“Beautiful Mind” John Nash, Famed Mathematician, Dead At 86

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May 25, 2015 10:22 AM UTC

John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton University mathematician who inspired the film  “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife died in a New Jersey car crash Saturday.

Nash, 86, and his wife Alicia Nash, 82, were passengers in a taxi near Monroe Township when the incident took place. The car crashed into a guard rail, and the couple, who were not wearing seat belts at the time, were thrown from the vehicle, and later pronounced dead at the scene.

Nash is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, known mostly for his work in game theory, as well his personal struggle with paranoid schizophrenia.

His life was brought to the big screen in 2001 Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind,” starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, which portrayed John’s mental illness and the accomplishments which earned him the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.

“We are stunned and saddened by news of the untimely passing of John Nash and his wife and great champion, Alicia. Both of them were very special members of the Princeton University community,” Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said.

John Nash/Wikimedia

“John’s remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists who were influenced by his brilliant, groundbreaking work in game theory, and the story of his life with Alicia moved millions of readers and moviegoers who marveled at their courage in the face of daunting challenges,” Eisgruber added.

Born in 1928, in Bluefield, West Virginia, Nash began showing signs of math talent in elementary school, eventually winning a full scholarship to the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Nash received his doctorate from Princeton in 1950 based on a dissertation on the fields of mathematics and economics.

Nash was a critic of the economic system.

“Good money,” Nash once argued, is money that is expected to maintain its value over time. “Bad money” is expected to lose value over time, as under conditions of inflation.

Nash was in particularly distrustful of a world currency administered by the current global structures.

“In practice, I’m a little distrustful of the politicians at the level of the United Nations and elsewhere,” who would be in charge of managing a world currency.

He greatly disliked Keynesian economics:

The Keynesians implicitly always have the argument that some good managers can do things of beneficial value, operating with the treasury and the central bank…I see this as analogous how the Bolshevik Communists were claiming to proved something much better than the Bourgeois democracy.

Further critiquing the ideology:

…while they have claimed to be operating for high and noble objective of general welfare what is clearly true is that they have made it easier for government to print money.

In conclusion, he writes:

And this parallel makes it seem not implausible that a process of political evolution might lead to the expectation on the part of the citizens in the great democracies that they should be better situated to be able to understand whatever will be the monetary polices which, indeed, are typically of great importance to citizens who may have alternative options for where to place their savings.

Many Bitcoiners have submitted that, were it not for Nash’s contributions to math, economics, and other disciplines, then Bitcoin might never have been designed. Some even believe he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Last modified: May 21, 2020 11:18 AM UTC

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