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← Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein

Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein - Comments

Quine's Avatar Comment 1 by Quine

I fear a derivatives trading firm will scoop him up before he gets a chance to do any serious Physics.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 21:46:49 UTC | #908963

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

Published in ' Physical Review ' at his age! What, hopefully, can we expect from this young man in the future?

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:06:49 UTC | #908970

Sample's Avatar Comment 3 by Sample

The article states that Jake is, "confident he may one day challenge some of the established theories of physics."

Why the interviewer/producers didn't probe Jake's thoughts on those matters, even superficially, is beyond my comprehension as a consumer.

I do wish him well, and I found it poignant that his Mother's wish for Jake's future was that he had at least one friend.

Mike

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:09:54 UTC | #908972

orbitfold's Avatar Comment 4 by orbitfold

Judging by others like him - nothing. He might start a company and get all new agey.

Comment 2 by Neodarwinian :

Published in ' Physical Review ' at his age! What, hopefully, can we expect from this young man in the future?

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:10:58 UTC | #908974

secularjew's Avatar Comment 5 by secularjew

My mom would kill me if I ever wrote on the windows. Maybe that's why I never developed my genius.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:21:10 UTC | #908976

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 6 by gr8hands

There seems to be some link between perfect pitch and extremely good recall. I wonder if they've tested him on that?

I had the pleasure of listening to an 84 year old woman play the entire Goldberg Variations from memory -- which took over an hour -- and she just laughed and said she'd always had the ability to memorize everything.

It's good that he is able to collate the data, see meaningful patterns/combinations, and not just parrot it back without comprehension.

I believe that in this day and age of greater capacity to connect with like-minded people around the globe, his chances of finding a friend will be greatly improved. Mensa, Intertel, Triple Nine Society, IPSE, Prometheus Society, Mega Society, and so on.

It would be a mistake to treat him like a freak, preventing him from organically developing friendships. I think it is healthy to have friends who only have a very few things in common, in order to stretch and develop new insights and viewpoints.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:39:09 UTC | #908982

tonyK's Avatar Comment 7 by tonyK

Something has to give here. Surely there has been no giant evolutionary leap from normal brain to this kid's brain.

I suspect genetic engineering.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 23:07:05 UTC | #908987

The Jersey Devil's Avatar Comment 8 by The Jersey Devil

She believes that what sets a prodigy with autism apart from other children with the condition is the prodigy's genes have been modified so that the genius emerges without many of the severe disabilities associated with autism.

Joanne Ruthsatz: In the general population of autism, 10 percent will have an autistic savant skill where they're exceptional at something. And they've only got that piece displaying itself.

Is there any belief or hypothesis that Autism is in someway a current 'mutation' - in the evolutionary sense? Could consciousness have arisen historically by a similar mutation?

If the 10% savant among the autistic and (according to this article) if a 1 in 38 autism rate (US rate) were true, that would mean that aproximately 1 in 380 of all children could be savants. If it was selected for and passed from down to off-spring, wouldn't this be exactly the type of evolutionary process that could lead to a more intelligent race of people a few generations down the line?

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 23:21:35 UTC | #908992

1niceatheist's Avatar Comment 9 by 1niceatheist

Amazing.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 23:24:46 UTC | #908993

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 10 by chawinwords

The young fella seems filled with the joy of living and learning, even though learning on such a grand scale. I wish the youngster the best and every happiness in life, and may his joy remain spontaneous, and may he acquire grand dicoveries for humanity.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 23:52:01 UTC | #909002

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 11 by Functional Atheist

He seems like a nice, as well as obviously gifted, kid. I wish him well.

He did make a couple goofs that I was able to spot. When he recited pi in reverse, there was a slip of the tongue "...four point one three" (rather than "...four one point three"). And if he's earning undergraduate credits at age 13, expecting to only be finishing up his Master's when he's 23 seems awfully pessimistic.

These minor misstatements aren't proof of anything, but it is worthwhile to recall that Mozart was an exception to the norm for child prodigies. I expect this nice boy to have a respectable, but unremarkable, career as a Professor of Mathematics or Physics. I hope he proves me wrong, but that kind of middling success is a typical outcome for child prodigies.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:00:33 UTC | #909004

mmurray's Avatar Comment 12 by mmurray

Comment 11 by Functional Atheist :

He seems like a nice, as well as obviously gifted, kid. I wish him well.

He did make a couple goofs that I was able to spot. When he recited pi in reverse, there was a slip of the tongue "...four point one three" (rather than "...four one point three"). And if he's earning undergraduate credits at age 13, expecting to only be finishing up his Master's when he's 23 seems awfully pessimistic.

These minor misstatements aren't proof of anything, but it is worthwhile to recall that Mozart was an exception to the norm for child prodigies. I expect this nice boy to have a respectable, but unremarkable, career as a Professor of Mathematics or Physics. I hope he proves me wrong, but that kind of middling success is a typical outcome for child prodigies.

Agreed. Often they seem to be just ahead of everybody else and it evens out later. But not always.

Michael

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:12:08 UTC | #909009

Beethoven's Avatar Comment 13 by Beethoven

I am skeptical of this teenage genius business.

Wunderkinds are notoriously unreliable -- their abilities miraculously disappear when they become adults. Even Mozart's abilities did not impress the courts of Europe once he was an adult and Mozart is a wunderkind who did not regress into mediocrity.

I guess we will wait and see.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:43:06 UTC | #909019

Net's Avatar Comment 14 by Net

great ... but such a pity that parallels are drawn with entertainers like elvis. if such people ever did have talent, i'd prefer to hear things like, "oh, elvis is the einstein of rock" ...

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:48:09 UTC | #909023

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Comment 15 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Surely everybody knows Einstein was the Elvis of science? Agreed, blech!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:07:54 UTC | #909031

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 16 by -TheCodeCrack-

Good luck to him.

I hope he has some kind of strong input into physics. I'm sure many geniuses simply learn what there is to know in physics, but never add to the field in any meaningful way. I hope to hear from this kid again in the future.

I know my personal memory is better than average; but I still consider human memory to be so bad: especially when compared to the near perfect memory of computers.

The human brain (I think) actively spits out anything it doesn't consider necessary for survival, like the colour of the pen-lid on the pen that was in the can at the hospital's secretary's desk. But you can strongly remember that moment you almost died.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 04:26:49 UTC | #909056

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 17 by Rob Schneider

Comment 7 by tonyK :

Something has to give here. Surely there has been no giant evolutionary leap from normal brain to this kid's brain.

I suspect genetic engineering.

Outliers, outliers, outliers.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 04:32:02 UTC | #909058

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 18 by aroundtown

Love it. Go man go. Your can see the joy in his eyes as he ponders the possibilities. Hope he can get a seat at Cern and crunch the data for us and put an end to the speculation. I can see the T-shirt on him now, I found the Higgs!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 06:30:52 UTC | #909072

GregGorey's Avatar Comment 19 by GregGorey

This young genius seems like he is very nice and obviously smarter than I will ever be without physical enhancements, but I think calling him Einstein is ridiculous (yes, I understand it is a nomenclature for intelligent people). Professor Einstein is recognized as brilliant because of his contributions, not because of his intelligence. Just because you have a large IQ does not mean that you are ever going to do something on footing with the father of modern science. A good example is chess masters Bobby Fischer (RIP) and Garry Kasparov. Both are said to have higher IQ's (Fischer 180 and Kasparov 190) and they just played chess. My point is that he needs to accomplish something before he is heralded in the way that he has been. While he certainly could do so, we should not jump the gun and remain skeptical.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 06:37:19 UTC | #909073

GregGorey's Avatar Comment 20 by GregGorey

Comment 18 by aroundtown :

Love it. Go man go. Your can see the joy in his eyes as he ponders the possibilities. Hope he can get a seat at Cern and crunch the data for us and put an end to the speculation. I can see the T-shirt on him now, I found the Higgs!

Right now (until AI), the role of the scientist is to make the leaps of imagination. Computers, which dwarf the numerical capabilities of even the greatest geniuses, have the number crunching under control. :)

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 06:41:57 UTC | #909074

Labyrinthos's Avatar Comment 21 by Labyrinthos

Weirdly enough, I find this personally discouraging. I was thinking about gathering resources to get a higher education abroad because college here was too low quality, but after seeing the kind of competition that's out there, maybe I should be content with the office job I got and be thankful for it. If there are people that can learn college-level maths so effortlessly, am I not wasting everybody's and my own time by snailing along at 2% the speed of understanding of others?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 08:27:28 UTC | #909084

alabasterocean's Avatar Comment 22 by alabasterocean

Learning is one thing, creating something new is something else. But he might, sure hope so.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 10:48:45 UTC | #909106

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 23 by strangebrew

Comment 3 by Sample

I found it poignant that his Mother's wish for Jake's future was that he had at least one friend.

Not just poignant...as a father I have had my heart broken time after time by the actions and attitudes of so called classmates to my daughter from infant school to college and every stop in between.

And you can only watch and cry inside. My daughter is not a genius...just above average IQ...I do not envy Jake's parents...sometimes it felt like a curse., she and indeed Jake has a wonderful gift, but it costs such a very high social price, it can actually bankrupt you!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:05:12 UTC | #909108

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 24 by Premiseless

I often think Richard had a point when he speculated about, those lost, potential geniuses (or genii who became bottled) never synchronising their capacity to display what an otherwise fertile environment might have helped them reap the harvest of. It seems culture, religion or lifestyle might often become sacrificial forces upon the individual capacity to do better, rather than affording them protection and support against the pernicious forces likely to compete against them succeeding amongst the crowd. And the greatest knockout punch, I always found, was to find those you felt innately responsible and wholly supportive of, questioning and despising your potentials to do well when they might feel less likely to. The minds of tomorrow need a well educated shell within which to decipher incoming albumen from egg parasites! Don't go playing Humpty around would be stonemasons!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:49:00 UTC | #909116

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 25 by Nunbeliever

Stories like these make me so tired. Modern science is all about cooperation. Yes, there's probably still room for a few "Einsteins" to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. But, today most great discoveries are the result of cooperation and hard work. Scientists working together. They all bring a small piece of this great jigsaw puzzle to the table and eventually we make a breakthrough. Yes, there will always be an individual or a few individuals who manage to put the last piece in place. But, that does not mean they were sole actors. Quantum physics is a great example. It does not matter how smart or intelligent you are. You still need a multi-billion dollar machine to make any real progress.

I find this whole hysteria with prodigies (especially child prodigies) quite tiresome. First, as said above, most discoveries (at least in our modern times) are the result of cooperation and hard work. Not some individual genious outsmarting the rest of the world. Second, a great many of our great discoveries are actually discovered by a coincidence. We were looking for something else or we weren't really look for something particular at all. This is why the scientific process is so important. While it gives us a steady stream of information by hard work it also gives us these rare coincidences when great discoveries are made and we take a great leap forward together.

This constant focus on prodigies does in my opinion reflect a very poor understanding of how science and the scientific process actually works. Yes, we need smart people! That's self-evident. But, science is about so much more than sheer brain power. Individuals make discoveries but from a scientific point of view certain individuals aren't of great importance. The process is! If we put the fate of science into the hands of a few "geniouses" we won't get very far.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 13:58:48 UTC | #909150

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 26 by RichardofYork

If Jake stays interested in physics he could be the next Sheldon Cooper . Interest in a subject is the thing the want to know what is happening .I'm certainly no Einstein but my interest in physics is a joy to me and interest is a big part of picking up the concepts , for me anyway .

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 14:43:46 UTC | #909160

Cestriana's Avatar Comment 27 by Cestriana

Nunbeliever:

I'm inclined to think that you rather misunderstand the nature of the autistic savant. It is not so much that they are born genius, rather that their excessively compulsive nature compels them to concentrate on narrow interests, often to the exclusion of all else in their lives. This obessessive adherence to the things that interest them can lead to their becoming experts in their particular field of learning. Temple Grandin, for example, is one individual who has singularly contributed massively to the world of animal science. Of that there is no doubt.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:26:55 UTC | #909175

palhuto's Avatar Comment 28 by palhuto

My advise to this kid: First Law of Richard Feynman - I´m not responsable for what otheres expect of me. So Kiss my a**. I just want to have fun.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:54:51 UTC | #909186

palhuto's Avatar Comment 29 by palhuto

My advise to this kid: First Law of Richard Feynman - I´m not responsable for what otheres expect of me. So Kiss my a**. I just want to have fun.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:57:18 UTC | #909188

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 30 by aroundtown

What excites me with someone like Jake are the possibilities for speculation that may not be the mainstream view. I am sure many here would be aware of the scientific communities of the early twentieth century in Britain and any observations outside the arena of consensus would be swept away for the most part and if they were proven to be in error you would get a very insincere admission from them. With our corporate culture today it is still difficult to play a rouge role in physics and new ideas to some degree are still affected in the community of established thinking. I see a maverick spirit in Jake and I would hope that energy does not diminish over time. I think they would have a hard time reining him in.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:33:01 UTC | #909202