Is This The Price of Genius?

Left to right: mathematician Georg Cantor, mathematician, and philosopher Kurt Gödel, mathematician and political activist Evariste Galois, and  mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing.

Left to right: mathematician Georg Cantor, mathematician/philosopher Kurt Gödel, mathematician/political activist Evariste Galois, and mathematician/computer scientist Alan Turing. (Mark Riechers/CC0)

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Once you start digging into the history of exceptionally creative people, you’ll find something disturbing: many have struggled with mental illness, or paranoia, or delusional thinking. In his book “When Einstein Walked with Godel,” philosopher Jim Holt recounts the stories of some of these brilliant — and troubled — geniuses, people who’ve pushed the edge of known reality.