Genius, patience, and Twitter.

May 31st, 2009


Another gem turned up via Twitter:

“Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.”
~George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

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An irony: Twitter is the medium of impatience — a sentence or two is all that goes into a message, and you can dash that off in a few seconds. Yet in this case Twitter brought me something I (and you?) need to hear.

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Possibly related:

Why Are the Most Creative People in Business Skipping Out on Web 2.0?

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My question to you:

Can genius and social media go together?


(Photo by Abby Ladybug, used under a CC-Noncommercial license.)

3 Responses to “Genius, patience, and Twitter.”

  1. John McElhenney Says:

    Is posting an answer a form of braggadocio? I am no genius. I am constantly working on patience.

    That said, the social media system is inherently interruptive in nature. Twitter being the most insistent model, blink and you’ll miss the entire conversation. But is that a bad thing?

    So today as study revealed that 10% of Tweeters produce 90% of the Tweets. They can’t all be geniuses, and they most certainly would be doing something other than tweeting if they were geniuses. So…

    Social media is wonderful within limits. It is important for your sanity to put a bounding box around the influence and interruptions you are willing to tolerate from Twitter, email, IM, blog commenting and such.

    Here’s a pop quiz, gather up all of your 140 character messages for the last month and put them in a document. Delete all RT’s and conversational @ messages and ask: Now, what is the percentage of genius on the page of what YOU created? Original wisdom? Wit? Or shite?

    It is increasingly important to turn off the social media interruptions when you are trying to create something of value. Unless your value is in the form of 90 second sound bites, I would suggest you focus your genius on the longer form. How about the genius of Blog commenting, or actually writing the full blog post?

    Still genius is everywhere among us. Some geniuses focus their intelligence more effectively than others. And even us sub-geniuses can learn to be more efficient and effective by putting what mental resources we have on the task of posing or answering questions. And that activity leads to a better possibility of creating something of value in the dialogue between us.


  2. Leonardo Souza Says:

    Good point, Tim.

    If “genius” and “patience” are indeed correlated (and I believe that this makes sense if you consider that most of the people we consider “genius” are people that have put a lot of effort into their work/masterpiece – which in turn requires a lot of patience), then I would say that “genius” and “social media” will be kinda hard to come together (not impossible, but hard), because in order to achieve that status you need time, patience and a lot of work.

    I know that, at least for me, social media (Twitter, in particular) changed a lot of my “patience level” for some things. For example, sometimes I catch myself anxious about a reply just minutes after I have sent a message, and then I remind myself that not everything has to be so fast and not everyone is checking their email/Twitter/etc every 5 minutes.

    Well, that’s what comes to my mind right now (and thank you for sharing this interesting article from Fast Company, btw!) :)


  3. A Tweeting Fool or a Tweeting Genius? How Do YOU Add Value to the Tweetstream? | Says:

    […] [Tim Walker posted the following question. Can genius and social media go together? on his What I’ve Learned So Far. And in my infinite cheekiness I could not resist an answer. And in my own self-aggrandizement I could not stop at the mere comment, I have to turn the idea into an entire post. So much for 140 characters! So here is a crosspost that might grow beyond the initial discussion with Tim’s blog.] does twitter = RSS? […]

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