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Sidis (Highest IQ Ever!), Asexual?

Nico-Nico Friendo

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Nico-Nico Friendo

There was once a man named William James Sidis ("Sigh-dess" -- rhymes with 'Midas') and his IQ is the highest ever recorded (250-300+)!

I was musing about him for a while, pondering his life and his behaviors and he stiked me as a rather 'asexy' person.

But most people have never heard of him because he gave up his life in the public eye to live in seclusion away from other humans who did not appreciate his genius. He was hated and feared by 'neurotypicals', teachers and MIT professors, and even his own parents (who had once threatened to send him to the insane asylum).

He died at age 46, in Boston in the year 1944, of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Just so that you can know more about him before I talk about his possible asexuality, here are some amazing facts about his ("Billy's") life (mostly in order from birth to death):

1. Given IQ is a purely anthropocentric means of assessing intelligence, Sidis' IQ is crudely estimated at 250-300.

2. Infant Billy listened to Greek myths read to him by Sarah as bedtime stories.

3. Started feeding himself with a spoon at eight months (after two months of trial and error).

4. Cajoled by Boris, Billy learned to pronounce alphabetic syllables from blocks hanging in his crib.

5. At six months, Billy said, "Door." A couple months later he told Mom he liked things, doors and people, that move.

6. At seven months he pointed to Earth's moon and called it, "moon." He wanted a 'moon' of his own.

7. Mastered higher mathematics and planetary revolutions by age 11.

8. Learned to spell efficiently by one year old.

9. Started reading The New York Times at 18 months.

10. Started typing at three. Used his high chair to reach a typewriter. First composed letter was an order for toys from Macy's.

11. Read Caesar's Gallic Wars, in Latin (self-taught), as a birthday present to his Father in Billy's fourth year.

12. Learned Greek alphabet and read Homer in Greek in his fourth year.

13. Learned Aristotelian logic in his sixth year.

14. At six, Billy learned Russian, French, German, and Hebrew, and soon after, Turkish and Armenian.

15. Calculated mentally a day any date in history would fall at age six. 16. Absolutely fascinated by calendars.

17. Learned Gray's Anatomy at six. Could pass a student medical examination.

18. At age 8, Billy surpassed his father (a genius) in mathematics.

19. Corrected E. V. Huntington's mathematics text galleys at age of eight.

20. Total recall of everything he read.

21. Wrote four books between ages of four and eight. Two on anatomy and astronomy, lost.

22. Passed Harvard Medical School anatomy exam at age seven.

23. Passed MIT entrance exam at age eight.

24. Intellect surpassed best secondary school teachers.

25. At age 10, in one evening, corrected Harvard logic professor Josiah Royce's book manuscript: citing, "wrong paragraphs."

26. Attempted to enroll in Harvard at nine

27. In 1909, became youngest student to ever enroll at Harvard at age 11.

28. In 1910, at age 11, lectured Harvard Mathematical Club on 'Four-Dimensional Bodies.'

29. Billy graduated from Harvard, cum laude, on June 24, 1914, at age 16.

30. Billy entered Harvard Law School in 1916.

31. Billy could learn a whole language in one day!

32. Billy knew all the languages (approximately 200) of the world, and could translate among them instantly!

Here's a partial list of some of his "acultural" and idiosyncratic behaviors:

1. Utter disregard of sports and physical activities — learned from his father.

2. Utter disregard of things monetary — learned from his father.

3. Utter disregard for academia, academicians, academic bureaucracy and their 'titles.'

4. Collected street car transfers. Knew most details of most routes in USA.

5. "Rabid" atheist by age six. (His father, Boris, was too, but intensely studied great religious works.)

6. His only fear was dogs.

7. Learned to hate mathematics in grammar school; later at 7.5 years he started a life long love of math.

8. Avid interest in politics.

9. Dressed in Russian peasant clothes as a minor.

10. On hearing a Bible read aloud, declared he didn't believe in that and didn't want to hear it.

11. In school, only worked problems to which he didn't know answers.

12. After 3 months in high school, parents withdrew him; teachers were relieved.

13. Thinking was his chosen refuge from media antagonists.

14. Celibate: Vowed never to marry. (One of his 154 rules for life.) "Women do not appeal to me."

15. Considered traditional classrooms, 'stifling.'

16. Billy was a pacifist, anti-war, conscientious objector.

17. He was a reformed communist/socialist — eventually found both intellectually disgusting.

18 . Paradoxes were his logical specialty.

19. Essence of Billy Sidis: On page 106, of The Prodigy, Amy Wallace quotes Billy on his view of the perfect life, "I want to live the perfect life. The only way to live the perfect life is to live it in seclusion. I have always hated crowds." These sentences, in your reviewer's opinion, are an excellent micro-biography of mankind's finest known intellect.

I found the information on his life and behavior at this site:

It is of note that he was not religious and yet chose to be celibate and never marry, as he said "Women do not appeal to me".

Now maybe some people may argue that perhaps he was gay, but he does not strike me as a person who was very fond of people in general. In fact, it seems he saw others as sort of 'beneath him' perhaps like primitive animals running about their lives unthinkingly.

Although, he did like one woman for a while (Martha Foley), but their relationship never went beyond the kissing stage.

It seems to me that perhaps Sidis was asexual -- I doubt anyone can know for sure if this was the case, but it is interesting to think that this person with "immeasurable intelligence" could likely have been so.

What do you think of this amazing person, Sidis?

Here's some information dealing with his celibate life, so that you can see for yourself what he thought of sexual relationships:

Here are more links about Sidis:

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Interesting,i think that he may very well have been asexual but we will never know for sure,it does seem that he did not like people at all very much from the little i have just read.

I will go and take a look at the rest ofthe article when i have the time

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Did he really do anything other than be ubelievably intelligent? I mean, it says he wrote books that were lost, but it looks like his accomplishments are mostly personal. Seems a shame.

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Nico-Nico Friendo
Did he really do anything other than be ubelievably intelligent? I mean, it says he wrote books that were lost, but it looks like his accomplishments are mostly personal. Seems a shame.

It is a sad story. I think he got fed up with people because they did not like him (he was always correcting his professors and stuff like that). He was a mathematics professor for a while, but he was so young that his students ridiculed him and just would not take him seriously. So he left that job.

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Does it matter?

Not much in life matters. Does my answer to your question matter? No, not really.

But it is interesting.

I wouldn't assume that he was asexy. Certainly, his behavior suggests it, but there are asocial sexuals. His statement that women didn't interest him might merely have meant that they aren't an exception to his feeling of general disinterest in other people.

I'm not declaring anything. I just want to acknowledge that there are other possibilities before I say that he sounds to me like an asexy.

What's more, we all know that asexies are smarter. :wink:

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It seems to me that his, like most extreme spectrum geniuses, personality would be best described as schizoid (as schizoid personality disorder) who's hallmarks are extreme introversion, high intelligence, and high focus of one end of the intelligence spectrum (arts/science).

His personality sounds similar to other geniuses, like Newton, H.P Lovecraft, Tesla, Einstein, and Kafka. The reason, at least my own personal belief, that geniuses often are reclusive is that we're repulsed by what our species does on an individual level, we forget that most aren't as bright, cannot see as clearly as we do; therefore their interaction will ultimately bring pain to each other because they don't understand fully how the actions affect other people, six seven or even two steps removed.

Knowledge brings awareness of pain, without knowledge pain still exists, it simply is ignored for the more frivolous infatuations of the fool's mind.

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People like him make me emo... And want to hurt people. >_> I don't like people that are much smarter than me.

Maybe he is. I think it kinda sucks to be him, though. Passing MIT entrance exams at 8? Oh, he was DEFINITELY popular with people. 18 year olds could barely do that- then some little 8 year old punk comes along and outshines 'em? yeah... he was a happy, well adjusted boy.

I think I'd rather be an idiot who does something he loves and gets more respect than hate for it than a super genius that has to watch over his shoulder because most of his "peers" want to see him crash and burn. Which, maybe they were supportive, but I somehow doubt that.

So, maybe he was asexual- but it's more likely that at a young age he realized that people can't usually deal with someone who's that much smarter than them at that age and gave up. Maybe if he didn't get smart enough for college 10 years early he would have been sexual and happily married.

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