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08/28/2011

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Daniel Klein

Hi Steven!

Excellent article. I just finished the Jobs book and I agree with your comments (his birthday was eight days after mine of the same year). I have been referred to as a Polymath many times by very successful people. As far as strict IQ goes, I tend to stray deeply into the genius end of the pool. Of course, it doesn't make me better than anyone else or even a better person for it, so I don't have a grip on that title except to point out that I *may* have an ability to figure things out a bit faster than some.

Your point to keep learning and keep extending your education is so true. When someone points to some skill I have or to another's skill that seems out of grasp, I tell them that a brain surgeon didn't know how to be a brain surgeon until, after many years, he actually gained the skills, knowledge, and experience to become one.

This connecting dots is a great term for me. I believe that that's what I do. In the past, the only language I had for it was that I could SEE things (not Dead People!). Someone could mention something to me about something I had little or no knowledge of and I can see it in my mind, look around it, see the inner workings, etc., and understand it very quickly. Sometimes I termed it as "Downloading" information. I had always wondered if Intuition was merely super-fast computation of bits of information. But now I like "connecting the dots".

I was fortunate to meet for lunch with a man named Gordon MacKenzie at Hallmark cards while I was a contract photographer. He wrote the book, "Orbiting the Giant Hairball". I was fascinated with his specially-created job title of Creative Paradox. I am still searching for a job like that to this day.

One thing, though. Having worked for Apple Retail as a Creative/Trainer for a few years (to get out of the house and work with, and inhale, the youthful energy of 20-something kids), I can tell you that I don't believe that Apple is all that interested in advancing creative polymaths - at least from within the retail side. My observation is that it's become more about advancing Yes people (and people who've memorized Lominger phrases). I hope to be proved wrong so that Apple can continue to *deserve* the legacy that Mr. Jobs hoped to pass on.

Again, thanks for a great article. Best to you!

Daniel Klein


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