The Sad Tale of William James Sidis - The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived | Random Thursday

Follow by Email
What were you doing at age 6? William James Sidis was writing books in 7 different languages. Once a nationally known child prodigy, William Sidis disappeared and lived a life of obscurity. What happened to the smartest man who ever lived? Special thanks to Jason at JTheory for his help writing this video! Visit his channel: Support me on Patreon! Follow me at all my places! Instagram: Snapchat: Facebook: Twitter:

Comments from Youtube

Anubis : Unfourtunatley, he shares the same birthday with the man with the lowest IQ in recorded history: Logan Paul IQ: probably under the level of the sea

John Battey : I think it most likely that William Sidis found dealing with average people to be horribly tedious, and yet not worth the conflict of telling them so. Back around 1971, David Frost interviewed a man who was speculated to have the highest IQ of anyone then living. He asked if the fellow had faced difficulties as a child because he was so much smarter than those around him. The guest got a sort of peculiar expression and said, "I've never considered it from that point of view before! I always thought I had problems because everyone around me was so abjectly stupid!"

kleautvieul : I think a genius has to deal with 3 big issues during life. 1. Because of the rapid intellectual development socializing with peers is hard, which leads to emotional underdevelopment. During life they're massively misunderstood, which entails (the feeling of) rejection, seclusion and loneliness. Finding someone with who you can relate on the thinking level is hard. 2. Imagine the pressure they get from their parents and society, being a genius comes with a hefty list of unwritten conditions created by non-geniuses. 3. At a certain point they realize that nothing really matters (in a positive way in that we're truly free), when you look at modern society with this realization it becomes painfully visible that we're a bunch of conditioned monkeys controlled unconsciously by government and corporations by the use of fear. Really accepting this and trying to do your part to chance this for the better is hard, it raises a lot of internal (philosophical) questions.

NOT SO SLIM JIM : Being smarter than everyone around you is horrible. You feel like you are surrounded by people who could never possibly understand you or what it's like to be you. It's not that you feel people are below you, just that others don't understand things as you do.

Wernhard Bierbauer The Fourth : Sidis is such a cool last name. Sounds like a sith lord or some kind of deadly disease...

Иван Нанић : I went down into the comment section, came back up with cuts all over my body. So edgy down there, better be careful.

Pizza Face : I remember my math teacher at my highschool. Older fella, greyish hair, always wore white shirts and he wore glasses... He was very calm, said very few word and he would only talk about issues that we were learning about. And then he would simply be quite when he wasnt required to talk about a math. At his birthday we brought him one of those cards that play music when you open them, and we asked him if he was ok. He smiled kindly and said "everything is ok".... Anyways, such a gentle and calm spirit, but he was unwilling to talk to people. Few years later after i've heard about him. Turns out he was a math genius who won multiple competitions, and he was able to do math wonders in his head. They say about him that he has vast intellect. Now you would think that person like that would be like next Tesla or something, and you would think that someone like that would end up as scientist or big leading edge proffessor... But usually no.. Alot of those guys just are tired and they withdraw barely having few friends or coworkers that they hang out with.. Maybe because rest of us just suck so much, but we are too dumb to notice it, and someone smarter can see right trough us they have no choice but to run away...

Allison : His intellect was his own, he didn’t owe humanity any performance or narrative satisfaction.

T.J. Beacham : Nikola Tesla? I consider him one of the smartest men ever to live. Or Archemedies an ancient genius

Sinn walker : He isn't lying... religion and the love of money is humanity dark side of the force lol

frisco21 : Those afflicted with Aspergers who function at advanced intellectual levels know this feeling well. It is extremely frustrating, to say the least. Even superficial social interaction with others is awkward and psychologically painful.

Tim Newth : They were right society was and is wrong.

S Bassett : Nothing went wrong. He lived the life he wanted, realizing correctly that he was under no obligation to do anything extraordinary.

Carlo Dave : Ignorance may not be bliss, but you have a better shot at being unconflicted and content. Money helps too. Dumb and rich is the way to go.

Art istic : He was brilliant and underrated, he wasnt a faliure, on the contrary. I would like to thank him and would also like be a child prodigy my self.

MrBluemanworld : Never heard of him, very sad. It's something to think about

Ryan Daniel Fretz : Ted Kaczynski was a victim of the MK-Ultra program. I'm pretty sure that's been proven.

Budget Hitman : He may have simply gotten tired of explaining shit to people.

Jeff Richie : He did have some contributions to society. Several books of which may still be years ahead of there time. His linguistic abilities even suggest he could have encoded more in his written works than we know. After all, we have only digested about 1/3 of the written works Euler, arguably the prolific mathematician of all time. His problem was more likely having to live among the dumb asses of this planet and the archaic way we have organized society. He probably never met someone he could identify with on an intellectual level and felt like he was all alone in the world.

Allaric Harosyn : This is a lesson in the different kinds of smart. To be smart in the real world you have to be able to learn how to cope in the real world. Even Einstein had to rely on other smart people to get his ideas noticed and even some help from other people in making his discoveries. So unless your desire is to live alone in a shack in the woods then you need to learn how to relate to others if only in a limited way.

Dave Gill : Kazinski. You didnt really tell his whole story. Something happened to him that made him go crazy like that. Some say that he was part of some MK Ultra style experiments that he took part in not knowing any better. I dont know for sure, but theres something more to his story than just some creep who mailed bombs to people. Something else pushed him over the edge...

Patrick Lewis : Child prodigies are interesting. Most of them never accomplish anything because most of them are really good at things that normal folk will eventually also be good at (calculus, for instance) and that's where they stop. Occasionally one grows up to invest something or discover something or write something significant, but they'd have managed that being a standard high-intelligence person who wasn't thrust neck-deep in higher maths or what have you. I personally wonder what would happen if they weren't turned into media circuses, because it seems like there were very few notable prodigies before the rise of the newspaper. That's a hard premise to test, though, because there was also very little in the way of social mobility or education before widespread literacy and the printing press. My take-away has been that prodigies just hit adult levels of accomplishment sooner than normal, but rarely exceed highly intelligent people whose achievements were more in line with the majority. Also, we should probably stop using IQ as a metric of intelligence. It's more a measure of aptitude for learning than some inherent ability to figure things out. Being a prodigious learner is a high compliment in my mind and my parallel worry with child prodigies is that they're often thrust into STEM so hard that they never pick up the wide variety of other human skills that could keep them from retreating into obscurity. I can't think of any math prodigy who is an adept singer or skilled thespian, for instance; there's mostly just an occasional instrumentalist who rarely writes their own music, anyhow.

Train Tsar Fun : He never got a chance to be a kid. So sad for his childhood.

Димитрије : I work at a college as a janitor even though I feel like I'm smarter than most of the people who go there. Sometimes I see an equation written on a blackboard like half an equation and… I just figure it out.

Unfarepak & Robin H : That theory about time running backwards in places, could answer all sorts of problems regarding cosmic voids, entropy, steady state theory, and dark matter.

Prowler Cam : Capitalism and Religion. He really was intelligent!

Trevor Doyle : Should have mention the MK Ultra mind control experiments on Ted Kaczynski by his Harvard professor.. probably helped make him go crazy..

Lewis Harbo : notice really smart people don't seem to like other people?

Cat22 : Is that a Thors Hammer in the background? Is it metal and wood or just plastic?

JM Valencia : you forgot to say Tesla who change the way we live,

Art Donovan : Thank you, Joe. Great segment!

JOHN SMITH : Thanks man. So interesting and sad. Wish I was that smart.

Jason Guion : I don’t know why but (I am 46) in the second grade my mother and whoever thought I wasn’t doing well in school so she had me tested to see if I had any learning disability. I remember the old woman had me drawing pictures with my left hand and reading science stuff out loud...well right away my mom started telling people I had an IQ of 156. She was so proud, and I didn’t improve, and never felt smart. All it did was make me feel guilty for not performing better in school. I had terrible times with math, and basically I was just good at English and reading. By the 9th grade telling people that was embarrassing to me. They said I was so smart, but that’s it. They didn’t help me with a way to learn better. It really served only to make me feel small to be called really really smart. Being labeled as that, or a genius is over rated. It just doesn’t help a kid do well.

???? ???? : That intro. Drum's /chair turn.🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Michæl Gilbert Clements : Yes, Enrico Fermi also made bombs that killed people. So, great comparison to Ted Kaczynski.

Botha Lissom : 1. learns math, statistics, psychology, biology and linguistics. 2. concludes that 10% of humanity needs to be culled every 200 years, based on biological and psychometric criteria. 3. serves as eugenics mastermind in fascist regime. 4. vanishes off the map, presumed dead but also rumored to be living as a hermit in paraguay, on the fringe of the amazon rainforest.

Cedric Dickory : Wait.....he knew how to speak Hebrew, Latin, french, English(list goes on till infinity) when he was 6! I’m 14 and I can’t even speak French yet!

Fernando Chavez : I wonder if he broke due to the pressure of expectations or if it wasn’t a phenomenon which sometimes happens when a person of a higher cultural environment goes to live with a group of a much lower simpler culture standard. In the Peace Corp we used to call it going “savage”. Thanks. Maybe we were specimens in a Petri dish to him.

Tiss fant : He would've loved Rick and Morty....

piggy201 : So they created a superintelligent person and when he grew up his reaction was to basically log off the human society and live anonymously... Says a lot.

karolak kolo : For those that keep mixing it up all the time: there is a difference between intelligence and smartness. IQ measures only intelligence. The difference is that smartness is the amount of knowledge you have. Whereas intelligence is the capacity to *become* smart faster. A person with 110 IQ can accumulate the same knowledge as a person with 180 IQ, and they will have the same smartness, *but* the person with 180 IQ will have accumulated that knowledge in a much shorter period of time and with less outside help because of natural intuition that comes with intelligence A smart but unintelligent person is one that has to spend a lot of time pounding the facts and memorizing them. Those are people who spend a lot of time studying, and are usually not social in their childhood. An intelligent but not smart person is almost like a normal person because he has not much knowledge despite having capacity to accumulate that knowledge easily. A smart and intelligent person is a gifted person, or sometimes even called prodigy, because he has high intelligence, and uses it all the time to accumulate knowledge. His or her social status usually depends not on how smart or intelligent they are. Most of those people are social, but much more retro- and intro- spective, and spend some quiet time to think too. A person that is neither, well that's just a regular Joe.

Ramphastos : Actually the average person has an iq of 100 - by definition

Delon Duvenage : Ecc_1:18  For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

JM Valencia : you forgot to say Tesla

Robert Oschler : What was I doing at age 6? At age 5 I successfully created the first time machine. I traveled back to the days of the Vikings and had a wonderful time with Olaf the Conqueror attacking villages and drinking tons of ale (they even made me a little battle ax and tiny armor!). Unfortunately someone mistook me for a ammunition and launched me with a catapult. I landed badly on my head (but at least I wiped out several enemy sheep). Due to that brain injury I became profoundly stupid. Fortunately, the time machine was programmed to automatically return me to the present time but due to a misplaced semi-colon in the code, self-destructed taking the design plans with it so I have no proof. I lived out the rest of my life as an ordinary computer programmer until last year when I died during a bad flamingo racing accident. Even on my last day, I still had a fond passion for pillaging.

Dale Kirkendall : For hundreds of years the Jews have lived separate and arranged marriages for their smartest boys and girls, and they keep fine tuning this plan and that is why they have so many really smart people. I would think that these geniuses , don't have anybody to discuss things with. They feel separate, and alone,and lonely, and they can clearly see how religion governments and businesses are taking advantage of average people , and that could make them disgusted with the world and with life.

bill clintons wife : dragged a bit at the end Joe.. interesting historical footnote

Aryamaan Goswamy : Fame probably fooled him on his birthday

Andrew Stang-Green : How odd; I didn’t notice it until my friend pointed it out; but this man is my doppelgänger! Seriously freaky