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Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on the Tenth Anniversary of the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (8)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/03/08


Paul Cooijmans is an Independent Psychometitor and Administrator of the Glia Society, and Administrator of the Giga Society. He discusses: “Glia Society tenth anniversary lecture”; the interaction and reaction of the people present at the tenth anniversary; writing articles and placing advertisements in magazines; founding a high-I.Q. society and learning; the apathetic to the pessimistic; members failing to see the immense opportunities available before them; virtuous individuals; other traits; creative output; e creation of work for the high I.Q. society by members; an important ethical consideration of the lives of individual members outside of the high-I.Q. society; “first test design activities”; 1994; the problems much too difficult for most of the volunteers; September, 1997; the highest scorers; the 3 highest legitimate scores on a Cooijmans test by testees; using the most up-to-date norms on tests; the website and the e-mail forum; communication on the e-mail fora; some distinctions between the new and old logos; the inspirations for the old logo and the new logo; particular difficulties; the total number of high-I.Q. societies; the standard policy changes to high-I.Q. societies; reformation of a society; and changes of the Glia Society between 2007 and 2021; and other changes.

Keywords: Glia Society, I.Q., I.Q. tests, intelligence, Paul Cooijmans, tenth anniversary.

Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on the Tenth Anniversary of the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (8)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: “Glia Society tenth anniversary lecture” (n.d.) is a lecture given on October 6, 2007, in Brussels. How many people were present at this tenth anniversary?

Paul Cooijmans[1],[2]*: Six.

Jacobsen: In recollection, what was the interaction and reaction of the people present at the tenth anniversary?

Cooijmans: Early on, there was some discussion around negative topics like test fraud and unqualified idiots in I.Q. societies, but I managed to end that by playing guitar. I gave the lecture twice, and the first time was filmed. The guitar was a handmade steel-string guitar I had bought just one week before, so I was not used to it yet. Two of those present (at least) have died meanwhile.

Jacobsen: You describe writing articles and placing advertisements in magazines (Ibid.). What was the trend in the early responses to the articles and the advertisements?

Cooijmans: People were mostly very enthusiastic and interested, especially from abroad. Responses from my own country, the Netherlands, were relatively often negative. In particular I remember one response saying, “If you want genius, go to the asylum”.

Jacobsen: You remarked on founding a high-I.Q. society and learning “not everyone benefits from membership like I have benefited from it” (Ibid.). Some members “remain passive, consumptive, negative or complaining… are disappointed after joining” (Ibid.). How are these unproductive stances of members of a high-I.Q. society?

Cooijmans: I do not understand the formulation of this question well, but I suppose I could answer like this: These members may be either entirely inactive, or they may complain there is not enough to do, or they may complain that “everything is cast in stone” and they have no influence on what goes on. They may also participate in initiatives of other members, which is good of course.

Jacobsen: How are these particular members from the apathetic to the pessimistic contributing to these problems?

Cooijmans: People with negative, complaining attitudes scare off new members, and do not add to the positive activities going on in the society. A problem with completely inactive members is also that they remain on the member list as long as they do not explicitly resign (which I would rather have them do), thus creating the impression of a larger membership than there effectively is. This is a result of there being no membership fee. With a fee, you could remove members who failed to pay. For information, the member list contains around 500, the active members are probably 100 to 200.

Jacobsen: Also, how are these particular members failing to see the immense opportunities available before them?

Cooijmans: I think the essence is that the opportunities I see in the high-I.Q. community require initiative and an inner drive, while these people expect something more organized or ready-made presented to them. Another factor, with regard to negative and complaining attitudes, is that people in general complain about problems they can not solve; they complain so that others will solve those problems for them. So, people with a high problem-solving ability will complain less than those with lower levels of that ability.

Jacobsen: How is selection by I.Q. scores, even very high I.Q. scores, insufficient to gather virtuous individuals into a society based on I.Q.?

Cooijmans: While intelligence does correlate positively with being virtuous, this correlation is not perfect. The combination of high I.Q. scores and lack of virtues may occur in cases of test fraud, or in people belonging to a caste or bloodline wherein high intelligence has coagulated genetically with evil as mentioned by me before. So even with selection by I.Q. scores, you have to stay alert to unethical behaviour and act against it.

Jacobsen: What other traits “must be taken into account” in the creation and growth of a high-I.Q. society (Ibid.)?

Cooijmans: Being ethical, and conscientious in general. Associative horizon, sense of humour. Combined with intelligence, these will result in creativity.

Jacobsen: Why is creative output another important aspect of people in creating or developing a high-I.Q. society?

Cooijmans: The fact that someone is creative, and produces work, reveals the possession of a combination of intelligence, conscientiousness, and a wide associative horizon, and these people tend to be good members. They are self-directed and inner-driven.

Jacobsen: You remark on the non-necessity of the creation of work for the high I.Q. society by members, as this can sap energy and time of a member who functions in other capacities in the world outside of the high-I.Q. society. Why do some high-I.Q. societies, potentially, not consider the lives of members outside of the high-I.Q. society?

Cooijmans: If such societies still exist, I believe they require such work to make certain that all members are actively involved in the society in a positive way. An example was Ludomind, where it was required to design a certain number of puzzles every year or something like that. I would not commit myself to that, I want to decide for myself where I put my time and energy.

Jacobsen: Why is this an important ethical consideration of the lives of individual members outside of the high-I.Q. society?

Cooijmans: Because the real-world work of a creative person is more important than one’s activities in an I.Q. society.

Jacobsen: You stated:

My first test design activities were not with intelligence tests but with a guitar playing ability inventory called the Graduator. This psychometric instrument could express a guitarist’s advancedness on a scale from 0 to 300. I scored over a hundred guitarists on it; the all-time top score is 237.

Here is the certificate to go with that.

In addition, the Graduator was an artificial composer who created a musical composition to each possible score profile out of 2 to the 300th. The algorithm consisted in pencil on paper and had to be executed by hand for each score profile; this was so much work that I only managed to complete it for one score profile: my own. A recording thereof is available on my web site. The title of the piece is For who loves truth, the garrote called ‘life’ is daily tightened a turn. (Ibid.)

Even though, your “first test design activities” began with the Graduator. What personal proclivities and interests preceded even the construction of the Graduator, the psychometric instrument?

Cooijmans: Composing, music theory, guitar playing, writing, running, reading about science, trying to understand things like awareness and the universe, cycling, chemistry experiments, explosives, fireworks, mopeds, hypnosis, building model aircraft, listening to music, photography.

Do notice that possible proclivities and interests that came after the Graduator are not listed here.

Jacobsen: The pivotal year, perhaps, was 1994 with work on the Graduator for guitarists leading into “intelligence test problems” (Ibid.). You experimented with volunteers. You found the problems “were much too difficult for almost all who tried them…” (Ibid.) Was the transition from the Graduator to intelligence test problems easy, natural?

Cooijmans: Yes, I could even use partly the same volunteers for the early intelligence test experiments, like guitar students.

Jacobsen: Why were the problems much too difficult for most of the volunteers?

Cooijmans: This must be the phenomenon of projection; the problems seemed easy enough to me, so I assumed, involuntarily and unawares, that they would be easy enough for others too. This kind of projection is important, and I have come across it in the fields of guitar playing and music theory too. Teaching and psychometrics are two activities that confront you with this: What is easy, natural, or obvious to me, is not necessarily so to others. What I know is not necessarily known by others. What I am capable of does not always lie within others’ capabilities. To make things understandable and doable to or for others, I have to go many levels below what I initially believe to be the appropriate level of difficulty.

Jacobsen: What made September, 1997, a sufficient year, since beginning with intelligence test problems in 1994, to found the Glia Society?

Cooijmans: I was in contact with a number of people who were willing to join a new society, and I had some ideas about how to run the society, based on what I had seen in other societies meanwhile.

Jacobsen: Who have been the highest scorers consistently on the alternative tests constructed by you? Those who have taken many tests by you and scored high on them.

Cooijmans: I can not say that because it would violate their privacy.

Jacobsen: What have been the 3 highest legitimate scores on a Cooijmans test by testees to date while using the most up-to-date norms on tests? If I may ask, who were these individuals?

Cooijmans: First, I want to say that this is not an easy question. There are many thousands of scores in the database, and they are raw scores. To compare them, they have to be converted to protonorms. This would not be doable by hand in any reasonable amount of time and effort. To our good fortune, over the course of two decades I have painstakingly written programming code and created a protonorm database so as to dynamically link the raw scores to their current norms, and, for instance, put out a list of scores that exceed a certain level, with the name of the test and candidate if desired. This is the largest and most complex informatics project I have undertaken, and I think it is also the most difficult thing I have ever done, intellectually.

Of course, any good programmer should be able to do this. Still, I must say I never see test statistics by others that even remotely have the quality of my reports, so it seems that not many combine their programming skill with statistics. I set the controls such that only the top three scores remained, and they are 76 raw on the Cooijmans Intelligence Test – Form 3E, and 27 and 28 raw on the Cooijmans Intelligence Test 5. The I.Q.’s are 190, 186, and 190, respectively. I can not give the names as that would violate the privacy of the candidates.

Of course, the norms in that range are still uncertain, and there may be a number of scores right under these that, after renorming, turn out to be equal to or higher than these.

Jacobsen: Why make the website and the e-mail forum for the Glia Society in February, 2001, rather than earlier or later?

Cooijmans: I did not have an Internet connection before that time, and had bought a computer in January. The day I got Internet, I had the web location online by midnight. The electronic mail forum was started by another member on 7 March 2001; I did not even know what it was at the time.

Jacobsen: You stated:

Communication on the e-mail fora — there are two now — is different from that in the journal. Because of the easy nature of e-mail, those who could never write a journal article through of lack of ability are now able to rise to the surface and become prominent. Before the e-mail era, such members would have remained invisible. Now, they become conspicuous billboards for the society, signalling to every new member: stupidity rules here. This is a destructive phenomenon that has yet to be exterminated. (Ibid.)

Any sign of extermination?

Cooijmans: Yes, lately I have not seen any such behaviour. This may also be because most communication is now taking place on other than electronic mail fora, and I have not personally kept up with everything.

Jacobsen: Outside of the sex club or the pornographic web site reference regarding the new logo – at the time, what were some distinctions between the new and old logos pointed out by members, even non-members?

Cooijmans: Some found the old logo more beautiful, and it was also noted that the old logo was actually pictorial while the new one consists of styled letters, so is text-based. I have kept the new logo on the web location because I think it looks better on the whole there. For the journal Thoth, I have, in some periods, regressed to the old logo that graced the cover of early issues, but not recently because that logo takes up a whole page, so that the contents table has to be placed on the second page (or on the back, when Thoth was still in paper form). Somehow, that version of the old logo only works if it has the whole page for itself.

Jacobsen: What were the inspirations for the old logo and the new logo, at the time?

Cooijmans: For the old logo, that is meant to represent a brain cell. For the new logo, I do not know as it was designed by someone else. It contains the letters “Glia Society”, perhaps that might serve as a subtle hint as to its inspiration.

Jacobsen: You stated, “Finally a few words about possible improvements to the Glia Society, or I.Q. societies in general. The quality of communication and activity in a society depends mostly on the quality of that society’s membership, which in turn depends on the admission policy.” (Ibid.) How is this more easily stated than practiced? What particular difficulties have occurred with the Glia Society for you, e.g., finding wolves in sheep’s clothing, having to expel frauds, removing rude people from fora, and so on and so forth?

Cooijmans: The easiest part is the fine-tuning of the admission policy. Difficulties have occurred when dealing with undesired behaviour, but most of that has already been mentioned I think. One person who was expelled objected to his expulsion, and then died while his case was being considered. People have been annoyed when (temporarily) removed from a forum and resigned as members, but subsequently tried to stay present on another forum. People have purposely misbehaved to provoke their removal, and then acted as if they were victims and unjustly punished. People who leaked information to non-members could not be identified.

Jacobsen: You continued:

As said before, selecting by I.Q. alone is not enough; additional assessment of personality and creative output or productivity is needed. So for improvement, either the admission policy of an existing society has to change, or a new society has to be formed with a better policy.

The latter is constantly being done, especially since the advent of the Internet which made it easy for every Tom, Dick, or Harry to start its own super-high-I.Q. club, so that there is now an endless proliferation of societies that each think they have invented the wheel. (Ibid.)

Any estimate as to the total number of high-I.Q. societies, or at least claimed high-I.Q. societies, that have been founded since the formation of the first high-I.Q-society?

Cooijmans: I have not counted them, but probably in the order of a hundred or more.

Jacobsen: What have been the standard policy changes to high-I.Q. societies to improve these longstanding issues regarding admission and membership quality?

Cooijmans: There are no such standard policy changes, most societies are all too happy with a defective admission policy and low membership quality. They would not want it any other way. In fact, those responsible for defective policies would not be in their respective societies with a stricter admission policy in the first place.

Jacobsen: Your preference has been reformation of a society. Although, “Reforming an existing society is difficult though, because you have to deal with the current membership which is partly incompatible with the possible new admission policy.” (Ibid.) Has this been an issue since 2007 with the Glia Society? What were the policy changes to the Glia Society between 1997 and 2007?

Cooijmans: These are two questions. I will take the first as “Has this been an issue with the Glia Society since the most significant admission policy changes took place?” There are two issues; the first is that of returning members who qualified under the old policy but no longer have qualifying scores. It has been decided to re-admit those without requiring new proof of qualification. So effectively, past membership counts as qualifying. This decision is based on considerations of humaneness, and concerns a limited number of people.

The second issue is that of existing members who no longer qualify by the current policy. Also for reasons of humaneness (and for consistency with re-admitting returning members with outdated qualifying scores) these are allowed to remain.

The policy changes were to no longer accept homogeneous (one-sided) tests on their own but only in combination with another homogeneous test of different contents type, and to no longer accept tests that proved unsuitable for some reason, for instance invalid in the range where the pass level lies. These were a number of regular psychological tests, but also the later versions of educational tests like S.A.T. and G.R.E.

Jacobsen: What have been the changes of the Glia Society between 2007 and 2021?

Cooijmans: It is not clear if meant here are changes to the admission policy, or changes in general. I think the admission policy has not changed lately, only tests have been added and removed to the list of accepted tests as needed. A general change is that the paper version of the journal has ended. This saved an enormous amount of work, and also the postage rates in the Netherlands had been rising such that I was almost ashamed to ask a fee that would cover the cost. In the end it cost close to 4 euros to produce and mail the booklet. This had almost doubled in ten years time. If you bought stamps, a few months later they were outdated and you had to add extra postage. At some point they stopped putting the amount on the stamp, so that they could raise the price of it without needing to print new stamps. That is privatization of public services for you.

Jacobsen: You stated:

One of the changes I might make in the future is to keep my tests, or most of them, exclusively for Glia Society members, and use for admission other people’s tests and maybe just one or two of my own, in addition to assessment of personality features besides intelligence and assessment of creative output.

Apart from improving the admission policy in several ways, this will have the advantages of protecting my tests better from the general public, and of protecting myself better from the general public. I will probably have to charge a fee then when members take my tests. (Ibid.)

How extensively were these changes pursued?

Cooijmans: Not at all yet, but some of it might occur one day. An alternative scenario is that wherein I become so rich that I do not need test fees any more; I might keep scoring tests then, but restrict them to a select group like Glia Society members and GliaWebNews subscribers, something like that.


Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Glia Society tenth anniversary lecture. Retrieved from


[1] Administrator, Giga Society; Administrator, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 8, 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.


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