How We Kill Geniuses


The luminous TED “idea fest” has been in session this week in CA.  If you are not familiar with TED, and love brilliance and leading-edge creatives, you can hop over to ted.com for a gander at what’s been going on at this annual event.  They also post videos of their presentations at the website. I’ve never been to TED – very upper echelon – but am thankful for their use of the internet!  At any rate, thought I’d post this article, written by Kim Zetter about the talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love mega-success. Gilbert has got something special, as anyone knows who’s read her delightful writing.  Anyway, this may only be up here a day or two for Whitehawk visitors; so enjoy, and do keep showing up for your part in the big play while remembering to invite the gods/muses to join your efforts.

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How We Kill Geniuses

By Kim Zetter February 06, 2009

TED Conference

Author Elizabeth Gilbert, of bestseller fame (for her book Eat, Pray, Love), mused before the audience of TED geniuses today that we kill geniuses by demanding super-human powers from them. The problem, she says, lies in where we attribute the qualities of geniusness. Instead of viewing the individual as a genius, we should view geniusness as a gift from an unknowable outside source — some might call it a muse, others a fairy or god force — that visits us on occasion to participate in an act of creation and then leaves to help someone else. Gilbert was referring primarily to those in the arts, but her talk applied really to anyone who births something sublime — whether it’s a painting in the Sistine Chapel or a quantum equation. Gilbert received a full standing ovation for her talk from an audience of people who generally don’t give in to beliefs about muses, fairies and god forces. So let me back up to explain how she reached this point.

Continue reading here .

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