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Conversation with Charles Peden on the Glia Society, Scott Adams, Rick Rosner, Jamie Loftus, James Woods, The Amazing Randi, and Paul Cooijmans: Member, Glia Society (3)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/12/22


Charles Peden is a Member of the Glia Society. He discusses: high-IQ societies have a religious feel; other forms of periodic reinforcement for the Glia Society; the interests in the high-IQ; Scott Adams; Rick Rosner; Jamie Loftus; James Woods; The Amazing Randi; contemporary measurements of intelligence; the original pursuit in some of the non-mainstream tests; Paul Cooijmans; the specific contributions to Thoth; intelligence; high-range; and some of the ‘demons’ of this ostracism in life.

Keywords: Charles Peden, Glia Society, intelligence, IQ, James Randi, James Woods, Jamie Loftus, Paul Cooijmans, Rick Rosner, Scott Adams.

Conversation with Charles Peden on the Glia Society, Scott Adams, Rick Rosner, Jamie Loftus, James Woods, The Amazing Randi, and Paul Cooijmans: Member, Glia Society (3)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Do you think high-IQ societies have a religious feel to them, a sensibility?

Charles Peden[1],[2]*: There is a line from the song “Strange Phenomena” by Kate Bush that goes: ‘G’ arrives, funny, had a feeling He was on His way.

The idea and the hope of ‘G’ can seem ambiguous between the religious idea of ‘G’ (God) and general intelligence. Both ideas of ‘G’ seem ethereal and wise. So, in a way, high I.Q. societies can readily be thought of as having a potential parallel focus to religions.

High I.Q. societies are composed of acolytes of intelligence. Intelligence may just be something that exists because we want it to exist. We each play a tiny part in creating it, but it emerges as a discrete phenomena. In this way high I.Q. societies have a religious feel to them. Think what you want about God, but a religion with many followers gives their God an actual emergent agency in the universe.

Jacobsen: What are other forms of periodic reinforcement for the Glia Society?

Peden: There is the GliaWebNews, the Journal Thoth, and topical interactions between members. There is also the discovery of what other members are doing. I sometimes discover members answering questions on or doing things on YouTube. There is this serendipity of “Look, it’s one of us!” That is a form of tribal reinforcement.

Jacobsen: Why are the interests in the high-IQ part interspersed throughout the world and seemingly random?

Peden: I believe there is a lot of controversy surrounding I.Q. so it does not surprise me to see pockets of interest. I think the greatest controversy about I.Q. tests has to do with homicidal eugenics and the fear of ostracism for the ones we love and ourselves if they don’t meet the criteria. So I think the interests in the high I.Q. part depends on the cultural acceptance and understanding of the meaning of scores.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on Scott Adams?

Peden: I think Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert cartoon, a member of Mensa, and has a degree in engineering. I believe that he is a Trump supporter and the most recent notorious thing I’ve seen about him is that he married a hot, younger wife.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on Rick Rosner?

Peden: I found Rick fascinating because his high school experience was so different from mine. He wanted to stay, and I wanted to get out. He enjoyed high school and I hated it. He was good at high school, and I was terrible at it. I could not comprehend that someone loved high school as much as Rick Rosner.

Lately, Rick has a show on YouTube with Lance Richlin. Rick and Lance are respectively liberal and conservative frenemies that exasperate each other by talking about politics. The thing I find interesting about the show is that even though Rick has an I.Q. that is extraordinary, he comes across as a bit nerdy but not particularly alien. I notice that when he is in an extemporaneous conversation his extreme I.Q. is not obvious. However, he really shines when he gets on a topic in which he has thought deeply about. So one has to be careful about writing someone’s intelligence off wholesale. There can be islands of deep thought and insight that are beyond one’s comprehension.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on Jamie Loftus?

Peden: I first saw Jamie Loftus on a now-defunct YouTube channel called Super Deluxe. She and another character named Jeffery did a hilarious exploration of fringe health treatments. Their show was called Upgraded and was done with some great jump-cut editing. She is a comedian in the early stages of her career and does lots of experimental stuff. It’s hit and miss, but so was Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Saturday Night Live. She is politically very liberal and I find that to be a bit off-putting. There is a comedian named Ryan Long who does political humour which I find more enjoyable because it is ambiguous and pokes fun at both sides. But Jamie Loftus is brilliant and daring. She also likes to flash her Mensa membership, but does it in an endearing, ironic way.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on James Woods?

Peden: James Woods claims to have a very high I.Q. and I believe it. He seems very sharp to me. I don’t know if he is in a high I.Q. society, but I have no doubt that he could be. James Woods is also very vocal politically. Normally I find most entertainers who focus on politics to be out of their element. Politics is a playground for the Dunning Kruger effect. But James Woods is an exception because he has a background in politics. His political opinion carries the cachet of actual schooling in the subject. James Woods leans heavily (but not entirely) to the right politically.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on The Amazing Randi?

Peden: I saw a documentary on The Amazing Randi a while back. I’ve found him interesting for decades. I think I even have a book written by him. He was not impressed when he went to a Mensa gathering some time ago. He has become this wise, wizardly character that seems to defy death (he was diagnosed with cancer quite a long time ago).

Jacobsen: How accurate are contemporary measurements of intelligence? What is intelligence? What would measure intelligence most realistically and accurately?

Peden: I am more of a supporter of this subject than an expert. But it’s fun to give opinions, so I will. Intelligence is the name for the property of a constellation of abilities, SOME of which are measured by an I.Q. test. I believe contemporary I.Q. tests are accurate enough to be useful in the low range. But the usefulness of I.Q. testing for the high range is still being investigated. Intelligence is such a complex property that it is ideally suited for measurement by artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence should be able to assess a variety of abilities in real-time and passively so there would be no need for an I.Q. test. As far as I know, this has not yet been developed.

Jacobsen: Why the original pursuit in some of the non-mainstream tests?

Peden: I think artificial intelligence will play a far more significant role in our lives. I’ve thought that for many years. I ran across Paul Cooijmans’s tests when researching the singularity on the internet.

Jacobsen: Why come to Paul Cooijmans test in particular, the “Cartoons of Shock I.Q. Test”?

Peden: Paul Cooijmans used to have his tests for free online. Anyone could take any of his tests and submit the answers when they felt moved to do so. There was much about Paul Cooijmans that I found credible and his test questions clearly had gradations of difficulty. The Cartoons of Shock just sounds like a fun test to me.

Jacobsen: What were the specific contributions to Thoth from you?

Peden: I think my first contribution to the Journal Thoth was about a bizarre guy named Mirin Dajo. I was also interested in psychopathy for a while and had a brief series called “Uncharming”. I find plain facts to be credible. But growing up in the United States, I’ve become accustomed to framing things in a promotional way and appealing to emotions. So the idea of an unappealing name for the series was something I found…appealing.

Jacobsen: How does intelligence become “most pronounced in the context of novel situations”? What does this state about intuitive understandings of intelligence?

Peden: When a novel problem can be solved with logic and nobody in the group has an advantageous experience for solving it, then one can bet probabilistically that the solution will come from the most intelligent among them. When dealing with problems that are not novel, then a person with experience is sufficient. The advantage of intelligence is mostly treated as marginal these days. It is discouraging.

Jacobsen: How can high-range “I.Q. results… play havoc with one’s ego,” in precise terms?

Peden: Having a high score has caused me to have this ego narrative that I’m smarter than most people. This may be true, but it does not mean I am smarter than someone else at all times and in all circumstances. I often have my narcissism checked by the brilliance of others who may not score so high on an I.Q. test. I’ve had to learn that I.Q. is not a substitute for experience and it is not a guarantee that I have the best answers.

Jacobsen: What are some of the ‘demons’ of this ostracism in life for you? How do they manifest?

Peden: The demons of ostracism are the ideas that creep into one’s head that one isn’t good enough for others. At jobs I would see people promoted above me simply because they had some minor college degree. I would see girlfriends dump me for a guy who makes them miserable. Any circumstance where I am excluded for an arbitrary reason, like not being cool enough or hot enough, could trigger a demon of ostracism.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: December 22, 2020:; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021:

*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.


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


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