24 October 2005


You know those people you come across who are so smart that a casual conversation can be almost painfully intimidating?  My friend Thomas is one such character.

If you've read my blog even a little in the past you will be aware that my usual assortment of compatriots include a higher than average share of multiple-doctorate-holding, biochemist, rocket-scientist, uber-intellectual friends.  In short, I have more than a few wicked smart friends.  That of course, is no reflection on me.  But it does put me into a particular position to point out something significant when it surfaces.

For example, Thomas recently did some posts online that are quite insightful.  Check them out at Mehlisms.  Now one of my geek friends posting online is hardly newsworthy, usually.

But there is something that sets Thomas and his posts a little apart from the crowd.  You see, most of the time when dealing with the ultra-brainy, you have to have your relevancy filter set pretty high.  Evidently something about being super-smart means you lack the ability to apply your mighty mentality to issues more relevant to the Average Joe.  Instead, they meander about minutiae and ponder primarily points that aren't applicable in practice.  Thomas, is quite the opposite.  His insight is often the most balanced and useful.  He cuts to the core with an alarming alacrity that dispells that myth that genius is code for obscure and useless.  I find his directness refreshing and his points both well-thought and thought-provoking.

My dad has often pointed out to me the difference between wisdom, knowledge, and creativity.  In his words, knowledge is data and information you can collect, wisdom is knowledge applied, and creativity is figuring out how to get from one to other.  While Thomas has long displayed wisdom, these posts illuminate his creativity as well.

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