How can I become a genius scientist?

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companion_cube
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How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby companion_cube » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:35 am UTC

I'd like to become smarter than I am now. There are restrictions, sure, since my brain has a finite capability for creative thinking, but I want to maximize this.
What are some ways that you've found help increase creativity and ingenuity? I'm not interested in the typical stuff you can find on other websites, like "Read more.", "Play chess.", etc., though I'm sure that these contribute.
Do diet and exercise play a significant role here? I know that regular exercise conduces to a higher oxygen supply to the brain, but is this effect significant?
Should I consider nootropics ("smart drugs", like ADD medication)? Are the ulterior negative health effects and difficulty in obtaining the meds sufficient to discount this as a reliable option?


Basically what I'm shooting for is a level of intelligence comparable to fictional characters with unrealistically exaggerated mental abilities, like Topher on Dollhouse and Gaius on BSG.
Last edited by companion_cube on Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:15 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

companion_cube
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby companion_cube » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:40 am UTC

Also, and this a bit unrelated, what variety of music do you find helps to study while listening to?

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Roĝer
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Roĝer » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:21 am UTC

I guess most important is to study really hard, be genuinely interested in the topic of your study, and think about the things you see around you instead of taking them for granted.
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Sockmonkey
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:00 am UTC

This may help.
http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Sequences
But you will have to work at it a bit.

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BlackSails
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby BlackSails » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

Feynman was proving novel physical theorems as an undergrad (The hellman-feynman theorem). Schwinger had his PhD and had published a dozen papers by the time he was 21.

But as far as I know, Dirac and Landau had normal undergrads, so I suppose hope is not lost if you havent done great things by the time you graduate.

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Kang
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Kang » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:03 pm UTC

companion_cube wrote:What are some ways that you've found help increase creativity and ingenuity? I'm not interested in the typical stuff you can find on other websites, like "Read more.", "Play chess.", etc., though I'm sure that these contribute.

Isn't that the exact only thing that you could do about it? Not necessarily reading and playing chess, but getting interested? The main point about chess, as far as I know, isn't that playing chess in itself is such a useful skill, but that to play it successfully you have to concentrate properly and consider all your options carefully, which can be trained. Any activity having the same requirement will contribute likewise. Most importantly, though, what Roĝer said: have a genuine interest in the question at hand; it will make you think and rethink it often.

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Eastwinn
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Eastwinn » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

If you're trying to become more creative, I wouldn't personally recommend an ADHD medication. Those tend to have the opposite effects.
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Jorpho
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Jorpho » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

The *nix fortune file defines "genius" as "Person clever enough to be born in the right place at the right time of the right sex and to follow up this advantage by saying all the right things to all the right people."

So, on the flipside, the best thing you can do is to completely delude yourself regarding the true nature of the world, which requires a great deal of money and/or some really awesome friends/family members.

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Charlie!
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Charlie! » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

It is fairly difficult to become an ACTUAL "genius scientist", since past a certain point you can't just pick up a book. You have to practice.

If you're looking for fictional levels of intelligence, that's either easy or impossible, since you just have to learn how to do things that TV writers THINK are superintelligent. This usually means reading lots of books and watching lots of internet lectures, and maybe practicing speedy math. Not too hard.

To become an actual good scientist while in undergrad, you'll need to do a few things:
1) Find out what being an actual good scientist means by working for an actual good scientist. Maybe read some Less Wrong articles during this step.
2) Find out what you'll need to know to work in [field of your choice] by talking to said good scientist/reading journal articles and finding out what the authors expect you to know. (if you haven't worked for anyone yet and don't understand the journal articles enough, you can generally rely on the required courses of an undergraduate curriculum)
3) Go learn all that stuff.
4) Find out the current state of [field of your choice] by reading recent books and journals regularly. Learn field-specific tricks and techniques through studying and working for someone.
5) Do cool stuff that goes beyond what's currently being done (not just as a worker, but as a planner and designer).

It's really okay if you only get to step 3, maybe partway into step 4 by the time you graduate college. In many fields, step 5 takes a grant and years of dedicated work - we can't ALL be theorists :P
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:21 pm UTC

Remember your controls.
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mouseposture
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby mouseposture » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:52 am UTC

Focus narrowly. As you advance in your career, and find out how intelligent you really are, adjust your level of specialization down to something narrow enough that you're a genius at that, though at nothing else. If you're actually a genius, or even very intelligent, you won't specialize very much, but the strategy should succeed even if you're stupid -- you'll just wind up very good at something that only a few other people in the world know or care about.

Better, though, to be a little less brilliant at something a little more interesting.

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Woofsie
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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby Woofsie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:52 am UTC

While there are a lot of good suggestions in this thread, it's worth mentioning that nothing will get rid of the need for good old-fashioned hard work. There's no get-smart-quick trick. If you want to be even a mildly successful scientist, let alone a genius, you need to be willing to put in incredibly long hours studying. You won't always enjoy the work you need to do, and you won't always feel motivated to do it. In this situation it's tempting to try and find tricks to motivate yourself, but that's not always possible and a big part of "motivation" is learning to just bite the bullet and spend a few hours working on something you find dull/difficult.

This isn't to say that you should spend all your time alone studying. It's important to go out and socialise. A big part of success in any career is networking, and for this you need to be able to talk to people, hold a conversation and not come across as an introverted nerd*. Being a genius won't help you much if you can't give a good interview and interact properly with other scientists.



*Not that there's anything wrong with introverted nerds. I'm pretty sure I qualify as one, though I'm working on it.

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Re: How can I become a genius scientist?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

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