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August 02, 2004

Comments

Steve

Oh, great...another recipe for something that promises to be both tasty and fattening. Thanks a lot.

I enjoyed "A Beautiful Mind" both in book and in movie form. I saw the movie first and thought Ron Howard's technique of showing Nash's delusions as "real" characters was an effective way of showing how these hallucinatory visions appeared to Nash. This was done with a lot of subtlety. Notice how Nash's delusional characters always announced their presence with sound - you would always hear them before you saw them. Supposedly this is because there is a pronounced auditory component to most hallucinations.

I also liked the movie because some of it takes place at Princeton and was filmed on location. It was fun to see the old, familiar places. "Hey, I used to live in that!"

The book, as you'd expect, has a lot of detail that was left out of the movie because it did not advance the main storyline. For example, Nash had an earlier relationship with another woman with whom he had a son. He and Alicia were divorced and ended up remarrying each other in the late 1990's. And Nash really was a bull-goose loony. (One of my classmates, a physics major, used to see him wandering around Fine Hall late at night, where he would leave incomprehensible messages on the blackboards.)

Anyway, read the book...a fascinating story of a most unusual man.

I'm taking a game theory course, taught by Nash and other Princeton faculty, on CD-ROM. One of the benefits of being an alumnus, I guess. You can visit Nash's website, too: www.math.princeton.edu/jfnj

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