Monday, May 09, 2005

He Ain't Your Average-Joe!

After months of effort, I've finally managed to get my hands on the solitary copy of A Beautiful Mind that exists in our college library. It's the book (written by Sylvia Nasar) on which the movie of the same name is based. The book itself is based on the true-life story of John Nash, a 20th century mathematician who falls prey to schizophrenia. It deals with the two subjects that fascinate me the most - the game theory, and the flawed genius. Ok ok, so maybe not the most (girls and pizza rank way higher on my list) but still, two subjects that I am pretty interested in. The movie was great, and the book, so far, promises to be even better. I'm going to have a busy few days ahead of me.

My oral today went rather well. The biggest problem was that the examiner (who incidentally wasn't the young blonde I was praying for) was strangely adamant about his speaking in Marathi. Until I dropped enough hints to indicate I couldn't for the life of me fathom what he was trying to say. That's when he switched to Hindi, a language I am only slightly more at ease with. English, for him, was obviously impossible. So we both grudgingly decide to settle for a system where he spoke Hindi and I responded in English.

I managed to answer all the questions correctly. Or at least what I understood to be the questions! The results, when they come, will reflect not just my knowledge of the intricacies 80x86 family of processors by Intel, but equally importantly my understanding of the Hindi (and Marathi) language! And if I do badly I know for sure which half let me down!

To get back to the genius issue, I have always liked (and admired) true talent more than hard work. Brian Lara is, for me, a far greater batsman than Sachin Tendulkar; simply because he's far more talented. Bobby Fischer, and to some extent Paul Morphy, are in my opinion a lot more worthy of respect than any others in the world of chess. In Fischer's case I also admire his I'm-the-best-and-I-ain't-afraid-to-let-the-world-know attitude. The same goes Muhammad Ali.

My argument (if one may call it that) extends over into the world of academics too. A student who achieves 90% by studying 10 hours a day, commands little respect in my eyes. He is no better than the student who spends all his time playing and scores 60%. In fact he is far worse, for at least the second student enjoyed himself. The student I truly respect is the one who doesn't study (or studies just a negligible amount) and still comes out tops. He (or she), according to me, is truly worthy of praise and admiration.

I know the last two paragraphs may offend a few people. It's all a ploy to draw in more comments!

Joe Satriani is going to be in Bombay this Friday for a live concert, and I'm thinking of making the trip. It's not every day that you get to attend a concert by someone of his class. How I'm going to lay my hands on the moolah to get me to Bombay and then into the concert, is a matter of no small concern. I'm currently so broke, I'd struggle to come up with enough money to buy a stick of gum! So I can't decide whether to try and make it there somehow or not. I'd have flipped a coin to decide, if only I had one!

21 comments:

Nef said...

if at least it was Vai, but Satriani, come on that guy is boring (one enemy, one. :) )
And pray, what do you do with blokes who don't study at all,take uni for a very expensve day care , enjoy themselves and have extremely poor marks ? isn't it a form of genius to see achievement in something else than studies ?

arnold said...

well.. wasnt satriani vai's guru?? so how can the master be worse than the pupil?

btw who exactly are these guys u're talking abt?

n genius is genius.. which field it is in.. in fact i think academics r only a tiny strip in a much broader sprectrum (had to be a lil academic saying tht, now didnt i? ;) )

AyyA said...

Hey I did check your poems and I really loved some of them especially memories and perfect strangers, but somehow the comment link on some posts won’t open, anyway, I loved your blog and I think you just got yourself a constant visitor :)

arnold said...

hey ayya!
thnx *blushes* always nice to hear some praise! am more of a humor writer, though i do promise to keep the odd poem coming... ;)

Khushee said...

I should get a copy of A Beautiful Mind. It was a great movie, so I think the book should be better. I have yet to come across a movie that actually better than the book.

And true, students who don't study all that much and yet still achieve top marks are the ones to be admired. How did they do it? :D

And in reply to the comment in my blog, yes, you are right about Forbidden Love. It's been taken off shelves here in Australia because there was some controversy about it's authenticity, about whether or not it was all fiction. But regardless, fiction or non-fiction, the book was still pretty good.

tequila69 said...

Do you spend much time studying?
I know a guy who doesn't study and achieves top marks, he only attends the lectures. When I asked him how he did it, his reply was "I concentrated in class". He leaves the lecture knowing and understanding everything that was taught so he won't need to spend time studying.

Anonymous said...

Answering to Tequila69;
For understading and concentrating in the class, u need to hv good lecturers. Not like, the hindi/marathi/english speaking confused characters.
Reality Pinch; This is not utopia.

arnold said...

Khushee, true true! Books over movies, anyday! Thanks for clearing up the Forbidden Love controversy.. :)
Do try to find yourself a copy of ABM somewhere!

arnold said...

yea, Anonymous is right. Good lecturers are crucial to understanding anything in class. Unfortunately not too many of them are.

"Those who can, do; those who can't, teach!" *winks*

Sorry abt tht, all you teachers out there...

Whether I pay attention in class or not, Tequila69? I think the previous blogpost says it all!! A big emphatic NO!

Ganesh Hegde said...

as nash says when asked about the difference between genius and 'most genius',"quite a bit ,actually".but the problem is that all of us cant be geniuses,and it takes both courage and character to appreciate another mans genius.ive been fascinated by geniuses myself,especially of the academic kind,and i can say that a lot of what is called genius is a combination of extraordinary hard work which results from total passion,talent and that much elusive stroke of good luck.heck,we would be applauding elisha gray for the invention of the telephone,but a stroke of bad luck deprived him of this distinction,and graham bell laughed his way into the bank and the science books!!

arnold said...

sure... luck plays an important part.. but true genius cannot be concealed.. and wht i am fascinated by are the people who are better than the rest without actually having to try to be so.. no effort or hard work is reqd there

Anonymous said...

You think that the people who had to work harder than the rest should be chastised for what they have done? I call bull crap. I can understand that you might be more fascinated by natural genius, than by someone who had to work hard. I think that is an awfully narrow view of things. Tiger Woods, for example is the best golfer in the world, with the possible exception of Vijay Singh. When Tiger is practicing, it shows. When he isn’t, his game suffers. Vijay took a higher rating recently, because he applied himself more than Tiger. Is Vijay less deserving than Tiger because he worked harder?

Kunal said...

Anonymous, you missed the point. What (I think) Arnold is saying is that a guy who studies 8 hours a day for 3 months and gets a 90 is not more intelligent than a guy who studies only the day before the exam and gets a 60 just because he got a few more marks.

tequila69 said...

Well he is intelligent enough to have prepared himself for the exam.

arnold said...

Anonymous - I'm not saying Vijay is less deserving, I'm just saying he won't ever impress me as much as Tiger.

arnold said...

kunal - my point is also that *both* of them are not as intelligent as the guy who didnt study much and still got 85-90!!

arnold said...

tequila69 - yea, i guess he is.. but still my point is as i made above.. which block do u fall into btw?!? ;)

tequila69 said...

LOL depends on the subject. If it interests me, then I dont study and pass. If it's boring, then I have to study extra hard.

arnold said...

hehe.. i rmbr i had a paper that was so boring i ended up writing the lyrics of "Hotel California"!

Ganesh Hegde said...

theres no genius without hard work.its not possible.you may be naturally talented,but you cant be called a genius if you dont hone yor skills to make them worthy of being called the best.pure talent has no meaning if it isnt refined by hard work.and it isnt the kind of hard work that comes out of compulsion that we have to face with our studies.it is,at the risk of sounding cliched,the labour of love,and not the other way round.

arnold said...

hard work may enhance raw genius to an extent, but it can in NO way replace it!