The Jolly Heretic
TJH Podcast
What makes a genius different from a midwit? | Gregory J. Feist

Paid episode

The full episode is only available to paid subscribers of The Jolly Heretic

What makes a genius different from a midwit? | Gregory J. Feist

Exploring the Creative Mind

Professor Gregory Feist, an expert on the psychology of creativity and the origins of the scientific mind, joins me to discuss the traits and experiences that contribute to genius-level creativity and achievement in science and other fields. He delves into the role of personality factors like openness, neuroticism, and disagreeableness, as well as the cognitive abilities that allow some individuals to see novel connections and patterns that others miss.

Feist examines the "Goldilocks zone" of traits like intelligence and impulse control that seems to characterize highly creative people, and how mild psychopathology or neurodivergence may contribute to original thinking in some cases. He explores the importance of intrinsic motivation, solitude for reflection, and exposure to diverse cultures and perspectives. The discussion also touches on the sexual selection advantages of artistic creativity versus scientific achievement, and how creative geniuses are driven by a desire for symbolic immortality and legacy.

Here’s a clip:

And for paid subscribers, the full interview below:

👉 Want to listen to the core ideas of my book "The Past is a Future Country" and many other based shorts? Go to and sign up with the coupon code JOLLYHERETIC for a 10% discount!

This post is for paid subscribers