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Old 03-18-2009, 11:40 PM   #43
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hyde Park
Posts: 8,141
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Well, I used Beethoven as an example of who epitomizes it. Sure, he obviously had a tremendous amount of innate skills, but I'm not saying that you have to be brilliant like Beethoven or Wittgenstein.

I'll use a more modest example: I had a linguistics professor who was like this-- He'd stay up all night reading linguistics texts, had completely mastered the subject, got no sleep at night, and truly saw the world in a unique way-- he was completely absorbed in his field of interest. And he isn't a distinguished professor or anything-- no one with any kind of credentials teaches in West Virginia. The guy was brilliant, but I believe (and I could be wrong) that it probably had more to do with how linguistics became his life more than it was any remarkable innate talent-- although he is certainly very bright.

I see people worried about money, clothes, and every trifling thing you can thing you can think of and it makes me angry. You're car is your only concern in your life? You're relationship is the only concern in your life? To me, they mean nothing-- what means something more personal and unique: an field that is your life.

As I've said, I'll respect a guy who listens to Beethoven or reads Nietzsche or works on building machines or solving puzzles for 10 hours a day than I would of some guy who works 9-5 and came up from the projects. Why-- because the latter sees the world like everyone else; the other's don't.

If you don't try to work towards mastering or engrossing yourself in something, I just don't see a reason to wake up in the morning.

BTW: Montrovant, it's a breath of fresh air to get someone new in here Hopefully others will be tempted to join in too.

And as for me, I feel like I live by this. I spend all of my freetime (and I have a lot ) working on Mensa puzzles; reading Wittgenstein, analytical philosophy, and linguistics; and listening to Satie and Beethoven. The interests change a bit over time-- but I feel that I'm always 100% absorbed in them. And when I see people who aren't like this, it bothers me. I don't see any reason for them to wake up in the morning. I'm not saying I'm special, but at least I try-- at least I see things differently than the banal 99.99% of the rest of the world who spend their time worried trivial problems in their personal lives and material things.

Last edited by Ellis; 03-18-2009 at 11:49 PM.
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