Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I've become convinced that real genius lies in the ability to talk about things on levels which they do not belong. Without any exception, the smartest people I've known always talk in ways that are ridiculously easy to understand. Someone who thinks they're smart uses a lot of big words to describe something that requires much less effort but someone who really is smart uses language so clear that he cannot confuse you no matter how difficult the subject and no matter how little capacity you have to understand. Anyone can do rocket science, but only a genius can make rocket science obvious.

Yet genius, I think, lies not just in taking the incredibly complex ideas which belong nestled in lofty rhetoric and lowering them in order to speak at the level which normally befits dumb ideas, but also in taking dumb ideas and talking about them with lofty rhetoric.

Most all of the heretics were geniuses. Who but a genius could take a dumb idea like "invisible church" (for example) and speak of it as if it belonged amongst the scholarly? Yes, only a genius could argue himself into such stupidity.

This tells me that I am far from being a genius. Yes I think I can engage others on a lofty level and do fairly well I think... and if you catch me around certain company I'll be having the dumbest conversations about the dumbest things... but it takes a genius to talk about smart things with dumb people or about dumb things with smart people.


Joseph said...

If you add a few adjectives and metaphors, that post will come out sounding alot like G.K. Chesterton.

Ashley Weis said...

Genius... that is one thing the Lord didn't give to me :)

Just a simple kinda man ;)


Tim A. Troutman said...

Joseph - I appreciate the very undeserved compliment. It was primarily Chesterton in the back of my mind as I wrote this in fact. If Chesterton wasn't a genius then I don't believe in such things.

Tim A. Troutman said...

George - you and me both brother.

Rob said...


I have always said you can send a stupid person to school , this would give you a educated stupid person.
Someone given the gift of intelligence will far surpass a educated stupid person every time. You and George are pretty intelligent simple people if you ask me.

Fiat Voluntas Dei