Monday, July 13, 2015

Newton's Gift

His particular gift was the power of holding continuously in his mind a purely mental problem until he had seen straight through it. I fancy his pre-eminence is due to his muscles of intuition being the strongest and most enduring with which a man has ever been gifted. Anyone who has ever attempted pure scientific or philosophical thought knows how one can hold a problem momentarily in one’s mind and apply all one’s powers of concentration to piercing through it, and how it will dissolve and escape and you will find that what you are surveying is a blank. I believe that Newton could hold a problem in his mind for hours and days and weeks until it surrendered to him its secret. Then being a supreme mathematical technician he could dress it up, how you will, for purposes of exposition, but it was his intuition which was pre-eminently extraordinary – “so happy in his conjectures,” said de Morgan, “as to seem to know more than he could possibly have any means of proving.”

– from “Newton, the Man,” The World of Mathematics, by John Maynard Keynes

Sounds to me like this man was the one-in-ten-millionth man able to harness the benefits of NZT without an actual pill.

Now ... how would one go about lowering those odds, if one was to go about it intentionally? 

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