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Conversation with Matthew Scillitani on Mild and Severe Reactions to Score Reports, Recognition, Rick Rosner, and Personality Factors: Member, Giga Society (8)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/07/22


Matthew Scillitani, member of the Glia Society and Giga Society, is a software developer living in Cary, North Carolina. He is of Italian and British lineage, and is fluent in English and Dutch (reading and writing). He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Carolina University. As of 2022, he’s pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in computer science. He previously worked as a research psychologist, data analyst, writer, editor, web developer, and software engineer. You may contact him via e-mail at He discusses: I.Q.; Psychometric Qrosswords; minor recognition; the communication with other members; conversations evolve with similarly mentally talented people; feedback to members presenting ideas; interview with Rick Rosner; the feeling or the click of solving a hard problem on a high-range test; genius get mistaken for stupidity; testing geniuses; charisma; self-confidence; Computer Science; a stable and happy situation regarding income; and impressive limitations in ordinary people.

Keywords: Giga Society, Matthew Scillitani, personality factors, Psychometric Qrosswords, Rick Rosner.

Conversation with Matthew Scillitani on Mild and Severe Reactions to Score Reports, Recognition, Rick Rosner, and Personality Factors: Member, Giga Society (8)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Paul loves crushing people’s self-inflated notions of their I.Q. In that, they assume having a higher intelligence quotient than in reality. You know the phrase, “A Megalomaniac’s Waterloo.” He’s funny. What is a typical reaction of someone who takes one, or even multiple, tests by Paul and fails to enter the Giga Society, even the Glia Society, as far as you know?

Matthew Scillitani[1],[2]*: I think most test-takers don’t believe they’ll qualify for the Giga Society so it’s not a huge blow to their egos when they don’t get in. I do know of many people who haven’t been able to qualify for the Glia Society and it’s crushed them though. It’s not uncommon for someone to think they’ll score 150 or 160 and score in the 120s or 130s and then post on social media or in a forum that Paul doesn’t grade fairly or that I.Q. tests don’t matter anyway. Some more serious reactions were from candidates e-mailing me to say that they considered suicide after seeing their score report.

Jacobsen: When did you realize, “I got it,’ regarding Psychometric Qrosswords? In that, you nailed the test. You must’ve had a sense of doing well on it, before receiving the score.

Scillitani: When I filled in my last answer I felt that they were probably all right but wasn’t totally confident I’d qualify for Giga. It happens often that one thinks they have every answer right and ends up totally off and misses half or more answers so I only really knew when I saw the score report. That was an exciting moment.

Jacobsen: Was the pursuit of the minor recognition worth the requisite effort?

Scillitani: Hmm, well, that was really a secondary or tertiary goal but I would say it was worth it. Some readers will roll their eyes and scoff at my wanting recognition for an inborn quality as opposed to an achievement but I’ll remind everyone that even when one does great things they rarely get recognition for it in their lifetime anyway, so I’ll take any positive recognition I can get. A great example of this is that, at every job I’ve worked to date, I’ve optimized and revolutionized whatever task I was given and have never received a raise, promotion, or even a pat on the back. The opposite, actually. Many times co-workers or even managers have stolen my ideas or work because it was better than anything they could come up with themselves.

Jacobsen: In those conversations on “STEM, politics, religion, and so forth,” what is the first thing noticed in the communication with other members?

Scillitani: That every member has something interesting to say and is largely polite and respectful. It’s amazing how few arguments and insults there are in discussions with Glia members, even when many of them are involved.

Jacobsen: How do those conversations evolve with similarly mentally talented people?

Scillitani: I wouldn’t know since It’s very hard to find a group of people whose I.Q.s are all at or above 147 outside of an I.Q. society. I’ve spoken one-on-one with smart people outside of I.Q. societies but personal conversations often go differently than ones in a group.

Jacobsen: How do members of the Glia Society give feedback to members presenting ideas for it?

Scillitani: When a member presents an idea to the group it usually goes quite well. If it is uninteresting then a member or two will comment on it in an objective way and then we’ll move on to another topic. If it’s interesting then it may trigger discussion with a handful of members and could even evolve into a group phone call that lasts for hours.

Jacobsen: Where was this interview with Rick Rosner published?

Scillitani: This interview was done by Errol Morris from the TV series, First Person. I believe the interview took place in 2001 but I didn’t watch it until 2016. I’ve also read some of Rosner’s interviews done by you as well.

Jacobsen: What is the feeling or the click of solving a hard problem on a high-range test?

Scillitani: It feels amazing. When the problem is hard and takes say, an hour or two, there’s a euphoric feeling and a wonderful dopamine rush. For extremely hard problems that take weeks or months it’s a kind of ‘jump out of your chair’ excitement that one rarely gets. I imagine it’s what winning the lottery feels like.

Jacobsen: How does genius get mistaken for stupidity, even for immaturity?

Scillitani: Intelligence is taken for stupidity in the presence of unintelligent people. Very few people know or can admit that they’re idiots so when they hear something they don’t understand, especially when the speaker isn’t considered an authority or expert on the subject, they can’t believe it’s their own lack of intelligence. They’d prefer to believe it’s the intelligent speaker who must be the moron. As for being taken as immature, I imagine that is related more to Asperger Syndrome, regardless of whether the person a genius or not. Most people see their rigidity, perceived abrasiveness, and lack of understanding social cues as immaturity.

Jacobsen: Why are testing geniuses, to find them, necessary for the advancement of humankind? Why is advancement of humankind the value, the direction for moral effort? What does the advancement of humankind look like to you?

Scillitani: Geniuses are the ones making all the breakthroughs, inventing all the useful gadgets, discovering how the universe works, and so forth, so they’re really the ones who are paving the way for mankind. As for the value in advancing mankind, aside from being one of our functions as a species, it’s just interesting. We’re on a big rock in space and we’re really smart, what else can we do but be curious about how it all works?

I’d like to see more focus on discovery, especially in Earth’s oceans, and in outer space; medical advancements capable of prolonging our lifespans; and for for big changes to happen in the political sphere.

Jacobsen: Why are so few geniuses “charismatic”?

Scillitani: This is probably because most of them have Asperger Syndrome or schizophrenia. Both of these disorders can make a person appear quirky, eccentric, hostile, and/or unpredictable and anti-social. Nikola Tesla was one of the few charismatic geniuses that almost certainly also had Asperger Syndrome but I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

Jacobsen: Is self-confidence an important factor in improving performance in professional pursuits for the high-I.Q.?

Scillitani: Being self-confident is important for improving performance in almost every profession for anyone, regardless of their I.Q. If we don’t think we can achieve something then we’re dooming ourselves to mediocrity. I’m not suggesting everyone should believe in themselves or anything, but that if it is realistic for one to have the requisite abilities to do something, even if it’s rare, they should pursue it if they wish to.

Jacobsen: Why pursue Computer Science now?

Scillitani: It’s more interesting than business/advertising and there’s less political involvement than in psychology. Several times I considered dropping out of school while I was working towards my degree in psychology because of how pervasive politics are in that pseudo-science. So many researchers fabricate data or withhold data if it doesn’t align with their political beliefs and I wanted nothing to do with people like that. There’s a reason psychologists often say, “everybody lies [many times] everyday”!

Jacobsen: What would a stable and happy situation regarding income and a day job be for you?

Scillitani: Working alone and doing hard but slow tasks would be nice. I don’t like having to grind menial tasks all day or work in teams so I’m hoping I’ll be more independent as a computer scientist than an advertiser. As for income, I’ll take as much as I can get!

Jacobsen: When you realize the rather impressive limitations in ordinary people to form coherent thoughts, how does this impact the further extension of coherent thoughts into a worldview? In that, people, generally, aren’t coherent in a moment, so aren’t in general views. Does this explain a lot of ordinary human life to you?

Scillitani: Well, it’s taught me that most people don’t actually have their own worldview in the first place. Even when someone appears somewhat intelligent it’s usually that they’ve found a genuinely smart person, absorbed as much knowledge from them as they could, and then taken that person’s worldview as their own. I don’t believe that adults whose I.Q.s are below ~120 (about 1 in 10) are capable of processing information with any level of depth beyond simple “A –> B”, Pavlov’s Dog type thinking.

Also, yes, this does very well explain a lot about ordinary human life to me. I used to think that most people had willfully poor impulse control, were lazy, refused to think ahead, and so forth but now I know it’s that they *can’t* control their impulses on their own, *can’t* understand personal responsibility, and *can’t* think things through. That is a very depressing but unfortunate truth and most intelligent people can’t believe that’s how it is. The smarter someone is the more likely they think, “intelligence doesn’t matter much, it’s all about work ethic” or “anyone could do what I just did, we’re not so different.” That’s probably the most wrong they’ve ever been about anything in their lives though.


[1] Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society. Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology, East Carolina University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 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


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