Sidis is a standard interest of Robert Pirsig fans, Pirsig makes significant reference to him, so he’s been mentioned here a couple of times.
(William James Sidis (1898-1944) basically a child prodigy of high intelligence pushed by his parents – through Harvard aged 11 (!) – that the general public / media meme is that he collapsed through some kinda breakdown into a ignominious life of trivia. Significance for Pirsig is that he too was assessed by various intelligence tests and advanced in education over several years of his early life. He only discovered later that he had been part of a longer “longitudinal” educational development study.)
Sidis did publish some strange books under pen-names, but published one important book under his own name.
Fellow Pirsigian David Harding (@GoodMetaphysics) posted a new short video about Sidis:
— Good Metaphysics (@goodmetaphysics) August 1, 2022
I responded already, but just wanted to capture here:
I’d forgotten Sidis had published his “life as entropy reversal” idea back in 1920. And, I remember Mahoney as the man that “rediscovered” him in 1979, BUT hadn’t spotted the Bucky-Fuller connection – an old class mate(!) reviewing Sidis only publication. And Norbert Wiener of Cybernetics fame too. It was 1940 before Schrödinger did the same. Black holes too.
Here is that Buckminster-Fuller letter: