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 +

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ainan's reflections on Art

Some people might think that because Ainan is a prodigious young scientist, that his thoughts, interests and observations would only extend to science. This is not so. He often remarks upon matters way outside his supposed remit.

Yesterday, Ainan began to discuss his views on Art, over lunch.

“There is no such thing as bad Art...”, he began, quietly, to me, “for if it is bad, it is no longer Art.”

That, in itself, was an interesting viewpoint: one that enfolded a requirement for quality, into the very concept of Art. However, it was his second thought that attracted more attention at the lunch table:

“Art causes a chemical reaction in the brain, that makes you think it is beautiful. Therefore, Art is a drug.”

My wife, in particular, liked that viewpoint. He may have a point, of course: is Art’s effect on the brain drug-like for some people? Does it create a “rush” that needs repetition and reinforcement? Does it provoke some people to constantly seek out Art, to fulfil this need?

It is good to see Ainan thinking on matters outside his core interests. It suggests that, when he is completely developed, he will be much broader than might have been supposed in his contributions. I happen to like the variety of expression this implies, since it echoes the variety of expression in my own life.

There is also another aspect of his expression that I find interesting: it is succinct, pithy even. In a few words, he is capturing a broader idea than might, at first, be appreciated. It is “condensed” thinking. Perhaps there is not only a scientist in him, but a thoughtful writer, too.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:49 PM 


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