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Pattern Detection: Exploring the Difference between Expert and Genius

Pattern Detection: Exploring the Difference between Expert and Genius

by admin on January 30, 2012

Dr. Joseph Riggio
Master NLP™ Trainer and Architect of The MythoSelf® Process


Part Both experts and geniuses have intuitions they operate from. The difference between the structure and categories of these intuitions has much to do with the differences between how experts and geniuses operate and where. First it is critical to point out that the usage of the words ‘expert’ and ‘genius’ refer to my own application and not to any particular definition. For the purposes used here ‘expert’ refers to someone who has a thorough knowledge (expertise) with some given subject, whether intellectual or experiential. So using this application we can say that an expert can operate in the field of their expertise be it tennis or art or philosophy. The expert is totally familiar with the patterns that exist in their field of expertise and in their application. In addition an expert would, as used here, be thoroughly familiar with the detection and recognition of these patterns. A genius goes beyond having knowledge of the subject, and may in fact be less knowledgeable than an expert in that subject. What a genius does for our purposes as used here is create new ways of operating within the field of their genius. They create patterns that do not yet exist. A genius, as used here, is capable of generating a pattern that has never been used before or in using an existing pattern in a way or ways that it has never been used before.

The Intuition of Expertise

The “Intuition of Expertise” is “pattern dependent”, that is in the detection, recognition, replication and application of pattern. The “Intuition of Genius” is “pattern independent”, that is operating outside of pattern, generative. If this is true, and expertise is ‘pattern dependent’ than I would say that the art of modeling is the domain of expertise and is constrained by the limitation of pattern.

Both of these positions require a different ‘ontology’ to support the structure they employ for operating in the world. Specifically the position of ‘genius’ is internally generated – maintaining an internal stability regardless of external stimulus whilst maintaining an external flexibility in response to the external stimulus in relation to the internal stability being maintained. This is a recursive, generative loop. In comparison I would suggest that the position of ‘expertise’ is a dynamic of matching internal and external position based on what is know about the external stimulus perceived. This is a constantly shifting position adjusting internal to external balance in relation to one another.

What’s the Difference?

Using the above characteristics, the ‘expert’ knows themselves in relation to the information present in sensory perception. The ‘genius’ knows themselves apart from the sensory perception. I’m suggesting that ‘genius’ may be of a higher logical level than ‘expertise’ as I’m using them here.

In differentiating between ‘expertise’ and ‘genius’ as I have used them there is the simultaneous differentiation of epistemology and ontology. ‘Expertise’ is an operational epistemology as I have defined it, where ‘genius’ is an operational ontology. That is, ‘expertise’ flows from an epistemological bias, “What does the ‘expert’ know and how do they know what they know in relation to external data?”, and ‘genius’ flows from an ontological basis, “How does the ‘genius’ know to be who they are, regardless of the indications of the external data?”

This may be the basis for the ‘Structure of Genius’, operating from an ontological as opposed to an epistemological basis as primary. Intent (Result as Outcome when operated as a way of being) ® Innovation (operation outside of pattern) ® Genius

Pattern and Process

Pattern operated as Process will always lead to failure over time in any given system is the constant in the system is change. In order to ensure success over time in the system the intervention has to be systemic, taking into account the total system and it’s state in time, to create a ‘generative’ response.

The difference that makes the difference is attending to CONTEXT as opposed to PROCESS. CONTEXT can not be contained in pattern in a dynamic system, especially if the system is sentient.

What is required in generating success in a systemic intervention is ‘bringing the future present’. In ‘real’ terms for the individual operating within the system the ‘future expectation’ must be set into the somatic process ® loop the pre & post conscious experience.

Specifically what is occurring is that in the structure of genius the focus of attention is on the post-conscious (transconscious) position, this is the position of ‘expectation’. By contrast, in the operational position of expertise the attention is fixed on the conscious or semantic position of knowledge or knowing.

From the position of the ‘expert’ the senses are trained to sort for what is known and to respond to sameness and difference there. In this way any intervention will be localized to the variants found from this particular sort, which may or may not be systemic. In any case they will be limited by the limits of the experts knowledge in noticing what is present.

When the sorting is done through the filtering process of ‘genius’ the senses are trained to detect what would make the expectation held possible, regardless of what is or is not present. This allows the genius to operate generatively from the creative bias. From this operating position any intervention will be at the systemic level, intervening in the context that the system operates within.

When the context is attended to and an intervention is made at this level with regard to what is expected, regardless of the present situational limitations, then we can say there has been a vertical shift in the response potential of the system. This is a non-local, non-linear event.


Genius is the output of the creative tension between the conscious and the unconscious, both of which use different forms of logic. These forms can be said to relate to the pairs of sense and intuition, detail and pattern, present and potential. Genius is the resolution of the apparent duality present in these seemingly incongruent pairs. Genius operates in paradox, resolving it.

To summarize and review we can say that the proposition put forth here is that ‘expertise’ is pattern dependent while ‘genius’ is pattern independent. The distinctions outlined above indicate that ‘expertise’ is a linear, local and temporal event = mechanical. While ‘genius’ is non-linear, non-local and a-temporal = quantum event. ‘Expertise’ operates in the domain of epistemology – what is known and how it is known as applied to the production of specified results, while ‘genius’ operates in the domain of ontology – what “is” and the internalized experience of existence and ‘being’ leading to generative output of as yet unrealized potential.

Built on the Mythogenic Self™ Process designed by Joseph Riggio and founded in the “Generative Imprint™ ” Model

  • trabzontatilrehberi

    thanks for sharing

  • John Power

    To me it is really based on the natural inclination of how someone uniquely thinks versus the majority. Is that person a genius or just someone different because the majority doesn’t comprehend how they look at things. For instance, take a natural strategic thinker and a room full of particular subject matter experts and put an object in the middle of the room and tell everybody to take a few minutes and describe the object on a piece of paper.The subject matter experts will describe every small detail about that object. The ST will describe what is used for, what it could be used for and if modified how many other uses it could have. It would never occur to the ST to describe details that were already visually obvious.

  • Joseph Riggio

    John … thanks for the comment.

    I don’t know if I agree, specifically with what a “strategic thinker” would or wouldn’t do by default, e.g.: never describe what was visually obvious. To use a favorite term of a teacher of mine … “it depends” … or as he sometimes phrases it … “depends, depends, depends” … on the situation at the time and the outcome intended, and I’d add, including who’s present.

    Just thinking differently isn’t my definition of “genius” as I use it in the article above. “Genius”requires a leap of insight beyond what is known, not just creative thinking based on what is already known. In addition genius would add to the given body of knowledge, of the individual or at large, in such a way that the new knowledge is useful or achieves some desired outcome (FWIW I’m leaving the question of ethics out of the discussion at this point for simplicities sake).

    I’d add one additional thing as well. IMO “genius’ requires an awareness, if not an understanding, of the system at large that the leap they make occurs within. After the impact of genius in the system, for the “leaper” … i.e.: the “genius” … the system and the way they interact with it is never as it was before again.