"Genius" needs a reboot. And to do so, taste matters.

In classical Rome, "genius loci" was the protective spirit of a place.

These days this term is mostly used by garden designers to refer to designing for the landscape context. That is, to bring out the best in a place.

The Romans called a person’s natural disposition for certain ways one’s “genius”.

In this way, "genius" from the latin root seems to be about protecting potential.

A certain surrender, or understanding of constraint, and then cultivation.

Our current idea of genius is far removed from this. We're hung up on concepts like “creative genius” b/c as social animals we hunger for status.

"Possession of the title [genius] signifies an agreement that competition is forever closed in that particular game" — Carse

Yep, "Genius is an ego-system". @austinkleon does a great takedown w/ examples here:


So instead of treating creativity and genius as tho one has to be "touched", it's the reverse.

Genius is potency, potential. It's upbringing, cultivation, iteration, grit, "hanging in there", "walking the line".

And to do this, every human is innately creative.

"But I can't draw". Have you seen @davidshrigley's then? That's not the pt.

Just going to relate this to personal taste now:

“The only style worth having is the one you can't help.”

So basically, that's what genius is: commitment to one's potential.

That is, to cultivating taste.

“Escape competition through authenticity” — @naval

Taste is a process of gaining potency.

“You can’t argue about taste". It's subjective, up to you. You decide, you choose, you design.

Warning: w/o labour, genius becomes narcissism. "Authentic", like "genius", is overused. Watch @AdamCurtisBlog's A Century of The Self

And of course, it's also not abt walking the earth like Caine. That's where Eno's scenius comes into play:

"Scenius is an eco-system"
"Scenius can be thought of as the best of peer pressure"

Scenius is having a band. Or an enriching twitter circle. Etc.

Genius ⛏️ Taste ✴️ Wisdom?

That's a bit strange. But I think it makes sense! So far anyhow…

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