Genius is born in collective ciphers — and the brilliance in the cooperative remains hidden until there is an expressed peril to group stakes — then an emergency encryption of memes and forms of protective thought are ignited, risking decoded secrets and nothingness.


We are universally smarter together than we are apart. The danger of that argument is that collective minds can lead to an arbitrary — and always wounding — Group Think mentality where happiness takes precedence over duty. In a recent article celebrating the Beatles and their incredible song, Hey Jude, I argued the following in the commentary flow:

I agree the music from the 60’s was world-changing and gave voice to the downtrodden and the misbegotten. We get geniuses in strains — warfare, royalty, playwriting, music, science — but rarely politics — and we sorely need a resurgence of the musical lyric as an influence in politics and culture again that is involving and not discriminatory.

Is genius always with us — or does it only create itself in dire times of moral decay? Is genius truly solitary — or is it really only purchased in the needs of societal salvation? How do we deal with genius ideas if most of us have mediocre minds?


  1. I’m arguing today, Karvain, that genius cannot stand alone. Genius always needs the context of the group collective to be discovered and provided for enrichment.

  2. Creation Breeds Imitation

    Aristotle taught us we learn through imitation. If Aristotle is right, then we need to be wary with our adoration in imitation because modeling the behavior of the wrong person can imprint a life in awful and classically tragic ways.

  3. Karvain!
    Yes, I don’t think it is possible to “self-anoint” oneself as a “genius.” It takes other people to make that realization and apply that label.

  4. I think genius needs the discovery of others to find its most effective community end, Karvain.
    If you know you’re a genius then what does it matter what others think anyway? You’ll live your live as is in your own genius way.

  5. I believe that Genius must always be solitary, but that application of that genius requires the acceptance of the Group.
    Sadly the Group or Collective is normally “normalized” to near the lowest common denominator of it members. The dark side of the Collective Consciousness coin is the Mob Mind.

  6. hey jonolan!
    Have you read “The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki?

    New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
    I think there’s a certain genius in groups that cannot be re-created in solitary. Is there more than one kind of genius? I don’t think so. I think genius is one thing can can be transformed and applied to unique situations.
    Mob Mentalities are the bane of mediocre minds — but some could argue the necessary element of genius is convincing the ordinary to appreciate the extraordinary — and without that talent the hoped-for genius goes alone and unnoticed.

  7. Beware the Proclaimed Genius

    If genius is born in collective ciphers then we need to be wary of those who proclaim their solitary and self-important Genius. The Self-Indulgent Genius is a warning sign that kowtowing and deference are expected in any exchange of memes

  8. Is Stealing Ever Good?

    Is there ever a time when stealing is good? Yes, the inspired stealing of imagination should always be encouraged. There is no unoriginal theft left. Some call stealing inspiration, but if you see or experience something and then change or

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