Chances are you've never heard of Teddy.
Teddy was a genius with an 8th grade education. The reality was- was that 8th grade was all Teddy needed and in fact, eight grades might have been over kill.
So why do I bring up Teddy Nadler? For a very odd reason actually.
America has become obsessed with "credentialing." You are not allowed to talk about anything with out two things.
First you must have some certifiable piece of sheepskin conferring Ph.D. status in a given pursuit. Secondly, it helps if you come from some storied, elite, or privileged background. The kind that gets you into Harvard and ultimately because of that credential, a seat on the Supreme Court.
Or, having failed at that, there is a second way to receive credentialing. If you make absolute enormous amounts of money- society confers some sort of honorary credential upon you. It is presumed, and presumed erroneously of course, that in order to make all of that money- you must have been smarter than all of the people who attempted to but failed to make all of that money. That is how folks like Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs, guys who simply made the right choices at the right time, have been immortalized like Gods. That is an apt description.
People who covet money- very often believe- that the rest of the world thinks like them. It's a phenomenon I have observed my whole life. The rich and the wannabe rich, all presume that you want to be like them. Sometimes they are right, often they are wrong.
I can remember being at cocktail parties with rooms full of millionaires in the 80's. I hated being asked what I did for a living. I might as well have walked around with LOSER written on my forehead. In fact, I once overheard a wealthy man state that the only reason people became cops and soldiers was that they simply could not do anything else with their lives. They lacked the capacity to be brilliant and thus rich. I am not kidding you. I stared at this guy in disbelief.
The rich and elite tend to view others as a means to an end. Tools. They make those associations early in life. They are taught how to do that. When they ask you what you do it is not because they are particularly interested in anything you have to say- but rather they are placing you in our unwritten American caste system. From that point forward- they make their judgments. In the time vacuum that occurs in the seconds after you disclose your occupation- the rich and elite are wondering how knowing you might benefit them. If they can see no benefit, say you are some small town cop, you are summarily dismissed. With the requisite manners and niceties.
Gawd, how I hated those parties in Moonbat Valley. I did one last one for the road in February 2008. Manhattan. Soho, jazz band, no host bar with blue bloods from Brown and Yale. I wanted to run out of the room screaming.
Teddy Nadler was a government clerk with a photographic memory. Not unlike those people recently profiled on 60 Minutes. Teddy Nadler won 264,000 dollars on a game show in 1957 because he could literally recall everything he had ever read or heard. His winnings stood as the largest score of any game show contestant for 23 years. Centuries ago, folks might have called Nadler a polymath. A genius. This story of Nadler is only 3 months old. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=83654045
While Nadler was a bona fide winner and eighth grade graduate- another game show winner emerged in 1957. This guy was a blue blood with all of the right credentials. A Ph.D from Columbia. He even studied at Cambridge in England.
Unlike Nadler, he was a complete fraud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Van_Doren
Nadler and Van Doren represent the world as it is today. The guys telling the truth today are the guys that don't have the credentials. The guys with the credentials, the elite, folks like Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama, are the frauds. They are todays version of a 1957- Charles Van Doren.
In America, intelligence used to be prima facia. We knew it when we saw it. Today, we have people who claim they are intelligent and seemingly have the credentials to back up that claim. It is often difficult to separate the bona fide intelligent people from the frauds.
Thus, if our credentialed leaders are so fucking smart, why then- don't they behave that way? The answer is simple. They aren't that smart and their motives are less than pure and mostly self centered. Not unlike those of Charles Van Doren's. In the end, the game show scandals of the 50's ruined the entire game show genre for many years. I think the damage this crew of frauds are committing will be far worse. All that remains to be seen is when the great unraveling starts and the length and scope of it.
In the end, you can't help but think Teddy Nadler lived exactly the way he wanted to. I think he would have had a bitch of a time trying to explain that at some rich and elite party in Moonbat Valley.