Sunday, April 27, 2008


As I've been thinking of the stereotype that we have been talking about in class -- that mathematicians are kind of crazy -- i have developed a few insights that i think might be interesting to contemplate. It is not just mathematicians seen as crazy, it is geniuses in general. Though I'm sure not all geniuses have been seen as crazy, a good portion of them are. Geniuses are almost always paired w/ eccentricities or mental defects of some sort that accompany their extremely high level thinking.
Mathematics is seen as a complicated subject of study, especially the higher levels, and so for this reason many mathematicians are seen as geniuses and thus the stereotype of eccentric and abnormal mental behavior is associated with them.
And it is strange how many geniuses of all kinds live up to this stereotype. Music geniuses, art geniuses, math geniuses, science geniuses -- all of these different groups of geniuses have their share of "crazies". Sure, their are many geniuses that do not live up to the stereotype, and there are many crazy people that do not live up to the genius status so it is strange that all geniuses are seen as crazy but not all crazy people are seen as geniuses. And it is almost as if the great contributions that come from the crazy geniuses almost come from their craziness. I wonder why"?


kdl63 said...

I totally agree. It might be because they are able to see the world and different concepts in a different way from us non-geniuses and this causes a rift in communication between us.

jmartinez said...

I agree with both of you. Although I think these geniuses are only so because they're so engaged in their profession, whether it be art, music, or math, etc. I think it is their overwhelming passion for this hobby, if you will, that usually gets in the way of their social skills.