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Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)

2022-03-08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 29.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (24)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: March 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,594

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Scott Durgin is a Member of the Giga Society. He discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; the family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates; some professional certifications; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence discovered; the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; work experiences and jobs; particular job path; the gifted and geniuses; God; science; the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; ethical philosophy; social philosophy; economic philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; philosophical system; meaning in life; meaning externally derived, or internally generated; an afterlife; the mystery and transience of life; and love.

Keywords: Giga Society, life, Scott Durgin, views, work.

Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)

*Please see the references, footnotes, and citations, after the interview, respectively.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Scott Durgin[1],[2]*: Grandma telling of her ancestors being Hugenots. Her son, my father being born late and during a flood, my mother being thrown from a car days before Kennedy was shot, my ancestors active in the revolutionary war, my mother’s father emigrating from Ireland, he could play the fiddle by ear; my dad’s musical inclination and woodworking skills, marksman in the army, ranger in the forest, a few others I can’t recall.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Durgin: Somewhat. Later in life I was able to track my family history through William Brewster and two other pilgrims. Later still, I was able to trace it back further to Fulk V of Jerusalem. Self extension is a critical notion I’m glad you brought that up, as it has great potential for growth, there are many applications of it.  A sense of history is important for future conceptualizations and decision making, so my adult life has been dedicated to satisfying a voracious appetite for studying history.

Jacobsen: What was the family background, e.g., geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Durgin: European blend, all English speaking by the 18th century, all Christian (and anti-authoritarian so not many Catholics). Mostly settled in New England by late 1600s. Originated from U.K., France and Germany.

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Durgin: I was observant but largely socially inept until high school, except for sports. Lots of exploration, digging, sports, outdoor activities, music; voracious appetite for reading started in 7th grade, mostly science fiction Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein. One or two close friends every few years or so, then drifted away.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you? 

Durgin: IEEE, SBE, ASME, Pi-Mu-Epsilon, AA in General Studies, BS in Engineering Physics.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Durgin: Enjoyment in solving problems. Life is a puzzle, so it’s practice too.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Durgin: It was a slow work in progress. By the time I was 25 to 30 years old I began seeking out extraordinarily difficult puzzles because I had been doing so without help for decades prior: Rubiks cube, “The square root”, which is a sliding wooden pieces type of puzzle, mazes, optical illusions, creating my own labyrinths, mastering chess, stratego and other board games. I appear to be the only one I knew (among maybe 2 dozen others or so) who actually solved the Rubiks cube and rubiks revenge without the book. Same thing with the square root. Later on I put together the jigsaw puzzle known as Devils Dilemma which has identical images on both sides but one side is rotated 90° relative to the other, and the puzzle pieces are actually “double died” so you can’t tell by flatness which way the pieces should go. Insane exercise looking back. When I was in my late teens I invented a variation of chess that involved two moves for each person (with certain exceptions of course; certain new rules had to be invented to keep everything sane). It was a great mental exercise but it also hurt my brain. Probably the first time I realized I had an abnormal intelligence started in fourth or fifth grade when I was fairly adept in math and could also recite the alphabet backwards could read upside down, find the Dalmatian among the chaos of black and white spots, things like that. – Finding the pattern within the sea of randomness was important to me early. It was only after a decade or so after that I began to use rational thinking and scientific methods to check whether those patterns were meaningful. Painful process actually.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Durgin: Discomfort is the answer. It seems that most geniuses or exceptionally creative people tend to be (at least partially) introverted, meaning they do not require others, or interaction with others but are rather comfortable with solitude. I believe this grates against the weaknesses of the extroverts because they do require human interaction every day, which means they manipulate others into getting energy from them. Introverts do not intrude. Introverts retrieve energy from within. They do not require recognition. People who are comfortable with solitude do not require acceptance in a group and this makes weak people nervous and uncomfortable. One who is comfortable with darkness and solitude can navigate the greatest fears and overcome them.

Jacobsen: Who seems like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Durgin: Plato, Euclid, Vitruvius, Confucius, Hypatia, Proclus, Roger Bacon, Al-Hazen, Dante, Those who composed the Zohar, those who composed the Hermetic philosophy, John Dee, Leonardo, Mozart, Newton, Maxwell, Goethe, Gödel, Einstein, Emmy Noether, Dirac, Feynman. My favorites in there are probably Vitruvius, Al-Hazen, Mozart, Maxwell, Feynman and daVinci.

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Durgin: Humor, no question. Music too. Film art like South Park, Archer, Veep, Patriot. Those are genius. Watch all the Batman films in order then watch LEGO Batman. That is genius.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Durgin: No.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Durgin: Grave digger, Bank proof operator, Security guard, RF Engineer, Physics Teacher, Marketing & Sales Manager, Engineering Manager, Business Manager, Engineering Consultant, Founder and President.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Durgin: I like a challenge, because puzzle solving is enjoyable and I want to enjoy life, career included. Engineering is by definition problem-solving at the real world level. I eventually settled on RF & Microwave Engineering because it is THE challenging and multidisciplinary activity, especially when one works with high power (multi-kilowatts) and further advances beyond Engineering to Design Engineering. One must be expert as a Thermal Engineer, Mechanical Engineer and Electrical Engineer (a fusion of all three) to accomplish this and solve real world problems in Communications. To top off the “discipline tower”, one must additionally master the physics of waves, which most EEs do not, because the difficult mathematics of waves involves partial differential equations in space and time. Hello Maxwell. Physics supplies the ultimate backdrop. Optics a good subset. Ph.D. highly recommended. Negotiating contracts, working with and managing others and communicating critical information through language barriers also requires an education in the liberal arts.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Durgin: The good and long lasting myths are deep because they are masking truths otherwise not understandable without knowing physics and mathematics. So myths and symbols are extraordinarily important to carry on knowledge even if that knowledge is not understood by the great majority of people. Even if all civilization is destroyed except for a few (where those few are most likely to be uneducated), if the myths are remembered then eventually an intelligent individual will be able to decode the symbols and unpack the physics buried within them.—–Regarding genius, I don’t know. But two words come to mind besides Humor: Polymath and Paradox. Some of the more profound mysteries of the world have been solved by thoroughly investigating a paradox. But I do know that genius is not necessary if you work every part of your brain as much as you work the rest of your body. Take care of your brain. The brain needs a workout just like the body does. Things that harm the brain or suppress brain development are not good: drugs alcohol etc. Sex is also good for the brain. Ecstasy, Exhilaration and Enthusiasm all beneficial.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Durgin: Mankind creates God, indubitably. Our perception of God’s perfection, capabilities and other attributes/aspects improve with our own improvement in knowledge, until eventually God is irrelevant or gone. Excellent symbol for God is the all seeing eye within a triangle, which is normally shown elevated above an unfinished pyramid. There are very profound reasons for this arrangement. But I will only focus on one: Insight requires a great amount of prior physical and mental activity, then a period of rest like Helmholtz described. The reason the triangle is above the pyramid (itself symbolizing a great labor) is the insight appears to come from nowhere, when in fact it does not. It comes from the brain – but only after rest. In this way, self generated insight can serve as a symbol for an improved version of yourself, or your future self, or your perfect self or God.

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Durgin: Science is the true and final method of finding things out; finding THE truth. What seems to be a great way to start that process is exploration and wild speculation, but coupled with and grounded by an education in Science (the hard ones). This also means entertaining and following imaginative leaps, flights of fancy that appear at first to go nowhere, but actually do open the door (or lead down blind alleyways where a hidden door may be) to answers from a sideways path. Balancing the irrational with rational thoughts, feelings and notions seems like the best scientific path, for it is only after subduing the irrational that it truly can be categorized as irrational. In Art, One must explore all paths first to eventually know how to place the ground where it belongs and the figure where it belongs. It’s the same with science; slow but sure. And – most critical is learning to distinguish between evidence and other information; between something physiological and something psychological. Science is EVIDENCE based, or nothing.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Durgin: I don’t keep very good track of that but most of my IQ scores on tests taken in the late 90s and 2000s range between 140 to 170 with an SD of 15. The tests I truly enjoyed were those by Cooijmans and Hoeflin and a few others but I can’t remember. Two memorable occasions I can think of now are an IQ test and an entry-test to University. Both of these tests were 20 questions. The university test was taken by a few hundred others over a few years to see whether candidates would be suitable for a five-six year very intensive dual degree program in engineering and physics; so one would receive a BS in both. Apparently only two received a perfect score, I was one of them, so I entered the Program.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Durgin: FREEDOM, period. The only freedoms forbidden are those that remove freedoms from others; so again, balance.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Durgin: See last question.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you? 

Durgin: See last question, although I would add that a people-owned government is the ideal, with the rules of engagement duly constituted in a document which serves as the law, with a strict separation of church and state, meaning any and all government bodies are perforce religiously neutral. Three reasons for these:  1. A constitution cannot be assassinated, replaced or overturned without great effort and time, so authoritarian regimes are illegitimate. Who is president does not matter because the president’s first job is to protect the Constitution. 2. When the government, sworn FIRST AND FOREMOST to protect the constitution, is owned by the people (ALL the people not just some), then freedom has the best chance AND 3. When institutions like Science, Health, Education etc are owned by the entire public, those institutions are NOT subject to religious influence. How? Because of church-state separation. Allowing religion to be individually based and private is the only way to protect it. So a summary: Freedom is mandatory for individuals but not government. And no royalty, no bloodlines, no authoritarians. Those things have become stupefyingly nonsensical and irrelevant in today’s world. And there is no such thing as religious authority. Nope, Never again. Lincoln was right: By the people, Of the people, For the people (BOF). We all need to be BOF-ed.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Durgin: The mystical tradition of Kabbala is actually the most workable, because it is not mystical at its bottom. It’s psychological. A great deal of study reveals this, especially the geometry of it. Knowledge of Hebrew required. Knowledge of Ancient Egyptian required. Buddhism and ancient Druidism are also favorites. Study of Carl Jung helps: Mysterium Coniunctionis, Psychology and Alchemy two excellent examples.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Durgin: Physics. Physics covers many planes or correspondence: vibration, polarity, rhythm cause-and-effect and gender. The Universe is ONE THING. All other things follow from this, the most obvious being that all entities are related to one another, like all spokes are connected to a central hub. The simple wisdom expounded in The Kybalion, though dated, is apt here. If the concept of God seems comforting to people then I would maintain that FIELD comes as close as possible to fulfilling that concept. Einstein stated it tersely: “There is no space empty of field”, which is consistent with Descartes. That does not mean that empty space is summarily filled with field, but rather the field….is….space. There is no such thing as empty space. Ever. If all the fields were removed there would be no space left. A rigorous and long term study of General Relativity will convince those who seek to understand this fully. Gravitation Electrodynamics, Light etc. That means 5-6 mathematical steps above calculus are necessary: partial differentials and 2nd rank tensors and higher. Expect despair, pain and mental contortions.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Durgin: Purpose and growth. Growth Cleaves Stone.

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Durgin: Subjective.

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Durgin: Based on evidence so far, a physical afterlife (albeit transformed) seems obvious, but not a mental or psychological one. Will power has no power or life without a brain. You can’t even think about it without your brain. Memory is possibly transferred as a record could otherwise be, but this must be partial at best.

Jacobsen: What do you make of the mystery and transience of life?

Durgin: Life is wonderful. Enantiodromia provides a great path to transformation. My probable future has unfolded many times due to my own efforts. Resonance is possible at every level if one makes the effort. Every breathing second is meant to be purposeful, enjoyed and explored. This I do.

Jacobsen: What is love to you?

Durgin: Passion, Purpose, Obsession, Balance and Generosity.

Footnotes

[1] Member, Giga Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 8, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)[Online]. March 2022; 29(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, March 8). Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 29.A, March. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 29.A. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 29.A (March 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 29.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 29.A., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 29.A (2022): March. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Giga Society (1)[Internet]. (2022, March 29(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/durgin-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links March be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

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