Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Life and Times of William Sidis

Perhaps there is such a thing as being too intelligent.
"At age nine William attempted to enroll at Harvard, and though the entrance exams were not a challenge for the young intellect, he was turned down on the basis that he was too 'emotionally immature' for college life. As William waited for the Harvard admissions board to capitulate, he spent the intervening time at Tufts College correcting mistakes in mathematicians' books, perusing Einstein's theories for possible errors, mastering foreign languages, and diligently collecting streetcar transfer slips."

"...he died a reclusive, penniless office clerk."
The moral of the story that I draw from this is that if there are Laplacean Martians that exist, they wouldn't want to spend more than a few minutes with beings that lack any perceptible intellect such as ourselves. And if one of them ever ended up being stranded on Earth with us, it would probably die from the feeling of being crowded by stupidity.


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