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Aunt Jen

Good Will Hunting's Brains

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What would you do if as bright as Matt Damon's Will Hunting?

 

I'm not referring to his childhood abuse or emotional issues. Just his intelligence, his ability to absorb massive data, solve math problems.

 

Me:

 

I'd go to advanced research university, school and test rapidly, focus on the math, because I feel it's a necessary tool for the other sciences, and then segue into cosmology. Unless I got distracted.

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People of that type tend to go in directions where their parents lead them. Typically, such brilliance shows itself at an early age but is often accompanied by severe social challenges. The question becomes, do their parents allow their uniqueness to flourish and steer them down a stimulating path, or try to squish them into socially "acceptable" norms?

 

I work at a DOE national laboratory with people like you describe. They think on levels that us mere mortals can barely comprehend. However, they are on the front edge of science pushing boundaries to make the world a better place. I'm grateful to be able to attend their seminars and sometimes be a part of their work.

 

If I were that smart, I'd be working at high levels in energy research. Figuring out better ways to keep an economy going without using fossil fuels is a passion of mine. I get to do it at a low level in my job, but it would be great to be able to play in the big leagues.

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All that, just to do nails and hair????

 

Oh, wait....cosmology, not cosmetology......

 

Never mind...my bad.

 

LL

 

Oh, yeah! Cosmetology, that's it. :) Ugh! How could I mistake--

 

(Aunt Jen thinks.)

 

Is cosmetology the one with the black hole string thingies in it?

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People of that type tend to go in directions where their parents lead them. Typically, such brilliance shows itself at an early age but is often accompanied by severe social challenges. The question becomes, do their parents allow their uniqueness to flourish and steer them down a stimulating path, or try to squish them into socially "acceptable" norms?

 

I work at a DOE national laboratory with people like you describe. They think on levels that us mere mortals can barely comprehend. However, they are on the front edge of science pushing boundaries to make the world a better place. I'm grateful to be able to attend their seminars and sometimes be a part of their work.

 

That is fascinating.

 

My Painless was not on the Will Hunting level, but he walked through a 2-year Caltech Masters in Aeronautical Engineering in 1 year, becoming one of the best in the world, IMHO. :) (Proud of him.)

 

I am such a groupie, a fan.

 

Yes, with children or young adults, it's natural for society to want to guide someone, but we're also learning that it's important to let the child/person assert what he/she wants to be. All persons' need the ability of self-determination, and without that, internal pressures build and can display in a way that not only impairs a person's talent but also can exhibit in ways that are problematic for all. In the movie, this was very well discussed per good Will Hunting (Matt Damon), also, by Robin Williams, when he was explaining to the math professor the importance of letting Will become his own person, not be pressed into following the professor's agenda.

 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote that film as young adults. Way to go. (But how did they get Hollywood to pick it up?)

 

I do so admire genius.

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Oh, yeah! Cosmetology, that's it. :) Ugh! How could I mistake--

 

(Aunt Jen thinks.)

 

Is cosmetology the one with the black hole string thingies in it?

Billions and Billions of hair follicles...

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If I had Will Hunting's brain, I would work construction and date Minnie Driver.

 

Seriously, the exceptionally smart people I have known have been introverted. They are more comfortable with being alone than they are in group or team efforts. That characteristic limits their options, if they truly want to be happy. I don't know if the ones I have met are really happy. They don't talk about themselves much.

 

Kind of a catch 22.

 

Or maybe a catch IQ.

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I've mixed with geniuses off and mostly on for about 40 years. I actually admire them. The best Holkywood/film example to me is more akin to "Real genius" with Val Kilmer. I think they usu want friends and love, but mostly they are so smart they (1) are mire cerebrally based and don't grok emotions same as other people, (2) get schachered http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Schachter(treated badly for being different) , (3) they feel badly about not fitting in, so (4) they avoid a lot of interactions that others may naturally find rewarding. I am that way as well in some ways. So was Painless.

 

The thing that was unusual in Goid Will Hunting was that Will was as good at interacting as he was. But a good example of genius.

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I've had the good fortune to know some people who are truly brilliant. One in particular, a doctor, wrote the book on pediatric neuroradiology. I mean literally, wrote the book. Talking to him has always been fascinating. He knows how intelligent he is, and to an extent revels in it. He doesn't suffer fools lightly, but for those who are truly attempting to understand, you can actually sense that he is making an effort to shift gears, to slow down and bring things to their level. He also has a wicked, dry sense of humor.

 

I think if I had that kind of a mind, that is the direction I would have gone, medicine. Although astrophysics holds a spot of great interest.

 

Or, like J-Bar, I would've worked construction and dated Minnie Driver...

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My daughter IS about as bright as Damon's character from the film. She's in a doctoral program that will eventually take her to professorship at a university. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and can get along well in French. She is also a Shakespeare scholar. Smart as a whip, that girl.

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Call me selfish, but I'd keep it to myself, figure out how to advance my family and my own agenda.

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Call me selfish, but I'd keep it to myself, figure out how to advance my family and my own agenda.

 

Selfish... :P

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I wouldn't keep it quiet. I'm naturally private. I wouldn't seek publicity, but I'd find it necessary to advance physics---cosmology, gravitation, dimensions, an engine/system that could take us to the Stars (which could be related to gravitation or EmDrive combinations---and THAT could generate publicity.

 

I'd buy a house with a view and a good fence.

 

Shuttle friends in and out with a helicopter. Kidding. But a house with a view and a good fence is a good idea

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I'd spend some time in Vegas playing blackjack and counting cards, then when my bank accounts were flush I'd head to all of the other gambling establishments around the world and continue until I was wealthy enough to buy a private island where I could research and build particle weapons to take over the world. . . and kill Superman and the Avengers

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Selfish... :P

Not completely......I'd share my gardening and canning tips with anyone that would simply ask.

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Not completely......I'd share my gardening and canning tips with anyone that would simply ask.

 

I stand corrected!

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