William James Sidis was a famous child prodigy (no, it doesn’t mean he used the internet service provider as a kid). His childhood accomplishments are legendary – he passed Harvard Medical School anatomy exam at age seven and MIT entrance exam at 8. Harvard made him wait 2 years for admittance because he was only 9 – he enrolled at Harvard at 11. The link has been added to the site links under ‘ima nerdy birdy’.
William James Sidis link.
Or, if you prefer an audio introduction to Sidis’ life, The Memory Palace has an excellent podcast, “six scenes from the life of william james sidis”.
“‘Intellectualism’ is the belief that our mind comes upon a world complete in itself, and has the duty of ascertaining its contents; but has no power of re-determining its character, for that is already given.
“Among intellectualists two parties may be distinguished. Rationalizing intellectualists lay stress on deductive and ‘dialectic’ arguments, making large use of abstract concepts and pure logic (Hegel, Bradley, Taylor, Royce). Empiricist intellectualists are more ‘scientific,’ and think that the character of the world must be sought in our sensible experiences, and found in hypotheses based exclusively thereon (Clifford, Pearson).
“Both sides insist that in our conclusions personal preferences should play no part, and that no argument from what ought to be to what is, is valid. ‘Faith,’ being the greeting of our whole nature to a kind of world conceived as well adapted to that nature, is forbidden, until purely intellectual evidence that such is the actual world has come in.”
-William James, namesake of William James Sidis (1842-1910), from “Some Problems of Philosophy: A Beginning of an Introduction to Philosophy” – The quote above is NOT from Sidis, but can be found through the link provided.
Photo from ‘teknokekko vuodatus‘.
2nd pic from sidis.net. That website is chock full of wonderful Sidis’ work and is also added to the blogroll. Read “notes on the collection of transfers”(Sidis 1926) in its entirety, then let me know if you still want to be a genius.