The Price of Greatness: Resolving the Creativity and Madness Controversy – By. Arnold M. Ludwig

Arnie’s book should have been entitled: Stating the Obvious: Using Statistics to Draw Natural Conclusions.

My god, I cannot believe the world praised this book as a breakthrough. God I am so fucking angry right now. And I don’t even have the angry gene! Years and years and years ago, I realized society will let me down with most of it’s offerings. From films to art to political initiatives, I knew the majority of these endeavors would be middle of the road, hog wash that meant nothing to no one, and help to lower all our standards. This acceptance help me avoid getting pissed off with each disappointment. But fuck, I am so pissed right now. This book was fucking awful, pointless, and I cannot even imagine how fucking deluded this guy must have been to think he had any reason to write sentence one of this book?!? He must have been in lust with the charts, bell curves, percentages, and the sheer number crunching.


He starts the book with his conclusion, that, according to Senaca “There is no great genius without a touch of madness.” That is the strongest words he used to state and support his case, and they were not even his own. He culls 1004 genius throughout the ages for this study (Steve McQueen?? Yeah, no problems with him in The Great Escape but genius?). He breaks out Microsoft Excel and goes fucking nuts charting, graphing, plotting, extrapolating like a crazy person. WHY?I? Does anyone need proof that Mozart, Michael Jordan and Michaelango were gifted? Does anyone need tables and bar charts showing that many artistic types drink, smoke and take controversial positions in society? Do we need to see complex line charts showing that politicians and social figures are more gregarious, attractive and enjoy being with people more than poets and writers? What the fuck was he thinking??

Please confirm for me, gentle reader, that the following statements are true: Many artistic people think and act differently than the rest of us. For someone to desire to become a scientist, spending their days in solitary research, they are most likely to be people who enjoy being alone. If a parent or parents die, if you lose a limb, or are born with a physical defect or contract a major disease, this will effect your outlook on life.

FUCKING DUH!!! No one needs nearly one hundred charts, and two dozen tables to illustrate these points!!! Hello?? Is anybody fucking awake out there?!?

Okay… I am disappointed, a bit angry.. its my problem I’ll deal with it. The only good I can find in any of this, for reading a book MUST have something positive to take away from it, even if sometimes its only the fact that ONE DOES NOT NEED STATISTICS TO STATE THE FUCKING OBVIOUS.. is that there was one table, in Appendix C that was titled: Physical Handicaps of Individuals in this Study. This unique table, spanned two pages and contained such gems as: Winston Churchill stuttered; Susan B. Anthony was cross-eyed; Albert Einstein did not talk until the age of nine; Claude Debussy had bony protuberances on his forehead; V. Khodasevich (whoever this is) was born with six fingers on each hand; Rudolph Valentino had cauliflower ear; Steve McQueen was partially deaf. Interesting… I wish this list could be extended to all celebrities, athletes, politicians, etc, not just the “gifted ones touched by madness.” Now this would be Nobel Prize winning material.

What fucking bullshit. God I am still pissed. This may be the first book I will ever burn, save for Appendix C that is.

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