March 19, 2005

14 year old Nebraska genius commits suicide

A post from Don't Let Me Stop You concerning Bobby Fischer's most recent misadventures in the cruel world of international fame laments that such a genius has lost his mind. It got me thinking about bad wiring. I mean bad wiring in the nervous system, where wires aren't wires and signals move with chemical slowness. And by bad I mean non-conforming, not necessarily evil. Really bad wiring will result in non-viabilty: if the lungs aren't hooked up right, baby dies soon after birth.

But non-conforming wiring that doesn't kill outright has been related to genius. Anecdotal evidence of fabulously creative artists, philosophers and scientists* being a bit off kilter can be found in nearly every age and cultural setting. The horse indians of the Plains were said to respect insanity as a higher form of thought. The 'absent-minded professor' is a popular modern motif. John Nash, portrayed in the weird movie A Beautiful Mind was a math genius, but almost crippled by delusional madness.

A home-grown Nebraska child prodigy has killed himself this week. AP has the story of the Venango boy's death here.
"Brandenn E. Bremmer, who taught himself how to read at 18 months and began playing the piano at 3, was found dead Tuesday at his home in southwest Nebraska with a gunshot wound to the head".
His mother, who evidently has a small business in Imperial, Fine Things Jewelry & Gifts, didn't tell how he was found, but had this to say:
'"We're rationalizing now," she said. "He had this excessive need to help people and teach people. ... He was so connected with the spiritual world, we felt he could hear people's needs and desires and their cries. We just felt like something touched him that day and he knew he had to leave" so his organs could be donated.

She said Brandenn's kidneys went to two people, his liver to a 22-month old and his heart to an 11-year-old boy.'
This sure sounds like another case of bad wiring in a budding genius. I hope it isn't another "that don't add up" story, but admit to having some stray thoughts along this line. I don't know what his mom means when she says "something touched him that day and he knew he had to leave", but it rings vaguely creepy. Perhaps if he had gone to public schools the state could have drugged his troublesome creative streak away.

Update: Here is barking moonbat Political Cheezwhizz reflecting on Brandenn's suicide: He killed himself because he found out his parents were Republicans. I note that the Cheezy Whizzer also is a big fan of Al Franken, a true fellow traveller with a Stalinesque sense of humor.

* Given the state of modern science in admitting 'theories' that leave Karl Popper turning in his grave, modern philosophies that hate wisdom, and modern artists that frame excrement, it is getting so you can't tell the Muses without a program.
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