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Conversation with Gareth Rees on Genius and Philosophy: Member, Canadian High IQ Society (2)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/04/01


Gareth Rees is a Member of the Canadian High IQ Society. He discusses: extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; some work experiences and jobs; job path; the more important aspects of the idea of 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; theology; worldview-encompassing philosophical system; meaning in life; meaning; an afterlife; the mystery and transience of life; and love.

Keywords: Canadian High IQ Society, Gareth Rees, genius, intelligence, IQ.

Conversation with Gareth Rees on Genius and Philosophy: Member, Canadian High IQ Society (2)

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

Scott Douglas 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.

Gareth Rees[1],[2]*: I do not have a great answer for this. Negative reactions that lead to death likely threatened then current paradigms, positions of power or monetary inflows. Those mocked were probably poor communicators or their surrounding kind were of low mean intelligence, making it difficult to be understood. Reasons for the opposite ends of those reactions are usually the witnessing of whatever groundbreaking production. Seeing is believing, and in such cases, it is simply novelty (not seen before). It is a simple rule of deviating from the norm. Deviating enough results in getting noticed and that is sometimes inevitable. It can also get more complex than what I have mentioned though. There is also the social dynamics side of this phenomena but that is not as important. People simply enjoy having role models or heroes, there might be an aspect of divinity therein. The element of rarity is another ingredient for such reactions.

Not wanting to be in the spotlight is probably due to most geniuses being introverts. If nothing or little is gained from it or they find the attention off-putting then perhaps it is the way the media is framing such events. The media can be obnoxious, so I am not surprised.

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

Rees: I believe I have answered this before. The ones that are also mystics are my favorites. Tesla, Einstein, and Newton are my favorites. There are so many geniuses that have lived as enough time has passed despite their rarity. Another one was possibly Walter Pitts, but he was destroyed by a certain someone’s irrationality and might not have been a genius but just one with an IQ >170 SD15.

There’s also Archimedes, Maxwell, Ramanujan, and da Vinci that I admire.

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

Rees: One must accept that a genius is more than one identified by IQ. This would best be answered on a case-by-case basis. A high caliber genius such as Ramanujan is extremely difficult to explain. He supposedly did not quite have the distasteful personality that has been most common. Such a personality is not static anyway, or at least is dependent on mood, therefore diet, health, social life, status, resources etc. States of mind change from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, week to week and so on. If Ramanujan truly received most of his insights in his dreams, then that is some very powerful unconscious noesis. It is almost as if he was given the knowledge as he claimed. This is extremely disturbing from an artificial intelligence standpoint. It implies a limit, but one can hope his interpretation of dreams are simply coincidental. In other words, Ramanujan was of divine being. More than just IQ, more than just being creative and more than just being in states of high creative output. It would take a super intelligence to deconstruct the algorithms of intelligence that he possessed.

There have been other models of genius that have been extended. Paul Cooijmans has two very well explained definitions that are necessary to grasp the concept. Starting from Eysenck, Paul has reiterated intelligence, associative horizon, and conscientiousness. I would like to add that conscientiousness is required to produce work over extended periods of time, it is not quite necessary to come up with the ideas required for the work. Conscientiousness also aids in learning, but it is not necessary to keep an interest in whatever one’s subject is.

Another important detail is awareness as outlined by Paul Cooijmans. From my understanding, being in a genius state, awareness is increased. This is highly important because not many discuss or reference it. I think this is probably the most common situation for one’s mind required for extreme breakthroughs. High awareness is not sustainable though. It requires a certain brain wiring/structure which is not neurotypical, and on top of that the amplification of awareness is regulated by dopamine/serotonin. Dopamine is the neurochemical driver of mania. There is some research that suggests being in a state of flow leads to genius, but this is something different that is not even that rare. Genius is the rarest of all. We can even stream a synthetic version which is by the pharmaceutical product, Adderall. This is something that is relatively new, released in 1996.

To sum it up, a profoundly intelligent person is much less complex than a genius. A profoundly intelligent person can be identified by IQ alone, if one defines an arbitrary classification as such. 160 SD15 is quite commonly used for this category, but that is just a score achieved on one test. Enough tests need to be taken to qualify one at that level.

It is usually said that Mensa accepts those in the top 2%, but really, they accept a score of 130 (should be 130.8) SD15 which leads to members not actually requiring an IQ within the top 2%. Paul has also mentioned this. This goes for any high IQ society though, including his own, Glia.

There’s more to be said about this distinction but this should suffice. Genius is extremely rare. It requires training of the mind, the necessary genes for the unique brain wiring and reception to neurochemistry. It requires intelligence and optimal personality characteristics. It requires time and isolation. It requires passion and conscientiousness. It requires luck of being born in the right era for whatever that genius is wired to do. It requires being in delicate states which are not sustained, but not all geniuses seem to require this. They are often molded by harsh environments, sometimes involving the death of a parent at an early age. A profound intellect mostly just requires a healthy upbringing. It also doesn’t hurt to have mentors and a strong intellectual social network or more.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Rees: If 160 SD15 is a level of profound intelligence, then no, it is not.

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

Rees: Factory worker, door-to-door sales, IT support worker and software specialist. There are more but they are not anything special.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Rees: I work best when I am at a computer. That will never change.

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?

Rees: The fact that the word “genius” is overused, and still used as an IQ classification, whether that arbitrary cut-off is 140, 150 or 160 SD15. It is not important; it is just annoying. The researchers know the distinction, so no harm done really.

Harm can come from expectations though, so really if parents think their child is destined for greatness just by evidence of an IQ score, they are likely to be disappointed while at the same time torturing their child.

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

Rees: Sure, if I were God and had to please both sides, I would design it so intentional belief with heart was enough to make it so. If one believes in God, then God exists for them in their reality. If they do not think God exists, then there is no existence of God for them. If one wanted to live in an afterlife and did not want it to be heaven, that would be granted too, from God though. This is quite like the CTMU by Chris Langan.

Other than that, I do not care much for it. Some people seem to require it; The need for support or a framework. Provided they are not trying to influence others too strongly then it is mostly harmless. The biggest problems seem to come from wars caused by religion, but there would be wars regardless I would think.

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

Rees: I am typing on a computer and use electronics daily, and mostly listen to electronic music. The result of science is the biggest aid to my life bar none.

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

Rees: My scores worth mentioning are as follows:

DynamIQ (1st attempt) 150 SD15

FIQure (1st attempt) 150 SD15

WARP (avg of 1st/2nd) 149 SD15

LexIQ 152 SD15

CIT5 152 SD15

PIGS3 154 SD15

VAULT 162 SD15


GIFT IV V 156 SD15



GET (avg of 1st/2nd) 147.5 SD15

Verbatim 148 SD15

VerbIQ 150 SD15

Vortex 151 SD15

SymboIQ 158 SD15

WIT 148 SD15

Spark 142 SD15

Logica Stella 140 SD15

W-Test 148 SD15

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically.

Rees: My scores range from 115 SD 15 to ~160 SD15. My outlier scores are on homogeneous tests, so they aren’t that meaningful. My attempts are also quite brief as I am not that persistent. I am not the kind of person that is able to work on a test for months on end as I end up getting bored.

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

Rees: That is private for now. I will make it public later.

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

Rees: I do not really understand the importance of a social philosophy. People will do what they want to do, given whatever constraints they wish to abide by.

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

Rees: This is dependent on the citizenry. Different systems work for different people, so I am not sure I would subscribe to one. I would divide the people up and optimize to tailor to their benefit and thus the system.

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

Rees: Same deal as above. Since not one works for everyone, it is best to divide people up. Existing philosophies could have their complexity increased as an alternative, but that’s messy, time consuming and might not work.

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

Rees: My own of course. More detail on that later through other means of communication. I have a negative outlook on the utility of metaphysics. It is hard to transform it into meaningful use for everyone. Making a framework isomorphic to sensory experience is not only very difficult, but not even really necessary.

Jacobsen: What is theology to you? Is this an important part of life for you?

Rees: Theology is an interesting development. People long for an answer and the popular one has seemed to be an easy way to deal with the inception of reality. It is not that important to me.

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

Rees: That intelligence rules all and determines the future.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Rees: Positive sensory experiences. Being on the computer, being with a woman or exercising. Daydreaming. I am a slave to dopamine as is everyone that is free enough to benefit from it.

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

Rees: Meaning is determined by level of investment, which can be associated with low to high level attribution and time. It is obviously external mapped then internally processed, executed by a continuous process we call consciousness/awareness.

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

Rees: An afterlife could be fun. I would not mind one. I also would not say I believe in it since it implies uncertainty. If it is a possibility then cool, sign me up.

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

Rees: I have no idea. Life just is. If there is a higher order of being then it is not going to be easy to reach.

Jacobsen: What is love to you? 

Rees: A neurological, biological, and chemical process. It is a synergy of many things from awareness of the object, the experience, impact, and evolutionary bind that forms the bond. Pretty faces or beauty gives us dopamine. We cannot escape this constraint, but would we want to? The rest that follows is more complex, but the gist is that love serves as trust and survival for our species.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Canadian High IQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 1, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 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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