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Crazy Smart

January 28, 2008

I think it takes a very particular sort of person to become really educated and successful in academia.
On the one hand, it takes an odd sort of mindset simply to make it through all the education. It takes someone not particularly interested in socializing or a lot of normal occupations of youth. Someone who’s willing to work absurdly long hours for mostly intangible benefits. You have to be a little bit warped to be that obsessive, in my experience. Just odd enough that a ‘normal’ social life wasn’t all that available to you, and crazy enough to decide all nighters were a better option anyway.
On the other hand, if you’re too off you don’t make it. That fragile sort of mindset that leads to someone dedicated enough to do all this also makes a lot of people really crazy, and too fragile to do it well. I’ve met a lot of people who are too crazy to be awesome at school.

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