Re: "Boy with Incredible Brain"

From: Larry (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2006 - 21:53:58 MST

On Wed, 22 Mar 2006, justin corwin wrote:

> On 3/22/06, Philip Goetz <> wrote:
>> Amazing. Odd, though, that these geniuses never seem to accomplish anything.
> This is a common idea, which I have no idea whether it's true or not.
> I suspect it is not. My suspicion is that people who are
> savant/geniuses and accomplish great things are simply not famous for
> being savants, but rather for what they achieve.
> An easy example is James Garfield, who is famous for being President
> and being shot, but who had some really unusual abilities(like writing
> simultaneously in two different languages with both hands).


  A: "Savants only have useless rote memorization skills."
  B: "But look at Bob he makes a living using his special skills."
  A: "That just means Bob isn't a savant."

The statement "savants don't have truly useful skills" is not based
on observation, rather its part of the commonly used definition of

For the same reason that you do not find black cats in a group of
cats that excludes black cats, you do not find savants with useful
skills, because if someone has a useful skill the press doesn't call
them a savant.

They choose to limit the discussion to operations that while amazing
seems mundane and useless (current computers can do much better). Yet
one never sees mention of physics savants. In that case your an
"eccentric genius", Einstein, Tesla, Newton, etc.

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