Skip to content

Conversation Between Rick Rosner and Scott Jacobsen with Anonymous Moderator


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/02/01


Rick Rosner is a Comedy Writer and a member of some high-IQ societies. With an anonymous moderator, we discuss: consciousness or awareness, information processing, Informational Cosmology, and derivations.

Keywords: awareness, consciousness, evolution, information, Informational Cosmology, Rick Rosner, Scott Jacobsen.

Conversation Between Rick Rosner and Scott Jacobsen with Anonymous Moderator

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

*During the interview, when Rick or Scott mentions “We,” this, typically, refers to collaborative work, as in ‘our view,’ ‘we think,’ and so on. However, we retain modest disagreements on some points in theorizing.*

Rick Rosner[1],[2]*: Before we talk about what we were going to talk about, you think China is going to kick our asses.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: It seems in that direction, yes.

Rosner: I was going to describe some of the crap that I have bought online lately and talk about how crazy labour and tech intensive it is.

Jacobsen: How so?

Rosner: I bought my wife a ring for $2.19, including shipping on some container ship. It had 3 one carat each faceted synthetic sapphires. Someone or some computer had to facet each sapphire. It had a ring of gold over silver and something like 15 half point or 1/200th of a carat faceted white sapphires, which were probably done by a computer, for $2!

I bought my kid who is doing a paper on frogs…

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: A frog ring that has something like 50 stones, which means little tiny stones next to each other like pavement. Again, some gold over silver, some not, a polished cabochon topaz for $5. I bought my mom a ring for Mother’s Day for $1.82 with 14 faceted synthetic aqua marines and 2 dozen pave set tiny little white sapphires in the place of diamonds.

That is some combination between labor being ridiculously cheap, technology being high, and a bunch of yahoos running this country. They will be happy to chip away at us cheap crappy ring by cheap crappy ring.

That is why people said this stuff about Japan and Japanese cars. When they said it, they were right? Because American cars were really sucking, and Japan came in with great cars for the time. All right, do you want to move onto the next thing?


Rick Rosner: In preparation for everyone coming, I have been thinking about IC a lot. I do not have to talk entirely out of my ass. IC is informational cosmology.

Anonymous Conversation Moderator: Okay.

Rosner: IC must be at least somewhat right for this to be right. But it seems as if there is at least the potential for accumulating evidence in several areas that would weigh in favour of IC, a universe that is an information processor and likely a conscious information processor.

Meaning that, the information it’s processing pertains to something.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Some big questions emerge from that first. Some first questions would amount to how the information is being processed, at what scales the information is being processed, why those scales of information processing, and how those relate to one another. We have discussed them.

Rosner: Yes, we have. But most of the answers are “we don’t know.” Some of the mechanisms seem reasonably persuasive.

Moderator: Do you need consciousness for information processing? Or can you have information processing in the absence of consciousness?

Rosner: I think that when you have a large, self-consistent information processor. It becomes efficient to have a central clearing house for things that are kind of automatic. Though, no computer on Earth, right now, is conscious.

Though, I might be wrong about that. There are suspicious things going on with Google Translate. The computers that have taught themselves to play Go. Just because something mysterious is going on in a computer does not mean that it is conscious. But it seems that if you have a large self-referential or self-monitoring system that is generating all sorts of information and the information is being shared among the various subsystems with the subsystems being the kind of Marvin Minsky subsystems.

That consciousness emerges out of that deal. That beyond a certain scale, you would almost have to engineer against it to not happen.

Moderator: Does something like this recursive looping structure that generates consciousness is out of the self-monitoring thing?

Rosner: Not exactly, because then, you get into falsities, ‘If you recognize yourself in the mirror, people can, but certain monkeys can’t, and dolphins.” All those are stabs at it. But a certain amount of self-recursion also gets involved with stabs at consciousness.

I would make this argument: that everything you think can be described in a sentence or a bunch of sentences. It would take a gazillion sentences to describe even a moment of what you’re thinking, but some of those sentences would be or could be self-referential, “I am sitting here. I am thinking about thinking how I think. I have an itchy neck. My eyes are tired. I am x years old. I am…”

The sentences that describe you being aware of you are no different in structure than the rest of the sentences that say there is a couch. There is a plaid blanket. There is an ab roller. There is a squeaky elephant. It seems the information involved with being consciousness, which is this strong level understanding what is going on, of modelling reality, and every part of your brain being informed by every other part of your brain or mind.

That is not a lot of specialness to sentences because they are all sentences describing what you are thinking. But a lot of them, probably the minority of them, refer to your awareness of yourself. They reflect that feeling that you have of being a thing that is aware in the world.

Although, you could design a computer that could design false sentences like this. We are thinking of sentences that authentically reflect what you are thinking.

Moderator: It seems as if you are using intentional language. This phenomenological subset statements that you are talking about, where we are talking about our own states. How we feel, our own emotions, images in our mind, that there is some position of consciousness vis-à-vis those items that we are describing or noticing in consciousness even prior to linguistic representation of those things.

Rosner: Yes.

Moderator: There is a difference between consciousness proper, in the awareness sense, and the contents of consciousness that arise in consciousness. That bifurcation allows those descriptions of those things to occur.

Jacobsen: Life would be hard too if we had to articulate every non-conscious set…

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: …of statements or emergent set of statements. [Laughing] life would be almost unlivable. I know some reports of people who have eidetic memory, maybe 6 or 7 people in the world. By analogy, they remark on similar things.

They talk about the experience of the memory being so powerful in each moment, of something that is not happening in that moment, as at times unbearable. It would seem evolutionarily efficient to get rid of that simply by having a barrier.

Rosner: Yes, mental thrift, it is not even a substrate. But it is the feeling of experience. Consciousness is, basically, the hyper-felt experience. It does not have to be self-referential. There could be some sophisticated night watchmen software.

It could monitor a bunch of warehouses. The software would, maybe, not even be aware of what it is and where it is. It may simply be hyperaware to the point of being conscious to making judgments about what is going on.

I do not think that you can easily divorce value judgments from consciousness. Anyway, it could be hyperaware of the warehouses without being aware of itself. You can do without language, as with dogs and mice.

I would guess any mammal is conscious.

Moderator: I like it. I would follow a panpsychism that follows consciousness as an awareness. You could push down damn far, certainly evidence in animals. You could probably push down further.

Rosner: Maybe, most reptiles, it gets tricky with bugs.

Moderator: The problem of something so qualitatively different from concrete matter. How do you get that first thing? If it is not a fundamental feature of reality, which I thought you were hinting at.

Rosner: No, I think it is an emergent characteristic of certain large self-consistent, self-informing information processing systems.

Jacobsen: That sounds like an unavoidable derivative. Something that by the nature of the structure brings about certain forms of information processing that have consciousness as an output.

Rosner: Yes, if every subsystem is sharing on a broadband basis with every other subsystem, and being understood, you have something that functions like consciousness.

Moderator: I see. Okay.

Rosner: Although, lately, we have been talking about what an enormous pain in the ass it would be…

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: …and how expensive informationally it would be if there had to be a language or a bunch of languages having to share information among the brain’s or the mind’s various subsystems, which suggests there is a lot of tacit understanding going on.

It sounds like as-if understanding, which has echoes of quantum computing – which I don’t understand at all. But it does a lot of computation on a multi-conditional, as-if basis.

Moderator: Are we talking about communication between subsystems of the brain like the emotional subsystem?

Rosner I don’t know. It seems reasonable to say there is a sub-system in the brain for language. At the same time, you don’t know if it is localized or only partly localized and then spread through the brown.

What exactly when you think of an orange or the color orange, what is lighting up? What is communicating that information? Does every part of the brain need to understand language in order to understand that orange is being thought of? It seems super redundant and would eat up all the possible information.

There has to be a way to act as if it understands a bunch of stuff, where it isn’t being explicitly informed about that stuff. It is kind of the way that you look at a painting. You only have this frickin’ 2-inch in diameter part of your visual field that can see precisely.

You don’t notice because your eyes wander the painting and then fill in the painting, in your head, as if you have seen the entire painting. Even though, you have only seen the painting in bits.

Anyway, everything is a pain in the ass.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] If you look at the field of psychology, it has problems too. It has problems in its own set of epistemologies. There does seem to be a fragmentation of its knowledge, but a fragmentation of its methodology in acquiring knowledge.

If you look at evolutionary psychology, I believe feminist psychology, cognitive psychology, etc., these different fields use different methodologies and different statistical tools. Those methodologies and statistical tools simply amount to different epistemologies about how the brain operates or how to gain knowledge about how the brain operates.

So, you could imagine all knowledge about the mind as a black sphere that each discipline is providing partially overlapping but distinct lights on that sphere. But even in the academic main, things are not necessarily providing too much help as well.

These are deep questions.

Rosner: Yes, to the point, where we talked about, people just gave up on it in the 1930s.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: “Black box, behaviorism, we just won’t worry about it.”

Moderator: Yes, I would look at the ontological ramifications of there being multiple epistemologies and methodologies in such a way that you have to acknowledge that there’s an equally valid and ontologically potent subjective domain that’s worthy of examination not strictly from the third-person, scientific, empirical point of view.

One from another set of phenomenological views. There are many other ways of examining this realm.

Rosner: I’d argue – and we’d argue – that much of this gets cleaned up once there is a mathematics of consciousness, at least in terms of what we’re talking about.

Jacobsen: Yes.

Rosner: Once you have that, what we have been talking about, you have a bunch of definite frameworks to look at the information contained in consciousness through. One is assuming the universe is made of information. That information pertains to something that is not just describing itself.

So, you have the universe as we experience it, living in an information space that is our physical space with the rules of physics. Then you have the armature space that, by analogy, if you argue we have a mind, we have brains. And if we didn’t have minds, we wouldn’t have brains.

If the universe is made of information, then there needs to be a physical structure apart from the universe and accessible to the universe that allows the information that the universe is made of to exist.

Moderator: Like a medium?

Rosner: Like our brain.

Moderator: Okay.

Rosner: Our minds do not give us access to – unless, we go to med. school or work in a lab – our brains. So, you’ve got our minds as we experience them through consciousness. You have the information space that might exist as a map of the information in an individual consciousness.

You have the brain without which the mind couldn’t exist. Then you have the universe as this thing that is doing its own thing informationally. But those processes allow for life to arise and us to experience that information space as a physical realm.

You have like four things, or three. Anyway, several.

Jacobsen: From what I can tell, those amount to a set of rules or principles of existence. Something like a physics, or where the rules of physics become emergent phenomena. You have the universe as the information itself. You have almost the gestalt representation of that information. Then you have the armature from which the rest derive.

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: It becomes a complicated thing. It is a complexification thing.

Rosner: But it gets all cleaned up if there is a mathematics of consciousness. And there should be! There is no reason for there not to be. Because consciousness as a moment to moment picture of the shared information within your mind is an actual thing.

It should be describable mathematically.

Jacobsen: The universe can be described by mathematics. The brain is part of the universe that can be described by mathematics. Therefore, the mind can be described by mathematics. It would simplify the whole process.

Moderator: So, let’s say that I can derive equations to describe the emotional state or sensory state that you undergo when you eat an ice cream cone, I have that set of equations. It captures perfectly this integrated information system in which every part of the brain is communicating. It totally captures it.

I look at that equation. It feels to me something is lost, where I then have to somehow translate that again into a subjective experience that I can internalize, empathize, with. If I do not have the additional step, I am not fully capturing everything.

I have objectively described the brain.

Rosner: I think that is a problem with the whole thing. In that, I do not think it is a set of equations. I think it is an information map that conforms to certain principles, to mathematical rules. You can probably boil it down to a gazillion equations or a zillion numbers that get plugged into a framework.

Not exactly a matrix, but not exactly not a matrix, then you have metaphysical questions. These arise, “If that describes an emotional state or a state consciousness that exists, then why isn’t it conscious?”

Then you have to argue that it isn’t conscious because you don’t really get consciousness in action. Unless, you have a series of these moments stringed together. Each of which describes a moment flowing into another moment.

Moderator: It hasn’t been transduced. So, it would be like raw information that hasn’t been acted upon or something. Like, the equations themselves.

Rosner: Yes, but once you have the math of it –

Moderator: It is like have a floppy disk.

Rosner: Yes.

Moderator: [Laughing] it has the information, but it is not running, maybe.

Rosner: Except, it contains the information that embodies that self-awareness. But since it is only one moment, maybe, it doesn’t last long. It doesn’t describe enough moments because consciousness only lasts for an instant. It is not really consciousness.

Maybe, if you had a floppy disk that had ten moments or a hundred moments or something that described moment-by-moment 23 seconds within a human awareness, you could, maybe, argue that on that disk is an extended moment of consciousness, but maybe not.

Moderator: To me, it seems like a way of transferring. If you are adept enough at reading the equations or have a way or translating that into your own information space, it is like the medium through which you can pass the information and recreate it in your own brain that has the structure to.

Rosner: I don’t know if you should need to do that. The information space, the map, or the description of it should boil down to something that looks like a quantum mechanical description of an almost entirely self-contained cosmos or world, but a teeny one.

The math that would contain all the potentials – the open questions – that would be solved quantum mechanically in subsequent moments. So, you could have a model consciousness that actually functions as consciousness as long as it functioned as a quantum mechanical little universe that was unfolding with your floppy disks plugging in the information, the new information, that’s required for the thing to go from moment to moment.

Jacobsen: The continuity coming from a set of implied pasts and a narrow set of possible futures within an instantiated moment.

Rosner: Yes, a narrowed set. As you know with quantum mechanics, the whole debate and what freaked out Einstein. Quantum mechanics explicitly cannot predict entirely what is going to happen. It has openings where new information has to be plugged in.

But as long as you have this little engine and the information to plug in for moment to moment, you can have a model consciousness conscious for 23 seconds, or how ever long you can make it run depending on the capacity of the disk.

There was a brutal and great science fiction story by David Marusek called The Wedding Album. In the future, on happy occasions, people have not only their photographs taken, but the technology also records their awareness.

The story is about the portrait of the awareness of a bride on her wedding day, and how she struggles over many decades to be acknowledged as a sufficiently conscious entity, which is tough for her because this portrait of consciousness runs into problems.

It was early technology. She isn’t as fully conscious as the products of later technology that could better capture consciousness. It is one of my favourite stories.

Moderator: What is the structure of this technology?

Rosner: I think he dances around that.

Moderator: It is not equations on a page.

Rosner: No, but it is something on a disk or the futuristic equivalent of a disk.

Moderator: Sure.

Jacobsen: There are some tacit assumptions floating around in the conversation, such as the insertion of new information. Perhaps, that leads to new questions. If you want to include it, I leave that to you.

Rosner: We got some questions. We should mention Lisa Feldman Barrett who is a constructivist. There are two schools of thought in contemporary neuroscience. One is constructivist, which is Lisa Barrett’s point of view, which is that we are not born with a lot of evolved specialist systems – particularly with regard to emotions.

She wrote this book called How Emotions Are Made. She argues that based on the neuroscience done by her and other research, comparative psychology across the world. What we think are basic emotions, that are hardwired into our brains through evolution are, really, cultural artefacts.

She argued about schadenfreude. This was a thing that was super common in Germany, but didn’t really start showing up in America until we turned into a bunch of pricks. It is seeming like a basic emotion to Germans. It is a novel emotion to us.

There are certain cultures that don’t feel fear or anger the way that we do. But we feel that fear and anger are these very basic things. She says, “We have basic physical reactions. But beyond that, a lot of stuff is cultural constructs.”

So, there are constructivists or essentialists. Something like that who say, “No, that stuff is here.” She also argues that the brain exists to predict what is going to happen in order to get your reactions – your body ready – to best manage what is going to happen in every next instant.

So, when you talk about the information that needs to be supplied as consciousness unfolds, that information comes from the world, which includes sensory input and also what we’re thinking from other parts of our brain.

The stuff gets filled in. All these questions get answered in the same way that it is an open question at the beginning of a game, a sports game, what the final score is going to be. You have to let the game happen for that open question to be answered.

Consciousness is a bunch of open questions plus predictions, which is reminiscent of a quantum mechanical system that is only partially determined as it goes into the future with the rest of the determination being filled in by the unfolding of time.

Jacobsen: There was the other premise of the insertion of information in a finite system. Right, one big thing is the aspect of finite systems for universe and for minds in it.

Rosner: Yes, for anything that includes an infinity, it is kind of suspect.

Jacobsen: So, it is a particular type of infinity too. This also implies things that we talked about before around limitations in digit span in terms of the oneness of one and the twoness of two.

Rosner: Yes, you and I have talked a lot about the principles of existence. Principles rather than rules because rules seem set from the word “Go.” Principles seem, at least the way that we understand them, kind of emergent.

Things need certain characteristics to exist. Which means, they have to persist across time. They have to be non-contradictory or, at least, self-non-contradictory.

Jacobsen: Which leads to another question, “Why persist?”

Rosner: Because if something exists for zero time, it doesn’t exist, which is kind of a circular argument.

Jacobsen: It is also based on a statistical argument. That things are more likely to exist than not exist. It amounts to a statistical argument for existence.

Rosner: Hold on, let’s do that, then let’s go back to numbers. Where the base assumption for both religious people and for scientific people is that you don’t get something for nothing, the world we live in is something.

Something had to have created it. The assumption behind that is nothing is the default state. In the absence of some force or creator, you’ve got nothing. But there is an alternate point of view that I kind of embrace, I think that you do to some extent.

Jacobsen: Yes, I do.

Rosner: That the principles of existence are not so tight that they prohibit all existence. That some existence is allowed. That there is a set, maybe, because of the set of all things that exist might be so complicated that it cannot exist as a set.

There is, for the sake of argument, a set of all possible worlds that can exist. That set contains, at least, our world. By reasonable assumptions, a potential infinity or near infinity of other worlds.

Jacobsen: I have musings about that too [Laughing]. Go ahead.

Rosner: So, statistically, there is only one null world. There is only one world that doesn’t exist because it contains no space, no time, no mass, no information. The odds that that’s, when you’re picking worlds as random – which you can’t do because of the Anthropic Principle, just the default world; it’s just statistically super unlikely.

Jacobsen: It amounts to a simple twist to centuries of philosophizing on it. You can’t get something from nothing. Why not?

Rosner: Why is nothing the thing? Anyway, to get back to numbers, numbers are really effective in the world. Both as their own system of things and as their own way of counting things. When you use numbers, you are using things that are infinitely precise without realizing that you’re trading in infinities.

The number “1” is really “1.0000000…” out to infinity. Every counting number is infinitely precise. That allows numbers to work in very powerful ways.

Jacobsen: I love that.

Rosner: Yes. Numbers are imaginary. So, you get into not bad trouble because we live in a universe that has 10^85th proton-sized particles. It feels infinite in a lot of ways because it has so much stuff in it, and is so precisely defined, until you get down to quantum levels.

You don’t get much trouble when you talk about one apple. When you go around saying, “I saw one apple. I saw two goats. I saw three Camaros,” you’re probably going to be okay. Unless, you got a quick glimpse of them and were testifying in court.

There is not numerical perfection necessarily in the world because the world is finite and we have a finite amount of information with which to describe and understand it.

Jacobsen: I would love to see the court case with the apple, the goat, and the Camaro.

Rosner: What happened?

Jacobsen: [Laughing] If you look at the statistical emergence of phenomena through principles of existence rather than rules or laws, and with numbers as finite in a finite universe to be able to handle the information to produce numberishness about things, then that does provide a basis for a certain type of dynamism in the sets described before.

You mentioned this universe as part of a set, but each instantiation is different. That implies a certain set of sets of our universe, which does have a certain dynamism about it.

Rosner: I don’t know what exactly you mean. Except, the universe might reasonably be described as a string of present moments. Each of which is picked from among the set of all possible next moments.

With a bunch of caveats about how there is so much information, and so much of the information is quantumly fuzzy, that the mathematics of pegging things as specific moments probably needs all sorts of development and clarification.

But you could probably build model worlds. That’s when you’re starting to learn quantum mechanics. They start you off with a model world of one particle down a potential well, one fuzzy thing. You could probably build fuzzy little worlds from there and then extend.

Let’s talk about how I kind of see IC as possibly in the future getting to the point of kind of being like Wegener’s theory of continental drift. It is a theory with a lot of evidence pointing to it. To the point of it being increasingly obvious, that it is something that is a viable theory.

Jacobsen: What are the pointers?

Rosner: Wegener was an Arctic explorer among other things. He fought in WWI. During and after that, in the early ‘20s, he published some papers looking at the geologic evidence. There is an argument to be made that all of the continents were unified as one continent in the past.

We have talked about how at some point metaphysics and physics will have to be reunified to be effective. Science has avoided metaphysics for a long time. At some point, science should be able to answer some of that questions that is has denied to answer for a long time because they were too tough.

Jacobsen: Yes [Laughing].

Rosner: Wegener argued it was time during his era for geology and geography to start working together again. I just read that in Wikipedia as I was getting ready to talk about this stuff.

Jacobsen: There is a notion. And it is not accurate. The notion is modern. The notion being science is divorced from philosophy. If you look at the history of it, science was natural philosophy. It amounted to a branch of philosophy.

So, natural philosophers, which are now scientists, amounted to and still equate to applied philosophers. So, there become philosophers of a type, but more functional in their approach and applied in their approach.

Rosner: They took over because they got the results.

Moderator: Yes, it is a lot more effective [Laughing] than a kind of a blind metaphysics that isn’t informed by, especially, modern science.

Jacobsen: It’s like Thales, right? “Everything is water.” How is this relevant? What technology is this going to produce? So, we become mystified by our own powerful technological sophistication and scientific discoveries that are allowing us to produce those technologies, but the basic assumptions, for instance, from Sean Carroll, come out when he says, ‘Conclude.’

In other words, a natural conclusion of science is naturalism. Of course! If you look at the history of it, it is grounded in natural philosophy. So, if you forgot the history, then you’ll derive naturalism. It is almost like forgetting your feet, and seeing out in the world, and looking down, and then finding your feet again.

Rosner: So, there are some feet to be found with what we’re doing, which is mathematicize consciousness. Also, with the implications of consciousness being a widely emergent phenomenon, which is a dangerous way to characterize consciousness because it then sounds to people like you’re saying trees and rocks have consciousness, and that the healing amethyst, you’re selling for 20$…

Jacobsen: …I have a crystal in my water. And now, it is filtered [Laughing].

Rosner: Yeah, no, we’re not saying any of that. Systems of information processing, people who promote Intelligent Design or creationists. They like to say that you don’t get eyes without God. Yet, if you look at the evolutionary record, eyes pop up all over the place.

Independently, a number of different times in evolutionary history because they are super helpful and have an easy series of evolutionary steps, where each step is helpful. Like, wheels don’t evolve because it is tough to get wheels.

The steps leading to wheels might not be helpful. You have a patch on your skin detects brightness. Then you start building lenses. After a while, if you’re lucky, you get eyes.

Jacobsen: You can Google it. You can pick a sense or you can pick an ability like echolocation. You can Google it. You can come up with multiple examples of independently evolved senses or abilities.

Rosner: You can argue intelligence is a thing that has emerged, at least, more than once. Octopuses are tragically smart evolved molluscs, which barely have brains.

Jacobsen: If they had a rock band, they would name it that, “Tragically Smart.”

Rosner: Yes, tragically smart because they are super smart and only live for two years – most of them. They have the possum model of reproduction.

Moderator: I see.

Rosner: Spit out a bunch of low quality organisms…

Jacobsen: …[Laughing]…

Rosner: …because most of them are going to get eaten.

Moderator: Okay.

Rosner: Octopuses, some of the really cool ones have a liquid crystal display across their body. Their bodies are TV screens. It is a great mechanism. But after 2 years, it starts peeling off of them. They start falling apart.

Moderator: In that context, it is amazing how effective human natural languages are for communication versus anything else that has been evolved. I mean, you have organisms like octopi that have these strange skins that can do all these things. These things that can morph and change colors.

They seem to be very remarkable and technological breakthroughs evolutionarily speaking for transmitting information.

Rosner: But they don’t do what words do.

Moderator: Yes [Laughing].

Rosner: I also think it helps not to live underwater [Laughing].

Moderator: [Laughing] that’s true. That’s true.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Moderator: Dolphins are pretty damn smart.

Rosner: Yes. But they still need an occasional crazy person to jack them off.

Moderator: That’s true.

Rosner: Every couple of years, somebody gets arrested.

b[Laughing] sex with dolphins. That’s a whole movement.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] also the name of a band.

Rosner: Editing Noesis was a kind of a lesson or a cautionary deal. But I would get stuff from retired high school teachers.

Jacobsen: Really?!

Rosner: Yes, saying, “Einstein was wrong,” with pages and pages of equations, which made me not want to talk about my stuff until I could talk about it without some concrete stuff that didn’t seem like bullshit.

But on the other hand, I have had to start talking about my stuff, even if it sounds bullshitty because of the march of time.

Jacobsen: Well, one comment I can give to everything, in doing research in terms of trying to do interviews with some of the people who have above 4 standard deviation IQs…

Rosner: Let’s characterize. IQs are set to have a mean or an average of 100. The standard deviation on adult IQ tests is a way to measure the rarity of certain scores. A standard deviation on most IQ tests is 16.

1/6th, roughly, of the population is supposed to score one standard deviation above the mean, above 116. 1/6th is supposed to score one standard deviation below the mean or 84. So, it goes 1/6th of the population scores above 116. One person in 44 scores above 132. One person in 750 is supposed to score above 148. One person in 30,000 is supposed to score above 164.

It doesn’t work exactly that way. There are outliers. But you’re talking about a person with above 4 standard deviations above the mean. It is someone you should find at 1 in 30,000 level.

Jacobsen: It also depends on the test, the test maker, and the country.

Rosner: Some tests are slutty.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: I don’t mean the online ones that try to make you feel good. I mean 16 is most common, or 15 or 24.

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: Most of the mainstream ones, they would go to 4 standard deviations or 164 with a 16 SD.

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: But I’m sure, you, in terms of research of people who you find of interest. You have to do some background reading. Some of the more casual stuff that is more easily graspable. I will buy the people’s ebooks and then read those. I have written on Creationism in Canada.

In terms of the more high-level stuff, I would leave that to the people in that world who have that background or professionalism. Yet, in terms of things like pseudoscience, e.g., Irreducible Complex, in particular, which is one branch of Intelligent Design, I did interview Michael Behe and have written about Intelligent Design.

He is, as far as I know, one of the founders of the Intelligent Design movement. So, the poster child, as it’s called, of Intelligent Design for a long time was the flagellar motor, which is built out of 30 or 40 amino acid parts.

Rosner: That wheel, it is one of the few things that actually works like a wheel.

Jacobsen: It is an efficient system. Then Kenneth Miller, who is a biologist at Brown University, I did an interview with him as well. I published them side-by-side because they are Roman Catholics. I wanted to put them together.

I asked them relatively fair questions. They gave several thousand words. I used some of the same references in those publications. When I published both of those interviews, the response that I found in some of the research – though, this was a few years ago, so I may be misremembering some of this – was the Type III Secretory System, which is a broken down model of the flagellar motor that is used to inject poison.

It is based out of fewer parts. So, it amounted to someone seeing a transitional fossil, asking, “Where is the transitional fossil?” Then someone showing them the transitional fossil. This sort of thing.

The Type III Secretory System amounted to a pre- from which you would get the flagellar motor. It is simpler mechanism built out of relatively the same parts. The idea of the irreducible complexity is that you cannot get a simpler system than a flagellar motor.

Rosner: But somebody did find one.

Jacobsen: Somebody found a simpler model of the Type III Secretory System.

Moderator: Did Michael Behe accept the finding?

Jacobsen: That is a good question. I would have to look it up again. I do not suspect it. Or he may point to things like the immune system. Things like this. I think one thing in terms of a fairness of representation: Intelligent Design with Dembski and Behe, young earth creationists and old earth creationists, and theistic evolutionists, and unguided naturalistic evolution, which is the main theory.

Those five settings, Intelligent Design as one. Young earth creationism like Bishop James Ussher counting the ages in the Bible and counting back. Old earth creationism accepting the age of the earth at 4.54 billion years or something like this. Then theistic evolutionists accepting evolution, accepting the age of the earth, and then saying, “God did it,” in essence.

‘Man was part of the plan.’ This is one of the rhymes, I think [Ed., not really]. Then unguided evolution is the majority or, I would assume, most of the National Academy of Sciences would accept those ones.

In terms of an accurate and fair representation, I think those five are more fair.

Moderator: So, what about Stuart Kauffman’s take? He kind of falls into a different understanding. I remember there was an Intelligent Design reader that had a similar breakdown. That I think was edited by Dembski and, I think, by Behe as well.

Jacobsen: Okay.

Moderator: They had Ken Miller arguing the standard neo-Darwinian model. They had Stuart Kauffman arguing something involving complexity and chaos and the stuff done at the Sante Fe Institute, which strikes me as the most reasonable kind of skepticism towards a strictly materialistic, neo-Darwinist approach.

That might not make room for certain somewhat intelligent feedback systems or seemingly unconventional forms of intelligence in the evolutionary process. It might have the wherewithal to make room, for instance, of an information universe, the neo-Darwinist model in a way.

Although, it relies heavily on information in terms of its understanding of genetics. I don’t know where I was going with that.

Rosner: That’s at least twice. I would guess that there have been other instances, but I don’t know. Anyway, that it arose on Earth twice argues that it probably has arisen. There are 10^22 stars in the universe.

If you do the Drake Equation, it is likely to have arisen in a bunch of places. It may even be a part of the information that comprises the universe itself. There’s a whole metaphysics around that.

In that, if consciousness, experiencing the world that we experience it – three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension – and the other stuff that goes along with it, is the way that the world understands itself, then there are philosophical and ethical arguments to be made.

It is not as disheartening a universe as a cold, random evolution universe. Although, it is not the best news in the world either.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] this is true.

Rosner: Anyway, back to it, you were talking about ID people.

Jacobsen: Yes, so, the vast majority of practicing biologists and the elite scientists such as those in the National Academy of Sciences adhere to unguided evolution. So, if they have a faith that has supernatural or metaphysical elements to it, they will put that aside in the laboratory, but will then begin continuing to enact their faith in their place of worship.

I think that is their right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, and freedom of religion in that sense. But I think, often, the young earth creationists, the ones that build arks like Ken Ham, the old earth creationists, and the Intelligent Design people get lumped together, but that part seems unfair to me because they do have differences that can be differences of a few billion years in terms of their acceptance of the age of the earth on one metric – to extend an olive branch of compassion, for instance, in terms of the representation of their own worldview in an accurate way. Is that fair?

Moderator: I think that’s totally fair. I actually got into this argument when I was an undergrad. In a philosophy of science class, a relatively well-known thinker came and visited and gave a lecture. I was quite interested in this debate at the time. I was writing a paper and presenting it. My professor was not buying the distinction I was making between Intelligent Design folks and creationists.

But there seems to be a clear distinction to say, “At certain points evolutionary history, there are some morphologies or outcomes, or whatever, or subsystems, or maybe even whole species, that seem to signify some kind of intelligent cause or mechanism.”

Because they are agnostic about that in a way. Although, most of them are of the Judeo-Christian persuasion. They want to insert that divine source. You could leave it open for some Lamarckian system.

You have some primitive eye. You have a mutative moment that was not random, but, maybe, it arose from some feedback with the environment or some other process that we’re yet aware of. That strikes me as opening up a door to a new research program.

But if you’re going to say, “We have proved that this is a divine or a theological intervention because you can’t reduce the complexity of the eye if you take away one piece and whatever. So, you can’t have precursors.”

I buy the argument that most evolutionary biologists make against Intelligent Design in that it is an anti-science program.

Rosner: I got two things. The mainstream media that Lance says is brainwashing me. When it does talk about Intelligent Design, it often characterizes Intelligent Design people as sneaky evolutionists, which is probably true for some and not true for others.

Jacobsen: What does “sneaky evolutionists” mean?

Rosner: I suspect that animals themselves are not completely dumb when it comes to understanding their own abilities or lack of abilities, especially stressed animals who have to take wild gambles to reproduce, to survive, might have slightly increased mental flexibility than the dumb jock animals.

They may not be able to exactly breed themselves, but may be able to engage in cultural evolution to grease the wheels long enough for genetic evolution, in some cases, to catch up.

Moderator: Do you think genetic stuff opens new pathways?

Rosner: Yes, instead of talking about random mutations where some frog will have a couple extra toes, you might have a part of a bigger package, where a frog can see in the infrared or something.

Epigenetics to me means options packages on cars. You get nuts and bolts, and stuff that is close to working.

Moderator: We are discovering more and more how environment impacts gene expression. Gene expression and the products of the gene expression are constraining meiosis and the formation of sperm or egg cells, and that whole process.

In some way, there is a relationship between the environment and the creation of the sperm or eggs that carry the genetic information that’s making it way through.

Jacobsen: If you look at the selection pressures on us throughout evolutionary history, some big factors that have become more understood than in Darwin’s day have been sexual selection and kin selection.

People and other animals select based on various factors relevant to kin and sex. When it comes to influence on, not only gene selection but, the development of the fetus, in developmental psychology, they talk about teratogens.

Things that are poisonous to a fetus in development in the womb. Some obvious ones would be alcohol. We see cases with FAS kids. But I believe some research, though preliminary or not advanced much, are pregnant mothers who are obese passing on the gene expression to their children for obesity.

Rosner: And in general, evolution grabs any easy opportunity and some less than easy opportunities to transmit information. I know a guy. We have the genome. We have people working on what the expression of every gene is.

But my buddy claims that that’s nowhere near enough. You need to find interaction among the systems of the body on all possible or among all possible scales.

Moderator: Interesting.

Rosner: Because evolutionary pressure, any kind of leak or niche that it can flow into. It’ll take advantage of it, which means our bodies are filled. It includes interactions among us, and other species. They are filled with all sorts of unknown feedback loops.

Just because they have all been exploitable, because whatever works, works.

Jacobsen: That good enough principle in evolution does reflect, a little bit, the emergence of the principles of existence, of the type of universe allowed.

Rosner: You don’t necessarily have set rules. You have whatever allows something to persist.

Jacobsen: Now, there might be premature conclusions or derivations from people. Some might take the Teilhard de Chardin notion of some development to an Omega Point.

Rosner: You can always go too far. I mean, the history of trying to figure out consciousness is the history of people getting it wrong.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: Anyway, let’s talk about IC and places where there could be evidence that points in the direction of IC, one aspect of IC is that: if the universe really is acting like an information processor or a thinking machine, basically, that doesn’t seem consistent with Big Bang physics.

Big Bang physics seems like a single thought playing itself out or a calculator that blows up after one calculation.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: You want a steady progression from the universe now to the universe later to the universes having resembling to one another. Not an exact constant over time, but a regularity. It should have similarity across time.

That is a physical principle. You like things consistent across space or across time. The Big Bang, there is no special point in space. But every point in time is special because every point is different, because every point in time has a different sized universe.

So, IC says, “No, it just looks like that. The universe is roughly, within some statistical variation, the same size across vast spans of time.” It means the universe is much older that it appears to be. One of the huge places for the Big Bang universe to be at risk is if there is stuff in the universe that is older than the apparent age of the universe.

That could include brown dwarfs, which are old burned out stars of a certain size. That cool very slowly because it is not easy for them to lose heat. The way they radiate, they are limited in how they lose heat.

Maybe, they found some brown dwarfs that are much cooler than they should be given the age of the universe. You can look at the early universe and massive black holes, and junk like that. That seem to have formed much faster than they would have had time to have formed.

Galaxies and massive black holes should have taken a few hundred million years to form. As they look back, they find stuff less old than that. So if a lot of that stuff keeps popping up, that’s bad for the Big Bang and good for IC.

Also, dark matter, if the universe is super old, dark matter does not need to be exotic. It could be old burned out stars. They are just hard to see. Yes, they would form a galactic halo because that’s the best place to be to not get knocked out to either into the center of the galaxy or out of the galaxy entirely.

The old stuff is hard to see. It is on the outskirts, where it can orbit undisturbed. There are the galactic filaments, which are these strings that the universe while uniform overall has huge strings and walls of galaxies.

That are more than a hundred million light years across, which suggests a way for old galaxies to be lit up again. If you can light up a whole string of a galaxies in a row, it might be the wiring of the universe.

Jacobsen: So, you would have a bunch of proton rich galaxies that would burn down into neutron rich galaxies, but could be reignited by the resurgence of a certain type of particles.

Rosner: If you have big fluxes of neutrinos and probably other stuff that gets gravitationally lensed from crashing into other galaxies along the line, we were calling it, hotwashing it. If you dipped an old burned out galaxy into the energetic mess that is the universe close to the apparent beginning of time, you might be able to hose it down with enough stuff to unlock a bunch of neutrons and lock them down into protons.

Or you could bring in a bunch of new matter, protons. They would boil down to stars. Then you’ve lit up the galaxy again. You’ve got dark energy, which is needed to make the universe expand in the kind of weird non-Big Bang-y ways that it is thought to expand now.

In the early days of the Big Bang, people thought that there was one initial expansion, explosion, and then we’ve decelerating ever since. Now, it seems the universe is accelerating. Maybe, there is a cleaner reason with the universe being made of information rather than some weird stuff going on with the cosmological constants.

Jacobsen: Also, the Big Bang would not be a single big bang but a series of little big bangs.

Rosner: In IC, it is a rolling series of bangs.

Moderator: What happened with inflation during the time of uniform distribution of hydrogen before you had some quantum fluctuation that gave rise?

Rosner: I don’t know much about inflation. But it happened within the first quintillionth of a second. There are various eras. There is the Microwave Background Radiation, where photons are thought to have come from.

The end of the first period of ionization. That if you have a bunch of matter, just free electrons and free protons because there is too much energy, that is opaque to light, because it is a big soupy mess.

But once electrons start locking into position around protons, the universe becomes transparent. There is probably a couple dozen eras. That is 300,000 years after the Big Bang. With expansion probably occupying the first teeny, hottest, soupiest, energetic part of time, one more thing, quantum mechanics, itself, is super informationey.

It is what happens when you don’t have complete information. You’ve got all this stuff. Much of it points to an information processing universe rather than a just straight out Big Bang.


Rosner: You have the life of somebody manic without being manic.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] I will reluctantly cop to that. So, I didn’t answer the question earlier from when the call cut. Not only around biology stuff, but I have interviewed people in Rick’s world. You need to do a lot of reading.

That’s one group. You can go down the listings. You can find various qualities of them. You can find various levels of approachability. By which I mean, some are humble about their gifts. Some are not.

You can tell by the titles that they give themselves. You can also tell by the accessibility that they provide of themselves to the public.

Rosner: That brings up a thing. Yes, I am a dumbass genius because I found a niche that I think is exploitable. My skills do not lie in forming a sex cult [Ed., referencing Keith Raniere].

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: Although, young me wanted to get famous for doing physics and then go on the Tonight Show and go in a helicopter with my Playboy Bunny girlfriend.

Jacobsen: Pause, for those who do not know the reference, the “sex cult” was a reference of NXIVM or Keith Raniere.

Rosner: I think this is going to be a part of the whole project. That is not my niche. Colossuses stride the world, a big burly man, I had my big, burly days. I was never super burly. I’ve been kind of clowney. It has saved me from being fired in many jobs.

“That guy is crazy, just leave him alone.”

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Moderator: Don’t you think you have certain personality traits prior to developing a strategy.

Rosner: Yes, it is not a full beta cuck snowflake. It is like an A- or Alpha Minus, Beta Plus male.

Jacobsen: You lost me.

Rosner: I can be alpha-y. Unless, there are other alphas around. Then I move to beta.

Moderator: Yes.

Rosner: Which, I guess, doesn’t make me alpha at all, it comes from being socially inept and bad at PE.

Moderator: There is a whole talk these days about the rise of the beta male.

Rosner: I kind of support it. I am older than both of you. I grew up in a time of bullying being good for you. It toughens you up. Does that really need to be the case? Lance likes to argue that by accepting gayness and transness, and other forms of LGBTQness; we’re turning the culture gay. Who cares?

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: What is the big deal?

Moderator: Right, at this point, there is no procreative issue.

Jacobsen: Also, internal to the logic given by them. If it is innate, why the fear?

Rosner: Lance has the fear that everybody has the potential to be somewhat gay. Once you start allowing it, it will encroach.

Jacobsen: He means “metro” then by that.

Moderator: They did a study about homophobia. They put some penis circumference measuring device.

Jacobsen: A penile plethysmograph?

Moderator: Is that what it’s [Laughing] called? Yes.

Jacobsen: I know they have the vaginal plethysmograph. I would assume they have the same for the penis.

Moderator: It measures for erections and whether you were stimulated by certain types of imagery. It turns out that they found a pretty high correlation between homophobia and being turned out, basically, by gay pornography.

Rosner: That makes sense because sex is based, to some extent, on perversity. If you find homosexuality perverse, that will make it a little exciting.

Moderator: Or if you’re just someone who has a very traditional religious worldview.

Rosner: It makes it extra nasty.

Moderator: It makes it extra nasty. It also makes it extra scary. It probably gives rise to all forms of anger and trying to repression and means of wanting to obliterate this very inconvenient desire.

Rosner: But we’re all biology’s bitches. Sex is a dirty trick on the individual. It makes you act against your own interest. We have the worst president in history. There are a zillion reasons. But one of the reasons is because Anthony Weiner could not stop sexting underage girls.

Moderator: Yes, he’s largely responsible for it.

Rosner: Yes. During the writers’ strike of 2008, I produced a pilot just on my own call Don’t Get a Boner.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: It was two guys. Each with a penis sleeve that was supposed to go off if they got a boner. Women would compete to grind on them and do whatever else they could to see whoever could be the first to make their guy get a boner.

I don’t that would fly now [Laughing].

Moderator: [Laughing] Yes. Neither would most of the Man Show now.

Rosner: I don’t know. Jimmy did a skit after Hannity was showing old Man Show clips.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: It turned out Trump’s doorman had been paid off to keep quiet about a potential scandal. Jimmy had a deal where his doorman showed up during his monologue and decided to blackmail him, “If you do not pay me, I will tell everyone you did a show with girls on trampolines.”

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jimmy’s like, “Yes, the Man Show, everyone knows about that.”

Jacobsen: The things that make the headlines in the United States.

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: In all fairness, some of the things and antics that make the news in Canada as well.

Rosner: I still look back fondly on when Margaret Trudeau didn’t wear panties to the disco.

Moderator: Who is Margaret Trudeau? Is she the prime minister’s mother?

Rosner: She is the prime minister’s mother. But was this super hot, super young, and wild, wife of Elliott Trudeau, right?

Jacobsen: Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Rosner: A previous prime minister of Canada, it turned out she had undiagnosed manic depressive or bipolar disorder. She banged a bunche of people and went to Studio 64 not wearing undapants in 1978.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: It was very exciting teenage me who was looking for any opportunity to jack off to something.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] it almost seems benign and quaint now.

Rosner: Yes!

Jacobsen: So, the transition was approachability. Rick found a niche in that world of being approachable.

Rosner: Or schmuckability.

Jacobsen: It builds on the high school experience and bar experience, where you tried to be what you envisioned as a “not-so smart person.” Those skills have been adapted to build an admixture, seems to me.

Rosner: It is a standard comedy strategy. Non-comedy Twitter is people talking about how great their mini-blinds are, “Come to my mini-blinds for 15% off.” Comedy Twitter is “I am a fucking loser. I cannot control my eating. I have a fat butt.” It is people talking how inept and terrible they are.

At least, that is what comedy Twitter was before Trump. Now, comedy Twitter is people going crazy about Trump.

Moderator: There is a Jewish tradition to it, too.

Rosner: Yes.

Moderator: Would you say self-deprecating of this guy who just died, there was an HBO documentary.

Rosner: Gary Shandling?

Moderator: Gary Shandling and Rodney Dangerfield – was he Jewish?

Rosner: We’re all in this thing. We’re all kind of schmucks together.

Rosner: That’s how I got my wife to calm down about me doing this. Because she is always afraid that I will expose too much. I am like, “No, the whole deal is to show that I am human in my schmuckiness.”

Jacobsen: At the same time, there is a certain respect and honouring of privacy of those close to you.

Rosner: I know where to go and where not to go.

Moderator: What is she concerned about?

Rosner: I will give one story. Where I gave an interview to my hometown paper, they asked what it is like to write for TV. I said, “It is mostly good. Some people are nice. Some people are horrible.”

Then I was also asked about what my wife does. I said she worked for a particular celebrity. Somehow, the reporter mixed up the two quotes. It came out. That this certain celebrity was horrible.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: There was another thing. I was interviewed by an arm of Fox News. It was called The Daily, which was a daily newspaper for your tablet. There is something different called The Daily Now.

I set some ground rules for the interview. That they couldn’t say where I worked. Because I knew if they did, I would get in trouble. When they called up, when the story was ready to go, they said, “We are going to put where you work.”

I said, “You can’t. This was a condition for the interview.” This went on for two weeks. I fought with her. I fought with her editor. I insisted that they not say where I work. It pissed them over. They fucked me in the interview. They said that I was a sex addict.

The way that that came about was the reporter asked me how I get any sleep at all since I am up all night taking IQ tests. I said, “I am not up all night taking IQ tests. I average no more than 45 minutes a day on it.”

She asked the question again. I passive aggressively said, “I probably spend more time looking at porn than I do taking IQ tests.”

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: That thing was turned into “super genius is a sex addict.” Then another outlet picked it up and did the math that I did on Kimmel. It said, “Jimmy Kimmel Writer is a Sex Addict.” This is the kind of stuff that scares Carole.

Moderator: Speaking for myself, I don’t have much interest in getting things wrong, one. Two, sensationalist crap journalism.

Rosner: It is a function of the media people are exposed to. This is the longest session, you and I, Scott, have ever done.

Moderator: How often do you do these?

Rosner: We do these often. I have been flaky lately. When I become tardy on something, I tend to withdraw a little bit.

Moderator: I do the same. What is the protocol? You do the interview. Then you transcribe it, Scott.

Jacobsen: Protocol, okay, we schedule the call at a time often, at this point, that is informal in terms of the scheduling of the call. We have the call. The consent is implied at this time. If I am doing a regular interview, I always ask for consent to record beforehand.

Then we finish the call. I will do a series of these calls and then go back, listen to the early part of the recording if I was conscientious enough, then I would say at the beginning of the call what publication this go into: Born to do Math, some politics one, Ask a Genius, Advice to Gifted and Talented Youth, etc.

Then I would transcribe and live edit, format that, give it some title or other, and then publish on the relevant publication that we put together. The most publications that we do end up on

Rosner: Also, you have found dozens of other places to publish your material. You and I have probably generated the most material of anybody that you’ve worked with over the past few years. But you work with a lot of people.

Moderator: You’ve been working several years.

Rosner: Yes. He caught me as I had just been fired by Kimmel.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: He has been a great friend and encourager since then.

Jacobsen: I tend to be polite, but – this is the “but” – I remember being afraid of Rick at the time.

Moderator: It’s the wild sex addict.

Jacobsen: As I learned later, [Laughing] not the wild sex addict, as I learned in the journalistic world, sensationalist journalistic world at least, he had been fired at least. I had a suspicion it was the case.

Rosner: I was cranky.

Jacobsen: Yes, he calmed fast. Obviously, it amounted to an acute episode of frustration with someone to vent to, but that was channeled into eleven weeks of work that culminated in about 98,000 words. The longest interview that I have done by most stretches.

Rosner: Over the past 4 years, you have probably generated an average of 400,000 words a year, which is four thick ass books, a year.

Jacobsen: Potentially. It depends on the topic. Often, those will enter into various publications or will be free e-books. I make the ones for charge at a low price for ease of access.

Rosner: Should we call it a night? Or is there anything else that you want to talk about, or Scott?

Moderator: Scott, what’s your day job [Laughing]?

Jacobsen: I worked in a student union. I worked in restaurants. I did construction. I have done paid contract writing work…

Rosner: You have also done administrative and helped run the university.

Jacobsen: Yes, that would be policy and financial work, basically, of a university student union, which is different. I mean, there are large associations of student unions, where, not councillors but, executive officers in a student union go to and represent a collective.

So, they can advocate at the federal level. Sometimes, such as our own, a quarter million students in Canada, the second largest of its type, can advocate for finances for part-time students that are parents, international students, indigenous students.

That provides additional funding for people who would not have education otherwise. Let’s say we argue for $120 million roughly. The government would give us $90 million for this ask. The reason the federal government, not provincial or territorial, is listening is because a quarter million students are being advocate for, and they have been planning all year to meet with the ministers relevant to particular domains of the education system, of the postsecondary system in Canada.

Rosner: So, you’re living in a country that hasn’t gone crazy.

Jacobsen: It depends.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: I mean compared to south of you.

Jacobsen: Yes, in some ways, there are silver linings to what was called the Trump era. Dave Chappelle commented, which I think is accurate, that this will lead to a more informed voter. That is a positive way to look at it.

In other ways, I think it is leading to social pathologies coming right to the front of the conversation. America having more free speech than probably any other country, which is a very admirable thing.

Most Americans have, at least, an opinion, whether informed or not, on that topic. I do not mean conservatives aren’t informed and liberals are informed. I mean “everyone.” It can provide the basis for a more citizenry, probably, but it can leave room for more tacit or implicit things in the culture to be brought to light for discussion.

Rosner: It allows people to be more easily manipulated. We should have another session on how this election was the first AI election, where tech. was used to mess with everybody’s brains.

Jacobsen: Yes. The World Economic Forum has two words for it. One is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The other is the Knowledge Economy. So, countries investing in artificial intelligence, in robotics, in higher educational skills of its citizenry, will be the ones to flourish in the 21st century.

Rosner: I think we should wrap up. Thank you! This was friggin’ ridiculous. This was great.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: If you’re interested in other organizations, Rick told me about some personal interest in the Mega Society.

Moderator: Yup.

Jacobsen: The other organizations or people you might want to look into, but it is a standard format: be polite and respectful. You’ll likely get a response in kind. Paul Cooijmans is one.

Rosner: Are you going to talk to Cooijmans? Cooijmans, you’re not necessarily interested in sensationalism. But Cooijmans has a story of someone who took one of his tests who ended up beheaded under a bridge.

Moderator: Is that right?

Rosner: There was someone who was part of Mega who murdered.

Jacobsen: Grady Towers was murdered!

Moderator: Yes, he was murdered.

Jacobsen: I forgot about that. That’s sad.

Moderator: By an Aryan satanist.

Rosner: Was Grady Towers African-American?

Moderator: No, I don’t think it was race-based. I think this guy was going on a killing spree of sorts. I have to dig into that story more. You can find articles of Grady Towers. Wasn’t it in 2000 something?

Jacobsen: If you look at International High IQ Society, it seemed to fizz out pretty quick. It seems that guy was in some intelligence test documentary.

Moderator: Battle of the Brains.

Jacobsen: Yes, that guy, he committed suicide.

Moderator: In Denver.

Rosner: Because he didn’t do well on the competition?

Moderator: No, I think he was a troubled guy in a lot of ways. He was a former Wall Street trader. He started with the New York High IQ Society. Then it became International High IQ Society. I interacted with some of those folks way back when. Some are extremely interesting people.

At the time, it was the second-highest IQ society next to Mensa. It was really big. Then it went to shit.

Jacobsen: It was a big net.

Moderator: Yes, it was a big net. It was below Mensa, 2 standard deviations above the norm. It was a way to have interesting conversations with other folks who may not be super IQ test oriented. A quick thing, they are somewhat intellectual and may have stuff to offer.

Rosner: I wonder if Tinder has put a further wrench into this kind of stuff.

Moderator: What do you mean?

Rosner: The only reason I joined Mensa is cause I thought I might be able to hook up. One time, I wrote to Marilyn Savant. I said, ‘Can I join the Mega Society? Do you want to go on a date?’

Moderator: [Laughing].

Rosner: She said, “You don’t qualify.” She didn’t say anything about the date.

Jacobsen: You could look into the World Intelligence Network. I was working with Manahel on that for a few months a while ago. She was the vice-president. Evangelos Katsioulis was the president. You might have difficulty reaching them. However, you could use that as a resource with, at least, the listings. They may have more societies in it, now.

Moderator: What was the name of the group again?

Jacobsen: The World Intelligence Network, at the head of it, it is Evangelos Katsioulis.

Moderator: Is he a Greek professor of philosophy?

Rosner: Isn’t he a shrink?

Jacobsen: He is a shrink. He has an M.D., Ph.D. He has a masters in philosophy. He has a masters in information technology. He has an M.D. in psychiatry and a Ph.D. in psychopharmacology. He is involved in an incredible number of things.

Rosner: He posts on Twitter in Greek. Without tweeting, I give it a fav. and hope that whatever he says doesn’t involve a dong.

Moderator: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: That’s one thing with people in that world. They have a sensibility of most other people in the general population, which is: if you’re nice, polite, and respectful, you’ll get treated the same if that helps.

Moderator: Yes! It sounds like you’ve been doing this for quite some time. 

Rosner: I am going to call an end.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Moderator: Good meeting you, Scott, we’ll talk again. I’m sure.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here. He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine. Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory. Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

[2] Individual Publication Date: February 1, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2022:

*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


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. 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 may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: