The next age of reason

October 22, 2013

This Time special review, Secrets of Genius: Discovering the Nature of Brilliance, includes inventor Ray Kurzweil in the feature section “Genius Among Us,” with the story “The Next Age of Reason” authored by Lev Grossman.

The article mirrors the Time 2011 focus piece “2045: The year man becomes immortal,” which describes Kurzweil’s theories and developments in artificial intelligence, and his many insights into exponential growth.

The comprehensive discussion of the singularity outlines Ray Kurzweil’s “radical vision for humanity’s immortal future.”

(credit: Time)

(credit: Time)

Leonardo and Einstein, Beethoven and Michelangelo, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs: they are among the great minds who dazzled us with their brilliance, astounded us with their creative gifts and seemed to carry the human race into the future through sheer force of will.

Yet, even as we admire the outsized nature of their contributions to civilization, such exceptionally gifted people provoke us to ask: What are the wellsprings of genius? How is it acquired? What are its hallmarks, drawbacks, and surprising side effects?

Now Time profiles history’s most gifted and inventive humans and explores the work of scientists who are using advanced technologies in their attempts to isolate and quantify the nature of genius itself.

We’ll explore the tantalizing questions surrounding human brilliance: Is genius the product of nature-or nurture? Is there a genetics of genius?

Can science find new ways to enhance our intellectual and creative powers?

How are child prodigies shaped? Is there a link between genius and mental instability? And can the experience of those with brain injuries open new windows into the nature of genius?

Calling all tiger moms, brainiacs, rocket scientists and whiz kids: for a close encounter with the extremes of human possibility, read Genius from the editors of Time. […]