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It is always strange when people who have had an outsized impact upon others die. Prof. Nash wasn't just someone who was killed in a traffic accident. He was someone who touched the lives of many, many people in surprising ways. His work itself has a large sphere of influence that will exist without him, but I'm talking about a more personal kind of influence. He was an example of living to who you could be regardless of what was broken inside of you or what was "missing."

When I was a teenager, I had the good fortune of attending a lecture by Prof. Nash. Although I did not have the maturity to truly grasp what he was trying to explain - the event did influence my later life. I started reading up about him and his struggles with his schizophrenia, the work he wanted to do, the fears he had of never achieving it, and how despite everything he ended up manifesting his work anyway. This influenced my own struggle with teenage depression and made me realise that there was probably more I could contribute beyond the seemingly staunch limits of my own mind. That altered my life trajectory in a "tiny" but measurable way, so that I - a complete stranger - feel moved by the loss.

I'm sure he stands for so much more to so many people and that's a testament to the power of a life well lived.




"He was an example of living to who you could be regardless of what was broken inside of you or what was "missing.""

This is a wonderful legacy and i just love the way you where able to describe it on one sentence, thanks.


I think that sort of excellence is born from resignation to "brokenness". Many many people waste their potential trying to fix the things they think they're missing.


Sounds interesting, can you expand on that?


Society is continually expanding it's notion of minimum acceptability. Standardized testing is a great example. The problem with this approach is that extreme excellence is fundamentally divergent. Revolutionarily smart people don't think the same way but faster. They think differently [1]. Also, excellence in one domain precludes it in others. For instance, you can't be a world class distance-runner and body-builder at the same time. The same holds for mental activities. Effective heuristics in one domain become cognitive biases in another. By expecting and accepting lower performance in general you create room for your comparative advantages to further develop. This can be summarized by the maxim: focus on your strengths. In this case I suspect insurmountable weakness enabled Nash to do exactly that.

1: or "different" if you're too focused to bother with grammar ;)


"No entity can be optimally efficient at more than one thing." - http://www.thebookoflife.org/why-work-life-balance-is-an-ill...


Thank you so much for putting this out there, this makes a lot of sense and it's great to hear it put this way.


By sharing this story and adding your experience, you have allowed his influence to grow that much more. Thank you for the moving words.




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