Skip to main content

The German Genius

Courtesy: Designers & Books
 

The concept of genius

"The concept of genius – individuals whose creations offered glimpses of divine wisdom, glimpses of perfection – meant that self-cultivation, through studying the achievements of geniuses, offered the cultivated individual the prospect of achieving an approximation of divine wisdom right here on earth." Do you believe that? Then you should right away order a copy of Peter Watson's The German Genius. The book is about German ideas that came over a period of 250 years.
 

The book

A lot of ideas that matter to us today were produced in Germany. German ideas have "shaped our lives more than we know or care to acknowledge." In fact, Watson, who is British, believes that the US and Britain speak English but think German. Germany not only gave us Einstein, Bach, and other geniuses, but numerous new disciplines such as cell biology, sociology, and quantum physics. Between the 1750s and the 1930s, Germany became the dominant force, intellectually. By 1933, Germans had won more Nobel Prizes than anyone else on the planet. They were "more influential in the realm of ideas than France or Britain or Italy or the Netherlands, more so even than the United States," says Watson.
 
"No one really likes us," said German Nobel laureate Thomas Mann a long, long time ago. Hitler and Holocaust had caused so much damage that even the Germans were not proud of being German, an opinion poll showed. Today, however, Germany is considered one of the most liked countries. Thanks to the incredible beauty of the land, thanks to the German genius.
 
I've finished reading over 100 pages, which would be like a third of a contemporary non-fiction. But The German Genius is a book of nearly 1000 pages! At times I feel I would have preferred a shorter, fast-paced and more colorful American version. At other times, I'm not only stunned at Watson's painstaking work, it's a pleasure reading the inspiring details he provides.
 

My German connection

Watched "Pop in Germany" – the only Western music show on Indian TV in the 80s ... A fan of German bands like Modern Talking, Kai Warner, Gunter Kallmann Choir, Boney M, and James Last ... I've been flying Lufthansa – even after cheaper options became available ... Love German cars – owned an Opel in the 2000s ... Have a friend in India who spent a few childhood years in Germany and still has dreams to return ... Had a German classmate at Columbia Business School: Michael von Poncet ... I asked him which German city I should visit if I only had the time to visit one. He suggested Berlin. Berlin is compared to Silicon Valley in terms of creativity and startups. I would love to visit Berlin ... in the meantime, I will try and finish reading the remaining pages of The German Genius!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

"If you worry about your reputation you don't deserve to have one."

Nassim Nicholas Taleb 1/2:
If you worry about your reputation you don't deserve to have one. Let me add just a bit to Taleb's great quote ...

True reputation is earned based on your positive CONTRIBUTIONS to entities other than yourself and your family: employers, customers, industry, society, Church, country, world, whatever.

Ask yourself: What have I discovered, invented, shared, set up, or built that will be of significant value to another entity for some time?

Contributions are not about our title (director, VP, etc). It's nice to have a big title (I would like to have one, too). At best, titles make us and our family happy. But chasing after titles could be a sign of narcissism. Titles are rarely a trustworthy certificate of contribution. This is true today when titles are increasingly achieved through bootlicking, back-stabbing, even hijacking another's job.

Contributions have longer life. They cannot be erased overnight. Five hundred years after German professor…

Before you watch another news report, watch this whistleblower

If the leftist media was biased back in 2001, it is an outright mafia today Bernard Goldberg, a 28-year-veteran at leftist media outlet CBS, has exposed the "pettiness, hypocrisy, and bias inside CBS ... Just turn on your TV set and it’s there … but it’s there too often in too many stories."

Shockingly, you see not only political bias, but social bias as well.

In both political and social topics, the leftist media puts out content that dupes both loyalists and new-comers. Why are they so biased: self-serving purposes such as ratings and manipulation for votes.

Goldberg exposes the leftist media.
Manipulation Leftist media constantly attempts to manipulate people's mind with the following tricks.

1. They lie. Or misinform.

2. They hide certain things, as though these things did not exist or did not matter.

3. They won’t let the other voices be heard. More recently, author Sharyl Attkisson was not allowed to freely air segments that exposed Obama scandals such as Operation…