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Conversation with Shalom Dickson on Goethe, Leonardo da Vinci, Cooijmans’ Tripartite Theory of Genius/Creativity, Transgressive Equilibrium, the Curse of Nonrecognition: Member, Glia Society (2)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

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


Shalom Dickson is a Member of the Glia Society. His biography on his website states, “Shalom Dickson is a fundamental thinker with interests in cognition, philosophy, sociology, innovation-powered entrepreneurship, and ethical science. His friends regard him as a visionary with a knack for purpose-driven leadership. He is the founder of internovent, Nigeria’s first social innovation company designing solutions for developing nations to attain a balanced global socioeconomic advancement. One of these is Paperloops, Nigeria’s first FinTech company offering holistic financial management and literacy for teens. He is also the founding president of Novus Mentis, Nigeria’s first high-intelligence network with a mission to Map-out Nigeria’s Brain for optimized creative output. Novus Mentis has launched the Sound Mind Project to optimize cognitive ability and stimulate intellectual interest in Africa. Shalom is Nigeria’s first member of the exclusive Glia Society and an alumnus of Nigeria’s first cohort of the Founder Institute.” You can see more here. He discusses: spirituality; a sense of an extended self; “expand the perspective on what is possible” for the young; some of the scientific and technological possibilities of Nigeria; some sociopolitical internal issues within the country preventing this; the experience in Cameroon; the primary theological and social-communal manifestations of Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria and Cameroon; an independent construction of a spiritual identity; to reform; the “unconventional spiritual inclination”; the primitive interpretation of written symbols earlier in life; the feeling in seeing a “logical error”; prevent disastrous experiences for the highly gifted students; bad advice for the young and gifted; bad career advice for the young and gifted; crack the black box; the relationship of IQ to intelligence; the “fundamental principles” of a field; real genius; “universal thinker”; da Vinci; the gifted individual from the profoundly gifted person; Cooijmans’s tripartite theory of genius and/or creativity; conscientiousness; associative horizon; a lack of balance between the three elements; key insights; the qualitative metrics; Lagos chapter of the Founder Institute; employers; mortality in the supersociety; Transgressive Equilibrium; the Curse of Nonrecognition; the tests of Jason Betts; the tests by Cooijmans; the range of time one should take on the high-range tests to perform optimally; Kantian ethics; a more accurate ethic; ultimate ethical framework; a better sub-ultimate ethic; “right”; “wrong”; “consciousness”; “truth”; Homo epistemicus; and the idea of “humanness.”

Keywords: Curse of Nonrecognition, Genius, Goethe, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cooijmans, Shalom Dickson, spirituality, Transgressive Equilibrium.

Conversation with Shalom Dickson on Goethe, Leonardo da Vinci, Cooijmans’ Tripartite Theory of Genius/Creativity, Transgressive Equilibrium, the Curse of Nonrecognition: Member, Glia Society (2)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is spirituality to you?

Shalom Dickson[1],[2]*: Spirituality can be broadly denoted as spirit-sense. This treatment may not readily seem to be of much use, but it serves two primary purposes: it points the attention to the word “spirit”—which, although easily lost in the original term, lies at the heart of our query, and it introduces the qualifier, “sense”, which implies perceptivity, in contrast to a notion of activity. We should appoint to all activity-related suggestions of spirituality, the category of “religion”, and since actions can be copied, religion may exist largely inconsistent of spirituality. We must now address the concept of ‘spirit’.

A spirit is an identity of interconnectedness. Thus, a spirit may exist for any system. The interconnectedness of humanity, the unity of nature, the persistence of individual experience, and even the interactive principles of man-made (technological) devices are examples of spirits in different categories. Spirituality, hence, entails the tendency to sense the connective identity of systems. Not all spirits exist at the same level of reality, and one of the sources of spiritual delusion is the attribution of a false reality to a spirit.

Jacobsen: How has this spirituality infused a sense of an extended self into a past of “royalty, excellence, and influence”?

Dickson: It is useful to define one’s existence in terms of some history, even if it is to deviate from it, without which it appears one is placeless in the world. These narratives can be crafted around more things than lineage, including intellectual nature.

Jacobsen: How can we “expand the perspective on what is possible” for the young?

Dickson: We do this with a balance of both fact and fiction.

Useful facts for expanded possibility perspectives include histories of great societies, corporations, and those of accomplished individuals. Biographies are powerful because they walk one through the may realities of an individual’s journey, and as they show us on one hand, the seemingness of a persistence of purpose over the course of one’s life, on the other hand, they reveal the constant collision between possibility and impossibility, and demonstrate that tomorrow is never clearly promised. In generally, young people should be exposed to the processes behind great accomplishment.

The role of fiction is to inspire new ideas, without placing priority on what is possible in reality. This is useful, in the manner intended here, in as much as it ignites the drive to employ the principles derived from the knowledge of possibility facts.

Jacobsen: What are some of the scientific and technological possibilities of Nigeria?

Dickson: Nigeria has a very young population, with individuals who are often driven and ambitious. The various subcultures are better suited for varying areas of scientific and technological exploration. But in general, there are clear opportunities in software engineering, which is currently being exploited by skilled individuals and new institutions, and agriculture technology, which has not been approached appropriately. There are peculiar opportunities in historical sciences (e.g. geology and anthropology), in the physical sciences and so on etc., and I stress the need for the adoption of a lofty ambition like an establishment of mega experimental facility or a space program.

Lots of talented individuals are doing interesting things without the support of strong institutions, and much will be benefitted from the facilitation of collaboration.

Jacobsen: What are some sociopolitical internal issues within the country preventing this?

Dickson: Political leadership, compared to Nigeria’s scientific needs, are driven by incompatible, irreconcilable motivations. But the problematic political or educational systems persist due to an underlying initiative problem, which undermines the capacity for social action in certain critical areas and at certain scales. The socioeconomic realities, from the perspective of the individual, create a pressure to make choices based on financial security rather than, say, ability or interest, regardless of the economic class. Beyond these common experiences, it is difficult to treat Nigeria as a single entity in a practical sense. This is partly responsible for the initiative problem.

There are many surface, quite often serious issues, but these can actually coexist with scientific progress.

Jacobsen: What was the experience in Cameroon like for you?

Dickson: Cameroon was such a beautiful place to grow up in. Everyone was generally respectful and the neighbors were typically friendly. Children could go about playing in the neighborhoods without concern. I lived in the Anglophone region and so only got to be influenced by French secondarily. I did not hear any of the indigenous languages spoken enough to speak them myself, but one naturally knew about several of them. While I mostly enjoyed the rural allure of my small town (I particularly loved those cottage quarters and the riverine areas), even in the active cities, things were reasonably calm and organized. In all the beauty of its society, it was obviously a dictatorship: people in a particular region could be asked, as I recall on at least one occasion, to paint their houses a certain color. In all, it was a place where whatever existed.

Jacobsen: What are the primary theological and social-communal manifestations of Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria and Cameroon?

Dickson: In general, Pentecostal Christianity allows for, and sometimes promotes, a highly energetic and demonstrative form of religiosity. Indeed, one may categorize the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria and Cameroon by the degree of aggressiveness in their spirituality. In the religious reality, there is an unending supernatural battle between good and evil, and much of “evil” is now ascribed to the practitioners of traditional spirituality. This contract is unfortunate because most of what is known of traditional cultures such as medicine, art, and philosophy, are interlocked with the native spiritual practice.

Jacobsen: How does an independent construction of a spiritual identity from a religious organization help develop critical thinking capacities of a young person?

Dickson: I think it is a highly defining experience. The process is characterized by a beehive of continuous internal conflicts, constant self-confrontation, and rational reconciliations. It is of the form of a coin of audacity, having on one face – skepticism, and on the other – confidence. One is set up with the readiness to identify incoherencies in beliefs, fish out unfounded claims, while retaining an appreciation of the humanistic significance of things.

Jacobsen: As a “reformer,” what were you trying to reform?

Dickson: My personal reading of the scriptures led me to conclusions often different than those espoused in the church’s doctrines. It seemed so clear to me that the Bible is only superficially the basis for modern Christian belief. I took issue with things like the personality and metaphysical qualities of God, the significance of the gospel and the basis of belief, the role of believers on earth, and some common church practices.

As I learned more about the world, it turned out that many of my points of objection had been explored extensively by old-time thinkers; any additions of mine were not predestined to fare better than the existing expositions. A key takeaway from my experiences was that religion is not optimized for truth, but for influence and control.

Jacobsen: How would you define the “unconventional spiritual inclination”?

Dickson: To put it squarely, I am neither welcome in the circle of atheists nor in that of the religious. In a sense, I think the time arrow of my spirit-sense is reversed, in that its truth is rooted in the promise of what will be known, rather than what was known and possibly lost. I find that this has consequences in my expectations of the explainable and the possible.

There are elements of my spiritual intuition in the works of Spinoza and Jung. For instance, what I considered the “sea of souls” is quite similar to Jung’s collective unconscious, and my notions of the interconnectedness, awareness, and self-containment of nature share strikingly similar implications with Spinoza’s pantheism.

Jacobsen: What was the primitive interpretation of written symbols earlier in life for you?

Dickson: Possibly some form of dyslexia, while I was not diagnosed.

Jacobsen: What was the feeling in seeing a “logical error” other than seeing this as “highly troubling” with the school teacher?

Dickson: I must have felt misunderstood, which was a staple unhappiness for me, but I was not surprised at the event itself. Finding an adult on the wrong side of logic was not new to me, and so being ‘wrongly corrected’ could only be so disappointing, however unpleasant.

Jacobsen: What can prevent disastrous experiences for the highly gifted students?

Dickson: Our ways of dealing with children are informed by the expectations we hold about what a child should understand. This is particularly true for educational interactions. As much as possible, it should be ensured that a teacher has realistic expectations about the abilities of a student. This requires that the teachers are themselves of similar ability levels or have experience with such students. A gifted program ensures that the average is closer to the ideal, and the shortcomings of the teacher is less likely to be misread as the peculiarities of an unusual student.

Jacobsen: What is bad advice for the young and gifted?

Dickson: Anything based on an overdue correction of one’s own misdeeds which may no(t) longer(-) apply, or anything based on safe rules and standard practice, neglecting to consider that people tend to be unfulfilled when they do not realize their full potential.

Jacobsen: What is bad career advice for the young and gifted?

Dickson: Advice designed to maximize financial gain without consideration for the need to exercise one’s skills or that their odd interests are a lifelong accompaniment, rather than temporary childish preoccupations.

Jacobsen: How would we crack the black box and development measurements, in fact, incorporative of the “thinking processes” and the facts used?

Dickson: The unfactored processes I refer to are those that can be represented with language; those that can either be reported by the test taker or observed. Imagine the testing procedure as a person having to build some structure with provided materials while in a closed white room. Now, we can develop a more predictive model of performance if we have data on their approach at selected levels, what materials are used, and how much learning was involved. With the difficulties in processing these, artificial intelligence—the ones we have achieved so far—can play a great role in monitoring and managing the interactions of the test taker, and to compare results over a wide range of candidates (i.e. including comparing candidates’ answers against one another) and against a host of simulations modeling real-life scenarios. These data can contribute to quantitative information, and can include qualitative ones, as well. Perhaps many do not find it important to measure human intelligence with such accuracy and precision. There would be more incentives to do this if cyborgs were involved. Some Paul Cooijmans’ online tests, where the candidate progresses through levels when they arrive at a correct answer, are more interactive. I am considering a dynamic logical system that could allow for a high degree of freedom, while being rigid enough to generate statistically relevant results.

Jacobsen: What is the relationship of IQ to intelligence to you?

Dickson: High intelligence is (also) a tendency to score highly in IQ tests.

In reality, IQ is a measure of conventional thinking or reasoning. This includes both facts and the ways in which we valuate meaning. It is expected that a highly intelligent person can learn these conventions better, and if we can test one’s understanding of them, we can infer the individual’s intelligence level. Thus, IQ, for an individual, is relevant to any degree that their ‘internal models’ are commensurable with the ideal model of the test.

An IQ score is a function of [the product of the availability of a valid cognitive model (provided by intelligence), motivation (as supplied by conscientiousness), & time], divided by [the counter-normal features of personality & the square of the difference between the candidate’s current age and their peak intellectual age].

Jacobsen: What are ways in which to dig to the “fundamental principles” of a field?

Dickson: At the foundation of any knowledge system are the core principles, which are related to that of other forms of knowledge also present in a fundamental knowledge system. Apprehending these principles, hence, is to identify their place in the fundamental system, understanding them in terms of their implications on other fundamental principles. Great thinkers, I have noticed, all have robust forms of such systems built, and it is upon these that they construct their framework of understanding. The framework of understanding is a structure containing 3 core theories, namely, of cognition, of knowledge, and of reality. I have resigned that many of the conflicts of interpretation among capable philosophers is due to discrepancies in the forms and formulations of these core theories.

Jacobsen: What separates real genius from its mere mimic, parrot?

Dickson: The mark of genius is not the absence of wrong ideas, but the presence of wonder and originality in all. Originality is extremely difficult to fake, although such fakery is made possible by the ignorance of the audience. There are magicians, whose wonder rely on the incapacity of the audience to know how the trick is done, and then there are wizards, of whose processes the more one knows, the more amazing the demonstration becomes.

Jacobsen: Aside from general traits, i.e., “universal thinker” or “polymath,” why Goethe?

Dickson: Among the thinkers I admire, Goethe is likely the one whose original works I have read the least (partly because I would rather read them in the original German, which I have not gotten to learn). Yet, the beauty in the nature of his works, as I could derive from what I read ‘about’ them, impressed me greatly. Ideas such as his chemodynamic theory of social interaction and his theory of color, all with a seeming apathy towards mathematics, are some examples of his qualitative models that I find appealing. I hold the opinion that the genius of art is superior to the genius of science, since science has more reality, whereas art has more personality; science is an exploration, whereas art is an expression. The threshold for the manifestation of genius in the art is possibly further from the mean than in science. The so called “artistic genius” incorporates principles relevant to all knowledge, including science.

Jacobsen: Why da Vinci?

Dickson: Similar reasons as Goethe; boundless curiosity and mental applicability. Leonardo da Vinci would function highly in any era.

Jacobsen: What demarcates the gifted individual from the profoundly gifted person? Those qualitative proxies seen pervasively in their lives.

Dickson: The following features are characteristic of the profoundly gifted: They are capable of appreciating the significance of knowledge, with the maturity of a wise adult, from a young age. They are highly sensitive to nuance, obsessed with trueness, and well-versed in the absurd. They have excellent command of language, and are capable of conjuring entire realities with words. When recognized as child prodigies, they standout for the pervasive nature of their abilities. They are highly sensitive and develop a sophisticated mental model of the world.

Jacobsen: Regarding Cooijmans’ tripartite theory of genius and/or creativity, what is intelligence, in relation to previous responses?

Dickson: Paul Cooijmans’ intelligence is the generalization of the abilities. It, in isolation, does not contain the qualitative properties that may accidentally accompany a high intelligence, as those are contributed by personality.

Jacobsen: What is conscientiousness?

Dickson: Paul Cooijmans’ conscientiousness is also a compound of traits including factors such as motivation, drive, resourcefulness, audacity, ethics, and so on.

Jacobsen: What is associative horizon?

Dickson: Associative horizon is the span of one’s interpretation and interrelation of meaning; the subjective perception and ranking of patterns. This represents the engine of idea synthesis, and is responsible for the unpredictable deviation in creativity.

Jacobsen: What happens if these elements become ‘maximized’ in one and not another, as in a lack of balance between the three elements?

Dickson: A disproportionately high level of associative horizon disposes one to psychosis, as does conscientiousness to neurosis. High intelligence alone is typically uncreative, and thus does not qualify as genius.

Jacobsen: What were some key insights gained through work in “teaching (physics and English), marketing, research, product design, content development, academic consulting, and management”?

Dickson: Some are principles of design, team and social dynamics, confrontation and negotiation, and the ability to convince people that some idea is important.

Jacobsen: How were the high-range cognitive ability tests utilized for the screening of applicants?

Dickson: A selection of difficult problems were administered to the current trainees, and from their performance, it was noted what kinds of problems were representative of their skills. From this, a shorter test was derived and administered to online applicants, while a list of questions designed to investigate the candidates’ grounding in various areas of knowledge was developed for an in-person oral interactive session. The digit span test, even when administered orally, turned out to be such a great predictor of general problem-solving ability.

Jacobsen: How were these combined with the qualitative metrics if at all?

Dickson: Those interactive questions also measure qualitatively. It was noted how the candidates addressed problems in public; whether they volunteer to answer, if they were confident in their solutions, and how they debated conflicting views. They were required to answer unusual questions on subjects they reported to know about, and offer interpretations to metaphors.

Jacobsen: Can you expand on some of the work through the Lagos chapter of the Founder Institute?

Dickson: The FI program was an intensive 6-month startup accelerator. Startup founders, singly or multiply represented, underwent a company-building process towards a launching event. Some of the milestones include, team building, product development, market research, financial modeling, fundraising and partnerships, and sales. The procedure involved weekly deliverables on a number of practical questions and pitching sessions, on these milestones, during which decisions were made over the eviction of the entrepreneur. The application process did involve a fluid intelligence test, although the acceptance cutoff apparently was not very high (since there is no significant correlation between intelligence and entrepreneurial success in general), and a personality test, as I later learned from him on a YouTube video, that was developed by Jordan B. Peterson.

Jacobsen: How do these employers approach you? How do the talent scouts find you?

Dickson: The employers themselves (often the top decision-maker) and not talent scouts (who are not to be blamed, for they largely do not exist), usually catch me doing something interesting. In one case, I developed a novel on-the-spot solution to a basic open problem, and gave an interesting presentation about their program. In another, I had just returned from a national television interview when I received a call to meet. In general, though, I find solutions to their problems.

Jacobsen: Does this sense of mortality in the supersociety reflect the spiritual sensibilities for you?

Dickson: It’s a little funny, but I probably do not understand this question. It seems to require a general “yes”, but a specific “no”.

Jacobsen: Can you expound some more on Transgressive Equilibrium?

Dickson: The Transgressive Equilibrium is a theoretical stage of balance—an inevitable stage in our civilization as a consequence of continued progress should humanity not go extinct—of which there are two conceptions: the economic state and the epistemic state. First, I suggest that such a stage must exist in a given world, and then that we should assume that it is ours. Speculative features of the states considered so far are:

In the economic state, resources are optimized to whatever degree that that is possible, and waste is eliminated. Since the most valuable resources are ideas, such an optimization is achieved by an advanced idea processing system. Now, the thought of an economic system wherein the use of resources are maximized sounds quite usual. However, it is not so that current systems can, even if they wanted to, maximize resources for the common cause, because they are inherently designed to maximize political power for non-cooperative governments; thus, such a state must be preceded by a sociocultural evolution of common consciousness. A Transgressive Equilibrium is distributed and decentralized, and yet maintains better oversight and is on the whole more integrated with the help of technology.

In the epistemic state, whatever can be known will be known, and whatever has been known is accessible. Matter manipulation is mastered, time is tamed, and the physical cost of experimentation is infinitesimal, as all possible events can be simulated. Even the most trivial things are considered important and expected to be understood perfectly, and all positions of knowledge exploration are considered useful roles. People recognize themselves as experimenters in a common research adventure, and there is perfect transmission of and access to information.

Jacobsen: With the Curse of Nonrecognition, what about ‘insights’ spread out into ‘experts’ who produce ‘knowledge,’ i.e., in a false manner? What about the cognitive limitations of individuals of different mental abilities? Do these impede the progress and reduce the number of possible items capable of acceptance as “common knowledge”? As many exist, and more will exist, even so, human nature seems, more or less, stable in spite of this bubbling brew of growing common knowledge in addition to misinformation, disinformation, and ‘knowledge’ alongside it. It seems akin to the internet. Some aspects facilitate more spreading of knowledge. Others encourage the spreading of lies, falsehoods, junk science, and conspiracy theories.

Dickson: Cognitive ability limitations do minimize the sophistication of common knowledge. But while this barrier is pronounced per generation, on one hand, the human capacity for learning compounds over time, and on the other hand, knowledge is being broken down and synthesized so that it becomes more accessible especially to members of a future generation whose understanding of the world are based on more advanced (and more relevant) premises. Furthermore, humanity invests in improving and augmenting the intelligence of humans while developing more intelligent artificial systems. Consequently, generational instances of common knowledge show a trend of increasingly advanced concepts over time.

Since society adopts knowledge when they are useful, it is natural that malformed knowledge would be adopted. As long as malformed knowledge volumes do not drown well-formed ones, positive growth is inevitable. It takes less than 1% to drive progress in any domain. The internet keeps a lot of people busy, which is a brilliant way for humanity to manage its population during their less productive hours.

Jacobsen: Why take the tests of Jason Betts?

Dickson: Jason Betts’ tests are fun and yet serious, very accurate for whatever it is they really measure, and one gets a very good return on time investment. But “why” for me would be because I learned about him at the time I did.

Jacobsen: What were some of the or have been some of the tests by Cooijmans taken by you?

Dickson: The Nemesis Test, Test of the Beheaded Man, and GRIT and The Piper’s Test, with others. I consider my submission of the first two, which were the earliest I took (I submitted all this year – 2020) to be a waste, although I enjoyed the problem-solving experience.

Jacobsen: What is the range of time one should take on the high-range tests to perform optimally?

Dickson: The tests come in a fairly broad range of difficulty. One can achieve scores up to 160 in 2 weeks, as my experience shows. But those who have had the highest scores on the tests report spending months on and off. Some things simply take time to accomplish, but this does not to say that everyone would accomplish them if they spent the time. Some tests are tricky in that one thinks they are done when they aren’t, and test-taken experience may help mitigate such an effect.

Jacobsen: Why is Kantian ethics intuitive for you?

Dickson: I think the intuitiveness of Kantian ethics lies in its appeal to rationality. It has a natural design, whose necessity emerges as a consequence of social interaction.

Jacobsen: What title might capture a more accurate ethic in this broader framework than “Kantian”?

Dickson: Against forming a compound eponymous title, I would say, since Kant has already done the dirty work, let’s call it ultra-Kantian.

Jacobsen: If an “ultimate ethical framework must contain a solution to the question, what is the purpose of humanity?”, what would be it?

Dickson: Developing this is clearly a difficult task, and so even a coherent summary is not available, but I can speak sparingly on certain features of such a system.

The ultimate ethical framework must be primarily descriptive, revealing things as they are, and then contain in itself parameters for deriving prescriptive rules. It must entail universal laws and universally acceptable principles, while containing conditions for non-compliance. It would point to an Ultimate Will, one which all must adhere to whether they realize it or not, and it is within this that the purpose of humanity is derived.

Jacobsen: Or if a better sub-ultimate ethic compared to those on offer, what would comprise an ethic in its contents and derivatives the answer to the question about the “purpose of humanity”? One sub-ultimate ethic still within the ultimate ethical framework.

Dickson: We must be able to discern the teleological properties of reality and then of humanity (both of which are practically inseparable), and note the ways in which we contribute to these. Also, a notable general feature of what I consider a practical ethical system is that it is designed for optimization and not discrimination. Taking these together, we can sense the ethical structure around breaking the Curse of Nonrecognition, with the prescriptions including gaining knowledge, enhancing one’s abilities, solving problems, being loyal only to truth, and recording one’s findings. Curiosity is the principal currency.

Jacobsen: How do you define “right”?

Dickson: Right is the adequate treatment of situations; that is, correct judgment. This is achieved by a successful resolution of conflicting selfish and selfless goals. In a sense, it is a perfect balance between proper treatment of oneself and of others. The selfish goals include: maximizing health (against death), pleasure (against pain), and capacity (against incapacity). The selfless goals include: construction (against destruction), rational action (against irrational action), and lawful action (against lawless action).

Jacobsen: How do you define “wrong”?

Dickson:As above, wrong is a poor treatment of self or others, or an imbalance between selfish and selfless goals.

I have only began to develop this theory, but it looks promising.

Jacobsen: How do you define “consciousness”?

Dickson: The fundamental principle of coexistence is interaction. Things that interact with each other in some way more than they interact with others in the same way form objects of some type. An object that interacts with some things by processing them, that is, changing their form without itself being changed on the whole, is intelligent. An object that interacts with its interaction of other objects is aware. This is a type-two intelligence, while that lacking awareness is a type-one intelligence. Consciousness is high awareness; awareness not just of the physical but of the mental; of identity and self, and of a ‘theory of others’; sustaining and remembering a history of this awareness over time.

This is only half the story. There is nothing about purely physical interaction necessitating that it corresponds to some mental phenomena. That is, if the physical processes are thought to occur first, they cannot in themselves manufacture mental processes, which do not already exist. That would be magical, and it would be difficult to point out when it happens. Rather, the mental possibilities already exist in a mental world and accompany physical processes according to how they function. I think of brains as ‘loopholes’ in reality; portals through which the very source of reality generation takes a peek into its own universe.

Jacobsen: How do you define “truth”?

Dickson: In a ‘placement theory of truth’, where facts are like blocks that can be arranged in a ‘narrative’, we can think of truth as a fact being in the right place at the right time. These are atomic facts which are in themselves always true at the level of consideration. Untruth are false arrangements of such facts.

In a ‘perspective theory of truth’, the truth is like the sizeless central point of a sphere, and facts are radial lines pointing outwards, and statements are the inwardly directed interpretation of facts. Untrue statements are constructed such that they miss the center by any margin of falsehood.

In all, truth is the accurate alignment of facts.

Jacobsen: What is Homo epistemicus?

Dickson: Homo epistemicus is the knowledge man; Man stripped of the shackles of ignorance and irrationality. It lives to know and loves to know, and would not be were it not to be that its being is of and for knowledge. Its existence would be a torturous one had it not, in worthy measure, been endowed with the capacity to attain and retain this knowledge. Homo epistemicus tends towards Unity.

Jacobsen: What comprises human nature so as to encapsulate the idea of “humanness”?

Dickson: Human nature is a product of common condition, and humanness is an acceptance or a perpetuation of features and consequences of human nature. These conditions are:

– Biological: We are not just trapped in a body, but defined by it. Our senses, and chiefly the sense of touch, mediate so many human necessities. From concrete feelings, we derive feelings in the abstract, and from the awareness of our mortality and of pain, we develop a sense of danger and evil. From physical contact, we acquire a sense of force, of power, and of control.

– Social: These are the constrained opportunities that arise from interactions with each other under the circumstances of our terrestrial environment. It is through this that we gain, share, and preserve knowledge of our common experiences, such as our suffering, our sense of hope, and so on, which are translated into language, preserved as cultures, and passed down as traditions. We, thus, embody a nature far more sophisticated than that which is afforded by our immediate experience.

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.


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