KarmaMole The View From Here..

William James Sidis

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Do yourself a favor and read a little about William James Sidis.

He was born in 1898, and he got his name because his father, Boris Sidis, was invited to the USA by psychologist William James. He was a prodigy and probably the smartest man ever to have lived. He could speak several languages by the age of 5 and invented a language at the age of 8. He wrote prolifically but anonymously. He wrote books like The Animate & The Inanimate, which predicted black holes and regions in space where entropy was reversed. He also wrote The Tribes & The States, giving a 100,000-year history of North America’s inhabitants, from prehistoric times to 1828.

He was overexposed to society as a child, mostly because of his parents. He could read when 2 years old, at 11, went to Harvard. He could also type at age 4 and wrote an anatomy textbook when he was 5 years old. He usually wrote under pseudonyms because he had adopted the Native American ideal of contributing anonymously.

In Harvard, he gave a lecture on 11th-dimensional maths. He had a tough time at Harvard, where he was ridiculed by other students far older than he was. Finally, WJ Sidis became a recluse, preferring to work in private, socialize only with trusted friends, indulge interests and hobbies.

He was arrested in a socialist protest in 1919 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison under the Sedition Act of 1918. After being sentenced to jail, WJ Sidis’ parents put him in a sanatorium and threatened him with transfer to an insane asylum.

In 1944, WJ Sidis sued The New Yorker for publishing an article attacking him, deriding him, claiming the once prodigy was a failure. Finally, WJ Sidis died in 1944 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 46.

We have his writing today due to the efforts of Dan Mahony. WJ Sidis’ case is telling. Society found him interesting, then intimidating, then ridiculed him while he wanted no part of it. He was a beautiful, brilliant man, against whom humanity committed a grave and shameful injustice.

You can find some of his writings here: 

http://www.sidis.net/

About the author

KarmaMole

KarmaMole is a nickname for Omar Kamel. He is a writer, musician, photographer, director, and producer. He makes things out of words and sounds and images. He spent three years of his life in a futile fight for a better future in Tahrir Square and has more opinions than any mortal man should be allowed. Some of them are on this blog.

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