WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Town Center > Café Guerbois
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-17-2019, 07:38 AM
musket's Avatar
musket musket is offline
A WC! Legend
Grafton, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23,313
 
Hails from United States
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

Combination of nature and nurture.
__________________
We cannot define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? ~R.P. Feynman
Reply With Quote
  #17   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-17-2019, 11:19 AM
brianvds's Avatar
brianvds brianvds is online now
A Local Legend
Pretoria
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,435
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman55
I think the idea is sound--and kudos to you, if that's how you really see it--but I'm mostly seeing it for what it is. The advantage we're talking about for individuals like this, or polymathic overachievers in general, exceeds in flying colors the very qualities celebrated in a materialist society especially one like the USA.

Well, I don't know, a lot of them seem to go crazy, or end up no happier than anyone else.

Quote:
The point I ought to address here is whether it's different in other countries, which you seem to hint toward.

I get the impression that people in western Europe make less of a big thing about genius or social status, but I may be wrong.

Quote:
I'm not sure if you can faithfully make this "they end up hating their job" argument about prodigies. Now, it's certainly a very possible outcome. But wouldn't it be more logical to think these are the very folks who would not hate their job, given the "extreme passion and obsession in a particular field" is a defining trait of all prodigies?

No, what I meant was this: I don't want to be an electrical engineer, and thus I don't want his job, because I would hate it, however much money or fame it might bring me. He will probably love it, and I don't begrudge him that. We can always do with good electrical engineers. Particularly here in South Africa, where we have constant blackouts because of incompetent management of the electricity company. :-)

Quote:
What negative impact does their success have on me? you ponder.

I can answer that. Such folks are like cement for the Cult of Status, to boil it down. So long as they "hold court" they take up all the attention, with none left for those who aren't in the "status club."

I think you can understand why I would question, how you are not bitter when faced with this fact.

I just don't care all that much about getting attention. In fact, I kind of prefer my privacy and anonymity. Admittedly it isn't doing my bank balance any good. :-)

One can of course change one's status from obscure to well known via a concerted publicity campaign. That is how a lot of not spectacularly skilled artists achieve considerable success. I'm not much good at it. Perhaps it also requires a particular sort of talent.
__________________
__________________________
http://brianvds.blogspot.co.za/
Reply With Quote
  #18   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-17-2019, 12:44 PM
musket's Avatar
musket musket is offline
A WC! Legend
Grafton, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23,313
 
Hails from United States
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

A goodly number of child prodigies seem to grow out of it. They don't carry their prodigiousness into adulthood.

I once knew a kid who at thirteen was attending Harvard for classes in advanced math.

What's more, he was sitting in on piano with the Bill Evans Trio at the Copley in Boston. He was also exceptional on clarinet.

He didn't grow up to be a professional mathematician or a professional musician.
__________________
We cannot define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? ~R.P. Feynman

Last edited by musket : 11-17-2019 at 12:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-17-2019, 03:39 PM
olive.oyl olive.oyl is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,289
 
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

I have a smarty pants story! And now I will bore you with it. And you’re welcome.

My father-in-law was an electrical engineer who worked at the David Sarnoff Research Center (part of RCA labs in Princeton NJ) as part of the team that was developing the flat screen TV. At the time, it sounded so “George Jetson.” He also has four NASA patents for things nobody else in the family understands (flux shuttling?). His granddaughter, my niece, graduated with science honors from UC Berkeley and is now getting her PhD in Bioengineering. Her grandmother on the other side of her family, was a nuclear physicist so obviously, some smart genes trickled down into her brain and maybe, in a slightly lesser degree, to her engineering brother as well. (She’s smarter.)

On MY side of the family, we’re mostly dummies. But my older cousin, who we all clearly labeled a “nerd” when we were kids, raised three of her own. For some reason, one turned into a intellectual freak of nature. He was some kind of state chess champion and then got into Columbia University at 16. I mean, that right there was off the family charts. He got his PhD in Physics and then had 3 postdoctoral research positions where he worked on: “analysis for lattice quantum chromodynamics data (specifically the decay of neutral pions); multigrid for DWF, technicolor, sea contributions to nuclear matrix elements; and nuclear physics algorithms for the exascale.” I got this from his public profile and have no idea what it even means. His first job was at Google as a software engineer for analytics and attribution, and now he’s a developer technology engineer at a California company working on (I think) AI-related stuff. I’m not sure because I don’t understand any if the words on the company’s website.

He’s married to a Taiwanese women who he met at Columbia who also has a PhD in physics from that school. Currently, she’s an Assistant Professor at a large, mid-western university in the Department of Physics and Astronomy Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering. She was given an award recently (for women in physics) and on that organization’s public page it says: “Her research focuses on using supercomputers and a theoretical approach called “lattice QCD” to study the strong interaction between quarks and gluons in the Standard Model.” She even published a book about it. They, apparently, are also maintaining a long-distance marriage while they each pursue their individual PhD careers in different states. However, it looks like she’s the one that gets to (also) raise their two kids.

Now, THIS part...I understand.
__________________
INTERWEBBERY
Reply With Quote
  #20   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-17-2019, 10:29 PM
thevaliantx's Avatar
thevaliantx thevaliantx is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,821
 
Hails from United States
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I am proud to say that a Polymath. I think more of us are than we realize. Strong aptitude and interest in Painting and Computer Programming
__________________
KRISTY

https://www.instagram.com/nisty7kragel2/
Reply With Quote
  #21   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-18-2019, 12:52 AM
Batman55's Avatar
Batman55 Batman55 is offline
Lord of the Arts
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,191
 
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvds
I just don't care all that much about getting attention. In fact, I kind of prefer my privacy and anonymity. Admittedly it isn't doing my bank balance any good. :-)
It's not so much the attention, whether online or in real life. I was talking in a broader, generalist way. The concept I'm referring to is, actually, the multiple things that enter into what we call "status." To boil that down, you could change the term to "conventional value" if it helps you parse the concept better.

The entire undercurrent of this thread is the problem faced by hapless folk--myself, an extreme example--who do not have the qualities nor the achievements necessary to have even a slight modicum of "value" in this society. Look at the effects this "utter lack" has on many endeavors important to one's personal well-being, health, and/or development.

I was asking what can be done about that. Especially in the face of the "cult of status" or (explained a different way) "the cult of achievement." To make this very binary and simple for anyone who's reading, even if I risk oversimplification, you might say that a man who went to a reputable college, has a wide social circle, and has a steady career represents "high conventional value." Now a man who is the opposite, represents "zero conventional value." This thread is mostly about this latter man, caught in a society that only assigns value to the former, even if oversimplified for now.

I was asking what can be done, and attempting to show the destructive effects of materialism, in the process. This "winner takes all" stuff, and the gendered dynamics behind it. Is it just that simple that if a man is not a "winner" he therefore, by default, should expect to be alone and generally unneeded in this society?

The whole point of the thread was the contrast between the "high achiever" (who does not have to be a textbook prodigy) and then someone like me, and the problems that causes for such a person.

Last edited by Batman55 : 11-18-2019 at 01:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-18-2019, 01:55 AM
brianvds's Avatar
brianvds brianvds is online now
A Local Legend
Pretoria
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,435
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: Now I've seen it all... this can't be right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman55
It's not so much the attention, whether online or in real life. I was talking in a broader, generalist way. The concept I'm referring to is, actually, the multiple things that enter into what we call "status." To boil that down, you could change the term to "conventional value" if it helps you parse the concept better.

The entire undercurrent of this thread is the problem faced by hapless folk--myself, an extreme example--who do not have the qualities nor the achievements necessary to have even a slight modicum of "value" in this society. Look at the effects this "utter lack" has on many endeavors important to one's personal well-being, health, and/or development.

I was asking what can be done about that. Especially in the face of the "cult of status" or (explained a different way) "the cult of achievement." To make this very binary and simple for anyone who's reading, even if I risk oversimplification, you might say that a man who went to a reputable college, has a wide social circle, and has a steady career represents "high conventional value." Now a man who is the opposite, represents "zero conventional value." This thread is mostly about this latter man, caught in a society that only assigns value to the former, even if oversimplified for now.

I was asking what can be done, and attempting to show the destructive effects of materialism, in the process. This "winner takes all" stuff, and the gendered dynamics behind it. Is it just that simple that if a man is not a "winner" he therefore, by default, should expect to be alone and generally unneeded in this society?

The whole point of the thread was the contrast between the "high achiever" (who does not have to be a textbook prodigy) and then someone like me, and the problems that causes for such a person.

I don't spend much time fretting over it. I am well aware of the problem: I have thus far comprehensively failed at everything I attempted, so I am no stranger to being devoid of any real value. But then, if I wanted to be valuable, I guess I'd have volunteered at a homeless shelter or something. It would earn me no fame, but no one can deny that it would be genuinely valuable, if only to a few homeless people.

So I guess I just don't care all that much about whether I am valuable or not; I have kind of given up on it. Just about the only goals I have left are aesthetic ones. Lack of talent will probably prevent me from ever quite reaching them, but I think I can manage to approach them, if I work at it a bit. :-)

The social status thing is a bit of a conundrum. One can envision a society in which there is no such thing: everyone is exactly equally valued or famous or important. In such a society you can never stand out from the crowd. In our actual society you can, but "standing out," by its very definition, means only a small number of people can do it.

Thus, the desire to have social status carries, inherently, as part of the deal, the risk of never achieving it. You cannot stand out without other people not doing it (and perhaps feeling it is unfair that you get all the status). A boat makes no sense if there is not also a lake or ocean on which it can float. Most of us will inevitably be part of the ocean. And if the boat sinks, we'll still be part of the ocean. And thus, the existence of the boat actually makes little difference to my life.

Of course, none of all this neat logic will change the way we feel about things. I am all too familiar with looking at some great artist's work and feeling a kind of despair. Or seeing someone post their very first drawing here, and noticing that it is better than anything I can do after thirty years of battling it out (this happened when Musket once posted some of his early work.) No, not good for the ego, but what of it? I tell my ego to go jump in a lake; it is being irrational. The way to deal with unwelcome feelings is to ignore them until they go away. :-)
__________________
__________________________
http://brianvds.blogspot.co.za/
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:35 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.