The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Media and the Old Media.

Much is said of the new media providing an alternative to the old media. Blogs have become a valued alternative to newspapers. Yet, it is not as simple as providing an alternative. An event a few days ago, leads me to think that the new media and the old media are interdependent. They feed off each other.

I noted, a couple of days ago, in my surfing, that a leading Danish daily newspaper had quoted my blog. They termed me a "commentator", and quoted several lines from one of my posts, to provide them with a key insight for their article. In a way, I was impressed with their intellectual courtesy. Instead of just lifting my insight (as some, no doubt, have done), they credited me with my own words and built the latter half of the article around my view.

To me, it seems that the new media (or at least from the evidence of my blog, as an example of it) have come to be sufficiently respected by the old media, that they are now considered a valued SOURCE of material, to be used in traditional articles. This is a healthy development for it increases the diversity of material available for use by the traditional media and should lead to an enriched media, therefore.

As for me, it felt odd to be quoted in a national newspaper, in this way. It made it clear that they thought of me as someone whose words were sufficiently weighty as to be so quoted. Often, I have seen newspapers refer to others, in this manner, by quoting from their work. However, it is a different matter when the one quoted is oneself. It made me realize that my writing is beginning to have an impact. People all over the world are reading it. Some are thinking about it. Others are even writing about it. I am, in a sense, becoming a successful online writer. This is a gratifying development because the online writer (or blogger) has a freedom to write as they please, that no other writers in history have ever had. It is rewarding, to see that my thoughts are sufficiently regarded, in some quarters, to now be used as a source of commentary.

In reality, there is no new media or old media - there is only words and ideas and their transmission. Both "media" are engaged in the same business of transmission of thought. What differs, however, is that the "new media" are much more democratic and open: all have access to them. In this way, they better reflect the ideals of a democratic world. Furthermore, they lower the barriers to entry into public discourse by allowing all a voice. This is a marvellous freedom, which has never truly been before.

By quoting my work, the Danish newspaper did something else. It acknowledged the worth of the new media and the whole blogging enterprise. It said that this new democratic communication mode is worthy of respect. So, though a small thing, in a way - the mere quoting of words from a blog post - it is also much bigger than it seems, for it shows that the new media are truly a form of media that has reached maturity and achieved respect. It is not only a genuine alternative to the old media, but a complement to it too.

For the curious, the passage the Danish newspaper quoted (in translation) was on the subject of modern fame:

"Once a person becomes famous that, in itself, is enough to justify attention directed towards them. Jade Goody is better known than many of much greater merit, but she receives the attention precisely and only because she has already received attention. That is it. There is nothing more to it. Jade Goody is worthy because she is known, but she is not known because she is worthy."

I have highlighted in black, the part of the passage that they focussed most upon.

I should note that this is not the first time that my online writings have been quoted and referenced. Yet, it is the first time that a traditional media outlet has done so, to my knowledge. I found it surprising, actually, because it meant that someone, far away in Denmark, had gone to all the trouble of reading my blog, thinking about it, and building part of an article around it.

I have but one pair of eyes, so if you notice other instances of my work being quoted, I would be interested to hear of please mail me or comment below, if you spot such references.


(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals. If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:05 PM 


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