My new copy of Wired Magazine has a fascinating article on research that has been done by the economist David Galenson, pointing to the fact that genius has more than one variety.
Long story short, Galenson examines tha careers and production of painters, writers, archetects , filmmakers, etc. and plots their peaks in productivity in relation to their age. He found that the most gifted among them either peaked early and flamed out or steadily got better and hit their prime late.
F. Scott Fitzgerald? A young gun doing his best at 29. Mark Twain? Wrote his best stuff at 50.
Early bloomers are 'conceptualists', while the later ones are 'experimentalists'. Interestingly, it seems the late bloomers actually drive change in art and design. So much for the bleeding edge being youngsters.
"Who cares?" you ask. Well, those of us that are gaining on 40 like a freight train and have yet to actually exhibit much genius, for one thing. Maybe we're late bloomers. Haven't you ever heared a mother tell her son "You're a different kind of smart, honey!"
It isn't up on the Wired website yet, but you can access the .pdf file now. Wired's site says they'll post it July 11. Read the .pdf now. It's worth it.