Geography of Genius

In this article Eric Weiner, a travel writer, argues that geniuses are a product of their surroundings and upbringing rather then the individual possessing something intrinsic to their nature. Weiner believes that harsh conditions or challenges bring about geniuses through hardship because it is essentially a necessity. Weiner argues that people who face adversity early either become depressed by their experiences or they can come out of it with a way to solve those challenges and usually in very creative ways.

How does this relate the topics covered in our class? Well essentially Weiner is proposing that their is homophily among the network labeled “geniuses”. Weiner points out that many geniuses happen to also be immigrants and proposes that this exposure many people and culture may have added in developing that persons creativity. In other words Weiner is noticing that geniuses have many weak connections to local bridge nodes in a sense. These nodes are individuals that behave or think differently than the general population and utilizing this “geniuses” can make jumps and connect ideas that formerly were not grouped together. Weiner however does admit he does not know why some who are faced with challenges end up depressed and why some come out being labeled genius which in other words means he has yet to discern if this is selection or social influence or potentially something that arises from affiliation networks since he proposes location is a large part of the process.