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Are Smart People more Prone to Paranoia than the Rest of Us?

StaxRip

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Some online conversations that I've had recently have reminded me of a biography that I read several years ago. Bobby Fischer, the famous world chess champion of the early 1970's, degenerated into paranoia and other antisocial behavior that was so severe that by the end of his life, he was reduced to living as a recluse in Reykjavik Iceland. His biographer said that after becoming the champion of chess, Fischer was so paranoid about anyone using his talent to make money that he absolutely would not make any deal with anyone that involved playing chess in public, no matter how financially beneficial it might have been for him.

Since reading that biography years ago, I've wondered if Fischer isn't an illustration of a more general problem among the highly intelligent. I've known several very intelligent people, a large percentage of whom have seemed to be unhappy, and yes, paranoid. While looking into this question, I stumbled across something written by Grady M. Towers, to which I will provide a link at the bottom of this article. The publication date of Towers' article appears to be April 22, 1987, but I suspect, for a number of reasons, that it may be a rework of something he may have written in the early 1960's. Regardless, Towers' insights are the topic for today.


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Are Smart People more Prone to Paranoia than the Rest of Us?