Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alex Jacob, Do Something with Your Life

He's a young guy, so maybe Alex Jacob, who just finished a run of six wins on Jeopardy with about $150,000, will still turn his life around and do something meaningful with his gifts. But so far at age 30 he's been a professional poker player and a currency trader; in other words, he's not contributing anything much to the world that I can see.

The sketch of him and his life that I got from the brief conversations with Alex Trebek is this: his parents are both doctors. He took the SAT when he was around 12 and because of that got sent to Smart Camp, where he met his current girlfriend.

I wonder if he's like that character on the television show House who was just so smart that he took medication to make himself less intelligent, so that he could have a life and a little human connection.

Nah, I think this guy is using his smarts to live his life of white male privilege without much of a thought, maybe complaining just a bit about how mom and dad pushed him too much. I caught what I think is a hint of whininess in some of his reactions on the show: once, when he chose a question from the third or fourth spot in a category and got an obscure question, he acted annoyed that the writers would even ask a question like that. (If he had started at the top of the category, however, he would have gotten the pattern and the seemingly hard question would have been a lot easier.) He also laughed at another contestant's answer yesterday in his final game; bad sportsmanship, if nothing else.

His Wikipedia page says he went to Yale for math and economics. Clearly he's a game theorist, and lord knows those are not my favorite people. But I could put up with that if he would do something with his brains other than just make a bunch of money.

I'm being judgmental, I realize. I don't know Alex Jacob or what his life is like. But this is how it seems from the outside.


Gina said...

Sorry I missed this guy on Jeopardy! I usually watch that show to see how many questions I can answer correctly. The Alex Jacobs of the world can be really annoying, especially in their sense of entitlement, but unless someone helps them to find direction, they tend to drift. If they make a contribution it's usually in spite of themselves. But I'm an optimist -- maybe he'll do something really neat with his game theory like figure out an effective treatment for autoimmunity..... LOL

Daughter Number Three said...

Exactly... I wish people would use their intellectual gifts to do something useful (a wide range of options there) instead of working on Wall Street or trading currency. Let alone playing poker.