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Math The Almighty Buck Science

Perelman Urged To Accept $1m Prize 421

krou writes "The Warm Home charity in St. Petersburg, Grigory Perelman's home-town, has urged the math genius and recluse to accept the $1m Millennium Prize for solving the Poincaré conjecture, and donate it to charities. Perelman has refused to accept the award, telling one reporter through the closed door of his flat, 'I have all I want,' and another who managed to call him on his mobile, 'You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms.'"
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Perelman Urged To Accept $1m Prize

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  • This is hilarious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:08PM (#31621410)

    Patron saint of basement dwellers everywhere.

  • I have an idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:10PM (#31621424)

    Maybe leave the guy alone like he wants?

  • This guy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:11PM (#31621426)

    Is a total badass, he sets the standard for life.

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:12PM (#31621434) Journal

    Sounds like a plan to me. I'd be pissed off if people kept bugging me as well. Just take the money he doesn't want and give it to a math oriented scholarship fund or something.

  • by gyepi ( 891047 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:12PM (#31621436) Homepage
    He probably wants nothing more than being left alone. It's ironic that he doesn't seem to grasp that his eccentric behavior makes that even more difficult to achieve.
  • Ah... an Oscar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:13PM (#31621446)

    This latest snub follows his refusal in 2006 to collect the maths equivalent of an Oscar, the Fields Medal.

    Its sad that the Fields medal is being compared to the Oscars - don't get me wrong, the Oscars are high honors in their fields - but comparing the lifetime of dedication scientists and mathematicians put into their work to the winner of 'Best miniskirt on hot actress in a running scene' doesn't seem right.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:16PM (#31621472) Journal

    Best idea I've heard yet. The right to be left alone is one of the most important ones we have.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:21PM (#31621522)

    One of Russia's most senior politicians, Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov, has appealed for Dr Perelman to be left in peace to make up his own mind. He suggested that it was "not very decent to look into other people's pockets and count other people's money", Russia's Interfax news agency reports.

    Me thinks someone needs to look at the politician's bank account and count how much he has ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:23PM (#31621528)

    Well, I suspect his disposition is what enabled him to make this discovery. Human progress can't all be achieved by preppie facebook overachievers. Some crazy is needed for the truly genius results.

  • self defeating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:27PM (#31621592)

    Refusing a $1 million prize will, I suspect, generate more, of the attention he doesn't want.

    The journalists camped outside his home and calling his cell phone don't give a crap about some obscure piece of mathematics - they care about the weirdo who is turning down a fortune.

  • by Kitkoan ( 1719118 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:28PM (#31621604)

    Well, I suspect his disposition is what enabled him to make this discovery. Human progress can't all be achieved by preppie facebook overachievers. Some crazy is needed for the truly genius results.

    Yeah, just remember that genius and madness are only separated by a thin line.

  • by BoppreH ( 1520463 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:37PM (#31621676)
    Disturb him some more and he might never submit another of his solutions to the world.
  • what mushrooms? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slonik ( 108174 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:37PM (#31621678)

    and another who managed to call him on his mobile, 'You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms.'

    Just check the weather in St.Petersburg, Russia. It is still too cold there for any mushrooms to grow. So much for journalist's integrity.

  • by dfarcanjo ( 631428 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:38PM (#31621690)

    Will: Oh, come on! What? Why is it always this? I mean, I fuckin' owe it to myself to do this or that. What if I don't want to?
    Chuckie: No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don't owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50, and I'll still be doin' this shit. And that's all right. That's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winnin' lottery ticket. And you're too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that's bullshit. 'Cause I'd do fuckin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys. It'd be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hangin' around here is a fuckin' waste of your time.

    <b> mine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:41PM (#31621712)

    Actually I read a interview with him at some point (I think in the New Yorker), and he really doesn't want the limelight.

    Since his discovery, he's had offers from major universities to work, and he's turned them all down.

    He really didn't do this for the glory. He is one of those few, rare individuals who achieved great things solely because they were there. Humble. Strange. Special in some way.

    I honestly admire this man. He has solved one of the most important problems of our time (and others' time) and his only wish is that other people take it further, purely for the sake of knowledge and understanding. Not for awards. Not for riches. Not for fame. Simply for knowledge.

    We may not understand him. Quite likely he doesn't understand us.

    He may not accept our riches, but he has given us something far far greater than mere money. Leave him be.

  • An artform. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:43PM (#31621722)

    I think Perelman is not so much a weirdo, but an aesthetic artist of sorts--he's been hurt by the fact that humans have tried to monetize something he considers to be if you could place a price on Shakespeare or a price-tag on Emily Dickinsons' poems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:44PM (#31621734)

    Yeah, just remember that genius and madness are only separated by a thin line.

    Some people aren't as fixated on money or socializing and gossip as journalists and Trolls are. Not wanting to be part of the In-Crowd does NOT make a person insane, or on the verge of insanity. Some people, like me, program for a hobby. Some people even write poetry without the intent of having it published. It makes us weird compared to the Trolls and socialites out there. But it doesn't make us crazy.

  • Re:Tools (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:46PM (#31621752)

    "Seriously man, take the million."

    I suspect that in Russia, as in other places, large amounts of cash, even if given away, attracts the attention of all sorts of unwelcome characters. The government with taxes; receiving the reward leads to paperwork which if not everything is in order can lead to huge repercussions, like jail time. Criminals who will only hear you received a lump sum, not that you gave it away. Reporters who are only bothering you now but will instead be critical of how you spent the money or attack your decison making (why that charity?). Charities for not being on the receiving end of your generosity. Pesky social people wanting to get a piece, such as women or men (depending on how you spin, and maybe the 'or' should be an 'and') showing up, despite you being in a happy relationship already, maybe even disrupting that.

    Right now he's an interesting story. If he accepts the million, he's an interesting story and rich, and the additional story of what he does with the million becomes a reality.

    Hell, when the economy went to shit here in the US, just look at the nasty backlash online, even here on /.; people were attacking ALL upper class simply because they were rich, not because they had done wrong. It was guilt by association.

    Maybe this recluse has his reasons and understands the world far better than you know.

  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:58PM (#31621808) Journal

    How so? This story has been on slashdot on several occasions; I'd say that he's gotten a ton of attention just by refusing the prize money.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:05AM (#31621852) Journal
    Unless you are a seriously odd duck, attention that you have to shun in order to continue getting seems like a pretty lame reward.

    Within the field of mathematics, a lifetime of fame is his pretty much no matter what he does. He has the proof, he doesn't have to play act.

    Outside of mathematics, there are a fair few things you could do for $1,000,000, particularly on vacation to somewhere with a lower cost of living index, that could keep you in the tabloids for weeks, or surrounded by enthusiastic companions for longer than that, until the cash runs out.

    I'm betting that he is the real deal. If he got off on attention, he could just accept the cash, be up to his eyes for a month solid in hookers and blow somewhere nice and tropical, and then spend however long he wanted basking in honorary doctorates and crowds of adoring mathematics departments the world over.
  • by Nialin ( 570647 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:09AM (#31621876)

    Is integrity such a rare thing these days, that everybody freaks the fuck out when they see it, call the person exhibiting it "Strange", and "Weird

    Of course! Things are only "strange" or "weird" because they are outside the norm. If integrity were the norm, the situation would be quite different. Wouldn't you agree?

  • by nazsco ( 695026 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:11AM (#31621890) Journal

    > Yeah, just remember that genius and madness are only separated by a thin line.

    In this case it isnt so.

    He is genius. he knows more math then you do. and he knows more about a good life then you do.

    because you dont understand him, considers him a madman on both accounts probably. Only so in the math part someone already told you to belive that he is a genius. not that you would understand it too. as you do not understand his views on a good life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:20AM (#31621938)

    Then and than you fucking moron! Seriously, how fucking hard is it!? They are two totally different words that sound totally different! Jez Christ!

    First I called you a fucking moron then I pointed out then & than are two totally different words.

    You're a bigger moron than you realise.

  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:27AM (#31621980)

    I don't think you get the point, he's denying it out of principle of being a decent human being, but he's not, he's just being a typical nerdy brat who doesn't get it.

  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:35AM (#31622028)

    He could simply state that openly, take the million dollars and give it away and chastize them for having prizes in the first place. If that was his goal it's the worst way to be doing it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:47AM (#31622098)
    I don't think YOU get it. He's denying the money because he hates society, not because he's trying to be decent or nice in any way. Frankly, I'd do the same.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:54AM (#31622136)

    Yeah, just remember that genius and madness are only separated by a thin line.

    The poor bloke just wants to do math and pick mushrooms. There's nothing wrong with him just because he doesn't fit into the "nuclear" society mould.

  • This is not a good life by any measure.

    Precisely who the hell are you to make that call? You're certainly not him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:16AM (#31622224)

    He owes you nothing.

  • Re:Mr. Perelman (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:16AM (#31622228)
    Jumping off a cliff does not take courage, it takes cowardice.
  • by Cassius Corodes ( 1084513 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:36AM (#31622296)

    Precisely who the hell are you to make that call? You're certainly not him.

    Well spotted.

    I'm all for living life the way you want but sometimes people need help rather than being left alone - despite the fact that they insist this to be the case. If this happened to anyone I knew and cared about I would certainly make that call.

  • Re:Tools (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lightspeedius ( 263290 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:53AM (#31622358) Homepage

    Some would say simply being rich when many are much poorer in itself is wrong.

  • by rdelcueto ( 1306175 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:41AM (#31622626) Homepage
    What exactly you mean by "This is not a good life by any measure", and just how the hell are you "measuring" his life? The guy says he has everything he wants. The fact that you don't understand or want his way of life (or what you've read he's life is), doesn't mean there's something wrong with it. People need to mind their own shit, and help by keeping their mouth shut and not doing this void judgments on others.
  • by DamnStupidElf ( 649844 ) <> on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:46AM (#31622652)
    Sanity is defined as having "soundness of mind and judgment." Being able to prove the Poincaré conjecture implies at least sound judgment in a logical sense in order to understand the proof, and clearly enough soundness of mind to compose a readable paper describing the proof. Perhaps you are confusing arbitrary personal lifestyle choices and a refusal to adhere to common social norms with some form of insanity. At worst, you might call it "asocial" or "antisocial", but that is hardly insane.
  • by blueworm ( 425290 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:48AM (#31622660) Homepage

    This bit is more about our personal dissatisfaction with our lives, as the readers, having to do things we don't like for money. It's more about a dissatisfaction with the economic system and less about this mathematician, or ex-mathematician. This dissatisfaction leads us to react to any declination of money with shock. The real key to freedom is living with very little and very humbly such that we "work" less and live more enjoyably, where "work" is here defined as any activity done more for money and less for personal enjoyment.

    Even Richard M. Stallman himself has suggested this:

    "I live like a student, basically. And I like that, because it means that money is not telling me what to do."
    -- Richard M. Stallman
    Pg. 164

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:50AM (#31622668)

    He lives in a small apartment with his mother and doesn't talk to anyone. This is not a good life by any measure.

    I'm the AC [] near the top of this thread. I'm in my 40's and live in my parents basement (yeah I know, I'm a living stereotype of how not to turn out). I try to avoid talking to people (except for the occasional comment on Slashdot). I was going to ignore your comment before you got up-moderated. I wish people like you would be able to have the intellectual ability to realize that what you say is not only offensive, prejudiced, biased, illogical, and outright wrong; but has absolutely no basis in reality. Not wanting to socialize with people is a GOOD thing, it isn't a bad thing. But, like usual, assholes like you will judge me by my ability and willingness to socialize, instead of by my intelligence, logic, or morality. The ironic thing about you and your type is that it just re-enforces my beliefs that actually talking to people is a waste of time and will likely end up in people insulting me because I live in my mothers basement trying to improve my mind by doing programming assignments, practicing Mathematics, reading psychology, instead of socializing and gossiping and making value judgments on people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:48AM (#31622922)

    Perhaps he wants his work to receive the limelight, or maybe not even that. He's proven something that others can build upon and take even further. His part is done, he doesn't want a parade. Take his work and celebrate that. Leave the man be.

    I'm not a big fan of people either. Most are boring shallow malicious twats. In that sense I understand him perfectly. Leave him be. He doesn't need the money, he doesn't need you. Why force all this on him? For his glory? Or for ours?

  • by DarkIye ( 875062 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:01AM (#31622966) Journal
    I had to read through 50 comments of confused, juvenile bullshit and slapfighting to get at this succinct summary of everything in it worth reading?
  • by Jedi Alec ( 258881 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:13AM (#31623008)

    You make it sound like intelligence and is somehow the opposite of socializing. It's not. Humans are social creatures. That's not a very intelligent thing to ignore. You live on a planet full of other people, and you depend on those other people for your continued survival.

    And apparently this gentleman has found that the only other people he really needs is his mother and whoever he has contact with through non-meatspace methods.

    We are not all the same. Spending 1 week on slashdot alone should show you that. And so long as noone is hurting themselves or others...who gives a shit?

    Let's live and let live, shall we?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:19AM (#31623346)

    No, the really ironic thing is that you decry the judgment of other people, while you are highly judgmental of others.

    Listen and learn, don't just reply to defend your biases. I am against people who insult merely for the sake that it is against their lifestyle choice and tradition. I judge people of course, but I judge people on the merits of their logic and NOT on whether they engage in social activity.

    You make it sound like intelligence and is somehow the opposite of socializing. It's not. Humans are social creatures. That's not a very intelligent thing to ignore.

    Again with the prejudice and insults. I'm not ignoring anything and yet it is obvious that you are using the propaganda technique of attempting to "put words in my mouth". And you obviously don't know the difference (or are deliberately Trolling?) between social co-operation (pretty much a necessary evil in modern society... for the past few thousands years really) and socialization, and by socialization I mean the deliberate act of gossiping, attending football riots, engaging in office/factory politics, etc and every willful and unnecessary thing that humans do to make themselves social creatures (outside of the necessities of fulfilling base economic needs).

    For good measure (and in case your idea of "socialization" may be based on folklore instead of reality), I will give you this quote from the Wikipedia; "Socialization, however, is not a normative term: it describes a process which may or may not affect the reflexive agent, and which may or may not lead to desirable, or 'moral', outcomes.".

    And War of course, where people really get to socialize a lot with each other (Funny thing, I was in the infantry myself... a real learning experience. I was socialized there too. Ever watched Full Metal Jacket?... Though I wasn't in Vietnam, the boot camp part was almost as fucked up for me [all of us really...]). War, it's more common and prevalent than your (presumably) middle class Western lifestyle will lead you to believe. Genocide and War Crimes are (merely) things of history books and cable TV (to most people, and the taxpayers who fund "Black Operations").

    Anybody who has a good understanding of Sociology (or any of the other social sciences) will tell you that most socialization/communication has to do with lying, stealing and cheating. People like me don't have to read psychology books to know this because we are perceptive enough to see this ourselves and not pretend-away any social misgivings. The science and scholarship just re-enforces my experiences. People are more interested in money and status than anything else, which I have always found disheartening.

    And yes I will tell people they are being an asshole when they are insulting people who are different from them. This is an observation. If people feel insulted by the fact that negative terms are used against them then they shouldn't make arbitrary illogical judgments about the lifestyles of other people.

    In terms of socializing (to repeat what you said, "You make it sound like intelligence and is somehow the opposite of socializing." Yes. The social sciences are on my side. It's sooo very obvious it isn't worth mentioning. But at least I know what I am talking about (I've got the formal education on my side here too). For example, ask an Englishman if they've read 1984 (written by an English author) and chances are they will tell you that they have read it when in fact they have not read it. It's the same just about everywhere. The vast majority of people will tell at least one lie in the first 10 minutes of a conversation. The disheartening thing for me is that people will just assume I'm as dishonest and as ego and status centric as themselves, and will exaggerate and lie to make myself look good. The truth is that I live in my mother's basement (at least partly because I don't lie on my resume and I'm competing with the majority who use friends as references, etc). I'd rather stick to

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:42AM (#31623450) Homepage Journal

    Does Perelman not taking the money scare you?

    Does he offend you?

    Does he entice a violent reaction in you?

    Do you hate it, when someone sticks out of the crowd not out of a desire to be more 'cool looking' but simply because he does not need the crowd?

    Take the money and give it to charity, you self-important Shit

    - why don't you go and find him and beat him into submission to your own standards, that will hopefully satisfy your primordial craving to make sure nobody is different and whoever is different they are destroyed, so that the coherency of the group is in balance yet again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:02AM (#31623572)

    No, at worst you could say that he exhibits many symptoms of several serious mental disorders. He is well beyond the range of just being called asocial.

    To suggest otherwise is to be wilfully obtuse. In this situation it is fairly clear that he has a serious mental disorder. He would almost certainly benefit from treatment, but he appears to be functional enough that intervention is not warranted unless he requests it.

  • by sonicmerlin ( 1505111 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:04AM (#31623590)
    Boy, your quick emotional reaction to defend Perelman is amusing, but completely misguided. If you actually studied up on the field of psychiatry or psychology, you would realize the idea of humans being "social animals" has no exceptions. Those who attempt hermetic lifestyles gradually become mentally unstable and unable to cope with the daily or common changes in our lives that we normally encounter.
  • by jonaskoelker ( 922170 ) <jonaskoelker@yahoo.3.14159com minus pi> on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:15AM (#31623644)

    He solved the conjecture, his name will be in math books for the rest of eternity, and that is prize enough for him.

    I think you're either misunderstanding him, or replacing his wants by your own.

    I think it's more like this: he solved the conjecture, and that is prize enough for him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:24AM (#31623700)

    You are a fundamentalist.

    I find it funny how Americans are quick to label someone who does not fall within their ranges of "normal" as freaks, crazy, stupid,weird, etc. This is not specific for the slashdot crowd but it is the typical sentiment of people in the USA. That's why you look funny at the guy who built his house out of cob and is living without electricity. That's why it just blows your mind how a guy who lives a happy life does not want a bunch of money.

    I am a Mexican who lived in the UK and now living in East Germany (not Berlin), in one of the "poorer" German states. After living in the UK where people strive to buy/get/acquire things in order to feel "successful", living in Germany is a fresh breath of clean air.

    People here in East Germany learnt to live with few things. In a way they are detached from things and appreciate more subtle things.

    To finish, let me quote this parable I found here []:

    The investment banker and the Mexican

    An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.
    Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.
    The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked, "How long does it take to catch them?"
    The Mexican replied: "Only a little while".

    The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?
    The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.
    The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
    The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

    The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

    The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"
    To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

    "But what then?"
    The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the
    public and become very rich, you would make millions."

    "Millions.. Then what?"
    The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

  • by stygianguest ( 828258 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:34AM (#31623748)
    One could consider it his moral duty to teach others. Teaching is severely underrated in research communities. Good teachers probably deliver more scientific advancement to society than anyone else. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if he is a terrible teacher.
  • Society (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:52AM (#31623848)

    He's clearly not a product of this corrupt society. Leave him alone FFS!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:21AM (#31624008)
    bloke and math? where exactly are you from?
  • by mike449 ( 238450 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:55AM (#31624242)

    Doing math is fine, but picking mushrooms in St.Petersburg in March is kinda borderline.

  • by quintessencesluglord ( 652360 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:12AM (#31624376)

    Tell me: is this becoming mentally unstable and unable to cope interacting with society or not? I mean becoming unstable in one's solitude is one thing; becoming unstable when society intrudes on your solitude is quite another.

    Further, are you differentiating between chosen solitude and enforced solitude, because those would have very different effects.

    Finally, his is social within the confines of his family. Social has many different dimensions. To pick and choose which aspects you want to interact with seems damn near idealized to me.

    It sounds more like you are advocating for social convention hiding behind psychology. Epicurus would like to have a word with you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:23AM (#31624458)

    Yeah, just remember that genius and madness are only separated by a thin line.

    The poor bloke just wants to do math and pick mushrooms. There's nothing wrong with him just because he doesn't fit into the "nuclear" society mould.

    He is richer than any of us, he understand things that we don't! Money and glory is a religion for the idiots.

  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:21AM (#31625008)

    Is he doing what he enjoys - Yes (By his own admission)
    Is he happy - Well until the press started bugging him yes ...

    Sounds like he is someone who is happy, employed and has enough money.... ....unlike many people he seems to value the right things

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:36PM (#31630242) Homepage Journal

    No. I find it rather childish and odd.

    - person has everything he needs, he is happy. Is that childish and odd? I wonder, I envy his childish oddity then.

    No. But why is he so stand-offish? Why not try to change what you don't like from a position of authority? Perelmen could do it if he wanted to, but it's like he's given up. That's what bothers me.

    - and what a waste of time that would be for him. Instead of taking off and going to pick up some mushrooms and prepare a dish, instead of working out details of some math problem you want him to become a social activist? He is happy doing what he is doing. He is happy living the life he is living. He lived in the USA for a year, he was mostly eating rye brad and fermented milk (kefir) and he was wearing the same pants and a jacket. Then he went back to Russia, because he did not fit in.

    I doubt it's because he "does not need the crowd". I think perhaps there is something more underlying his entire attitude.

    - he specifically said he did not want to be awarded by a group of people who award those, that are not worthy, people who take other people accomplishments and pass them for their own. He specifically said he does not want to deal with the mathematics crowd because it is a corrupt crowd, though he said some people in it are not, but they are complacent.

    He does not want to waste his time on people, vast majority of who are the real selfish people.

    You call him SELFISH? He solved Poincare, he did not even need to show the solution to anybody, but he did anyway. He taught people an entire multitude of lessons:

    1. Poincare.
    2. New approach to the solution, his solution used an observation from a physical event this time in math, not the other way around.
    3. How to have principles.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting. -- T.H. White