Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


On being called a Genius.


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
66 replies to this topic

#61 DaveTroyer   Members   -  Reputation: 1052

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

I'm saying that "innate talent" is an emergent property caused by all the same chaotic cause and effect as any other part of a person's thoughts and feelings.

 

So we've gone from my hand-wavey definition of 'innate' talent to your hand-wavey definition of 'emergent' talent.

 

I don't think we are really saying different things here - both schemes admit the possibility that a given person may have a much greater affinity for a given set of tasks, and that it may be arbitrarily hard for a person with a different set of affinities to excel in the same way... So at this point, I'm not sure what the distinction buys us, in terms of the present debate?

 

Also, to back up for a moment to a genetic basis for talent, I think this (well researched) blog posting on musical talent is worth at least a cursory reading.

If we are not in control of developing our talents or the talents of others they may as well be genetic. The point isn't really whether they are genetic, but whether we can control them. Since both of you have established that we cannot control them, even if you use different justifications, there is no more reason to argue.

Well, that's no fun. biggrin.png


Check out my game blog - Dave's Game Blog


Sponsor:

#62 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27841

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

So we've gone from my hand-wavey definition of 'innate' talent to your hand-wavey definition of 'emergent' talent.

I didn't mean to imply you were wrong, just that I disagreed with the view of inherent talent on a personal philosophical glass half-full/empty level. I see everyone as being limited, and people with "natural talent" are just less limited in some way.
Human potential is so unimaginably high, that I don't think anyone ever reaches their potential. Take a child from 3000BC and raise them in a (rich) modern environment, and they'll be able to achieve a level of knowledge that's beyond comprehension of their siblings that weren't lucky enough to get into the time machine. In the same way, it's imaginable that there exist conditions in the aar future that make our modern upbringings look extremely primitive and undernourishing.

Innate talents are something we can talk about; they exist at that level... but they're not real... in the same way that a physicist isn't satisfied with atoms, and instead wants to look for quarks. There's an underlying cause and effect, and those effects can be harnessed.
Some people are bad at a skill, even when performing extreme amounts of practice, simply because they're thinking about it wrong - they're using the wrong bit of mental hardware to perform the task. They can sometimes be taught to think about the problem differently, but not easily, depending on their mental flexibility. Once you start practicing a skill, you reinforce it and if you practice too much in the wrong mode of thought, you might just be concreting your inefficient mode of thought and limiting your potential.

Some people are bad at a skill because their mental organs simply aren't as strong as other people. Like a muscle, you can train them to be better bits of computing hardware. Often, training in the task you want to be better at isn't always the best way. It can be useful to train in many different tasks that all use that area of the brain in order to strengthen it.

The article you linked to is basically talking about genetic predispositions. These are very different things than actually "being genetic", and are the grey-area truth between the stupid nature-vs-nurture argument. Having or not having a predisposition doesn't mean that you will be good or bad at something though, it's just an indicator that the best method for teaching you that thing will be different to others. The "best" environment for a person depends on their predispositions.

Take someone who's predisposed to having great pitch, and raise them in a community of silent monks in a silent valley, and their predisposition probably won't come into play. Take someone who doesn't have that genetic marker, and by chance, have their tone differentiation lobe receive an above average amount of stimulation in early development, and they might end up a maestro... or, have them practice read a lot in early childhood and develop a large vocabulary, and they'll be exercising the same organ!

For example, a genetic marker for a predisposition to drug addiction was found by analyzing a large number of drug addicts. In a second (wider) trial, the marker was also found in larger numbers in the general population of non drug addicts. On further analysis of all these subjects, a significant correlation was found where people with this "predisposition gene", who suffered violent abuse at around age 5, were very likely to go on to become drug addicts, whereas those who grew up without violence were unlikely. So, what seemed to be a straightforward genetic link, is actually intertwined with environmental factors.

There's many genes like this, which are present but not expressed (not "turned on"). When some particular event occurs in the mind, then that switch is flipped... which means that our very thoughts can interact with our genetics. The truth is very grey.

Identical twins also do not have the same fingerprints. That’s not magic—just genetics.

Fingerprints are the perfect analogy; they're not genetics at all. Fingerprints form their unique patterns depending on how you bump around with your foetal environment. Your mind is formed in exactly the same way - the chaotic bumping into your environment.

When does “innate” talent become present in a person? As far as I know it is as soon as they are born. I honestly can’t remember a single day in my life when I was not able to draw realistically.

No, you weren't born with the talent of realistic drawing. You could hardly even see properly when you were born, let alone have the dexterity to hold a pencil. No, you learnt to draw in childhood like everyone else (or, not quite like everyone else).

The difference between someone who draws realistically and someone who draws crude outlines is the part of their brain that they use to perform the activity. We don't all see the world the same way. The same light goes in our eyes, and mostly the same signals get sent to the brain, but there's many different ways in which those signals can then be processed and "seen" consciously. People raised in different cultures will literally see the world differently -- scan their brains to see how they're processing the visual information, and there's major differences.


The "artist's mode of vision" occurs typically in the right hemisphere, and extracts detailed information about composition, curvature, lighting/shading, colour, etc... On the other hand, the typical non-artist mode of vision occurs in the left hemisphere and extracts information more useful in our day-to-day lives, such as large-scale form, object classification, etc... Most people use the 'left mode' so much that the 'right mode' becomes so atrophied that it's almost impossible to use. Through mental training (not necessarily artistic training), you can teach someone to use this mode of thought, and to 'see' the way you do naturally.

In your case, you bumped around in just the right way that both these modes of vision were well exercised, and thus found it natural to slip into this mode of thought when drawing, leading you to early talent. It's impossible to say when this happened, but it's the accumulation of every event in your life from conception up to that point. Your mind develops at an inversely exponential rate, and the amount of development in your first 9 months is phenomenal  You could well have had above-average visual/spatial processing abilities at birth, but could have also developed them later.

It could have been the above-average development of a particular brain lobe, or the below-average development of another (which caused you to compensate by using other parts more, strengthening them), or both, or neither.

I remember when I had just turned 4 and was in pre-school when I saw a girl in my class drawing her grass like huge sawblades and I tried to show her the correct way to draw grass as little strands, and some asshole bully told me to pick on someone my own size (huh??).

If you see a child expressing themselves artistically, and you go and tell them that they're doing it wrong, they'll very likely become upset, confused and offended. A child overhearing your remarks will react the same way empathically. This is off topic, but it's a good opportunity to point out that many of the down-votes that you get on this site to this day are because of the same kind of miscommunication, where your good intentions are betrayed by a lack of tact.

I have hated every moment that I have spent drawing except for a few very rare gems, and yet some of you people have the gall to say that my level of art could only come from hard work and motivation?

I didn't say that at all.

Someone to whom drawing doesn't come naturally could improve their possibility of producing similar results, given enough hard work and motivation, and the right circumstances. Not necessarily hard work at drawing, either. The brain regions used for drawing are also used for so many other skills -- it's a shared bit of hardware, so hard work to exercise and strengthen that hardware will benefit all of those skills.


Edited by Hodgman, 21 January 2013 - 07:16 PM.


#63 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2967

Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

I am convinced that emotional intelligence contributes much to success in most occupations for most people, even increasing the intellectual adaptability.

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#64 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12300

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

Identical twins also do not have the same fingerprints. That’s not magic—just genetics.

Fingerprints are the perfect analogy; they're not genetics at all. Fingerprints form their unique patterns depending on how you bump around with your foetal environment. Your mind is formed in exactly the same way - the chaotic bumping into your environment.



In your case, you bumped around in just the right way that both these modes of vision were well exercised, and thus found it natural to slip into this mode of thought when drawing, leading you to early talent.

By this point it seems as though we are arguing basically the same thing. I am simplifying it to the words “innate ability” while you are describing a scientific process resulting in the same thing.

But I have a feeling that you would want to take it further than just bumping around, position inside the womb, etc.
I can’t agree. Not that there is any way to prove it, but I simply don’t believe that 2 fetuses get created exactly the same way if bumping, position, mother’s diet, etc., are all identical.
Just the same as we all look different due to how the different atoms/particles/cells got distributed as we are constructed, we also have different internal structures. If fewer cells get distributed to certain parts of the brain, a person is born blind or deaf, dumb or smart, wired for skill in this or in that, etc.

And yes you can come up with scientific theories as to why the cells got distributed how they did but then you start to miss the point.
Everything is science, so when we talk about innate abilities we accept that there is some predictable logical scientific rationale behind the end result, but it’s so complex we can’t understand nor predict it.
“Innate ability” is just a simplified term for all those complex unpredictable happenings.

 

This is off topic, but it's a good opportunity to point out that many of the down-votes that you get on this site to this day are because of the same kind of miscommunication, where your good intentions are betrayed by a lack of tact.

It’s also keeping me from being a moderator for a very long time, and I am aware of it.
I originally made the conscious choice to be a little over-the-top direct, but it’s gone too far and in the last few weeks I have toned it down.
I even put a smiley in one of my replies a few days ago (“Hello and welcome to the site! smile.png”).
And then my computer crashed and I didn’t want to rewrite the reply again.  sad.png 

 

I didn't say that at all.

Not you, just a slew of people throughout my life, on deviantArt, etc.


L. Spiro


Edited by L. Spiro, 22 January 2013 - 12:39 AM.

It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums

#65 SinisterPride   Members   -  Reputation: 210

Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

I don't know how often this happens to any of you but I don't really like it when people think of me as some genius because of what I can do in computer programming. I feel like it sets up an expectation that I should be good at anything that requires thinking. That isn't always the case. I feel like I have gotten good at computer programming because I enjoy it and put in lots of time to get to where I am. I feel like almost anybody who put the time in could develop the same skills. Your thoughts?

 

I definitely agree. I feel uncomfortable when being given praise for my traits and qualities (not so much my achievements) in general. I mentioned it somewhere around here that I'm not one to boast or speak of my achievements and capabilities with high regard. I think this is an adverse effect of true humility/modesty which are in and of themselves great qualities you should be proud you possess happy.png When you are called a genius, or something along the line happens, just do what I do. Bashfully smile, look down, shake your head no while shrugging your shoulders and most importantly remind yourself to keep your ego in check. Modesty and Humility are hard to attain but even harder to maintain.

 

←§• ɸ◦§→

Sin


Edited by SinisterPride, 23 January 2013 - 06:16 PM.


#66 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

on deviantArt, etc

You do realize deviantArt is one of the worst sources for legitimate information and feedback, right?  The signal to noise ratio there is abysmally low.  It's mostly untalented (I guess in context of this thread, we'd call them "lazy") wanna-be's or young beginner class-sketchers patting eachother on the back and whining that they're not as good as the 20 or 30 most popular collections.  I've seen some of the flak your art takes there, it's just the rabid mis-projected self-loathing of said lazy artists, nothing you should be genuinely concerned with.

 

I have an account there because it's free well-organized gallery space with potential revenue sources.  I tried poking my head into their forums once or twice, and I just reel back afterwards shuddering.

 

.::This sidebar brought to you by procrastination::.


Hazard Pay :: FPS/RTS in SharpDX
DeviantArt :: Because right-brain needs love too

#67 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2967

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

I believe that most people vastly underestimate the power of the brain to adapt, though for some it may take years of very hard work and persistence more than others.


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer





Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS