A Brilliant Madness

A Brilliant Madness is the story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness.

At the age of 30, John Forbes Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent the next three decades in and out of mental hospitals, all but forgotten.

During that time, a proof he had written at the age of 20 became a foundation of modern economic theory. In 1994, as Nash began to show signs of emerging from his delusions, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. The program features interviews with John Nash, his wife Alicia, his friends and colleagues, and experts in game theory and mental illness.

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  1. Very informative. It’s helpful for those of us with loved ones who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia to hear Mr. Nash’s perspective and experiences. It’s a relief to hear that social support did make a difference for this man.

  2. Wow, loved it. Inspiring

  3. An excellent documentary. It should be noted that although John Nash received a nobel prize for game theory, he also stated that too much emphasis was placed on it regarding economics. A great example is Alan Greenspan(ex chairman – federal reserve) who subverted it as reasoning for de-regulation. The economic collapse of 2008 is not the fault of John Nash, but from evil, greedy people who are incapable of understanding something beyond their intellect.

  4. have you noticed they only gave him the Nobel prize after he decided to conform and have you noticed that the people in the red ties who were coming to get him when he was delusional are with him after this point and then he himself wears the red tie. something fishy.He gave in to something.

    • My thoughts exactly ! Nash was ahead of his time and in my opinion he saw thru a lot of crap in the “system” and tried to “out” it He should’ve studied quantum mechanics

  5. @DaftAida Yes, he didn’t treat the women in his life well but then he was quite ill so I don’t think you can really blame it entirely on him.

    It’s a shame the way people have used Game Theory though. But even before it there was a lot of backstabbing, more a sign of what the human race is like than anything.

  6. Right about one thing, attending class does blunt originality, in fact it crushes it. He was not delusional in his paranoa with intel on his trail and insights into the nature of power were astute. But what a woeful excuse for a man, really. Incapable of standing by his women or children but tragic all the same that his worst fears were realised in that torture lab. Horrible treatment. But look at the state of the economy today? Thanks to the Game Theory adaptation, work has become horrible backstabbing drudgery and the whole thing was based on paranoa. I do not think this is anything to applaud.

  7. Up yours georg wachberger, stupid comment

  8. wonderful story. tastefully narrated.

  9. Just wonderful… what an amazing journey for this man and the people that love him.. bravo!

  10. this has been posted on another site for quite some time but was taken down for copyright or something, and i haven’t had the opportunity to watch it until now. great documentary.

  11. Loved this !! talk about a “circle of life” regarding his circumstances …and think about the leaps and bounds of medical treatment …inducing people into sugar comas .. wow … anyway, great piece! thanks for sharing