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 +

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The most popular internet searches on my blog.

It is bizarre what having a blog tells you about people. Most bizarre of all is what they are interested in.

I would like you to have a guess at what are the two most popular searches to arrive on my blog? Both searches have been popular for a long time, so this is not just a one off: I have been seeing them, in high prevalence, since the day I posted about their subjects, some long while ago.

What kind of thing most interests people? What concerns them most? To give yourself a better chance of getting the right answer, think of a few top answers, likely to end up on my blog.

Got them? Well, I don't know about you but I am surprised to observe that for several months now, the two top regular searches to my blog are: "What is Macaulay Culkin's net worth?" and "Is August Rush a true story?"

I would like you to further guess at what percentage these searches are, today, on my blog. Out of all the infinite possible searches, how prevalent are these two?

Well, coincidentally, they are both at 5% of my visitors' searches, today. There is fluctuation, however, with both reaching higher, Macaulay Culkin in particular sometimes reaching two or three times that prevalence.

Anyway, I find the situation both incredible, and revealing. Firstly, a lot of people are very curious about the net worth of famous individuals. It is as if they are using their "worth" as a proxy for their, well, worth (in terms of how important they are as an individual). What is very surprising in the case of Macaulay Culkin is that he hasn't done any high profile work since he was a primary school kid...and yet people still remember him and are curious about one thing: is he still rich?

As for August Rush, that tells a different kind of tale. It tells that in the modern world, people have lost sight of what is fiction and what is reality. They are not able to distinguish the two, readily, for themselves and so have to seek out online verification for their misplaced suspicions. Anyone, with a strong understanding of the real world, and a knowledge of literature would see the derivative nature of August Rush's plot and recognize it as a reworking of old fictional stories. Even had they not read those prior works, someone with a strong sense of reality and understanding of the world, would know that this could not have been based on real people. However, people nowadays are not very discerning...hence the untold numbers of searchers who think that August Rush was real, and want to find out who it was "based on".

The other thing that is notable about these searches is that they are trivial. It doesn't matter whether Macaulay Culkin is rich, or how rich. So, too, August Rush is just a minor film, telling an obviously fictional story of an unbelievable boy. It is quite derivative of both films and books and is not, therefore, a great work of art, in itself. Thus, it should not inspire the degree of interest that it does: it is not important enough. Yet, now, people don't know what is important - so they trawl the internet for the trivial.

On another note, a rather surprising note, I still get searches landing on my site, occasionally, for David Hartanto Widjaja, the Indonesian student who allegedly attacked his Singaporean lecturer and then supposedly committed suicide. I also receive searches for Singapore's two other high profile suicides: Dr Allan Ooi, who preferred death to a life of servitude working for the Singaporean armed forces and Nordin bin Mondong, who, in my view, was not paid enough to feel it was worth staying alive and threw himself, literally, to the tigers.

That people still search for these three individuals up to a year after their deaths, prompts me to marvel at the impact their passing made in Singapore. Perhaps people are shocked that so many people would consider Singapore's artificial "utopia", so disagreeable that they would rather be dead. There is a message in their choice, concerning the nature and pressures of Singaporean life...and I think anyone who has lived there, and is not a multi-millionaire Minister, would know what those pressures are.

My condolences to their families. Perhaps they will gain some consolation, should they stumble across my words, that people still care enough about their loved ones, to be searching for them, so long after the events in question. In a sense, there is hope in their interest, that not all searches on the internet are trivial: some people are actually thinking about other people and perhaps, valuing their lives.

(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 @ 10:47 AM 


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