back to article World loses John Nash, the 'Beautiful Mind'

A car accident in New Jersey has claimed the life of Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and subject of the book and movie A Beautiful Mind, John Forbes Nash. The 86-year-old Nash was travelling with wife Alicia, 82, in a taxi that struck a guardrail on the New Jersey Turnpike. The couple were not wearing seat belts, according …

  1. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Paranoia will destroy'ya?

    Yeah, I know he got better, but I have to say that it sure seems like a peculiar and unlikely way to die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

      If you're not wearing a seat belt, then it's not that unlikely.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

      And the tin-foil hatters and certain others will either blame Uber for somehow causing this accident, or claiming if they'd been in a Uber car, this wouldn't have happened.

      It is a sad day for mathematics... the guy was a genius and as I understand it, a very pleasant gentleman, in every sense of being a gentleman.

      1. Naselus

        Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

        "the guy was a genius and as I understand it, a very pleasant gentleman, in every sense of being a gentleman"

        He was a genius, but he was certainly not a very pleasant gentleman. He was generally rather short-tempered and spiky; more like a real-life Greg House than the tortured hero of A Beautiful Mind. One of his first games was called 'Fuck You Buddy', and was basically designed to show that everyone is a backstabbing, lying prick.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

          " designed to show that everyone is a backstabbing, lying prick."

          So, not wrong then.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

            Hey, who ever said 'nice' and 'right' were the same thing? :P

    3. J J Carter Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Paranoia will destroy'ya?

      There's some illustrative videos on Youtube, just search for 'arab drifting ejection'

    4. Chris Miller

      Peculiar and unlikely?

      Not if my experience of taxi drivers in the greater NY area is typical. Many (most?) of them appear to have arrived in the country only recently, passed their driving test in some third world location, and have no local knowledge (I had to direct one to Newark airport).

      The contrast with a London 'black cab' could hardly be greater.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peculiar and unlikely?

        Once upon a time, we had a NYC Taxi driver that seemed to be a recent immigrant (English language was not included in his skill set). He hit an indicated 85 mph on the East side of Manhattan - on a surface street near the UN (1st Ave if I recall correctly).

        1. Calum Morrison

          Re: Peculiar and unlikely?

          I had one from Newark to Manhattan ask me which tunnel he should take. Eh, that's your job pal.

          1. ravenviz

            Re: Peculiar and unlikely?

            Taxi drivers sometimes ask which route to take in case you have a preference. Some passengers can get quite irate if the driver goes 'the wrong way' when in actual fact there is more than one way to reach a destination for the same fare price.

      2. Turtle

        @Chris Miller

        "Many (most?) of them appear to have arrived in the country only recently, passed their driving test in some third world location..."

        For international reciprocity for driver's licenses see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver%27s_license#United_States_2:

        "A New York State driver's license may be obtained by a resident of another country. If the driver has a driver license from any nation except Canada, they must pass a written test, complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course and pass a road test to qualify for a driver's license."

        I'm pretty sure (not 100% sure) that those requirements are identical for all applicants.

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    Boffin

    It should also be pointed out

    That Nash & Alicia had a son, who also developed schizophrenia.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: It should also be pointed out

      Why (should it be pointed out)?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It should also be pointed out

      >>> That Nash & Alicia had a son, who also developed schizophrenia.

      Hats off to all three then. Let's salute them for living with it.

      1. linicks

        Re: It should also be pointed out

        "Hats off to all three then. Let's salute them for living with it."

        Surely that should be - "Hats off to all five then. Let's salute them for living with it."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It should also be pointed out

          >>> Surely that should be - "Hats off to all five then. Let's salute them for living with it."

          If we were still school kids or exceptionally immature adults then yes, you're right!!!!

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: It should also be pointed out

          Schizophrenia != multiple personality disorder. MPD is but one of many possible illnesses along the Schizophrenia spectrum, much like ADHD, Aspergers, major depression and OCD are all on the Autism spectrum.

          The first step to overcoming prejudice against individuals with atypical neural presentation is to actually learn something about it.

  3. All names Taken

    Life is beautiful ...

    ... the world is a better place for the two to have had life.

  4. John Hughes

    John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

    Wear your bloody seatbelts you pillocks.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

      To the American visitor I was driving around in my car (a relatives' girlfriend):

      "There is a seatbelt next to you", "I don't wear seatbelts, they are uncomfortable", "You wear one in my car because being hit by your body during an accident is much more uncomfortable".

      The level of stupidity in otherwise normal people is astounding.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

        I'm a brilliant driver, 43 years no accident, blah blah blah. None of us set out on a trip expecting to be involved in an accident.The driving seat seems to be the last bastion of a youthful belief in immortality, it can't happen to me.

        I wear a seat belt because:

        1. I'm really not as good as I think I am.

        2. Neither is any other driver.

        3. We all make mistakes.

        4. Any large object bouncing around in side a vehicle will do damage to itself and what it hits when it stops.

        5. It is kinder to all involved if you make low speed accidents survivable. The other drivers will feel pretty shit if you die, even if it clearly your fault and you are unbelted.

        1. grthinker

          Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

          LOL, and you don't need to be a genius to understand the idea. Yeah, I 'm skipping the long words!

        2. Vic

          Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

          2. Neither is any other driver.

          Oh, I'm exactly as good as I think I am. Best to steer clear of me, really...

          Vic.

      2. erikj

        Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

        I'm not sure what's meant by pointing out your visitor was American (well, maybe I am). But I will say that despite regulations, it's sometimes impossible to actually locate the seatbelts in our often decrepit American taxis.

    2. DocJames

      Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

      They're not the people to whom the rules refer.

      Or at least, I presume that's what they think. I used to say that they didn't think, but that seems unlikely for Nash. Presumably he didn't see the noncooperative oncoming vehicle.

    3. G.Y.

      Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

      Insulting the dead is NOT called for!

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: John Nash, Ladia Diana, when will it end.

        Maybe, maybe not. In this case I think that the two chosen examples are valid in order to highlight a couple of points often lost by the everyday complacency of mankind:

        1. Seatbelts are there for a very good reason.

        2. No matter how great or above the law you feel you are, you are not above the laws of Physics.

  5. Turtle

    Genius Is As Genius Does.

    A genius. But not smart enough to buckle his seatbelt.

  6. Gray
    Facepalm

    Pity the emergency aid worker ...

    who has to clean up the mess left by one's body halfway out the door as the vehicle rolls over on it. (Yes it happens.) Please, wear your seat belt.

    As for the other, well ... it was New Jersey, right? They're all a bit nuts there.

  7. Jim Birch
    Meh

    At least...

    He's in equilibrium now.

    1. Turtle

      @Jim Birch Re: At least...

      "He's in equilibrium now."

      Actually no, he's not. He's decomposing.

  8. david 12 Bronze badge

    Medication

    Chlorpromazine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1954, but he wasn't released from hosptial until 1970? Was he getting any treatement? In 1961 Thomas Szasz argued that psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia do not exist. -- was John Nash a victim of that dead end?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Medication

      Not all who have schizophrenia will have the same success with the same medication. Chlorpromizine certainly did/does work for many, but also did/does not work for many. Hence many with schizophrenia (and, I'd assume, other mental illness) often have to try a couple (or more) different meds until they find one that works. It's all brain chemistry, and we're all different mixes of bio-soup even before the imbalances (that manifest as autism, depression, bipolar, et cetera) so it's entirely possible Mr. Nash had tried chlorpromazine and it either did not work or only worked for a while (before losing effectiveness), which would mean a longer stay in a health facility. (I'm sorry I don't know the specifics of his situation.)

      Peace be unto him and his loved ones.

    2. DocJames

      Re: Medication

      Nash was tried on chlorpromazine but he didn't like its "flattening" effect (much like many others) and so argued enough to stop it. He essentially avoided drug treatment for many years, only occasionally receiving it when things were worse than usual. It meant that he didn't run into all the drug s/e (tardive dyskinesias, cardiovascular risks, etc) but also meant that for a significant proportion of his life the world passed him by.

      His story challenges the "requirement" for antipsychotics in schizophrenia. Having said that, I think I'd take them if needed.

      COI: not a psychiatrist, but occasionally have to look after those with schizophrenia

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess it's good - in a macabre kind of way - that they died together.

  10. Turtle

    From "Not Even Wrong".

    Two quotes from http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=7765

    "Back in May 1979, just after our general examination, Mark Schneider and I decided we would write down some of the writings that Nash left on the blackboards around Jadwin. [...] I have made a PDF out of the musings." (Find link to pdf in the cited blog post.)

    From a comment from the above cited blog post:

    "Waiting for more information on Nash’s reformulation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Anyone know more about this as seen in the Daily Mail (UK): ‘…Nash Jr. [...] told a friend he had discovered a replacement equation for Einstein’s theory of relativity. Award-winning mathematician Cédric Villani said Nash had explained the work on Einstein’s theory to him three days before his death …"

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