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  • I'm tempted to say smart, creative people have no particularly different set of character

  • traits than the rest of us except for being smart and creative, and those being character

  • traits. Then, on the other hand, I wrote a biography of Richard Feynman and a biography

  • of Isaac Newton. Now, there are two great scientific geniuses whose characters were

  • in some superficial ways completely different. Isaac Newton was solitary, antisocial, I think

  • unpleasant, bitter, fought with his friends as much as with his enemies. Richard Feynman

  • was gregarious, funny, a great dancer, loved women. Isaac Newton, I believe, never had

  • sex. Richard Feynman, I believe, had plenty. So you can't generalize there.

  • On the other hand, they were both, as I tried to get in their heads, understand their minds,

  • the nature of their genius, I sort of felt I was seeing things that they had in common,

  • and they were things that had to do with aloneness. Newton was much more obviously alone than

  • Feynman, but Feynman didn't particularly work well with others. He was known as a great

  • teacher, but he wasn't a great teacher, I don't think, one on one. I think he was a

  • great lecturer. I think he was a great communicator. But when it came time to make the great discoveries

  • of science, he was alone in his head. Now, when I say he, I mean both Feynman and Newton,

  • and this applies, also, I think, to the geniuses that I write about in The Information, Charles

  • Babbage, Alan Turing, Ada Byron. They all had the ability to concentrate with a sort

  • of intensity that is hard for mortals like me to grasp, a kind of passion for abstraction

  • that doesn't lend itself to easy communication, I don't think.

I'm tempted to say smart, creative people have no particularly different set of character

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B1 feynman newton isaac newton isaac great teacher richard

The Common Character Trait of Geniuses

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    VoiceTube posted on 2016/07/13
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