Brilliance on Dinosaur Island

What intelligence means to me

Put almost any group of people in a room together, and they’ll eventually start talking about how dumb everyone else is.

Put a group of people with above-average intelligence in a room together, and they’ll start talking about what intelligence means — when they first started to realize they were “gifted,” how they tried to measure and quantify their intellectual gifts, and how little those scores really tell us.

If this sounds self-congratulatory, that’s because it is.

At some point in that conversation, someone will jump in and say, “Well, here’s how I can tell when somebody’s smart…”

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The Beating Heart of Creativity

Why “trying” to be creative doesn’t work —and how to fix it

Everyone on earth has brilliant original ideas several times a day.

Even if you’re in a bad mood — even if you’re mentally ill — you’re brainstorming all the time. Problem is, the instant you get a great idea, one or both of the following things happens:

  1. You grab onto the idea and start trying to develop it more fully, but the more you try to shape it, the more it slips through your fingers and disappears.
  2. Your mind reacts with, “Eh, that’s not important!” and tosses the idea away before you even get a clear look at it.

These are both natural reactions, because you’ve been taught all your life to scrutinize and critique unusual ideas, while it’s unlikely that anyone’s taught you how to come up with them in the first place.

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