What is the difference between an educated person, an intelligent person and a genius?

Fantastic question.

Educated people are good at school. They memorize stuff and can answer school-type questions. They do well in HS, sometimes in college, and often in the real world but they just follow rules – even hidden rules like looking good, saying the right things, and being a good “cog” in the wheel. Educated people are caught in a paradigm, but they’re good at that paradigm.

Intelligent people get it at a deeper level. They understand the why and the how more deeply. They can sometimes see how things work at a basic level and can fix both basic and complex problems. These people can work within “the system” but are often frustrated by the system’s inability to achieve real, productive change because the system is dominated by people who put their own needs ahead of the needs of whatever system they are part of.

Geniuses are a different kind of cat. They see things even more elementally. They see how more of the parts fit together and can envision solutions that demand a deeper understanding of the complexity, and often the simplicity of interactions that make up the world. Unfortunately, these people do not often speak the same language as the people who are often in power, who did well in school, and who understand how the exterior system works.

Geniuses and intelligent people are often less self-centered because they see how they are a part of something else rather than being the center of the world. People who put themselves at the center of the world tend to offer poor and often destructive solutions to solve problems because the complexities of these problems are hidden from them by their narcissism.

Author: Tom Conklin
Source: Quora

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