There is truth to find. Just because the path isn’t straight doesn’t mean there is no destination. Truth is hidden in plain sight. Finding is still an act we do.
Today’s topic of Blind Variation and Acquired Savant Syndrome is a bit complex, so my apologies in advance if I struggle with it a bit.
There is an issue that many consider a mystery. Science has not yet uncovered an adequate explanation for it. I myself have even given some council to people who suffer from related issues, brain damage and what not. The typical view is that for optimal function the brain must be intact and what is conventionally thought of as healthy. So when this isn’t the case and complicated things like unusual competency show up, it leaves people scratching their heads.
I will say for myself that being an “aspie”, as some call them, I am now seeing some relevant research emerge on this front, things that are beginning to describe my experience of myself and the world. It’s been the main focus of my big project as of late, recovering and reverse engineering, if you will, my own cognitive schema or phenotype as they often describe it. The word phenotype just refers to apparent form or shape of something, an identifiable set of traits displayed. Ok, I got a bit off topic there.
They have also been studying the phenomenon of genius, how those displaying non-standard intelligence function, and their dysfunctions as well. Interesting that the two are so strongly linked, no?
I ponder Einstein… Whose grasp of physics as a complete discipline was notorious for being poor, but he understood it well enough to explore his line of theory.
And who, supposedly, could not tie his own shoes. Some things rumoured, other things confirmed. He was notoriously absent minded, and had significant difficulty with intimate relationships. Women found him charming enough, but in the long run he was somewhat clueless.
There is a theory now that shows promise in explaining the genius phenomenon. It’s referred to as blind variance and selective retention. What it means is that apparent genius emerges as the person’s trains of thought diverge enough that they hit profound insights. Sort of an intellectual law of averages, and then they selectively retain and elaborate on those insights.
“Diverge”? I would have thought, “converge.” Convergence only happens at the moment of insight. They first generate a conceptual substrate that they then derive new insight from.
They have to, in a sense, ‘come back’? Indeed, as the Chinese say, the master is the one who has come full circle. The reason their minds work in what seems like such a strange and cumbersome way is the whole IQ bit. They pick up and retain information quickly.
I ponder T.S. Eliot: “Return to where you began and recognize it for the first time.” Good reference, very appropriate.
In fact, an older view of genius as being behaviourally driven has been disproved. They often show no real obsession with the topic they distinguish themselves in. They don’t dedicate an unusual amount of time to it. If anything, many geniuses are known for sleeping a bit more than people think they would, nap taking habits, things like that. Einstein dedicated a significant amount of his time to his interest in music.
So the blind variance is a natural outcome of their minds innate traits, nothing they do deliberately. The deliberation comes only in navigating what’s in their heads, and discovering a linking for pieces of it of course. They do have to want to pursue specific information.
I ponder “their mind’s innate traits…” Brain. It’s more of a brain thing. In fact, I offer that’s why many of genius level IQ never go on to do much work in an intellectual field. Their mind is not inclined to use their brain in that way. Many of genius level IQ today are cooks and truck drivers, things like that.
When the head is so busy, I imagine it would be nice to have a ‘simpler’ lifestyle. Indeed.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.