Re: Eight-year-old physics genius enters university

From: Maru Dubshinki (
Date: Sun Nov 06 2005 - 18:16:16 MST

On 11/6/05, justin corwin <> wrote:
> Both Wiener and Sidis are thought of as crazy people. Even the
> normally NPOV Wikipedia describes Wiener as the 'prototype' of
> absentminded academic later in life, and includes a particularly
> pointless Anecdotes section, which repeats apocryphal stories about
> Wiener's inability to deal with every day life.
> Looking at the historical evidence, both Wiener and Sidis were
> relatively prolific scientists, Sidis doing well in mathematics, and
> after retiring, writing quite a few books under psuedonyms, on
> anthropology, linguistic studies of native american culture and
> language, cosmology (in one of the few books he published under his
> own name, he predicted something very similar to a black hole in
> 1925).
> --
> Justin Corwin

I think I shall object to your characterization of Wikipedia's entry;
I wrote and did some research for that article, and the anecotes as
well. Of the 4 listed, #4 is doubly sourced (once in Wikipedia, and
once outside it if you go googling), and the previous 2 derive from
Weiner's own autobiography. #1 I do not know about, but even assuming
uncharitably that it is false, a 75% accuracy does not render the
whole section 'apocryphal' ("of dubious veracity", "of doubtful
authenticity", "in the nature of an urban legend", "not canonical"),
much less "particularly pointless"- would you have the Albert Einstein
article not mention his place in popular culture?


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