Threesology Research Journal
Talent, Giftedness, Genius
page 1
(The Study of Threes)

Giftednesss (47K)

There is no set of rules, no instruction pamphlet, no guide book with respect to defining the above terms... or is there?

Whereas some readers may claim to have at least some vague notion of what is meant by giftedness or even talent and genius, they may describe the definitions as creations of individualized measurement... or in common parlance, one's own judgement. They may additionally contribute an acknowledgement that the determination of one's talent, giftedness or genius (potential or overtly manifest expression thereof), can be manipulated by those who can sway public opinion either through censorship as in being disregarded, through some means of socially induced force, or some type of reward; though both positive and negative variations of these activities can be used as might be administered by an older (and "wiser") sibling, some short or long term guardian (such as a relative or instructor), or some primary parental/authoritative figure. In other words, definitions can be fashioned in accordance with political, religious or financial activity to serve the interests of one person or group over another.

Whereas these institutions can serve to manufacture and implement a particular definition to correspond to (or at least accommodate) a socially designed direction required for a given set of circumstances, they are not the set of rules, instruction pamphlet or guide book to which I am referring in the sub-title. I am not talking about socially directed biases, prejudices and personal interests developed by mood, emotion or impulse that may or may not use one or more lists of data in which numbers are employed as a truth value, to support one view over another. I am talking about something else that also is so obvious, but is being overlooked and reacted to as one might a sunburn. Yet over-exposure to the Sun can not only lead to skin cancer that can go unacknowledged before causing real long-term damage, but a cancer I will describe as a cognitive limiting factor.

As such, I want to momentarily present Talent, Giftedness and Genius as the body's way of mounting a defense against the disease-causing influences that, in one instance is a widely acknowledged 3-patterned solar event, and in another respect is hidden but can be revealed by the usage of time-elapsed photography. With respect to this perspective, Talent, Giftedness, and Genius are compensatory reactions much in the manner like those developed by individuals subjected to limitations in hearing, sight, digit manipulation, limb functionality, etc... You must look past conventional attempts to define these characteristics in order to perceive this profile. You must learn to see through the nonsense of your culture.

The first above mentioned instance is a reference to the three solar "moments" called dawn, noon and dusk. The other is the triangular path of the Sun from dawn to dusk. I think the Sun's effects, much as it did in ancient times, affects the human mind to "follow its path", so to speak, with ideas and activities exhibiting a pattern-of-three. Three-patterned ideas found in religion and science are similar efforts by the body to retaliate against the Sun's harmfulness in a reflexive good charm against an evil charm; but the socially expected conveyor-belt mentality of common-place, normal, average humans fail to respond by understanding the ideas as symbolic representations of environmental effects.

People get so caught up in cultural ideas related to the words they overlook underlying representations of a simplistic pattern. Instead, the mental life of humanity becomes, in a sense, feverish and a society is formed out of illusory and hallucinated materials which create a form of planetary-styled social system around which the "revealed" ideas of humanity revolve and creates a recurring and sometimes traditionalized mental impotence; whereby we can not go "where no person has gone before", in this respect. To retreat to one's home or socially constructed biosphere is not enough. Humanity must get away from the Earth-circumstance solar events which impress upon us to stay put, and instead create imaginative images of possibility that do not encircle our minds like a misunderstood halo image.

While many are not accustomed to think of Talent, Giftedness or Genius in terms of being different kinds of defense mechanisms against an attacking environmental circumstance, they are specialized behaviors that in some individuals, become more "acute" and are finely tuned to portray a distinct level of structure... like for example, the advanced stages of a disease we misidentify and label with an optimistic and positive label around which a culture rally's in support thereof without realizing the existence of an underlying reason for the "different-than-normal" growth pattern. So let me spell it out for the reader who simply glossed-over the foregoing:

Talent, Giftedness and Genius are "different-than-normal" growth patterns.

You must pull yourself away from the typical humanistic interpretations and definitions. If necessary, look upon people as plants or objects in a body of water around which waves must reverberate or echo. From another perspective, most people are said to have latent talent, giftedness or genius and can therefore be described as being unconscious. Those who display "some" talent, giftedness or genius can thus be labeled as being conscious. Those who are said to exhibit a "true" talent, giftedness or genius are representations of super-consciousness. And if the reader would place conventional definitions aside in order to associate a similitude of progressive tri-partization (three- part successiveness), we could use the terms insanity, sanity, and super-sanity. A reader who can indulge in flexible thinking is exhibiting some measure of their own type of talent, giftedness and genius.

Philosophically speaking, perhaps the development of humanity and all of life is little more than the talent, giftedness or genius expression of basic substances "mixed or thrown" together by way of particular environmental circumstances which occur again and again throughout the Universe... and humanity is but the growth of a disease which inhabits the Universe. Along with such an expenditure of "inquiriness" energy, we might wonder whether (or not) or to what degree the Universe is an expression of talent, giftedness or genius.

In a sense, Talent, Giftedness and Genius education... meant as a supportive interventionist model, is like a gardener who prunes a plant towards portraying a particular growth pattern, that may or may not require additional periodic "treatments, infusions or prunings"; some of which may be the need for transplanting or weeding out that and those thought or felt to be detrimental, etc. Like someone who is interpreting the presence of death of a family member, neighbor, friend or relative as presenting them with the opportunity of potentially gaining something; they overlook the death as being representative of a disease which has a causal factor that will force them to eventually succumb to as well... all the while describing death as a natural process. This perspective is a philosophy that is held by so many that it is difficult to get them to think differently. Most people do not contemplate that death may be just another disease. Likewise is it for the many ideas associated with talent, giftedness and genius: Most people do not contemplate the possibility that these terms used to describe particular human behavior may be expressions of acute defensiveness to environmental circumstances. While some readers will think in terms of a specific social environment (their family, neighborhood, city, state or country), I am actually thinking more along the lines of the Earth in its relationship to solar events... imposing on us various scenarios of cognitive (behavioral) limitation.

The foregoing brings to mind the following:

I have been working on a puzzle for several years. It has required that I look past the over-laying structure of multiple subjects to pay witness to an underlying pattern. The conclusion, or if you prefer, "answer" I have uncovered will no doubt be quite controversial because it advocates the abandonment of Earth by humanity. Because if humanity remains on Earth, the over-laying structure of different subject materials will continue to influence humanity to interpret and wield the subjects through a prism of an individual's personal ego. In other words, they will use a subject as a vicarious representation for their desire to dominate and manipulate others. Subjects thus become extensions of personalities that want to assert a commanding position of superiority, whether or not a facade of humility accompanies their social role in the usage of a particular subject area for interacting with others or their own intellectual pursuits.

Whereas in a distant age the people of ancient Egypt used social resources to collectively build a pyramid and related structures to correspond with a solar orientation, I am making a plea for us to do the same but for the purpose of removing ourselves from the Sun's cognitive limiting influences... of which our ideas about talent, giftedness and genius play a role. Just as the Ancient Egyptians directed their talented, their gifted, and their geniuses towards a singularly related purpose, like a large public works project, so must we.

The time of using the Talent, Giftedness and Genius of the people for separate and disparate interests must be relinquished, at least until we accomplish the task of removing humanity from Earth, and I would include this entire solar system as well as galaxy. But I must add that current prospects of directing our resources towards developing a colony on Mars is a wholly inadequate adventure to the totality of our needs. And please do not counter my view with some stupid reply such as "It's a start". Such counter replies are an expressed ignorance difficult to fathom because so many don't see it as a trite and traditional means of reflexive thinking.

No doubt my idea of what some might refer to as "Herb's Pyramid Scheme" will be met with laughable skepticism as perhaps did those in ancient Egypt who first proposed the building of a pyramidal structure... Just like the ideas of the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford's $5.00 a day wage for working on an assembly line that was also an unheard of innovation. I even knew of two women who, as young girls living in pre-television days, thought the idea of "sending pictures over the air" was ludicrous. And it took the combined insistence of numerous talented, gifted and genius individuals to convince the U.S. government in the feasibility of developing a nuclear bomb. Alas, my idea may be the butt of a joke or two... if not three— And yet, we of today marvel at the Ancient Egyptian efforts and wonder how they accomplished the construction of something that we, with our so-called advanced tools of engineering and construction, are still in amazement about. How could these so-called pre-industrial people with their primitive tools develop such colossal structures of ingenuity? Did they get help from some extra-terrestrials or had some contact with an advanced society termed Atlantis? If the Ancient Egyptians can accomplish what they did, imagine what we might when all our talents, giftedness and genius are singularly focused! And think of how the future will marvel at our efforts!

Clearly the more astute reader will want to ask why present day Egyptians are not surpassing the constructed achievements of their ancestors. What is taking place that keeps the Egyptian peoples and other peoples throughout the world in a state of narcoleptic consciousness? Why isn't collective (as opposed to individual) humanity going beyond itself? Is the collective totality of human civilization experiencing a time of cognitive limitation simply because we are focusing on individual achievements over collective forms? Can we do anything to stir it into a stage of super-consciousness once experienced by different cultures at different times? Can it be achieved without resorting to forced brutality, patriotism, slavery, religious nonsense, genetic reconstruction or chemical manipulation by way of medicine, food or the water and air supplies?

Those working in the "field" of talent, giftedness and genius identification and encouragement for those thus subsequently labeled as exhibiting some indication ("measure") of any one or more of these characteristics; are, in my view, like an animal, say a jack-rabbit or deer, that is stopped in its path and are transfixed on a whistle or bright light. In furthering this analogy, let us say that the word "talent" is the sound of someone giving off a whistle or toot of a vehicle horn. And by extending the usage of a vehicle as an example, the two headlights are on high beam called "giftedness" and "genius". For anyone who has driven along a dark road at night and come across a dear or jack-rabbit, they might easily recall how transfixed the animal was by one's headlights, and might further recall how the animal stood motionless for awhile even if one yells or honks one's horn attempting to get them to clear the path.

The animal may even stand still for awhile after one has stopped (and become transfixed on the animal), though other animals may exhibit a readily executed flight pattern when in front of the vehicle; to the extent of producing a blur that stirs superstitious primivities of consciousness that teenagers know all too well while walking down the middle of a road... especially during Halloween. For me, the usage of a transfixed animal is an apt comparison as to how I view the current state of our definitions and subsequent support of talent, giftedness and genius programs. It is especially telling when the spectrum of "talent, giftedness and genius" education is directed first and foremost towards the young, as if those in later years have passed some crucial milestone or plasticity and can not be assisted nor have anything to offer society if they should receive some assistance. This is ludicrous and is surely a form of discrimination that needs to be addressed, particularly when there are numerous examples of post- school aged youth who achieve great things... if not simply for themselves then for many others as well.

Although other labeling might be applied such as "above average", "superior intelligence", "high ability", "brilliant", "bright", etc., the words Talent, Giftedness and Genius can be used to describe at least an attempt at a (diagonal, horizontal, or vertical) 'hierarchical' ordering with non-number related words. For example, someone who is "Talented" might even be extremely talented, but are they gifted or a genius? Likewise for comparing differences amongst and between the gifted and a genius. While we might want to say that they are labels with individually separate characteristics which can not be compared because of the variability of context and content of what talent, giftedness or genius that can be described; we nonetheless might additionally insist that someone is more talented than another involved in the same task.

I am not at all trying to be dismissive or elitist, but the usage of three words to convey a sort of small, medium, and large scheme of ordering will be helpful in furthering the development of the present "discussion", as is provisionally accepted within acceptable social boundaries as a "conversation with oneself" with respect to any personalized writing. If the categorization or attendant analogies are later found to be an impracticality, even for some level of logical approximation, than that should be noted... and the reasons why it is conjectured as such. In other words, it doesn't mean the idea is actually wrong or with little merit for further development, it simply means that in your opinion it is wrong or incorrect as is presently submitted.

Even though I am trying to import the usage of a tri-partite model of reference when using the labels "Talent, Giftedness, Genius", some readers may feel that this is a strangled form of reductionism that leaves little room for what they think are instances of as-yet-undescribed variables not covered by these words. They may also wish to clamor that the words placed in such a context are misleading, because an argument against categorization can assist them in either refusing to recognize a specificity, or keep others from recognizing that which they would prefer to keep hidden in uncategorized elements, be they of a general nature or not. Yet many of us would agree and note that the usage of the three does not impose a limitation on the potential appearance of an as yet unrecognized uniqueness, but they do provide a point from which to begin. And like any journey, if no step forward is ventured because a point of embarkation can not be decided on, we are left with getting nowhere... unless those arguing against such a venture fear of losing control of followers to give meaning to their life, and especially their particular perspective of what they think is life's meaning. For there are truly more things in this heaven and earth than are dreamt of in any current political, religious or business philosophy; as well as our current philosophy of what is meant by talent, giftedness and genius.

With the foregoing said, my knapsack as well as canteen filled, and with my faithful dog and walking stick at hand; I shall chart my course by way of the butterfly since the fireflies are not yet out and the clouds are being very uncooperative. Like many a child's counting rhyme, song, or fairytale used as a mnemonic tool of instruction, the three "talent, giftedness, genius" will be viewed and adhered to as if they were part and parcel of some ancient truism designed by the trials and tribulations of time-tested efficacy. I shall hum, whistle and sing the three as a ditty, as a tune, as a matter-of-fact three-part spell. So I must warn Ye Who Dare To Tag Along, Ye may be forever changed by this adventure.

Metaphorically, we shall go into a land where three dragons abound. They are named Business, Government, and Religion. Sometimes they are kind and generous and at other times their fire-breathing antics can not be quenched until far too many peoples lives are either scarred, scorched, or incinerated. Each of them in their own way (by way of taxes, tithing or price increases), demands a pecuniary form of homage that it wants to decide how, when, why, where and to whom shall receive an unequalized distribution of the ill-proportioned pecuniary homage. Sometimes you will be required to walk on socially distributed egg-shells and at other times the mood of the dragon may be that you are required to viciously stomp on any and all eggs as determined by the dragon to be good or bad. If you are supportive, the dragon may determine that your support is a talent, giftedness or represents that of a genius. If you are unsupportive, or even slightly negative about a particular aspect, the same talent, giftedness or genius may well be described and defined as an undesirable mutation, a freakishness, an aberration, a mental deficiency or even madness. In getting one or more others to assist them in their good or bad definition, they may well provide specialized funding to a person or institution who will be more than willing to help, so long as they can get more funding in their own efforts of self-survival.

But the three dragons are not like the three bears in the story of Goldilocks. They are more in line with the wolf in the story of the three Little Pigs, and the pigs are named Talent, Giftedness and Genius:

  1. In times of hunger due to lessened resources, the wolf goes after the first pig who must seek shelter with Giftedness when the ground level housing of Talent alone is insufficient because it is supported by a government subsidy built on a simplified and generalized foundation filled with loopholes through which a myriad number of people get lost in the cracks and contracted rats can scurry safely away.

  2. When the much stronger split-level but stick-styled two-by-four architectured housing of Giftedness fails to provide needed sanctuary, both Talent and Giftedness must attempt to seek shelter with Genius on some level of triple-storied abode.

  3. But when the stronghold of their Genius no longer suffices as a fortressed retreat from the frothing hunger of the Big Bad Wolf, they must collectively escape and adopt other survivalist tactics.

While the Wolf can at times be generous to a point of fault during times of abundance, whereby the lives of the pigs and those they serve are reaped with dividends by way of policies and procedures that are likewise at times generous to a fault; this far-flung generosity can become an avaricious, miserly and vindictive greed. During these times, or worse, one must keep a low profile for fear of being selected for the job of whipping boy. The moods of the wolf are very much in line with the old adage of "beware the wolf in sheep's clothing".

It is frequently not enough for a pig to don the humbled aspects of a contemporary "poor, but honest shepherd" visage when the bearing of the pig sets them apart from the general throng. Be it with a single word expressing a vocabulary well beyond one's years of youthfulness... an idea which suggests a depth of reading only a scholar will encounter amongst their peers, or some taken-for-granted act that others readily recognize, interpret and label as that belonging to someone quite unusual and special amongst the commonness.— The pig can unwittingly expose themselves,... an identity which during some periods can bring them fame and perhaps untold wealth, yet during other times becomes an unwanted dancing monkey on one's shoulder.

As such, the pigs are sometimes forced (or fall victim to) engaging in "off the grid" lifestyles through such acts as changing their names, physical appearance, and day-to-day habits. It is difficult at times for Talent, Giftedness and Genius to do this. If they are subjected to long periods of being unable to be true to themselves, their body and mind may begin reacting negatively to the stress. It goes without saying that they thrive better in an environment which may not know exactly how best to enhance their abilities, but at least it can provide a supportive atmosphere for the person to explore this avenue without fear of retribution, retaliation, or the need to engage in any number of defensive gestures.

Yet, a variety of disguises are employed not only by the pigs themselves but those who both deliberately and unknowingly assist in the concealment. Sometimes even without realizing that they are. While many of the disguises are indeed good in that many are fooled, including experts from a variety of fields, those of us in the sub-culture called the "Threes" community have acquired a knack for identifying them because they frequently remain as a group-of-three... And very often are unwilling to part company with one another because it is felt that there is safety in numbers, as is employed by many an "expert" who feels their view is made more universally and unforgivably true if a larger number is gathered into a pile upon which to play king of the hill...

...Thus they are more apt to acquire various associates in terms of developing a sort of planetary-like system of like-minded confederates whose presence conceals the existence of a core-of-three. However, once the tripartite arrangement is realized, it becomes so obvious that it's a wonder many more intelligent people don't see this. They don't see the three as taking on the disguises of three brothers, or three sisters, or three friends, or three neighbors, or three relatives, or three activities, or three ideas, or expressions, or three functions, or a series of three, or a sequence of three, or a compilation of three, or three hiccups in a row, or 3 yawns, or 3 caws of a crow, or 3 barks of a dog, or 3 fingers used to hold a pencil, or 3 branches of a government, or a triplet codon system, etc.

But whoa! says some readers. There I was walking at a slow pace when all of a sudden I started taking steps which appear as great leaps of imagination. Whereas it was difficult enough for them to make an analogy between Talent, Giftedness and Genius and the three pigs, now they're being asked to further the comparison with three hiccups! What sort of nonsense is this? Am I mad as a Hatter or simply indulging in an intellectualized past-time of numerically rationalized superficial correlations? Is my brain experiencing some sort of hiccup itself? With this in mind, (whether or not you think I have lost mine amongst the cactus in the Saguaro National Forest while writing this during a winter stay in Tucson, Arizona), let me take a few steps back so that those who stopped dead in their tracks because they thought they were walking with someone who gives the impression of being a Don Quixote fighting windmills; so they can be reassured that I've only lost a third of my mind. Another third is still asleep and the other third has never been found.

For those of you who have sufficiently re-acquired a reading posture after having fallen in the aisles after being overcome by laughter, let me rewind the page a bit: Though there are other word labels which could be used to describe differing perceptions of what is meant by "above average" ability, I am using three that might also be used to describe a generalized level system. The word "Talent" is placed first in the series, the word "Giftedness" is used second, and the word "Genius" is used third. Each of these can thus, on a very basic level, be attributed to the series-of-three events found in the three little pigs fairy-tale. While the three pigs are themselves not indicated as having any differences to distinguish them from another, the type of housing each lives, does. While the story ends with the wolf being unable to huff and puff his way into a brick or stone house of the third pig, I embellished the story for the purpose at hand. If you disagree that someone with Talent is in anyway less than someone with Giftedness or that anyone with Giftedness is less than someone with Genius, your mind is far too inflexible to make sense of anything else I might say. You might as well go back to sticking your head in the sandpile you've created for yourself. You might well add the example of small, medium and large as being too general and in fact represent different categories which should not be compared because they are like comparing oranges, apples and pears, while at the same time overlook or intentionally disregard this example as a sometimes expressed tripartite organization. You might further want to argue that the trio of Father, Son, Holy Ghost/Spirit can not functionally be compared to suggest lesser or more since there is the developed idea that these are a three-in-one designation, without ever taking the time to consider where the 3 to 1 idea arose from, and that it may have a non-religious environmental influence. In short, the present discussion might well present you with new ways of thinking about old ideas.

With respect to providing the "three hiccups" as another example of three that can be compared to the three pigs or Talent, Giftedness and Genius, it is simple to understand in terms of three events that have occurred in a series. Have you ever heard someone with a "tri-hiccup"? I wouldn't even know what one sounds like. Much less a "tri-yawn" or "tri-gulp". Maybe someday in the distant future humans will "Ya-Ya-Yawn" or "Hic-Hic-Hiccup", and even though I have heard a three-part "Ah-Ah-Ahchoo", which, by the way is a (to be discussed later on) 3-in-1 example; I am referring to three separate, but sequenced-placed Hiccups. I am not talking about some "above-average" anomaly where a sneeze is followed by a yawn that is followed by a hiccup. Imagination is one thing, but "make-believe imagination" is quite another. You are not permitted to transgress the conventional boundaries of imagination during this sojourn... only I am.

Let me provide a small list of three-part sequencings placed in three categories listed as Talent, Giftedness, Genius, knowing well that the placement of one or another example may not necessary correspond to a from "small to large" order as you (or I) might deduce when subjected to a closer examination:

minimizemaximizeclose out the page
Of all the peopleBy all the peopleFor all the people
NameRankSerial Number
red lightyellow lightGreen light
Energy= Mass(C2)
1st molars2nd molars3rd molars
Inner earMiddle earOuter ear
Holy Ghost/SpiritSonFather
Fax machinePrinter/ScannerComputer
Que chalkBall rackQue stick
Morning (Dawn)NoonNight (Dusk)
24 (hours)7 (days of a week)365 (days of the year)
WeeklyBi-weelyMonthly (pay periods)
I cameI sawI conquered
World War IWorld War II(World War III?)
One-eyed jacksDeuces WildQueen (of spades) 40
3rd place finish2nd place finish1st place finish
BreakfastLunch (Dinner)Supper
French toastWafflesPancakes
BeverageFries/PastrySandwich (combo-meal)
Reptilian brainOld Mammal brainNew Mammal brain
X axisY axisZ axis
To tell the truthto tell the whole truthTo tell nothing but the truth
Simple sentenceCompound sentenceComplex Sentence
1st trimester2nd trimester3rd trimester (of pregnancy)
PeriodQuestion markExclamation point
Major PremiseMinor PremiseConclusion
Borderline giftedModerately giftedTruly gifted

There are numerous other examples that could be offered. I would have provided a two- (or other) patterned list if the occasion called for it, but it doesn't. It is particularly productive if you now also acknowledge that each of these have such a frequency of occurrence that they are standardized as a given. And yet, they all represent cognitive limitations. For example, the concept of God does not make us a god, but it may have, under the initially developed circumstances, indicate genius in that it was an original idea. But as the concept took on an everyday general usage by millions of others, we would not also indicate them as being a genius. Likewise with the concept of "Genius". Whereas the person who originated might have been referred to as a genius (or whatever equivalent term was being used at the moment to signify "above averageness), those that used the term afterwards would not necessarily have been viewed as a genius, though their like-mindedness might have been interpreted by them as an indication of some specialness... whether or not it was deserved. In comparison, our present definitions (and tests being used to recognize) the concepts of Talent, Giftedness and Genius have lost their "Genius- Originality" signification because of wide-spread use. They are no longer viewed as an illuminating star by which to guide us. Some of us see them as a mirage while peering onto the sands of distant future. Others view them as various forms of glittering, like those seen on a body of water, occasional stone, or dew-laden foliage.

Others see the definition(s) of Talent, Giftedness and Genius as being much in the manner of birds that follow the course of the seasons. The "seasons" being the public mood dictated by the passage of the Sun known as Government, Business and Religion. And with each we are subjected to their altering positions that can be interpreted as a dawn, noon or dusk. For example, Hitler's Germany experienced a re-awakening dawn, a heat of battle noon, and a dusk in which Hitler wanted all of Germany to perish into an historical darkness. The same three-part passage can be seen as occurring again and again, in different eras in different guises, with all governments, businesses and religions. And yet even though the reader can well acknowledge this simple analogy, very few extend the comparison into the realization that it is the Earth's type of environmental conditions which influence this behavior. The same is for the behavior of our aforementioned birds. The recurring three-part procession of Dawn, Noon and Dusk have been like that of a branding iron which have been etched upon the psyche of humanity. Thus, again and again and again we are encountering this three-part formula in idea, after idea, after idea. And even when someone uses a less or more than three formula, they do so by following the dictates of writing which incorporates a three - in - one sentence structuring rule (period, question mark, or exclamation point). Or live in accordance with the dictates of a three - in - one divisioned government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial), or a three - in - one religious perspective (Father, Son, Holy Ghost/Spirit), or a three - in - one business function (cash, credit/debit card, check/money order)... and they follow such dictates while driving on roads with three colors - in - one street light... in vehicles whose tires are constructed in one of three ways: Bias ply, Bias ply belted, Radial; even though tire construction formulas are changing.

Yet, while some readers are stuck on this "three" or three -in/to- one acknowledgement, a few, very few, come to acknowledge that the three-"moments" of the Sun (dawn, noon, dusk), are a word-laden variation of a day to day trek that can be expressed with another word describing a geometric form, namely, a triangular configuration. In other words, and to the point, the Sun's passage occurs in a triangular form and not a linear or circular one, though primitive life forms may only "experience", in terms of behavioral representation, a non-triangular form. But the birds which migrate in accordance with the seasons very often use a V-shaped flight formation sometimes designated as a "Vee-flight" formation. And some termites will build a triangular mound just as an antlion uses an inverted "V-shaped" structure for its burrow. Just like humans, some of whom are better than others at drawing or constructing, the same sort of variations of Talent, Giftedness, and Genius occur amongst and between species. But even if there was a "Genius" grasshopper who "acknowledged" the triangular or three-patterned path of the Sun, how easy would it be for them, in their short life span to get others to "see the truth"? Would there be time enough, a needed method of communication, or would the community say that altering their philosophy and definitions is of little value for the present generation. Imagine the defeatist sorts of reasoning, logic and accusations that would be levied against this grasshopper genius! The majority have no interest in the ideas of this grasshopper version of a Johanthan Livingston Seagull. What nonsense they might all say.

If Jesus, Mohammed, or Buddha came upon you as a woman or in the appearance of a race different than what you expect, how would you know of them? The same goes for our definitions of Talent, Giftedness and Genius. If they appear outside the conventions of some standard of expectation, we can't recognize them. We won't change our perceptions or definitions unless something or someone convinces us to otherwise do so. Frequently, that "someone" is the person who sways our opinion in accordance with the level of financial support they offer. They don't care if you possess some overriding truth, they only care that their value system is upheld and perpetuated. It is unlikely that a "better" definition of Talent, Giftedness and Genius will ensue from within the boundaries of an institutional setting that is dependent on its "productivity" for ensuring a particular philosophical orientation is upheld. Analogously, it is difficult for someone to see outside a confining box if they are unknowingly being forced to look inwards. Creating an "outside" while being inside can be wrought by imagination to be quite expressive, but one is still inside the same box.

I am trying to get you to recognize the box we are all in. By so doing, the definition(s) of Talent, Giftedness, and Genius might be revised so that tests, applications of those tests, interpretations of test results, and the aftermath for funding the encouragement of those who are recognized as having Talent, Giftedness, and Genius; will be directed towards enhancing the human species outside this box into the larger available Universe. It is a necessary evil, of sorts, that I force you to conceptualize the adoption of a three-tiered formula designated as Talent, Giftedness and Genius in order for you to recognize the prevalence of a cognitive convention which you too are subjected, even if you insist that the three words do not describe for you the existence of a larger, multi-varied array of human potential... some of which may no doubt be unrecognized and as yet without some related descriptive. This convention of mind is being played out in a variety of forms as the previous list-of-threes gives indication thereof. And yet for a religiously-minded Christ oriented person, the presence of a recurring "three" would seem to justify not only a belief in the concept of the Trinity, but that their religion is true. For a biologically-minded person, a recurring "three" would seem to justify the universality of a triplet codon DNA influence. But even those who read the foregoing and encountered the idea of a "three - in - one" idea are skimming the page too much.

Whereas the idea of a "three persons in one" is known amongst many, this "three to one ratio" expression is being largely overlooked. For example, with respect to the triplet codon system in DNA, a three to one ratio can not be realized until the triplet codon of RNA is placed alongside. It is necessary to note that both have the same three amino acids (Adenosine, Cytosine, Guanine), yet are individualized by the presence of Thymine for DNA and Uracil for RNA. Only when the two are placed together is the distinction of a "3 to 1" ratio more easily identified:

~ Item ~ ~ Three the same ~ ~ One is different ~
DNA = Adenosine- Cytosine- Guanine Thymine
RNA = Uracil

And let us now add a simplified perspective of Protein structure (though there are others):

Item --- Three the same --- --- One is different ---
Protein = Primary- Secondary- Tertiary conformations Quaternary as a composite of the first three

A religious-minded person might claim that genetics is simply following a "law" of God's, and yet they never consider that this "law" may be nothing more than a survival requirement in accord with the present environmental conditions of Earth. For them, everything that corresponds to their belief is an admission of its validity. Such is the same, in terms of where and from whom funding originates, for some uses of I.Q. tests, definitions of giftedness, and application thereof. They don't see their activities as not only representations of imposed limitation, but the perpetuation thereof, when nothing is done to alter the conditions under which the influence of limitation occurs. Perhaps some additional examples of this ongoing cognitive limitation may be of value:

When we count, we use a three-patterned ones, tens, hundreds formula that is earmarked as such by the usage of a comma to separate the three "thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands" placements. Our counting system is a numerical representation of our cognitive limit structural formula that is played out again, and again, and again with different forms. For example, when we represent a "four" seasons awareness, we express it as winter, spring, summer "and" fall. The use of the word "and" is, in effect, like the comma being used in our numbering system. When we describe the "four directions" we say North, South, East "and" West. Or how about in the example: One for the money, Two for the show, Three to get ready "and" four to go. Here's another one: We often encounter the requirement for using any combination of the three coins "nickels, dimes, quarters" in vending machines, while the usage of a dollar earmarks paper money. Or how about the usage of three fingers to hold/support one pencil or pen? Or how about the concept of three spatial dimensions and one time dimension? Each of these examples represents the same cognitive limitation being expressed over and over again. In other words, humanity is in a cognitive limitation rut imposed on it by the three-positioned Earth that is subjected to a "three" influenced solar activity that is directed towards a decay.

So let me spell it out for you in the larger Locust/grasshopper community; many of whom will not "get it" while others will voice opinions about human and planetary life spans: we need to adopt a nation, if not world-wide Talent, Giftedness and Genius "culture" which directs all behaviors towards getting humanity away from this cognitive limiting circumstance.

For those of you obsessed with quantity as a determining factor of validation, whether presented as a statistical variance or not, the following link provides a few more three to one examples:

Three to one ratios page A

Philosophically speaking, is God a Genius? Or is the presumed "Genius" of God just a common everyday characteristic like the web of a spider, nest of a bird, or hive/ symmetric honey-comb of a bee? If God does what God does in the same "reflexive" manner as do other life forms engaged in daily tasks, perhaps the construction of Crop circles can be included in this short list of examples. Whereas we humans may think that the design of Crop Circles exhibits a talent, giftedness or genius, perhaps the Crop circle maker(s) perform such activity in a similar manner as a spider weaving a web. If so, why then do we not attribute the design of spider-webs, snow-flakes or the "construction" of oyster pearls with a like-minded attribute that the Crop Circle designs are evidence of something extra-ordinary taking place for the benefit of humanity?

This appears to be little different than a religious-minded person claiming the "marvels" of creation by the maker called "God" are revelatory material (a revelation) meant exclusively for humanity. A religious minded person simply concludes that Crop Circle designs are more of God's handi-work while some Crop Circle enthusiasts conclude the designs have an origin and purpose not definable or understood by any theological doctrine. Like would-be physicists, religious minded individuals exercise a reductionist approach to reality by claiming the view is "THE" God particle, and Crop circle enthusiasts practice an expansionist form of perspective to include the possibility of a particle not contained in the present Trinity line-up of person-particles. It is not that the three-fold Trinity formula may be wrong as a basic structure, but the names, identities and functions may be too simplistic and thus, exclusionary in its design to attempt some pseudo- all encompasses. In short, present religious concepts of God and the associated religious doctrines are expressions of cognitive limitations.

Or is 'Genius' a human-based word to be specifically used for some especial human quality? If we argue that God (or Crop Circle maker) epitomizes "The" Genius model, then humans can only approximate some lesser representation as can be defined in human terms. The same goes for Talent and Giftedness. If God is unnameable as some religious perspectives claim, then God is also undefinable and the words talent, giftedness and genius do not and can not apply, regardless of how we stretch our imagination. Thus, even the word "God" (regardless of how it is written in different languages) is a falsehood and leads humanity along false trails. Humanity is thus incapable of even conceptualizing what I am unable to describe. In fact, we are thus cognitively limited. In order to know God we must therefore get away from that which imposes this cognitive limitation (and wonder if Crop Circle designs occur in other mediums on other planets... along with wondering whether or not they occur in places where there are no sentient beings). Unless of course you are a religious hypocrite and prefer such a cognitive limitation to be imposed on others while you harbor some personalized lie. With these foregoing statements, the role religion wants to play in as a dominant "all knowing" authority can be reversed. The same can be had for those who want to wield a self-sustaining myopic business or governmental hand.

But let us now change the pace of our journey a bit...

Yet, before the reader puts one foot in front of another as they begin a second leg of procession through the present discussion, it must be understood that there will of need be the usage of hypotheticals, divergencies of characterization, and a variety of "punctuated equilibriums" displayed from outside the usual settings for discussing the "spectrum" of giftedness in which a variety of labels may be used by others such as talent, above average, high proficiency, above normal, genius, etc. If creative thinking bothers you, please go elsewhere. There will be metaphors and analogies aplenty as well as numerous questions that may or may not be valid as you interpret from where you are sitting. In fact, you may have additional questions that I nor any researcher in your survey have posed. Instead of coining a new word I might well try to coin a new way of thinking. But don't expect this new way of thinking to be fully grown from the outset. It might well mutate after some reader gets a-hold of it and decides to experiment with it through cross-breeding efforts that others interpret to be akin to some secret enclave of madness. As it stands, we are on a shore with no outlet but the ocean itself. A tide is coming and and each of you must make the choice of succumbing to the rising waters, remain with the current waves, or go beyond your own swimming potentials far from the known horizons.

Nonetheless, in some way it must be impressed upon you that present day discussions about talent, giftedness and genius have taken on a typical (bland, humdrum, white noise) taste, sound, sight, feel and smell. Even the third eye, ear and inner voice have become caught up in some conventionalized Pied Piper cadence akin to indians attacking a wagon train placed into a circle. In other words, though those engaged with conversations (research) about the topic of "giftedness" may themselves be said to exhibit talent, giftedness and genius; their collective work has not resulted in a definition of "giftedness" that is itself an expression of above average talent, giftedness or genius. For all their talent, giftedness and genius on an individual level, (as can well be said of any type of legislative body membership), these well-intentioned researchers have produced a run-of-the-mill variety of testing methodology and interpretation as well as application thereof... for conventional interests subjugated by resource limitations.

Because of this, the idea of "originality" can only be understood in conventionalized terms though many of these researchers might want to claim otherwise. Heaven forbid if someone should show some actual unconventional original talent, giftedness or genius. Most, if not all people would be unable to understand it because our social environment stresses the adoption of conveyor belt forms of thinking. Imagine someone having the audacity to be an original genius in an unconventional way without being tide to any current subject matter, including those considered to be topics of the most advanced research, exploration and atypical consideration! Why, it would be a downright anti-social, anti-education, and perhaps even anti-human standard!

In other words, someone can not be too original or else they might be misunderstood and judged insane... whereby the only way to cure them of their demon is to use some present day form of political, business, or religious trephination; which will force them to exhibit conventionalized standards of genius so that all those working in the field of giftedness training can feel good about themselves and continue to think they are right; and use the person as the symbol of another feather to stick in one's sweet dreams pillow-case, town meeting hat,... or is it war council headdress? It is so very difficult trying to get new ideas across to those whose mentality resides on the level of an Australopithecine.

Imagine someone like little ole me having the nerve to use a three-beat drum sequence while the above mentioned war council is in session and have directed, by way of tradition, that meeting drums are supposed to be in twos, fours or fives. It is an insult! It's a spit in the face gesture to all the things held near and dear to the "right" way of thinking as presently written in individualized policy and procedure manuals. Hence, "originality" is defined with a standard that is understood in everyday terms of conventional expectations even when a researcher or educator claims they are open to originality and have no expectations. Most people feel that talent, giftedness and genius have an appropriate time and place and that outside this zone of even "expecting the possibility of the unexpected", is rudeness for such things to appear out of the boundaries of present thinking-etiquette.

Just like it was rude for Mount St. Helens to blow out one side instead of out of the top as many "experts" (and general public) expected and planned for. It was so rude for a natural event to exhibit unpredictability. Of all the nerve! One might think that extra-terrestrials had intervened because the event wasn't "normal", just like those with an original expression might said to harbor an alien brain. They're not normal. We might humourously conjecture that perhaps, just maybe, they are the result of an inter-breeding experiment or accident amongst abducted humans and misfit aliens. Such is the same for our present definitions and application thereof to concepts such as talent, giftedness and genius. If someone has an "above average" genius, or a "gifted" genius or a "genius" level of genius, we can at present, only recognize, label and describe such in below average, average or above average terms; whether generally speaking or equated with some enumerated test equivalency formula.

Their is no present understanding of talent, giftedness or "genius" in genius terms. Those, like Time magazine's periodic sojourns into the area of attempting to discuss genius; are little more than rock skipping musefulness on a summer's afternoon while weaving a path down an old country road along which is found a set of train tracks, an old horse and buggy bridge, and some form of Tom Sawyerish raft of a previous summer's flight into the fanciful realm of a Don Quixote-like philosophical exploration of a topic exceeding the capacity of their rather porch swing hammock inquiry.

Time Magazine's periodic attempts to describe Genius from different perspectives is a telling point that is unrealized by many readers who can't get past their own preoccupations of trying to interpret and decide whether or not some behavior of their's is somehow related to a level of unrecognized genius. In other words, what their attempts describe is the existence of a cognitive limit having been reached by the "talented, giftedness, genius" research society... of which many of us take part in, superficially, moderately or deeply. It also describes the need for the development of a culture with a mentality exceeding this "cognitive limit" circumstance, as has occurred several times in human history as depicted in the development of words used to describe quantities.

If a society is to evolve, let it be from the inside out... though as it turns out, it has frequently been done due to external forces such as disease, war, or weather. As such, we must take concerted steps to assist our societies (all of humanity) towards its next evolutionary stage... if "evolutionary stage" is appropriately used. Yet, I am reminded of the movies entitled "the village of the damned" and another (whose title escapes me at the moment, but who died holding hands), in which non-evil kids with above-average abilities or non-conventional "children behaviors" are killed because they are are alien to present adult standards of our expectation of normal, talented, gifted or genius children. The rest of society might well attempt to force a new-found talent, giftedness, genius culture to "tow the line" so as to justify to itself that what it is and does is correct. Little do we accept as a possible reality that we may be replaced by a new hominid species in the making. Our Neanderthal days might well be numbered.

What do we mean when we say someone is gifted, or for that matter, talented, above average, creative or a genius? While it is easy to ascribe the definition of "above average" to a particular setting where a quantity of people doing a certain task can be measured, is there some sort of underlying and unspoken statistical analysis taking place when the words "talented, above average, creative, or genius" are applied? Do all definitions share some measure of an enumerated profile as the representation of one type or another, which become:

  • A defined attribution of some believed in actual behavioral characteristic due to a given time, place and occurrence, though such may not really exist except for in our collective social imagination (which sometimes contribute to the making and perpetuation of urban legends)?

  • An accepted Colloquialism developed by way of a social tradition to label a shared view such as ghosts, demons, or a God?

  • Are generalized portrayals given an acceptable level of statistical variance that become perpetuated as a truism because the same conditions for developing the instance are socially generated manifestations?

Do humans have an underlying obsession with enumeration as a tool for determining truth or reality whether or not we are aware of such and whether or not we rely on a usage of human-made numerical symbols? Are numbers more accurate at describing truth or reality, or simply more accurate in describing human interpretation of a given circumstance where a generality is presented as a specificity? If a label such as "giftedness" is traditionalized by way of common usage, regardless of definition and whether or not we are consciously aware of our own participation in perpetuating such a tradition, how then do we develop a "better" definition through an enhanced perspective if every perspective must honestly go through a similar examination of validity? (In this instance, "better" would be defined by an enumerated value system as a generalized statement for the sake of discussion.) Can we expect to develop a "better" definition by way of a personal maturity through observation and research, training in an educational setting, or perhaps even some Eureka! event? Clearly, where we begin may well determine what the result will be. If we are ego-centric, gender-centric, race-centric, culture-centric, economic-centric, age-centric, religion-centric, language-centric, subject-centric, etc., then our resulting definition may most likely be a reflection thereof.

However, aside from the many caveats we might list in an attempt to forestall a dominant appearance of any single idea, presumption or application at the outset, we must nonetheless pursue some attempt at addressing the question of a "better" definition of "giftedness"; even if in the future the result of the attempt is viewed as a bias. It will, however wrong or right we are, serve as an indication for the future of what should or should not be done with the underlying intent of assisting humanity towards a greater fulfillment of its potentialities. Hence, let us persist in our exploration by asking: How do we train people (or machines, etc.) to recognize and foster giftedness, (etc.), when we in all honesty, have difficulty in deciding on a singular definition and adopt more of a "fluid" conceptual framework in order to forego any notion of being prejudice to some person, race, gender, age, or culture? And yet in this very generous approach we fail to include considerations of whether or not this "fluidic" approach is best for the whole of society or humanity.

Is a "fluidic" approach (defined as an attempt at being non-prejudicial), a celebration of mediocrity so that we can better include our "common person" selves to a selected group of those designated talented, gifted or genius? Is this "non-prejudice" approach just another type of prejudice which marginalizes the truly talented, gifted or genius from receiving assistance and resources to further develop their potentialities? Are we being elitist in our attempts at a "Democratic: Of, By, For All the people" non-prejudice approach? Whereas we want to be fair to everyone in order not to overlook any honest talented, gifted or genius person, is our fairness an exclusionary principle in practice?

But let us ask some questions involving our present understanding of prejudice. Is humanity, on the whole, better off without racism, slavery, genderism, etc.? Or does a particular prejudice, be it of a religion, economic theory, science, entertainment, etc., assist humanity towards an ultimate expression of its greater self, more quickly or fully than without the prejudice? Should we acquire a vehement prejudice against the present American Plutocratic government that is falsely claimed to be a Democracy whereby the promoters of the Plutocracy are beheaded? Should we invoke a strong prejudice against rapists, child molesters, gays, and the subsidizing of the copper industry by way of perpetuating the existence of the copper penny whose value has been lost in a culture where greed amongst businesses think largely in terms of the dollar bill? Should we destroy all the things we have a prejudice against? Should a prejudice against blacks, Jews, Christians, and those who drive polluting vehicles, be expressed in a form of death penalty? Should we have a prejudice against those who have a prejudice about discussing prejudice because they find it (prejudically) distasteful? Should we likewise have a prejudice against those who dislike the usage of the "N" (Nigger) word because they find it offensive; yet many of those who use the word do so not as an expression of prejudice against any particular race, age or gender, but much in the manner that they use dummy, numbskull or goofball... thus signifying that those who dislike the usage of the "N" word are the ones harboring a continuing prejudice-oriented mentality that perpetuates prejudice by way of it becoming camouflaged with uneasily recognized forms?

Is our present understanding and definitions of talent, giftedness and genius little more that expressions of unrecognized (but socially accepted) prejudice? Is there some sort of elitist (I am a better/ more of a superior person than you) mentality that goes hand in hand with this prejudice? More often than not we base our definitions of talent, giftedness and genius on preconceived notions arising from knowledge derived from personal experiences; no matter if you further define "personal experiences" to include a desired "serious, intelligent and open-minded" study of the subject. Typically, one's "study" revolves around both employment involving actual teaching experiences preeminently focused on the subject which very likely involves interactive group discussions with fellow colleagues in a mentored setting; and both professionally directed as well as personalized approaches to reading about the subject "area". However, this "serious" approach is an extreme bias because all current approaches at gathering information are 'extremely' limited and impose time constraints on individuals to adopt a definition based on limited information but supports the dominant views being espoused by a given teaching, training, or education-directed institution in a presumed "open-minded" fashion.

Whereas we may claim to be more comprehensive in our efforts, for example:

Most of us in America become centered on American (and thus, the English language) repositories of information about talent, giftedness, creativity and genius. Decidedly, this should not be the case when there are creative, talented, gifted and geniuses throughout the world, both recognized and unrecognized varieties. To say that American efforts in the exploration of this area are first, foremost, and perhaps even futuristically oriented, is an embarrassing form of Imperialism. But this same biasness in a "serious study of giftedness" occurs world-wide, as an American might defensively claim, even when we attempt to set aside any preconceived notions we may have. It is an honest confession for educators to admit that our present approaches towards increasing our understanding of what is meant by what might be called the "spectrum of giftedness" in order to include ideas such as 'above average, talented and genius'; are wholly inadequate to equally mis-defined but sincere desires, hopes and wishes.

Whereas we want a definition of giftedness that is at the genius level, it behooves the principle of a working humility to say we are presently using variations developed by yet more current variations of an educated guess-work not unlike a muted form of retardation being stifled by its own belching and vomit. (Or perhaps I should use a more politically correct labeling such as "mentally or educationally challenged") nauseousness. Yet my intent is neither to be vulgar nor interpreted to be a disparagement, but as a glass of cold water thrown in the face... much like the proverbial pinch for the sake of wakefulness testing. Our current views on giftedness are not, as many of us might otherwise collectively state, the best we can do. Each of us in our own way may feel that there is something missing with our current efforts, even if we can't articulate this sense of uneasiness into a coherent representation that others can share and develop. As such, in a reflected-on moment of exasperation, we might want to agree that current definitions have been proposed and supported by a bunch of well-meaning ignoramuses who use the same research and recite the same articles to support their claims of like-mindedness. Yet, in nearly the same breath, we might bring to mind that we personally do not engage in the same stupidity as others and can claim to be 'rocking the boat' of conventional thinking on the subject because we are creatively more insightful. To this I say: What a bunch of hogwash! It's little more than an American television re-run mentality being exercised by a particular segment of our so-called educated society. They can't even tell they've created a soap opera-like re-run rut and have become intellectualized versions of couch potatoes. As adherents of the "giftedness" phenomena as a reality that must be socially enhanced to assist humanity to become the best it can, we can and must do better than present efforts. It's time to get a second wind.

If I had the opportunity to give a lecture to the so-called "giftedness" experts, the first thing I would say is: "You bunch of dummies!" You live in America exposed to cinematic excerpts of giftedness such as the movies "A beautiful Mind", "Little Man Tate", and "Shine", and let this become some sort of socially diffusible and thus defensible criteria for a general (mis)understanding of giftedness which hinders an exploration of possible expansiveness. Hollywood has done all of you, and us, a great disservice. Not because it didn't provide us with a glimpse of giftedness in ordinary life circumstances, but because it provided Just A Glimpse thereof. You need to slap Hollywood in the face, punch it in the stomach and kick it in the shins by presenting the world with a world perspective about the need for a greater definition of giftedness. Not by way of a documentary, and especially not one created by graduate student physicists who demean the public by using simplistic cartoons to portray ideas every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally can grasp more quickly than the general public is given credit for but are denied this acknowledgement. We need a cinematically-driven portrayal of how talent, above average abilities, giftedness and genius are not recognized, are misused by politicians, business and religions, and claimed to be existing where in fact don't exist. All of which leads us back to asking: "What is meant by giftedness, talent, and genius"?

Presently, it is a type of "Death occurs in threes" superstition being played out by Hollywood that comes to be accepted as a appropriated "given" by many people when an oddity of behavior becomes after-the-factly associated with behavior that is described as a talent, giftedness or genius. You don't see films that display odd behavior which is used as a tell-tale before-the-fact indication of that to be claimed as giftedness, talent or genius. Hollywood frequently shows itself to be a doting dullard and distracted blond, brunette or redhead that portrays Barbie and Ken as real people and want them to do a photo-shoot to promote a movie and bite-sized crackers of themselves at fastfood restaurants! (And then we have some in the audience who want Ken and Barbie's autographs!)

Rubiks Cube (21K)

Is giftedness, talent, and genius more specifically definable by the usage of a numerical comparison, or is it better if we leave such a definition in the eye of the beholder so that a greater array of behavioral activity can be included under these words when used as columnar headings? For example, is a person rightly claimed as being talented if they can complete a pre-described desirable outcome (as in matching colored squares) to a Rubik's cube puzzle? Can they be described as being gifted? Are they a genius? Generally speaking, those who can complete the puzzle might be said to be talented at doing this particular task, even if the same ability is not transferable to other puzzles. The same person might also be described as gifted if they could do other puzzles similarly well or if they can recurringly beat other Rubik's cube puzzlers at performing the completion requirements as stated in accompanying "game" rules.

But even if the person could (timely) beat everyone in the world who was set at the same task, would they be recognized as a genius? Would they be described as a genius if they were also adept at solving complex mathematical problems? Yet, if they could do complex mathematical problems but not "solve" the Rubic's Cube task, would a distinction of genius be omitted? Perhaps the "Rubik's Cuber" would be seen as a genius by fellow players, but would the general public? Would a journalist claim them to be a genius even if no other journalist did? And for those of us who can't accomplish the stated rules-of order, are we diminutive mental misfits? Why is it difficult for so many people to put all the same colored squares together in a prescribed order? Is the Rubick's cube a good analogy in describing differences in the way the human brain is said to be wired? But what if a Rubik's Cube performance determined your status in society? Or whether or not you were able to acquire citizenship in a given country? If not the Rubik's cube, then what if we used a chess playing ability? Or how about a guitar playing ability? Or a tap dancing ability? Or a singing ability? Or swearing an oath of patriotism supposedly developed by a soldier during what is described as a decisive war battle, or singing a National Anthem that was not chosen as such by a vote of the people? Or how about being a refugee from a war-torn country in order for you to get a job, housing and social assistance yet Native born individuals are denied because they don't meet the prescribed criteria?

stages1 (30K)

The accompanying image (taken and altered from: NRC/GT Offers a Snapshot of Intelligence) can be provided as an analogy to the idea of how we apply different definitions to talent, giftedness and genius. Just as the reader might readily apply the picture as a simplistic portrayal of one's underlying potential that may or may not receive the necessary "nourishment", it can also be applied to the question about what is meant by (and thus how we define) giftedness to represent our different values: even though I think our definition is not yet even in the seedling stage, much less having begun to sprout above ground. While this might well be agreed upon by those interested in the question of talent, giftedness and genius, and their efforts in this field have quite possibly assisted numerous individuals in developing a given talent, gift or genius, are we, as a species, better off?

So what if we help a thousand people develop their customarily recognized talents, gifts and genius. Do these thousand in turn assist humanity in a greater overall fulfillment of its potential? Or is this merely a point of personal impression that is best (and only) appropriately addressed by philosophical discussion with little application towards furthering our goal for attempting to enhance our understanding and treatment of talent, giftedness and genius? Nonetheless, such a question must be asked. And no less must we wonder if in helping the recognized and recognizable (based on present standards), can other individuals benefit in their "normal" lives if we were to apply resources towards assisting them... even though they are not recognized as exhibiting any particular "above average" ability as is customarily being addressed with one or another above average or superior-to-normal labels? Can we be certain that, with specialized training, the "normal", average or below average person will not be identified as merely a slow starter like a cicada that takes years and the right environment to emerge?

How are we to be certain that some people, perhaps thousands of so-called average people, do not harbor some underlying genetic characteristic of a super- superior person that simply needs a specific circumstance in which to emerge, much like an act of valor, compassion or personal sacrifice which arises "out of the blue" under particular circumstances for someone that no one ("in their right mind") might consider for this 'someone' to "have it in them" to accomplish? But, is an act of valor, for example, when expressed on a Medal of Honor level to be equated with a definition of talent, giftedness or genius? Or how about those in the past who fought for Civil Rights in America? Or when a highly skilled middle-aged person walks away from an opportunity at employment so that another less skilled person can get the job in order to support a young family? Or those that knew well they were being used as cannon fodder but chose to march headlong into cannon fire as a sacrifice for some cause, whether or not the cause was justified? Or do we prefer to use the words talent, giftedness and genius for specific types of behaviors that do not include bravery, wisdom, or an intuitive appreciation of subtle human qualities that can be nurtured to help an individual manifest them to a degree of wide social notability as being unique? In our search for an enhanced definition of giftedness, we must wonder if there is something else we should be looking for and develop suitable tests for this. (Note: while I altered the three stages into a left to right linear portrayal, I do not want to leave the reader with the impression I am advocating this motion or direction. One could easily change the image to reflect a vertical or diagonal direction, or combinations, reversals, disappearances, re-emergences, intermittentcies, fluctuations, stroboscopic dilations, etc...)

When the stock of human activity is scrutinized, and we realize only a small segment is described with some "above average" label and deserving a social entitlement dictated by limited resources, we must also scrutinize our definition(s) of talent, giftedness and genius as being selective. This selectivity is another form of prejudice and segregation, whether or not you attribute a disgust for even the usage of such words in the context of a topic that you feel is anything but directed towards the positive aspects of our humanity. Yet, we are selective because it is thought (whether openly or not) that this is a means by which we assist humanity... by helping the talented, the gifted, the geniuses to excel at their abilities so they can help humanity. In essence, we help one who will help many because we have not yet organized our resources to help the many in ways to assist the few. Segregation is alive and prospering in America. We have a federal government, corporate business environment and religious sector whose members practice varying forms of an Aristocracy. By permitting minorities to share in the goods of society (entitlements, jobs, education, etc.), they form their own cliques of separatist machinations. It is little different than the segregation of goods and services we find in retail stores. For example, we don't put produce in the can food aisles nor ice cream with hotdogs. Whereas we claim there is a logic behind our decisions, it is a (human) mentality which develops a logic for the development of giftedness definitions as well. And though we try to be on our guard, the present conventional mindset may create manueverings of logic which ambush our attempts at exceeding the confines of our present efforts to grasp a "genius" level definition of talent, giftedness and genius.

Our definitions and resulting efforts at assisting those who are talented, gifted or genius are contoured (skewed) to provide a representative sampling of a multi-cultural, multi-aged, multi-gendered, grouping, etc., especially in those societies where diversity is a big issue of political, religious and business posturing of correctness. If not the tests, then the test givers, those interpreting the test results, or follow-up examiners thereof, are forced to accede to a given political, religious or business pressure. Sometimes it is not the ability of a test taker that is the result, but the ability of the test givers, and subsequent administrators to accede to a given "socially responsible" outcome such as the highering of a black supreme court justice, lowering numerically-based academic standards so that a certain minority population is admitted entrance into a college, adjusting numerically-based tax laws to favor one segment of the population over another, etc...

In our efforts at identifying and nurturing the talented, gifted or genius, are we looking for another Leonardo Da Vinci to emerge and are unconsciously designing our definitions and tests accordingly? Perhaps we are hoping for another Einstein, Mozart, Edison, Freud, Jung, or Napoleon? And yet, why do I use these examples if I too have not been influenced and encouraged to think of them as role models of some talent, giftedness or genius ideal? Why not provide examples of those with physical prowess such as a "great" football quarterback, running-back or receiver? Why not some famous coach, trainer or Rodeo star? Why not someone who consistently wins blue ribbons at a county or state fair for their baking? Why not some chef at a five star hotel? Or how about some neighborhood sales clerk who is "famous" for their helpfulness and guidance? The reader could possibly think of other similar examples.

Do our present tests and testing procedures unwittingly pigeon-hole most of us in a type of deaf and mute Helen Keller slot... if not blind as well because we are socially forced to admit we don't measure up to these socially represented standards of above average ability? For some intellectually sensitive people, to be described as normal, or not above average, is tantamount to being told they are less worthy when a voice inside is suggesting otherwise. However, the very act of their persistence in various activities which overcome the interpreted-as-a-disparaging label is an indication that present testing to identify and the subsequent assisting of "above average" students/people to fulfill their potential, is faulty. While applying this type of "above average" energy in a socially acceptable avenue is valuable, some of this same type of energy in other individuals is directed towards criminality due to survival requirements in an environment which provide only sub-normal opportunities for personal growth of latent above-average abilities. Instead of finding support amongst a socially productive peer group for their above average abilities (which may also have been poorly fashioned and thus awkwardly expressed by life circumstances), they find acceptance in a gang or as a loner (that develops self-defeating mechanisms for a meaningful co-existence with others). Their talent, giftedness, and perhaps even genius might well become obscured in a montage that is far too original for any "normal" or even "conventional genius" to interpret because it is too scrambled for them to make any interpretable sense out of. Some may even be referred to as having acquired a type of super-sanity, in contrast not only to the stupor that is said to be harbored by the general public, but by the status-quo assigned to thoughts labeled as "higher thinking" and becomes a working part of the I.Q. testing community.

Does every subject area, whether or not it is labeled an (academic or otherwise) subject, (let us colloquially say every activity), have its own value criteria that we must individually attribute the words, "talent, giftedness or genius" to? Will a 'giftedness' definition require not just a specificity but a 'specialized specificity' for every subject or "area of activity", thus leaving us with an overall generality whose liberality makes us feel good about ourselves for believing we are being magnanimous in an across-the-board-demographics way, but provides us with very little focused coherency? Are we all engaged in a type of self-flattery substantiated by tests that bolster an ego through a formalized application of complimenting ourselves for being "exceptional" if not in fact, then by our deeds of assisting those who are assigned such a label? Or is the problem in developing a "better" definition due to our attempts at defining abilities are are either mislabeled, unrecognized, or misinterpreted?

Do we need to develop different labels because words such as talent, giftedness and genius are just plain stupid references developed and perpetuated by nonsense? In other words, not only are we faced with an examination of what is or is not meant by creativity, talent, giftedness or genius, we must also look at these words due to an outdated functionality? Have these words become like a quill that was replaced with a pen and pencil that has now been replaced with a computer keyboard (which followed a typewriter). Although pens and pens still have some utility, many writers have opted for the usage of a computer that provides many advantages, particularly in the area of revision. In looking at these words, for example, is the word "genius" the best label to describe Einstein? Similarly, is madman the best label to attach to Hitler? While some readers will no doubt dispute a usage of the label "genius" being applied to Hitler, some consider him to have been a genius, or at the very least they admire him, according to their perspective... whether or not it is a viewpoint that is clearly defined. In any respect, genius or madman, millions of people followed Hitler and millions more were forever affected by his, and his followers activities. With such an example, I am trying to suggest that perhaps our words such as talent, giftedness, and genius may be, if not a type of "Hitler in the flesh" itself, then a shadow of such an existence as a presence in our language (like a wound or scar)... a tangibly haunting spectre of bygone eras... much like the presence of superstitious beliefs. In a like-minded fashion, how can we develop (for want of a 'better' word), a "better" understanding of God, truth, beauty, etc., if the word employed lessens (even deliberately undermines) our ability to do so? For example, is our interpretation (and thus our definition) of an infant crying based on a tested, traditionalized, or authority-driven "reason" based on previous experiences of infant hunger, teething or has an earache?

Without naming the boy in the accompanying picture, are there any tests or obvious indicators that would have earmarked him as the up and coming leader of a nation that would dominate so much of the world's attention and resources? Does the photo of the young girl give any indication that she would be the future mother of the boy? Are there any tests, or could such tests be developed which would provide us with an accurate predictability of future preeminence or lack thereof? Isn't this an implied assumption regarding how we decide to choose who is, and what grounds they are selected for being labeled as above average, whether or not they are further defined as talented, gifted, or genius? Is such testing a modern day form of crystal ball reading and that when asking for a greater, more telling expose', we are met with comments stating "there are too many variables", life has too many unpredictables, no one but God knows the future, etc.? Are we practicing a sort of divination-by-numbers applied to a series of tests akin to the tasks asked of characters in stories who must show their worthiness of receiving a particular gift, prize or fortune by jumping through a given set-of-hoops, so to speak? Is this the state of our present I.Q. testing desires?

Hitler3 (59K)

If, as it has been noted in the "Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness" by Joseph S. Renzulli that academic prowess in college does not provide us with an accurate predictability of a person's future ability to make any lasting social contribution, why are public school systems in America so college oriented? Is college education to build thinking skills that can eventually be applied for the overall benefit of society, or is it more philosophically based for individualized intellectual interests and entertainment? If it is for the purpose of assisting an individual in acquiring skills for better paying jobs or careers, than why are so many college students, even those who have graduated, without employment? It suggests our education is out of touch with the reality of changing social circumstances. With respect to predictability, I'm not talking about the usage of an actuarial table model based on statistical probability, but a model more in line with the truth-telling accuracy of a, metaphorically speaking, not to be taken literally mirror-mirror on the wall instrumentation instead of the generalities employed by the entrails-reading sooth sayers of old or the tarot card/palm reading antics of mystically enlightened purveyors of truth stretching.

In our efforts to be objective, to be informed, where are similar lists, if they exist, concerning the Canadian perspective on the subject of Giftedness? How do the educators of Mexico approach the subject? How do the Chinese, or the Russians, or the countries of South America? How do the Aborigines of Australia or the different countries of Africa? What about the more primitive groups discovered by Anthropologists? Did any Anthropologist take the time to ask a member of the Tasaday's, Jivaro Indians, or Yali Tribe? Where is the list which describes a global history of the subject? Where is the information derived from a collection of world-wide applied public polls? How did the ancient Chinese, or Incas, or Mayans, or Egyptians, or Slavs, or Romans address the issue of giftedness? Is there a lack of such information more so in one culture, both modern and ancient, than another? Why isn't there more of a global effort at translating information on the subject so that educators and interested persons throughout the world truly have a global perspective of the issue? Instead of labeling talent, giftedness, or genius as good and desirable, perhaps we need to label them as diseases in order that a true "serious" approach to the subject of talent, giftedness and genius can take place, because it is well known that the spectre of a possible social threat frequently gets the necessary funding. It is a deep-seated arrogance for any country to think it singularly knows best about the subject of giftedness. It doesn't matter if a country can claim it has more citizens that are talented, gifted, or geniuses. If this is so, then the rest of the world should know why. Concealing such information as if it were a top secret formula is a childish leadership attitude much like a child hoarding a collection of favorite toys, rocks, or serendipitously occurring oddity.

This "childish" attitude is rampant throughout the world as evidenced by the government and public obsession with claiming superiority by the quantity and types of medals that are won by participating members in the Olympics. Yet, we must ask, does it really matter who has the fastest runner, swimmer, or cyclist? Does it really matter who can lift the most weight, jump the highest, or hit more bulls-eyes? And for that matter, does it matter who is the best at chess, wins most money at betting, or has the most college degrees? Is there nothing "greater" for the whole of humanity to aspire to than those directions espoused by politics, business or religion? Can our definition(s) of talent, giftedness and/or genius be fashioned to permit and encourage greater goals? Are we missing the point by not asking such questions? Are our present definitions a means by which humans remain part of an environmentally-generated status-quo, which is little more than a curriculum for "staying on the same page", "getting with the current program", stand in a "take-a-number" line, and run with the herd that is still heading for a cliff that is a mistaken mirage for a water hole?

Educators throughout the world must harbor a magnanimous attitude which transcends the ("my country is greater than your country") immaturity so rampant amongst some politicians. Humanity suffers so greatly from the stifling notions wrought by some of its political and religious leaders. Unfortunately, many educators have short-sighted political and religious agendas which are directed towards some "furthering the glory of their State (government) or Church (religion)". While others do so only because they are forced to in order to get funding. They feel it is a necessary compromise when dealing with those with a short-sightedness in an attempt to at least make some measure of progress with the hope that at some future time more gains can be gained. And yet, I have known both educators and social workers whose primary agendas are based purely on supporting their egos. Their students (or clients) are little more than a means to their desired self-aggrandizing ends. It is an attitude that is frequently rewarded by long term employment by those in positions of funding who share a similar orientation.

Present definitions of giftedness, talent, and genius are typically derived from one or more premises allied with one's government, society, culture, religion, or some prevailing business. They are formulated and fashioned according to views which may have no long-term value for the human species. For example, if the view of a particular definition incorporates an underlying assumption that the human species is going to live for thousands of years, despite any "fringe" occupation of insisting humanity is doomed and will end in the very near future; and yet it will actually only live for three thousand years at most because we are engaged with activities that are lessening our abilities to live any longer, then the definition(s) of giftedness, talent and genius are wrong and need to be revised. The revision is necessary in order to direct the energies of all the talented, gifted, and genius individuals into a concerted effort of assisting a greater longevity. As it now stands, the definitions we are using are short-sighted and truncated philosophical gestures directed towards placating too many self-interests that hold little regard for the whole of humanity. In short, they do not harbor any desire whatsoever for a global definition (much less a global application) to the words talent, giftedness, or genius. In fact, the word "global" or any approximation thereof is not even currently in vogue as part of the language being used by those interested in considering an enhanced definition for talent, giftedness, and genius.

So let me break what I see as a stale-mated trend by stating why I think we need a global approach towards a definition of giftedness: It is based on the idea that even though we of today live in a global social environment, it is an environment that is directed in line with the larger ultimate planetary decay. Simply put, the Sun is presently expanding towards an eventual burnout, and with it the Earth (and all of life) follows suit. It would seem almost needless to say that because humanity is so much a part of the Earth that it too, however imperceptively occurring at times, is at this very moment, experiencing and responding to the effects of this decay. As a biological product of this environment, we are inclined towards an adaptation towards changes in the global environment, whether you describe them as small, medium or large.

We need a global approach to the definition of giftedness in order to adopt a global attitude for the purposes of encouraging our talented, above average, gifted and geniuses to act and think in terms of greater survivability for our species. If this requires a Manhattan-project styled approach involving all our talented, above average, gifted and geniuses to address the survivability issue, then let it occur as quickly as possible. If the collection of such talented, above average, gifted, and geniuses in one location will enhance humanity's prospect of developing a larger pool of the same, then we should do this as quickly as possible. Whether or not the idea of a short time constraint for humanity is thrust upon me as a metaphor brought on by an insight into my own declining years fomented by a reality that the male line in my family does not live long, I must nonetheless urge humanity towards adopting a sooner-than-later global perspective of the giftedness question. I am nagged by a constant presence of mind that we must hurry. Whereas we can work on the details later, we must, like a thirsty herd of horses in a drier than usual desert, race headlong towards an oasis waterhole we have collectively scented.

And what about one's "worthiness" for being able to write about or verbally discuss such a topic as giftedness? Are you more worthy (and thus in a sense more gifted) to write about or discuss giftedness if you use a particular vocabulary in a given way in a particular setting with a particular college degree or you read, write and speak with a dominant language such as Chinese, Hindu, Arabic or English? However, philosophically speaking, this is not only true for the word "gifted", but also truth, beauty, kindness, etc... For example, if we have 100 academics with PhDs claiming giftedness can be context specific, and 1000 non academics with high school diplomas or GEDs saying otherwise, why does the opinion of the academics take precedence amongst law makers in a Democratic society where social standards are supposed to be predicated on majority rule? Why are standards, and thus definitions frequently determined not by a majority vote such as in a referendum, but by the decisions of a select few? What makes them so special? Because a few others agree with them and in many cases they unjustly use a given set of judicial (or academic, or environmental, or social, etc.) parameters to force their will on others? Do they simply have the advantage of beating their chest more loudly through the various social megaphones of a present day electronic-driven society?

Did Thomas Edison worry about his qualification for being able to conduct experimentation for invention developing? Did Jesus require an acceptance by social peers to think and act as he did or did he know he was "special" (or different) as a child? Would Edison lack the expected academic qualifications for getting a job in any of the present day research facilities? Does it take a high-school diploma or GED to shoot a weapon even though the present American military recruiting policy is to require such of potential enlisted men and women? Would Jesus be permitted to attend a seminary if he were transported to the future and spoke English or German or Russian? Or would his ideas, those that were not adulterated by later writers and thinkers, be viewed as foreign and quite odd by present day Christian standards? Would watching television, eating processed food, going to medical facilities and thumbing through magazines while in a waiting room, surfing the internet, drinking koolaid or soda pop, watching movies or listening to modern music have a deleterious effect on Edison, Jesus, Madam Curie or any other notable Twentieth Century or more distantly ancient historical figure if they were brought up as children today? Whereas some might claim that our modern age would not tolerate mad men from coming to power and ruining lives, it didn't keep us from having to deal with the maniacal ideas of Bush Jr. as President, or those involved with monetary scandals that swindled money from the public.

For example, what if the article entitled "Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness" had been written by an unbathed, toothless, half-starved non academic living in a make-shift cardboard box hovel beneath some viaduct, instead of by Joseph S. Renzulli, Ed.D., the Director of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented at the University of Connecticut? Would they be taken serious even if they could get published? It's doubtful. Not only do we develop preconceived notions of right and wrong, but also how, when, where, why and by whom "truth" (or some facsimile thereof) is best presented. In fact, the person living in the cardboard box, regardless of their vocabulary and obvious sanity, might well be viewed as an (intelligent) neurotic akin to those standing on a street corner wielding a body-size placard claiming the world is about to end.

Mr. Renzulli brings to mind the need for us to question our discursive attempts to establish a decidedly needed new definition for giftedness which involves, and I agree with, by altering our present ideas about giftedness so as not to be a disservice to others; through a usage of a "gifted behaviors" categorization. But, alas, it is being spoken to a very selective audience that is used solely as an American definition and not a global one, even though it is not stated as such, it can be implied due to its American context... whether or not this solely is a readership bias. Nonetheless, while we may adopt the usage of a new categorization, we still need to begin a description of what behaviors and for what reason.

Let us look at this example of "Qualification" in another way:

For Example...
  • If I say that I have twelve advanced college degrees and am writing this paper on a $3,000.00 lap top computer borrowed from my first grade daughter who claims her I.Q. to be a million (because I frequently misplace my own due to a recurring absent-mindedness and she doesn't forget anything); while sitting in a private study within a Thirty-Three million dollar mansion which requires numerous house and grounds workers—

Does the foregoing have more value than...

  • If I were to say I flunked kindergarten, can't hold a job, am considered weird by acquaintances and family alike, and am typing this on a month-by-month credit-purchased $300.00 lap top (due to the kindness of friends) while sitting in an old motor home on a Walmart parking lot after having spent the night there after reading the above mentioned article?

Are you one who thinks certain economic advantages are best for producing certain types of originality, giftedness, etc., yet adhere predominantly to the notion that "unique" giftedness, talent, or genius is more often than not associated with the "starving artist" hardship model or some measure of underdog representation... though a multi-billionaire might consider both of the previous scenarios as abject poverty? And if I include additional observations such that I began working on this paper at 3:33 Am on the 17th of November, 2013 during a full moon, the second night at 3:00 AM, and the third night at again 3:33 AM, the fourth night at 3:03 AM (though I was actually tossing and turning in bed thinking about the topic prior to getting up), am I relegated to some status of eccentricity, 'reincarnatedly' enlightened New-Ager, or socio-pathic nut-case; whereby all credibility is lost because such information appears to be irrelevant in a discussion about giftedness... (because those interested in giftedness may be singularly minded and are not taking into consideration that this discussion is taking place on a web-page directed towards the "threes phenomena")?

Why do we permit ourselves to become so singularly minded even though in reflection we would question such an activity? Is such thinking a "normal" mental activity which participates in an unspoken inclination towards some form of hierarchical fashioning that some might claim to be just another warddrobing of a very ancient elitist orientation that most, if not all of us have engaged in from time to time? Is it actually a "normal" mental activity or a socially induced construct? While we can leave such a question for later, more personalized philosophical musings, suffice it to say that such an activity exists both in convergent and divergent perspectives.

Whereas divergent thinking may not be cited as a predominantly correlateable factor to giftedness, (cited in the above mentioned article as: limited relationships between measures of divergent thinking and creative performance criteria) let us also include the view that neither is convergent thinking. If we are going to explore the possibility of broadening a definition of giftedness in an attempt to be more comprehensive, we should check the whole spectrum of the "giftedness" research pendulum swing.) I have met far too many "creative" individuals whose ability could well be enhanced (in my perspective) if they practiced a little more divergency instead of the "mad dog" directed approach towards exhibiting "task completion" as if to begin somewhere means one has to end somewhere... anywhere, in a given way in a certain time frame that is acceptable to some criteria based on a faulty premise such as the arbitrary boundaries kids place on themselves when participating in a self-promoted race or one-up-man-ship contest.

Why do we develop the criteria for defining giftedness (or uniqueness, specialness, genius, etc.,) in a particular way? So what's the big deal about someone who can do a complex mathematical problem in their head in a few seconds while the rest of us need a warehouse full of computers working steadily for a decade? Why do humans think someone is unique for being able to do complex or at least seemingly large numerically involved tasks? For those readers who can remember the movie entitled "rain man", it was fashioned after a real life person named Kim Peak who has a prodigious memory and can perform large mathematical tasks in his head. For example, I recall speaking with someone who worked with Kim in the accounting section of a business called the Columbus Community Center, though this was years ago and my memory may not be explicitly accurate with respect to the name of the business. I was told that Kim could mentally perform the tasks of the weekly, monthly and yearly payroll requirements of the employees on his own, while the same effort took five others sitting at a desk with calculators. Whether or not there was some embellishment or slight exaggeration, I don't know, but I personally paid witness to Kim being able to recite my telephone number and address printed in a telephone book he had memorized. He could also tell me on what date (and day) I was to retire at the age of 65.

However, Kim couldn't carry on a "normal" conversation, nor perform simple tasks such as tie his shoes or comb his hair. His father remarked that he had a sack of fluid in the area of the brain that is thought to be responsible for his "memory talent". Our "normal" brains are without this sack of fluid. But as his father and I continued to speak, I noticed that Kim was becoming agitated as he periodically took notice of the time. His father explained that Kim had to have everything on a schedule. When to arrive, when to depart, and so on. While some of us marvel at his mathematical and memory abilities, it is unlikely most of us would trade such an ability for some semblance of being able to live a day-to-day normalcy and instead have to live within an institutionalized setting under the vigilance of a care-giver. And while we may define Kim's ability as a talent or gift, would we also claim him to be a genius, or does this label require some additional (and traditionalized?) characteristic that all of us "normal" people accept and agree upon; but do not verbally assign a socially verbalized definition to?

With respect to memorization, (if the reader will permit me to engage in conversationally related divergencies and is not on a reading schedule with respect to expecting me to say something about giftedness that they hold as being sacrosanct); I have read some memory experts advising the use of a three-part grouping formula. Putting things into groups or chunks-of-three is claimed as a means of accomplishing great tasks of memorization, even though different memory experts have their own personalized forms of numerically aligned clues, cues and mental curly-Q attributions. Yet, I have not come across a single one of them making a comparison between this three-part chunking methodology seemingly installed on us by Nature, and the 1- 2- 3 chunking (reduplication/recital) that occurs with infants during their babbling stage of vocal maturation. With this said, it would be of interest to know how many gifted, talented, above-average and even geniuses use a "three" formalization of one kind or another, such as for example, Einstein's three-part energy to mass equivalency formula: E = M (times) C2. If a "three formalization method" is recurringly used, whether or not the person is aware of such, this may then require us to include this realization in our "giftedness" definition.

Einstein_tongue[1] (5K) Why do we honestly attribute the word (and our own personal, largely undefined definition of) genius to Albert Einstein? Though the accompanying animated image of Einstein is a cartoonish portrayal of Einstein sticking his tongue out, he actually did stick his tongue out! (On Einstein's 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951, UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead. Wikipedia article: Albert Einstein in popular culture.)

Einstein_tongue[2] (13K)

How can a genius, exhibit "normal person" qualities (gasp!) and also exhibit unnormal qualities such as Einstein going without socks (because they always got holes and were a pain) and, according to some urban legend accounts, wear the same sort of clothes all the time? (He actually did wear different clothes. The idea about wearing the same clothes, such as the same suit, may have in fact come from a re-made version of the science fiction movie "The Fly", starring Jeff Goldblum.) Why can't all of us be Einsteins if we exhibit these traits (such as a dishevelled look... particularly his hair)? Alas, when I stick my tongue out, go without socks and wear the same clothes all the time, all I get is strange looks from others. Someone even once commented that there was a strange odor by asking what a particular smell was when standing nearby. Of all the impertinence to my caricature of wanting to be like my hero Einstein! I wanted to tell him that a fox smells his own hole, but I was polite and didn't say anything, even if my mind was churning out a few comments. If it weren't for his imagination directed in the blossoming field of physics during his life time, Einstein might never have become known world-wide, and instead died as just another eccentric or kook. Hence, for the first time during this article, let me me mention the idea of aligned or applied creative energy as a determining factor in current definitions of talent, giftedness, or genius.

Einstein_blackboard (42K)

Although Einstein was not known amongst his peers as a gifted mathematician, (even though many "common" people think he was, an idea no doubt spawned by staged pictures of him standing near a blackboard with math equations): Einstein at a blackboard in 1934. Why, generally speaking, do we define any "above average" mathematical ability as some indication of proficiency, talent, or giftedness? Or we assign additional levels of "higher than normal" mathematical competence (or aptitude) to our claim of giftedness such as inter-changing the word giftedness with the word "talent" so as to reserve the word "gifted" for some other vaguely defined superior-to-normal activity? In other words, when a single word as giftedness seems inadequate, we invent additional "levels" of higher and lower talent, giftedness and genius. Yet, like the terms small, medium and large, we don't alter them just as we are reticent about changing the definitions we use for talent, giftedness and genius? We are acting like primitives who, in their own language equivalent way have a word to describe the quantity of one, and the quantity of two, but after-which we reach a cognitive limit and use the word genius as if it were the word large. Thereafter, instead of developing a more profound definition to exceed this (and thus, process of categorization), we say X-large, XX-large, and XXX-large.

What I am describing is a mentality that appears not to be evolving. Our definitions of talent, giftedness and genius may rightly be defined as representations of a primitive person's cognitive limits having been reached. And as such, those who have a talent, a gift, a genius beyond this limitation, are not being adequately addresses with current policies because the policies don't incorporate a realization of the existence thereof. The present scale in our definitions are ripe with "arbitrariality" in that the definitions may change according to our mood and the context. As most of us realize, in attempts to develop a "truer" scale than that used in the past, we of the present frequently encounter and use worded labels aligned with numbers, as the following table displays:

IQ Score Category of Giftedness
Mildly Gifted 115 to 129
Moderately Gifted 130 to 144
Highly Gifted 145 to 159
Exceptionally Gifted 160 to 179
Profoundly Gifted 180 & Beyond

Highest IQ ever recorded

And for those interested, here is another link for some additional examples: Wikipedia: IQ reference charts

The above listings are based on tests that measure a given array of mental ability. The questions on the tests are developed by those who think such questions will give some indication of "THE" intelligence or mental state of intelligence which all humans collectively share. Whereby if you have an extra-terrestrial form of intelligence or a type of intelligence which is a "next generation" in hominid development, the test or series of tests may not reveal your true intelligence. Likewise if the next step in human/hominid development produces "scatter brain" (intermittent) representations of itself and contains an inherent defensive mechanism which conceals itself because present intelligence tests are perceived to be a threat, so it must "play dead" or camouflage itself with one or more techniques in the presence of a presumed predator. Even though the presumption may be incorrect, the developing presence of a new mentality perceives the tests just as a hypervigilant fledgling. Hence, that which many call "test anxiety" may occur as a similar type of protective mechanism, whether or not the situation warrants such a reflexive reaction. In short, the performance requirements and measurement of present I.Q. tests are like the rules and results of a Rubik's Cube puzzle. The difference being in the interpretation of what the tests represent and how the results are applied.

The reader may well have a "superior brain" when compared to every person on the planet. But so what? For that matter, what's so great about having a "high" I.Q. if all the intelligence is used to discuss one or more simplistic topics akin to "informally formalized" gossip? So what if we have a nation of college educated Legislators. What good have they done the rest of us so called public idiots when they spend a great deal of time squabbling like teenagers at a free- for-all wrestling match while humanity is teetering on the precipice of a boggy quicksand? What good is it for us to have one or more Mensa communities which posture varying high I.Q. scores amongst its memberships if all they do is play varying mental games commensurate with tiddly-winks? What's the big deal about getting your name in the Guiness Book of World records for your I.Q. level if you expend your mental energy on little more than solving stupid syllogistic puzzles and answer logistically-fashioned puerile questions posed by readers who want to be counted amongst some believed-in mental elitism?

Why aren't all these so-called great intellectuals solving our energy and other social problems? Why haven't they solved poverty? Why haven't they collectively engaged in some positive effort to improve all our lives instead of reacting defensively to such a question by dodging it with a sparring attitude shielded with negative rebuttals? Why do they persist in using their high I.Q.s in an old styled fisticuffs manner when the philosophies and abilities of martial arts experts are more advantageous; and yet may further be unable to recognize this as a gradeschool level metaphor? In other words, what good is it for humanity to have so many intelligent people when we perpetuate the same self-defeating social circumstances generation after generation? We don't need intellectualized excuses or deflections, we need you to own up to the fact that the present state of I.Q. testing and measurement are at a primitive stage of development and application; and if it is improved, you could possibly be viewed as a village idiot.

It doesn't matter if you take socially sanctioned tests to measure some presumed mental state of superiority... and by doing well you support the usage thereof but by not doing well you might harbor antagonisms towards. Nor does it matter if this High I.Q. mental state is further defined as talent, giftedness or even genius. Such labels are like the many names we give to different plants and animals as well as useless titles provided to in political, business and religious positions. Has all this "brain power" solved the problems of school dropouts, famine, death, murder, suicide, rape, child molestation, drug or alcohol abuse? How about war and related military conflicts? What about air pollution? Or how about incest, adultery or space travel? Why not? Because, if I may answer my own question, your High I.Q. intellectual energy is not focused nor applied in tackling such concerns. Hence, we come to yet another consideration in the question of what is meant by giftedness. Whereas we recognize the distinctions in mathematics, we have not as yet openly imparted this acknowledgment to the question of talent, giftedness or genius. Put more simply, there are applied, partially applied, and non-applied ("philosophical" variations.) Some readers might even conjecture a model consisting of non-rational, rational, and supra (or super)-rational. However, again we are confronted by a three-part arrangement.

Nonetheless, so what if all your neighbors, friends, family and the society at large recognizes you for having a high I.Q... So now what? Do you spend the rest of your life wearing this "High I.Q." distinction like so many idiots exhibiting useless tatoos but defend the circumstance with some irrelevant "artistic license" or "style" comment of one kind or another? Is your talent, giftedness or genius little more than a prevailing style or fashion for a given time and place? Are I.Q. tests? How about our definition of talent, giftedness or genius? Is the genius of one era but the bumbling fool of another? And the distinction of a "genius" which transcends time and place is not actually describing true genius, but that human civilization is in a repetitive rut? Should we all worship the ground you walk on or give you some sort of public deference not unlike everyone else wants to be subscribed to in one way or another?

Should someone write your biography in order to tell future generations that you had a high I.Q... but did absolutely nothing with it other than to live your life as if you didn't have a high I.Q.? Then again, should we expect you to do something that we might think is worthy of someone with a high I.Q.? And why shouldn't we expect something from you if you expect something from us? If you want recognition and a periodic social deference from us for having a high I.Q., than we want something from you to show that you were/are worthy of such a recognition and deference; and not just your presence of strutting around the barnyard in your personal fashion. We don't want you to be part of the list of social notables like a class clown, town drunk, neighborhood witch, town miser, county whore, and various other recurring human settlement soap-opera personalities. Surely all of you with a "superior intelligence" can collectively decide on tackling a specific social issue to solve it. Common I.Q. people don't want to hear that High I.Q. people are as intellectually impotent as they are in solving social problems. What good is your talent, giftedness or genius if it isn't good for anything beyond the commonness of everyday life? Is it little more than a ring worn on a finger, flower placed in one's hair, or altering one's voice to display and accent?

Leonardo_da_Vinci (46K)

Why has "history" ("his", and not "her" story) variously defined Leonardo Da Vinci as an gifted artist, scientist-ahead-of-his-time, and even a multi-faceted genius frequently described as a "True" Renaissance man? Is it because he persisted in behaviors that came to be defined as creative and was rewarded with a life-sustaining patronage from wealthy people who were neurotically greedy and treated workers as slaves? Did Leonardo actually only exhibit eccentric behaviors early in his life that were an indication of underlying creative energy which were eventually "trained" (by social and environmental pressures of his era) into portraying expressions for which others paid (thus forcing) him to acquire more skill (surely a failure to do so may have produced a more life-threatening circumstance than we of today might imagine)? Then again, what good is any of the items which he produced? What is the value? Is is because there is a socially assigned value (given by those not exhibiting any readily identifiable talent), the claimed-to-be-talented person is granted the time and encouragement (as well as survival necessities such as food, shelter, medicine, etc.,) to further develop behavioral activity which may or may not produce something that is socially practical and not just esthetically pleasing in a given context? Can we of the present "intentionally" create an Einstein or Leonardo, or any type of "genius" through an "intentional" social program, or are such geniuses characteristic of what might be termed mutations?... Mutations of biology, society, etc...? unless you are one who prefers to define such people as being "heaven sent" with God ordained gifts.

Monoleo (12K)

While historians have described Leonardo As a Renaissance man; whereby he exhibited an array of abilities variously described as talent, giftedness and/or genius would he be little more that a Jack (or Jill) of all trades if he were born into the present time? Do we of the present have many Renaissance individuals who go unrecognized for individualized day-to-day accomplishments that are hidden in acts of practicality because they must be their own supportive patron who provides a means of sustenance? Are there many more Renaissance people living today because so many have their potentialities encouraged in the very many facets of education that one can learn by, both formally and the "road or school of hard knocks"?

And yet, those working in the "field" of talent, giftedness and genius use Leonardo as an example of not only uniqueness, but possibility that may ensue if a particular talent, giftedness, and genius program are supported. Was Leonardo actually as unique as some historians have made him out to be, and that others recite as being an inviolable truth whereby Leonardo becomes some sort of to-be-desired symbol and role model of supreme talent, giftedness or genius that children should aspire to in their own way with their own potentialities? How much do we really know about Leonardo? Was he a liar or a plagiarist? Did he steal ideas from others, including perhaps underlings who worked under him on different projects? Was the Monolisa portrait of an actual person or was it a feminine image of himself in a mood of cross-dressing? The image to the right displays the suggestion by some that Leonardo captured his own image in that know as the Monolisa. Hence, the portrait, if the idea is correct, would be better identified as the "Monoleo" (Mono- lisa + Leo- nardo), though some other (third) variation of the two names is possible.

Can talent, giftedness, or even genius be socially manufactured? And I am not talking about those who are claimed to be talented, or gifted, or a genius simply because they are presented as such by the politics of commercialization. For example, the manufacturing of assumed talent that occurs in acting when family members of an actor or actress are provided advantages towards wannabe (want to be) "stardom" that other actors and actresses are not given and may never receive due to a variety of social barriers. And I am not talking about the "manufacturing" of defined-as-such talent, giftedness or genius due to efforts at political correctness as in the claims of prejudice, bigotry, racism, genderism, and other types of cultural whinings, whether or not such claims are justified. In many instances, circumstances of exclusion (or support) based on a variety of socially identifiable segregations, however defined, are frequently responded in kind with diametrically opposed varieties (that proponents claim to be different), which result in the same sorts of exclusionary "principles" of selectivity. Acts and activities of segregation are wide-spread throughout the world. Claims of giftedness, talent, genius, and even "normalcy" are forms of segregation, regardless of how Communistically, Socialistically, or Democratically we attempt to be otherwise since such political perspectives are contoured by the dictates of a few who impose their will upon others.

To the foregoing we must wonder if the prevailing dominant social Will of today would permit Leonardo, or Einstein, or Mozart, etc., to become who we socially claim them to be if they were born today? Or do they, as do the rest of us, simply have a given "giftedness potential" amiable to/for a particular era, thus presenting us with yet another criteria for our 'developing a definition of what is meant by giftedness'? Do all of us harbor a latent "giftedness", talent or genius potential that does not emerge because we are in the wrong environment or time period? Are many of us harboring a "potential" of giftedness, talent, or genius expressionability that will never become realized because we live in the wrong time and or the wrong place? (And this is why some people intentionally, or without consciously acknowledging, relocate or alter their lives in order to attempt to fulfill an assumed destiny?)

And along with a "giftedness" definition are we also going to alter how we socially respond to those whom we consider to be talented, gifted, or even genius... such as endowing them with a type and level of respect or homage akin to giving someone the keys to the city? For example, if I am living and writing in a mansion amongst many acres of a plush garden as opposed to living in a motor home (or pickup truck, car or van) on a parking lot or in a cardboard box beneath a viaduct, will our definition include how we treat the individual? Or would we think that the conditions under which the person is living are "needed" in order to make them most productive, thus setting into place a socially sanctioned attitude of either ignoring desperate conditions or making such conditions more desperate by way of thinking we can make them more creative? In other words, will our definition suggest we should increase or decrease the conditions under which the person lives because it is better for society? Or will we simply ignore the circumstances under which they live, even if we could assist them (financially or socially... what ever the case may be), because, for whatever reason, we feel we might interfere with the "creative process"?

Where in the world do we get the notions of giftedness (and how greater giftedness can be fostered) that we harbor, as some sort of universally acceptable truth standard? Is any definition of giftedness little more than the old adage about "one person's treasure is another person's junk"? For example, a poor person may consider a necklace of fake pearls to be a valuable accessory, while a rich person interpret the same set of pearls as a laughable piece of junk. Thus, is the meaning of giftedness merely context related (person, place/time, thing)? Is that which many are calling art little more than the expressions of celebrated mediocrity? For example, I once sat in a elementary school auditorium at the end of a school year at the request of three students who were "graduating" to their next grade. During the ceremony, some of the students were receiving certificates due to activities that teachers felt were accomplishments such as no tardiness, 100% school attendance, and homework assignment completion. Several of the students from Mexican, and Pacific Islander families received flowers, or balloons, or loud outbursts of applauds (one even received a "you are my sunshine" song), upon receiving either and/or the certificate of some personal accomplishment or the diploma. In the eyes of family members, and perhaps even the student, there was a uniqueness about them. Yet others may claim this is little more than rewarding mediocrity... and setting the individual up for expecting the same treatment to be extolled upon them throughout their life, with either positive or negative consequences to ensue. (I am even aware of one first grade student who received $100.00 for every "A" they made. It would be interesting to know what the child received for "A's" in later grades, or whether they became belligerent to a reward process that may not have increased... or may have even decreased due to economic changes.)

The American Public Education system is geared for College preparation and thus trains many educators to recognize only those gifted in areas which are college directed. It goes without saying that thousands upon thousands of students do not attend college or drop out shortly after entering, for a variety of reasons. But even if we were to set aside financial or medical reasons, many leave college because "who they are" in terms of giftedness (or talent, or uniqueness, or specialness, etc.,), can not be adequately addressed (fostered), by the current "academic standards machinery". This may at times even be more problematic if a child's "underlying creative behaviors" are screaming for some measure of expression and can only find an outlet by dropping out of school so they can begin a make-shift exploration of "who they are... in a creative sense", because neither the public school system nor society at large is channeled along such a nurturance. The child may then be interpreted as having a problem because they won't comply with the normal (mediocre) routine. The child may even be forced into violent, or destructive or even criminal behavior as a means of attempting some escape. This may then be responded to with "academically appropriate" counseling that may further perscribe additional "logical" treatment such as seeing a medical professional who is "an expert in these cases", who prescribes medication to bring the student into a "manageable" state to make them (at least appear to be) normal.

But problems in education, both on the pre and post University levels is not new. Yet how we address the problems needs to be. Although the following article identifies and focuses on a European context, it can be applied to America as well:

The Universities of Europe in New Era
Dimitris Michalopoulos

Dimitris Michalopoulos is the Director of the Historical Institute for Studies on Eleutherios Veniselos and his Era. From 1982 to 1994 he was lecturer and then assistant professor in diplomatic history and Greek foreign policy at the University of Salonika. From 1990 to 2000 he was the director of the Museum of the City of Athens.


The 1968 student crisis in France was the symptom of a rampant moral and intellectual disease; for the European universities were no longer adapted to meet the necessities of the societies that had invented them. In point of fact, the etymon of the term “university” is the mediaeval Latin word universitas, i.e. the erroneous translation of the Greek term encyclopaedia; and encyclopaedia means a general, advanced education capable of giving rise to the homo universalis. These homines universales were regarded as the natural leaders of traditional, hierarchically organized societies as were those before the French Enlightenment. Therefore, the very issue which the 1968 crisis raised was the one tackled as early as the 19th century mainly in France and Russia: Does a modern European society need universities or highly specialized schools? The time now seems ripe to opt for the second solution.

Keywords: Universities – 1968 uprising – hierarchical societies – Greek Church - Sublime Porte- Walachia and Moldavia


Above the main entrance of a famous university, in Spain, there is an eloquent Greek inscription which reads as follows: “The Kings to the Encyclopaedia. The Encyclopaedia to the Kings”. The sovereigns in question are Ferdinand and Isabel, i.e. the famous “Catholic Kings”. So, the very term “encyclopaedia” might be considered to be an enigma; but it is not, because this word was the one initially used for to-day’s expression “university”.

As a matter of fact, the term “university”, which derives from the Latin universitas, is no more than an unsuccessful translation of the Greek term “encyclopaedia”; for “encyclopaedia” has – but from a merely intellectual point of view - the same meaning as universitas. The latter expresses generally the idea of a “whole”, whereas the former expresses a “whole” but a specified one; in other words a complete education. The distortion of the term encyclopaedia’s meaning during the Age of Enlightenment (and mainly through the French language) must not thereby allow its essential significance to fall into oblivion.

In brief, encyclopaedia/university means the place where a human being is able to acquire a complete education in order to have an adamantine character and succeed in becoming a homo universalis. Nonetheless, the question that emerges after this clarification is: Why so? The answer is simple: so as to equip one to become a top civil servant or a well-paid lawyer. This is at least my summing-up of the study of the history of the (so – to – speak) ‘early universities’, both ancient and mediaeval.

It was the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180 AD) who established the first university of Europe in Athens. His idea was clear-cut: philosophy could provide the means of governing human beings. So, he created a university consisting of two “Schools”, i.e. a Philosophic and a Sophistic one. In the former the four main streams of ancient thinking were taught; namely, the Platonism, the Aristotelianism, the Stoicism and the Epicurianism. Students of both Schools, however, were provided with elements of History, Mathematics and Medicine. The professors received a regular (and high) salary from the emperor’s treasury[1]; nonetheless, the students had to pay fees for their tuition; and after having covered the curriculum, they could apply for high–ranking posts within the government apparatus.

As a result, Athens became the intellectual and, in some respects, the spiritual centre of the empire; while Rome was and, of course, remained the administrative one. In other words, it was quite natural for the emperor Decius to make as early as the mid-third century the famous statement: “I would prefer to have in Rome another emperor rather than the Pope”[2]; for the Christian Church was so rich and influential in the Eternal City as to covet already the imperial power. Nonetheless, the situation was quite different in Athens. Because of the university’s existence, the Christian religion could never achieve real progress in Attica and, generally speaking, the whole of Greece. Greek philosophers and sophists, in fact, persisted in professing paganism as late as the 6th century; thus the emperor Justinian I the Great (527–565) was compelled to impose Christianity on Athens through an edict: he simply stopped the pay of the university professors; therefore the university was closed down, and the ‘academics’ emigrated. The significance of this story is not at all an ‘occult’ one: the university is the stronghold of the State ideology[3]; and if the State succumbs, so does the university. Christians, in fact, were not allowed to teach in the university of the pagan Roman empire; as a corollary, Athens university would be abolished once the imperial authority converted to Christianity. Another university must educate the higher civil servants of the renovated empire; and as a matter of fact, one had already been established during the first half of the 5th century.


The role of the universities as the means of elaboration and the propagation of an official ideology were emphasized in the Middle-Ages, the era of their proliferation throughout Central and Western Europe. In a continent where the nation was by no means recognized as an essential ‘form’ of the State and at a time when the Roman Pope was regarded as the ‘supreme’ sovereign, it sounds logical enough that the universities under the aegis of the spiritual authority should elaborate church doctrine and produce ecclesiastics[4]. As a matter of fact, the universities were, initially, nothing more than clerical brotherhoods[5]. Nonetheless, it was then that the real problem of academic life emerged: Are research and reasoning compatible with the universities’ function as means of elaboration and propagation of a given ideology? If they are, how can authority 'oust’ subversive ideas or findings? And if they are not, how can society rid itself of this strange contradiction?

In point of fact, this is the key not merely to the academic life but to intellectual one as a whole; and, strangely enough, this tricky issue was handled better in the Middle- Ages that it has been in our time. The new ideas and concepts were then sorted out and, if proved powerful enough, incorporated in the ideological mainstream. The harmonization of Aristotelian thought with the Christian notion of the world achieved by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a masterly – and risky – intellectual pirouette[6]. Nonetheless, several centuries later in several parts of Europe an obvious gap had opened up between State ideology and academic thought; the universities lost therefore their efficiency and the very problem they constitute fully emerged. The first signs of this gap were seen in Germany and Austria after the fall of Napoleon and the collapse of the French Empire. The student bodies wanted a national Germanic kingdom, i.e. a united Germany, but this aim was in stark contrast to the interests of the dynasties ruling the then large number of German states. The patent antithesis brought about assassinations, oppressive measures, establishment of police régimes and so on and so forth. Nonetheless the problem was now perfectly clear. If the universities’ “task is to supply the country with civil servants, administrators and technologists”[7], what calibre of “civil servants” and “administrators” would the German universities supply to the dynastic states of which Germany was then made up?

The root of the 1968 uprising in Paris is to be found in this very problem: Where are the limits between so-called ‘academic liberty’ and State needs? For the universities must be “more or less closely correlated to national needs”[8]. Nonetheless, given that this criterion is somewhat vague, the problem may be couched in another way: Where are the limits of knowledge to be found? And moreover who is empowered to fix such limits?

Strangely enough, an answer to this crucial dilemma is provided by Ottoman History. As a matter of fact, in the late 16th and the early 17th centuries, the university of Padua in Italy was very popular among the influential strata of Greek society; and given that this city was then included in the territory of the “Most Serene Republic of Venice”, Orthodox Christians from the Venetian dominions either in the Archipelago or the Ionian Sea wished to study there – and eventually they did. One among them was Cyril Lucar, from Candia, the future patriarch of Constantinople; another was a certain Theophilus Corydalleus, an obscure clergyman but a notorious philosopher. Nonetheless, the ideological mainstream in Padua at that time was Neo-Aristotelianism, as professed by Cesare Cremonini, a materialist theoretician. So, when the “Patriarchal Academy”, i.e. a quasi-university, was established in the Ottoman capital, Corydalleus was put at its head; as a result, thanks to the approbation of the Greek–Orthodox Church, materialism began to spread throughout the Balkan peninsula[9].

To study how and why materialism could be taught by a Christian Church would be beyond the scope of this paper. The point is, however, that materialism was transplanted from the capital to the Danubian Principalities, Walachia and Moldavia, thanks to the Phanariots on whom – from the second decade of the 18th century – the administration of these lands was bestowed by the Sublime Porte. In other words, because of the curricula of the Academies that, on the model of the Patriarchal one, were established in the Danubian Principalities, materialism became the official ideology of an important part of the South – East of Europe[10]. Of course this was all but contrary to any concept of ‘national interest’ or ‘national will’. And as could easily be foreseen, this had a fatal impact on the evolution of the Romanian people.

The case of the Patriarchal Academy illustrates the very problem of the universities in the Modern Era, namely: What is the raison d’être for young people to receive higher education? In order to become top clerks in an ecclesiastical or state apparatus? And what if they profess an ideology contrary to that of the apparatus they are supposed to serve? In Greece, for instance, during the 1920’s and the 1930’s, the university of Athens was the main cradle of Marxism, whereas the Republic and (from 1935 on) the Kingdom were based on idealistic conceptions of social and national life[11]. This is why the French and the Russian experience can provide solutions to this problem valid even to-day.

In France, under the Third and the Fifth Republics it was decided that specialized civil servants would be educated –and trained- in the so-called Grandes Écoles: numerus clausus and therefore competition and an austere way of life guaranteed that people with a degree from those Schools would be highly qualified civil servants – and, needless to say, faithful to the government they were going to serve. The universities, on the other hand, were practically open to everybody; nonetheless it was doubtful whether young people with a ‘typical’ university degree would be able to find a job in the civil service; moreover, if they were able to find one, it remained doubtful whether they could hold it down till the end of their active life. The 1968 riots in Paris brought out this fact, and the very strict examination system was abolished; therefore the gates of unemployment swung open for the youth of the country. In the imperial Russia moreover years of discussions took place on what system of higher education should be established. The monarchists proposed ‘Institutes’, approximately close up to the French Grandes Écoles but with an even stricter system of education and way of life. The liberals, on the other hand, wished universities run more or less along the lines of the Western ones. The latter prevailed; and as could easily be foreseen, a large number of students turned into enemies of the monarchy until finally they proved able to undermine it.


May the following serve as a conclusion to this brief historical analysis: The university is a mediaeval institution; and its roots can be traced back to Antiquity, during which the Middle-Ages were being forged. Therefore is doubtful whether the university, as an educational institution of primary importance, is able to serve the needs of the New Era. Why? First of all, because its function presupposes not only a vast imperial, oecumenical statehood but also a full conformity between the burgeoning student and scholar growing up on campus and government needs. If there is a gap between the very ideology on which statehood is based – and the ideas professed in the university – the result is social conflict and eventually the partial or total collapse of a country: De Gaulle’s fall in 1969 and the 1975 American army’s defeat in Vietnam might well be considered to be two typical cases. In other words, the university exists for the nation or, more conclusively, the Faith; and by no means do the country and religion exist for the university.

In the views of many, we are all fuelling the nations’ eclipse; nonetheless the global state that is supposed to be created will not be (if such an experiment proves successful) a unified one. Unification presupposes a common language, and a common faith, and eventually a common way of life. To-day it is doubtful whether the majority of universities meet the virtual needs of society; in other words, they practically constitute a world apart. Thanks to the grants given them by governments, in most cases they live in ‘brilliant isolation’, the result of which is arrogance, absurdity, and sometimes madness... and last but not least, they feed unemployment – the Damoclean sword of our Western world. With the exception of a few universities in Russia and America, it is very difficult to assert that research is going on as it was thirty years ago. In short, the universities, as far as the Western World is concerned, lead society no more. On the contrary, they prove to be demoralizing, debilitating factors; therefore it is time once more to recall that the function of universities is to serve the society.

What should be done? I think the following:
  1. First of all, the abolition of the notorious ‘academic asylum’. In point of fact, such was fully established in the 19th century, mainly in the German universities, in order to provide protection for students and teachers struggling for a national identity. To-day, the universities are, in the main majority, openly hostile not merely to nationalism but to nationhood as a whole. Therefore, the prohibition placed on the police from entering campuses, is in our time, nothing more than a pretext to make the trafficking in drugs easier and put an official stamp on the implementation of absurdities.
  2. Instead of so-called ‘academic freedom’, a stricter connection should be established between the higher educational system and the national government. And from this point of view the –usual- confusion between government and administration must be avoided. European or, generally speaking, supra-national directives must be channeled through national governments and by no means directly to universities.
  3. The proliferation of institutes providing a highly specialized education is recommended. In fact, to-day the mediaeval, hierarchical society exists only in the United Kingdom; that is why the universities of Oxford and Cambridge prosper even now. Throughout the rest of Europe any kind of hierarchical society has disappeared; as a result, keeping higher education in the same tracks as six centuries ago simply does not make sense. As far as we can see, society in our time needs highly specialized people with a good humanistic education as well. We need people who not only can do things, i.e. act, but who are able to have an overview of the society they live in.

These are the first measures to be taken in order to achieve the synchronization of higher education with social life. Nonetheless, this is a debate about to open now; and a lot of ideas must be mulled and discussed before proceeding to a virtual reformation.

[1] One, engaged in the Sophistic School, from the City of Athens.
[2] Ernest Renan, Marc Aurèle et la fin du monde antique (Paris: Calmann–Lévy [191216 ]), p. 520.
[3] See among others: V. H. H. Green., The Universities (Penguin Books, 1969), p.16.
[4] “The medieval university existed to train churchmen, canonists, monks and friars, schoolmen and schoolmasters” (ibidem).
[5] Ibidem.
[6] Muammer Iskenderoglu, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and Thomas Aquinas on the question of the eternity of the world (Leiden-Boston-Köln: Brill, 2002), p. 125 ff. passim.
[7]V. H. H. Green., The Universities, op. cit., p. 16.
[8] Ibidem.
[9] See mainly Clé obule Tsourkas, Les dé buts de l’enseignement philosophique et de la libre pensée dans les Balkans. La vie et l’oeuvre de Thé ophile Corydalé e (1570 – 1646), Salonika: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1967, pp.17, 23, 95.
[10] Ibidem, pp. 24, 195.
[11] Albeit that the ministry of Public Instruction had also the charge of all religious matters. As a fact, even during the ‘dark days’ of the Greek Revolution (1821-1829) and the subsequent financial difficulties which were the direct consequence, the cause of public instruction was never forsaken nor yet even partially neglected in Greece. From the 1830’s up to the early 1980’s the Greek system of education was the same as the German in organization; afterwards it was more or less ‘Americanized’. It is noteworthy moreover that most of the professors of the university of Athens had taken their degrees or had completed their studies abroad - that is to say in either Great Britain, Germany, France, or the U.S.A.
Caucasian Review of International Affairs: The Universities of Europe in New Era
From Vol. 1 (1)
Dimitris Michalopoulos

Suffice it to say that problems in education are not confined to America. Not only are some systems of education quite old, but so are the definitions used in describing various aspects thereof. Likewise, our notions of creativity, giftedness, talent and genius. These too need a reformation beyond the limits imposed by politics, religion and commercialization. We truly need an elightened definition and socially sponsored approach to what is generally cited as "giftedness", talent, creativity, and even genius. But we need one that has a firm grasp (takes account) of the circumstances of the global human education system. Whereas we might well acknowledge cultural differences in what is described as giftedness, talent, creativity and genius, surely there are fundamentals to be agreed upon. Infants throughout the world are born "speaking" (uttering/expressing) the same 'language' called babbling, even though their speech "energy" is later contoured to exhibit the dominant social themes of the era to which they are born. (For example, Indo-Europeans appear to have a fundamental proclivity to put concepts into some pattern-of-three formula.)

So when we talk about addressing the question for developing a definition of what is or is not giftedness, let's include the whole gamut of giftedness which will help us to also address the misusage and abuse of people by the very institutions that are supposed to assist individuals in developing "socially viable talents", which is an expression that will likewise require a definition of flexibility; if in our definition we include an acknowledgment of era-specific applicability. But we also need to address how these same institutions and/or larger public are sometimes misused and abused by the government, businesses and religions. Indeed, the definition of giftedness has far reaching social ramifications, which might well have been used as a specific theme in the Gulliver's Travels story.

For example:

  • Do we claim that a criminal who is able to evade capture by law enforcement is less talented than an actor or actress who is arresting social attention by committing misdemeanor criminal acts or getting placed into a drug rehab center for an alleged mis-usage of drugs... when they are merely polishing up their acting skills because they have no foreseeable acting contract and need to do something to get publically noticed by movie or sitcom producers? In both cases we may want to include additional information such as who is the criminal and what is their crime, and who is the actor/actress, and what sort of movie or sitcom they generally do. In other words, our judgment will be based on other criteria... namely, our biases.

  • Are the multiple killings of innocents by a soldier during a Congressionally declared war the expressed talent of someone who is different from another who kills the innocent in a personally declared war, regardless if in either case the "war" is socially or morally justifiable?

  • If we had a means of transporting ourselves (or perhaps some machine or disease) back in time to the moment when a Leonardo, Mozart or Einstein was born, and killed them, would someone else eventually express the same or a similar type of creativity, talent or genius? Is there a human inevitability for such people as these... to be born and "prosper" with their given qualities?

Overall, in terms of the larger human progress, none of the individual players in the above examples may be significantly important. Their activities may nonetheless be eventual outcomes which arise in different people at different times. Thus stated, do we then consider the possibility that a person such as Hitler was inevitable? Can the same be said for the "individual talents" of diseases or weather events or cosmological/geological phenomena? If there is an inherent statistical probability to such things, can we encourage the favorable or discourage the unfavorable expressions of particular talents not only in the human sphere, but other non-human or non-biological spheres as well? (History is not only typically written by the victor, but other "firsts" are sometimes claimed by dominant government, business, and religious officials.)

Getting back to developing a definition of what is meant by giftedness, who is to establish the definition? While some might readily say the experts in giftedness research and development, if not those who are socially recognized as being gifted themselves, my personal experience with so called "experts" is that this usually means professional guestimation, as is described by the following short article:

Physician Humble Thyself

Just because a person takes the Hippocratic oath and don's a white jacket doesn't mean they are automatically endowed with a god-like superior capacity of intuition, empathy, and a bedside manner that is provocatively astute when it comes to an appropriate level of being able to accurately appreciate every single person in every single instance. Like-minded medical colleagues are not only capable of making the same correct diagnosis, but the identical incorrect assumptions as well. A medical practice is exactly what it says it is. A practice that involves the very many foibles of the human condition that medical professionals themselves are not immune from even though they work in sanitized conditions, wash their hands frequently, and wear plastic gloves. Nor should we forget that an expert opinion is sometimes referred to as educated guesstimation. No one should have to compromise their integrity by having to agree with the pronouncements of a physician when personal experience says otherwise.

Yet, this says nothing about those so-called experts who outright lie or "stretch the truth" to advantage one or disadvantage another. In other words, experts can have ulterior motives which, very frequently assist in the viability of themselves or assist in establishing the viability of another. Whereby, definitions can thus be used to perpetuate or establish the potential perpetuation of a given status quo that leads to an aristocracy, such as that which is playing out in American politics, business, and religion. Hence, our desire for establishing a working definition of giftedness for the purpose of enhancing humanity must be more expansive than the present considerations being promoted. This requires the establishment of a whole new perspective related to our current traditionalized model of giftedness definition. If we honestly want to exercise a cumulative social effort at developing a more meaningful definition; than those we have come to traditionally recognize as being talented, gifted and in some cases genius, need to be defined as mediocre individuals and the rest of us interpreted as common idiots. We will then begin to actually develop programs which will produce individuals that are far more talented, gifted and genius than anything we have yet experienced in our collective human history. (Hopefully such individuals will not band together to think of themselves as gods to whom the rest of us must pay servile homage to. We already have enough of this nonsense in politics, business and religion, by those who deserve little more than a swift kick in the pants for their egocentricty.)

By developing a definition that takes the traditional views off its undeserved pedestal (perspectives of giftedness, regardless of label used in any given era), like a king that has used the resources of society to favor themselves and the positions of their like-minded ilk, a whole new culture, society, and civilization can emerge. Like a civilization many thousands of years old, our old standards for defining talent, giftedness, and genius will become the compost of a life form far exceeding the imagination and expectation of any thinker, whatever their preferred genre. It is difficult for some to imagine a world in which Leonardo, Mozart and Einstein are representations of commonness, if not class clowns. However, in characterizing these three as class clowns, it is not to be interpreted as a disparagment, but an encouragement for the rest of humanity to reach beyond itself and not to let the efforts of others be the laurels upon which the rest of use try to rest... that, instead of being guilty by association, we attempt to be guiltless of that to which some of us would rather not consider as the reality about ourselves.

This reality is that our definition of giftedness is more than likely to be based on the cultural hypocrisies of our era. While many of us can hope for what might be termed an "enlightened" definition, the odds favor it to be a reflection of the current political, business and religious moods. For example, America is said to have a Democracy that is based on the underlying tenet of an Of, By, For the people social self-governance model, when it actually practices a structure advocating governance by the wealthy, which is a Plutocracy. American Democracy is a lie. This is why there is no Referendum voting and an Electoral College ballot system is used to decide who is to hold the highest office in the land. Aside from this hypocrisy, its preeminent governing perspective revolves around the collection of taxes. Likewise, religions organize their "truth" perspectives which involve the collection of tithings. For businesses, their business models, or beliefs, or truths, are dedicated first and foremost towards collecting funds through the sale of one or more products. All other idealisms, however they may be presented, organized or labeled, are secondary and tertiary to the desire of survival. This then, is the case for any definition... be it for truth, beauty, sanity, honor, morality, justice, as well as giftedness.

If the adoption of a particular "giftedness" definition requires funding by one or more with particular views, it might well exhibit a "sensitivity" to be inclusive of such views. For example, the fund giver may have a family member whose behavior is frequently described as strange, but becomes described as some sort of "unusual giftedness" as a supportive gesture for the fund giving parent. It's the same sort of activity used in developing other well meaning social programs, particularly those financed by governments and religions, as well as businesses that want to be viewed as acceptable to these institutions. These then dictate to all of society what the appropriate (animate or inanimate) role model should reflect, even when all of them are based on the hypocrisy of biasness. While many will argue that Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, Leonardo Da Vinci, Madam Curie, Einstein, Edison, Columbus, Yin/Yang, Christianity, Judaism, the Koran and other such items are good role models; it is of necessity to note they are not great role models. Hence, neither is any concept of a supreme deity. Even our human concepts of the supreme or ultimate evil are flawed. Humanity can do better. But so much of humanity doesn't want to. It wants to preserve its present religious, political and business ideals so that those in the ruling positions can perpetuate themselves and their followers as the elite and thus subjugate all others to supporting their accustomed level of survival. They are like Abraham Lincoln who was obsessed in perpetuating his idea of "The Union" that he would do anything necessary to accomplish it. Be it with or without slavery. Whether right or wrong, he used the power of his presidential position to pursue his "Union" perspective.

There are some philosophers of today who see the word "Union" as a mental construct that is similar to the mental activity exhibited by such ideas as "Grand Unified Theory", or "Theory of Everything" being posited by physicists who, like everyone else, use various forms of logic and demonstration to rationalize the validity of their position, proposal or claim. Such activity is thought by a few as but another representation of humans being environmentally influenced and will continue to be... along a path of disintegration, so long as it is forced to live on a planet with an environment that is directed towards a demise. (The Earth is subject to the dictates of a solar energy source which is burning out.) But such considerations in terms of human concept formation are well beyond the scope of the present topic.

The present topic, as a reminder to those who easily get lost during processes of divergent thinking, is "What is Giftedness?" In Mr. Renzulli's paper we are presented with the categories of General and Specific Performance Areas. This is not to say there is not creativity in these areas, but it highlight's the fact that we are presently inclined to include any aspect of human endeavor as having the potential of being described as creative. This borders on classifying even mediocrity or death as having the potential of a creative expression. So where does this leave or lead us? If we decide that any endeavor (animate or inanimate) can have a potential creative expression, then does the approach towards permitting any expression need be little more than a generalization itself as a standard policy? Are we to have a type of free-for-all definition of what is meant by giftedness or do we settle on one or more standards based on the perspective of a few, or a vociferous mob claiming one or more prejudices? When we as a society can not collectively decide on how best to use all (human and non-human) resources to pursue some equally decided on collective goal (other than personal gratification, greed, or self-survival), what sort of giftedness definition can we have? It is almost ludicrous to expect an exalted giftedness defintion to surface, regardless of all the well-meaning and well-intentioned educators and researchers, when they live under the auspices of a social governance hypocrisy... not to mention the need by all of us to wade through the quamires of religious nonsense and con games of businesses. We are deluged with so many lying institutions that in order to survive, our creative energies must in large part be used as creative manuevers to find a niche within, alongside, or on the thriving outskirts of these bogs.

Then again, one person's lie is another person's truth. But the situation gets worse when the lie is perpetrated by a President such as George Bush claiming that another country's leader had weapons of mass destruction (for which there was never any proof) in order to pursue a personal vendetta, and have his lie supported by a Congress! And those that could see through the nonsense of his views, along with the obvious planted explosives in the Twin Towers destruction, such people were said to be those who were unpatriotic, or even mentally ill! How in the world can we expect an honest definition for giftedness, when we are not only expected to live in a culture where so much past and present history is presented as a lie, half-truth, or simply buried, we're expected to disregard what our conscious tells us about truth and not say a word for fear of social repercussions. Bush and his cohorts committed murder against so many people and should have been executed, but he's permitted to have Secret Service protection and receive a pension as well! It doesn't take any creativity to say that the king has no clothes on, but creative energy is required (and thus wasted) by having to re-channel our perspectives into expressions acceptable to and in-line with the given standards of absurdity under which we must live.

Deciding on a definition can be difficult, but is easier if you are developing the intial word to be defined. Analogously, if you can play the mathematics game better than others, you might well become recognized and then defined as being superior. But if there is no one else involved with mathematics, such a definition is needless. Then again, if you have a group of mathematics enthusiasts that are all equal in their "mathematical behavior", the group may decide upon devising some type of higher to lower stratification. If the group gets larger or more attention and acquires a following of interested persons, someone might eventually be viewed as being superior or gifted. Different professions as well as groups of "normal" people tend to devise some sort of hierarchy, whether or not the words, gifted, talented, creative or even genius are used. However, despite all of this, a workable definition of giftedness is needed.

In a exploration of devising a "gifted" definition, we clearly want to encourage and not discourage creativity. While scholars and academics may argue the merits of what is or is not an expression of creativity, we should start with simplistic approaches to such a definition for application in gradeschool, with more definitively directed definitions in later years. The purpose for such an approach is to ultimately channel creative energy into areas which are not only personally satisfying, but socially viable for a given time and place. Otherwise we will promote a student citizenry with skills for which no employer has a use for. However, to claim that every expression has merit as being creative, may produce young who think each and every thing they engage in is an act of creativity that needs to be socially applauded.

A question that needs to be asked about an "enlightened" definition of giftedness is whether it can additionally assist a society in decreasing (or eliminating!) its student dropouts. Whereas Germany has an education system which directs youth along a vocational and academic path, it is far from (a) perfect (holistically definable "giftedness" definition and training approach) since there remains a large dropout rate as can be seen by the following image. And for those suggesting there needs to be more of socially sponsored "artsy-craftsy" approach, they might well be taken aback when noting that the highest dropout rate is in the crafts sector. Though undoubtedly the "real world" vocational training in a crafts field is a far cry different from the crafts world of making paper mache maskes, finger painting turkeys and collage making, the larger drop-out rate in the crafts area calls for re-thinking what is meant as useful creative activity in elementary school grades. We might well be doing a disservce to thousands of youth by practicing what is touted as a common sense notion about an exploration of creative potential as approached first and foremost through activities centered around typical artsy-craftsy projects.

dropouts (71K)
Prevention of dropout in vocational training
Andreas Frey and Jean-Jacques Ruppert

America has adopted a sloppy "attempt to catch up" to the reality that most citizens are not college-bound. Despite its obvious merits and numerous "success" stories, Job Corps is the nation’s largest career technical training and education program for low-income young people ages 16 through 24. (A description taken from a Department of Labor page on the Job Corps program.) Unfortunately, it is an after-the-fact approach, like a police office who is called to intercede. As such, it must be asked whether a "comprehensive" education program with an expanded "gifted" definition can reach these youths in gradeschool so as not to become a statistic of Job Corps or any other similar "after-the-fact" program. Additionally, the country lacks a similar approach for those older than 24.

And speaking of an "after-the-fact" approach, is giftedness, creativity, talent or genius time-dependent? Are all or any of these descriptions similar to the acquistion of language, as noted by those who have found feral children and attempted to teach them speech? While a knee-jerk reaction might be to claim NO!, such a question needs to be fully addressed in our efforts at developing a definition of giftedness. For example, when we emphatically exclaim NO!, is our claim to be based on the observations of creative elderly? Yet, what about other elderly that don't exhibit what we might describe as an obvious talent, creativity, giftedness, or genius? Were they born without such a quality, without a potential for such, or simply born into a non-encouraging environment for the development thereof? If we want to be generous and say that everyone is creative, what then is or are the factors which "streamline" an individual along a path of what we call exceptional ability? What is it, if it is not genetics, that makes one person persist in developing their latent "talent" and yet another, in fact, most others, do not? Is it a matter of choice? Why do such people persist despite prolonged hardships? Are they merely stubborn idiots who don't know how to get out of the rain or go in out of the cold?

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland