You know, the July issue of Wired was just full of really good stuff. It has been ages since I've read nearly every story in a magazine.
If you read my blog, you know that one of my big struggles in life is, well, struggling through life. I really do think that I'm a pretty smart guy, maybe a genius, but I look around and see people my age or younger who have done far more than I have. It bothers me. If I'm so ****ing smart, then what's holding me back?
So this economist, David Galenson, has this theory that there are two personality types in terms of how your genius comes to fruition. The first type is the "conceptual innovator," a person who bucks trends and creates great things early in life, then spends decades, well, not. The other type is the "experimental innovator," who goes through life in a long trial and error mode, but eventually does great things. Of course there are people who will always be a useless piece of shit, and the rare life-long contributor, but historically, and demonstrated through Galenson's data, people tend to fall into one category or the other.
I wouldn't say that I'm unhappy or pissed off or whatever that I haven't achieved what I think I want to achieve (seeing as how I don't even know what that is), but I do get frustrated relative to people in the tech world doing amazing things. (Also, some people tell me I've already achieved big things, whatever that means.) Still, this research really makes me feel a lot more positive, because as an experimental innovator, clearly my time will come. I need to sit back and enjoy the ride a little.
After I read the article, I was thinking about which I would want to be if I could choose. To peak early in life might be kind of lame. Maybe that's why creative geniuses who do it in their 20's kill themselves. If life's a journey and you actually reach a destination, what the hell is next?