Neurograhy of Genius

In the age of computers is it easy to forget that what differentiates humans from machines are emotions as emotions are neurological indeed as based on the central nervous system and no computer as built on metals and plastics can cognitively replicate a sentient central nervous system.

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Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was a pioneer in psychologically mapping the intersection of gender and neurology. (From thierry ehrmann on flickr)

In “Western” (i.e. Para-Christian) logocentric and phonocentric society is it typically assumed (in concordance with superficially secularized forms Christian metaphysics) that intellectual achievement is a matter of disembodied logic. The “universal” system of education worldwide therefore seeks to standardize human beings and turn them into civilian armies of human robots known as “professions” which etymologically historically referred to “profession of faith”.

Therefore is it almost universally assumed in masculinist fashion that intellectual achievement is non-neurological, non-emotional and disembodied and therefore a matter of professing words (i.e. logocentrism and phonocentrism). Emotions in contrast are in concordance with Secular/Christian metaphysics still considered  as belonging to what the Catholic Church refers to as “the flesh” (i.e. actually muscles at fat) and are seen as essentially disturbing the continued “secular” revelation of the Hellenistic/Christian/Secular Logos in disembodied, non-emotional so called “disciplines” as referring to once Catholic-controlled disciplinary “instruction” in the originally Catholic (now barely secularized) system of education known as “universities”.

What is missing however is precisely an epistemology of learning. There is a strong correlation between individual IQ scores on the one hand and school grades and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores on the other in countries around the world. This is because individual IQs largely correlate with the individual speed of learning and individual speed of thought, meaning that the speed of learning/thought becomes faster the higher the individual IQ and reversely the speed of learning/thought becomes slower the lower the individual IQ. School grades and SATs are therefore quite useless in primarily making a selection for IQ as IQ levels are largely irrelevant for most professions as there are indeed other things that are far more relevant such as passion, interest, empathy and good judgment. Selection for IQ in the system of education therefore discriminates against both individuals whose IQs are lower than the genotypic average IQ of the socially dominant human genetic group (i.e. “race”, “ethnicity” or “nation”) in a particular so called “nation state” but also against human genetic so called “minorities” with relatively “lower” average genotypic IQs as compared with socially dominant human genetic group in that country. SAT scores are largely a function of the time allotted for answering the questions in the test as virtually all persons with relatively (i.e. actually comparatively) “lower” IQs would no doubt score higher to varying degrees if allowed as much time as needed for answering the questions. SATs therefore largely measure the speed of thought as do in fact in part IQ testing itself and this inbuilt bias therefore needs to be corrected indeed.

It is no coincidence that scientific fields are referred to as “disciplines” considering that it is still hegemonically believed that school grades are expressive of relative degree (or reversely absence of) institutionally imposed scholastic “personal discipline”. A person with so called “low” grades therefore is stigmatized as lazy and substandard, i.e. essentially stigmatized as subhuman. However whether a person will receive so called “low grades” depends indeed entirely on which country s/he happens to live in as whether her IQ and therefore also typically school grades and SAT scores are considered high or low is relatively dependent on the genotypic average IQ of the socially dominant human genetic group in that country.

Encouraging and enforcing “self-discipline” (such as imposed so called “homework”) therefore is traditionally and in the present seen as a panacea for ensuring effective learning. What is however not understood is that learning is neurological and not a matter of imposed Para-Christian “morality” of White Man’s burden as intelligence itself is neurological and certainly not disembodied at all.

The notion of “genius” has in contemporary academia become increasingly stigmatized as typically seen as mere production of discourse and therefore of power. Did however Michel Foucault (1926-1984) who introduced the notion of production of discourse understand that he himself was one of the most neurologically advanced documented geniuses in human history? Why are the major thinkers of feminist theory (e.g. Simone de Beauvoir [1908-1986], Judith Butler (b. 1956), Hélène Cixous [b. 1937], Shulamith Firestone [1945-2012], Luce Irigaray [b. 1930] and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick [1950-2009]) virtually never publicly acknowledged as original geniuses? Indeed, merely because females have been and are still in the present excluded from the category of genius is this no reason to assume or claim that genius does not exist. For example how could anyone reasonably claim that the works of the female medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) were somehow inferior to the works of the far more famous male composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1751-1791)?

Let’s however be clear that not just any human person can become a genius and becoming a genius is not a matter of imposed Para-Christian “self-discipline”. Becoming a genius also does not necessarily require comparatively higher individual IQ as there are many advanced savants (geniuses with Savant syndrome) with intellectual disability as formerly derogatively known as “mental retardation” involving low individual IQs. Rather, there is every reason to assume that authoritarian imposed Para-Christian self-discipline is indeed harmful to the development of genius since development of genius instead precisely requires independence from imposed intellectual discipline.

Therefore the question is in statistical and psychometric terms how many persons in the Homo genus who have genetic and psychometric potential for individual development of original genius? The answer may be in the hundreds of millions since conventional education typically ruins all individual prospects for the development of genius. What is needed therefore is genius training that should be available for all whether oneself thinks one has such potential or is identified by others for potentially having such cognitive prospects. Genius training therefore needs to be about neurologically intellectual training and never as based on promotion of psychometrically mediocre so called “normality”. Indeed, a developed genius rebels precisely against “normality”, meaning in Gramscian terms cultural hegemony. Most scientists are rather epigones who imitate geniuses as well of course each other by means of system of socially accepted plagiarism known as so called footnotes. Indeed, if the system of education was committed to identifying potential genius irrespective of both individual level of IQ and authoritarian so called “school grades” is it quite conceivable that it would be possible to train many human beings into becoming original geniuses as only verified original geniuses would be granted permanent academic tenure.

What is needed therefore is a neurological understanding of genius. First a person cannot become a genius in any given field without being interested in the subject matter at hand. Second, the neurological experience of becoming intensely interested in a subject matter is something that one has previously not been interested in is a cognitively transformative experience similar to sexual arousal or being sensually “turned on” by someone else whom one has previously not been sensually turned on by. This experience of becoming intensely personally interested in something may therefore be referred to as a neurological “shock” that sends shock waves throughout the brain and which without intention alters the neurological functioning of the brain for the better. Indeed becoming genuinely personally interested in something is a kind of usually permanent infatuation of neurological empowerment. Indeed similar to romantic infatuation does emergence of personal interest create immense emotional desire and immense emotional comfort. This neurological experience usually changes the workings of human brain forever and allows the person to effectively neurologically activate further parts of the brain to conscious thought processes. As this experience occurs in virtually all human beings could this cognitive experience be referred to as subclinical genius. Indeed the speed of thought with respect to something specific increases very significantly once a person has developed intense personal interest in that specific subject matter at hand.

Genius training therefore needs to involve intellectually and emotionally “shocking” (i.e. sensorially intellectually stimulating) a person to develop intense personal interest. Indeed, intentionally neurologically intellectually shocking person to become interested in as many fields of knowledge as possible should be the basis of all education in knowledge. However, skills are also far easier developed if one is genuinely personally interested in a given subject matter and so learning of skills need to be preceded by neurologically intellectually shocking a person to develop intense personal interest.

TED (technology, entertainment and design) lectures are designed to constitute such transformative experiences although it is not known how many of those attending TED conferences actually develop intense personal interest. What is needed therefore is research into the neurological nature of a transformative experience that leads to development of intense personal interest in something. There is every reason however to believe that this is neurologically comparable to and neurologically parallel to sexual arousal, sensual turn-on and romantic infatuation. Reversely however can a negative cognitive experience such as boredom in authoritarian education, imposed “discipline” for homework, stigmatizing school grading etc. cause performance anxiety which not only impairs the process of learning and thinking but prevents the individual emergence of genuine, intense personal interest in the subject matter at hand. A person with comparatively “higher” individual IQ can however learn at a comparatively “higher” pace despite not being interested in the subject matter. However, the speed of learning and speed of thought increases with emergence of intense personal interest irrespective of individual IQ score and so homework and school grading discriminate against persons with relatively “lower” IQs as well as against human genetic groups with comparatively “lower” average genotypic IQs. Also, developing intense personal could be described as positive trauma and reversely developing a negative interest (thinking of a field of knowledge or skill as “boring”) is very much a negative trauma which can be difficult to overome.

Disciplinary homework and school grades are therefore essentially a form of child abuse and should therefore be outlawed as indeed constituting essentially barbarian practices of discrimination on the basis of individual levels of intelligence. This is not to say that intelligence is irrelevant or that there should not be feminist eugenics for genotypic/psychometric advancement, including with respect to intelligence but rather that formal and informal selection for intelligence should only be performed where specifically highly relevant and never elsewhere.

Intellectually shocking persons into becoming intensely interested in as many things (both fields of knowledge and fields of skills) as possible therefore should be the basis of education generally as that significantly increases the speed of thought and the speed of learning. Of course performing such cognitive shocks need not only be effective but also highly ethical indeed. Making performance of such educational shocking the basis of all further education is also essential to the discovery and development of hereditary genius on a demographic scale that indeed is as large as possible worldwide.

Only verified original geniuses should thus in the future be granted permanent academic tenure. It is not only that hereditary genius is significantly capable of improving and progressing the world but indeed that much can be geared about psychology (including educational psychology) by learning to understand the cognitive workings of hereditary genius. Indeed, most persons who develop genius are perfectly capable of becoming universal geniuses although of course this requires igniting intense personal interest in as many things as possible, both fields of knowledge and fields of skills.

A human world with hundreds of millions of universal geniuses would obviously be very different from that current mediocre modernity that could be fairly described as a cult of mediocrity. Progress in the human world would indeed be immeasurably faster with regard to science, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is furthermore possible to learn to solve problems in an effective manner and so this too can be learned by means of appropriate education. Yet this requires the system of education to favor intellectual innovation by encouraging pupils/students to offer intellectually innovative answers rather than mindlessly reproducing “the right answer” as paradigmatically considered “correct” by the teacher and in turn learned from a professor who may already have died of old. This means that it should be considered OK to be wrong and that this should not be punished in any manner whatsoever but rather that education should encourage initiative, civil courage, innovation and entrepreneurship as indeed essential for education in the emerging economic age of Talentism.

Genius training should therefore not merely be about intellectually igniting a cognitive shock that will ignite development of intense personal interest but need also importantly be about individually learning to innovatively solve unresolved problems at an increasingly advanced level. Indeed science need to change tack from Para-Christian profession of truth, discipline of faith and “self-discipline of learning” into initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship by means of genius training and learning to resolve advanced problems that other geniuses cannot yet solve.

Indeed, the emerging economic era of Talentism requires helping every human being to become as cognitively advanced as possible even certainly beyond what is conventionally considered “possible” in contemporary parlance. Indeed hereditary genius is precisely capable of achieving feats that are not considered possible which means going beyond that which may in practice be wrongly considered as undeconstructable. While an increasingly growing number of hereditary geniuses need to be encouraged to become tenured academic scholars need all pupils/students and all adults become assisted in developing increasingly advanced, highly specialized and increasingly narrow cognitive capabilities that will make them relevant in emerging economic age of Talentism where due to increasingly universal mechanization advanced individual human talent becomes the primary commodity rather than monetary capital as in the age of Capitalism with its limiting dystopian dys-education of training persons into becoming pre-programmed human robots that indeed will no longer be needed as increasingly supplanted by advanced technologies as even an organization can indeed be performed by a mobile application.

Feminist eugenics as based on the value system of liberal democracy minus the humanist racial supremacist component therefore needs to endeavor towards genetically and socially engineering a human world where virtually every human being is born with capacity for developing hereditary genius.

As genius can also be abused and appropriated for nefarious purposes will it also be essential to develop ethical approaches to hereditary genius, both in terms of genius training and in with respect to the ethical application of genius. This requires also educating humans generally towards not only neurologically developing increasingly advanced cognitive performance but also applying those advanced cognitive skills in an ethical manner in terms of the impact of those very advanced skills on on others (whether human Animals or non-human Persons) as well on the environment. A neo-Nietzschean feminist approach therefore should not only consider how the German Nazis shamelessly appropriated the thought produced by the genius of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) who was pro-Jewish and completely opposed German nationalism but also how the mediocre male subject can ultimately become buried as a prejudicial notion in favor of training humans generally (irrespective of age, sex, gender and sexuality) into becoming supergals indeed.