Our last post posited on the best way to win the Nobel Prize. In the process, the question was raised as to who best constitutes a modern-day Renaissance Man, and I’m not talking about someone who can joust and roast pigs at the Renaissance Fair.
As a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, I started my query with Wikipedia. It turns out that their idea of a Renaissance Man is Danny DeVito. Or maybe Penny Marshall. I’m not exactly clear.
One thing I did learn was the definition of a Polymath: a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. The common term Renaissance Man is used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields.
So let’s take a hypothetical look at what a modern polymath might look like:
- Able to speak knowledgeably on all topics, including but not limited to molecular biology, linguistics, kite-flying, the American Civil War, physics, engineering, Klingon language, culture and history, medicine, reality TV, and mathematics.
- Expert at small engine repair.
- Able to play 3 musical instruments, one of which must be the oboe.
- Must answer every question correctly during a game of Trivial Pursuit.
- Able to tie all common sailor knots.
- Able to remove an appendix, from a living patient.
- Equally lethal with a gun, knife, or lantern shield.
- Can lasso a steer in less than 15 seconds.
- Knows all the lyrics to American Pie.
Based on the previous list, we can probably all agree that besides James Franco, the best example of a modern-day Renaissance Man is MacGyver*.
Or, you can use Yahoo! Answers. According to the masses, the modern-day Renaissance Man is Bill Gates, because he was really good at one thing, and made lots of money at it. Makes sense to me, Internet. Thanks!
*Followed closely by 2. Batman 3. The Professor from Gilligan’s Island and 4. Mike Tyson.
Please Note: This blog would like to point out the hyphen in the title. That is what some people refer to as grammatically correct.