Answering the Questions: Am I a Polymath? How Would I Know?

Alright, you’ve found yourself here, on the site of a self-proclaimed polymath. Are you wondering if you fit the model? Is there is a model? Maybe there is, but it seems to me that the model is written from the outside perspective. Let me tell you about what I know.

A polymath is a person who can take deep knowledge from very different fields and blend them into something new, an idea or movement that takes the world in a different direction.

A polymath is never satisfied with the answer given to her by another person. She will keep digging, researching, experimenting, and learning until the answer is formed before her eyes.

A polymath can trigger intense, deeply focused bouts of concentration. These bouts can last hours and defy the modern theories of information retention. The information flows into him and he can easily absorb and learn.

A polymath is capable of saying no to any subject or information that does not aid him in his search. If a subsection of a field is inconsequential to his inquiry, then it remains unabsorbed.

In my experience this is the way a polymath works. That said, there is always a difference between what is known and what is believed. What are my beliefs as to how a polymath is formed?

I believe the structure and memory function of a polymath is fundamentally different from other people. Their ability to cross pollinate disparate disciplines takes them beyond the capacity of the dilettante or generalist.

I believe access to vast reservoirs of knowledge is a fundamental difference between a polymath and the layperson. I also believe this difference is a chasm whose growth is driven by the digital age.

I believe many polymaths don’t know they have a definition. They continue in their work, displaying incredible insight in their fields due to their extensive cross functional knowledge. Many of them baffled by answers that seem so obvious to them and appear ludicrous to others.

Finally, while I believe polymaths are a rare breed. I also believe the habits and abilities are fully trainable to any who have the heart to go after it.

That’s it for today, no pointers on how to get up early, or any guidelines on how to do something. Just a couple of answers as to why I’m here.

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