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Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 11,369

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Rick Rosner and I conduct a conversational series entitled Ask A Genius on a variety of subjects through In-Sight Publishing on the personal and professional website for Rick. 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. Erik Haereid earned a score at 185, on the N-VRA80. Both scores on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of 6.00+ (or ~6.13 or 6.20) for Rick – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 1,009,976,678+ (with some at rarities of 1 in 2,314,980,850 or 1 in 3,527,693,270) – and ~5.67 for Erik – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 136,975,305. Of course, 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. This amounts to a joint interview or conversation with Erik Haereid, Rick Rosner, and myself.

Keywords: America, Erik Haereid, genius, intelligence, Norway, Rick Rosner, Scott Douglas Jacobsen, standard deviation.

Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We come back after a hiatus due to schedules and – well – life. Let’s continue forwards, shall we? The next topic in our selection is the true meaning of and metrics of genius. I like the layout in the previous session. On the one hand, the more controlled and precise layout of Mr. Haereid; on the other hand, the experiential and, at the end, motivational components of high-range tests (HRTs), i.e., for Mr. Rosner, the roots in relationship desires, instinctual drives.

Another facet of this comes in the form of the higher ranges of intelligence test scores with “genius” as a category. A moniker denoting some mixture of elements, or the labelling of some productions as in a “work of genius.” I want to focus today on the concept of genius in the context of some of the world’s top scorers on alternative/non-mainstream tests.

As an important note for the general public or prospective test-takers, 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.

Let’s focus today on genius, in particular, in a scientific setting, no unnecessary premises in definitions, even if in the ‘soft’ sciences, then the proper constructs with the appropriate empirical premises inhere in them. For example, some may look at aspects or factorizations of intelligence tests into general intelligence as statistical artifacts, as noted by the late Dr. Stephen Jay Gould. However, if predictions and empirical results follow from the construct, then a construct appears tentatively, scientifically valid.

To start, on a first pass, in a concrete colloquial sense, what comes to mind about extreme human achievements/productions and extraordinary human talents – mental or physical? In a more precise sense, what seems like the core of genius, as a scientific question? Furthermore, if we look at the petals on this flower, what derivatives come out of this core of genius? Again, in an empirical sense without unnecessary assumptions, what are the outgrowths in talents/productions exhibiting “genius”?

What do you consider great works of genius in the 20th century? Who do you consider the great geniuses within the empirical limits laid out before?

Rick Rosner: The strongest cultural meaning of genius is somebody who changes the course of humanity via a correct original idea. So, we’re talking Darwin, Newton, and Einstein. More recently, people will say, “Hawking,” maybe, “Steve Jobs.” Then you ask those people, “What did those people come up with?” Those people will not be able to tell you and will be presented as geniuses in the media.

Someone who is changing the idea with a correct, original idea is the main idea. That’s it in a nutshell. You can extend this to art. Of course, that’s more subjective. But still! That’s my main answer. The metric of the true cultural meaning of genius is whether the idea survives. You look at Newton. He came up with Universal Gravitation. He was co-discoverer of Calculus.

Has that survived since the 1660s and flourished? Yes! Any reasonable person looks at the biological world through the lens of evolution. Ditto for Einstein, though, most people don’t know what Einstein’s stuff means. Scientists who do. They know it has been confirmed probably a million times.

There are cartoons, particularly in the New Yorker. They take a common situation, cartoon situation, and give it different punchlines over time, like the guy in the desert situation is a common joke situation. When I was a kid, a common joke situation was a guy in the loony bin wearing a Napoleon hat. The guy who thinks he is Napoleon! Delusions of grandeur are, I guess, not uncommon.

I would assume Bipolar and Schizophrenia can give you that. Maybe, modern culture can give you that because modern culture can give you that through the proper use of social media. There’s a whole history of people proclaiming themselves to being very important in various ways. I just got the book about Keith Raniere, a fellow Mega Society member, who formed his own cult to very ill effect and who is now in prison. I guess for life, right?

He swindled people out of money. The people who own the Seagrum’s liquor fortune. They own a media empire too. He victimized a couple of the daughters of the Seagrum’s billionaires. He talked them into giving him $100 million to invest, which he lost. He made sex slaves out of a bunch of women, including a bunch of women who were under-aged.

I run around saying that I have the world’s 2nd highest IQ on Twitter based on my IQ scores. Yet, all I do is tweet all day. But there’s no metric for your potential to change the world. Your only metric for changing the world is actually changing the world. Elon Musk was on Twitter today talking about how panicking over coronavirus is dumb. And I think that’s dumb, because it is going to be a big deal.

Erik Haereid: To appear as a genius, you have to be able to translate, convey, an insight that only you have/receive and no one else can derive logically from other knowledge, so to speak. Deductive and inductive processes have to have a dash of flash, something totally new, unexpected, breathtaking, to be genius. It has to change the way we perceive things.

I consider the ability to communicate as part of the genius; to make the incompatible and complicated understandable to others. After all, IQ-problems contain this, and especially the most complex problems represented by HRT. You discover a pattern that after revelation is understandable to most people, but that only a few manage to uncover. Once uncovered, it’s easy for everyone. But IQ-problems are constructed by another human being. One knows that there is a solution. IQ-problems are hide-and-seek. Ingenuity (genius) is based on the uncertainty of whether there is anything of significance, context and utility in the chaos. It can, strictly speaking, just be chaos. This is how ingenuity comes to see the possible in the impossible.

In order for us to call it ingenious, it must contain utility; it must have a meaning for most people. It can be a pattern that is in nature or in the world of concepts, and that you see a connection in as the only one. The connection, the work, does not have to be rational, but it must enlighten us; such as for example “Mona Lisa” illuminates us in a way we cannot simply explain, as Rembrandt’s distorted and everyday people awaken something in us that balances brilliantly on the border between the attractive and repulsive. Rembrandt gives us something we need; that we cannot obtain otherwise.

In order to call something genius, it must be exempt from the average trait of development; a lot becomes brilliant when we skip all the steps a development has, for example in medical science. It is the many small advances that create something new. But this I would not call ingenuity per se. When Copernicus turned our view of the Earth’s position in relation to the sun, it happened “instantly” and inside his head, as was the case with Einstein’s theories of relativity. Or with Freud’s subconscious and the displacement mechanisms. It was not, apparently, part of slow development and change in consciousness. Concerning consciousness, it was more like an explosion. Superb literature and art have the same immanence; the ingenuity of art is about the degree of consciousness change and change of direction for mankind.

I regard life as a process of freedom. We instinctively seek freedom, opportunities, open space. Therefore, I also believe that the condition of genius is freedom, not the absence of freedom. Reality is something that opens up. This also applies to illnesses, accidents, terrible experiences and incidents. If a genius finds that the world is going down in X days, then freedom exists in something else than this apocalypse, even if it is obvious. The ingenuity must then be to open up knowledge that causes us to change course in the direction of freedom. Viewing death as unfreedom is a limited view of life and not brilliant. There are no such things as “Evil geniuses”, only very intelligent humans being evil.

Ingenuity is therefore about realizing what reality we need to open up to. It’s less about uncovering everything that exists regardless of the consequences. Everything that exists is no matter, too much. We cannot understand everything. One could say that the engineers behind the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project created unfreedom for humans, but the technology within the atomic bomb is also the reason why there is relatively more peace on earth now than before.

A genius probably has better access than others to this kind of insight that people need. I don’t say that for example Andrew Wiles, who found complete proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, is not a genius because most people don’t understand the evidence or that this can be useless. Few people understand the mathematics of general relativity. But for me, the public utility and insight become crucial to the definition of genius.

You can solve countless complex HRT-problems without being a genius. You are intelligent, but not a genius. That being the case, I probably consider WGD as 90% oxymoron, myself included. The name is misleading. It should be WID, World Intelligent Directory or something like that.

I think some very intelligent people want to be declared a genius because they have inferiority complexes; it’s not sufficient being highly intelligent. By putting an adequate name in one’s own position, one gains an identity to bask in. “Genius” is the incarnation and manifestation of their intelligence. The problem is that you cannot call yourself a genius even if you are very intelligent, yes, more intelligent than many geniuses. In order to use the term “genius”, one must have done something brilliant. It’s not even enough to be the world’s most intelligent human being. But it does not undermine the value of being extremely intelligent. It is rather the case that very intelligent people should work to be brilliant, not to brag about that they are.

Ingenuity is about improvement, promoting humanity in a balance with nature and the environment, strengthening the individual, through deeper insights and discoveries that can be communicated to the people; an original insight expressed as science, art or other forms of expression.

If a process, such as this one, consisting of elements that can be diffuse and abstract, leads to a sublimation/refinement of thoughts and a higher understanding of whatever it should be, and that this leads to a long-term gain for the people, either directly or indirectly by others using it as a motivation, I would say that this scenario lives up to its name (Ask a Genius (or Two)). Ingenuity is not necessarily limited to a moment of insight and discovery made by a person. It may well be collaboration and a process over time. I see that this can be difficult to distinguish from ordinary collaborative processes where results can also seem brilliant. But it’s about seizing something no one else has seen, i.e. an instinct, an intuition that, more than based on knowledge and ditto logic, paves the way for something axiomatic.

Brilliant inventions, events and expressions in the 20th century? Spontaneously, I would like to mention the efficient use of energy in the industry and the development of vehicles, such as the internal combustion engine.

The automotive industry. Henry Ford. Conveyor. I do not know whether it is right to call Ford a genius, but he did at least exploit an invention, put the pieces together and created a pattern for mass production.

A better understanding of consciousness and the subconscious; our ability to suppress discomfort, mentally. The division into id, ego and superego (Freud).

Our understanding of time and space (Spacetime) (Einstein) and a logical description of the evolution of the Universe. Deficiency: No explanation of singularity, genesis.

The invention of the computer (Charles Babbage/Alan Turing), and based on the transistor and integrated circuits (microchip) was crucial in the 20th century. The computer and software, including this technology in combination with communications (Internet), smaller devices and efficiency (manageable and economically acceptable). I would say that Bill Gates is a genius.

2. Jacobsen: Rick, I’ll start with you. Your response covered infamous criminal, abuser, con man, and profoundly gifted member of the American populace, Keith Raniere, who went by the cult leader title Vanguard in the organization NXIVM – and, as you noted, held at least one substantially rare high IQ society membership. We see this throughout all communities, e.g., cults, quasi-cults, claiming supernatural powers, claiming special knowledge from or to speak on behalf of God (or some higher being or power) – even claiming to somehow be God or a direct representative of it, falsely proclaiming IQs/inflating IQs, being strong adherents to non-scientific views including creationism, geological catastrophism, and the like. Indeed, even Mensa International, its special interest groups in 2005 once held a creationist special interest group. I like the definition given to Rick Alan Ross [Ed. Founder of the Cult Education Institute] by a friend, as he reports, on cults as differing from con men/cons only insofar as cons bilk for a period, and then go away, while cults are cons that are continual cons, potentially indefinitely. Raniere would have been indefinite, if permitted. You spoke about Newton, who, famously, was vindictive against competitors, and a certifiable genius and an all-around jerk throughout life until death. He believed in Alchemy, turning base metals into gold, etc. Why?

Rosner: Because Newton lived in an incompletely scientific world. I have read that science, the way we understand it, and the scientific understanding of the world didn’t begin until Newton’s century in the coffee houses of London. Coffee was a new product brought back from the new world. So, you had a bunch of guys. It was largely guys getting coffee’d up on this new drug and enthusiastically trying to be scientific. Science was a niche activity. Newton, we know, spent more time, according to one source at least, searching for hidden messages and meanings in the Bible than he spent on mathematics and physics. Science hadn’t won, yet. Unfortunately, now, in America, religious arguments are made by charlatans and idiots. So, it is pretty easy for someone who is not dumb to find much of religion to be bullshit. 360 years ago, there were a bunch of good people, most people, who believed in some form of Christianity. Most of the people in England for sure believed in some form of Christianity. There were smart and authoritative people making arguments in favour of Christianity or, at least, contributing to the intellectual infrastructure. It was the winning set of beliefs at the time. Newton spent a lot of time thinking about the prevailing belief system, which most people thought about when they thought about any belief system at all. I don’t know if Newton had a globally applicable idea of science to fully account for the world. I doubt it because he spent so much time on the Bible. But that’s what people did back then, including even the very smartest people.

3. Jacobsen: Darwin withheld his findings, the common story goes, to save the faith of his wife in a manner of speaking. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, more directly. Even though, he trained to become a religious leader/scholar before discovering Evolutionary Theory or the mechanisms by which biological life grows, develops, and speciates.

Rosner: What you’re claiming is that Darwin, among other reasons, sat on evolution because he didn’t want to hurt his wife, I heard that he spent years scribbling to make the most persuasive and voluminous set of arguments. Darwin lived with his wife. Darwin, I don’t know that much about him. He seemed like the opposite of a prick. He lived with his family and quietly observed the world. He would go out into the world, watch the worms, and do calculations about how long it would take for certain things to happen in the natural world. Darwin is the one who brought the idea of deep, deep time into the world. That the processes that formed the world took many, many tens of millions of years to form. He would make calculations based on what the worms were doing based on how much dirt the worms turned over. He seemed like a quiet, considerate, thinky guy. I think he suffered from some chronic pain. Something that we would have trouble diagnosing now, nebulous, let alone in the 1800s. When he brought his theory into the world, not just his theory, Alfred Russell Wallace, there were people who came close earlier. It was floating around, anyway. Is the general comment that smart people can be jerks and/or nice people?

4. Jacobsen: I would move the dial on the niceness to extremely compassionate and the same in the opposite direction.

Rosner: I think the general idea might be that smart people of the type that we’re talking about think about a bunch of stuff fairly deeply.

5. Jacobsen: Do you think deep thinking tends to come along with deep feeling, or the extreme opposite? It is almost like their capacities are amplifiers for whatever their base emotions are.

Rosner: There are three frameworks that you can work within. One, “I am entitled to do what I fucking please because I am a colossus who strides the world. I am bringing this into the world. So, whatever I want to do, it is a small price to pay for what you are getting from me.” It is the Bill Clinton thing, “I am the most powerful person in the world. It is not a big deal if I jizz around an intern. If I need that to reduce my stress because I am running the world, then okay, I am going to do it.” That’s more the Newton thing. There’s the other thing, which is the Spider-Man deal, which is “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is, “I have the ability to do all this shit. But given that my brain can do like 300 pushups without stopping, I should be able to use that brainpower to control my actions in the world because I have this powerful fucking brain.” I think you see people on both extremes and people who are in the middle who are like, “I am good at thinking at shit. But when other stuff happens in my life, whatever happens, happens, I am only on the clock for a certain number of hours of the day. If I, after hours, if I engage in all sorts of hookups, that’s just part of the rich panoply of life.” Picasso. He liked to do art and he liked to fuck.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: People can have various reactions to their own abilities as they impinge on their personal behaviour, including no reaction and just doing their shit, whether it is thinking smart shit or going on Grindr or some shit.

6. Jacobsen: What about Feynman?

Rosner: Feynman may be the greatest physicist of the middle of the 20th century. As a young man, he had a tragic love story. While he is working on the atom bomb in Los Alamos, his wife or fiancé is dying of tuberculosis in a sanitorium 90 miles away in Albuquerque. She dies! For the rest or much of the rest of his life, Feynman felt free to be a pussyhound, during the 50s through the 70s, 80s, 90s, I guess. Long before MeToo and being a pussyhound was more acceptable than it is today, Feynman liked to apply thought to everything. As a kid, as a 10-year-old, he was known in his neighbourhood as the boy who fixes everything by thinking. Someone brings him a busted radio. He would sit and look at it, and think about it for a long time, then he would just dive right in, not have to tinker, and then would go right for the repair.

7. Jacobsen: That reminds me of Glenn Gould, where he would not practice much or at all, but would just do that in his mind. There’s one commentator, Bruno Monsaingeon, who comments that it was something of the mind, “Causa mentale.”

Rosner: Feynman applied his analytic skills to picking up women. I don’t know all the principles. One of his principles is don’t buy a woman a drink. This was the era of something call B-Girls or bar girls. These were bar girls who hung around in bars who got you to buy them expensive drinks. Then the bar would overcharge you. They were working with the bar. They’d split the take at the end of the night. Feynman would run into a girl, a woman, and, in practice, she’d be like, “You buy me a drink.” He’d be like, “No, you buy me a drink.” It is an early pick-up artist principle. You knock the woman off her pins by not just being another mark. According to the principles of being a pickup artist, you never tell a pretty woman that she is pretty. It just establishes you as another sap who she can ignore. Instead, according to pick-up artists, you start with a neg. You look at her. She looks at you looking at her. She is waiting for a compliment, “I have never seen someone with eyes like yours.” Instead, you say, “Do you notice that your smile does this thing?” This shit is almost as old as Feynman shit. Feynman did that shit. In the 70s, there was a strip club close to Cal Tech. He would sit in the strip joint and do equations on napkins and, maybe, sketch an occasional stripper.

8. Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: Somewhere, he got married in the 70s, probably. I would assume that his wife was aware. Before he got married, he may have slept with 100 women, including the wives of a lot of his graduate students. I haven’t seen a biographical detailing of it, but there was a lot of fucking. It didn’t really hurt that he was a fun, bongo-playing guy with great hair. He would have been less successful if he had been Edward Teller trying to get laid.

9. Jacobsen: [Laughing] Einstein gave a big picture view and a fast flicker film perspective of the world. We can see the big and the fast in different ways in which Newton didn’t. Yet, he had some escapades on the side. In short, why are some human personality problems, even neuroses, amplified by intelligence? How can this go completely off the rails into delusional thinking?

Rosner: Einstein, it has been, I guess, documented that he had roughly 5 affairs, which, if someone wanted to bang him, he’d be like, “Sure! Let’s do it.” I am not sure that he actively pursued extracurricular sex. But as the most famous genius in the world, he would have opportunities and then take advantage of them. His first wife, he had a volatile relationship with: Mileva Einstein. She may have been as smart as he was. I don’t know if she had a doctorate in physics, but she was highly trained in physics and probably went through the theories with him. He was smart but didn’t know a lot of math. He and his friends did a lot of math. Same with his wife. He knocked her up before they were married. They had a volatile marriage and got divorced. Then he married a second cousin, who was like a hausfrau, who accepted her role as his house caretaker. I don’t know if he would stay out all night banging somebody. But she probably went along with the whole thing as a wife of this great man. Was Einstein a bastard? I don’t know. He took advantage of sexual opportunities. I don’t think there’s any documentation that he felt guilty about it. He may just have been pragmatic about it, “Here is an opportunity I am getting as a famous guy. My wife is aware, at least tacitly, of our respective roles. She is okay and resigned to it.” Maybe, he didn’t worry his pretty little head about it and just went about doing what he did. He did, to some extent, massage his public image. He did know what Einstein the public figure was and would play into that. But I don’t know how much ethical agonizing he did over his personal behaviour. He wasn’t a total prick. He and Mileva had a child. Mileva gave birth to a child that was, maybe, crippled. Maybe, they gave her up for adoption? I don’t remember the whole deal. There was a secret Einstein offspring somewhere. That would be kind of prick-ish. But I don’t know.

Feynman, was he a prick? If he is banging his graduate students’ wives, kind of, he is leaving a trail of marital destruction behind him? At the same time, he was a whimsical guy and thought everything was fine. But I don’t know. The deal is really smart people can take varying degrees of responsibility for their personal behaviour. That leads to the argument that smart people might be psychopaths. That if you think about everything and question everything, then, maybe, you end up questioning the rightness of decent human behaviour. Maybe, you end up reaching the conclusion that extreme decency or common decency is not that big of a deal. I would think that a lot of really smart people would run the risk of being ethically agnostic. But then, there’s a step two, which is not being a stupid psychopath. The psychopaths that you see on T.V. will engage in gratuitous cruelty because they can do it. They have no ethical limits.

But I would postulate that there are rational psychopaths who may be freed from normal ethical restraints or may have freed themselves from ideas or from being constrained from good and evil and have decided to not behave like regular psychopaths. 1) It is not fun. What is the fun of being a serial killer? It is just weird and gross. 2) Your life works more smoothly if you’re not a fucking psychopath or not doing psychopathic shit. You can be a psychopath. In that, you are free from ethical restraints, but you restrain yourself anyway because not behaving according to these common restraints wrecks your life and wrecks other people’s lives unnecessarily. It is more reasonable and efficient to not be a psycho-killer. I have a more commonplace example. To some extent, there are people who are monsters who are successful because most people behave normally and ethically. When somebody doesn’t, it is unexpected and somebody can get away with stuff for his entire life and even become president by being a psychopath, who goes full psycho. Someone who just decides to bullshit everyone all of the time. There’s room for a limited number of those people.

If 20% of the population were like that, we would evolve protections against that. But when only 1 person in 1,000 or 10,000 does it; it becomes surprising. My friend J.D. Mata is the piano player and choir director at his church. During a service, he’s sitting on his bench in front of the piano and playing when it is appropriate. This woman comes down and sits down on his bench next to him with her kid. She just starts talking loudly to her kid during the whole service. J.D. finds this distracting because he has to play piano and the woman keeps talking. J.D. asks, “Can you stop talking, please? I am trying to do my job.” The lady goes crazy on him, “I have a special needs child. I have to talk to my special needs child.” I talked to J.D. after it, the day after. He was reeling from it, still, because most people do not do that. Because when you run into someone who is a 3+ sigma, 4-sigma say, dick head, it leads you to question your own judgment because it is just weird that you’ve had a situation turn into that level of confrontation. So, somebody who is 4-sigma dick-ish can get away with a lot of shit because you win over people who are used to dealing with people using the normal amount of respect. It boggles you. It confuses you. Geniuses, being smart, may be able to figure out, “You can be an asshole all the time and get away with shit.” Or a genius may never figure this out because this is not the field a genius is interested in. A genius may just be very smart and think, “If I act like a normal person, then my life will run very smoothly, like Einstein! His first marriage was volatile to a smart physics lady. His second marriage, and this could all be luck or love or convenience, is to a woman who served him, who viewed him as a great man and took care of all of his shit.”

You could argue Einstein being smart is in having a wife is what he wanted and simply to have someone who would take care of him as opposed to having an intellectual equal who he had to fight with all the time. There is a bit of psychopathology if he coldly calculated this as what he needed out of a relationship all of the time – if he simply needed someone to be his butler or something.

10. Jacobsen: Erik, why is clarity key in the explanations of the ideas held by true geniuses?

Haereid: To understand you need intelligence, to make it visible you need ingenuity.

It’s a matter of definition. It’s my subjective view. To be defined as a genius device it must have a benefit; and at that moment people percept it.

It’s not the math behind, for example, the general relativity that should be understood in general, few experts does, but the package, the idea, the consequences, and through such an insight people, in general, will experience it, feel it, like when they look into “Mona Lisa”‘s eyes.

Sometimes, as with a painting, there is no need for explanations. Other times one needs a simple story to gain the idea and reveal the feeling.

Of course, this is my subjective view. Others define genius differently. But the idea is to claim something more, put more into it, to deserve the label genius than “only” developing some complex patterns or understand something that few do; that’s intelligence. It’s about the impact on humans in general. Great impacts are understandable for most people; the outcome. When someone solves the energy-problem by let’s say the nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium, using water, with lower energy input than the output, copying the process in the sun, on earth, the general public doesn’t need to understand the math. The outcome is obvious. If you find a key to control human aggression in a suitable way without making us into apathetic sloths, and through that prevent wars and violence, you certainly are a genius. If you deny potential future happenings because you can’t see it happens, you are less intelligent and far from genius because you then rely on our knowledge so far; you don’t anticipate new and groundbreaking knowledge that can change your view.

To understand a complex problem, like the math behind the general relativity, you need experience (e.g. math skills) and intelligence. To create art like Michelangelo and Rembrandt you need skills and intelligence. But to make the art or math-piece come through, into everyone’s mind and heart so to say, you need ingenuity.

11. Jacobsen: With the prominent story of Hypatia’s murder by a Christian mob who hacked her to death, how many women geniuses have we simply lost the brilliance and insights of now?

Haereid: Men have historically in our culture felt threatened by intelligent women. It’s archetypical. It’s in our genes. We have to use effort to reorganize it in our minds. And we do! There has been a huge development in the last century. This will hopefully continue. We have missed a lot of female geniuses’ presence, unfortunately.

12. Jacobsen: In terms of the truly groundbreaking and new discoveries in science, the big theories, have we, possibly, reached some limit in terms of human genius, where the complexity and chaotic mess of the modern world limits the possible grand unifying human theories to the shorter in scales? Are we left to the slow drip of discovery based on mere mortal science hitting some soft or not-so cushy limits?

Haereid: That’s a really good question. I don’t know. It’s impossible to tell. Suddenly we know if this is the case, but we’ll never know if that sudden event is the last one. I don’t think that increasing the amount of information, processing of information, and associated complexity leads to chaos in the end. I believe in freedom, in clarity, in essences, in the end. Before peace there is war, before control there is chaos. That there is more chaos could also be part of the development towards clarity. And why shouldn’t a bright moment of one or several brilliant brains see what no one else sees? Still. Maybe Einstein was the last one. We don’t know yet.

13. Jacobsen: With these HRT directories or listings, people can be paid off to have their names placed on them. There can be issues with only the highest scores claimed. If an organization with fellows, board members, or if friends of the founder, then there can be issues with conflicts of interest, potential or actual, in the front-facing appearance of it. Frauds exist. Some HRT tests, obviously, produce a blip score, much higher than true IQ for a variety of reasons. Some can see this with a single test at some of the highest scores in the world, legendary in the HRT world (a very small planet). Any warnings for the general public, in general terms?

Haereid: You mention “True IQ.” I think that’s the best solution to the potential fraud-issue (and the issue of scoring actual, honest, ultra-high on one single test). It seems like that the wish for an astronomic high score on one or two tests is more important to some than taking many tests and estimate one’s IQ based on an average of the best tests in the market. There are good, mediocre and not so good tests in the HRT-environment. There should be a weight depending on a test’s value. But that is, of course, controversial since all test creators try their best. Some parameters are important though; the number of testees, the credibility of the norm, the ceiling of the test, the survival of the test (how many years it has been there)…

I think one should take every single ultra-high score with a grain of salt, even though 99% of them are honest and fair scores. To decide a person’s estimated IQ-level one should claim more than one test, at least three or even six to ten. Rick, Evangelos Katsioulis and Mislav Predavec are examples of persons that have proved their level by scoring high on several tests, not only one.

Some initiators try to establish true IQs by gathering members based on their scores on several different tests concerning the type of test (verbal, spatial, numeric) and test creators. This reduces the fraud problem, and it removes the one-test-impressive-genius factor. And if you spread it over time, you get closer to a true IQ-estimation. I think Domagoj Kutles VeNuS Society is a good example of establishing a list of member’s true IQ. It’s a start.

When it comes to the frauds, I suggest a democratic process where the ones one think is cooperating on certain tests are confronted with that, and that the proofs are transparent, as in a court. An even bigger problem than the fraud itself is the mistrust that appears inside the environment based on that anyone can cheat; find companions to collaborate with. It’s based on trust, and as long as there is no justice, no court to punish the cheaters, no evidence, only claims, no one can trust anyone. Then the whole HRT-environment becomes toxic.

But, I believe that most of the scores are real and clean, still. If you want to take tests, do so! There are a lot of nice tests out there. And don’t take tests because you want to prove that you are smart. Forget the IQ-measure and concentrate on doing the job, solving the interesting problems, feeling good when you have reached your potential, when you have revealed a logic pattern that was not obvious. Don’t take tests because you want to read that “NN has 150 in IQ”.

14. Jacobsen: Obviously, these are the stronger or among the strongest scores of the test-takers placed on these lists – and self-selected. That is, if I take the listings – all of them or in the future – on face value without critical questions about scores, sample sizes, norming timings, test content, and the test designs themselves, or conflicts of interest and the like, then there are a number of other issues, too. Nonetheless, the idea or concept of intelligence provides, in addition to tests of various mental aptitudes with apparent positive correlations with one another and reasonable effect sizes, a basis for a psychological construct. One with predictions. Something having validity in predictions, and repeatable ones. In that, a valid and reliable measure, over a population and so not with any given/every given individual, found in intelligence for a psychological construct. The question about sample sizes for the highest ranges of intelligence are murkier given fewer cases, statistically and in those properly tested, remains a valid scientific question. Thus, HRT is a valid endeavour based on a psychological construct while, apparently, undeveloped for a variety of reasons. In sum, intelligence can be studied, empirically, and in its highest ranges, validly. Of those more valid HRT tests and ongoing research, what size of samples or controls of confounds at the highest ranges of intelligence would permit reliable and accurate discrimination rather than this standard deviation, standard deviation-and-a-half, or two standard deviation gaps in various tests taken by people who take a lot of HRT tests?

Haereid: Let’s say every human being living today took one perfect valid IQ-test, normally distributed, and did their best such that their scores measured their intelligence. I made a spreadsheet that calculates this:

People: 7,500,000,000
S.D. 15: # people >
IQ 190 1,009,976,678 7.4
IQ 185 136,975,305 54.8
IQ 180 20,696,863 362.4
IQ 175 3,483,046 2,153.3
IQ 170 652,598 11,492.5
IQ 165 136,074 55,117.1
IQ 160 31,560 237,642.6

Then we would have 362 persons with IQ>180 S.D.15, and we would for sure discriminate accurately up to 185 (approximately 5.7 standard deviation).

Let’s say the sample is one million:

People: 1,000,000
S.D. 15: # people >
IQ 190 1,009,976,678 0.0
IQ 185 136,975,305 0.0
IQ 180 20,696,863 0.0
IQ 175 3,483,046 0.3
IQ 170 652,598 1.5
IQ 165 136,074 7.3
IQ 160 31,560 31.7

As you can see, it’s difficult to discriminate accurately IQs over 160 with less than a million testees. You need a billion to create a test that measures IQ accurately up to 5-5.3 S.D.

If you want to measure accurately in the high range, you also need a lot of very difficult and valid problems with increasing difficulty. A valid IQ-test discriminating accurately in the top area (160-190; S.D. 4 to 6) should have let’s say at least 30 items that no one of the <160-testees solve; theoretically. A test of a thousand items, and one hundred of them in the >160-difficulty-area, would be proper and a step to discriminate accurately in the high range. Then you would still have let’s say 50 items that no one with <170 solved, and 10 items that no one <185 solved. Intuitively.

So, we need many more testees and (valid) items in the high range area to discriminate more accurately.

15. Jacobsen: Do inferiority complexes infect some of the HRT community?

Haereid: There are a lot of good intentions; many persons in the HRT-environment wish to gather and exploit the sum of ingenuity and cleverness through the many high IQ Societies and groups, like WIN.

But there is some noise in the environment, some activity and mentality based on inferiority complexes.

I respect those who take part in HRT because of the tests, and only that. It’s like a chess- or bridge-club. But many are too concerned about the norms and if the IQ-scores are inflated, too high or low or whatever. Forget it. Take the tests because you like the mental challenge. Forget the IQ-thing; don’t identify with your estimated IQ.

And the “genius” identification. Why not “intelligent”? It’s sufficient.

And all the personal attacks, the ad hominem-arguments and tactics to gain power inside this tiny environment. What’s that? Are they kids? Are they playing? I don’t know, but it smells of inferiority complexes all the way.

With a few exceptions, the environment lacks self-irony. I miss more of that.

16. Jacobsen: You typed in Norwegian and then translated into English, “If a process, such as this one, consisting of elements that can be diffuse and abstract, leads to a sublimation/refinement of thoughts and a higher understanding of whatever it should be, and that this leads to a long-term gain for the people, either directly or indirectly by others using it as a motivation, I would say that this scenario lives up to its name (Ask a Genius (or Two)).” My life is complete. That’s a lovely compliment! Akin (similar, related) to the question for Rick, do psychological ‘issues’ follow genius more often than not, based on observation and reflection on the issue?

Haereid: You’re welcome!

The thing with geniuses/very intelligent persons is that they think a lot! That’s not a problem per se, but without some contact with the ground; you can easily get mad. Our thoughts are an auxiliary tool developed so that we can make plans and act better and more effective than we could with pure instincts and intuition. Thoughts are maps. The real world meets us through our senses; to gain mental control we have to live through our senses too. Thinkers, very intelligent persons and geniuses use their mind power excessively; forget eating, running, walking and sleeping so to say, forget smelling flowers and watching birds, forget listen to music and sing in a choir or play in a band. It’s natural though; it’s easier to use your talents and abilities than do something “odd”. Many with high intelligence are afraid of their emotional expressions, and suppress them, I think.

17. Jacobsen: Erik, who do you consider the most intelligent person in history? Who do you consider amongst the greatest geniuses in history? Who do you consider both among the most intelligent and the greatest geniuses in history? Something akin to the tripartite theory of genius/creativity of Paul Cooijmans with the width of the associative horizon, conscientiousness, and general intelligence exhibited to their highest levels – referencing the last question.

Haereid: The first question is difficult to answer, because we do know about the geniuses but not the most intelligent ones. I could standardize my answer and say Goethe or da Vinci. But they are also geniuses. I guess the most intelligent person who ever lived is unknown; only known to his family and close relations at that time. His or her potential ended at the landfill. Being a genius is also about being known, and being known is about making expressions that impress.

Among the greatest geniuses? Mozart, definitely. Shakespeare, yes. Rembrandt, ok.

Among the most intelligent and greatest geniuses; persons that have done something right for people, that was introvert and intelligent? da Vinci, Galilei and Goethe have to be considered among the greatest geniuses and most intelligent through history. I don’t know about the conscientiousness, though. I should say Einstein, but everyone claims that. He is the modern incarnation of a genius, but maybe not the greatest one in history.

18. Jacobsen: Who have been the women geniuses of the past? Rick and Erik, what kind of geniuses do we need now?

Rosner: The quick and easy answer is that we need collaborative geniuses. This is a collaborative era. When you look at superhero movies and then they roll the credits and thousands of people working on the movie, it is clear that we live in a collaborative era. Not just a collaboration among people, but collaboration as we move into the future between people and A.I. Not robot A.I., but devices that make human intelligence more intelligent. By “collaborative,” it means willing to work with other people and not being a dick. This is also the era of MeToo. It means being able to work with people without being an asshole in a number of different ways, including sexual harassment. We have increasing means of hooking up with other people.

For the next year, or so, we are in the first week of the lockdown of the planet because of the coronavirus. Although, this means the end of in-person collaboration for a lot of people for the next year or so. It may mean new inroads into teleconferencing, telecommuting. Right now, everyone is stir crazy. Eventually, everyone will calm down because the deaths will keep getting worse and hospitals around the world become overwhelmed. I think a big number of people will be able to escape the problem by generating work. My wife thinks there will be a renaissance of product creation and creativity. We will have 6 to 9 months of staying at home. People will make stuff. I contradicted myself a little bit. Most of the stuff will be lonely products. I will uncontradict myself because there will be a glut of pitches and new stuff because most of this stuff will not make it into production until it has been vetted by dozens and dozens of people with the edges knocked up, being punched up, and re-written.

The era of production, people still read books. But the products that people pay the most attention to, the intellectual products. The products consumed most readily like T.V. and video games. These modes of discourse rest of hundreds of thousands of people each. Look there, it is collaborative geniuses. Take Quentin Tarantino, he is very enthusiastic about whatever he does. He is able to infect other people with his enthusiasm and then make movies. Your genius does no good. Unless, you can pitch it and sell it – these days. Ron Hoeflin is like the classic lone wolf genius. He has been working on this opus or catalogue of all forms of human thought for like 50 years. All by himself. Eventually, it will get published. I think that it will be a magnificent work. But 1/100th of 1% or 1/1,000th of 1% of people will see Ron’s work as who see Bojack Horseman on Netflix, which is, itself, a work of collaborative genius.

You’ve got Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He plus Lisa Hanawalt came up with the idea of a depressed horse. Hanawalt, before this, had created a whole world of people animals. She is the visuals. Together, plus their whole crew of people, they came up with one of the most moving animated products ever made, which everyone should see.

Haereid: The lack of female geniuses is not lack of intelligent women, but that intelligent women with the perseverance and drive needed have been suppressed in disciplines that men have controlled. If men succeeded they were awesome, if women did, they were witches. That’s history and far away, but anyway.

To be politically correct I would mention Marie Curie. To be modern it’s appropriate to say Ada Lovelace, and to be up to date it’s convenient with Florence Nightingale.

We need geniuses that can find practical solutions and answers to what can unite instead of split us, in general. It’s strange, because these days we are faced with such a phenomenon. COVID-19 seems to unite more than separate us. That’s an important experience. Historically, we are familiar with things that separate us. It’s like the nature gives us a hint because we are too stupid to let the solutions in.

Digression: There are people who nurture the idea of splitting up, by claiming that people who talk about or work in favour of altruism or related either are morons or megalomaniacs. That’s creating conflicts. Such ideas should be addressed and discussed. That’s the democratic way of trying to solve it.

I think the human power and goodness, humanity as we like to define it, will be nurtured through a common problem or goal. I also think that our production of everything from clean and cheap energy to suitable political systems and new inventions will explode if we manage to gather.

19. Jacobsen: Erik, what do you make of smart people, even highly intelligent people, who may claim by themselves they’re a genius and then inflate their IQs? Based on reading, membership in a wide range of societies, and conversations, how are these people, mentioned in the previous question, viewed by the various societies and individuals within the HRT communities? How do they poison the HRT environment?

Haereid: To hold back crucial information in any situation creates conflicts. Transparency is a keyword.

What is most dangerous to the HRT-environment is when the ongoing personal processes are not transparent. Every one has the right to know if one is a mark for whatever, and on what ground, to defend oneself and be a part of the process. What are unfortunate because of the long-term internal environmental problems it causes are hidden processes, like Kafka-processes, where the accused ones may have clues but don’t know exactly what’s going on. This is independent of whatever the case and problem is. If someone claims that someone poisons the environment, the accused has to be put on a kind of democratic trial. Otherwise, the environment is based on mistrust and polarizations based on who you like and dislike. That will destroy the environment. A healthy HRT-environment is defined by being open-minded.

If someone means that some are cheating or cooperating or in any way poison the HRT-environment, then this has to be dealt with through a fair trial, let’s call it that. We have to address the problem to solve it; we can’t just decide that he, she or they poison without making clear what is poisoning and how to deal with it. One of the main problems, as I see it, is that the most trusted and popular ones get a dictatorial right; if such a person dislikes another person, for whatever reason, he or she can easily spread lies and rumours that compromise that mark’s status and integrity in the environment, removing that person or those persons from the environment, but also creating a dictatorship, because people ask themselves: What if I become the next mark, the person that Mr. and Ms. Trusted/Popular don’t like?

To your specific question: They want attention. Some are young and want opportunities. Some have low self-esteem and want to identify with a high IQ. Some think they can achieve that with the attention that such a profile gives them. But this is a small environment. Even though some are on national TV’s and in newspapers, it doesn’t mean that this is a complete picture. Measuring IQ is complex. It’s a lot of uncertainty to it. Loosen up. The puzzles are games; it should be funny and mentally challenging. Find your peers with the same interests inside the environment. Take every extreme high level of estimated IQ with a grain of salt. That’s healthy.

20. Jacobsen: What aspects of a culture most facilitate genius?

Haereid: Forced conformity kills ingenuity and creativity. I lay stress on this: It’s not about making people equal, but respecting and accepting that we are different. A premise for this is that every person feels adequate, good enough, as he and she is, with their inborn and other qualities. The misunderstanding, as I see it, arises because we want to adapt; we want people to like us, and since most don’t, we have to focus on adapting; compromising ourselves, working against our dreams, wishes and needs.

Think about it: If you knew that every person, or at least the heart of the culture, accepted you unconditionally as you are, from birth to death, wouldn’t that be relaxing and motivating, bringing your creativity to birth? It certainly would with me.

We need common goals and destinies; something essential which we share and are conscious about that we all share. This will link us together in a brotherhood, so to speak.

For god’s sake, don’t squeeze every child into one classroom. Let the smart kids, or the creative kids, or the playful kids, do smart, creative and funny things. Don’t strangle creativity and motivation. We are different, and we will flourish if we gain respect for our individuality.

We will start to accept our differences when we become more conscious and emotional about what we have in common. Then we can grow individually and together. Then we will explore and create.

21. Jacobsen: What do you mean by belief in “essences” in the end?

Haereid: It’s a hunch. Everything is based on simple facts, obvious cores, axiomatic truths, and harmonic aha.

If you painted your house your neighbours wouldn’t say “Wow!”, and neither would they if you proved the Riemann hypothesis (I guess). But if you showed a practical way to copy the sun’s fusion process with hydrogen and helium, creating more energy than invested, on earth, most people would say “Wow!”.

I think complex structures, in general, should be seen as maps to simplicity, similar to IQ-problems; it’s about revealing a simple and obvious truth; essences of expressions, and geniuses are the best to draw such maps and translate them. In the end, everyone will benefit from the drawings because the result will be visible, enlightening and needed; “Was that it? What a beautiful experience! I couldn’t anticipate this at any time.”

22. Jacobsen: What HRT tests have the most stringent standards and reliable estimations of true IQ (or true IQ range, only varying marginally by all or most relevant external factors considered impactful on IQ) for those with an interest in finding out in one or a small number of tests, e.g., the Titan Test of Dr. Ronald Hoeflin has been claimed as harder than the Mega Test and among the most highly rigorous (if not the most)?

Haereid: I have to relate this question to the tests I am familiar with, and I stick to the older ones, except T. Prousalis’ newer tests which I find especially good. I would say Jonathan Wai’s SLSE1 and Prousalis’ INSC19 (numerical) before some (idiots) cooperated and destroyed the tests and norms. I think many of Paul Laurent Miranda’s tests had some high quality; x&y (numerical), Asit and Simplex (spatial), to mention a few. unfortunately, he has shut down his IQ-test-operation.

The legendary LS-tests (spatial) of Robert Lato have to be mentioned, and SLSE48 (spatial) (Wai). And most of Paul Cooijman’s and Jason Betts’ tests. Ivan Ivec, Mislav Predavec and Nikolaos Soulios have made some nice tests too. There are a lot of good, relatively new tests too, that I haven’t mentioned.

23. Jacobsen: How can the community bring more self-irony?

Haereid: The leaders, the most popular and those with most power inside the HRT-environment have to be in front concerning self-irony. It’s pleasantly relaxing watching a “superman” looking at his own position with some humour. Life can actually be a joke now and then, especially because we tend to interpret our own lives as extremely serious. There is too much pain to overlook the importance of looking at life from the “wrong” angle, like Monty Python did in Life of Brian. When you hang on the cross singing “Always look at the bright side of life”, you kind of understand what I imply.

Everyone can take responsibility being less too serious about the IQ-thing, the measures, and have fun, find peers and motivating topics, being nice and respectful to each other. I guess that will work.

24. Jacobsen: How can those of the air come down to the earth, be a Goethe or a Shakespeare in love, and tune into the importance of the embodied self, emotions and such?

Haereid: It is kind of difficult for highly intelligent people to let the thoughts take a pause, and just drink your coffee or tea, watching the birds and listening to Bach, Uriah Heep or whatever. But I think that’s one key to avoid getting crazy. You have to rest. You have to find the ultimate combination of body and mind. But I don’t know how. I am not an expert.

I try to distract myself, cut off, sort of force me to relax, and manage, maybe because I am convinced; I have experienced being close to insane because of my ongoing thoughts and philosophical (and mathematical…) inquiry. This was when I was much younger.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Erik Haereid has been a member of Mensa since 2013, and is among the top scorers on several of the most credible IQ-tests in the unstandardized HRT-environment. He is listed in the World Genius Directory. He is also a member of several other high IQ Societies.

Erik, born in 1963, grew up in OsloNorway, in a middle class home at Grefsen nearby the forest, and started early running and cross country skiing. After finishing schools he studied mathematics, statistics and actuarial science at the University of Oslo. One of his first glimpses of math-skills appeared after he got a perfect score as the only student on a five hour math exam in high school.

He did his military duty in His Majesty The King’s Guard (Drilltroppen)).

Impatient as he is, he couldn’t sit still and only studying, so among many things he worked as a freelance journalist in a small news agency.  In that period, he did some environmental volunteerism with Norges Naturvernforbund (Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature), where he was an activist, freelance journalist and arranged ‘Sykkeldagen i Oslo’ twice (1989 and 1990) as well as environmental issues lectures. He also wrote some crime short stories in A-Magasinet (Aftenposten (one of the main newspapers in Norway), the same paper where he earned his runner up (second place) in a nationwide writing contest in 1985. He also wrote several articles in different newspapers, magazines and so on in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He earned an M.Sc. degree in Statistics and Actuarial Sciences in 1991, and worked as an actuary novice/actuary from 1987 to 1995 in several Norwegian Insurance companies. He was the Academic Director (1998-2000) of insurance at the BI Norwegian Business School (1998-2000), Manager (1997-1998) of business insurance, life insurance, and pensions and formerly Actuary (1996-1997) at Nordea in Oslo Area, Norway, a self-employed Actuary Consultant (1996-1997), an Insurance Broker (1995-1996) at Assurance Centeret, Actuary (1991-1995) at Alfa Livsforsikring, novice Actuary (1987-1990) at UNI Forsikring.

In 1989 he worked in a project in Dallas with a Texas computer company for a month incorporating a Norwegian pension product into a data system. Erik is specialized in life insurance and pensions, both private and business insurances. From 1991 to 1995 he was a main part of developing new life insurance saving products adapted to bank business (Sparebanken NOR), and he developed the mathematics behind the premiums and premium reserves.

He has industry experience in accounting, insurance, and insurance as a broker. He writes in his IQ-blog the online newspaper Nettavisen. He has personal interests among other things in history, philosophy and social psychology.

In 1995, he moved to Aalborg in Denmark because of a Danish girl he met. He worked as an insurance broker for one year, and took advantage of this experience later when he developed his own consultant company.

In Aalborg, he taught himself some programming (Visual Basic), and developed an insurance calculation software program which he sold to a Norwegian Insurance Company. After moving to Oslo with his girlfriend, he was hired as consultant by the same company to a project that lasted one year.

After this, he became the Manager of business insurance in the insurance company Norske Liv. At that time he had developed and nurtured his idea of establishing an actuarial consulting company, and he did this after some years on a full-time basis with his actuarial colleague. In the beginning, the company was small. He had to gain money, and worked for almost two years as an Academic Director of insurance at the BI Norwegian Business School.

Then the consultant company started to grow, and he quitted BI and used his full time in NIA (Nordic Insurance Administration). This was in 1998/99, and he has been there since.

NIA provides actuarial consulting services within the pension and life insurance area, especially towards the business market. They was one of the leading actuarial consulting companies in Norway through many years when Defined Benefit Pension Plans were on its peak and companies needed evaluations and calculations concerning their pension schemes and accountings. With the less complex, and cheaper, Defined Contribution Pension Plans entering Norway the last 10-15 years, the need of actuaries is less concerning business pension schemes.

Erik’s book from 2011, Benektelse og Verdighet, contains some thoughts about our superficial, often discriminating societies, where the virtue seems to be egocentrism without thoughts about the whole. Empathy is lacking, and existential division into “us” and “them” is a mental challenge with major consequences. One of the obstacles is when people with power – mind, scientific, money, political, popularity – defend this kind of mind as “necessary” and “survival of the fittest” without understanding that such thoughts make the democracies much more volatile and threatened. When people do not understand the genesis of extreme violence like school killings, suicide or sociopathy, asking “how can this happen?” repeatedly, one can wonder how smart man really is. The responsibility is not limited to let’s say the parents. The responsibility is everyone’s. The day we can survive, mentally, being honest about our lives and existence, we will take huge leaps into the future of mankind.

Rick G. Rosner, according to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing here, 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: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*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.

 

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Genius (Part Seven) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-seven.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-220. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,124

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Professor Duncan Pritchard is UC Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. His monographs include Epistemic Luck (Oxford UP, 2005), The Nature and Value of Knowledge (co-authored, Oxford UP, 2010), Epistemological Disjunctivism (Oxford UP, 2012), Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing (Princeton UP, 2015), and Skepticism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2019). He discusses: epistemology; skepticism; Wittgenstein; cognitive science; philosophy of religion and theology; the decline of some philosophy of religion and theology; philosophy of education; philosophy of law; anti-luck virtue epistemology; and bringing these together at once.

Keywords: Duncan Pritchard, epistemic, epistemology, Irvine, philosophy, pyrrhonian, skepticism, University of California, Wittgenstein.

An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law: Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine & Director, Graduate Studies, Philosophy, University of California, Irvine (Part Two)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Thank, very much, for the charming Part One to the interview. As agreed, we intend this as a long-form interview. I decided parts because some interviews work best in segments if done in this manner. Now, with some of the family and personal narrative brought forward in an entertaining manner, I would like to focus on some of the important issues dealing with the academic work. Your stipulated research interests include “Epistemology; Skepticism; Wittgenstein; Philosophy of Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Education; Philosophy of Law.” In my time at UCIrvine, I was impressed by the culture, the academic atmosphere, and the area, in general. Your foci, certainly, seem related to one another. So, I agree. It’s an exciting place. Let’s make this an Anthill – so to speak – Part Two or session two for the audience today, the hill or mound will be built in the sequence of the aforementioned topics in the quote above. Once I read more thoroughly through materials by you, I will then utilize these responses to dig more directly into the dirt and find some ants for eating. Many of the listed interests seem straightforward. I will inquire in the order presented. So, epistemology is the study of how we acquire knowledge. It’s a foundational field. When did this interest in epistemology come forward for you?

Professor Duncan Pritchard: It was epistemology that got me into philosophy, if truth be told. I took a course on the subject and found it fascinating, and I soon switched to studying straight philosophy (I had previously been studying English Literature). Although I’ve done work on other areas of philosophy, I keep returning to epistemological questions, as they always seem so fundamental. Indeed, even when I do engage with another area of philosophy, such as the philosophy of mind, it always seems to be the epistemological questions within that domain that interest me. I think epistemological questions are also particularly relevant from a contemporary social perspective too, particularly in this supposedly ‘post-truth’ world we live in. My work on epistemology includes such core topics as the theory of knowledge, radical skepticism, epistemic value, social epistemology, the relationship between knowledge and understanding, the nature of inquiry, and the intellectual virtues. It also includes topics in applied epistemology, such as the epistemology of education, legal epistemology, and some epistemological issues in cognitive science.

2. Jacobsen: Epistemology relates in a direct manner to skepticism. The main skeptical idea: certain knowledge is impossible. In another variation, one should maintain a skeptical attitude about particular claims or all claims, e.g., the efficacy of widespread practices including prayer, or beliefs in supernatural powers or abilities, or beliefs in ghosts, angels and demons (Devil included), and more. What is the strength of skepticism as a philosophical program, especially when taken in a rigorous form within the focus of formal epistemology?

Pritchard: My work on skepticism falls under two main, though overlapping, themes. The core issue is about radical skepticism, and so whether knowledge is possible. I take this puzzle to be a way that we can gain a greater insight on the nature of our epistemic access to the world around us. I argue that the problem of radical skepticism needs to be formulated in a certain fashion if we are to appreciate the challenge that it poses. This then has consequences for the response to radical skepticism that I offer—what I call the biscopic response—which essentially integrates themes from the work of Wittgenstein and the contemporary philosopher John McDowell. (For the details, see my most recent monograph, Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing (Princeton University Press, 2015)).

I’m also interested in a broader kind of skepticism which is not cast as an argument or a paradox, but rather consists of a certain kind of attitude. This form of skepticism has its roots in the work of the ancient Pyrrhonian skeptics, and it’s influence has been enormous throughout intellectual history. For example, one of my philosophical heroes is the 16th century French philosopher Montaigne, who epitomizes the Pyrrhonian skeptical method in the early modern period. (Hume is another important philosopher from this period who is heavily influenced by Pyrrhonian skepticism, though he is writing much later).

I tried to blend discussion of the debate about radical skepticism with Pyrrhonian skepticism in my latest book, Scepticism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2019), which is written for a general audience. One of the themes of this work is to understand what an intellectually virtuous form of skepticism might look like, and so the book draws on my other writings on the nature of the intellectual virtues. This also enables me to relate the debate about skepticism to broader social concerns that are particularly pressing in the information age that we live in, such as the fact that there is so much misinformation about, and that many influential figures in our society do not seem to care that much about the truth. (See also the online course entitled ‘Skepticism’ that I created to go with the book, available on the Coursera platform: https://www.coursera.org/learn/skepticism. This features contributions from a number of prominent scholars from UC Irvine, across several disciplines).

3. Jacobsen: What makes Wittgenstein an integral thinker for you? Someone worth studying for an epistemologist and skeptic. 

Pritchard: Wittgenstein was, in my opinion, one of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived. His work is full of innovative ideas. Indeed, much of the work of his that we have is contained in unedited notebooks, and yet they are nonetheless full of insightful nuggets—time spent reading (or even re-reading) anything Wittgenstein wrote is never wasted, as there is always a lot to learn.

As an epistemologist, I’m particularly intrigued by his final notebooks, which were published posthumously as On Certainty. These are four notebooks that take us right up to just before he died, and hence they are also interesting from an historical point of view, in addition to their tremendous philosophical importance. In these works Wittgenstein offers a sustained treatment of questions about knowledge, certainty and doubt. In the process he explores a very distinctive account of the structure of rational evaluation, according to which all rational evaluation takes place relative to certain basic convictions that we hold, which are not themselves rationally grounded at all. These are our hinge certainties, as they are known (employing a metaphor that Wittgenstein used). What’s especially intriguing about this proposal is that Wittgenstein clearly thought that embracing this idea is the antidote to radical skepticism, and yet at first glance it can seem like a capitulation to the skeptical challenge, for doesn’t the radical sceptic also maintain that our basic convictions are rationally groundless? There is thus an important philosophical project of explaining how Wittgenstein’s idea—which I have argued he acquired from reading the work of the prominent Catholic thinker, John Henry Newman—could have the anti-skeptical import that he clearly thought it had, and this project has informed a lot of my recent work. Hinge epistemology also has lots of ramifications for other philosophical debates, such as regarding relativism.

4. Jacobsen: The human brain evolved to be good enough. A lot of costs came with this, including biases in forms of thought and in what can possibly be thought. Cognitive science seems to show this in listings of cognitive biases. What brings cognitive science into the philosophical formulation for you?

Pritchard: I’m principally interested in our relationship with technology, and how it alters our cognitive processes. In particular, there’s a prominent movement in cognitive science (extended cognition)—initially driven, incidentally, by philosophers such as Andy Clark—which allows that our cognitive processes can be genuinely extended by technology (such that this isn’t simply our cognitive processes being supplemented or aided by technology, but where the technology becomes a proper part of an extended cognitive process). I find this idea plausible, and have been trying to work out under what conditions, exactly, a cognitive process can become extended in this way. Moreover, this proposal clearly has epistemological ramifications, since it holds out the possibility that some of our knowledge is not attributable to our biological selves and the associated cognitive agency, but is rather due to our extended cognitive agency (i.e., the integrated set of purely biological and extended cognitive processes). There is thus the possibility of (what I have called) extended knowledge.

4. Jacobsen: Religion is a complicated affair. I need two questions for this one, please. First, what is religion to you?

Pritchard: I have a policy of not declaring my own personal thoughts on religion. There are a few reasons for this. One is that I don’t have a straightforward stance to declare anyway. But a more important reason is that I think the whole debate about philosophy of religion has got side-tracked by people explicitly entwining their philosophical stance with their personal stance. The problem is that as philosophers we should be interested in these questions regardless of our personal convictions. One of the reasons why I think philosophy of religion has become such a niche subfield of philosophy is because people imagine that one would only be interested in it if one has prior religious conviction, and that’s simply not the case (or, at least, it ought not to be the case). We should get back to exploring these questions because of their intrinsic philosophical interest.

5. Jacobsen: Second, what makes the philosophy of religion, probably, a more relevant field of study in the modern context than, apparently, declining disciplines including theology or religious studies?

Pritchard: I think it would be a shame if religious studies is indeed a declining discipline (or theology for that matter, which I take to be a sub-division of it, concerned specifically with theistic religion). Religious questions are central to the human condition after all. Moreover, even if one adopts a purely materialistic conception of the world and our place in it, one that has no room for religion, one still needs to have a philosophical grasp of what it means to exclude religion from one’s worldview, and that is itself an issue for philosophy of religion (and thus religious studies). I find it intriguing that many people today take a certain kind of materialistic and scientistic worldview as obvious, and as incorporating no philosophical assumptions, such that it is kind of a ‘default’ rational way of responding to the world. But that’s not very plausible—the philosophical presuppositions are still there, as they are with any worldview, and they need to be made explicit and examined. (I don’t think it’s an accident, for example, that those in the grip of such a worldview also take a very instrumentalist attitude towards political and ethical questions). That’s a job for philosophy, and philosophy of religion has a role to play in such an endeavor.

Inevitably, my own work in philosophy of religion mostly covers epistemological questions, especially the question of whether religious belief can be rationally grounded. In this regard I advance a view that I call quasi-fideism, a thesis which I claim is rooted in the work of John Henry Newman and Wittgenstein.

6. Jacobsen: What is your philosophy of education?

Pritchard: My interest is in the question of what the overarching epistemic goals of education amount to. The view I defend is one on which these goals essentially concern the development of intellectual character, which is the integrated set of a subject’s intellectual virtues. This approach offers an important reorientation of education in the contemporary world, where education is far too often understood in purely instrumental terms, such as simply giving students useful skills or knowledge. Education should have much more ambitious goals, however, which is to help human beings to prosper, and for that they need the intellectual virtues.

7. Jacobsen: What is the philosophy of law? I ask this, too, because an extremely distinguished academic, Professor Elizabeth Loftus, works at UCIrvine.

Pritchard: There are lots of philosophical questions in law, most notably concerning the foundations of law. But as an epistemologist I’m naturally interested in some of the specifically epistemic questions that arise, such as the nature of legal evidence, or what kinds of epistemic bases are relevant for legal judgements about guilt or liability. I’ve also tried to bring my work on luck and risk to bear on legal issues, such as concerning the question of what is an acceptable degree of risk within a just legal system that an innocent person might be found guilty of a crime.

8. Jacobsen: What epistemology to garner knowledge about the world most makes sense within a skepticism framework grounded in the understandings brought forward by the philosophy of Wittgenstein, philosophy of cognitive science, and the philosophy of religion?

Pritchard: I don’t think there is a straightforward answer to your question. I advance a general theory of knowledge (anti-luck virtue epistemology), which incorporates insights from both virtue epistemology and anti-luck/risk epistemology. (For the details, see my co-authored monograph, The Nature and Value of Knowledge, (Oxford University Press, 2010)). I also have an account of how this way of thinking about knowledge should be situated with regard to answers to a range of epistemological questions about such topics as the nature of epistemic value, the relationship between knowledge and understanding, the importance of the intellectual virtues, the nature of inquiry, and so on. I then apply this theory of knowledge to philosophical questions in specific domains like cognitive science and education.

The question of how to understand the nature of knowledge is, however, largely orthogonal to the skeptical question of whether such knowledge is possible (it took me many years to realise this). This in part explains why my response to radical skepticism is distinct from my account of knowledge (though there are some overlaps). As noted above, what I take from Wittgenstein is a certain conception of the structure of reasons that I think is specifically applicable to the question of how to deal with the puzzle posed by radical skepticism. I also advance a view I call epistemological disjunctivism which can explain how we can have a kind of direct epistemic access to the world around us. (For the details, see my monograph, Epistemological Disjunctivism, (Oxford University Press, 2012)). In addition, I think there is a story to be told about skepticism as an attitude, in the manner of Pyrrhonian skepticism, though again that issue is orthogonal to the question of the nature of knowledge (the intellectual virtues do have a bearing here, however).

9. Jacobsen: Do these understandings taken together have potential implications for education and the law?

Pritchard: Yes. As just noted, one needs to have a worked-out epistemology in order to apply it to domains like education and the law. So, for example, my epistemology, with the intellectual virtues at its heart, can explain why developing intellectual character is so important to education. I’ve also applied the anti-luck, or anti-risk, element to my epistemology to the legal case with regard to discussions of legal evidence and legal risk.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine; Director, Graduate Studies, Philosophy, University of California, Irvine.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Distinguished Professor Duncan Pritchard, FRSE on Epistemology, Skepticism, Wittgenstein, Cognitive Science, Education, and Law (Part Two) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/pritchard-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 5,720

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

John Collins is an author and the Founder of William Branham Historical Research. He discusses: gay-bashing; women-bashing; remarriage-bashing; social stigma around the rejection of the purported revelations; the community react to claims of an individual member losing supposed salvation; how former members can heal; homosexuals, women, the remarried, and the doubters finding help and a way out of “The Message”; and how William Marrion Branham blasted remarriage after divorce throughout “The Message” ministry while permitting or even helping brothers remarry several times.

Keywords: Christianity, John Collins, Seek The Truth, The Message, William Branham Historical Research, William Marrion Branham.

An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham: Founder, William Branham Historical Research (Part Five)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Some have been emotionally scarred due to the bashing of gays, of women, of remarriage, and the social stigma to the rejection of the ‘revelations’ in addition to assertions of individuals potentially losing salvation. What is the form of gay-bashing?

John Collins: The effects of emotional abuse in William Branham’s “Message” cult following and similar destructive cults are very painful, no matter the specific types of abuse.  They are also very personal.  Unlike physical abuse, the impact of emotional abuse is not limited to the area of impact.  As emotions are manipulated, whether it is from “bashing”, shaming, intimidation, fear, or other, the abuse is felt through each and every connected memory and even in other related emotions.  For those affected, it is a recurring form of abuse each time those emotions are brought to the surface.  Also, emotional abuse is not limited to the person being struck.  As cult leaders tear down the emotions of their victims, they often do so indirectly.  Victims of abuse for cults that practice “gay bashing” are not just those in the group who have homosexual tendencies.  Those who submit to the verbal abuse of others are also being emotionally abused into submission.

The social stigma created by this form of abuse contributes to the isolationist nature of the destructive cult.  When cult followers are manipulated into the approval of and the participation in emotional abuse, whether verbally abusing others or simply nodding a head or saying “Amen”, emotional abuse becomes a core value to the group’s integrity and is often used as a tool for punishment or further isolation.  Those who do not fully submit to the group’s rules and regulations are often the target of false accusation using the forms of emotional abuse most frequently used by the leaders.  Those who leave the group also become targets, and it is very effective.  Normal human emotions that would occur when a member leaves the group are suppressed when the former member becomes the target of verbal abuse — one emotion is replaced with another.  I, myself, was falsely accused of being homosexual as a tool by cult leaders to suppress the critical information that I had discovered, and some former members later informed me that this false accusation delayed their examination of the critical information for a long period of time.

For the person struggling internally with issues that are openly ridiculed or “bashed”, the pain runs deep.  While other struggles based upon cult doctrine may be discussed to receive encouragement, sympathy, counseling, or guidance, struggles that are the focal point for verbal and emotional abuse cannot.  Cult members have been manipulated, by example, to practice verbal and emotional abuse for those issues instead of offering help.  This, really, is the what differentiates a destructive cult group from a religious cult group.  William Branham’s “Message” cult is not unique in their religious beliefs concerning homosexuality, and sermons discussing passages from the Christian Bible against homosexuality are widespread even among some denominations in mainstream Christianity.  Healthy churches offer help and support for any issue, homosexuality or not, while destructive churches train members to discriminate and practice abuse.

Like any situation involving discrimination, human rights and human dignity is at risk.  All humans have a natural desire to help other humans, and a sympathy for those in need of help.  When a destructive group replaces that natural, human desire of love for other humans with hatred, they have also robbed them of their dignity and freedom and replaced them with captivity and oppression.

2. Jacobsen: What is the form of women-bashing?

Collins: In William Branham’s “Message” cult following, the New Testament passage from 1 Corinthians 11:3 describing male leadership is preached, while Galatians 3:28 describing equality is generally ignored.  The passage in Corinthians describes the hierarchy of leadership from God the Father, to God the Son, to males, to females.

“But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor 11:3) 

This passage is used and preferred, because it supports William Branham’s theological stance that women are inferior to men.  Branham taught that females were a “by-product” of man, and not in the original creation[i].  Interestingly, this passage is also used by mainstream Christianity as an example of a clear picture of the Trinitarian Godhead, which later versions of William Branham’s stage persona rejected.[ii]  While rejecting the relationship between God the Father and God the Son in the passage from 1 Corinthians, most versions of William Branham’s stage persona avoided the passage from Galatians 3 promoting equality, or re-purposed it to promote his male-only creation theology.[iii]

Galatians 3 describes the Apostle Paul’s views on racial, social, and gender equality.  Verse 28 states,

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. 

Galatians 3:28

Many Christian apologists use this verse as an example to claim that early Christians were advanced in teaching equality compared to other religions in the ancient world[iv], though historically, some ancient civilizations did practice equality in one or more of the three categories mentioned by in the passage from Galatians.[v]  In William Branham’s “Message” cult following, however, all three categories are rejected in full.  William Branham claimed that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not intended for the Jews[vi], that Christians were supposed to “forfeit their rights”[vii], and that the female human was less in stature than a dog or a hog.[viii]

This misogynistic theological stance leads to all forms of abuse – verbal, emotional, and even physical.  By example, “Message” cult leaders use quotes from the transcript of William Branham’s sermons to ensure that women are “in their place”[ix], submissive, obedient, and silent[x].  Some “Message” cult pastors expand upon this theological view to introduce additional misogynistic doctrines and rules, disallowing women to have religious discussions without men present.  Others preach entire sermons that are parroting Branham’s misogynistic teaching that women are inherently evil by design[xi], and must contain that evil at the risk of eternal damnation.

As a result, women are unknowingly trained to accept verbal abuse as “correction”.  Adolescent girls are trained to believe that their bodies were designed by Satan[xii] for sex[xiii].  Teenage girls are forced to believe that William Branham is the authority on doctrine and scripture[xiv], and that his praise given to those who practice physical abuse[xv] for women who do not adhere to the cult’s dress code is both acceptable and “commissioned by God”.  Mothers are trained to believe that it is OK for their husbands to follow William Branham’s advice and physically abuse both them[xvi] and their daughters, and that husbands who do not are “sissies”.  In other words, it goes far beyond “woman-bashing”.  Women are forced to believe that Branham’s verbal abuse is “godly”, that verbal and emotional abuse by current cult leadership is “righteous”, and that verbal, emotional, and physical abuse by their spouse or father is “justified”.

3. Jacobsen: What is the form of remarriage-bashing?

Collins: Remarriage after divorce, except in cases of the death of a current or former spouse, is a delicate subject within most Christian communities.  There are specific passages in the New Testament that instruct married couples not to separate until death[xvii], as well as passages that consider remarriage after divorce of a living spouse to be adultery[xviii], which is in violation of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament[xix].  Unfortunately, there are no Biblical instructions describing the many complex situations that occur within a marriage, or how Christians should behave towards those who knowingly or unknowingly broke those rules by remarrying after divorce.  Fundamentalist Christians and many Christians with fundamentalist leanings view these passages as black-or-white and do now allow for the “gray”.  Remarriage after divorce is strictly forbidden in fundamentalist Christianity.  In most versions of William Branham’s stage persona, this was the doctrinal position presented.[xx]

Christians without fundamentalist leanings take a more moderate approach.  They still believe remarriage after divorce while the spouse is still living to be sin, as the Bible states, but also believe that Jesus Christ died for that sin.  As with any other personal issues considered to be sinful, advice and support is offered.[xxi]  Each divorce case is considered to be unique, and attempts are made to save marriages whenever possible.  In cases where a spouse is abused or in danger, however, separation is advised.

Though these two positions are the exact opposite of each other, both approaches have some common ground.  After the divorce and remarriage is finalized, healthy churches on both sides offer their love and support to the new couples that emerge.  Members are not ridiculed for their decision, are not insulted during sermons, and are not severed from fellowship.  This is not the case in the unhealthy churches that exist on the fundamentalist side.  Since there are no biblical instructions explicitly stating how one should behave towards a remarried couple, those new couples who “broke the rules” and remarried are targets for verbal and emotional abuse.  William Branham “Message” cult churches, which fall into this category, are no exception.

4. Jacobsen: What is the social stigma around the rejection of the purported revelations?

Collins: Much like the cases of “breaking the rules” for remarriage or dress code, those who reject “supernatural” claims by William Branham become targets for verbal and emotional abuse.[xxii]  Even in cases where members reject a claim made by William Branham that has unequivocally been proven false, they face discrimination and sometimes isolation from current members that support the false claim.  In many cases, this happens at the instruction of the cult leaders.[xxiii]  “Message” cult pastors, attempting to halt the spread of critical information, have quickly learned that truth can only be stopped by silencing those asking questions.  Rather than address William Branham’s false claims in transparency before their congregations, most cult pastors choose the pathway of least resistance.  Only a handful of “Message” cult pastors have attempted to publicly address the controversial issues, and a majority of those are now former members.[xxiv]

This typically occurs indirectly rather than directly, however.  When it has been learned that one or more members of a cult church have discovered the critical issues with “supernatural” claims, cult pastors shame current members by ridiculing or cursing former members who disagree with William Branham’s false claims.  Those who reject the claims are labeled as incompetent or ungodly while being cursed to all sorts of tragedies and eternal damnation.  Former members have described their former cult pastor claiming that “hell will not be hot enough” for those who reject Branham’s claims, and others describe sermons predicting God’s wrath on those leaving the cult by claiming that “sometimes God likes a good killing” (implying that those leaving might die).  To the target of the curse or ridicule, these statements are harmless.  To members of the congregation who have discovered the critical research, however, it is an indirect form of emotional abuse that transitions into a social stigma and fear of consequence.  That stigma worsens after participating in cult gatherings where the pastor’s opinion is favorably discussed.

As the listener follows the pastor’s abusive statements to their logical conclusion, they connect the examination of critical facts to losing their “salvation”.  Under this type of fear, to avoid eternal damnation, one must also avoid questioning William Branham and/or the pastor’s authority.  Unfortunately for members of a destructive religious cult, this fear of eternal damnation is far greater than all other consequences.  It is almost crippling.

5. Jacobsen: How does the community react to claims of an individual member losing supposed salvation? 

Collins: In destructive cults, the group’s members become one body of people that is either physically or mentally disconnected and/or isolated from other bodies of people.  In religious cults that are destructive, this separation is based upon beliefs of salvation.  In the case of a destructive cult based upon Christianity, for instance, the group has mentally isolated themselves by believing that their particular group will earn salvation while all other Christian groups will not.

Doomsday cults such as William Branham’s “Message” cult[xxv] are even more destructive.  In religious doomsday cults, cult doctrine and beliefs are structured in such a way that members focus more intently upon life after death than life before death, and life itself is devalued by predictions of destruction.  Members are manipulated into thinking that this world and all that is in it has no meaning, and that after the destruction predicted by the cult leader, only those who believe that leader or share his or her doctrinal beliefs will survive.  With destruction “imminent”, and all personal connections outside of the cult about to be severed, non-cult connections (those who did not earn salvation) are devalued, including former members.

Without having been involved in a destructive cult, it would be very difficult to understand the mental separation that occurs when a former member leaves, or more specifically, “loses their salvation” by leaving or rejecting the cult leader.  In these cases, there were strong personal connections, often with many members of the cult.  Yet because they are no longer associated with the cult’s perception of “salvation”, they are now supposed to be “spiritually” severed from the cult and its members.  Cult members that have been manipulated into believing the cult’s isolationist doctrine are faced with internal conflict due to their deep personal and emotional ties as those connections sever.

In some cases, these personal and emotional ties cannot be broken, and it leads to more members “losing their salvation” as they, too, begin to question the destructive nature of the cult.  Unfortunately, in many instances, this is not the case.  Cult members unable to resolve the internal conflict and are forced to resolve it by “grieving a loss”.  Similar to a death in the family, cult members enter the process of grieving, loss, recovery, and then disconnection.  Once disconnected, the result is “shunning”, whether physically or emotionally, as a self-defense mechanism to prevent reconnecting to a cult member that has now become a non-cult member.

6. Jacobsen: How can former members heal? 

Collins: As you can imagine, all of this is extremely painful for former members of a cult.  Many describe it as the single-most difficult time of their lives.  While their connections suffer through the stages of grief, they too must grieve their own losses.  Even through some friends and family that are still cult members may have not physically severed ties, their view of the former member has now changed from “one of us” to “not of us”, and they are forced to emotionally disconnect.  When a former member begins to experience emotional shunning by people they have known for many years — sometimes their entire lives, they also enter self-defense mode.  Cult members become “one of them” while the entire rest of the world becomes “us” – reversing the problem.  Even cult members who are genuinely making an attempt to be kind and sympathetic are mentally grouped with those who have caused great pain, and eventually, ties are severed from both ends.

Though it is a slow and painstaking process, former cult members must re-establish themselves in the world without relying upon any ties to cult members.  New peer groups must form, with new circles of friends and new support.  Old memories now painful must be replaced with new memories more pleasant.  Former cult members must find people who energize them and avoid people who drain them of energy until they are healed enough to energize others.

This is not to say that current cult members cannot be part of this process — they certainly can, but they must not be the only form of support and friendship.  Their ties may seem strong during the initial break, but they may not always be.  It is difficult to heal from the larger separation when dealing with the repeated pain of additional separations.

7. Jacobsen: How can homosexuals, women, the remarried, and the doubters find help and a way out of “The Message”?

Collins: For anyone attempting to escape from a destructive cult, no matter the reason or situation, it is best to begin establishing a support group prior to leaving.  No matter what a person is dealing with, whether it be homosexual tendencies, abuse, divorce, or other, there are many, many people who have endured similar painful situations.  Find others to ask for advice.  In some cases, counselling or therapy is helpful.  Find a psychologist familiar with destructive religious cults.  Don’t be afraid of medication; several people who have escaped require anxiety or anti-depressant medicine for a period of time, some long-term due to the trauma of separation.

Be prepared to give an answer as to why the choice was made to leave.  This seems to be the most difficult part of leaving a cult for many people: the fear of a heated argument or debate with people who no longer share the same core values and will not understand why.  Yet in almost every instance of a person leaving a cult, this is an inevitable situation.

Before the information age, researching was a very difficult task.  By design, destructive cults conceal critical information.  Finding that information was a challenge.  In today’s world, however, information is abundantly accessible — both critical and non-critical.  Newspaper archives, government archives, online resources and more provide a means to learn about many cult groups and their structure.  By learning how other cults behave and operate and identifying the similarities between other cults to their own, a cult member can easily list reasons why staying would be a bad idea.

In the case of William Branham, however, finding critical information is extremely easy.  Not only are there numerous research sites publishing information concerning William Branham’s “Message” cult and the many sub-cults that were created after, Branham’s sermon transcripts from 1947 to 1965 have been made public and searchable[xxvi].  Former members can easily query against his transcripts to identify conflicting statements between different versions of William Branham’s stage personas[xxvii], list the very destructive doctrines Branham taught[xxviii], and describe Branham’s prophecies that have failed[xxix] or his teachings that do not align with Biblical doctrine.[xxx]

8. Jacobsen: How did William Marrion Branham blast remarriage after divorce throughout “The Message” ministry? Yet, he permitted or even helped brothers remarry several times.

Collins: Historians have erroneously described William Branham as an evangelist having consistent views during his twenty to thirty-year career by using only the later versions of his stage persona, which in many cases was a persona strongly opposed to remarriage after divorce.  Because that history has been mostly written by “historians” sympathetic to William Branham’s cult following, other versions of Branham’s stage persona with differing doctrinal positions[xxxi] appear to have been purposefully omitted.

William Branham is typically described as a “non-Trinitarian”[xxxii] “Baptist”[xxxiii] minister who after the Ohio River Flood of 1937 came in contact with Pentecostalism and a “supernatural” experience that led to his “Message” of hyper-fundamentalist Pentecostalism.  Yet he was baptized and ordained in a Pentecostal church as early as 1932[xxxiv], worked closely with the United Brethren Church during the time a Brethren minister performed his second marriage ceremony[xxxv], and for almost a decade used a Trinitarian stage persona[xxxvi].  Not only did his doctrinal views change between different versions of his stage persona, his doctrinal stance changed with his varying religious affiliations.  Those changes range from core values such as the nature of God to his views on remarriage after divorce.

It is interesting, however, that during the time William Branham primarily used a stage persona claiming to be a fundamentalist Baptist minister — which would have at the time opposed remarriage after divorce — Branham performed the marriage ceremonies for his brothers after they divorced and remarried multiple wives[xxxvii].  As late as 1941, William Branham’s core values off stage do not appear to match his core values on stage.

It is also interesting that most historians and even cult members claim that William Branham was opposed to remarriage after divorce, when the 1965 version of his stage persona was not fully opposed.  In most versions of Branham’s stage persona, William Branham did claim to be opposed to remarriage after divorce for both men and women.  After his son’s marriage, divorce[xxxviii], and remarriage, however, Branham’s stage persona created an exception for the case of men (not women) who wished to remarry after divorce.  In a 1965 sermon entitled “Marriage and Divorce”, Branham began teaching that “he can, but she can’t.”[xxxix]  In that version of his stage persona, William Branham avoided all passages in the New Testament that describe men remarrying after divorce as adultery.  Luke 16:18 was avoided entirely.

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

Luke 16:18

It would be very difficult to understand how that William Branham could preach so strongly against remarriage after divorce on stage while performing the wedding ceremonies for divorced couples offstage without having the full and complete historical information concerning Branham’s multiple stage personas.  Especially when historians have been misinformed about the “consistency” of Branham’s doctrinal positions and so much critical information has been withheld.  Once his varying stage personas are examined, and his conflicting doctrinal positions are compared, it becomes more apparent that the man on stage with his multiple personas were not the same as the man off stage.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Author; Founder, William Branham Historical Research.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[i] “Look, a woman is not even so low… She’s not even a creation in God. She’s a by-product..”

Branham, William. 1956, Jul 15  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/women

[ii] “Now, my precious brother, I know this is a tape also. Now, don’t get excited. Let me say this with godly love, the hour has approached where I can’t hold still on these things no more, too close to the Coming. See? “Trinitarianism is of the devil!” I say that THUS SAITH THE LORD! Look where it come from. It come from the Nicene Council when the Catholic church become in rulership. The word “trinity” is not even mentioned in the entire Book of the Bible. And as far as three Gods, that’s from hell. There’s one God. That’s exactly right.”

Branham, William. 1961, January 8. Revelation Chapter Four 3 Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/trinity

[iii] William Branham’s transcripts from 1947 to 1965 mention the “male nor female” passage in his 1965 sermon “Marriage and Divorce”, which claimed that women were the lowest of animals on the earth.  “When, in God’s sight, the Word, she is the lowest of all animals that God put on the earth.  Branham, William. 1965, Feb 21. http://table.branham.org

[iv] Groothuis, Douglas.  Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.  pp 107

[v] “The first systematic analyses of equality as a concept comes from the Greeks of the classical age, which is perhaps not surprising given their intense interest in mathematics. One of the most thorough of these early systematic explorations of equality was undertaken by Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) in several of his works.”

Equality Overview: Ancient Views Of Equality.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://science.jrank.org/pages/9186/Equality-Overview-Ancient-Views-Equality.html

[vi] “Before this Message is over, you’ll see it’s THUS SAITH THE LORD, by Word and by Spirit. Israel will be converted over, the whole nation, in one night. The Bible said so. But the Gospel is not even to them. There is a few renegades that’s out, and so forth like that, that come in, and outside the main body of Jews, that come in and get saved.”

Branham, William.  1961, July 30.  Gabriel’s Instructions To Daniel.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[vii] “It’s your American privilege, you say. Oh, yeah. If you’re a lamb, a lamb forfeits his rights. He don’t have but one thing: wool, and he forfeits that. If you’re a lamb you’ll forfeit your American rights to serve God.”

Branham, William.  1962, July 13.  From That Time.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[viii] “There is no hog, no dog, or no other animal, designed like her or can stoop as low as she can stoop. Now, that is true.”

Branham, William.  1965, Feb 21.  Marriage and Divorce.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/women

[ix] “But woman’s place is at home in the kitchen, and when she leaves that she’s out of her place. Exactly right.”

Branham, William. 1957, Jul 27.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[x] “I wished I had time to read that from the Greek here, what it said. Said, “If your women want to know anything, let them ask their husbands, because it’s shameful and disgraceful for a woman to even speak in the church. The Greek says that—I mean, the Hebrew. “As also saith the law let them be in silent with all subjections to the pastor

Branham, William.  1959, Jun 28.  Questions And Answers.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xi] “Excuse this, young ladies. She is nothing but a human garbage can, a sex exposal. That’s all she is, an immoral woman, is a human sexual garbage can, a pollution, where filthy, dirty, ornery, low-down filth is disposed by her. What is she made this way for? For deception. Every sin that ever was on the earth was caused by a woman. And an analyst just from Chicago, a—a woman wrote this article, the police force; that they chased down, in United States, metropolitan United States, that “Ninety-eight percent of every crime that was ever did in any form, in the United States, there was either a woman in it or behind it.”

Branham, William. 1965, Feb 21.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xii] “You may question me about Satan being her designer, but that’s the Truth. Satan designed her. He still does it.”

Branham, William.  1965, Feb 21.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xiii] “But she is designed to be a sex act, and no other animal is designed like that. No other creature on the earth is designed like that.”

Branham, William. 1965, Feb 21.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xiv] “I am God’s Voice to you. See? I say that again. That time was under inspiration.”

Branham, William.  1951, May 5 – My Commission. Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xv] “You would find out how illiterate they were. She’d beat her till she’d be so full of welts, you couldn’t get the clothes over the top of them. That’s what needs to be done tonight.”

Branham, William. 1956, Jul 28. Making The Valley Full Of Ditches Shreveport.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/physical_abuse

[xvi] “All right, men, here you are. Any man that’ll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he’s made out of. He’s not very much of a man. That’s exactly right. True. He don’t love her or he’d take a board and blister her with it. You know that’s the truth. Now, I don’t say that to be smart. I’m telling you the truth. That’s right.”

Branham, William.  1958, Mar 24.  Hear Ye Him.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/physical_abuse

[xvii] Ex: “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

[xviii] Ex: “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”  Matthew 5:32

[xix] “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

[xx] Ex: “Now. First Corinthians, 7th chapter, 15th verse. Now, the question they asked: Brother Branham, does this mean a sister or a brother is free to remarry? No. See, you don’t get his question there and what he’s saying. They’re not free. See, that would make a contradiction in the Scripture, and the Scriptures doesn’t contradict themselves at all.”.

Branham, William. 1962, May 27. Questions And Answers.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/divorce_and_remarriage

[xxi] Ex: 3 Beautiful Truths Every Divorced Christian Needs to Know.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/3-beautiful-truths-every-divorced-christian-needs-to-know.html

[xxii] Ex: I’m A Survivor.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://castingpearlsproject.com/im-a-survivor

[xxiii] Ex: A Long Journey.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://castingpearlsproject.com/a-long-journey

[xxiv] Ex: William Branham and my Deliverance from A Religious Prison.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTvhbjsvVqI

[xxv] Doomsday Predictions.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/doomsday_predictions

[xxvi] The Table.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://table.branham.org

[xxvii] Stage Persona.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/stage_persona

[xxviii] Ex: Justification, Sanctification, and the Holy Spirit.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://en.believethesign.com/index.php?title=Justification,_Sanctification,_and_the_Holy_Spirit

[xxix] The Prophecies of William Branham Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://en.believethesign.com/index.php?title=The_Prophecies_of_William_Branham

[xxx] Ex: William Branham and the Bible .  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/William_Branham_and_the_Bible

[xxxi] Ex: Trinity.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/trinity

[xxxii] Ex: William Branham.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from http://www.apologeticsindex.org/5870-william-branham

[xxxiii] Ex.  Concerning Cults-William Branham (Part 1). Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://www.evangelical-times.org/26489/concerning-cults-william-branham-part-1

[xxxiv] “I am the minister who received Brother Branham into the first Pentecostal assembly he ever frequented. I baptized him, and was his pastor for some two years. I also preached his ordination sermon, and signed his ordination certificate, and heard him preach his first sermon.” (Rev. Roy E. Davis.)

Wm. Branham’s First Pastor.  1950, Oct.  The Voice of Healing.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/people/roy_e._davis

[xxxv] Meda Branham.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/people/meda_branham

[xxxvi] Trinity.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/trinity

[xxxvii] Ex. Jesse Branham.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/people/jesse_branham

[xxxviii] Willam Branham alleged that the marriage of his son was annulled, but court records confirm their separation by divorce in the Clark County Courthouse.

[xxxix] “See, she has got a living husband, so no man can marry her. Care what she does and who she is, she’s got a living husband, there is no grounds for her at all. But, it’s not, for him. “Causes her,” not him. Get it? You have to make the Word run in continuity. See, nothing saying he couldn’t, but she can’t. See, “causes her,” not him. That’s exactly what the Bible says, “causes her.” It is not stated against him to remarry, but “her.” Why? Christ in the type. Notice, it is stated that he cannot remarry, only a virgin. He can remarry. He can, he can remarry again if it’s a virgin, but he can’t marry somebody else’s wife. No indeedy. And if he does marry a divorced woman, he is living in adultery, I don’t care who he is. The Bible said, “Whosoever marrieth her that is put away, liveth in adultery.” There you are, not no divorcees. See that original back there, “from the beginning,” now? Remarrying, now notice, he can, but she can’t. Like David, like Solomon, like the continuity of the whole Bible, now, same as David and the rest of them.”

Branham, William. 1965, February 21. Marriage And Divorce.  Accessed 2020, Feb 27 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/divorce_and_remarriage

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with John Collins on Gay-Bashing, Women-Bashing, Remarriage-Bashing, and Social Stigma in, and Healing from, “The Message” of the late William Marrion Branham (Part Five) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/collins-five.

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An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,916

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson founded Hawkeye Associates. Carey Linde founded Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde). They discuss: some qualifications; transgender identities and transsexual identities; dominant orientation of the psychological community; historical perspective on the issue; the current social and political context in Canada now; the impacts of these social and political contexts on conversations around transgender identities and transsexual identities; the position taken by Mr. Linde impressing Dr. Robertson; confusion of the public on terminology; and the psychological science definition of the self in relation to transgender identities and transsexual identities.

Keywords: Carey Linde, Divorce for Men, Hawkeye Associates, Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, psychological science, self, Transgender, Transsexual.

An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self: Founder, Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde) & Founder, Hawkeye Associates (Part One)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s begin with some open statements, not on general but, on relevant expertise in these areas. On transgender identities and transsexual identities, what are the relevant areas of expertise or qualification, or professional experience, for each of you?

Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson: I know Carey primarily from newspaper reports, and I admire him for taking an unpopular and public stand while representing a father who argued his daughter should wait until she was 16 before transitioning into a male form. I know none of the actors in this case and therefore I cannot comment as a psychologist on any of their motivations, but the public discussion demonstrated, I think, confusion over terminology and a hardening of positions that sometimes trumped reason. I would like to hear Carey’s views on this.

My own area of expertise within psychology is the self, and I have a book coming out on that subject this fall. Transwomen volunteered to become research participants in two research projects I conducted: one on mapping the self and the other on the stigmatization of men. In one case the subject had a series of bad experiences with males, and ze viewed short hair as a sign of evil. Another subject had a series of bad experiences with women, but both viewed themselves to be part of a third gender separate from men or women so the term “transgender” was not really appropriate in their cases. I have also worked with trans people in my private practice, and I have a personal interest in this area. My cousin and I were raised together as kids and ze transitioned when ze was in his fifties. I think of my cousin as a “her” when remembering her in female form, but as a “him” in his present male form. I suspect this tells you more about me than him, but I suspect I am probably normative on this point.

2. Jacobsen: To define terms scientifically, psychologically, and colloquially, what are transgender identities? What are transsexual identities?

Carey Linde: For a person feeling their gender is different from their sex assigned at birth they can adopt 3 degrees of transitioning:

  1. They can adopt an opposite gender name, assume the clothes and hairstyle and outward manifestations of the opposite sex. Perform and present as if the opposite sex. This is called social transitioning.
  2. After a period of time and psychological if not psychiatric counselling, and a medical determination that the person suffers gender dysphoria, or perhaps not, the person can receive opposite sex hormones. This is called hormonal transitioning.
  3. After further counselling and medical attention, a person can undergo genital reassignment surgery. Women desiring to be men, will have double mastectomies. The term transsexual is currently narrowing to describe this 3rd stage.

Robertson: I am going to disagree with Carey a little here, although I acknowledge he is using politically correct definitions, and probably the definitions that are used in court. The idea that sex is assigned at birth is just silly. Human infants are born with penises or vaginas (some are intersex but they are a vanishingly small percentage). We do not assign the sex, but we notice and name the difference.

There is a stronger argument that we assign gender at birth. The term “gender” was appropriated from the study of grammar in English speaking countries during the 1960s to represent learned roles, behaviours and associations associated with sex: we teach girls to act as girls and boys to act as boys. What we have learned since then is that much of what we thought was learned with respect to personality, behaviours and even interests is innate, and that men’s and women’s brains are different in some ways. An excellent primer on this is Steven Pinker’s classic The Blank Slate.

The fact that we are not “blank slates” does not mean we are all the same. Both women and men exhibit a large spectrum of behaviours with considerable overlap with the result that it is a mistake to overgeneralize and say “this is what men are like” or “this is what women are like.” A problem with the concept of gender; it tends to lead to just that. At one time people who were cross-dressers, or were “masculine” women and “feminine” men still retained their biological sex identification. Now many are considering themselves “transgender” without any intention of changing their sexual characteristics. I read a newspaper account of a biological woman who is having a child and wants to be named as the child’s father. You can see that the concept of gender is actually restricting diversity by suggesting to people who do not adhere to what are now considered gender norms for that sex are not really of that sex, and that gender trumps sex. The term “transsexual” is more objective. A person who has completed hormonal and surgical sex change has now changed their sex, and we can see that this is so.

3. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, what seems like the dominant orientation of the psychological community – across schools of psychological thought – on the question of heritability of general intelligence, personality, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, inasmuch as a consensus exists on these areas of ongoing research?

Robertson: It’s nature and nurture. Twin studies, for example, suggest that intelligence is .80 heritable. Similarly, the “big five” personality traits including extroversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness are not only highly heritable, but are predictive of voting patterns. Sex is 99.7% heritable if we define sex by one’s genitalia. In identical twin studies, 52% of gays whose twin was gay were also gay. Gender is not heritable by definition if we view gender as learned behaviour distinct from sex. Sex linked characteristics are heritable and may vary with individuals. We build our gender identities to accommodate our biology from a menu provided by society. That menu is changing.

4. Jacobsen: To take a historical perspective, what are some of the oldest substantiated cases of transgender and transsexual identities known in the anthropological records?

Linde: Here I have to plead lack of time at this moment to get into detail. There are numerous web sites treating this subject. Historians and even archeologists have and are reporting presumed evidence for trans people through out history, either as individuals or segments of societies. I have just started listening to an Audible book Transgender History by Susan Stryker. It canvases the history from colonial USA to present.

Robertson: Cultures indigenous to North America often had a category of “two-spirited” people who dressed and took on many of the roles of the other sex, but also had special roles assigned to them. The role of male “two-spirited” people among the Cree, for example, was to break up fights and negotiate peaceful behaviours. Here we have the example of people of the male sex, dressing like women, taking on female roles such as making pemmican, but also doing more dangerous work as peace officers. This could be interpreted as a third gender and supports the idea that transsexual people probably existed in Neolithic societies prior to recorded history.

5. Jacobsen: To set a tone for expectations of some interpretations and misinterpretations of the responses, even the questions, for the interview with the two of you, what is the current social and political context (or are the current social and political contexts) for Canadian society now? 

Linde: Again, I feel the need to refer to the extensive existing opinion on this. It depends on who you ask. SJWs thinks the future looks great, despite the continuing struggle to get there. Gender critical feminists (TERFs) see unmitigated disaster. Take your pick.

Having said that, it is a mugs game trying to make any statement about how “regular” citizens of Canada think. Mainstream media bias has kept what little is reported almost exclusively supportive of the SJW warriors. It is my sense that the majority of Canadians, for instance, do not agree with the idea of trans women (men to most) in protected women’s spaces.

Robertson: I think Canada is a tolerant society compared to most in recorded history. We have encouraged people from minority cultures to maintain their cultures and languages, we have enshrined aboriginal rights in our constitution, we have even taken down statues of the founding father of the country because his memory offended some people. These accommodations are rare in human history and have only occurred during the modern era. I think overwhelmingly most Canadians support social justice, but we may have differences on what that means. 

When Carey is talking about social justice warriors, in this context, he must be talking about the activists in the transgender movement who attempt to prevent people whose opinions they abhor from speaking in universities and libraries. But what he misses, I think, is that the gender critical feminists are also social justice warriors. They are directly descended from the radical feminists who were and continue to be almost androphobic in their fear of men as oppressors of women. We are asking these women to share their safe spaces in bathrooms to women’s shelters to people who have penises.

I agree with the transactivists who say this fear is often overblown. Most men define their gender role as protecting women, not oppressing them. Further men who identify as women would be expected to be less likely to assault those that they wish to emulate. Having said that, some men are a threat to women, and the subjective and fluid nature of gender allows such men to declare themselves to be women so as to gain predatory access.

I agree with Carey that most Canadians do not want men or women with penises in protected women’s spaces. I see a coalition forming that would have been unthinkable just ten years ago. The radical feminists and the traditional women represented by organizations such as Real Women agree on this issue. This coalition could spell disaster for some of the people I care about deeply.

6. Jacobsen: How does this social and political context (or do these social and political contexts) impact the conversations on transgender identities and transsexual identities?

Linde: If by “conversations” you mean two or more people in rational polite discourse, there is none, zero, squat. No one is talking to any one of the opposite belief. The gender critical feminists regularly invite participation from the trans warriors. None accept.

A further unknown is to what extent can it be said the ANTIFA led demonstrators who show up to shut down the symposiums of gender critical feminists represent anyone other than themselves?

Robertson: I love my cousin. I watched her battle recurrent major depression for decades and since he transitioned he has been depression-free. He was able to transition, and thousands like him, because we live in a relatively tolerant society with people who see the social justice of it. But in an outright battle between a feminist-traditionalist alliance and the transactivists, I can see many of these gains being lost. I agree with Carey that no one is talking to each other, but we need to begin this dialogue, and soon.

For my contribution to this dialogue, I would like to propose we discard the language of transgenderism. In the first place, the idea of transgender is binary, and this restricts us from considering the possibility that there may be three, four, or even more genders. Second, the idea of gender is subjective. Cross-dressers, female impersonators and people who simply prefer what they see as the normative behaviours of the opposite sex can call themselves transgender. I see nothing wrong with that except gender cannot be allowed to trump sex. In Vancouver, we have seen a transwoman complain to a human rights tribunal that a gynecologist refused to examine zer male genitals. If you believe the precept of genderism that male and femaleness is a matter of cultural preference, you can see the logic of this, except that gynecologists have no training in working on male genitalia. But the structure of transgender ideology is rife with such contradictions.

I prefer the concept of transsexualism. If a person believes that they were born into the wrong body, then it is therapeutic that they change their body. Once a person has transitioned to the body of their preferred sex, then they should have no problem occupying the spaces of that sex. We can negotiate special protections for those in the process of transitioning. What of the people who have no interest in changing their sex? Well, in a tolerant society you can live as a man or a woman in any way you desire as long as you do not pose a threat to others. I think by focussing on transsexualism we can reach compromises in the interests of all sides.

7. Jacobsen: In question 1’s response, Dr. Robertson references a case by you, Mr. Linde. He was impressed by the courageous position taken on a father of a 16-year-old child. He could not comment on it. You could comment on it. What were the details of this case, Mr. Linde? Dr. Robertson, what was the more impressive position taken by Mr. Linde?

Linde: The client had a 14-year-old child identified as female at birth. In grade 7 the school gave the child a male name without telling the father. He found when reading the year book and found a male name under the photo of his child.  I grade 8 the school moved the child along the treadmill leading to a trans pro psychologist and to the Gender Clinic at a local hospital. The clinic advised the parents the child was going to receive puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones. The father objected and the matter ended up in court.

The 2 lower court judgments and the decision on the appeal of those 2 judgments can be seen at

https://divorce-for-men.com/resources/social-justice-identity-politics/vancouver-14-yr-old-trans-gendering/

Robertson: I think I said that the father, in this case, wanted his progeny to wait until ze was 16 to commence her biological sex change, but he lost the case. There are potential arguments on both sides of such cases. On the one hand, adolescence is a time of exploration with respect to sexuality. Given this, the request of the father seems prudent; however, an alternate conclusion could reasonably be reached where the child is suicidal. Unfortunately, there are websites coaching children of 12 or 13, or even younger, on how to appear suicidal so as to convince professionals and courts that a sex change is necessary. Complicating the issue is the fact that post-transition youth also have a higher than average suicide rate. There are psychological reasons why a child might make the determination that they were “born in the wrong body,” and if I understand this case correctly, the father’s fear was once his daughter began to transition into his son through hormonal blockers, the transition would be a fait accompli. We need a societal conversation on these issues, but, to date, the conversation has been rather one-sided with people who question transactivist orthodoxy “deplatformed” or silenced. What I appreciated about Carey’s stand is that he presented an unpopular position on an issue where discussion has been repressed. I do not know what the professional fall-out has been for him, if any, but I imagine the pressure was immense.

8. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, you mentioned the confusion of the public in terminology. What confusions were present in this case? Mr. Linde, what sparked original interest in the aforementioned case? Also, to the two of you, did the case come to a resolution?

Linde: I came aboard on the case because I felt the father had not been treated fairly in the whole mishmash. Also, I objected to the manner in which the court was denying the father freedom of expression.

The appeal court allowed the hormone treatment to remain but broke open speech freedom a little bit. Most importantly it established that misuse of pronouns and name could not be family violence. The court ducked the issue of the best interest of the child stating that was up to the doctors. It strongly implied the doctor had to look at a lot more than merely the child’s felt gender wish.

Robertson: I think the term “transgender” is the source of much of this confusion. The federal legislation giving human rights protection to “gender identity” was ill-thought out and added to the confusion. As we have seen, gender is learned behaviours associated with sex-roles. Identity is how we choose to define ourselves, and that can change over time. But much public policy conflates this with the assumption that gender is somehow innate. For some purposes in the public arena, gender is learned; for others, it is a synonym for sex, and which rule is applied seems arbitrary. This confusion leads to poor decision making.

9. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, how does the psychological science definition of the self link to the issues here on transsexuality and transgenderism?

Linde: Above my pay grade.

Robertson: As I said in response to a previous question, the psychological consensus is that we are a product of both nature and nurture.  In my academic writing, I have argued that the self is a culturally evolved structure that has come to give definition to our species. The very name we give ourselves “homo sapiens” suggests we are rational and volitional. But to exercise these potentialities, we need to have them embedded in our self.

The self is not entirely a cognitivist structure. Years ago Demasio suggested there existed an emotive “feeling of me.” Further research has identified differences between the male and female brain, and such research supports the idea that at least some transsexuals were indeed “born in the wrong body,” with regard to the structure of their brains. We also need to recognize, however, that there are other possible routes to transsexuality. A further complication is that homosexuals also often exhibit this cerebral variation as do some heterosexuals.

In the end, however, we develop a kind of mental map of who we are, and we act as though the self-identifiers in that map are true. I present the self-map of a transwoman in a book that will be published by University of Ottawa Press this fall. Not unsurprisingly, the self-map includes two clusters – male and female. The memes ze placed in the male cluster were all things ze did not like about herself including being bald, mortal, old, depressed and self-defeating as well as being male. The memes in the feminine cluster included being creative, sensual, hopeful, intellectual and a writer. Ze pictured a war going on within this self between masculine and feminine sides; however, this is surely wrong. The male side had no consciousness capable of making war, it was merely the repository of unwanted characteristics. For example, “self-defeating” referred to the subject’s habit of ensuring failure when on the brink of success. Ze said, “no testacles will benefit from my success.” The essential components of our evolved self including volition, uniqueness, productivity and social interest were all on the female side. It was a war like a person is making war on nature when he, she or ze mows the lawn. In keeping with that metaphor, ze had zer testes removed during the course of our interviews.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde). Founder, Hawkeye Associates.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,940

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Matthew Scillitani, member of The Glia Society and The Giga Society, is a web developer and SEO specialist living in North Carolina. He is of Italian and British lineage, and is predominantly English-speaking. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Carolina University, with a focus on neurobiology and a minor in business marketing. He’s previously worked as a research psychologist, data analyst, and writer, publishing over three hundred papers on topics such as nutrition, fitness, psychology, neuroscience, free will, and Greek history. You may contact him via e-mail at mattscil@gmail.com. He discusses: the American Left; status of the Right in America; status of the Left in America; 2020 fault lines between the Left and the Right; strengths and weaknesses of the Trump Administration and President Trump; social media and American values; social media and negative American stereotypes; dirty tactics used by the Left; dirty tactics used by the Right; strengths and weaknesses of the Left and the Right in America; and bridging the gulf between the American Left and Right.

Keywords: America, Giga Society, Glia Society, Left, Matthew Scillitani, politics, Right, Trump.

An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States: Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society (Part Three)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: There exists a left-right polarity in the United States. Its ideals becoming split by demographics, by states, by age, even by sex and gender. When the polarity, like a rubber band, stretches beyond a particular capacity of the public’s tolerance, there can be flare-ups. Let’s talk about politics, you hold no particular bias in political affiliation or too much emotional attachment to political philosophies. This can give a basis for reasoned considerations on the political dynamics of the United States. “Left” and “Right” used as simplifiers for the purposes of Part Three’s interview. What is the status of the Left in America? 

Matthew Scillitani: The Left is not doing too well in the United States right now. This is mostly because of a growing number of extremists in addition to a divide between the media and ordinary party members. These extremists, which are largely made up of young adults, make the most noise and have greater media coverage from both the Right and Left news outlets. Because of their actions much damage is being done to the Left’s public image. This problem is made even worse from the media blurring the line between the beliefs of a few extremists and the moderate Left.

The pendulum will swing back in the Left’s favour soon though. I think Trump will probably win the 2020 election and then we’ll see a Democrat take office in 2024.

2. Jacobsen: What is the status of the Right in America?  

Scillitani: The Right is doing better than the Left in terms of governmental control but ordinary party members aren’t doing too well. This is because the media has convinced leftists that the Right is comprised of racist, sexist, xenophobic bigots. This is largely untrue, and there is probably no more of those people in either party, but the harm this causes the Right is enormous. Many rightists are afraid of revealing their party affiliation out of fear of being called a Nazi or some other such term that would get them fired from their jobs and ostracized from their social groups.

This treatment by the media has made some rightists so resentful that they’ve adopted the same beliefs that the media said they had from the offset.

3. Jacobsen: What are the main fault lines between the Left and the Right in 2020 America?

Scillitani: There are many fault lines between the Left and Right in America today. The main ones being related to immigration, economics, governmental involvement, social order, morality, healthcare, and general human rights. The Right mostly advocates for individualism, nationalism, and capitalism with the Left mostly advocating for collectivism, egalitarianism, and socialism.

4. Jacobsen: With President Trump and the Trump Administration as a whole, what seems like the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership of the former, in particular, and the latter, in general?

Scillitani: Trump’s strengths lie in his assertiveness and business acumen while his weaknesses are social immaturity and inclination for bullying. The former two qualities are good for rightists since Trump and his administration have gotten quite a lot done this current presidential term. The latter two qualities are not so good since it harms America’s image to much of the Western world. Some of the Eastern world seems to view Trump as a cultural icon in spite of those qualities though.

5. Jacobsen: How are social media helping to promote positive American values?

Scillitani: That’s a tricky question to answer because I’m not sure if social media does that. Social media lowers social accountability, which leads to bullying, and lets people with rare and extreme beliefs find others with shared interests and live in a ‘bubble’ with them. I’m convinced that if there were no social media then the divide between the Left and Right would be much narrower and we’d be better off for it.

6. Jacobsen: How are social media promoting negative American stereotypes? 

Scillitani: That it’s so easy to find uneducated, unintelligent, ignorant people with strong opinions and thousands of likes on their posts is not very good. This leads to a lot of young people thinking that these very poor opinions are factual. Many social media outlets are now censoring racist, sexist, or mean-spirited comments, which helps prevent some negative American stereotypes somewhat. However, it’s debatable whether or not it’s a good idea to remove those comments, and it may end up being a bad thing in the end. We will have to wait and see what happens.

7. Jacobsen: What are the dirty tactics used by the Left in political rhetoric and in political campaigns?

Scillitani: Bullying, fear mongering, suppressing certain groups while claiming that voting leftists into office will help the same groups they’re suppressing, and creating imaginary problems that voting leftist politicians into office would solve. Left-wing media and politicians make leftists afraid of rightists and their beliefs, even if it means inventing imaginary problems. One such example being blaming the Right for misogyny, something so incredibly rare in the Western world that all of the protests and riots being done by modern feminists ends up being both unnecessary and harmful.

The Left also convinces minorities that they need the government to take care of them and that the Right couldn’t care less about their welfare. This is untrue and, ironically, betrays that the leftist politicians and media are the abusers to these groups.

8. Jacobsen: What are the dirty tactics used by the Right in political rhetoric and in political campaigns? 

Scillitani: Also bullying, fear mongering, and creating imaginary problems that voting rightist politicians into office would solve. The bullying is of the same variety that the Left uses, which is mostly name-calling and shaming opposing party members. The Right’s flavor of fear mongering isn’t from fear of progression but from fear of cultural collapse. Rightists think that mass immigration, socialism, and egalitarianism in general would cause America’s culture to change for the worse. It’s unfortunate that those things would, in fact, cause major changes to American culture, and not in the direction they would prefer.

Some imaginary problems that right-wing politicians use to scare the Right into voting for them are usually related to socialism. Things like, ‘if we adopt a socialist economic system then nobody will want to work demanding jobs’ or ‘everybody is poor under socialism’. These claims aren’t true, and it seems that rightist politicians purposefully confound socialism with communism in order to demonize that economic system.

9. Jacobsen: What are the strengths and weaknesses and the Left and the Right, respectively, in America?

Scillitani: The Left’s biggest strengths lie in their collectivism and desire to help others. The latter strength also doubles as a weakness since having too much empathy makes it easy for the media and politicians to convince them to do unethical things under the guise that to do otherwise would cause harm to some other group. The Right’s biggest strengths lie in their assertiveness and desire for self-improvement. Their biggest weakness is being too individualistic and therefore losing any sense of community and ‘strength in numbers’ that the Left has.

10. Jacobsen: What may bridge some of the political divides in the United States for a healthier public discourse?

Scillitani: Probably staying off of social media and turning the news off from time to time, chatting with people who have different opinions, and reading some history books.

Appendix I: Footnotes

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

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/. Image Credit: Matthew Scillitani.

*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.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Left-Right Polarity and Extremity in the United States (Part Three) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-three.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 22, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,021

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Tor Arne Jørgensen is a member of 50+ high IQ societies, including World Genius Directory, NOUS High IQ Society, 6N High IQ Society just to name a few. He has several IQ scores above 160+ sd15 among high range tests like Gift/Gene Verbal, Gift/Gene Numerical of Iakovos Koukas and Lexiq of Soulios. His further interests are related to intelligence, creativity, education developing regarding gifted students, and his love for history in general, mainly around the time period of the 19th century to the 20th century. Tor Arne works as a teacher at high school level with subjects as; History, Religion, and Social Studies. He discusses: family background; facets of the larger self; prescient moments in early formation; guardians and mentors of import; significant books and authors to him; pivotal educational moments; postsecondary education; HRT scores; participating in a like ability community; and main areas of intellectual interest.

Keywords: Arbeider parties, E.H. Carr, HRT, Mark Mazower, Peter Singer, Tor Arne Jørgensen, Winston Churchill, WWII.

An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is family background or lineage, e.g., surname(s) etymology (etymologies), geography, culture, language, religion/non-religion, political suasion, social outlook, scientific training, and the like?

Tor Arne Jørgensen: As my family background goes, my parents are from a small town further south from where I live today, called Lillesand a town in the south of Norway, my own hometown is called Grimstad. These small towns are very busy during the summer months, but very quiet during the winter months. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and was very caring. My father was active during WWII, and was awarded several medals for his bravery during the last part of the pacific war where he shot down two kamikaze pilots. As education goes, they were not highly educated, just primary school education. As religion goes none of my family is especially religious, even though we come from the so-called “bible belt” in the south of Norway. To the question of politics, then yes I was active in my younger days within AUF, the youth party of the Norwegian workers’ party (Arbeider partiet) short for Ap. I am no longer as active as I use to be, but I am still politically updated for my own personal interest and the fact that I teach within the fields of history and social studies at the high school level. In general, I keep myself very busy with first and foremost regards to my family, then my studies, work, and fitness, intelligence and more. The future endeavours for me are to finish my education and keep moving forward within the social structures of high intelligence. Also with the intent to further educate people about giftedness, and to address equality for all pupils and students alike of both sides of the intelligence scale.

2. Jacobsen: With all these facets of the larger self, how did these become the familial ecosystem to form identity and a sense of a self extended through time?    

Jørgensen: As forming my self extended, I found that serving the people around me to be an intent in the degree of the further foundation for a greater purpose in life. My childhood has shaped me to focus about what does now matter most for me in regards to helping others in achieving their goals in their lives. As to identity of self-awareness, I had a tough childhood that forced me into making adult decisions at an early age regards to the choices that I had to make for myself and that have guided me ever since.

3. Jacobsen: Of those aforementioned influences, what ones seem the most prescient for early formation?  

Jørgensen: The ability to see past my own boundaries, thus shaping the surrounding elements in early childhood. This has always been and still is my foremost ability as the ground of early formation regards to past, present, and future.

4. Jacobsen: What adults, mentors, or guardians became, in hindsight, the most influential on you?  

Jørgensen: The role models in my life are not many, I like to look at myself as my own role model. I set the standards very high for myself and have always done so. The people around me have that, in some way looked to me for guidance. But there is one person I will bring forward and this person is Winston Churchill, the reason for this is his efforts in bringing about the perceptions about mental determination in regards to the war efforts during WWII. He has by that fact set the standard for the mental mindset to be followed by others myself included.

5. Jacobsen: As a young reader, in childhood and adolescence, what authors and books were significant, meaningful, to worldview formation? 

Jørgensen: Books that have been a big influence in my life is mostly based on facts, I was never a big lover of books about fiction but rather books about facts caught my attention. I started reading at an early age on my own around age 7 and upwards, but I never had a fixed focus I just read everything I could get my hands on at that time. I now read books like; Mark Mazower – Governing The World: The history of an idea, E.H. Carr – The Twenty Years Crises 1919 – 1939, Peter Singer – Practical Ethics, just to name a few. I now would like to dive into world politics, global history, educational systems in a national/global sense, and the world beyond!

6. Jacobsen: What were pivotal educational – as in, in school or autodidacticism – moments from childhood to young adulthood?  

Jørgensen: As to education, the most important learning factor was my intuitive mindset with regards to self-awareness.  What does this entail, well my primary school was fine as normal learning curve goes, but what when the school can not provide beyond that fact. Then the self-education comes into play, people with high intelligence can in many ways tap into this self-learning ability in order to compensate for the lack of skills within external learning environments, such as the ordinary school system. This has in many ways been my lifeline as education goes.

7. Jacobsen: For formal postsecondary education, what were the areas of deepest interest? What were some with a passion but not pursued? Why not pursue them?

Jørgensen: As postsecondary education goes, my interest in history and the time period around the founding of our country in 1814, and the start of democracy, has for me been the biggest interest within this particular field. I have since taken a bachelor’s degree in history involved; 1814 and the start of our constitution. I will pursue a master’s degree later on, also directed toward the same topic sometime in the future. As passions not pursued further, I would like to have pursued educational language in a much bigger sense, to be able to learn more about languages has always been of interest, but not followed through educational wise. Why not now then, lack of time, just that lack of time. 

8. Jacobsen: What have been some of the intelligence tests taken and the scores earned over time – with standard deviations too, please?

Jørgensen: I have taken many HR-tests; the test scores vary from low 140+ sd15 up to high 172 sd15. I did many mistakes in my past with regards to early tests as I scored low by the fact of rushing these tests and thus hurting my end score. I have found out later I need to take my time and not stress myself with quick response to the tests themselves. I am a deep analyst. Also, I feel I have not peeked yet, I know in time I will score 175+. Here is some of the test I have tried out so far; Asterix of Jason Betts-153 sd15, World IQ Challenge of Brennan Martin-140 sd15, Gift verbal 1-4 of Iakovos Koukas average score around 164+ sd15, and Lexiq of Soulios 172 sd15. 

9. Jacobsen: What has been the participation in the high-IQ community for you?

Jørgensen: Get to meet new people that share the same interest as me, and to be able to compete against some of the most brilliant minds in the world to solve HR-tests, also to be able to discuss topics such as education, art, science, math and more…

10. Jacobsen: What are the main areas of intellectual and reading interest for you?  

Jørgensen: I will address this last question in the manner of intellectual interest and right of equal education for all.

Last year (2019) I was awarded the WGD – Genius Of The Year – Europe, (GOTY). As an ambassador for the high IQ community, it was a great honour for me to receive this prestigious award. With it, I got to address the Norwegian media about the high IQ community, and I also spoke about the need for equal education for both the gifted pupils as the non-gifted pupils in regards to Norwegian schools and their educational quality thereof. This is for me now the main focus as to my further endeavours, with it I hope to bring about the attention as to what can be done to make sure that the gifted pupils can maximize their true intellectual potential at primary school level and beyond.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Child and Youth Worker.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*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.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Tor Arne Jørgensen on Background, Identity, Mentors, Education, and Interests (Part One) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jørgensen-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 22, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,168

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Dr. Giuseppe Corrente is a Computer Science teacher at Torino University. He earned a Ph.D. in Science and High Technology – Computer Science in 2013 at Torino University. He has contributed to the World Intelligence Network’s publication Phenomenon. He discusses: interest in giftedness and the developmental trajectory of the gifted child compared to the non-gifted child; traumatic upbringing as an influence on the personal perspective of the needs of the gifted; recognized levels and labels of gifted children; differential needs of gifted children of different levels; 

Keywords: exceptionally gifted, giftedness, Giuseppe Corrente, highly gifted, profoundly gifted.

An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Thank you for the Part One to provide an insight into the developments of the personal story.  As you have an interest in gifted education, how does the developmental trajectory of a gifted child differ from a non-gifted child?

Dr. Giuseppe Corrente: This is not my field properly, but from a couple of years, being a teacher and a temporary university professor, I have an interest in all education theories. In particular, I have since 2017 been a member of a High IQ Society, and since that time I understand better, also rewinding my personal history from this point of view, that high IQ people need particular attention in a psychological and educational way. One commonplace is that if one is clever than others he is stronger, this is not true! He has some stronger points but he also may present some critical points. Indeed, the interaction between him and the surrounding environment can cause different contrasts and misunderstandings to both.

2. Jacobsen: How does the traumatic upbringing, for you, influence the personal perspective on the needs of the gifted?

Corrente: My personal history is full of psychological violence in the family and in the company, above all the first company for which I worked. The situation, in that case, was not clear because the fact that I was contrasted it was because the education style of my father was excessively strong and people around him did not know the real reason for that. There were two main reasons; first of all, as recently proved, he was not my natural father; secondary he was invidious of my intelligence. Some people thought that he was not confident about me for something about me of wrong; and so, this abstract supposition originated also as an environmental and job mobbing.

However very clever people very often have problems like this; not ever in the same manner, or not ever for the same reasons, or not with the same path, but there are different possibilities that a high IQ person can empower some contrast or difficulty already existent, without awareness of the whole situation.

3. Jacobsen: What are the recognized labels and levels (with standard deviations and IQ scores) for gifted children? 

Corrente: The good tests for measuring high IQ do not give only a final index, IQ, but also different components, for example verbal, numeric, spatial, etc.  It is also the difference between a component and another and not only the total IQ, that can give an idea of if this can be also heavy and not only a vantage.

One of the most recognized high IQ tests for gifted educational purpose is WISC IV, as I have said before, it takes into account the different components of intelligence, for example: full-scale IQ (it is the final total result), verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

I think a good classification may be: 125-129 superior intelligence, 130-144 gifted, 145-159 highly gifted, 160-174 exceptionally gifted, more than 175 profoundly gifted; all in standard deviation 15.

Take into account that while 1 over about 100 persons is gifted, only 1 over about 25,000 is exceptionally gifted, and almost none is profoundly gifted.

4. Jacobsen: What are the differential needs of children at each level? 

Corrente: For superior intelligent and gifted, I think it is possible using few special didactic methods in the class if it is not too numerous, without the need of special classes for gifted; for example, using cooperative learning stimulating socialization but also giving the gifted more difficult objectives and encouraging him to expose his results to others.

For exceptionally and profoundly gifted the question is fully different in my opinion, and would be necessary special classes for them, or simply to admit that a great part of them has no need for schools.

Anyway, it is very important to note that one gifted over three is an underachiever, so the study of gifted education is very useful both for the whole society.

A gifted, comprising highly, exceptional, and profound gifted, has a high probability to become an underachiever if the components of is IQ differ sensibly each other.

I think that for a lot of them it is very important also correct psychological support.

In my experience, it is very difficult to find psychologists specialized in this. If one gifted has also contrasts of different nature, above all some years ago but also now, it is very probable that the psychologist makes many errors if does not understand he is a high IQ person and how this fact interacts with others.

5. Jacobsen: What are the true signs and true proxies of the different labels of gifted children? 

Corrente: For gifted children, I do not know, for gifted in general I suppose is as follows.

For a superior intelligent person, he can learn faster than the mean person and this gives him a vantage among others in almost all careers, and also other life affairs. When if he becomes aware of this he will be ambitious or not, second of his character.

For a gifted and highly gifted, it is almost the same as gifted, but if he is a particular passion for a matter, and he has the possibility to dedicate himself to it, he can become a genius in that discipline. Moreover, he does not see the things as absolute or in a dogmatic way, but he thinks critically and he notes before than others if something is wrong above all in the matter subjects of his competence but also in other or more general questions. His critical way of thinking may give him some problems or not depending on the context and society in which he lives, above all if he does not manage his intuitions and criticism well. This interval is simple for me to analyze because it is the mine. Maybe, he is not a genius, but only a very skilled professional. He also can switch from his competence domain to others and become skilled in more disciplines without many difficulties. If in their childhood they have some integration contrast they will become easily underachiever, so it is possible also that his great potential remains unused.

For exceptionally or profoundly gifted we are speaking of persons so much different from mean people that is not correct to do generalizations; in my opinion, we can only study their way of reasoning individually. We are thinking of persons with a unique way of thinking.

6. Jacobsen: Who are some examples of the most gifted young people in the 19th through the early 21st centuries? Some mention John Stuart Mill in centuries past as a forced into extraordinary giftedness child.

Corrente: As already said for extremely gifted people we cannot trace in my opinion easily common traits. Someone of them has a very stable character and someone other has serious psychological or also legal problems.

A very clear example of this fact are two very different as characters, chess world champions: Kasparov and Fisher. Both were profoundly gifted. However, the first is a very squared man, and in spite of his political contestation against Russia’s Putin, can be considered a very equilibrated and successful man. In my opinion, he cannot suffer some things that are wrong in his social context, but he manages his ideas and his contrasts in a very high awareness and mature way. Fisher instead was a semi-asocial person that had a great passion for chess that dominated all his life. Perhaps he was Asperger, surely he had some features of this mental illness, not unusual for gifted or profoundly gifted. He had a lot of contrast with USA government and probably not for important questions, if he had a better character, or, as I suppose, if he would have managed better his criticism, or second someone his paranoid suspicious and suppositions, surely he spent a better life.

If I rethink the question they lived in periods successive to Stuart Mill, anyway thinking to his times I want to cite Gauss and Galois, more near to my interests than Mill. All they were almost surely profoundly gifted. Gauss was the most affirmed and brilliant math genius of his time, well balanced in his life. Galois was not famous, but he was very brilliant, he developed all alone a fully new math branch that also today is the base of many important math theories. All this in a few years because of his premature death. As Gauss was balanced, he was a strongly political revolutionary and at same time was a very deeply women lover. He was killed in a duel for this reason.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Ph.D. (2013), Science and High Technology – Computer Science, Torino University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*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.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Giuseppe Corrente on Interest in Gifted Children and Gifted Education, and the Needs of the Gifted, Highly Gifted, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted (Part Two) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/corrente-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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