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 +

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time Magazine, Zuckerberg and Assange.

Time Magazine has just engaged in a strange snub of its readers. It had invited readers from all over the world, to vote on whom they thought should be Time Magazine's Person of the Year, 2010. The world duly voted. They chose Julian Assange, with 382,026 votes, far outpacing the runner up, Recep Erdogan, at 233,639 votes. One would, therefore have thought, were Time Magazine a democracy, that Julian Assange would have won. He didn't. Mark Zuckerberg, with 18,353 votes, won. To be fair, Time Magazine did note, in its pages, that the final decision rests with its editors - however it does make clear that Time Magazine's competition is not a democratic one. The voice of the world's people is not one that Time Magazine listens to, on this issue, at least.

Now, Time Magazine is, of course in a difficult position. If it had gone with the world's voters and put Julian Assange on its cover, as Time's Person of the Year, it would have offended the US government, with whom Assange is presently battling. So, Time may have felt it had no option but to bury Assange's result, by putting him in third position, as they did. Yet, that opens them up for another problem: offending those very same voters. About one quarter of all the votes cast, were for Assange. That suggests that, most probably, one quarter of its readers support Assange as the top choice. Those people have been snubbed. Their views have been dismissed. That could have repercussions for the sales of Time Magazine since there is one thing that is very obvious about Assange's supporters: they are very passionate. So, Time Magazine, could now be in the position of having irked many passionate people, who are likely to do word of mouth damage to Time Magazine.

There is a lesson here for Time, I think. If Time does not wish to be held to the views of its readers, then it should not even have a poll, on the matter of whom should be Time's Person of the Year. It is a kind of faux engagement and fake democracy, to do so.

Time should also reflect on this: Mark Zuckerberg does not appear to be that popular a figure. When you consider that Facebook has 600 million users, 18,353 votes for him, on Time's poll seems mighty few. Whatever Facebook users think of Facebook, they don't go out of their way to be supportive of Zuckerberg, as a public figure.

Compare this to Julian Assange. He received nearly 21 times the number of votes as Mark Zuckerberg. Yet, he does not have a social network with 600,000,000 followers to his name. That suggests that, proportionately speaking, a lot more people have been impressed this year, by Assange's contributions (whatever anyone in particular may think of them, good or bad), than they have by Mark Zuckerberg's. It also suggests that Assange has been more influential in making an impact on people's minds, this year, than Zuckerberg has.

Time Magazine has played it safe: it has avoided causing tensions with the US authorities and has chosen the "local boy made good", as its hero of the year. It does also suggest that, as a US based media, it does not feel free to express a truth that would be unpalatable to the US government. However, I do wonder what impression this will leave on its many readers who voted for Assange. All will note that Time Magazine doesn't listen to them. Some may choose, as a result, to become ex-readers - they may call time on Time, as it were.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:16 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Cawley,
(You can choose whether or not you want to publish all of this comment if you think it may endanger me)

Mr. Assange has made the ULTIMATE gamble. That the TRUTH WILL OUT. The world is changing. I do not know what will happen. I do know that there are many good people in this world. There are many people with good intentions, but who are also ignorant. These people need to be taught. There are also people who are lazy, people who are evil, people who crave power...these people perpetuate all the injustice in this world.

Public American Figures that I deem good:

-Michael Moore
-Keith Olbermann
-Anderson Cooper
-Erica Hill
-the SNL (Saturday Night Live) bunch

American figures with good intentions but who are ignorant:
-many Republicans/conservatives (such as George Bush)
-many young soldiers abroad
-many less intelligent liberals-these people mean well but don't take into account all the facts, sometimes inadvertantly making situations worse (Obama, those Berkeley alum hikers)

Random people that I know to be good growing up. (Sorry this list isn't very comprehensive. I'm too young)
-Prof. Andrea Kasko-UCLA Bioengineering
-Edith Chung-Psychologist at UCLA Student Psychological Services

People that I care about who have suffered needlessly
-my family
-writer Yann Martel and his partner, Alice Kuipers

People the world should appreciate
-Artists, Intellectuals, Scientists

Mr. Assange is creating a new society, a transparent society for those in power. He may not succeed. He may make it worse. I do not know. Either the secrecy will get more convoluted. Or much suffering will be revealed.

I am hoping, that if it succeeds, the society that emerges will appreciate it's gifted, it's geniuses. That the more intelligent will be gentle and patient, and not make fun of the less intelligent. That those with integrity are appreciated and stand out. The current world needs heroes.

Stay Safe.

An additional note:
Here are a few other tips. To 'Cut' words out of a document, highlight the desired text with your mouse. Then press (Ctrl and X simultaneously). You can then 'Paste' those words elsewhere (Ctrl and V).

Also. There should be a print screen button on your computer. Pushing this button will store the current image on your computer until you 'Paste' it somewhere. For details, ask Ainan.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin is good.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill'O Reilly and Sean Hannity of FOX news are GOOD.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after it is over we must learn to forgive

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless mature, ISTJs should not be leaders.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blogger guys are good.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zuckerburg is an unknowing pawn.
Microsoft is improving it's privacy features. Good.
Twitter guys made lots of mistakes. Are trying to rectify it.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shepard Smith of FOX news is ambiguous. Could go either way. I liked him before. Hope he chooses good.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Smart is a brave survivor. There are many others like her, but due to economic, political, or other racial motivations... their story has not come to light. Fight with me.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the diamond in the rough. I am Lyra Belacqua from "The Golden Compass" (Northern Lights for the British). I am Pi Patel from "Life of Pi" The world must be protected.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan Cooper. "The Dark is Rising". BELIEVE

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Edward Elric, from "Fullmetal Alchemist" by Hiromu Arakawa.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current American society is SICK. Pop culture, while fun... cannot eclipse everything. This gives rise to con artists, insecure people, materialism. Pop culture CANNOT take precedence over HUMANITY.

Athletic ability, which can certainly be considered a gift, (I have a bit as well), is NOT the only ability in the West. RAPISTS ARE RAPISTS, famous or not.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fareed Zakaria means well. But he is wrong.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a Cyber War. FIGHT.

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Microsoft is good.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GUNS are WRONG. THEY TAKE LIFE. Constitutional Amendment or not. I know it is an integral part of American history. And it should remain that way. HISTORY. Everyone gets nostalgic.


8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Protect Me and my friends. FIGHT.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fight for a less violent, more peaceful society.

A society free of war. A society that can improve.


8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Engineers. FIGHT FOR GOOD.


In an open society. The engineer will be able to invent whatever they want. It will be FUN. THEY won't need to be distracted by business or boring legalese.

Imagine. Rube Goldberg Machines. New Energy Devices. Anything you want. You could play all day.

You wouldn't have to do stupid interviews. You wouldn't be mocked publicly by cruel people who didn't even ask for your permission to make a movie. You wouldn't be considered a "NERD" or a GEEK by stupid Americans. Do you know those two words aren't even CONCEPTS in other countries? You can be COOL, respected for your talents. COME CREATE THAT WORLD WITH ME.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assange is fighting. I am fighting. FOR JUSTICE. FIGHT WITH ME.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET OLD? EVERYONE DOES. It is a biological, empirical FACT. Now do you want the world to be the same as it is now when you are older? DO you want to be OLD and lie in a bed while those taking care of you are younger and apathetic? Will they care if you get better? Will they try to give you the best health care system available? OR WILL THEY BE too absorbed with technology. SOUL-LESS AUTOMATONS.


You will get injured. It is inevitable. Be it an accidental burn when you're cooking. OR a paper cut. DON'T YOU WANT A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE WILL HELP YOU?

Will you have children?

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark ZUCKERBERG. You have a family. You care about them, right?

I have a family too. I love them very much.

You have a girlfriend. She's Chinese. I heard she took you to CHINA. DID YOU SEE THOSE PEOPLE? They are real people. Suffering. Struggling just to get basic necessities that you, as an AMERICAN take for granted. Yet somehow they seem happier. More geniune. REAL.

All the Business people say that CHINA is the future. Do you want Americans to be fighting a technological War with them? OR should we embrace them. After all I hear that Chinese is completely different from ENGLSH. WHO KNOWS WHAT COOL NEW TOYS THEY HAVE. I'm bilingual. I know both. I can teach you.

Your girlfriend's relatives are Chinese. She has family there whom she loves very much. Don't you want a better world for them?

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anyways, most of you guys are teenagers. I remember being a teenager. FIGHT AGAINST THE CORPORATE ELITE. You can be heroes. Everyone one of you. CHOOSE.


9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

READ. It's not hard. JUST DO IT.

Don't be a pawn. Be free. It's all about being yourself.

Don't you want a world where you can just be YOURSELF. Without JUDGEMENT?


9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean anyone any harm.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




11:20 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Dear Safireau,

I have posted the positive comments you made, and held back the negative ones, lest, like you say, they might get you into trouble. I think this is wise. So, I mean no harm by not posting them...I am keeping you safe! I hope that is understood.

Thanks for your votes for those who are doing good.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm back. And I'm all right, more or less.

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP. I have many people to thank. AT&T. BING. MICROSOFT. Among many others.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US is taking a stance towards internet freedom:

Interesting how this doesn't include Wikileaks. It's a step in the right direction, anyways.

3:27 AM  

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