normal person as follows:
A normal person goes from A to B to C to D
A genius just goes from A to D.
The logic is the same. But the normal person cannot understand how A can lead to D.
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 12
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/8/2008 11:51:24 AM

Previous post. Or just a crazy with confidence.

The reason I am sure it's not context is because of perspective. Perspective is fixing or fitting an element in its proper context - like when you are putting a puzzle together and you are about to place the last couple of pieces.

Perspective works with context and therefore it is more mentally intense - for perspective "seeks" the right context - like when you are looking for background to match your foreground.

If the choices were context or perspective, I would say a genius must exhibit the latter. If he only exhibits the former, he is lacking an ability.
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 13
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/8/2008 1:13:28 PM

Don't you know serial killers rarely have families?

So they were hatched in a test tube and raised by anteaters? What?!?

I think you mean "sociopaths don't have much of a conscience and were usually abused and don't end up in solidy family relationships" although there are exceptions to the latter - John Gacy for example. And George Bush.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 15
view profile
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/9/2008 1:22:47 PM
^^^^ I can see where you are coming from. As you said:
I can do the A, B, C, D route, but it is simply BORING when I already see D.
The fact that you find it so easy to do the A, B, C, D route, suggests to me that your mind does the A, B, C, D route, just much more quickly than other people. Other people can go from A to D easily, but find it incredibly hard to go from A to B to C to D, and take more time to take the A, B, C, D route than most people.

Consider 3 people travelling from New York to Los Angeles.
The first drives a normal car, from New York to St Louis, to Denver, and then to Los Angeles, and travels at 55mph.
The second does the same journey, but in a racing car, travelling at 250 mph.
The third doesn't own a car. He only has a super-fast jet plane. He just flies at Mach 3 from New York to Los Angeles.

If the first person wants to do the journey, he has to do it in about 4 days.
The second person can do it in 1 day. But he still has make pit-stops to get new bearings.
The third person can just fly straight in an hour.

If the first person asks directions that includes places to stay, the second person will be able to give driving directions, and will be able to also point out where to stay, because he passed through the intervening towns. But he isn't really that interested in where to stay, because he doesn't need to. He can cross the whole country in 1 day.

The third person will not be able to give driving directions to the first person, because he just took the direct route. For him to give driving directions, he would have to fly back to New York, and then retrace his route, at vastly reduced speed. But because the plane is designed to fly at incredibly fast speeds, he has incredible trouble controlling the plane, and has to retrace each part of the journey several times, just so he can figure out a route that can be driven. He would have to tell the first person to come back in 8 days, when he's flown each part of the route enough times that he can give directions. Normally, it just aggravates the first person.

The third person will have the same problems giving driving directions to the second person, but the second person will have usually driven all over the USA enough that he doesn't need more than a few pointers. But if the second person has never driven in the USA before, he is equally aggravated.

I hope that clarifies things for you.s
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 16
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/9/2008 2:59:39 PM
A to B to C to D...fine...or even intuitively going from A to D...but when they go from A to, where'd that come from? So far out there that it makes NO sense. If you can't show you floowed the path...the path doesn't exist...even those going from A to D follow the path...otherwise they wouldn't be able to show how they got there. As a computer programmer course taught have to follow the paths......but soemtimes you can make shortcuts.
Joined: 7/5/2007
Msg: 24
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/15/2008 12:22:16 AM

From this crossroads of perspectives I assure you that the difference between genius and crazy is whether the thing, whatever thing it is, actually works when you push the red button.

yep. lol

I think the difference is sometimes only in the other's mind as well. If a person can't understand a conclusion even if the details are explained then it could be considered crazy whether it would work or not.
 hybrid vigor
Joined: 10/12/2007
Msg: 26
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/21/2008 9:06:42 PM
I wish i could remember the name of the documentary i watched where famous Mathematicians, Physicists, and philosophers went clinicaly insane from pondering various "unsolvable" questions like quantifying infinity. It was really interesting to watch these men fall deeper and deeper into their own worlds, haunted by these questions they were determined to solve. It begs the question whether their insanity was a result of the questions, brain chemicals, or maybe isolation.
I personaly believe that there are some geniuses that are just highly functional psychotics
Joined: 9/26/2007
Msg: 27
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/22/2008 12:19:30 AM
One main factor which has haunted the World's greatest geniuses (the people who have, by and large, via their own minds with little outside input), caused leaps and bounds within a short timeframe, versus long drawn out experiments, of equations and theories which resulted in ground breaking answers to the why and how of their reconciliation of 'Science' with that of their own personal beliefs in their respective 'Religions'.

Many, many of the greatest minds throughout history have been deeply religious people.

Albert Einstein, in his late years and on his death bed (according to the bio I read on him) was in mental pain and some thought 'delusional'... when he came to the conclusion that anything which is thought to be fact (including his own discoveries) can and will be disproved at some point in the future due to the 'Creationism' theory and that 'God' is the pure truth. But, the human race cannot conceive of it due to our lack of skills in comprehending the real 'time and space' issues.

Clinically 'insanity' is a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Depression (and not real insanity) has several causes... isolation, stress, etc. but, not necessarily a chemical disruption.

Geniuses usually have a more balanced skill of utilizing both the left and right brain. This is probably directly due to even slight variations in how a person's corpus callosum is formed. When someone is ambidexterous and that aspect is 'natural', adaptation to problem solving becomes much much easier. Like another Poster stated... it's the route from A to D without having to go through B and C.
Joined: 11/15/2007
Msg: 30
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/23/2008 9:34:01 PM
The differnce is that the insane didn't have the proper guards set up to control their own minds. Genius IS only a few tottering steps from insanity.

It's not A to D, it's A to X...and some days your thoughts whirl around so quickly you can't slow them down enough to figure out what the heck you are even thinking about...all you know is that you now understand how to use particle physics to make a plasma rifle. And you've suddenly developed an addiction to gummy bears.
Joined: 11/15/2007
Msg: 31
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/24/2008 4:53:11 PM
Linear thought gives one a basis in which to apply logical tactics to resolve a problem...intuitive thought is far different...impossible is only what people label things for which they cannot conceive a solution for. This is why Hannibal crossed the Alps with Elephants and kicked much butt. He saw the solution.

If you look at the history of genius, many have been a "bit off". Think about Edison or no means could either of them be called "normal". Einstien & Copernicus were considered to be total crackpots...but to many people they just look at the world from a different perspective...and relativity comes into play with that.

There is no spoon.
Joined: 11/15/2007
Msg: 34
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 2/27/2008 5:27:19 PM
Mr Derby...VERY good observation.

Example of the above...Three teens look at a locked liquor cabinet the morning of spring teen tries to pick the lock and fails, the second doesn't know how to pick the lock either and has no further ideas...the Third walks up to the cabinet after looking at the failed attempts and opens it with two quick pushes with a small piece of steel...

How did he do it?? He pushed the outward facing hinge pins out. Why worry about a lock when it's not even an issue?

I don't know that I can agree with your second postulation...sometimes being insane has nothing to do with the's that they can't handle the reality of their particular dementia. Heck, current world events are enough to drive a person quite balmy...imagining a world with Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife as President kinda makes me nauseous.
 For Eternity
Joined: 1/26/2008
Msg: 37
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/6/2008 9:34:57 AM
The reason why genius may be considered insane is for the fact that they think outside the box. They look for answers outside the criteria’s set by the group. Usually the person who does look outside the box creates advancements in life. This has been shown through out history over and over again. Example, the world is flat the world is round argument. Reason for Genius to be incarcerated is for the fact they usually challenge societies norm, which in returns makes people in power, feel threaten. Once that happens the leader has to do something before losing control or followers. His superior ego is on the line. Also, sometimes genius overlooks the simplicity of mans thinking which in returns can endanger others. This was shown when a professor wanted to prove a point that the Prime minister of Canada could be easily assassinated. So the Prof. without thinking made a whip cream pie and threw it into the Prime Minister’s face. What the over achieving egomaniac neglected was the feelings of others. He never even bothers to think about the careers of the bodyguards who neglected to stop the pie. He never even bother to think about anyone else when this event would be aired throughout the world. How Canada looked like? How the University he was from would look in the eyes of the public. Or even how he gave an easy demonstration to someone whom was suicidal and wanted to assassinate the Prime Minister. All he could think was his own selfish mind to prove a point. He did it for simply bragging rights at the expense of others. Instead of using his ability for greatness for humanity he used it for selfishness. Simply to prove he was smarter than others were. Now someone would argue that he was a genius for accomplishing this while others would argue he was crazily insane for the fact he could have written a letter stating the flaws in the protection of a representative of a country. Wonder where that professor is now? So was the professor a crazy genius or just plain crazy?

Here is a thought for the physiology people on line. If a group of normal people claim one person is crazy what would one of those normal people be called in a group of crazy people. Would the group of crazy people become normal since in there gang they are all similar and the odd ball is the normal person or would the normal person still be classified as normal and the gang still classed as crazy? (R/O)
Joined: 6/10/2007
Msg: 38
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/6/2008 9:36:38 AM

A genius is someone who sees connections which others don't which do exist.

A madman [insane person] is someone who sees connections which others don't which *do not* exist!

the only way to prove a connection which doesn't exist is to follow that persons connections and see for yourself, the genius cannot be termed insane until that is done.

and in this day in age that isn't done so if we really want our answers look to the asylums.
Joined: 2/28/2008
Msg: 41
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/8/2008 9:22:19 AM
I think the parrellels are in the fact that both genius and insanity have an over abundant "mind occupation" and though. A genius is always thinking , connecting, trying, creating in the mind as well as the insane person. One is controlled the other is not. I believe though if you were to look at the neurological difference of an insane person and a genuis you would see some similarities (
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 44
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/11/2008 9:14:02 AM
Ok simplest explanation I could give:

Insanity is said to be doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

Genius is said to be 99% effort, and that they don't give up.

Each explanation represents an "extreme" person so I would say it may be easy to confuse the two at times.
Joined: 2/8/2008
Msg: 45
view profile
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/11/2008 3:57:22 PM

The mentally ill do not perceive reality as it is.

Fortunately, the reverse of this is not true, otherwise, most of us would be "mentally ill"

claim: "insanity" is a term (concept?) that is culture and society dependent. so is "intelligence". no one is an insane person or a genius (in any sense of the word). some people sometimes exhibit behaviour that may be classified as insane, others sometimes behave in a way that may be considered genial (if that's the word i want). and sometimes, one person does both.

does anyone know if there is a statistically significant correlation between persons considered insane and those considered to be genii?

i have read somewhere that mathematicians exhibit autistic behaviour significantly more often than the rest of the population (i have forgotten, though, what the population was). from my own experience - being one of them - i can agree. after all, doing mathematics is a socially respected and well paid form of isolationism.

back to the blackboard.

Joined: 1/6/2008
Msg: 46
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/11/2008 7:27:12 PM
I dont understand at all, can you post this in plain swedish ? :D

Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 47
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/11/2008 7:30:56 PM

does anyone know if there is a statistically significant correlation between persons considered insane and those considered to be genii?

Well for one, the last I check insanity is not a medical term, and one arises at problems when trying to diagnose or explain a person as insane which Is why I gave the explanation of insanity as, "Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." From this standpoint, we may also see that insanity may be apparent or capable not simply based on any one particular thing other than you are simply capable. To rephrase, everyone may, since they are capable, exhibit insane-like characteristics during their lifetime, either potentially, or actually.

Furthermore, I would be more interest in a correlation between what is termed "insanity" and intelligence. For this I would think IQ testing would be a strong and adequate basis to relate the two as well as that between the higher up genii, or those consider to be genius at least, which, if I remember correctly, is anyone with any IQ over or around 130 to 140+
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 49
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/12/2008 7:51:14 AM

It's not A to D, it's A to X.

A to D, D to A or A to X - These are descriptions of linear thought. I envisage the thought processes of a genius as existing in three dimensional space - the starting point does not necessarily remain at the axis, but is just a point in space and the axis moves instead. The thought path connects concepts in a manner that IS logical to the genius, but would probably seem disconnected and irrational to a typical linear thinker. Unlike everyone else, a genius keeps on thinking...........

My personal experience of how most people think is really disappointing. They just don't think much beyond what they are told, are defensive toward those who do ask them to think beyond whatever it is they have blindly accepted and they are usually critical of anyone who does question, examine, debate, rethink, question examine etc. This criticism tends to focus on the hollywood stereotype such that geniuses are either insane or socially inept.

I would also add that the phrase, "Think outside the box," does not apply to perceived genii as to them, there is no box. Just the same, I think it is important to note the -hypothetical- subjectiveness in regards to genii in regards to your example of going from "a to d" as well in that to the perceived genius there may not necessarily be any specific number of points or obstacles to overcome. To explain further, though slightly off previous thought pattern, wouldn't a conversation between a genius and an average person be comparable to a conversation between and average person and a baboon? Or, perhaps a less offensive way of phrasing that, which was not necessarily my intention, would be a conversation between an adult and a small child or baby. The baby wouldn't be able to understand, and the genius would know a great deal about the baby but would, hypothetically, spend a great deal of time trying to explain details that to him would be otherwise unnecessary and obvious and therefore not needing to be explained.

e.g.(or i.e.?) logical truths which may not be fully understood or accepted due in large part to previous indoctrination into it's inverse; conflicting logic with such concepts/ideologies/perceptions as faith, belief, etc... or it could be simply that said person is not capable of thinking "abstract" or objectively.
 For Eternity
Joined: 1/26/2008
Msg: 50
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/12/2008 8:01:24 AM

To some a genius might seem to be a rambling fool. But this could be that the group is on a different wave length then the speaker. The audience may not follow the speaker for the fact they were lost at the first equation since they do not have the background of understanding to follow in the first place. Think back to the hardest course you ever took and try to remember how many times you drifted off or day dreamed while your instructor was talking. Now did the instructor sound like this: To solve a quadratic formula you may use roots. The formula for roots is x = (-b +or- square root (b^2 -4ac))/2a by solving the roots you can solve for blah, blah, blay, blah, So now is the instructor consider insane and rambling or is it that the audience is not to the same level as what is being discussed? Could of used a harder equation but stuck with the simplicity of roots for discussion purposes.
Joined: 4/26/2007
Msg: 51
Between Genius and Insanity
Posted: 3/13/2008 9:02:18 PM
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