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In Conversation with Barbara Kay (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 17.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Thirteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,945

ISSN 2369-6885

In Conversation with Barbara Kay

Abstract

An interview with Barbara Kay. She discusses: the things the conservatives are doing right and wrong, and the things the liberals are doing right and wrong; the mono-lensing on issues; honor codes and hookup culture; Dr. Leonard Sax, Jerry Seinfeld, homosexual men and women, and hypermasculinity and hyperfemininity; inheriting Canadian democracy, the trajectory of the country.

Keywords: Barbara Kay, columnist, conservative, homosexual, honor, Jerry Seinfeld, journalist, Leonard Sax, liberal, multiculturalism.

In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two)[1],[2],[3],[4]

1. Jacobsen: What do you see the conservative side of the political aisle in Canada doing wrong and right? What do you see the liberal side of the political aisle in Canada doing wrong and right?

Kay: Gee, that is a big question. The conservatives, they have a problem. They have support from two very distinct groups. One group, the social conservatives, would really like to see them take their concerns very seriously.

They cannot afford to take them too seriously because they do not constitute a critical mass as they do in the United States. They have to be cautious in how they tread on those issues. The other conservatives that they serve are other people more interested in fiscal responsibility, smaller government, beef up the military, reduce immigration or be more selective on immigration, all these concerns.

They do not care that much about the social conservative side. It is two distinct groups. The media and the general tenor of our nation are very liberal right now. It is very hard to beat against that current without looking like you are either racist or homophobic. All these mantras that bled out of the universities into our general culture.

They are very much present. There is a knee-jerk reaction to any conservative leader who says that they are going to be effective or change policy. I think for a leader like Andrew Scheer who is not charismatic and who is not really pushing policies that appeal emotionally to people.

If I were him, I would focus hard on making life better for veterans and the military. I would concentrate on beefing up Canadian cultural institutions. That you know everybody loves. I would talk about strengthening the family. I would not focus on taking sex ed. out of the schools or anything like that. I would say, “Families need to be stronger. Whatever is going to be good for families, I will be there. I think children need both parents more than the state. I want to make sure the parents who want to stay home with their kids, mothers who want to stay home with their kids, are going to be able to do that.”

Then, of course, everybody, especially liberals, would say, “Oh! That is so old-fashioned.” But ordinary people would say, “I like that.” So, they are not tapping into the middle. The Evangelical Christians, for instance, who do not like what they are seeing with the progressive agenda and having gender equality in everything.

Every board of directors having gender equality. They do not like the forced agenda. Trudeau’s knee-jerk instinct to reject anyone in the liberal caucus who does not believe in abortion on demand. They do not like that. But they get away with it because there is no pushback from the conservatives.

What are the liberals doing right? It depends. If you mean, what are the liberals doing right for themselves? [Laughing] Trudeau is going out and meeting the people and talking about Aboriginal rights, going to smudge ceremonies, getting all emotional about how we have to make things right, where we are guilty of this or guilty of that. People seem to like that.

It makes him seem like a compassionate person. People seem to like it. They seem to give him a lot of scope in spite of all the faux pas and the shallowness. His failure to understand what true evil is. He doesn’t understand about Iran. He doesn’t understand about ISIS. He doesn’t understand history.

He doesn’t understand the difference between evil empires and our own. He doesn’t seem to care about preserving or saving or helping Western civilization to survive as a civilization, but he is getting a free ride for some reason because the media still like him – or like him enough. I guess, they dislike conservatism far more.

It is far more important to oppose conservatism, so they cut him slack to a certain extent. He is still appealing to people. I guess, I am not the best political commentator. I do not understand it so much – how it is that our quiet majority does not seem to mind him. Unless, it affects them personally.

They accept that this is the way it is. I think we have a fairly passive population on the whole. So, [Sighing] I guess he is going to be re-elected. We do not have a strong conservative party right now. I am not being coherent here. This is not my strong suit.

2. Jacobsen: If I think about some of the statements that you have made over the last 60 of the total 85 minutes, so far, of the conversation, the things mentioned as pathologies.

Problems in public discourse amount to mono-lenses on individual citizens and, subsequently, groups. So, if someone focuses only on their sexuality as per that show Transparent, you have an individual focus, a laser scope focus, on one thing: sexuality and gender identity.

It begins to look bad in the sense that it lacks balance. Aristotle talked about this a long time ago with the virtues. Akin to “norms,” it is a boo word. You can’t use that term. But it bears repeating, I think. Also, with respect to some of the political discourse, people will identify as the Conservative Party of Canada or the Liberal Party of Canada, and so on.

If you talk to people individually, in my experience, you bring mid-sized issue after mid-sized issue. You talk to them. You ask them questions about them. You probe. I find people are a mix of these things.

But the slack someone might get, such as Justin Trudeau being our first legacy prime minister as George Bush Jr. was in the United States, he will be able to get away with a few more things in the public.

Also, the young are probably a big voting base for him. So, they tend to lean more to the liberal side with him. So, not only with the trans issues or the focus on political identities, or on sexuality – reiterating some of the discussion points so far, I note a single focus as a problem. People are more complicated than these things.

However, I do not know why there is a narrowing of focus. It might relate to that Twitter picture. That highlighted the self-segregation of people. It also relates to a large problem talked about before with the mosaic of Canada.

People will self-segregate. I think Aristotle’s ethics are relevant here because he talked about moderation as an important part of virtue. If we take any of the Canadian democratic values, which amount to somewhat international values and somewhat not, you have one value.

You have another value. They rub up against one another. You find that balance point that the general population, democratically, votes for. So, it seems like a large cognitive problem, in how people think about things.

I do not know why that is; that mono-lens on so many levels of analysis. That I am reflecting on what we have talked about so far.

Kay: I agree with you. If you talk to people as individuals, they will have one persona agree with the liberals on this and the conservatives on that. People are not monolithic at all. But they are – I used the word – “passive” before. I think that is the right word. People are so afraid of offending. We have taken in this idea by osmosis. That to be offensive is a kind of social crime.

So, people often say to me. “You are courageous because you say things that anger people.” I say, “I do not call that courage. Courage is when you say things that may end up with a knock at 2:30am in the morning where the secret police show up. That would be courage.”

My “courage” is that I don’t care if someone tweets, “Oh, that old bag Barbara Kay is at it again. With her stupid…” I do not care about that. It does not take courage to expose yourself to people on Twitter who hate you. I am not getting rocks through my window.

They think it courageous because I have discovered that many people, maybe most people, are very agitated by the thought of somebody calling them out publicly as “you’re a disgrace” or “you’re wrong” or “what you have said is hateful” or anything like that.

The thought of being publicly denounced. As they say, there is a greater fear of public speaking than of death. I read about that many years ago. I have no fear of public speaking, so I do not understand that at all. But I do understand because I was forced to understand that so many people will sit on their hands and be quiet rather than voice a sentiment that may bring them criticism or public censure.

They do not want to be unacceptable. They want to be accepted. We are very social people. It is considered courageous to speak against the general consensus. Oops – that is a tautology.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: Our consensus now, the political consensus now, is, for example, if I were to say, “The residential schools are not the reason why Native people are having such a tough time. That is a contributing factor, perhaps. But it is by no means the most important reason.”

If I said that publicly – I am saying it to you, which is sort of public, if I said it on CBC, well, I did get fired from a radio show for saying something like that on a blog or in an interview with a non-mainstream program.

I did get fired from a radio show. It was fun. It was called Because News. It was a trivia news program. I used to be on a panel every few weeks. I was fired because I said something about Indigenous people which was considered politically incorrect enough to have me fired from the show.

I did not say anything that wasn’t arguably true or not at least up for discussion. But I didn’t need that job. I can see how terrified people can be that work in industries or in the entertainment industry. If you can lose your job by saying something that is reasonable but not allowed to be discussed, that is a, first of all, sad commentary on our society today.

But I think most people in one way or another, even if they are not public figures, have taken it in. They know what they are allowed to say and not allowed to say. They have taken it in. Because they are afraid someone will publicly say, “You are hateful.” They cannot bear to be singled out like that.

They won’t do it. Whether they fear losing their job or their status, or that someone will not like them anymore, whatever it is, it is hard for people to overcome that natural herd mentality.  I do not mean they are stupid. I mean people want the comfort of being accepted and to being members of good standing of their circle.

It is interesting. You read a book in life and it changes your concept of how you read the world. One of the best books that I ever read was Honor: A History by James Bowman. I was trying to research honor-shame societies.

Speaking of multiculturalism, we have people who come to us from areas, not just countries but whole entire areas governed by cultures of honor and shame. I do not think most people understand what an incredible difference growing up in that culture means.

To come here, where we have gotten rid of the idea of honor, which we no longer subscribe to. We used to. It was a different definition of honor. I wanted to understand, “What does honor mean to people when they talk about an honor killing? Why would someone kill another person over honor?”

In James Bowman’s book, he defined honor as the good opinion of those who are important to you.

Jacobsen: I like that.

Kay: Very simply, the good opinion of those who are important to you. People would say, “We should not call them honor killings. We should call them DIShonor killings.” I say, “No, you are confusing honor with morality.”

That is where we do not understand where people are coming from when they come from these societies. To us, we try to do what is moral and we say, “To punish your daughter because she wouldn’t wear the hijab, that is not moral, but it may have very much to do with your family’s honor.”

For example, the mafia have codes of honor that have nothing to do with morality. But soldiers also have a strong sense of honor and it does have to do with morality. When the marines, for example, say, “No marine left behind.”

They will put themselves at risk to save a dying brother, a dying marine. If they left a dying soldier, a dying marine, behind, they would feel ashamed, because it is part of their code. I sometimes think to myself, “To have an extreme code of honor and shame, that is no good. You do not want to be killing girls because they wear the hijab.”

Aqsa Parvez was killed because she refused to abide by her family’s traditional gender roles. She wanted to be free. She wanted to act like a Canadian teenager. She got killed. Her father and brother who went to jail for the rest of her lives over it.  They said, ‘We had to kill her. Our family’s honor was at stake.’

James Bowman also said Male honor and female honor are two different things. Male honor is always concerned with physical courage or courage. Female honor is always concerned with sexuality.

He said this is true instinctively. It has nothing to do with culture. Everybody has a built-in sense of honor and shame, but it can be bred out of a society. Our society, and I think this is one of the problems with our society, is that in realizing that our sense of honor had taken us too far, we got rid of honor altogether, not such a good thing.

Our sense of honor died after the First World War. That was a war entered into for honor’s sake, to honor the promises that were made. Millions of men died for nothing in the First World War, for nothing.

England didn’t need to go into that war.

Jacobsen: For honor.

Kay: They felt as though they had died for nothing. Our Western civilization turned against honor as a motivating force in public life. It still lives on in the military because militaries have to have a code of honor or they can’t function.

Who would go into the military if not for a sense of honor to serve the nation, you have to have a sense of honor. But apart from the military, our society has no sense of honor as a personal obligation. It is one thing to have too much honor, but to have no sense of honor at all is not good for a culture.

I think we should have some sense of the dignity that comes with that sense of “I have boundaries. I will do this. I will not do this.” It is a question of honor. We do not have that anymore. This is actually too big a discussion [Laughing] for this, but you wanted to know what was on my mind and what I think about when I think about society.

When I critique society, this, for me, is the fact that women have decided that they did not want to have anything to do with the normal, traditional, sense of female honor. It has been not good for our society at all.

It has not been good for male-female relations because women want men to still have a sense of honor, but they do not want to be told that they also have to have a sense of honor. So, we have this sense of men needing to be a gentleman, but women don’t need to be ladies.

The idea of the gentleman is the English idea of honor. It is chivalry. Chivalry was the western concept of honor. Bowman says honor in the Western sense was Christianity allied with honor that produced the chivalric code.

I admire your patience.

Jacobsen: It is an honorable thing.

Kay: [Laughing].

3. Jacobsen: When it comes to honor codes, this does seem reflected in some of the survey evidence based on, for instance, campus life. If you look at the satisfaction rates of men involved in “hookup culture” and women involved in “hookup culture,” the attitudes about it, especially after the experience, do not match up.

Kay: That’s right. That’s right.

Jacobsen: Men seem more okay with it than women.

Kay: They are. This is interesting. It goes back to the idea of honor. James Bowman, in his book, says, If you say to a man, ‘You’re sexually promiscuous. You’re a Lothario…’

Jacobsen: …[Laughing]…

Kay: …The man will just laugh because he won’t take that as an insult. But if you say to a man, ‘You’re a coward,’ he will take that as a terrible insult. If you touch on a guy’s courage, if you say, ‘You’re a coward,’ every guy will be upset by that.

If you say to a woman, to me for example, ‘You’re a coward, I will say, ‘You’re darn right. I am afraid of this. I am afraid of that.’ But if you say to a woman, ‘You are a slut,’ they will bristle. This is innate. A woman’s sexual selectivity is something that is sexual modesty.

I always felt sexual modesty was something innate in girls. If you left them alone, and if you do not tell them that they had to be anything, they are naturally protective of themselves, their bodies; it is not natural for them to just throw themselves out there, if you know what I mean.

To be selective, and to want to have their sexuality aligned with a feeling of intimacy and of being protected, because women are naturally at risk if they can’t trust, that’s what they want; but now, we have a hookup culture in which trust is not something that women are asking for, and they suffer for it.

Men are, yes, of course, satisfied with sex with no strings attached and plenty of it. They are satisfied with it. Women, at heart, want sex to have strings, emotional strings attached. I think they do. They smother their emotional instincts in order to participate in hookup culture.

All of the evidence shows they are not happy with hookup culture.

4. Jacobsen: I have two statistics from Dr. Leonard Sax. To the two statistics from Dr. Leonard Sax, I didn’t know this. But he notes homosexual men are, in a way, hypermasculine. Homosexual women are, in a way, hyperfeminine.

In other words, the men focus more on the variety and the quantity of the sexual experience. The homosexual women focus more on the relationship, the emotional connection, to that.

Kay: You know the joke about gay men and lesbian women. Question: What does a gay man bring on his second date? The answer: What second date? [Laughing]…

Jacobsen: …[Laughing]…

Kay: …What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] There you go.

Kay: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: There was a joke you reminded me when you talked about death and public speaking, which was from Jerry Seinfeld’s special, I Am Telling You For The Last Time. He said, “Basically, with being afraid of public speaking more than death with death as number two, that means people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

Kay: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: There are some men who are like the U-Haul example. George Carlin, after he died, his partner at the time. They never married, his second “spouse,” but he would propose every week. This is supposedly hyper-countercultural guy. Okay?

Kay: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: He proposed every week at a random point. He would write love notes to her. Things like this. The woman was named Sally Wade. The name of the book was The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade.

Kay: Awwwww.

Jacobsen: She said that she just wanted a one-night stand. Then she pauses, “At least that’s what I tell people.” She ‘thought’ it was supposed to be a one-night stand, but he showed up the next day with a pair of socks and a toaster [Laughing].

Kay: [Laughing] Very cute.

5. Jacobsen: So, up to now, we have covered family background, personal background, a variety of topics within the more or less North American landscape with one mention of professor Chomsky’s critique of postmodernism coming out of the “center of the rot” of postmodernism with France, but within this context I liked the note that you brought very early on in the conversation.

For most civilizations for most of history, the state was allied with an ethnic group. In other words, these were tribal. They were ethno-states in a lot of ways. With your critique of multiculturalism from one angle, what seems like the trajectory of the country?

Who will inherit Canadian democracy when we do not have a unified ethnic identity? In terms of values, people want to keep all of their values while not fully integrating, even if they are born into this country now.

Kay: I think people are tribal. Certainly, in places where you do not have a very reliable or trustworthy legal system, tribalism does come to the fore because people want to protect those nearest to them. The circles become bigger and bigger as you have proxies. The legal system is a proxy for settling disputes with other people.

I can relax. I do not have to feel tribal. If my neighbor harms me in some way, I will take them to court. But if we did not have courts that were honest or relatively honest, then I would have to surround myself with family.

Then we would have to make sure that we protect our own family. Most people are tribal. Like in Europe, who will inherit the country? It will be the people with the strongest investment in themselves and sense of themselves and are prepared to fight to impose their sense of how life should be and how society should be.

The ones who are willing to invest in themselves the most seriously in imposing their values on that society. If a society is strong in its values and pushes back against other groups that are trying to change it and say, “This is the way we are. This is the way it used to be here.”

As I said earlier in the discussion, my family came to this country with a culture and adapted. Others have a culture informed by their religion. They not only are maintaining that sense of themselves in their own enclaves, but some are saying, “We want the whole society to be like this. It would be more convenient for us if we didn’t have to go to your schools and learn what you want to teach us. We want to learn what we want to learn. It would be convenient for us if we didn’t have to watch half-naked women walking around the beaches. We are going to put our best efforts into making sure this happens. Because this is what we do. This is our ethos.”

Then you have an acquiescent and appeasing society that doesn’t quite know what to do with this attitude. They think this is another culture and “we have to appease and give into this.” This is what is happening in Europe.

A lot of people are saying this is alarmist talk.

I do not think this is alarmist talk. I think a bunch of societies in Europe are on the brink of civil war or of complete submission to a new way of life, where other value systems are given equal standing with the society that was once recognizably European. We used to know what we meant when we said, “European.”

What I used to think of European may not be European for much longer, certain parts of Europe it already isn’t. Sweden, it is very committed to multicultural policies. They are slowly submerged. There is only so much salt you can put into the water before it becomes something else.

I do worry a great deal about what is happening in Europe. I wonder if it is a prelude to what will happen here. We have very different histories and very different ways of immigration. I realize that. I am not saying that it is an exact parallel.

I do believe we are watching something happen in Europe that is rather cataclysmic and irreversible at this point. So, that is a great worry to me. I think to many Canadians it is as well. I know. It is certainly not a worry to our prime minister who takes a very sunny view” the more immigration the better and what could possibly go wrong since we all know that all cultures are exactly the same.

Jacobsen: It amounts to a lack of Theory of Mind about cultures in a way. It is the assumption that everyone thinks the same.  

Kay: Yes, again, it is this sense of narcissism. That what I grow up in is the norm. it is a failure to look at history and other cultures in a deeper sense. Politics is downstream from culture. I believe that is Andrew Breitbart. I do believe that. Not all cultures think the same; not all cultures are as good at creating societies in which the individual is the most important unit and has freedoms. Not all cultures think freedom of expression is a good idea. Not all cultures think freedom of association or equality of the sexes is a good idea.

It seems that I am stating the obvious. Yet, our government acts as though all cultures absolutely have the same values and, maybe, they have a few quirks. They eat different food or have somewhat different traditions, and rituals. It is all very trivial, these differences, they think.

That is the sort of understanding on which our prime minister bases his policies and outlook on life. I think he is living in la-la land. But in fact, since he heads up the government, this is the direction in which his government is directed to move.

That is the basic assumption in all of society. There is very little pushback to that.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Columnist and Journalist, National Post.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 15, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] B.A., University of Toronto; M.A., McGill University.

[4] Image Credit: Barbara Kay.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two) [Online].May 2018; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, May 15). In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A, May. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A (May 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 17.A (2018):May. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part Two) [Internet]. (2018, May; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay-two.

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In Conversation with Barbara Kay (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 17.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Thirteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 8, 2018

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 8,921

ISSN 2369-6885

In Conversation with Barbara Kay

Abstract

An interview with Barbara Kay. She discusses: her origin story; later Hebrew studies; cultural trends, and Jewish upbringing and culture; raising children; Canada, identity politics, and multiculturalism; pitting one group against another by accident; integration; Academia and its problems; policy, evidence, and rapidity of change; narcissism, culture, and identity; the “Hollywood pathology”; Monty Python and Noam Chomsky; moral grandstanding; sexual misconduct and being upright compared to being kept upright; information siloes; and social media.

Keywords: Academia, Barbara Kay, columnist, Hollywood, Jewish, journalist, Judaism, multiculturalism, Noam Chomsky, sexual misconduct.

In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One)[1],[2],[3],[4]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let us start at the beginning like a superhero origin story.

Barbara Kay: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: What was family upbringing and background, e.g. geography, culture, language, religion, or lack thereof?

Kay: I grew up in Toronto. My father was a first generation Canadian from an immigrant Polish family. He was born here, but some of his older brothers and sisters were not. He grew up very poor. He established himself as a young man as dynamic and entrepreneurial. He was a salesman and had his own factory.

By the time I grew up, we were living in upper-middle class, very fortunate surroundings in Forest Hill village, which is known as a [Laughing] very privileged enclave. That is where I grew up. I am Jewish. I grew up surrounded by my cultural and religious peers in that enclave. I went through the Forest Hill Public School System.

It was unusual in Toronto. In that, the school had a mostly Jewish population. People like myself: middle-class Jewish kids. Although Forest Hill, itself was not particularly Jewish as a neighbourhood. It was just that most of the non-Jewish kids went to the private schools.

We had the public-school systems [Laughing] to ourselves. It was a terrific environment to grow up in because we were all the children of striving, upwardly mobile parents who had a very strong work and self-improvement ethic.

We were well-disciplined children. We had very good teachers. In those days, the Forest Hill system was not part of the whole Metro system. They could hire their own teachers. If I recall, they paid higher. I know that in high school several of my teachers had master’s degrees, even a few with PhDs.

It was a good education. We had an incredible outcomes rate, in terms of how many people graduated and wrote the provincial exams and did very well. A very high, unusually so, number of our graduates went on to university.

I went to university from 1960-64. My undergraduate years, in those days, I believe that only about 8% of the population went to university. Of those 8%, perhaps only a quarter of those may have been women, if that.

From my high school, many girls, went on to university. Pretty well all the boys went. So, I had a very unusual education in that respect, but it did not seem unusual to me. I am the middle child of three girls. We were all expected to go to university, and did.

Nobody I knew had parents who didn’t expect their sons at least to go to university, and many their daughters as well. In that sense, I had an extremely privileged education and cultural background. I would say feminist before its time in a certain way: some ways yes and some ways no. I do not know how much detail you want me to get into about the culture in the broader sense [Laughing].

Culturally speaking, it was kind of an unusual situation. We girls were very much encouraged to exercise our intelligence in the widest possible framework. We were lauded and approved and, in every way, encouraged to go on to higher education in, well, whatever we wanted to do.

At the same time, we got a double message: Get an education, but also “Find somebody young, get married, settle down, have a family.” The most important cultural value that my parents espoused, and so did everybody else I knew, was family.

A stable family was the highest value. At the same time, educational status, maybe, it was not the education itself that they valued and maybe it was the status that came with it, but, in some sense, it was a contradictory message.

I was not encouraged to have a career, but the education was encouraged for me. I took up a subject that really interested me, even though it was unlikely to provide me a career. So, my first choice was Classical Studies with an English option.

Latin with an English option was the name of the course. It was an Honors course at the University of Toronto. I majored in Latin. Could you choose a more useless subject? [Laughing]

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Unless, you want to enter the theological disciplines.

Kay: Yes, exactly, [Laughing] I was not intending to enter Theology. I did Latin. I had a wonderful high school Latin teacher. She inspired me. For two years, I was in Classical Studies with English Literature, then I transferred fully into English Literature. I loved novels. I loved to read novels.

I had no idea what I was going to do with that degree. I was subliminally looking around. I was dating guys thinking, “Is this the guy I am going to marry? Is that the guy?” Because I figured I would be married by the time I graduated; otherwise, that would be quite embarrassing [Laughing]. I was figuring “Wow, I am getting old. This better happen.” And also I had this degree in English Literature.

I was not planning to go into higher studies, but I got a very coveted fellowship: the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. I applied for that on a lark. Somebody dared me to, so I did and got it. That paid for my higher education. It paid for a master’s degree at any university in North America.

It paid full tuition plus living expenses. So, I was accepted wherever I applied. I was accepted at Stanford, University of Chicago, and all these wonderful places. But I got engaged, so I ended up going to McGill for my master’s degree because my husband was getting his Master of Business Administration at McGill. So, naturally, the choice was made for me.

That was my upbringing.

Jacobsen: Also, you did not choose graduate to specialize in Hebrew or Aramaic along with the Latin [Laughing].

Kay: No, I did not, but I did go to Hebrew school when I was young – after school Hebrew school twice a week and Sunday mornings. So, I did have a grounding in Hebrew as well, which, by the way, later in life, served me well when I did go back to Jewish Studies at McGill and did take up Hebrew Studies, so I would be more competent.

2. Jacobsen: What inspired that move back into education for Hebrew Studies later in life?

Kay: I got very involved – I had never been estranged from religious life. We had a typical upbringing. My parents had come from very religious families. My mother was from Detroit. Her family was more modern Orthodox for their day. My father’s family was extremely Orthodox and very much in the old-fashioned sense. His father had a beard.

My grandfather in Montreal never actually learned English. So, all the 9 children – my father was the youngest of 9 children – stayed very attached to Jewish life, but they all became integrated into Canadian society. So, instead of Orthodox, they were all members of conservative shuls – synagogues – as were we.

I went through a religious phase in high school. I wanted to be more Orthodox. I had a boyfriend who was very Orthodox. For several years, I was immersed in reading about Judaism and Jewish history. I had a penchant. Religious life is important. It has a very strong effect on our culture, whether we are religious or not.

Then I drifted away from practicing observant Judaism. But I always remained attached to my religion in a cultural sense. When we had children in Montreal, we joined a more liberal synagogue. I was always very interested in Judaism as a civilization.

I stayed very interested, and became very Zionist. I was motivated to go back to Jewish Studies because I knew that I wanted to go to Israel. I had never been there. I wanted to go with my family. I wanted to speak Hebrew when I got there.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Show-off.

Kay: Ya! I put in the time. When I got there, I could carry on a modest conversation in Hebrew. That is all gone now. It is dormant. But I can read Hebrew for liturgical purposes. It is fine.

3. Jacobsen: I note some trends in the cultural background provided by you. The work ethic and the value in education, especially higher education, as well as the emphasis on family and children in addition to the religious traditions that encapsulate those.

When I think about the cultures that value family and marriage, those are the ones that last a long time, whether Navajo, Hopi, Chinese, or Jewish cultures – even with the changes in geography and time. There is a certain wisdom in the tradition that you were brought up in terms of building that long-term culture.

Something, that you did not necessarily state, but I note in conversation with others. It is the deep ties between and amongst generations within that culture. So, the elders, the middle-aged, and the young have a mutual respect. The elders in terms of having a long-term knowledge about the world.

The middle-aged in terms of likely being more involved in things in that culture. The young in terms of having a fresh perspective on things. Those are deep ties important for long-standing cultures to persist.

Kay: I do think my background stands for what you are talking about. It is a strong strain. I think a normative strain in Jewish culture. There are other, perhaps, marginalized types of Jewish backgrounds. Some come from the anti-establishment, Jewish culture of the Bundhists that came from Europe. They were very anti-religion.

But they were very pro-Jewish culture. They were very immersed in “Yiddishkeit”: Yiddish literature and all that. Many were part of the Communist Party. They were very active in the communist movement. That is the movement that David Horowitz was involved in, in his youth. The radical leftist who became the radical rightist [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: The Red Diaper, that was a whole strain of Jewish culture. We were not that. We were the bourgeois, the broad path. That, yes, family is very important. My parents’ generation, there was a huge break. Their parents were European Jews. There was a break with those traditions in the sense that they wanted very badly to integrate into American and Canadian society.

The ties to my grandparents’ generation were much more tenuous for me. My children had a strong relationship with their grandparents. I did not. One came from a European world that was well lost in the Holocaust. He got out well before that. But that whole way of life that he practiced: that is gone.

My more modern grandparents in Detroit? I just did not see them enough to form strong bonds. But in the next generations, it is very, very different. Something like the Chinese and Indians. They have strong family bonds and strong mothers. Our role models, I would say Jewish mothers are very powerful in their homes.

Even in my mother’s generation where it was not usual for a mother to work, they were still extremely powerful figures in the home. They were active in the community. They were involved in fundraising, Jewish culture, or book clubs. They themselves were also striving for higher education or school. Many were trying to get their degrees.

When I was, for instance, raising my children, I was very happy to be an at-home mother. I still think that the luckiest children have their mothers at home. I am not saying that they become better people. They are usually happy children.

Because that is what children want. I wanted that too. I wanted that for myself. I did not want anyone else raising my children. But most of my friends, it was the same. Every single one of my friends – once the kids were in school full-time – ended up doing something very interesting, went back to school and became psychologists, or opened a book store, or started a clothing line, or got seriously into volunteer fund-raising at a professional level, or whatever.

I do not know any that simply sat around at home. This Feminist Mystique idea, that women were sitting around in their suburban homes drinking because they had no purpose in life. I did not see any of that. That was supposed to be my generation.

People like me or a little older than me. I do not know any Jewish woman who felt that sense of “What am I doing in my life? I have no purpose.” Nothing like that. They were all doing interesting things, even if they were not making a lot of money.

Although, some of them did [Laughing]. They are in real estate or something. The push to succeed, I know Jewish women who made homemaking a tremendous art. Being able to invite 20 people over for Sabbath dinner and say, “Yes, I did it all myself and cooked everything.”

For several women I know, this is a point of tremendous pride. I see nothing wrong with that. To be able to do and create a home where this type of hospitality is the norm, his is an amazing thing. Their children turn out to be socially well-adjusted.

They love the home life of warmth and the circle of community, where you feel that you are part of something larger than the nuclear family. This is a gift that you give children. I was never like that. In that, [Laughing] I never enjoyed having 16 people over at the drop of a hat.

But I did enjoy having my children as part of something larger than themselves.

4. Jacobsen: It shows up in most of the research for decades, too. Children in two-parent households tend to do better. If both parents are encouraged into education, as they were encouraged and allowed with the subtext of mother as an essential role for the woman, then the children also do better than others too.

In terms of the social development, you can have a bunch of gifted kids with IQs 130+. If they are social train wrecks, that intelligence will not get them as far as they would otherwise.

Kay: An environment where curiosity is encouraged and satisfied is good, where you are encouraged to push the envelope. One thing about Jewish families – not sure about Chinese or Indian families, it is very verbal and a very combative atmosphere, sometimes.

We argue a lot. Jews argue a lot. They hone their critical skills by testing each others’ arguments. It is sometimes an unruly atmosphere, very forthright and candid. It is very hyper-alert.

I am making it sound very positive. Sometimes, it is very negative. Jews are more neurotic, more anxious, more aggressive verbally, and very social, but in an intense way. That is often not very relaxing for other people.

I remember when I was young. Most of my friends were Jewish. When I had a non-Jewish friend, I wanted to cultivate her. I was fascinated by non-Jewish kids. They seemed very exotic. I am talking about WASP kids, who to other WASP kids are the least interesting people they know.

I would go to their homes and feel a peacefulness there, which I would not feel at my own home because there was a tension there. It was the same for most of the homes of the people that I knew; I had non-Jewish friends, who I found exotic.

I found that there was not this constant sense of striving, which I find among Jews. A kind of subliminal anxiety about missing something, missing a chance to not miss out on anything. It is also – my own interpretation – that you are always looking for social cues from others to make sure you are fitting into the group.

I am talking about integrated Jews like myself, who are very keen and very intent on fitting into the larger society. Looking back, I was not aware of myself as feeling so very different or so very much less sure of myself, culturally.

Now, I realize. We were all very unsure and trying very hard to feel both natural and feel accepted, and feel like we were fitting into something bigger, and often wondering if we were ‘making the grade.’

There was a cultural push-pull all the time. Always, always, we were looking for that subliminal sense: “are they anti-Semitic? Are they anti-Semitic?” You do not ask. I was never made the ‘butt’ of some joke.  People were not saying anything nasty to me.

You knew. Jews became good at reading facial expressions, tones of voice, because we all have our radar out and our antennae are always very Woody Allen.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: He is an exaggeration, but he taps into that kind of nervousness that my generation felt. Obviously, it is less in my kids’ generation.

Jacobsen: It sounds like perennial existential angst.

Kay: It is! It is an angst. It is something we all have until we were old enough, until I was old enough to examine myself. We did not have identity politics at that time. The whole ethos then was “be grateful you are here and fit in! Do not ask for special consideration. In fact, prove that you’re worthy, prove that you are worthy by being worthier than everyone else.”

That was the whole educational thing and the striving and overachieving. That you want to be so good, not just good enough, so that your place was assured at the table. It is ironic when I see all this identity politics stuff, when I see people who expect entitlements, but do not expect to have to in any way pay a price for those entitlements.

In fact, you get special consideration because you are not the heritage Canadian or heritage American. You deserve that special consideration because you have been disadvantaged in the past or because of racialization. All these different things.

I look back and say, “Wait a minute, I had a 2,000-year history of persecution. But it would never occur to my parents, or to me, to say, ‘Because of what happened in the past to my people, I, therefore, should get some affirmative action or some kind of…’ No, no, just do not put obstacles in our paths. If you do not put obstacles in our path, you will see. Give us a chance. We will perform for you.”

We are a very performative people. (I do not like the word ingratiate.)

Jacobsen: [Laughing] We have the angst to prove it.

Kay: We have the angst to prove it. I am living proof [Laughing].

5. Jacobsen: With identity politics as a more modern phenomenon, it seems to come, in some cases for simplistic shorthand, out of good intent. On the other hand, in more and more cases, it seems to come from, not necessarily bad intent but, good intentions gone too far leading to negative consequences for more people than would be preferable because everything balances within a multicultural, pluralistic, democratic society such as Canada.

Kay: Multiculturalism is, I think, one of those good intentions philosophies that is rather pernicious and very self-defeating for a nation. It is an experiment that has never happened before. Most nations in the world, until very recently, had nation and culture as the same.

Most nations came out of ethnicity. So, democratic countries that are based on a creed, in a common belief system, rather than race or ethnicity. This is still very much an experimental form of national cohesion.

It is wonderful and good. That was the country that my grandparents came to, which was a country that believed in everybody contributing to and adopting the same principles and adapting. In many cases, it was shedding certain parts of your culture that did not fit into the mainstream idea of what this culture was about.

I thought, “That’s fair. That’s fair.” This is a country that my grandparents came to for more opportunity and freedom. There is a price to be paid for that, to a certain extent, culturally. If you are going to all fit in and be together, it makes sense that in the public forum that there is a certain harmony and unity.

You build up trust when everybody in the public forum knows the rules and knows social cues, and knows the basic values and the basic principles. That sounds like a good arrangement.

Multiculturalism is basically saying, “First of all, we think of you as a member of the group rather than an individual Canadian. We ask nothing of you in terms of adopting our values or our principles. Just be yourselves and be what you are. Here are your rights, we are not asking you to make any changes at all. Certain cultural extremes we have to resist, yes, but it has to be pretty extreme before our government springs into action to do anything about it.”

I think it is a bad experiment. I don’t think it works. We have had 3 or 4 heads of state in Europe say, publically, ‘Multiculturalism is a failure.’ I have no resentment that my family was told, “Adapt, start looking like we do, start acting a lot like we do, you will fit in.”

That is what we did. I do not think anyone regrets it. I am perfectly happy not to be speaking Yiddish instead of English [Laughing]. If I were living the life of my grandfather when we came here, I would be living in a little ghetto and very fearful and very much uninterested in what went on outside of my little neighbourhood.

I do not think that is great. I am not saying most people do not integrate after a generation or two. That should be the rule. That should be the expectation.

6. Jacobsen: Singapore took that model. Lee Kuan Yew made an explicit intrusion in public life. People, depending on what flat they were in, had to live in pre-segmented society. You live with this proportion of this ethnicity, this religion, and so on.

So, everyone got some relative exposure. Canada, as per the common ‘mosaic’ analogy, amounts to that. It has that fragmentation within its own borders. Cultures self-segregate, that does not help cohesion.

Kay: It sets one group against another, because the idea is that there is something almost holy about everyone else’s culture but our own. Our prime minister said, “Canada has no culture.” He said, “We are post-national/post-cultural.”

Anyways, he basically said that we do not have our own culture and are a collection of other people’s cultures. I think this is undermines national unity to take that view. I’m not a big fan, as you can see, of multiculturalism.

I like cultures that perpetuate what is best of what they came with. My children got a good Jewish education. Their children got a good Jewish education. But I do not expect that to be subsidized or catered to by the government.

Anyways, I think the old model – the ‘melting pot’ – was better.

7. Jacobsen: You noticed the nuance there with respect to family background. On the one hand, they kept much of their culture. However, they gave up parts of their culture to self-integrate into the larger culture.

It seems similar to having English as the main public language. It allows you to not only access the nation but also the international community as well.

Kay: It is interesting. Other cultures should influence our culture. Once you have many immigrants coming, and I love the idea of immigrants coming, it will inevitably change the society, but it should happen in an organic way.

I was in New York with a friend. I was talking about some TV shows. I was talking about New York City. I said, “New York is such a Jewish city, certainly in its entertainment. You do not even know in a TV show, like Seinfeld, who was Jewish. Did you know Elaine was not Jewish, for instance?”

They said, “Really?” I said, “No, Elaine Benes was not Jewish. George Costanza, I wasn’t even sure. Was he Italian? Was he Jewish?” [Laughing]

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: “Kramer could have been anything” [Laughing]. But the thing is the sensibility because New York has so many Jews there. It developed a Jewish sensibility and sense of humor. It happened organically because there are so many. But it is a very American city as well.

But it isn’t like Cincinnati or Salt Lake City. Every city achieves its own character. Toronto is now very multicultural. When I grew up, it was so WASP, so WASP. It is multicultural, but in a good way in the sense of everybody mixing it up organically.

That part is good. I like that. What I do not like is the ideology around it, I do not like what is happening in the universities. I do not like the self-hatred, the guilt, the excessive guilt. This anti-whiteness, this whole colonial thing is very exaggerated. The shame at “our” imperialist past. It wasn’t mine [Laughing].

This is a very unhealthy part of our society.

8. Jacobsen: I want to use this to segue into the university system. Academia, to use passive language, has problems. How is that for a vague, passive statement?

Kay: Academia has big problems. The problems of academia are very much seeping into the institutional life beyond academia. We are well beyond academia now. Academia has had problems for decades and decades. All of the people that created those problems have graduated students who are bringing those problems into their jobs and careers, and creating all of the problems in our institutional life.

You do not need me to elaborate on all the origins of this, because Jordan Peterson can do it a lot better [Laughing]: feminism, identity politics, intersectionality, and so on. It has well shut down the kind of freewheeling life of intellectual discovery that I was privileged to enjoy at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.

Because, at that time, the universities were expanding. There was a lot of money for great professors. We had prestigious professors from England and America. There was no politics in the teaching. To me, it was what a university is supposed to be. I feel a sense of privilege in having been a part of that, the Golden Age of higher education.

But I am sure that you have had many interviews with people who have gone into the academic rot that we are living with now.

9. Jacobsen: It comes inside of and outside of the academic institutions. I find that as a common story. Over time, I notice the similar phenomena of one set or sub-set having legitimate good intents while another set having legitimate bad intents leading to bad consequences by its very nature.

It amounts to an ideological movement in that one sub-set. A very active sub-set, one thing that should make people suspicious, in general, is the fact that the empirical research moves slowly. The empirical research should inform the policies and, therefore, the political climate should be informed by it.

Of course, personalities happen, historical inertia, influence how politics ‘plays out.’ However, the empirical world moves much more slowly. If something moves fast in policy, I would have my antennae up because the empirical research doesn’t move that fast.

If someone is trying to move something hard and fast in policy, I would remain suspicious because it is probably coming from an ideological position regardless of the empirical support for it.

Kay: Yes, I agree with you. I think we have seen some policies come into play over the last 5 years or so with, say, the trans activist movement. I have never seen policies move so fast in my life. It has been such a whirlwind of activism.

It is like a machine. Suddenly, we have gone from barely understanding the nature of what this is, gender dysphoria, to all the sudden we have laws in place that do not allow parents to take their child to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

You have laws in place that insist that a child’s parents do not have a say if the child takes hormones or puberty blockers. In British Columbia, you have this program called SOGI being taught in the schools, SOGI 123. It is not based in science or research at all.

It is based totally an ideology. I think it is an extremely harmful program for children – to basically ask them to deny themselves, to deny their own biological reality. To teach them that they cannot trust their own sense of who they are or link it to their own biology – insisting that they recognize gender as something that is floating around and totally fungible.

I am so shocked by the rapidity with which this movement has installed itself in pedagogical hierarchies and the social services. I have a friend who is an endocrinologist, a real scientist. He said, “If somebody comes to me and asks for puberty blockers, for a kid, I cannot say, ‘Maybe, you should get a psychiatric evaluation before you go forward with this.’ I could lose my job over that.”
Pediatricians and endocrinologists have their hands really tied. He said this is really bizarre because 5 years ago he could, but now he can’t. I think that if I had a child being infected by this social contagion, which is what it is, I would feel that I was in a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Many parents probably feel this way. In fact, they do. I have talked to many parents. They feel as though their child has been body-snatched. They are being indoctrinated into a very pernicious ideology that seeks to normalize something that is highly abnormal.

That is rare and abnormal. To banalize it, and to make it something on a spectrum that everybody is on, it is just a matter of choice. That your body is irrelevant to your sense of identity, which is an amazing thing to be teaching children.

Children should be taught to be comfortable in their bodies. All – not all we have – we are is our bodies. To be saying, “Your body is irrelevant to your true identity.” To tell a child that, it is like saying, “Your mother and father seem to be your mother and father, but in reality they might be total strangers.”

I think it is so destabilizing and could be so traumatic for a child, frightening. These are the people that are suddenly the authorities in our schools. It is like “Who do the children belong to?” They belong to the state in terms of gender. Sex and gender are such an obsession in our society.

I feel a little Kafkaesque myself [Laughing], having grown up in a society in which sex is one part of your life; it is not your whole life. There are other things out there besides your sexuality and your gender issues. Today, it is as if there is nothing else.

That and your race, of course, that’s it! That is who you are.

10. Jacobsen: Christina Hoff Sommers had a great statement, which was almost a throwaway statement. She is from AEI. She is part of what I call the “three angels” from AEI: Dr. Sally Satel, Caroline Kitchens, and Christina Hoff Sommers.

It was a throwaway comment, but an astute statement. She noted the kinds of self-absorption involved in some of these movements. It is tough at times to have the discussion. It is inflammatory to a lot of people.

That is one protection against any kind of critical examination. Also, the mushing together, like a bunch of hot potatoes, of the phrases, the terminologies, the definitions. For instance, I can make this a little bit more concrete.

If you look at the cases of sexual orientation, people will consider this physiological-sexual arousal towards the opposite sex, same sex, or both, akin to one’s general identity. So, let’s have the child consider themselves a purple dragon, the mushing together of that general identity.

This large abstract world set of concepts gets mushed together with something more well-defined such as physiological arousal for men, women, or both.

Kay: It is a culture of narcissism. Christopher Lash called it a “Therapy Culture,” or was that Theodore Reik? We are living in a culture that is so self-absorbed and so consumed with this idea of identity. That is the only thing that matters in life.

Sometimes, I feel like I want to say, “Do you have any idea the kind of suffering that has gone on in history? You have to be living in a golden bubble to think that this is the most important thing in life: who you are attracted to, how much you are attracted, how you feel today, if you feel more boy or girl, and all that stuff. Do these people have no sense of history and how narcissistic they are?”

Have you seen the series Transparent? I am watching it. I am amazed by it. It is a very well-written, very well-acted production. The production value and everything is great. Every single character, except one who is a rabbi, thinks all day, every day, about sex, gender, and how they look, how they present, who they are attracted to, kinky sex, traditional sex, and sex with husbands, without husbands.

A wife leaves a husband because she has a sexual encounter with a lesbian. She leaves a husband and two children the same day that she was kissed, without a plan. The whole point of the series seems to be to absolutely normalize this as perfectly fine.

This is the way people are. This is all they think about. All they want to think about and we should be sympathetic to this. I find it a very unsettling world, particularly since it has gotten such adulatory reviews. People are swooning over this series.

I am riveted by it. It is riveting. It is worth seeing because it is riveting for the acting and intelligence of the scripts, but it is a very scary series because it captures so accurately the narcissism of our culture. It is quite shocking.

Jacobsen: That seems like a particular Hollywood pathology.

Kay: It doesn’t have a Hollywood vibe to it. In the sense that, it is far more intelligent than a typical Hollywood movie. It does present some of the dark side too. It is not an advertisement for being trans. It shows you the dark side of this culture.

It shows you the dark side of lesbian culture. So, it is very fair in many ways. It is very harsh, in some ways, the view of these worlds, but the one thing it does seem to say, and to say with no judgment, is that people who are consumed with sex all the time are, basically, sympathetic people and represent a slice of normal middle-class life in its own way.

It is also supposed to be – and I also started watching because it is very Jewish – about a Jewish family. Some say it is “the most Jewish show on television.” I say, “No, no, I don’t think so” [Laughing].

Yes, they are noticeably Jewish in their social presentation and verbal animation, very Jewish, in their outward appearance. They do have a lot of activities that revolve around Jewish life, but no. For one thing, there is this total lack of modesty. This total lack of respect for a certain physical decency I associate with being Jewish. The whole thing to me, or at least in the Judaism I was brought up in, is shrieking the opposite.

What it is, it is the cultural appropriation of Judaism to serve the ideology of progressivism. What it is, it has taken a Jewish form as a vessel for progressive content and has said, “This is a Jewish family.” But it isn’t. It is a progressive family that is exploiting the Jewish tropes for entertainment and ideological purposes.

11. Jacobsen: That is more what I meant by the shorthand of “Hollywood pathology.” You can’t have an award show. You must make a self-congratulatory, social activist award show.

Kay: Right, right.

Jacobsen: Most people are for many of the more moderate claims of social activism. We should try to help people in worse circumstances in your neighbourhood. Things like this. It is the false presentation of a pseudo-norm as the norm, which bothers many people.

Kay: By the way, to use this word, “norm,” is very subversive, you realize that.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Same with “virtue.”

Kay: I learned long ago. I always thought “norm” was something quantitative. In other words, if 95% of a population has dark eyes and hair, then you would say, “The norm in this country is dark hair and eyes.” I wouldn’t expect the 5% of people who have blue eyes to be calling me “blue-eye-o-phobic.”

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: [Laughing] But really, the use of the word norm in the old says. If someone said, “Is he gay?” You would say, “No, he is normal.” You could never say that now. So, norms are a bad word because we accept the idea of fluidity, of all boundaries being collapsed so that there are no norms.

I think Jordan Peterson is right to say that this is a way to take power away, because a norm has power. In the sense that, the norm is what is the default. You have to take power away from white people because this is the norm.

Power has to go somewhere. So, if you take it away from one group, then another group is going to get it. That is okay with the ideologues.

The norm is socially speaking and culturally speaking bourgeois and middle-class home and family. All this is the norm. This is what ideologues hate. Their activism is about undermining the whole idea of normal.

That way, if everything is so fluid, it does take your power away. The ground shifts under your feet, then you are not sure of anything. The pronouns became such a huge issue because it stripped the idea that there is a norm for the language.

Language is – or should be – dependable and reliable. “They” is the plural of “he” or “she.” It is unnerving and meant to be unnerving.

I keep referring to Jordan Peterson because I feel he is so famous for articulating so many of the inchoate emotions, the anxiety and angst, that we are all feeling as we see what we thought were dependable cultural norms being deliberately collapsed.

The idea is to make people who thought they were normal feel in a sense abnormal because there is no normal anymore. Then to question your identity, to question everything, especially the family unit because the family unit is the one thing that the state knows they cannot truly fight, people are loyal to their families and not to the state.

So, the less family life there is then the more the state can intrude on the individual’s life. This is where this utopianism comes into play. Ideologies that are anti-family have a utopian view of the world. It is perfectible. But to get to this perfectible state, they have to mess a lot of people’s lives up.

We cannot have institutions that guard their own privacy. Their own standards. Their own values. These are enemies of the state. We are certainly rambling! [Laughing]

12. Jacobsen: This is good. You made me think. With regards to the prior statements as well as the “Hollywood pathology,” I am reminded of two things. One, a clip from Life of Brian of Monty Python. Another one, a statement by Noam Chomsky about the French pathology.

With regards to the former point, I note the scene where one of the characters. They are sitting in a coliseum or a stadium of the time. One of them says, “I want to be a woman.” John Cleese says, “You can’t be a woman.”

This begins to rise in tension and as the conversation develops. One of them says, “I want to have a baby.” John Cleese says, “You can’t have a baby. You don’t have a womb!”

Kay: [Laughing].

Of course, the male who feels like a woman begins to cry. Plus, we add technology on top of it, medical technology. We have medical technology to do, apparently, relatively precise surgery to cut up physical appearance in some way.

People will make those kinds of statements as the male that felt like the woman cried, more boldly. That is the first point. I love that scene. To the professor Chomsky point, with regards to the French pathology, he noted that with postmodernists in that area.

Jacques, Lacan, Foucault…

Kay: Derrida, Foucault, and all that gang.

Jacobsen: Yes, all that gang, that amounts to a French pathology with complete deconstructionism. Even those people do not believe their own claims about there being no facts, as Chomsky has noted elsewhere, they step out of the room and expect to step on something solid.

Kay: Sure, they think everything is relative except their own statements. Their own statements are settled science, but there is no truth except our own truth. It is very circular and makes no sense.

13. Jacobsen: Yes, it is the same as the parody of sophisticated theological thought. One asks, “How do we know God is real?” The other responds, “Well, it says so in the Bible.” The first asks, “How do you know God wrote the Bible?” The other again responds, “It says so in the Bible.” This kind of stuff.

Kay: Yes! Very circular.

Jacobsen: It is a self-parody in many ways. Between that scene from the Life of Brian from Monty Python and the statement of professor Noam Chomsky, who has been quite a vociferous critic of postmodernism whenever or wherever forms it may arise in, they relate a little bit to what I call the “Hollywood pathology” as well.

If you look at the moral grandstanding, the self-aggrandizement, of Hollywood at large, not all but writ large, the general culture is a form of – some use the term “virtue signalling” but – saying, “I am a moral exemplar because I state our liberal Hollywood cultural truisms.”

Kay: Yes, I think it is about talking the talk. I find that the Hollywood people – the people like Justin Trudeau –  they think that voicing a sentiment is a form of activism. They think that they have done something when they say, “I believe in this,” or, “This is wrong,” or, “Racism is wrong.”

Then they step down from the stage and feel as if they have done something. They have not done anything. Hollywood, often, is behind the times.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Kay: They do not start really getting on a bandwagon until it has become quite accepted in the general population. Hollywood can be quite craven. Hollywood stopped having Islamist villains when they got threats to stop. They did. They caved into Muslim demand.

China too. I forget what China’s demand [Laughing] was. But I remember seeing Rob Reiner discuss it with Tucker Carlson. It is so courageous, but when China said, “Stop doing whatever it was doing, they stopped.” I wish the Hollywood award shows would go back to simply celebrating their art and drama.

It is sickening having to listen to these people spout off one after the other about their values and principles. That very few of them do anything at all to make the world a better place.

14. Jacobsen: Many people will agree with the values stated by them. But I think one came up with the recent and ongoing sexual misconduct scandals.

Kay: Yes!

Jacobsen: Many will proclaim certain values. But the problem seems to me a lot of people know about it, for one. But I think a prerequisite to being moral is to be moral. Hollywood people, for a large portion, are being kept upright.

They made statements about sexual misconduct being bad. Then the sexual misconduct allegations came out with hundreds of them for dozens of men. Then they had the gall to have that award ceremony where they spoke out about those things.

It is good to speak out about these things if you are at the same time backing it up beforehand with actions. But it is after the fact. So, they were being kept upright rather than being upright to begin with.

Kay: Look at all the people who have no problem working with Roman Polanski., who is a convicted rapist, everybody knows about that. That is no secret. But people want to make movies. They think he makes pretty good movies, so they will work with him.

Actresses will work with him. There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy in this. The “Hollywood casting couch”? There is a reason that phrase has been in use for so many decades. It is a quid pro quo.

I am sure there are very few people like Harvey Weinstein – I mean who are as gross as he is. But I am also sure there are plenty of men who have some influence in show business who will offer opportunities for beautiful young women in exchange for sex. I think a lot of that sex is given very willingly as a transactional thing, where both are in cahoots.

Now, that is all looked at as sexual misconduct. When you extract sex for an opportunity, that is considered sexual misconduct. But to the women who get the advantage, who get the part in the movie, or who get the step up in the career, why is it sexual misconduct if you get something out of it?

The same people would say that prostitution is a perfectly legitimate occupation if somebody wants to do it. If they want to sell their body for money, selling your body for a part in a movie, how is that different?

So, it is up to you. If that is the only way to get it, you have a choice to make: how badly do you want that part in that movie? How badly do you want that opportunity? It is a buyer’s market in Hollywood. Everybody knows it. You better be selling something special if you want to make the grade.

If you have some special talent, you may make it anyways. It is a compromised town. It really is. So, I agree with you. The hypocrisy is really pretty sickening.

Jacobsen: Maybe, the moral grandstanding comes out of a certain existential angst.

Kay: These are dramatic people full of self-love. They are narcissistic people. They trade in image, and brand. Most are afraid of not being a part of the pack. Nobody wants to be shunned in Hollywood. It is jumping on that bandwagon. I think a lot of them are not overly intelligent people.

I think these are people who mostly have one thing on their mind. Not many of them sit around reading The New Republic or The National Review. So, they do not know a lot about politics, but they do know what to say that is politically correct. They say it.

They get a podium to say it. They get this wave of warmth and love what is easy to say. So, why shouldn’t they say it?

15. Jacobsen: Many people distrust Fox News. I think that is a fair statement. Fewer people distrust some of the comedic reporting…

Kay: …Yes…

Jacobsen: …coming out of some of the late-night shows. Some of the late-night shows have taken on that guise. Some might claim otherwise. But my observation is that the comedy is part of it, of course, but, sometimes, it is pushing a particular political narrative at the same time.

Kay: Yes, I do not know what the statistics are, but it is quite a large number of people say they get their news by watching Bill Maher and Jimmy Kimmel and all of these late-night guys. They don’t watch regular news anymore. The numbers have gone down.

Jacobsen: They don’t read the other side either.

Kay: They are not big readers.

16. Jacobsen: I think there was a Twitter analysis of people’s habits. They inferred habits. When they looked at it, people that identified as conservative and liberal self-segregated for the most part.

Kay: For sure, we are all in our siloes. I am guilty of it. There is only a certain amount of time. A certain amount of YouTube videos, and Twitter information, and so on, that you can follow at a time. I think I am going get the stuff I need to see. I am watching the YouTube of people who I have interest in.

I have no interest in watching liberal or progressive. I take that in by osmosis. So, I look for content that will be helpful for me in framing my own perspective. For absolute or objective news, I want objective sources. But you can still get objective news at The Wall Street Journal.

You can read a conservative opinion newspaper and still get the objective news on the news page for that. But Twitter is addictive. Don’t you find?

Jacobsen: Actually, I do not have a profile.

Kay: Really?!

17. Jacobsen: Yes, I have one for the journal. I have some social media for it, but I only got them because I was pressured into doing it. If I publish an article, I retweet it or spread it on Facebook. If I can’t find the email for the person that I want to interview, I will reach out to them on Facebook.

But I do not use them for what they were intended to be used for.

Kay: You are lucky if you are not. I do find Twitter to be quite addictive. I do spend an inordinate amount of time on it. I keep saying, “I am going to just see my notifications.” But on the way there, you get hooked by articles.

A couple of people that I follow and really like, they put out a lot of stuff. They point to articles that are really good or useful for me professionally. I have to say that if I were young today. I would very much doubt if I would have gone into English Literature because I would not have had time to read books.

I am so grateful in a way because I lived in a time before all of this. Because I got to read a lot of the world’s great literature. I do not think I would have been able to if I grew up with all this social media, like all the kids I see with their heads in their phones.

I would be very busy and back-and-forth. I was always solitary in my time, but I was not lonely because I was always reading. It is a very different world, very different.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Columnist and Journalist, National Post.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 8, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] B.A., University of Toronto; M.A., McGill University.

[4] Image Credit: Barbara Kay.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One) [Online].May 2018; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, May 8). In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A, May. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A (May 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 17.A (2018):May. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. In Conversation with Barbara Kay: Columnist and Journalist, National Post (Part One) [Internet]. (2018, May; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kay.

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 2012-2018. 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.

Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 17.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Thirteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,281

ISSN 2369-6885

Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian

Abstract

An interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian. She discusses: geographic, cultural, and linguistic family background; influence on development; influences and pivotal moments in early life; founding and owning DocM.A.C. write Consulting; building and maintaining a client base; being a lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the dissertation and original interest in it; being a senior editor and senior writer for EBONY and other publications and initiatives; abilities, knowledge, and skills developed from the experience; interest in education, fashion, finance, health, medicine, parenting, relationships, religion, and spirituality; covering the death of Michael Jackson; advice for journalists; advice for girls; advice for women in general; advice for African-American women; advice for professional women; greatest emotional struggle in personal life; greatest emotional struggle in professional life; nicest thing someone’s ever done for you; meanest thing someone’s ever done to you; source of drive; upcoming collaborative projects; upcoming solo projects; and final feelings or thoughts.

Keywords: African-American, consulting, editor, lecturer, Margena A. Christian, University of Illinois at Chicago, woman.

Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian: Distinguished Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago; Founder and Owner, DocM.A.C. write Consulting[1],[2],[3],[4]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your familial background reside?

Dr. Margena A. Christian: I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Appropriately so, I made my entrance into the world at Christian Hospital on the city’s north side, where I resided until I relocated to Chicago in 1995 when hired by Johnson Publishing Company. My mother’s side of the faily was African American and Cherokee Indian. They were from Arkansas. My father’s side of the family was African American and German. I don’t know much about them except that his grandmother was, as my mom often said, “full-blooded German” and that a great portion of his family distanced themselves from the others after deciding to “pass” as White. I grew up in what I considered a pretty traditional African-American, working-class family. My mom was a librarian and media specialist; my dad was an inspector at General Motors.

2. Jacobsen: How did this influence development?

Christian: Growing up in St. Louis was an interesting experience. There is much division there between African Americans and Whites. I lived on the city’s north side, which is predominantly Black. I attended a Catholic grade school, Most Holy Rosary, and a Catholic high school, Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory, with people who looked like me. When I went to St. Louis University(SLU), a Jesuit institution, it was a major adjustment. During this time there were few people that attended who looked like me. I can still recall often being in classes where I was the only African American. Going from being around my own 24/7 and then moving into a world where I was suddenly the only “one,” took some getting used to. I can say that I had a pleasant time as a Billiken at SLU. I worked hard and made stellar grades so I stood out for more reasons than one. And, needless to say, I hardly ever missed class because the professor always seemed to notice.

3. Jacobsen: What about influences and pivotal moments in major cross-sections of life such as kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school, undergraduate studies (college/university), and graduate studies?

Christian: As previously mentioned, my mom was a teacher. When I attended kindergarten, it was at the same school where she taught. For some reason I didn’t feel the need to work as hard because mom was there. In some ways I felt privileged over the other students. From that experience, my mom learned that it wasn’t such a good thing to work at the same school with your kid. I was headed to the third grade when my parents decided to take me out of the St. Louis Public School System and have me attend an Archdiocesan school. She didn’t feel that my siblings and I were getting the best education, so she convinced our dad to allow us to transfer to Catholic schools.

I attended a co-ed high school that was considered one of the best private, Catholic schools in an urban area. That’s where my life changed after taking a leadership class with Sister Barbara. She knew how much I loved to write and told me about the Minority Journalism Workshop, sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists. The program was designed for juniors and seniors in high school and early college students. I was a sophomore when I applied and got accepted. Renowned journalists George E. Curry and Gerald Boyd were founders of this pioneering workshop, which would become the blueprint for other minority journalism workshops throughout the country.

Training with professional journalists at such a young age helped to hone my craft and solidify my desire to do this for a living. I won scholarships two years in a row and had my first article published. Nothing beats hands-on experience. I didn’t write for the school paper at SLU, because I didn’t feel comfortable as “the only one.” Instead, I returned to my roots and did an internship at the city’s top African-American publication, the St. Louis American Newspaper. Later I wrote for a newsmagazine called Take Five. Building one’s clips is critical. I had an attractive portfolio with a range of stories to show.

However, coming from a family of educators, I did what most people who aspire to become a journalist do. I played it safe and got a job as an English teacher at a Catholic grade school, Bishop Healy. So, essentially, I taught by day and wrote by night. Healy was in the city and practiced the Nguzo Saba value system. When I reflect on my life, I see that I was being prepared. Concepts in my dissertation were the Nguzo Saba to show pioneering publisher John H. Johnson’s commitment to his race when documenting our history in magazines.

4. Jacobsen: You founded and own DocM.A.C. write Consulting. It provides a number of services including editing, professional development, proofreading, writing services, and so on. What is the importance of these services to the clientele?

Christian: People always seek those who can fine tune and polish their writing, editing and proofreading. Educators need to remain current with pedagogical strategies so professional development is one way to achieve this. I also do dissertation coaching. Thus far I’ve helped two people complete their dissertation. The coursework is the easy part; the hard part is crossing the finish line by submitting the dissertation! There’s a great deal of folks who are ABD (all but dissertation) who need the right push to move along. That’s what I do.

5. Jacobsen: How does one build and maintain a client base?

Christian: Building and maintaining a client base, for me, comes from word of mouth and networking. Most of my clients were referred by other clients and/or people who know my work.

6. Jacobsen: You are a lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago. What tasks and responsibilities come with this position?

Christian: I teach an Academic Writing I course, considered freshman composition, in English. Recently UIC started a professional writing concentration as a minor. I was hired to help build the program. Thus far I developed and designed two courses: Writing for Digital and New Media and Advanced Professional Writing. One thing I enjoy most about being a lecturer is that the focus is on teaching and not so much research. If I choose to conduct more or to write journal articles, it is optional and not mandatory. Each semester I teach three different courses so my prep time is far reaching. Thanks to my organizational skills, I make it work effortlessly.

7. Jacobsen: Your dissertation was titled John H. Johnson: A Historical Study on the Re-Education of African Americans in Adult Education Through the Selfethnic Liberatory Nature of Magazines. What was the original interest in this subject matter?

Christian: I didn’t simply read about how John H. Johnson helped to make history. I helped him to write it. I was hired by the man himself in 1995, when I started as an assistant editor for the weekly publication Jet magazine. When Mr. Johnson, as we lovingly called him, died in 2005, I saw how things changed the following year with new people in place to run the iconic publications. Let’s just say that I knew that one day the magazine and the company as I once knew it would be no more. It hit me that there would come a time when people won’t remember or know anything about a man who lived named John H. Johnson. It struck me that one day people won’t know about his iconic publications. It hit me that the house that he once built at 820 S. Michigan Avenue would no longer exist. I realized I was the bridge between the old and the new. I was the last editor hired by Mr. Johnson and worked along his side who remained at the company before my position was eliminated in 2014. My position ended the same week that Jet magazine ended. History was being rewritten and it was bittersweet. For instance, a man named Simeon Booker led the ground-breaking coverage for the tragic 1955 Emmett Till story. I did the modern-day, follow-up coverage, beginning in 2004, when the body was exhumed and the case reopened. It was an honor to have Booker hand me the baton and for Mr. Johnson to have approved it. After a series of stories that I penned for a few years, I concluded that chapter in my life and the magazine’s annals by purchasing a beautiful oil painting of Till (shown in image) that was done by a fellow JPC employee, Raymond A. Thomas.

8. Jacobsen: What was the main research question? What were the main findings of the doctoral research?

Christian: The main research question was how did John H. Johnson use his magazines in adult education to combat intellectual racism. The main findings were that not only did he educate his own race but he educated all races, all over the world.

9. Jacobsen: You were a Senior Editor and Senior Writer for EBONY, editor of Elevate, Features Editor for Jet, and assisted in the inauguration of EBONY Retrospective. What were these initiatives?

Christian: Features editor was a position where I was charged with pitching, writing and editing human interest stories. I also assisted with selecting and securing high-profile figures for cover subjects. Elevate was a section in EBONY that focused on health, wellness and spirituality. EBONY’s Retrospective was an opportunity for me to marry my love of entertainment with my interest in historical data by examining pivotal cultural moments in music, movies and TV that shaped my race.

10. Jacobsen: What abilities, knowledge, and skills were developed from them?

Christian: In addition to building an amazing list of contacts, I mastered the art of multi-tasking and learned the importance of having steady relationships. It’s not about who you know but who knows you and returns your call. On the flip side, in terms of production, Jet magazine was a weekly publication so I had less than a week to meet a deadline. This included tracking down sources, doing research, conducting interviews, writing stories and editing. Early on I handled images for both EBONY and Jet by operating the Associated Press photo machine, including breaking it down and cleaning what was called the oven. Moving to EBONY in 2009 offered me a bit more time to work on lengthy features. The Retrospective pieces were supposed to only be 1,500 words, but I would gather such wonderful information that I would force their hand at close to 3,000 words!

11. Jacobsen: You write on education, fashion, finance, health, medicine, parenting, relationships, religion, and spirituality. What is the source of interest in these topics?

Christian: My professional career began at Jet magazine. The weekly newsmagazine required that all editors write about every subject. My specialty was entertainment. During my interview with Mr. Johnson and his daughter, Linda, in 1995, I expressed an interest in “writing about the stars” for EBONY. I recalled being told by Mr. Johnson that rank determined who would talk to the notables at EBONY, so he thought Jet would be a better fit since all editors had an equal chance of doing stories about celebs. Later, I was asked to write solely about health. I wasn’t excited about this notion but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I secretly began to enjoy writing about this subject. Now I’m at UIC, a top research institution that is renowned for its hospitals and clinics.

12. Jacobsen: You spearheaded on-the-ground coverage of the death of Michael Jackson (“King of Pop”). What was that experience like for you?

Christian: This was a difficult time for me but I had a job to do. This opportunity also came during an interesting time of transition at the company. I helped to document some history for this but not as much as I would have liked. Some people only wanted to hear salacious stories and could care less about him as a man more than him as an artist. That bothered me. Nonetheless, I was busy and exhausted. I spent three weeks in Los Angeles, spending time at the Jackson family’s Encino compound, camped outside with the hundred other reporters from around the world, and driving for hours to Los Olivos to visit Neverland. I met a man during a church prayer service named Steve Manning, who was one of his best friends who first ran the Jacksons fan club back in the day. We still keep in touch. A year after Michael’s death, Steve was at the Jackson’s home and allowed me to speak with Michael’s mom, Katherine. I didn’t quite know what to say because it was the weekend before Mother’s Day, her first without him. Janet once sent me a Christmas card, which I still have. The Jackson family grew up at Johnson Publishing Company and were close friends with Mr. Johnson. I felt honored when I was selected by the managing editor, Terry Glover, to document this important history. She knew what I brought to the table and that I would deliver.

13. Jacobsen: Any advice for journalists?

Christian: I would encourage them to read, to write, to read, to write. Find a mentor who can guide you and know that building relationships are critical in this profession.

14. Jacobsen: Any advice for girls?

Christian: The advice I have for girls is to discover your passion and then you’ll find your purpose. Ask yourself, “What would I do for the rest of my life even if I never got paid to do this?” That’s usually your answer.

15. Jacobsen: Any advice for women in general?

Christian: General advice I have for women is to follow that still, quiet voice from within whenever it comes to making any type of decision. Trust your instinct and be patient. You can’t miss what is meant for you.

16. Jacobsen: Any advice for African-American women?

Christian: The advice I have for African-American women is to never forget that you are a queen. Wear your crown with pride and know that you are wonderfully and divinely created.

17. Jacobsen: Any advice for professional women?

Christian: Always have multiple streams of income. Do not rely upon one job and remember that no one works harder for you than you can work for yourself.

18. Jacobsen: What seems like the greatest emotional struggle in personal life?

Christian: The greatest emotional struggle in personal life is realizing that people will disappoint because they are human.

19. Jacobsen: What seems like the greatest emotional struggle in professional life?

Christian: The greatest emotional struggle in professional life is being so passionate about making certain that my students learn and that my stories educate, enlighten and uplift.

20. Jacobsen: What’s the nicest thing someone’s ever done for you?

Christian: My sister and a few close friends gave me a surprise graduation party after I earned my doctorate. I don’t like surprises and I don’t get fooled easily, but they managed to do a splendid job of knocking me off my feet. I was very touched.

21. Jacobsen: What’s the meanest thing someone’s ever done to you?

Christian: People did things to be mean but now I look at those encounters as part of divine order. I always remember that rejection is God’s protection. I also know that what people intended for harm was designed to help and push me into my purpose. So, mean things weren’t done to me only things that were MEANt to grow me.

22. Jacobsen: What drives you?

Christian: Faith and passion drive me.

23. Jacobsen: Any upcoming collaborative projects?

Christian: No upcoming collaborative projects as of now.

24. Jacobsen: Any upcoming solo projects?

Christian: I am preparing to turn my dissertation into a book. One of the country’s larger and most distinguished university presses picked it up. I am beyond thrilled to take this story into the academy. This was a full-circle moment. We keep someone’s legacy alive by educating future generations.

25. Jacobsen: Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion?

Christian: Trust the process and always keep the faith. In the words of the Hon. Marcus Garvey, “Onward and upward.”

26. Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Dr. Christian.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Distinguished Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago; Senior Editor, Ebony Magazine; Founder and Owner, DocM.A.C. write Consulting; Assistant Director, First-Year Writing Program, University of Illinois at Chicago; Education Consultant; Adjunct Professor, English,

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 1, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] B.A., Mass Communications (Concentration Journalism), St. Louis University; Certificate, Creative and Professional Writing, St. Louis University; M.S., Interdisciplinary Studies (Curriculum and Instruction), National Louis University; Ph.D., Adult and Continuing Education, National Louis University.

[4] Image Credit: Margena A. Christian.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian [Online].May 2018; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, May 1). Interview with Dr. Margena A. ChristianRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A, May. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A (May 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Interview with Dr. Margena A. ChristianIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Interview with Dr. Margena A. ChristianIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 17.A (2018):May. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Interview with Dr. Margena A. Christian [Internet]. (2018, May; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/christian.

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

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In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 16.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twelve)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 22, 2018

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 7,767

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

An interview with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.. He discusses: exemplars for generalized abilities, offensive strength, defensive strength, Blitz Chess strength; late-bloomers in chess; the 3 greatest chess games in history; media productions on chess; the collective reaction of the chess community, and the set of chess Grandmasters at the time of Deep Blue; the use of stature in the chess world for personal, social, or political ends; the philosophy of reality; gods and God; supreme spirital or motivational principles; attributes of God; reducing cheating and scandals in the chess world; political views; conflicts in communism and human nature; the core of human nature; the function of destructive human beings; ethics; economics; poor countries aiming to be developed countries; women’s rights and the Polgar sisters; Tony Buzan, Dominic O’Brien, and Dr. Manahel Thabet; the aforementioneds’ uniqueness; Dr. Manahel Thabet; future plans with them; near and far future plans for himself.

Keywords: chess, gifts, grandmaster, Raymond Keene, skills, talents.

In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two))[1],[2],[3],[4]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Some chess Grandmasters have all-around high-quality talents, gifts, and skills in chess. Others have specific talents, which they exploit, e.g. strengths in offensive or defensive strategies, or talents in Blitz Chess. In each major division of skills, gifts, and talents, what exemplars come to mind for generalized abilities, offensive strength, defensive strength, Blitz Chess strength, and so on?

Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.: The great exponent of defensive chess was a man named Tigran Petrosian, who was World Champion from 1963 to 1969. He died in 1984. He was known to be unbeatable. For example, he went through the World Championship qualifying tournament in 1962, which he won without losing a single game. He represented the Soviet Union in many, many chess Olympics and Olympiads. He only lost one game out of about 80 that he played. He was an amazing example of someone who was an exponent of defensive play. His main talent was not losing. If you do not lose, it maximizes your chances of winning. In fact, he won the World Championship.

In modern chess, the World Champion is Carlsen. He is probably the greatest exponent of the end game. I think it was the sixth game of his 2013 World Championship game against Anand. The rooks and pawns, where computers were saying the position was completely drawn, but Carlsen found a way to win, and it was a way to win the computers hadn’t seen. I think one of his strengths is in the end game.

Until there is an attack, the ones that come to mind are Alekhine, Mikhail Tal, and Garry Kasparov. Mainly, they are known for attacks against the imposing king. This has become more difficult because with modern computer players. Defense techniques are becoming better. It is becoming rarer and more difficult to achieve, but these guys in their prime were able to do that, and it wasn’t just by the brilliance of their ideas, but by the charisma of their personalities. It is not a dry exercise. Charisma, personality, and psychology play a very large part in it.

2. Jacobsen: We spoke about chess prodigies. What about late-bloomers in chess? Those that made a tremendous impact on the mind sport’s trajectory throughout its history.

Keene: Nowadays, it is difficult to become a late bloomer. It’s really very difficult indeed. You have to start young. I think all of the top Grandmasters now started very young. If you go in back in history, you can find some people who were late bloomers. One was Akiba Rubinstein. A Polish grandmaster. He didn’t learn the moves of the game until he was 16, a teenager. Yet, he became one of the world’s greatest players, and that is very, very, very rare.

In the past, winning the World Championship, Alekhine won the World Championship in 1927. He was 35 years old. That wasn’t uncommon. Nowadays, people do not win the World Championship until in their 20s. Carlsen won it in his 20s; Kasparov won it in his 20s. You need to look into the past for late bloomers.

Rubinstein is one of the ones that come to mind. Most of the great players were really strong. Capablanca was World Champion from 1921-1927 and was playing since the age of 4 with his father. He started to observe his father play. I think there are activities like mathematics, chess, where there is some kind of cosmic harmony. A five-year-old or a six-year-old could not have possibly written a novel like War and Peace because it requires expertise, historical knowledge, and experience. I think mathematics and chess are quite different. They are purely an expression of harmony, universal harmonics. Very young people could pick up on those harmonics and pick up on it. Same thing with music. You can play the violin very young. You can do mathematics very young. You can play chess very young. That is because I think there is some kind of harmony in the universe, which is in certain people with certain gifts can actualize and interpret.

3. Jacobsen: What chess games remain the greatest in history to you – top 3?

Keene: Top three games, I think probably the first one would be the immortal game between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky played in 1851. It was a game that made a huge impact on chess history. It is called the Immortal Game because of its impact.

I would say that the game between Botvinnik and Capablanca in 1938, where Botvinnik was the representative of the Soviet school of chess. Capablanca was the old champion and was defeated by Botvinnik in a game of an amazing series of sacrifices. It showed the shift from the domination of Western chess to the new domination of the U.S.S.R. It was a beautiful game.

The final game, I think, also very symbolic, it was the 24th game of the 1985 game between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Garry became the youngest of the World Champions at the age of 24 as he beat Karpov in the final game. It was not only a fascinating game, very deep strategy and amazing ideas, but, again, it showed a transition, a historical transition, between the old Soviet Union and the passing of what must have been the Soviet state from 1917 and became the New Russia.

Although brilliant games in themselves, they were symbolic of political and social change. That’s why I’d think I’d choose those three. The 1851 game, 1938 game, and 1985 one between Kasparov and Karpov. It is interesting that in those three games two were won by white, but, Kasparov, as black, won the third game. I find it interesting that normally white has the advantage. It is a bit like having the serve in tennis. The kind of massive upheaval that overthrew the Soviet state also somehow symbolizes black, as the disadvantage, somehow won that last game.

4. Jacobsen: You have produced numerous media productions for the presentation and increased knowledge, and insight, into the professional strategy of chess – even inclusion of games with individuals such as GM Garry Kasparov.[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12] What responsibilities with the chess community, other chess Grandmasters, and the public comes with taking on this important activity of accurate and in-depth representation of chess to those with/without experience in it – and in an entertaining and respectable manner?

Keene: I think that with writing about chess or broadcasting about chess, there are different audiences to bear in mind. One audience is people who are expert chess players and understand a little about the game.  This is a very small number of people compared to the rest of the world. I think the next group is those that have interest chess, play chess, but do not have expert knowledge. I think that the key thing is to appeal to both groups at once. I have always tried to do this.

You can do this in two ways. First thing, you can say something about a position, or a variation, or a possibility, it has to be analytically accurate. You should not give a variation that does not work. I think that if you say something that is analytically correct and will hold up to computer scrutiny.

Next thing, which is where I think most chess commentators fail miserably, is you’ve got to make it clear, and you’ve got to make it comprehensible, and you’ve got to make it exciting. It has got to be verbally expressed. If we think back to Homer’s epic, the Iliad, Homer made that series of battles around Troy exciting. He didn’t do it by listing the latest technical developments in the forging of Greek armor. He did it by making the thing into an epic adventure. By creating heroes, by stating the deeds of an amazing set of people, I think the duty of the chess commentator is to think of the chess board like Homer, and to extol the virtues, the strengths, and the winner. You don’t denigrate the loser in the Homeric battle. You have got to explain this. You have got to present this battle between two sides. Chess is thought incarnate. It is the battle between two systems of thought. Two characteristics of thought. Two charismas of thought. It is exciting and needs to be expressed verbally, rhythmically or cosmically bound by correct variation like a symphony or epic. You cannot lie about the variations to make it more exciting. The variation is correct, the analysis would be correct, but you must be seen as a sort of bard singing the virtues of these heroes of mental warfare to make it exciting and attractive to pull more people in and show them the beauty of the game.

5. Jacobsen: You noted the current state of computers versus human beings in chess. In reflection on the defeat of Garry Kasparov by Deep Blue, what seemed like the collective reaction of the chess community, and the set of chess Grandmasters at the time?

Keene: I think that there was a belief after that match that it was still possible for Grand Masters to beat computers, that is, not lose to them. The period of matches for the World Championship for the highest honors between human thinkers and computers in mind sports, which started in 1992 where I organized the Draughts World Championship. That was the first ever world title match between a human and a computer in any thinking sport. By the time that Kasparov played Deep Blue in 1997, for a few years after that, maybe four or five years after that, it was still possible for humans and machines in thinking sports – but now, we know the computers are going to win. It will be some time before a player can sensibly challenge a computer and still win. There was a window between 1992-2008, where there was an interest in these matches. Now, we know in time what is going to happen.

Because computers advance so quickly, we no longer see computers as opponents, but as tools to help us, help the leading Grand Masters, or anybody, to improve their own play.

I hadn’t realized that that set a record for the first mind sports competition between a human and a machine. I didn’t realize it at the time but should have written a book about it.

6. Jacobsen: Some chess players utilize their station and stature in the chess world, such as Garry Kasparov, for the purpose of political and social activism too. For instance, in protest over the Presidency of Putin in Russia at the moment, Kasparov protests the government. Of course, his formidable achievements in chess provide – as you noted with yourself with respect to a certain weight in intellectual and social status – the basis for people taking his opinions, even outside of chess, seriously and given quite a lot of gravitas. What other chess Grand Masters come to mind in terms of utilization of their stature in the chess world as a means towards another personal, social, or political end?

Keene: Dr. Max Euwe, who was the World Chess champion from 1939-1947, and he defeated Alekhine in 1945, but lost the title later. He was a Dutchmen. He became a giant figure, not as a Dutchman, but someone who won the World Champion. He became a gigantic figure in Dutch society. He influenced Dutch culture to take on chess in a very big way. He was a massive figure, highly respected. One of the greats. His presence turned chess into a passion in Holland. I think if you think in countries who have worshipped chess there is Russia, Iceland, and Holland, and these are the three that really stand out.

Now, other people who have utilized their chess ability to create a certain standing: Anand in India. He has won sportsman of the year twice. He has been recognized by either Indian sportsman or cricketeers, cricketman, in India as being sportsman of the year. Although, I don’t think he’s done much with it. I do not think many chess players have done that much to leverage their chess prowess.

7. Jacobsen: What philosophical system seems the most robust and accurate in its representation of reality to you? What argument(s) and evidence seem the most convincing for this philosophical system?

Keene: Cause and effect, and the possibility or impossibility of infinity or non-infinity. Here’s my answer to several questions at once:

I believe that the human brain cannot conceive of either infinity or non-infinity in either time or space because if you say, “This goes on forever.” There’s an urge to say, “You must stop at some point. What comes after it?”  If you say, “Well, existence is infinity backwards,” the brain demands cause and effect. I do not think the universe, the physical universe as we can observe it, are subject to the laws of cause and effect. They break down at the beginning. There can’t be a beginning. Otherwise, what would have come before it? There can’t be a beginning. Cause and effect annihilate each other at the point of any beginning. How can something always exist?

I think it is also impossible for the human brain to conceive of nothing. The standard way of conceiving of nothing is a vacuum. A vacuum isn’t nothing. A vacuum is a space in which there is nothing, but that’s not nothing because the state which involves the vacuum is already something.

The space which can be emptied of everything that is conventionally viewed as nothingness isn’t nothingness at all because nothingness implies the absence of the space itself. Ergo, reality cannot be comprehended by the human brain. We can’t do it. It is not possible. Maybe, one day we can. Maybe, one of Manahel’s equations will do it. At the moment, we do not understand anything. We are like blind, deaf, and dumb. We do not know what the hell’s going on. The universe isn’t just weird; it’s weirder than we can possibly imagine, somebody said. We cannot conceive of a beginning without something before it, or space that’s empty. We cannot conceive of nothingness. We cannot conceive of infinity in time or space or non-infinity.

To be absolutely frank, the universe doesn’t make sense. Let’s live in it and do our best.

8. Jacobsen: You noted “gifts” for someone like Capablanca, as from something from God, possibly. Do you believe in gods or God?

Keene: Of course, I believe in God because, otherwise, it’s completely impossible to comprehend – I’m not a Christian. Technically, I am part of the Church of England, but I do not prescribe to Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism. I believe these are attempts to grasp the universal truth by different cultural and geographical methods. So I think there is a God, and we cannot comprehend him or her. I do not even know if God cares about us or not. I think God thinks in very grand designs. Individuals do not matter very much. I think our job in the universe is to help the universe become aware of itself and aware of God, and that is our job. The better the job we do, the better we are doing it. I think the origins of the universe are energy. Energy becomes gas; gas becomes liquid; liquid becomes solid; solid becomes matter; matter becomes sensate; sensation becomes intelligence; and the process, I see, is a driven process whereby the universe becomes aware of itself. It becomes aware of the divine. It becomes aware of the way it is, and we are currently beings capable of understanding what is it.

We are currently as far as we know the only beings remotely capable of understanding what it is. Maybe, somewhere it is something, and somewhere else it is something else. Whether it is some sixteen tentacle octopus on the moons of Alpha Centauri that is more intelligent than we are, but as far as we know we are doing the best job we can to understand it, comprehend it, and visualize it, to try and comprehend the complexity of beginnings and ends. But I’m not sure if any philosophical system or scientific system comes remotely close to explaining what the universe is, or what religion is, or what philosophy is. I think we just have to do the best we can, given our limited knowledge.

Maybe, Manahel’s 300+ page equation could solve it. So far, no one has anything. We are complete bloody beginners. When people say, “Well, I know this – I know there is no God.” Oh yea, really?! You know that for sure. Or people say, “Definitely there is a God.” Oh, yea, perhaps, my feeling is that there is so much that we cannot particularly comprehend, which is logically so completely beyond us that I think there must be some divine principle that is impelling us to understand. I think understanding, comprehension, is our job. Everything we do towards understanding, comprehending, is a good.

9. Jacobsen: Does this amount to a supreme spiritual or motivational principle?

Keene: Yes.

10. Jacobsen: In terms of this God, what attributes does this transcendental object/being/entity have to you?

Keene: The desire to be comprehended.

11. Jacobsen: What can be done to reduce cheating and scandals in the chess world?

Keene: [Laughing] That’s a jump.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Keene: Do not let people bring mobile phones into chess tournaments and make damn sure that they aren’t wired up to anything. It is all to do with electronic communication. There has to be some way of monitoring electronic communication. People, in any way, suspected of electronic communication, then you better figure out a way of dealing with it. It should be fairly simple, but one of the ways communication can ruin chess tournaments. It is as simple as that as far as I’m concerned.

12. Jacobsen: What political views seem the most efficacious in the world to you?

Keene: I think human beings are animals. I think animals are subject to the laws of evolution. And I think the laws of evolution have to honour in political systems. I think political systems, which distort human nature are doomed to failure. I think communism is a disaster, which tries to distort human nature.

13. Jacobsen: How so? Where does the conflict lie?

Keene: Because communism is too dirigiste, it tries to direct what human beings do. I think political systems that are successful are the ones that allow human beings the greatest freedom. I am pretty close to being a Libertarian. I think government is very suspicious. I think you need government to maintain order internally and defend the state against external aggression. Apart from that, I think governments, in general, try to take on too much. They try to legislate too many parts of people’s lives. I think the states that are most successful are the ones that allow citizens to get on with their lives. The government is simply there to be a last resort to make sure order does not break down and that the society isn’t threatened.

14. Jacobsen: Based on the principles of evolution by natural selection brought by Charles Darwin in 1859, what seems like the core of human nature to you?

Keene: I think the core of human nature is enlightened self-interest. I think that there are sizeable species like the preying mantis, which is promoted entirely by self-interest. It is not enlightened self-interest. A mantis will eat another mantis. I do not think human beings will do that. I think human beings are programmed to cooperate. A human being will not eat another human being. You will cooperate with another human being to grow crop to eat that, but a preying mantis with another preying mantis will simply eat it. Human beings are characterized by enlightened self-interest. Quite often, the most catastrophic events in human history have occurred when self-interest has been prevented. For example, the First World War, millions of people were interested in self-interest. They would not have dashed off to go and kill each other at all. There were other ways, but the First World War was the one where people were forced to fight in a way they were not in previous wars because of mass conscription. I think that human beings are naturally cooperative. They are naturally inclined to create. The destructive human beings are the exceptions rather than the rules. I think that if left to themselves human beings will create excellent systems. Governments bugger things up.

15. Jacobsen: In terms of the destructive human beings, in an evolutionary framework, they might perform a function. What seems like that function to you?

Keene: Napoleon was seen as good by the French and bad by the British. The British saw him as a continental despot trying to run the whole continent. The French saw him as some trying to restore French liberty, glory, and divinity. So, what is good? What is bad? A destructive human being, a really destructive human being, is often one who would be clinically insane. Even Adolf Hitler, the man was a criminal. If you read accounts of the way he rose to power, he rose to power by criminal methods. However, having gotten to power, if he hadn’t gone completely bonkers trying to conquer every other country in Europe, he would have restored Germany’s fortunes. It’s just that he was bonkers. He hit the Sudan, Czechoslovakia, then Poland, then Russia and France. I mean, this is insane behavior. I think even Hitler himself declared war on America.

The immediate denial of the Jews was insane. It was irrational. I think that where you get truly destructive individuals is because they are mentally unbalanced. Maybe, these people can be good. Yes, as a result of this terrible insanity, Europe has now stabilized itself, where I think European wars are a thing of the past. I do not think there will be another European war. Europe has had its differences, but there, I think, will never be another war between France and Germany. There may be another war thousands and thousands of years into the future, but as far as I can see, the traumas of the past caused by some very bad people have led to a better situation.

16. Jacobsen: Some things come to mind with respect to “relative ethics.” Some ethics include individuals such as Jeremy Bentham for Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism splits into Act and Role Utilitarianism too. Other ethics come to mind such as Divine Command Theory, where the Good or the Just comes from the top-down from a transcendent object, being, or entity. What ethic do you take into account when considering relative values?

Keene: I think the key is to not harm other people. Do what you want to do and do not harm people in the process. I think there was a book written by Kingsley in the 19th century called The Water-Babies.[13] It’s a kid’s book. He basically says, “Do not do to others what you wouldn’t wish to have done to yourself. Deal with others in the way you would wish to be dealt with.” I think that is the basic, simple rule, but I think it is a good one.

Jacobsen: It sounds as if it comes out of Matthew 7:12.

Keene: Everybody remembers it from Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies, which is a sentimental 19th century kid’s book from England. I think he invented characters like Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby.

Jacobsen: Mr. Golden Rule. [Laughing]

Keene: Yes.

17. Jacobsen: What form of economic system seems the best for developed societies such as the United Kingdom?

Keene: Capitalism: I would say think when the government tries to interfere that is where things start to go wrong. Of course, I think there should be some checks and balances. I actually believe in the survival of the fittest. That if a company is successful, then they should not be hand strung by government regulations. In that context, I think all drugs should be legalised. I think that the government should sanction companies to make drugs available and people should be allowed to take allowed to take whatever they want to whether marijuana, or cocaine, or any other thing. They should be allowed to do so. It should be the same penalties when under the influence of drugs as when committing criminal behavior when under the influence of alcohol.

I think that billions and billions of dollars are wasted worldwide by trying to stop people taking drugs, where you can damage yourself by drinking or even overeating. People should be allowed to do what they want to do. If they commit a crime, it should be tickets. Billions are spent on trying to stop people taking drugs. If the state licenses drugs, they can be a source of revenue instead of a source of loss. The whole question of drug-taking is totally relativistic. In the 19th century, cocaine was completely legal. Opium was legal. Some sort of modern argument that these should be criminalized. I find that thing weird, illogical. I think in due course that more drugs will be legal. Not that I’ve ever done a drug in my life. I would never do anything that I think would impair my thinking process. If people want to take them, then so be it. Let them do it.

Jacobsen: That argument ties together the Libertarian leanings and the Capitalist framework for the United Kingdom for you.

Keene: Yes.

18. Jacobsen: In the modern, in an intellectual, context, for the left, far-left, even moderate or centre-left, the positions seem to have misgivings with respect to Capitalism. What seems like a reasonable response to you?

Keene: I think Socialism is a disease.

Jacobsen: How so?

Keene: I think that the idea that human beings can be controlled and that free thought can be contained, or crushed, as indeed under extreme right-wing regimes such as Nazism is completely wrong. I say it again, you must give people the freedom to act, unless people are doing harm to other people. Governments must let them be individuals and let the individual do what they want to do. This is how creativity flourishes. If you try to crush creativity, whether creative expression, or actions or performances, you limit the creative potential of the human race. I believe in free speech.

19. Jacobsen: What about developing, or poor, countries with the aim to become developed countries?

Keene: The system of government. Is that what you’re saying?

Jacobsen: Better system of government is part of it, but it would be derivative from that better system of government. In other words, the economic system that would be implemented to improve their lot at either a faster rate or in general.

Keene: It’s got to be Capitalism. I think the best system of government for a country, which is very difficult to achieve, is a benevolent dictatorship without corruption.  It is almost impossible, but a lot of these countries, for example, South Africa. It went on a great course after Mandela, but with this current President corruption is rife. I think it’s going to go the same way as Zimbabwe if it’s not careful. Developing countries are in serious danger of being ran by corruption. Money is put into these ridiculous projects to be distributed fairly. I think Capitalism is a better way forward in all of these countries and freedom. I think when people start to tap out of Capitalism and press freedom these countries start to go off the rails.

20. Jacobsen: How important is women’s rights and the empowerment of women to the development of countries – even narrowed topics of cultural and sport import such as chess (which you indicated the future of chess with more women in it aside from the formidable Polgar sisters)?[14],[15],[16]

Keene: I think it’s absolutely vital. You cannot leave out half of the population when you’re trying to develop creativity. It’s completely bonkers. Women should be encouraged to shine in every area of intellectual area of performance.

21. Jacobsen: You have deep association with Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Mapping, Dominic O’Brien, Eight Times World memory Champion, and Dr. Manahel Thabet.[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23] What instigated involvement with these prominent individuals?

Keene: I met Tony Buzan in 1991 when I went to one of his lectures. We have been working together closely ever since. Dominic O’Brien, I also met in 1991 because what had happened is that Tony suggested that we organize the first of the World Memory Championship. I went to the Guinness World Record to see who won the world records and invited all of those who got people who got memory awards to the meeting and Dominic turned up. So I started an association with him in 1991. He won the first ever World Memory Championship, which we organized. I’ve been working with Dominic ever since. We have another one coming up in China this year. Manahel, I think she met Buzan last year, and he mentioned here to me. I got in touch. I have been associated with her ever since. She’s a wonderful person.

22. Jacobsen: Each brings unique specialties and talents to the professional and public world.[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30] Various talents, skills, abilities, and initiatives of importance and influence in a national, and international, context. What makes each of them unique to you?

Keene: Tony Buzan invented mind-mapping. He is absolutely committed to everything involving the mind, the brain, and genius. Dominic is a great ambassador of mental qualities. He’s very presentable, very tall, always well-dressed, very immaculate, and with a suit and tie. He really represents mental qualities in a most impressive way. Manahel is the most extraordinary person. I have never met anyone with such an amazing intelligence and an incredibly high IQ. Highly presentable, very, very charismatic, tremendous powers of reflexive persuasion. She is really a unique individual. I have never met anyone like her.

Jacobsen: Could you elaborate a little more on each individual?

Keene: I could, in what way?

Jacobsen: A parsing of personality variables. What seems to make them succeed in their area of professional life?

Keene: With Dominic, it is the fact that he started off without any particular talent for memory. I think this is probably common to all three of them. When they are presented with a situation where they have to succeed, or want to succeed, they had to analyze the accentuation that would derive the algorithm of success. Dominic did not start off with a great memory. He was inspired by a man named Craig Carvello. He wanted to do it himself. He wanted to perform all of these memory feats. He studied the methods of improving memory. He won the World Memory Championships eight times.

Tony, in university, was facing a dead-end in his studies and he wanted to remember what he was taught and how to make it interesting, colorful, how to make it attractive, and how to make it stick. That’s how he came up with the mind maps system. It is a situation where somebody is not given a God-given gift needs to solve certain immediate problems. They find the algorithm to do it by a process of ratiocination, by a process of analysis. I think that’s very impressive.

I think too with Manahel. I mean she comes from a different culture. She comes from a Middle Eastern culture where women do not have the freedom in life that men have. She wanted to solve the problem of breaking in to areas of activity that have traditionally been masculine. She did it by creating a genius persona and by winning IQ competitions, genius competitions, and she studied the methods of how to break into this masculine circle. She did it. Now, she is a global superstar. All three of them.

23. Jacobsen: One woman with an interest in women’s rights, women in science, women in academia or the university system, and in the world in general is Dr. Manahel Thabet. How important are contributions, such as her own, to the increased equality and rights for women in the world and the aforementioned domains because these seem interconnected in this globalized world?

Keene: I think they are very important because she is a very prominent person in Middle Eastern society, they all know who she is. She is immediately recognizable. She has a very distinctive style of presentation and dressing. She stands out. I think she is very widely respected. I think that’s why she won Brain of the Year from the Brain Trust Charity. That has been going since 1990. I think she has helped a lot, the cause, throughout the world. I think she will continue to do so and will increase her profile.

24. Jacobsen: Any future plans in development with them?

Keene: Absolutely, I’m going to do the World Memory Championship with Tony Buzan in China later this year. It’ll be China again next year. I’ll be hoping to bring it to the Middle East in 2017 with, possibly, Dr. Manahel’s assistance. There is a definite scope of possibility there. Of course, Dominic O’Brien is very active in the World Memory Championships. I am seriously considering expanding the scope of the World Memory Championships. It is much bigger than it was than when we started. It started with 8 people. Now, it is at about 200 every year. I think that there is scope for making the World Memory Championship something truly exciting. Something televisual; something that becomes almost as the World Championship of the brain. I think all three of them will be involved in that.

25. Jacobsen: What about for you – individually – for near and far future plans?

Keene: I have a lot of things. I want to increase the range and scope of The Brain Trust Charity. I want to help Professor Michael Crawford in his aims to eliminate world mental ill-health with his Institute for Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition. I want to increase the range and scope of the World Memory Championship. I want to create a real Olympic Games for the mind, which we started a few years ago but never quite made it. I am very interested in creating an Olympic Games for the mind that covers all the possible mental competitions. We’ve got The Gifted Academy with Dr. Manahel. I want to enhance the scope of it to bring our new mental training technique to as many people as possible. I want to help Tony Buzan bring mental literacy to the whole world. Everything is centered around increasing the power of people to think and help them make their own decisions to help the individual make up his or her own mind about the truth, and not be fed lies by governments or the press. And to help them decide for themselves what is the right path for themselves for comprehension.

26. Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Mr. Keene.

References

  1. Amazon.com. (2015). Samurai Chess. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Chess-Mastering-Strategic-Thinking/dp/0802775497.
  2. Amazon.com. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=raymond+keene.
  3. AZQuotes. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.azquotes.com/author/48364-Raymond_Keene.
  4. Barnes and Noble. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www1.barnesandnoble.com/c/raymond-keene.
  5. Buzan, T. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/.
  6. Carlsen, M. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://magnuscarlsen.com/about.
  7. Caruano, F. (2015). Fabiano Caruano. Retrieved from http://www.caruanachess.com/.
  8. Chess Daily News. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=20.
  9. Chessdom.com. (2015). European Chess Championship 2015 LIVE!. Retrieved from http://www.chessdom.com/european-individual-chess-championship-2015-jerusalem/.
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  11. Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/.
  12. Gelb, M. (2015). Michael Gelb. Retrieved from http://michaelgelb.com/.
  13. Giri, A. (2015). Anish Giri. Retrieved from http://anishgiri.nl/.
  14. Goethe, J.W.V. (1788). Egmont. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1945/1945-h/1945-h.htm.
  15. Goethe, J.W.V. (1808). Faust. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm.
  16. GreenLassies.com. (2015). Tag: Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.greenlassie.com/tag/raymond-keene/.
  17. Gulf News. (2015). Gulf News. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/.
  18. EOHT.com. (2015). Tony Buzan. Retrieved from http://www.eoht.info/page/Tony+Buzan.
  19. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/in-sight-people/.
  20. Jacketflap.com. (2015). About Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.jacketflap.com/raymond-keene/129027.
  21. Jouralisted.com. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://journalisted.com/raymond-keene.
  22. Ognisko Polskie. (2012, October 10). Chess Grandmaster, Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://ogniskopolskie.org.uk/reviews/2012/grandmaster-r-keene-obe.aspx.
  23. Outside in Pathways. (2015). Outside in Pathways. Retrieved from http://www.outsideinpathways.org.uk/.
  24. Peak Performance Training. (2015). Dominic O’Brien. Retrieved from http://peakperformancetraining.org/.
  25. Simon and Schuster. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Raymond-Keene/706694.
  26. So, W. (2015). Wesley So. Retrieved from http://wesleyso.com/.
  27. Thabet, M. (2015). Smart Tips Consultants. Retrieved from http://drmanahel.com/#about-us.
  28. The Australian. (2015). The Australian. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/.
  29. The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.
  30. The Croyden Citizen. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=40.
  31. The English Chess Federation. (2015). Ray Keene’s online chess coverage – The Times. Retrieved from http://www.englishchess.org.uk/ray-keenes-online-chess-coverage-the-times/.
  32. The Gifted Academy. (2015). About: Principals…. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/about.
  33. The Gifted Academy. (2015). Distinguished Patron. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/the-board.
  34. The Gifted Academy. (2015). The Gifted Academy. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/home.
  35. The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.
  36. The Sunday Times. (2015). The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/.
  37. The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.
  38. Twitter.com. (2015). @Times_Chess. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/times_chess.
  39. Ulster Chess Union. (2015). Raymond Keene plays simultaneous at Bangor Club. Retrieved from http://www.ulsterchess.org/archives/chronicles/2014-2015-season/articles-from-2014-2015-season/raymond-keene-bangor-simultaneous/raymond-keene-plays-simultaneous-at-bangor-club.
  40. University of Cambridge. (2015). University of Cambridge. Retrieved from https://www.cam.ac.uk/.
  41. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.waterstones.com/author/raymond-keene/184662.
  42. WIQF.com. (2015). WIQF. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.
  43. World Chess Championship 2015. (2015). World Team Chess Championship 2015. Retrieved from http://tsaghkadzor2015.fide.com/.
  44. World Chess Federation. (2015). FIDE: Standard Top 100 Players August 2015. Retrieved from https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men.
  45. World Chess Foundation. (2015). FIDE Chess Profile: Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=400211.
  46. World Genius Directory. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from http://www.psiq.org/world_genius_directory_awards/goty2013manahelthabet.pdf.
  47. World Memory Championships. (2015). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com/about-2/.
  48. World Memory Sports Council. (2015). About Us. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=40.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Knight of the Order of the White Swan, (conferred by ) Prince Marek Kasperski Chevalier of the Order of Champagne; Chair, Outside in Pathways; Director, Brain Trust Charity; Former British Chess Champion; Bronze Medal, World Team Championship; Right to Arms, Royal College of Arms; Freeman of the City of London; Winner (Two Times), Global Chess Oscar; Ex-Head (1994-2000), Mind Sports Faculty; Ex-Chess Tutor, Imperial Court of Iran; Gold Medal, Chinese Olympic Association; Gold Medalist, European Championship; Honorary Board Member, World Intelligence Network (WIN); The Global Media and PR Director, World Memory Sports Council; Ex-Head (2013/2014), Leadership Academies Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein and President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, in Leon; Britain’s Senior International Chess Grandmaster; International Arbiter, Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation; Co-Founder, World Memory Championships; Count of the Order of Torres Madras, Portugal; Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE); journalist; columnist; and author.

[2] First publication on April 22, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

[3] Photograph courtesy of Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E and Byron Jacobs.

[4] Master of Arts, Modern Languages, Dulwich College, Trinity College, Cambridge.

[5] Please see [1000sADSTV] (2013, June 30). Raymond Keene & Tony Buzan Genius Formula Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjEas0_QZeQ.

[6] Please see [Arkham Noir] (2011, April 22). Kasparov Vs. Speelman – 25 minutes away from the Final Pt.1. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgUgrhYXuRE.

[7] Please see [Arkham Noir] (2011, April 22). Kasparov Vs. Speelman – 25 minutes away from the Final Pt.2. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t06vM2w6WO4.

[8] Please see [Douglas Goldstein] (2012, April 27). Raymond Keene – All About Chess and Finance – interview – Goldstein on Gelt – July 2011. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuLYKguIc3U.

[9] Please see [Pavan Bhattad] (2014, December 22). Raymond Keene, CoFounder, World Memory Championships. Interviewed by Pavan Bhattad. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNgfLVyc0v4.

[10] Please see [TataSteelChess] (2015, January 17). Tata Steel Chess 2015 En passant Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rBQckkgAyQ.

[11] Please see TVapexLondon] (2014, January 2). Part I – Ray Keene, Chess Grandmaster shares his expertise. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkMyyyOyc7c.

[12] Please see [TVapexLondon] (2014, January 2). Part III – Ray Keene, Chess Grandmaster shares his expertise. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCDUmiDu-mM.

[13] Please see Susan Polgar. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Susan-Polgar.

[14] Please see Judit Polgar. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Judit-Polgar.

[15] Please see chess. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/chess.

[16] Please see In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/in-sight-people/.

[17] Please see World Genius Directory. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from http://www.psiq.org/world_genius_directory_awards/goty2013manahelthabet.pdf.

[18] In The Gifted Academy About: Principals… (2015), it, in full, states:

“Dr Manahel Thabet is ranked among the 30 Smartest people alive by SuperScholar and Brain of the Year Award Winner 2015-2016. In 2014 she was selected the AVICENNA award Laureate, as a successor to Professor Tony Buzan, given every year to those who present best practice in science , connecting East with West through science and knowledge. She also represents The Brain Trust Foundation as President of the MENA region, with one objective, which is to unlock and deploy the vast capacity of the human brain.

She is a PhD holder; Youngest winner of Woman of the Year 2000 from Woman Federation for World Peace. In 2013 Dr. Thabet won Genius of the Year 2013 by the World Genius Directory representing ASIA.

She is the President of WIQF (World IQ Foundation), the High IQ society and Vice President of ‘WIN’ (World Intelligence Network), with more than 60,000 high IQ members from all over the world; in 2012 Dr. Thabet was the Chairperson of the Scientific Comittee, Recommendation Commitee and Senior Advisor to the International Asia Pacific Giftedness Conference held in Dubai – UAE hosted by Hamdan Bin Rashis Awards for Distinguished Academic Performance. The conference hosted specialists from 42 countries, 320 papers and more than 2000 participants in the field of Talent and Gifted Education.

Dr. Thabet obtained the “Excellence of Global International Environmental and Humanitarian Award” given for outstanding efforts in undertaking environmental and humanitarian support. Dr. Thabet is also the winner of Middle East Achievement Awards in Science and was ranked among the 100 most powerful Women in the Middle East and most powerful 500 Arabs in the World by Arabian Business. Dr. Thabet is a Royal Grand Cross Officer of the White Swan Companionate and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London, UK.”

Please see The Gifted Academy. (2015). About: Principals…. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/about.

[19] Please see Thabet, M. (2015). Smart Tips Consultants. Retrieved from http://drmanahel.com/#about-us.

[20] Please see WIQF. (2015). WIQF. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.

[21] Please see Buzan, T. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/.

[22] Please see Peak Performance Training. (2015). Dominic O’Brien. Retrieved from http://peakperformancetraining.org/.

[23] Please see In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/in-sight-people/.

[24] Please see World Genius Directory. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from http://www.psiq.org/world_genius_directory_awards/goty2013manahelthabet.pdf.

[25] In The Gifted Academy about: Principals… (2015), it, in full, states:

“Dr Manahel Thabet is ranked among the 30 smartest people alive by SuperScholar and Brain of the Year Award Winner 2015-2016. In 2014 she was selected the AVICENNA award Laureate, as a successor to Professor Tony Buzan, given every year to those who present best practice in science , connecting East with West through science and knowledge. She also represents The Brain Trust Foundation as President of the MENA region, with one objective, which is to unlock and deploy the vast capacity of the human brain.

She is a PhD holder; Youngest winner of Woman of the Year 2000 from Woman Federation for World Peace. In 2013 Dr. Thabet won Genius of the Year 2013 by the World Genius Directory representing ASIA.

She is the President of WIQF (World IQ Foundation), the High IQ society and Vice President of ‘WIN’ (World Intelligence Network), with more than 60,000 high IQ members from all over the world; in 2012 Dr. Thabet was the Chairperson of the Scientific Comittee, Recommendation Commitee and Senior Advisor to the International Asia Pacific Giftedness Conference held in Dubai – UAE hosted by Hamdan Bin Rashis Awards for Distinguished Academic Performance. The conference hosted specialists from 42 countries, 320 papers and more than 2000 participants in the field of Talent and Gifted Education.

Dr. Thabet obtained the “Excellence of Global International Environmental and Humanitarian Award” given for outstanding efforts in undertaking environmental and humanitarian support. Dr. Thabet is also the winner of Middle East Achievement Awards in Science and was ranked among the 100 most powerful Women in the Middle East and most powerful 500 Arabs in the World by Arabian Business. Dr. Thabet is a Royal Grand Cross Officer of the White Swan Companionate and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London, UK.”

Please see The Gifted Academy. (2015). About: Principals…. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/about.

[26] Please see Thabet, M. (2015). Smart Tips Consultants. Retrieved from http://drmanahel.com/#about-us.

[27] Please see WIQF. (2015). WIQF. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.

[28] Please see Buzan, T. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/.

[29] Please see Peak Performance Training. (2015). Dominic O’Brien. Retrieved from http://peakperformancetraining.org/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two) [Online].April 2018; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, April 22). In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A, April. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A (April 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 16.A (2018):April. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part Two) [Internet]. (2018, April; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-two.

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In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 16.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twelve)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 15, 2018

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 10,760

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

An interview with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.. He discusses: geographics, cultural, and linguistic background; pivotal moments in early life; influences on intellectual development; growing up gifted or not; precocious chess achievements; myths and truths around chess prodigies; interest in Goethe; personal achievements; motivation for diverse interests; benefits from being a chess Grandmaster; general transferability to other areas of life; computers surpassing humans at chess; innate versus environmental influence on ability; benefits for students learning chess; Magnus Carlsen; probable near and far future for the world of chess; ranking chess achievement; common personality traits of the great chess grandmasters; genius gone awry such as Bobby Fischer; and underrated chess Grandmasters.

Keywords: Bobby Fischer, chess, genius, grandmasters, Magnus Carlsen, Raymond Keene.

In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One)[1],[2],[3],[4]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your family background reside[5]?

Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.: We have lived in London.[6]We do not go back hundreds of years. The records are hundred years or so, and have always been in London.[7]

2. Jacobsen: What seem like pivotal moments in early personal life?

Keene: I was six years old. My mother wanted to take a bath. I was pestering her. She said, “Here, play with these.” She gave me chess pieces.[8]I had never seen them before. I said, “I don’t know how to play with them. You tell me.” She never got to the bath. That was my association with chess. I went on to become a chess Grandmaster.[9]

3. Jacobsen: How did these influence personal and intellectual development with respect to side activities such as chess, journalism, and writing?[10]

Keene: I got into journalism and writing through chess. I was primarily a chess player. I became a Grandmaster.[11] I won the British Championship.[12] I got the gold medal in the European Championship.[13]I got the bronze medal in the World Team Championship.[14]Because I had training in literature at school and Cambridge: German, French, and English.[15]I was fluent in writing about chess. That lead to writing 199 books, 12,000 articles, et cetera.[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21]

4. Jacobsen: Were you gifted growing up?

Keene: I was serious; not sure I was gifted. I was serious. If I was interested in something, I applied myself to it, quite determinedly.  If I wasn’t interested in something, I really hadn’t any trouble focusing on it at all. In fact, I wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible. (Laughs) Physics, I couldn’t stand physics. Physics and math, I wasn’t interested in the slightest, but things like languages, history, Latin, German, French. I was interested in, of course, chess. I was able to apply quite serious dedication to them.

5. Jacobsen: Now, when it comes to precocious chess achievements, how did you find growing from childhood to young adulthood from childhood with this?

Keene: Precocious is a prodigy at 6, 8, or something. I didn’t show any serious talent at chess, until I was about 12 or 13. At that point, I started to take it seriously. I studied and read books on tactics, and so on.

I think it was books on strategy more than anything else. It told you how to begin a game, the right structures to aim for, and so on. I learned fast. Compared to people like Capablanca or Kasparov, or some of the modern prodigies, I was not precocious.[22],[23]I was average, until I was at least the age of 10 or 11.  After that, it moved quickly from the age of 12 or 13.

These were real prodigies. They had some sort of cosmic link with chess. I do not think I had that. I was very intelligent and very determined at things of interest to me – serious and not distractable. If I do something, then and now, I am ruthless at its completion. I tend not to become distracted. I have been lucky. I do not need much sleep. Quite often, I could do normal stuff during the day. During the night, I could study things I wanted to study. Next morning, I would still be awake.

I never needed a huge amount of sleep. Hopefully, it will continue because I enjoy sleeping. However, I do not sleep for long periods. I prefer short naps like in a plane, a car, or a train. Go to sleep, use the dead time for sleeping, and then catch up during the night. I did all of my school homework at night. My mother used to get worried. I would be awake at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning working. She tried to get me to the bed.

6. Jacobsen: When it comes to prodigies in general, myths and mis-conceptions exist about them. What myths exist and truths dispel them?

Keene: It is said that Capablanca learned chess by watching his father. That he learned at the age of 4.[24]That’s not impossible. It is quite possible, actually. There are stories about Paul Morphy, that he learned chess at an early age, and then being able to beat European masters.[25]And they’re actually true because you can – games exist, you can see the games that they played, that are very impressive. They’re quite extraordinary.

Some people, like Capablanca, really were, and I think Kasparov, were truly gifted in chess.[26],[27]I don’t think I was. I was gifted with something else. Dedication, certain kind of intelligence, focus, not easily distracted, but I was quite big. I have always been big. Some kids at school are small and weedy. Some were bullied.

Nobody did that to me because I was twice their size. I was a good rugby player at school. I have been big and heavy.

7. Jacobsen: You have an interest in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[28],[29],[30] In fact, you translated Faust into English.[31],[32] Where does this interest, in the man and the story, originate for you – to such an extent as to translate the famous text?

Keene: The first thing of Goethe’s I read was his play, Egmont, which is a about the liberation of the Dutch in the 16th century from the Spanish Empire.[33],[34],[35] When I was at school, I was told that Goethe’s most advanced and difficult work was Faust.[36] It was almost like, “You shouldn’t read it. It’s too difficult.” I started to read it. I found it incredibly exciting. The opening line of Goethe’s Faust are amazing.[37] My spine was tingling as I read it. It was incredibly well-written and exciting.

Exploring what we know scientifically, what we know through magic, what we know through religion, what human ambition consists of, it was a really extraordinary play. I was impressed by Faust. I took Goethe as a special paper at Cambridge.[38] I studied Goethe in general.[39] I studied, not his plays and his poems alone, but his philosophy, his theory of color, which was quite different from Newton’s.[40] I read the conversations he had, which his secretary, Eckermann, recorded.[41] I knew a lot about Goethe. I knew the opinions.[42]

He was a towering colossus of European thought. He was probably the giant of European culture in the first decades of the 19th century. He knew Napoleon.[43] He knew all the major politicians. He knew all of the artistic figures. He worked with Schuler. He was like a bridge between the 18th century and 19th century.

The German Shakespeare, but in many ways the German Leonardo da Vinci.[44],[45] He was everything. He was a great polymath and a politician.[46] He was Prime Minister of Weimer, and minister of works and roads.[47] He was everything. It was part of this universal talent. This giant talent to cope with anything I found impressive.

8. Jacobsen: You hold the, or at least a, record, if I gather correctly, for the greatest number of written books, 199, on “Chess, Mind Sports, Genius, Mental World Records, Art and Thinking.”[48] You wrote 12,000 articles on various topics in chess, mind sports, and so on.[49],[50],[51],[52],[53],[54] You won numerous international chess prizes including the Gold Medal of Chinese Olympic Association (1981) and Global Chess Oscar (twice).[55]You competed simultaneously against 107 opponents with 101 wins, 5 draws, and 1 loss.[56] You co-founded and organize the World Memory Championships. You had involvement in organization of the World Chess Championships. You earned a peak rating of 2,510, which sufficed to earn the title of Grandmaster.[57] In addition to these, you acquired “freeman of the City of London” and were “granted right to Arms by the Royal College of Arm. Knight of the Order of the White Swan conferred by Prince Marek Kasperski and Chevalier of the Order of Champagne.”[58]  With these in mind, what remains the single greatest achievement in personal life?[59]

Keene: I will give you one more. I have been made a Count! So, I am His Excellency Raymond Dennis Raymond Order of the British Empire (OBE), international chess Grandmaster, and Count of the Order of Torres Vedras, Portugal.[60],[61]  I am the first person in the history of chess to be made a Count on account of his chess ability.

It is spelled Torres Vedras. It means “Green Towers.” Of course, “Torres” in Portuguese is the same as a chess rook: “Count of the Green Towers.” It’s a genuine title awarded by the legal descendants of the Imperial House of Braganza in Portugal.[62]

It was getting the Grandmaster title. It took the longest to do: blood, sweat, and tears. It took me a long time. It was very, very close on a number of occasions. Things went wrong at the last minute. I needed to win one game in a tournament, and lost it. Things like this. Or I would get two wins, and draw them both. I was so close on so many occasions.

According to modern rules such as freeze results before the end of the tournament, you have a Grandmaster title pro rata, before the end of the tournament nowadays.[63] If I knew that, I would be a Grandmaster two years earlier. Also, when I was doing it, 2,510 was a good rating.  Nowadays with inflation that will be a 2,700 rating, when there’s been enormous inflation since I achieved that rating.

In 1975, 1976, 1977, around that time, that was 35 or 38 years ago. In 1986, I was having dinner with Garry Kasparov in Brussels.[64],[65] I said, “Do you think you’ll ever get to 2,800?” He said, “No, it’s impossible. It cannot be done. Absolutely impossible. Mathematically, impossible. It cannot ever be done.” Now, there are – Kasparov got over 2,800, Carlsen got over 2,800, Kramnik got over 2,800, and Anand got over 2,800, and five or six people have already done it.[66],[67],[68],[69],[70]

Is it impossible? They are all very strong players. Even since 1986, there has been tremendous inflation. It is not playing strength alone. It is inflation too. 2,510 was good at the time. It would be a couple of hundred points higher were I to play at that strength now, which I cannot because I am old and tired.

Anyway, I think Grandmaster title was the thing that took the most blood, sweat, and tears. That was the most difficult professional thing that I achieved.

9. Jacobsen: In 1985, you replaced, and continue to write as a chess correspondent, for The Times following the retirement of Mr. Harry Golombek.[71],[72] In addition, you contribute to The Sunday Times, The Spectator, The Daily Yomiuri Tokyo, The Australian and The Gulf News.[73],[74],[75],[76],[77] Bearing in mind the previous question with incorporation of personal achievements, what motivates these diverse interests convergent upon the world of chess?

Keene: It all takes part from one. They are all chess columns. The one for the Gulf News, and the one I write for The Times.[78],[79] It is a syndicated article. It is the same article in the Times and Gulf News.[80],[81] I do two IQ questions every week. It is two questions that require a bit of thought, even a bit of knowledge. Even the rest of the chess columns, they are all about chess. I’m not writing about Mozart symphonies one week, and the sex life of the Guatemalan fruit fly the next one. It’s all chess-centric.

It is the most diverse mind-sport. The IQ questions formed a kind of mind sport, quiz questions with brain teasers. That is the linking factor. Almost everything that I have written is connected with that, and most of the books that I have written have been what happens to the brain as it gets older, and another about geniuses. What motivates a genius, who I think the main geniuses are, those are books I wrote with Tony Buzan.[82]

Most of the books I have written have been about chess. That is the predominant theme because that is the thing. I am coming to other things like memory and other mind sports through my association with chess, and the World Memory Championship because I am biased on the conversion from chess being a hobby to being a sport.[83] It was possible to convert chess from being a hobby to being a competitive sport through the analogy with chess.

10. Jacobsen: Does being a chess Grandmaster confer benefits to other domains in your life?

Keene: Yes, it confers social and intellectual status. It helped me to earn the OBE, the Order of the British Empire. You get a certain respect, certain credibility. People offer you opportunities.[84] Also, the kind of thinking required for chess is transferable. Many people deny this.

They say being good at chess means you’re good at chess and nothing else. I actually subscribe to the view of Musashi, the Japanese swordsman of the 16th century.[85] A Book of Five Rings, he wrote a book about martial arts.[86] He said, “From one thing, learn ten thousand. If you learn master one art, you can transfer skills.”

I believe this. I believe that by mastering chess I am – though I’m not fully mastered. It’s too complex, too difficult; it’s quasi-infinite, but by mastering a large subset of the skills required to play chess well. I can see strategic opportunities in life. Tactful opportunities, business opportunities, and I think opportunities are key. In chess, you can form a strategy, an overall play, but the real key to chess is grasping opportunities that arise. It is something that happens.

If your opponent makes a mistake, you will cease it, jump on it, and exploit it. I think one of the things that I am quite good at is seeing opportunities, using them quickly, and thinking fast. I think chess helps with this. From chess, it is possible from one thing to learn ten thousand. By mastering one thing, you can apply those techniques to other things. That was the central message of Musashi.[87]

I wrote a book with an American martial artist called Michael Gelb.[88] It’s called Samurai Chess in which we explain that theory.[89] That if you master chess, this will help you in all other areas of your life. It will give you insight into the way strategy works, tactic works, opportunity ceasing works, and so on. I firmly believe that. Chess teaches the ability to cease opportunities, exploit situations, and think quickly. I’ll give you another example.

In 1968, I was coming home from a dinner at Simpsons on the Strand, which used to be a chess club. And outside my house, somebody tried to mug me. Great thug said, “Give me your wallet.” And I thought, “We’ll see about this.” This guy was there threatening, saying, “Give me all your money.” It was like I was playing a chess game, where I had to make a quick decision. Does he have a gun? Does he have a knife? Is he going to start with his fist? I rapidly summed up the situation, and punched him in the nose. He ran away. (Laughs) I think chess-playing helped with that. I had to analyze a whole bunch of factors quickly, form a conclusion, and act on it. I did; I won.

He ran away. I did not. As far as I was concerned, that was victory. Chess was helpful. I felt like I was in a chess situation. Fortunately, he did not have a knife.

11. Jacobsen: A lot of research given through brain training programs, most of the experts note that there is no general transferability of ability. Here, as far as I understand, there seems to be sufficient general transferability into other domains of life.

Keene: That is right. It is what I have done in my own life. I feel that my ability transferred from chess to other things. In terms of speed of thought, grabbing opportunities, summarizing situations quickly, analyzing the long-term against the short-term, it may be that the experts, or the other experts, are looking at things too rigidly, and do not interpret at things fluidly enough. However, I can say, looking at my own experience, that I can transfer things. I feel it is possible for other people as well.

12. Jacobsen: I suspect this involves two variables. One, the length of time. Two, the complexity of the tasks. For instance, when it comes to the typical brain training programs online now, most of them do not seem to necessitate complexity. In addition, most people likely do not pursue them for long periods. Therefore, when people test them for transferability, there does not seem to be much transfer. With chess, people begin at the age of 6 or 7, might be a child prodigy, and then can train for decades to get to the desired Grandmaster title, and then from that acquire the benefits. The length time, in addition to the “quasi-infinite” status, as you noted, might indicate the level of complexity there plus time would breed some form of, at least, relative general transferability.

Keene: That is a good explanation. I would say that sounds true, yes.

13. Jacobsen: Will computers surpass the greatest competitive human chess Grandmasters on a consistent basis (if it hasn’t already happened)?

Keene: It has happened. That is the trouble. It really has happened. We have got the state now where the top Grandmasters are learning from computers. I, honestly, think that matches between humans and computers are pretty well a thing of the past. I think the top computers won. And I am afraid some of the solutions computers come up with to complex chess positions, even the best players do not think of these things. I mean they are so anti-intuitive it is not true.

There are still occasions. There was one of the games from the Carlsen-Anand match, not the last one, but the one from before in 2013, when computers were still saying the game was drawn, and Carlsen was planning a way to win it.[90],[91] This is becoming increasingly rare, and as computers get better and better, and they will get better and better, I do not think we are ever going to catch up. I think we are going to have to accept the fact that like athletes who run, that the motor cars are always – the Formula 1 cars are always – going to be a bit faster. There’s not much we can do about it. I find it a shame. I mean it is a bit of shame. When the genie is out of the bottle, what can be done about it?

There is nothing that can be done about it. I really do not see a human player ever getting to the point where they can consistently beat computers. I think we are gonna draw games, get in situations where you do not actually lose. I think it is an uphill task. That point of no return has already been passed. It annoys me. I do not want to say that, but it sounds like the truth to me.

14. Jacobsen: An old question relates to the ratio of innate talent and environmental influence on ability. In terms of chess talent, what seems like the proper ratio of contribution between general ability and training for their influence on chess performance? 

Keene: I that there are few people with an innate talent for chess. It is rare. Even Magnus Carlsen did not have an innate talent for chess, it is not like he went to the chess board and could immediately beat his father or his brother.[92] He could not. He was attracted to chess and then he worked at it. He could absorb information very quickly. His main talent was being able to absorb information very quickly.

I think Morphy and Capablanca had an innate talent for the game.[93],94] Even Kasparov, I do not think had an innate talent.[95] He was a bright guy, good at absorbing information, assimilating it, and processing it. It happens chess attracted him. I am not sure he had an innate gift for it. There is a difference between talented and gifted. Talent being good, clever, and so on. Gift means like a gift from God. I think Morphy and Capablanca had some kind of divine gift for chess.[96],[97]

I mean their games, at early ages.  When the amount of published chess information was pretty small, compared to what it is now, they can only really pick it up from watching other people play. And improving upon the principles they saw adumbrated on the games they saw there. With all of that sort of information, to play at that level that early, argues for some sort of gift, really gifted, to me. That is not the case for many people at all. I am trying to think of artists.

I mean Mozart was really gifted, but he came from a musical environment. I guess his own kids were great musicians.[98] Bach created a musical environment. A whole bunch of Bach’s went further on in music.[99] They were good on their own, but not in the same league, and there are chess players who’s fathers were good chess players, and who became chess players as well. The Littlewood Brothers, there was John Littlewood. Both of them came in second in the British Championship on a number of occasions. The son of John Littlewood, Norman Littlewood, won the British Championship, and he ended up becoming Grandmaster.[100]

Giftedness is rare, but possible. Talent is usually a talent. There is something, which gets channeled into chess. Environment can go a long way. For instance, the Polgar sisters. Now, Judith Polgar is the best of the Polgar sisters.[101],[102],[103] She lived chess from a very early age, but she never became World Champion. She got into the top 10. You think that someone who is a talented person, which she clearly is, exposed to that much chess information and that much chess intuition might become World Champion. She did not.

There are some chess players like Karpov and Kramnik, and Kasparov.[104],[105],[106] There were certain areas of chess that she mastered like tactics.  It was a strategically slower game. She had some troubles. You need a rare combination of talent in something, the desire to play chess, and a favorable environment before you become a great champion.

Some of those like Morphy and Capablanca were gifted, but gifted in the long run did not help them.[107],[108] Capablanca won the World Championship once.[109] He never dominated the way he you think he might have done afterwards.

Morphy gave up chess.[110] Bobby Fischer was not gifted in chess.[111]I think he was talented. He did not even have really favorable environmental conditions. He gave up chess. It is hard to tell. I think the ideal strong chess player is someone who is intellectually curious and has a talent for something which goes into chess. I think persistence is very important.

I think that Emmanuel Lasker, for example, held the World Championship for a very long time, but I do not think he was gifted at chess.[112] He was a talented person. Intellectually active, discovered chess, fell in love with it, and stayed in the top for an extraordinary length of time. Somehow, I feel that is the ideal combination to produce someone who was a really great champion.

15. Jacobsen: Young people continue to pursue, with deep passion, the world, and mastery, of chess. Below the level of Grandmaster, what benefits accrue for students in the process of learning, competing, and honing their abilities for chess?

Keene: It trains you in many things. One of them is to a certain extent logic. I have some trouble with the concept of logic because one person’s logic is somebody else’s illogic.

Imagine a chess game, where you have two ways of getting an advantage, one is to gain more mobility; the other one is to gain extra material. Now, if you’re writing commentary on the game with the benefit of hindsight, if the thing done by the person concerned works, there’s tendency to say, “This is more logical than doing Y.” And if it doesn’t work, you can say, “More logical would have be that.”

I think there are moments when the fine-tuning of judgment in any situation. That is not just in the chess board. That is in all areas in life. What is more or less logical, is somewhat relativistic, it is; logic is, quite often, conferred by the outcome, not by the process.

Let’s say there are two guys moving toward you with the intention of killing you, okay? And you have a gun, and you can pick off one or the other in sequence. But one of the guys has a gun, and one of the guys has a sword, and they’re both going to kill you, alright? But there both 200 yards away, alright? You can kill both of them as long as you do it in time. Which one is it more logical to kill?

The logical thing to do is shoot the man with the gun because he can shoot you from a distance, and then turn your attention to the man with the sword who has to get much closer to you before he can do any damage. Okay?

I would say that is the logical way of looking at it, okay? But what if you don’t know that the man with the sword has the ability to throw the sword 200 yards and kill you? And then you shoot the guy with the gun, and while you’re doing that, the man with the sword hurls the sword and kills you. So the logic suddenly becomes more hazy because it becomes more dependent on a lot of factors you cannot necessarily determine.

Therefore, what is prima facie logical can be influenced by hidden factors to be illogical.[113] What I am saying is there are so many factors in complex situations that what may or may not appear logical may, in fact, be, or not be, logical. So, logic is harder to determine than, “Oh that’s logical and that’s not logical.”

There are shades of distinction. And in chess, you can often make the case for something being logical, but if you work hard at it, you can make an equally good case that somebody else is being logical too. So when I say chess develops the skill of logic – yes, it does in general – but I have trouble with the question of logic because I’m not too sure that logic always holds up.

It fosters the skill of analysis. It teaches you to analyze. You cannot get by in chess without seeing an abstract pattern, and seeing combinations and maneuvers in your head that it definitely helps through. I think it also helps with concentration. So kids who do chess at school will concentrate better at maths or science, or whatever, because they’ve learned to focus on chess.

And I think the other thing it helps with, and I think this is very important, and I think this is the major attraction is that it enables you to win, because so often in life is what you try to achieve has an opaque outcome, can’t see the outcome, the outcome is deferred. You play a game of chess, and you can win it. You can win it quite quickly.

And if you play, within ten minutes, you can win. Winning, I think, is the basis of the prime human commodity, which is identity. I think the more commodities that human beings crave, whether they know it or not, the most important, the most significant, the most enriching, is identity. And winning a game of chess confers identity on you.

Let me give you an example, modern life for a lot of people is anonymous. You do a lot of things online. You don’t interact with human beings. You don’t feel as though you’re a real person, and the machine is replying to you. And quite often, say you want to complain about something, let’s say that somebody is dumping rubbish in your street, but you want to complain to the local government.

Certainly in the UK, this can be a long process for somebody who tends to your needs and takes you seriously, or like the government owes you a tax rebate.[114] It can take you a long time to get a tax rebate. And there’s a tendency in modern life that is mechanized, computerized. Voice mail systems that say, “Press button 1, now press button 2, and press button 3.”

And as an individual, you find that your identity is attenuated. That you’re not being recognized. That other human beings are saying that you do not exist. It is a wide-spread disease in modern Westernized societies. I think playing a game of chess. You beat somebody. That person resigns. You see them concede your victory. You suddenly ratchet up your ontological rating considerably. Your identity becomes confirmed.

Something out in the universe identifies that you exist. And I think that all goods in the sense of money, fame, wealth, sex; all these things are roots to serve validation, ontological validation: an identity. I think that chess can do wonders for one’s own identity.

Ergo, it is pretty good to teach to kids who come from underprivileged backgrounds that they suddenly feel a sense of self-worth, achievement, and a very quick sense of self-worth and achievement. Okay, you’re going to lose games, draw some games, but you’re going to win some games. But the wins are more valuable to their psyche than their losses, and their losses and draws are inimical.

16. Jacobsen: Of the present crop of the young Grandmasters, Magnus Carlsen stands above the rest.[115] What are your thoughts on his achievements, talent, and future trajectory?

Keene: I think his main talent is in preventing games from drying up, becoming drawn. And I don’t think he tries to take a big advantage after the opening like Kasparov did.[116] I don’t think he tried to destroy the opponents. He simply tried to keep the battle going, and thinks that if it goes on long enough the other guy will make a mistake and he’ll win. So his games are very hard to read.

Quite often, “What on Earth is he trying to do?” All he’s trying to do is to stop the game from going drawn. He’s not badly off, or it is level, but not dead; he can play on, and on, and on, and win in the end. I think that is his main talent. I think that if he carries on he has the capacity to equal the achievements of people like Kasparov and Karpov as champion. I do not see anyone remotely threatening his reign as champion.

There are other guys like Wesley So, or Anish Gurie, or Nakamura, or Caruano, but I think he’s got the measure of all of them.[117],[118],[119],[120]   I don’t he’s got a serious rival at all. He’s still dreadfully young.[121] He could be world champion in 20 years. He could end up as the greatest player ever. I do not think his games will turn out as the most attractive games ever. In terms of sheer results, he’s got the potential, if he carries on to get the best sporting results of any of the world champions. He has a weakness.

His weakness is arrogance. Occasionally, he just gets overconfident, and plays like a complete idiot because he thinks that he can do anything and win. He lost a couple of games in the chess Olympiad last year by being arrogant. But if sticks to what he’s doing, does not relax, he could be the greatest ever.

17. Jacobsen: For the world of chess, the people and sport, what seems like the most probable near and far future?

Keene: There are a lot of people that say we should be using randomized opening positions, that the pieces should be shuffled at the start of the game. It’s called Fischer Random. I don’t think highly of that idea at all. It’s a bad idea. The pieces are where they are at the beginning of the game because they are most harmoniously placed for military action, and if you mess this up you get stranger portions. I think chess is sufficiently infinite to be carried on playing in its current form for a very long time. There may come a point when computers solve it.

Computers have more or less solved checkers. It’s a long time before computers completely solve chess. I think it’s too complicated. When they can tell you what is going on at any given position to play a couple openers and analyze how every possible game, and every possible conclusion, is a long way off.

I think if chess were to be played out in its current form rather than put the pieces on random different squares. I am prepared to expand the board to a 100 squares in a continental draft, which is a 10×10 board. Add a couple extra pieces, a piece that moves, like a rook or a knight or something like that.

A queen with a rook and a bishop, and a piece that moves like a rook and a knight, and I think a small simple change – Japanese chess is played on a 9×9 board. Continental draft is 10×10. 8×8 is a convention. You can easily play on a 9×9 board or a 10×10 board, but mixing up the pieces at the start I really do not like at all.

My prediction on the exhaustibility, or inexhaustibility, of chess. Tamburlaine the Great, the great Mongol conqueror used to play on a much bigger board with more pieces.[122],[123],[124]They used to have camels and things like that. There is precedent for that sort of thing.

One of the big developments will be more female players. Personally, I cannot understand why there shouldn’t be more female players. It is more cultural than anything else rather than brain power. I think fewer women, culturally, have played chess professionally, made a career out of it. There will become more, and more, strong female players.

Manahel, for example, is a very bright person.[125],[126],[127],[128],[129]I am sure if she had taken up chess as a young person she would have done well. A very sharp mind. I think more female players, and younger players. I think players are getting younger and younger, and both sexes are taking it up. I am not immediately worried about the possibility of chess being exhausted. It is more or less infinite. If there is a problem, rather than shuffle the pieces at the start, I would rather add two more pieces to the board than 10×10. I know that would solve the problem.

Japanese chess, for example, Shogi, they have a rule, when you catch an opponent’s piece it becomes yours, and it is a gain on your side.[130]Maybe, that is something we should consider as well.  However, I do not think that crisis has been reached. I don’t think it will be reached for some time.

18. Jacobsen: Some methodologies in chess combine human pattern recognition and computer massive serial processing with chess algorithms. How does this process work at the highest level of achievement in chess (say, greater than or equal to 2,700 FIDE rating)?

Keene: The very top players nowadays, certainly players above 2,500, are learning from computers. The kind of chess they’re playing is often quite antithetical to what you would call “classical chess.” I mean there are all of these anti-intuitive move of players at the highest level nowadays. To be frank, I do not know what they are doing. Some of their strategic ideas or long-term moves I find really weird. I’m sure this is influenced by computers. They’re using computers to analyze. They invent moves in their own games that a computer will improve, which wouldn’t necessarily have been used by human analysts. Human are already revolutionizing even quite standard positions. They’re coming up with ideas that are totally alien to all that’s gone before.

19. Jacobsen: What common personality trait do the great chess Grandmasters have in common?

Keene: I would say it is determination. All of the top chess grandmasters are very determined. It is not just good enough to be able to understand chess. You’ve got to be able a sportsman as well. And sportsman in the sense of wanting to win and being able to adapt to difficult or changing circumstances on the move as it were. For example, there was a big tournament in St. Louis recently. It was a million dollar international grand prix. One of the talented players in it is a Philippine grandmaster name Wesley So. A very good player, he’s been up-and-coming for a long time. He’s born in the Philippines, but now he represents the USA. But he came near the bottom. The reason he came near the bottom is because he doesn’t have the same killer instinct that the other players in the tournament did, and not all of the other players, Anand, for instance, who was the former world champion, who has “been there and done that,” but his ambition is waning. I mean, he’s still a superb player, but he still doesn’t have the hunger that the others have; unless you have that, if you are in a bad position, or about to make a loss, total commitment, total determination, you normally succeed at the top. It’s a sporting quality, not just chess talent. You can have great comprehension of chess without necessarily having that killer instinct that makes you a supreme practitioner.

20. Jacobsen: Some unfortunate cases of chess genius going awry come to mind such as the late Bobby Fischer, for instance. Does this happen often in the chess world?

Keene: No, I do not think it happens any more in the chess world that I think it happens in any other area of high performance. I think Fischer, I think he was bonkers, went completely insane, especially towards the end.  These players can go mad. For example, Tony Miles was clinically insane. He had drug treatments to suppress his insanity. There were one or two others. I do not think it is any worse than in any other area of high performance. I think people in any area of high performance will be subjected to exceptional stress and all sorts of mental problems can occur. I mean most of the top chess players – Garry Kasparov, Karpov, Carlsen, Kramnik – are very sane, rational people. I don’t think chess causes mental illness at all. In fact, one chess commentator said, “Chess is one way of keeping crazy people sane.”

21. Jacobsen: What chess Grandmasters remain underrated?

Keene: In the modern world, it is very difficult to be underrated because the rating system is mathematically based on results. If you score well, you will rise in the rating system. I would say none of the modern players are underrated. They are rated exactly where they should be because their results place them in the place where they ought to be. So the question is only really relevant to historical characters. I would say a prime example of someone who is underrated is a guy named Efim Boguljubov.

He’s often dismissed because he lost the World Championship matches twice to Alexander Alekhine. People tend to dismiss saying, “He didn’t deserve to be in the World Championship.” Actually, if you look at this guy’s results, he won the Russian Championship or, as it was, the Soviet Championship. He then emigrated and won the German Championship. Then he held the German and Russian Championships in the same year. He won major international tournaments. He thoroughly deserved his crack at the title. The fact that Alekhine defeated him easily is not a comment on Boguljubov, but a comment on Alekhine. I think he deserved a much higher ranking than he is normally accorded. He is one that deserves a lot more credit than he’s got.

In the modern era, I don’t think there is anybody who is underrated because the rating system tends to put people exactly where they should be. The only player I can think of, and this is not a question of underrating but it is a question of bad luck, was man named Paul Keres, an Estonian Grandmaster, who was number 3 in the world for a long time. He was number 3 in the world in 1948 and probably number 2, or 3, in 1938. Even in 1969, he was still very much near the top. In 1962, he was number 3 in the world. He maintained these positions for a very long time. He was always coming second in the qualifiers. He was somebody who I think people would have liked to see become World Champion, but he never quite got through that final hurdle of ruthlessness that characterizes the great champions like Alekhine, Botvinnnik, and Kasparov. So I think Keres and Boguljubov are the two that are the most underrated.

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  27. Thabet, M. (2015). Smart Tips Consultants. Retrieved from http://drmanahel.com/#about-us.
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  31. The English Chess Federation. (2015). Ray Keene’s online chess coverage – The Times. Retrieved from http://www.englishchess.org.uk/ray-keenes-online-chess-coverage-the-times/.
  32. The Gifted Academy. (2015). About: Principals…. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/about.
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  35. The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.
  36. The Sunday Times. (2015). The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/.
  37. The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.
  38. Twitter.com. (2015). @Times_Chess. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/times_chess.
  39. Ulster Chess Union. (2015). Raymond Keene plays simultaneous at Bangor Club. Retrieved from http://www.ulsterchess.org/archives/chronicles/2014-2015-season/articles-from-2014-2015-season/raymond-keene-bangor-simultaneous/raymond-keene-plays-simultaneous-at-bangor-club.
  40. University of Cambridge. (2015). University of Cambridge. Retrieved from https://www.cam.ac.uk/.
  41. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.waterstones.com/author/raymond-keene/184662.
  42. WIQF.com. (2015). WIQF. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.
  43. World Chess Championship 2015. (2015). World Team Chess Championship 2015. Retrieved from http://tsaghkadzor2015.fide.com/.
  44. World Chess Federation. (2015). FIDE: Standard Top 100 Players August 2015. Retrieved from https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men.
  45. World Chess Foundation. (2015). FIDE Chess Profile: Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=400211.
  46. World Genius Directory. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from http://www.psiq.org/world_genius_directory_awards/goty2013manahelthabet.pdf.
  47. World Memory Championships. (2015). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com/about-2/.
  48. World Memory Sports Council. (2015). About Us. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=40.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Knight of the Order of the White Swan, (conferred by ) Prince Marek Kasperski Chevalier of the Order of Champagne; Chair, Outside in Pathways; Director, Brain Trust Charity; Former British Chess Champion; Bronze Medal, World Team Championship; Right to Arms, Royal College of Arms; Freeman of the City of London; Winner (Two Times), Global Chess Oscar; Ex-Head (1994-2000), Mind Sports Faculty; Ex-Chess Tutor, Imperial Court of Iran; Gold Medal, Chinese Olympic Association; Gold Medalist, European Championship; Honorary Board Member, World Intelligence Network (WIN); The Global Media and PR Director, World Memory Sports Council; Ex-Head (2013/2014), Leadership Academies Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein and President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, in Leon; Britain’s Senior International Chess Grandmaster; International Arbiter, Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation; Co-Founder, World Memory Championships; Count of the Order of Torres Madras, Portugal; Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE); journalist; columnist; and author.

[2] First publication on April 15, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

[3] Photograph courtesy of Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E and Byron Jacobs.

[4] Master of Arts, Modern Languages, Dulwich College, Trinity College, Cambridge.

[5] According to The Gifted Academy Distinguished Patron (2015), it states:

“MA Trinity College Cambridge; Officer of British Empire, awarded by HM the Queen in person. Britain’s senior International chess Grandmaster, former British chess champion and Gold medallist in European Championship, writes every day in The Times. Ray has also written the world record 197 books (translated into 13 languages) on Chess, Mind Sports, Genius, Mental World Records, Art  and Thinking, and has won numerous first prizes in  international chess tournaments across five continents.

Ray also writes regularly for The Sunday TimesThe SpectatorThe Daily Yomiuri Tokyo, The Australian and The Gulf News. Ray studied German at Trinity where Ray shared lodgings with H R H Prince Charles. In 1981 Ray was awarded Gold Medal of Chinese Olympic Association; before 1975 was chess tutor to The Imperial Court of Iran. Raised £1.4m for 3 Mind Sports Olympiads 1997, 1998, 1999 – organised 1st ever Man vs Computer World Championship in any thinking sport -World Draughts Championship London 1992. Ray was appointed head of Mind Sports Faculty for 1994-2000 and 2013/2014 Leadership Academies of Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein and President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, in Leon. Twice winner of Global Chess Oscar as world’s best chess writer.

Ray co-founded and organised the World Memory Championship 22 times since 1991. Personal bests in chess displays  challenging multiple opponents at the same time,107 simultaneous opponents at Oxford 1973 where he won 101, drew 5 and lost one, and Leon Mexico 2013, defeating 17 opponents simultaneously without sight of the boards or pieces. Translator of Goethe’s Faust into English.  Freeman of the City of London and granted right to Arms by the Royal College of Arms.”

Please see The Gifted Academy. (2015). Distinguished Patron. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/the-board.

[6] Please see London. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/London.

[7] Please see London. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/London.

[8] Please see chess. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/chess.

[9] In The World Championship and FIDE (2015) of the Encyclopedia Britannica, it states:

“IDE also took over the Women’s World Championship and biennial Olympiad team championships, which originated in the 1920s. In addition, the federation developed new championship titles, particularly for junior players in various age groups. It also created a system for recognizing top players by arithmetic rating and by titles based on tournament performance. The highest title, after World Champion, is International Grandmaster, of whom there are now more than 500 in the world.”

Please see chess. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/chess.

[10] Please see The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.

[11] Please see The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.

[12] Please see British Championship 2015. (2015). British Championship 2015. Retrieved from http://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/2015/.

[13] Please see Chessdom.com (2015). European Chess Championship 2015 LIVE!. Retrieved from http://www.chessdom.com/european-individual-chess-championship-2015-jerusalem/.

[14] Please see World Chess Championship 2015. (2015). World Team Chess Championship 2015. Retrieved from http://tsaghkadzor2015.fide.com/.

[15] Please see University of Cambridge. (2015). University of Cambridge. Retrieved from https://www.cam.ac.uk/.

[16] Please see Barnes and Noble. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www1.barnesandnoble.com/c/raymond-keene.

[17] Please see JacketFlap. (2015). About Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.jacketflap.com/raymond-keene/129027.

[18] Please see Simon and Schuster. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Raymond-Keene/706694.

[19] Please see The Croyden Citizen. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=40.

[20] Please see The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.

[21] Please see Waterstones. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.waterstones.com/author/raymond-keene/184662.

[22] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[23] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[24] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[25] Please see Paul Charles Morphy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Charles-Morphy.

[26] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[27] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[28] In Encyclopedia Britannica Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (2015), it, in part, states:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (born August 28, 1749, Frankfurt am Main [Germany]—died March 22, 1832, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar), German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

Goethe is the only German literary figure whose range and international standing equal those of Germany’s supreme philosophers (who have often drawn on his works and ideas) and composers (who have often set his works to music). In the literary culture of the German-speaking countries, he has had so dominant a position that, since the end of the 18th century, his writings have been described as “classical.” In a European perspective he appears as the central and unsurpassed representative of the Romantic Movement, broadly understood. He could be said to stand in the same relation to the culture of the era that began with the Enlightenment and continues to the present day as William Shakespeare does to the culture of the Renaissance and Dante to the culture of the High Middle Ages. His Faust, though eminently stageworthy when suitably edited, is also Europe’s greatest long poem since John Milton’s Paradise Lost, if not since Dante’s The Divine Comedy.”

Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[29] Please see Romanticism. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/art/Romanticism.

[30] Please see Enlightenment. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/event/Enlightenment-European-history.

[31] Please see Goethe, J.W.V. (1808). Faust. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm.

[32] In Encyclopedia Britannica Faust (2015), it, in part, states:

“Faust, two-part dramatic work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Part I was published in 1808 and Part II in 1832, after the author’s death. The supreme work of Goethe’s later years, Faust is sometimes considered Germany’s greatest contribution to world literature.

Part I sets out the magician Faust’s despair, his pact with Mephistopheles, and his love for Gretchen. Part II covers Faust’s life at court, the wooing and winning of Helen of Troy, and his purification and salvation.

In earlier eras the play was often decried as formless because of its array of lyric, epic, dramatic, operatic, and balletic elements. It includes almost every known poetic metre, from doggerel through terza rima to six-foot trimetre (a line of verse consisting of three measures), and a number of styles ranging from Greek tragedy through medieval mystery, baroque allegory, Renaissance masque, and commedia dell’arte to something akin to the modern revue.”

Please see Faust. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Faust-play.

[33] Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[34] Please see Goethe, J.W.V. (1788). Egmont. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1945/1945-h/1945-h.htm.

[35] In Encyclopedia Britannica Egmont (2015), it, in part, states:

Egmont, tragic drama in five acts by J.W. von Goethe, published in 1788 and produced in 1789. The hero is based upon the historical figure of Lamoraal, count of Egmond (Egmont), a 16th-century Dutch leader during the Counter-Reformation. The work had great appeal for European audiences excited by the new movements toward democracy and nationalism.

The play is set during the period in which the Netherlands was suffering under the harsh rule of Roman Catholic Spain. The story pits the sympathetic and tolerant Egmont against the fierce and brutal Spanish Duke of Alva (a character based on Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3er duque de Alba), who is sent to repress further Protestant rebellion. Egmont proves to be no match for the scheming Alva, and he is sentenced to die. At the conclusion of the play, however, he has a vision of the eventual triumph of freedom.”

Please see Egmont. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Egmont.

[36] Please see Goethe, J.W.V. (1808). Faust. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm.

[37] Please see Goethe, J.W.V. (1808). Faust. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm.

[38] Please see Goethe, J.W.V. (1808). Faust. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm.

[39] Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[40] Please see Sir Isaac Newton. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaac-Newton.

[41] Please see Johann Peter Eckermann. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Peter-Eckermann.

[42] Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[43] Please see Napoleon I. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Napoleon-I.

[44] A reference to the polymath nature of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Please see Leonardo da Vinci. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Leonardo-da-Vinci.

[45] Please see William Shakespeare. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Shakespeare.

[46] Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[47] Please see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe.

[48] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[49] Please see Barnes and Noble. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www1.barnesandnoble.com/c/raymond-keene.

[50] Please see JacketFlap. (2015). About Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.jacketflap.com/raymond-keene/129027.

[51] Please see Simon and Schuster. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Raymond-Keene/706694.

[52] Please see The Croyden Citizen. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K4vGVc6hEIyV8QfIjZmoDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=Raymond+Keene&start=40.

[53] Please see The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.

[54] Please see Waterstones. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from https://www.waterstones.com/author/raymond-keene/184662.

[55] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[56] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[57] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[58] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[59] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[60] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[61] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[62] In Encyclopedia Britannica House of Bragança (2015), it, in part, states:

House of Bragança, English Braganza, ruling dynasty of Portugal from 1640 to 1910 and of the empire of Brazil from 1822 to 1889.

The first duke of Bragança was Afonso (d. 1461), an illegitimate son of the Portuguese king John I. When Portugal gained its independence from Spain in 1640, João II, 8th duke of Bragança, ascended the Portuguese throne as John IV. Thereafter the title duke of Bragança was borne by the heir presumptive to the throne. The new dynasty lasted until the death of Maria II in 1853. Her two sons (Peter V and Louis), grandson (Charles), and great grandson (Manuel II), all of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry (their father’s dynastic house), ruled until the end of the monarchy in 1910.”

Please see House of Braganca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/House-of-Braganca.

[63] “Pro rata” means “proportional ratio.”

[64] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[65] Please see Brussels. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/Brussels.

[66] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[67] Please see Vladimir Kramnik. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Kramnik.

[68] Please see Viswanathan Anand. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Vishwanathan-Anand.

[69] Please see World Chess Federation. (2015). FIDE: Standard Top 100 Players August 2015. Retrieved from https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men.

[70] Please see Carlsen, M. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://magnuscarlsen.com/about.

[71] Please see Harry Golombek. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Harry-Golombek.

[72] Please see The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.

[73] Please see The Sunday Times. (2015). The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/.

[74] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[75] Please see The Australian. (2015). The Australian. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/.

[76] Please see The Spectator. (2015). Raymond Keene. Retrieved from http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/raymond-keene/.

[77] Please see The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.

[78] Please see The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.

[79] Please see Gulf News. (2015). Gulf News. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/.

[80] Please see The Times. (2015). The Times. Retrieved from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/.

[81] Please see Gulf News. (2015). Gulf News. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/.

[82] In About: Tony Buzan – Inventor of Mind Mapping (2015), it, in full, states:

“Tony Buzan is the world-renowned inventor of Mind Mapping and expert on the brain, memory, speed reading, creativity and innovation. He has been named as one of the world’s top 5 speakers by Forbes magazine.

Through over 40 years of research into the workings of the brain, Tony Buzan is dedicating his life to developing and refining techniques to help individuals think better and more creatively, and reach their full potential. He has awakened the brains of millions worldwide.

Described as “one of the most influential leaders in the field of thinking creatively”, Tony utilises his accredited training courses to build a network of highly specialised experts in creative thinking, memory and speed reading techniques. Tony Buzan imparts his knowledge and expertise on the three ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor courses in Mind Mapping, Memory and Speed Reading, which he both leads and accredits. The ThinkBuzan accredited training courses bring practical skills to delegates all over the world including individuals from FTSE multinational corporations, leading global universities and Government departments.”

Please see Buzan, T. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/.

[83] Please see World Memory Championships. (2015). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com/about-2/.

[84] Please see The Brain Trust Charity (2015). Raymond Keene OBE. Retrieved from http://www.braintrust.org.uk/about-us/raymond-keene-obe/.

[85] Please see Miyamoto Musashi. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Miyamoto-Musashi-Japanese-soldier-artist.

[86] Please see Miyamoto Musashi. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Miyamoto-Musashi-Japanese-soldier-artist.

[87] Please see Miyamoto Musashi. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Miyamoto-Musashi-Japanese-soldier-artist.

[88] Please see Gelb, M. (2015). Michael Gelb. Retrieved from http://michaelgelb.com/.

[89] Please see Amazon. (2015). Samurai Chess. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Chess-Mastering-Strategic-Thinking/dp/0802775497.

[90] Please see Viswanathan Anand. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Vishwanathan-Anand.

[91] Please see Carlsen, M. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://magnuscarlsen.com/about.

[92] Please see Carlsen, M. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://magnuscarlsen.com/about.

[93] Please see Paul Charles Morphy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Charles-Morphy.

[94] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[95] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[96] Please see Paul Charles Morphy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Charles-Morphy.

[97] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[98] Please see Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart.

[99] Please see Johann Sebastian Bach. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Sebastian-Bach.

[100] Please see British Championship 2015. (2015). British Championship 2015. Retrieved from http://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/2015/.

[101] In Encyclopedia Britannica Susan Polar (2015), it states:

Susan Polgar, original name Zsuzsanna Polgár (born April 19, 1969, Budapest, Hung.), Hungarian-born American chess player who won the women’s world championship in 1996 from Xie Jun of China. In 1999 Polgar was stripped of her title by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE; the international chess organization) for failing to agree to match conditions.”

Please see Susan Polgar. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Susan-Polgar.

[102] In Encyclopedia Britannica Judit Polgar (2015), it stats:

Judit Polgár, (born July 23, 1976, Budapest, Hung.), the youngest of three chess-playing sisters (see also Susan Polgar). She earned the (men’s) International Master (IM) chess title at the age of 12 and set a new record (since beaten) by becoming the youngest (men’s) International Grandmaster (GM) in history at the age of 15 years 4 months, eclipsing Bobby Fischer’s record by a month.

Apart from her gold-medal-winning appearances for the Hungarian women’s Olympiad teams of 1988 and 1990, Polgár has spurned women-only events. She defeated former world chess champion Boris Spassky in a match in 1993. In 1994 she went undefeated in winning a chess tournament in Madrid, Spain, the first woman to win a strong grandmaster tournament open to both genders.”

Please see Judit Polgar. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Judit-Polgar.

[103] Please see chess. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/chess.

[104] Please see Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Anatoly-Yevgenyevich-Karpov.

[105] Please see Vladimir Kramnik. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Kramnik.

[106] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[107] Please see Paul Charles Morphy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Charles-Morphy.

[108] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[109] Please see Jose Raul Capablanca. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-Raul-Capablanca.

[110] Please see Paul Charles Morphy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Charles-Morphy.

[111] Please see Bobby Fischer. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Bobby-Fischer.

[112] Please see Emanuel Lasker. (2015). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://0-academic.eb.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/EBchecked/topic/330989/Emanuel-Lasker.

[113] “Prima Facie” means “at first appearance.”

[114] Please see United Kingdom. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/United-Kingdom.

[115] Please see Carlsen, M. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://magnuscarlsen.com/about.

[116] Please see Garry Kasparov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Garry-Kasparov.

[117] Please see So, W. (2015). Wesley So. Retrieved from http://wesleyso.com/.

[118] Please see Giri, A. (2015). Anish Giri. Retrieved from http://anishgiri.nl/.

[119] Please see Nakamura, H. (2015). Hikaru Nakamura. Retrieved from http://hikarunakamura.com/.

[120] Please see Caruano, F. (2015). Fabiano Caruano. Retrieved from http://www.caruanachess.com/.

[121] At the time of publication, Magnus Carlsen is 24 years old.

[122] Please see Timur. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Timur.

[123] Please see Mongol. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Mongol.

[124] Please see Tamburlaine the Great. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Tamburlaine-the-Great.

[125] Please see In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/in-sight-people/.

[126] Please see World Genius Directory. (2015). Dr. Manahel Thabet. Retrieved from http://www.psiq.org/world_genius_directory_awards/goty2013manahelthabet.pdf.

[127] In The Gifted Academy About: Principals… (2015), it, in full, states:

“Dr Manahel Thabet is ranked among the 30 Smartest people alive by SuperScholar and Brain of the Year Award Winner 2015-2016. In 2014 she was selected the AVICENNA award Laureate, as a successor to Professor Tony Buzan, given every year to those who present best practice in science , connecting East with West through science and knowledge. She also represents The Brain Trust Foundation as President of the MENA region, with one objective, which is to unlock and deploy the vast capacity of the human brain.

She is a PhD holder; Youngest winner of Woman of the Year 2000 from Woman Federation for World Peace. In 2013 Dr. Thabet won Genius of the Year 2013 by the World Genius Directory representing ASIA.

She is the President of WIQF (World IQ Foundation), the High IQ society and Vice President of ‘WIN’ (World Intelligence Network), with more than 60,000 high IQ members from all over the world; in 2012 Dr. Thabet was the Chairperson of the Scientific Comittee, Recommendation Commitee and Senior Advisor to the International Asia Pacific Giftedness Conference held in Dubai – UAE hosted by Hamdan Bin Rashis Awards for Distinguished Academic Performance. The conference hosted specialists from 42 countries, 320 papers and more than 2000 participants in the field of Talent and Gifted Education.

Dr. Thabet obtained the “Excellence of Global International Environmental and Humanitarian Award” given for outstanding efforts in undertaking environmental and humanitarian support. Dr. Thabet is also the winner of Middle East Achievement Awards in Science and was ranked among the 100 most powerful Women in the Middle East and most powerful 500 Arabs in the World by Arabian Business. Dr. Thabet is a Royal Grand Cross Officer of the White Swan Companionate and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London, UK.”

Please see The Gifted Academy. (2015). About: Principals…. Retrieved from http://www.thegiftedacademy.com/about.

[128] Please see Thabet, M. (2015). Smart Tips Consultants. Retrieved from http://drmanahel.com/#about-us.

[129] Please see WIQF. (2015). WIQF. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.

[130] Please see shogi. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/shogi.

 

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One) [Online].April 2018; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, April 15). In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A, April. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A (April 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 16.A (2018):April. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. In-Depth with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E. (Part One) [Internet]. (2018, April; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/keene-one.

License and Copyright

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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 2012-2017. 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.

Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 16.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twelve)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 8, 2018

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,584

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

An interview with Michael McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). CASA represents more than 250,000 post-secondary or tertiary level undergraduate students across Canada. It is the second largest organization of its kind in Canada. McDonald discusses: the bigger budget items to focus on; medium budget items of note; the nuanced, small line items of note within the budget; closing the education gap for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students; things more or less important to post-secondary students incorporated into the budget; provisions for students entering into trades and other areas; data or outcomes for funding relevant to the prevention of sexual violence; provisions for the Quebec Student Union; different emphases for different student collectives; and provisions for student mental health.

Keywords: budget, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, CASA, Michael McDonald, students.

Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations[1],[2],[3]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let us begin with some of the basics of the new budget for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), what would be the bigger things within the budget that student unions, student representatives, and the students that are represented by CASA at large should pay attention to in this new budget?

Michael McDonald: This budget was primarily focused on research funding. The main area where dollars were allocated from the federal government to post-secondary institutions. Specifically, some of the largest investments were in the granting councils that have ever occurred.

The granting councils, and there are three of them, are the National Sciences and Engineering Council or NSERC, the Canadian Institute for Health Research or CIHR, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council or SSHRC.

These three bodies provide significant funding to individual researchers but also to students at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels to conduct research. These are some of the largest and most prestigious research awards that one can win in any of these given fields.

It is estimated, at least from the budget numbers, that it is likely up to 8,000 new student applications from the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels who will be able to access the grants.

2. Jacobsen: What are some of the more medium-sized line items that should paid attention to as well?

McDonald: There is a renewed commitment to the funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program as part of the Youth Employment Strategy. This extends what was a funding commitment of 3 years in Budget 2016.

It extends it to 5 years, so an additional three years of expanded funding for the program. It also really importantly highlights the Youth Employment Strategy and the Canada Summer Jobs program in specific, should look to the Youth Employment Report on how to improve work-related learning and youth employment opportunities.

This is a report that CASA and its members submitted to a comprehensive set of recommendations. Some of the recommendations were adopted in the report. One was released back in June.

The budget is saying that this is what the program should look to when it is modernizing. It is a positive sign. We are looking forward to the future on how that will be implemented. Also, we are looking at specific funding that will impact student unions.

There is now $5.5. million dedicated by the federal government to the Status of Women Canada to created a working group to be able to tackle sexual violence on campuses. This material, specifically, is something that CASA’s Chair and a variety of other CASA members have spoken to the Status of Women committee about.

It is the first set of investments that we have seen from the federal government for this, to coordinate across the country and to share best practices. This was a good first start for the federal government.

They did institute some particularly strong language around what steps the federal government might take when institutions do not adopt best practices. They have said in the budget that the Canadian government may consider withdrawing funds.

This strong language is something we are happy to see. We are concerned what mechanisms or vehicles they are considering. We are waiting to see how this will be implemented before we comment on it further.

3. Jacobsen: As per the logical progression of the first three questions, what are some of the more nuanced, small line items within the budget that may be noteworthy?

McDonald: Initially, some of the other stuff that is important to highlight. There was a $10 billion funding allotment to the Post-Secondary Student Support program, which is the primary mechanism First Nations and Inuit students receive funding from the federal government for post-secondary education.

This $10 million allotment was to allow for Metis students to access the program. This expanded, specifically, access there. You also saw something like the $27 million over 5 years to support educational and labour market linkage data.

This is supposed to be able to help those entering post-secondary and in post-secondary learn about information about careers and sector outcomes. This is something that helps with job prospects and what jobs are connected to outcomes.

It provides more of the information and makes it more easily accessible and easily comprehensible.

4. Jacobsen: If you look at a national conversation around Indigenous – or First Nations, Inuit, and Metis – students, graduate and undergraduate but particularly for this conversation undergraduate, there are efforts to close the education gap, as it’s called.

For instance, the former prime minister Paul Martin has the Martin Family Initiative that has an emphasis on the health, wellbeing, and education outcomes of Indigenous youth in particular.

What are some parts of the budget, and you have noted some, devoted to working to close that gap through additional funding for Indigenous students in Canada?

McDonald: So, beyond the funding for the Metis funding announced in this year’s budget, last year, the government invested $90 million over 2 years, so $45 million this year and $45 million next year into the Post-Secondary Student Support program to provide additional support for Indigenous learners who would be accessing the program.

This is not thought to be enough to cover the demand for the program. Initially, it was implemented in 1997. it had a capped growth, like all services in Indigenous Affairs, of 2%.

While education inflation, so the costs of education, is greater than 2% each year, and on top of that, you also saw the Indigenous population who was capable of accessing funding increase larger than 2% every year.

This has resulted in a gap, where a significant number of eligible students who can attend post-secondary. They have been accepted, but have not been able to access it. The federal government is engaged in a review of this program.

This funding was designed to be short term. There are strong indications over the next year. There will be significant alterations to the program in how it provides funding to students and bands in general.

This is something that will see significant changes in next year’s budget. It is something the government has pledged to address. I know stakeholders outside the government are waiting for them to institute the systemic reforms that they made commitments to.

It is one that we are still waiting on.

5. Jacobsen: In terms of the scaling, though I do not recall off the top but do remember being a part of this, what are the sliding scale of things that are a part of this? How are those incorporated into this new budget?

Things more important get more focus and funding. Things less important to students get less focus and funding.

McDonald: From an advocacy side, when engaging with the government, we have seen significant investments in something like the Canada Student Loans Program over the last few years, which is the primary vehicle where students receive funding from the government.

In 2016 and 2017, there were significant investments either to expand the number of individuals eligible or the amounts of the grants that they would be able to receive. This process is one that this year did not see.

There was not additional funding to the Canada Student Loans program, even though CASA asked for additional funding for students with disabilities because they have not received additional funding in the last couple of years.

We acknowledge the federal government has been contributing significant finances to this field after the last little bit. Our members will go back to the Hill next year, likely, and ask the government to do more where there are additional cost barriers to post-secondary and potentially in the area of repayment – where being able to make sure students who didn’t carry substantial financial debts are not punished and protected from those loans.

6. Jacobsen: What are some provisions for students entering into areas that the country needs more and more as time moves forward such as trades?

McDonald: This is a complicated discussion. One of the good things in the budget that was also identified was that the community skills training, the skills program, is run out and provided funding for research initiatives held at colleges and polytechnics.

We did receive additional funding for five years there. This helps operate certain programs across the country that gives opportunities to students and businesses to work in an environment that allows to students to work on projects that are market-focused.

It allows them to get those skills from an employer while in study, and all the while leading in something that is in economic demand. When it comes to gaps in potential demand across the country, we do highlight and want to emphasize student choice and student choice in what field they want to enter into.

We advocate on assistance that covers everyone. No matter if you go to college, university, or a trades school, you deserve assistance to complete your studies. Anybody should have access if they are academically qualified to any program.

When it comes to the ideas behind potential gaps, very often, some of these will be self-correcting. A good example of this has been recently with – though the data is a bit more complicated than this – increased enrollment in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

It is sometimes in high demand fields. Significant numbers of students are entering into those fields. It has been at a decrease in other departments. Over time, what is outcome data does establish that we have not necessarily seen a large number of students that entered a field and then that was not proving to be lucrative for them, that means our best tracking data that we still have, which is any tax-linkage data out of somebody like professor Ross Finney.

The data ends up indicating students do quite well on average, whether they enter the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and so on. We are somewhat hesitant as an organization to ever jump onto a “well we’re missing this right now.”

The thing about the educational system is that it has a delayed response to these things. if we say that we are missing out on a specific profession or field, those students may not get out of the post-secondary system for the next 2, 4, or 5 years.

They might be entering into a completely different labour market. The idea that we think is a better responder on what the needs of the students is what reflects their interests, the areas that they want to get into, and to build the jobs that they want in the future because they will be key components in the future for that as well.

7. Jacobsen: I want to touch on the sexual violence prevention on campuses within Canada for those represented by CASA. What have been, if there are, data or outcomes of similar measures that CASA will be funding other campuses in terms of the prevention of sexual violence in order to reduce the rate of sexual violence on campus, as this is a concern throughout the country?

McDonald: CASA will engage with the government to be able to provide those data points. We have been in consultation with Statistics Canada on the development on what will be its first reporting mechanism on the safety on campus, which includes sexual violence statistics.

One of the challenges that does exist right now is that there is not standardized data across the country. One of the challenges is also measuring the impact of initiatives taken by provincial governments and the federal government.

It is something where we lack the tracking data to see if it has been effective. We will continue to work. We are happy to see the federal government commit funding to Statistics Canada and happy to see some of the best practices are more easily shared across the country into the future.

But some of the data in Ontario where they have mandated that there will be sexual violence reporting on their campuses. It still will be available for a while.

8. Jacobsen: As well, the QSU or the Quebec Student Union and its 8 members represent about 75,000 students within CASA’s national voice now. What are some provisions within the budget that differ from other sectors of that budget that at for the QSU student collective?

McDonald: CASA and the QSU both advocate quite actively on the issue of fundamental sciences and on research funding in the country. Both student groups, that is French and English in the country, saw the importance in the ability to bring forth new dollars for researcher led research across the country, investigator led research

This is the important stuff. It crosses the country. Students from the East Coast to Quebec, to Ontario, to Manitoba, to Saskatchewan, to Alberta, to British Columbia, and the territories, all think it is important that the funding is available in an active way and in an accessible way for Canadian researchers and especially early career researchers as they are integral to the operations towards building an innovative economy.

These are the projects that will be turning into both the social science questions that we will be able to more tackle more comprehensively that we encounter with sexual violence on campus. The people who will be involved in significant new discoveries in those lucrative fields that a modern economy so requires.

So, both groups commit together to the benefit of all students. Luckily, in this situation, that benefit was spread pretty equally across the board.

9. Jacobsen: As well, if you look at the bigger picture of student association collectives, CASA being one. Canadian Federation of Students being the biggest. Then a bunch of smaller ones. Some defunct and some extant.

What are some different emphases that they have that differ from some of the ones that CASA has?

McDonald: As an example, we focus predominantly on our members and our members’ objectives. I think one of the positive things across the country is that student groups at the provincial level, the federal level, care deeply about making sure the experience of being a student is improved.

They care fundamentally about improving the lives of students on a day-to-day experience. How that is accomplished is different at times and on what is brought forward to the government on a given day may change, I do think – and this is a positive story – that they are all working on the idea that we can make the lives of all people pursuing study better.

That they can pursue higher quality education and can do so in ways that they don’t get burdened by long-term debts and respects the diversity of the students and is responsive to that diversity as well.

10. Jacobsen: Another concern is student mental health. So, an expansion of provisions for counselling services for students, whether it is call-ins or face-to-face, for the better wellbeing of students on campus. 

Are there any lines within the budget devoted to this?

McDonald: The federal government has very actively acknowledged the importance of mental health, but did not include anything specifically campus related. In part, that was because of the recent health accord with the provinces.

It did include mental health funding for each government. Those agreements did emphasize the mental health across the country. The federal government does have some tools to help engage in a healthy conversation.

However, this is the purview of the provincial governments. So far, from an administration of services, they link pretty directly and fed to their provincial partners. That said,  there are definitely areas around being able to understand the challenges faced by those who are experiencing mental health issues.

There probably needs to be better federal policy. That is being able to acknowledge clearly the real life situations of people who may be experiencing a mental health challenge and being able to reflect that in student loans policy.

That would be being able to take greater periods of time away from your student loans, which may be a break in study but would not punish a student by immediately forcing them into repayment.

Looking through experiences like this is something the federal government needs to adapt more actively on, beyond that, it is also making sure that the provinces have the funding necessary to support initiatives on campuses and support initiatives where the demand is.

That is where the real key components  of answering mental health questions in a post-secondary environment is that this is where students are first experiencing these challenges and are first experiencing the challenges that may stay with them for some years, and being able to address these at this time makes it more likely that they will be more likely to complete their studies, be more likely to enter the job market, and more likely to be able to do so in a comfortable and in a healthy way.

11. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Michael.

References

  1. Academica Group. (2017, July 20). Students react to YorkU, Access Copyright decision. Retrieved from https://www.academica.ca/top-ten/students-react%C2%A0-yorku-access-copyright-decision.
  2. Beyleveldt, V. (2017, September 5). Lobbying efforts to continue through membership with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. Retrieved from http://www.capilanocourier.com/2017/09/05/csu-federal-representation/.
  3. CASA. (2018, February 23). Students Want to Make Sure No One is Left Without the Chance to Gain a Post-Secondary Education. Retrieved from https://www.voicemagazine.org/2018/02/23/students-want-to-make-sure-no-one-is-left-without-the-chance-to-gain-a-post-secondary-education/.
  4. Cook, D. (2017, March 19). Student groups want Liberals to honour $50M promise to Indigenous Canadians. Retrieved from https://ipolitics.ca/2017/03/19/student-groups-want-liberals-to-honour-50m-promise-to-indigenous-canadians/.
  5. Davidson, P. & McDonald, M. (2017, June 21). Fair dealing is vital to meeting students’ learning needs. Retrieved from https://www.univcan.ca/media-room/media-releases/fair-dealing-vital-meeting-students-learning-needs/.
  6. Desjardins, L. (2016, April 19). Youth vote played a big role in election win: poll. Retrieved from http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/04/19/youth-vote-played-a-big-role-in-election-win-poll/.
  7. Dubé, J. (2016, November 1). THE ALTERNATIVES TO CFS: HOW CASA AND OUSA MEASURE UP. Retrieved from https://theeyeopener.com/2016/11/the-alternatives-to-cfs-how-casa-and-ousa-measure-up/.
  8. Hyshka, A. (2017, December 20). CASA TACKLES PROBLEMS FELT BY CANADIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DURING ADVOCACY WEEK. Retrieved from http://runnermag.ca/2017/12/casa-tackles-problems-felt-by-canadian-university-students-during-advocacy-week/.
  9. Jacobsen, S. (2017, July 21). Mi CASA es su CASA. Retrieved from https://www.voicemagazine.org/2017/07/21/mi-casa-es-su-casa/.
  10. Nation Talk. (2017, December 11). CASA: Government Committee Recommends Addressing Student Mental Health and Textbook Costs. Retrieved from http://nationtalk.ca/story/casa-government-committee-recommends-addressing-student-mental-health-and-textbook-costs.
  11. Pomerleau, M. (2018, February 6). CASA URGES CANADA TO REMOVE FINANCIAL BARRIERS FOR STUDENTS WITH ISSUES OF MENTAL HEALTH. Retrieved from http://runnermag.ca/2018/02/casa-urges-canada-to-remove-financial-barriers-for-students-with-issues-of-mental-health/.
  12. Press, J. (2016, April 19). Youth vote a ‘new and growing force’ in Canada: Study. Retrieved from http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2016/04/19/new-report-says-half-of-young-voters-cast-ballots-in-2015-election.html.
  13. Sawden, E. (2018, January 25). http://thebruns.ca/2018/01/25/unb-counselling-services-how-are-we-stacking-up/. Retrieved from http://thebruns.ca/2018/01/25/unb-counselling-services-how-are-we-stacking-up/.
  14. Zerehi, S.S. (2014, January 29). DSU councillors question value of student advocacy groups. Retrieved from http://dalgazette.com/news/campus/dsu-councillors-question-value-of-student-advocacy-groups/.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 8, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] DEC, Heritage College; Bachelors Degree, Political Studies, Bishop’s University; Masters Degree, International Environmental Law, Macquarie University.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations [Online].April 2018; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, April 8). Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student AssociationsRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A, April. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A (April 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student AssociationsIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student AssociationsIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 16.A (2018):April. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Interview with Michael McDonald: Executive Director, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations [Internet]. (2018, April; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mcdonald.

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 2012-2017. 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.

A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 16.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twelve)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 1, 2018

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,464

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

An interview with Professor Rick Mehta. He discusses: terms used to defame people; being kept upright contrasted to being upright; means used to silence some speakers; protections of some viewpoints and not others; and some students lacking protections and fearing speaking out.

Keywords: FIRE, Heterodox Academy, psychology, Rick Mehta, Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship.

A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two)[1],[2],[3]

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: I liked the term, the broader phenomena, not only within the Left/Liberal spectrum, as far as I have seen so personal view, which is that they are terms to defame to dismiss.

You label someone a “fascist,” “Marxist,” “Men’s Rights Activist,” “feminist”; once you label someone that. In your own mind, it amounts to a low fidelity cognitive replacement in place of reasoning, of reason.

Rick Mehta: Oh, definitely.

Jacobsen: That way, you can dismiss them. My fear is that this might become such a large phenomenon that it even becomes accepted in high-level intellectual circles. People writing some of the most influential columns in the country, which seems like a risk to really lower the level of intellectual discourse.

Where, at times, many of the most intellectually astute people are reading them and people that are influenced by those people then follow their brand of that in a way, but it gets diluted in quality.

That could be a risk in terms of how people talk with one another in the public. So, if you want to know the general content of the way a leader composes themselves, what are their followers doing?

Of course, the leader is not responsible for what the followers are doing, but, in many cases, the followers are taking on a style and tone from that leader.

Mehta: Yes, I think we are approaching a tipping point. What I showed in my introductory psychology class, the way I did it was “here is the context of intelligence in the past, so let us look at intelligence in the present.”

I was able to show the graph of the Heterodox Academy, where the universities have shifted quite dramatically to the Left. I found a Business Week article. Interestingly, we see the Left bias in two other places: mainstream media and Hollywood entertainment.

All of them are imploding right now. It is an absolute disaster. Those are the three areas where we have Left-leaning et cetera. The distribution for the political leanings for all these other lines of work are completely different.

So, I think there is this fragmentation going on and I think people are clueing on that there is this major disconnect with what I see on my television or CNN website, or whatever, even with video games now.

They are a heavy emphasis on social justice. But people are not wanting to buy them. So, their sales are going down. Even the comic books, and Star Wars too. Fans usually love those ones. But on Rotten Tomatoes, only, I think, 50% of people liked it [the latest Star Wars movie], but it got a high ranking by the critics.

So, there is a fragmentation, where it is not going with the public. I think the Pew Center (in the US) found that public support for the higher education is starting to become politicized where the Democrats are loving it, but the Republicans are not – which is unprecedented.

It has never happened before, if I understand it correctly. I think I saw a tweet earlier this week that companies are reluctant to hire women because of the overreach of the Me Too movement. There are problems starting to happen now.

I think the 2018/19 years are going to be pivotal years.

2. Jacobsen: When I look at some of the bastions of this, I think about the one you mentioned: Hollywood. Let us take the big bargaining chip that Hollywood takes with the public in some of its most self-aggrandizing moments…

Mehta: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: …such as award ceremonies, they, for years, have mentioned themselves, not across the board but in general as a general phenomenon, as moral exemplars, as the height of virtue in the public sphere.

Maybe for some, that is the case. Perhaps, they are donating copious quantities of money investing in public good for which they deserve praise, but, as a general phenomenon, if I look at the recent and ongoing cases of sexual misconduct allegations coming out, then the same people coming out later saying, “That we shouldn’t allow this to happen. Look at us calling out this terrible behaviour,” and so on.

I think about it. If they want to be considered legitimate persons or institutions, you should be upright rather than be kept upright. Somehow, cleverly, the public relations of that environment made it such that it is a win-win for them.

So, if you take the case of giving these signifiers of ethical purity in awards ceremonies, you look good. You are fighting the moral fight. You are fighting the good fight.

But then you get called out as an institution with the highest-ranking people and most famous people in the industry for sexual misconduct by the outside of the institution, then the institution has the gall to then come out and say, “Look at us now calling out all of this behaviour.”

They were not right, to begin with. They were kept upright. I do not think that that then makes it morally legitimate as a position or a set of actions that are ongoing.

Mehta: Yes, it is like the metronome. We went from one side and then went to the exact opposite side, so we went one kind of dysfunction to another. No one can be morally virtuous 100% of the time.

The way I see it. People give money to people who are poor. I like to think that is something that we would do out of the kindness of our hearts rather than “I have done this and now I must get the world to praise me for it.”

They likely get tax write-offs for it as well. I do not think the public really buys that. It is politically correct to state that in a public setting, but I think that is partly what has happened. It is the double-standard to it.

So, you went from not having that much credibility to having even worse credibility. It will be interesting to what happens with the movies and what will sell and so on. It is hard to know for sure.

I anticipate, though, that people are getting turned off by a lot of what is being generated from the fields that are dominated by people with one perspective because it was as bad if you think many years back where things were primarily on the Right.

That had its own problems as well. Hopefully, it will get some form of tipping point, where we can swing towards the center and get to the center point and maybe work our way from there rather than have the pendulum swinging back and forth.

That is always going to be counterproductive in one group’s favour over another.

3. Jacobsen: I want to focus on some of the other academic issues now. This is happening more in the United States than in Canada, but it has happened in Canada. Where speakers will be invited and then that platform will be taken away from them, I believe this is called de-platforming.

Other times, the student activists will have a technique of simply bringing in a crowd into an auditorium or a conference center, or something like this, and then yelling the speaker down so the speaker cannot be heard.

Now, I know FIRE (Foundation Individual Rights in Education) is an organization in the United States, which has tracked some of these from 2000-2014, in the United States at least – where there are about 2,600 universities.

There are about 100, public-private combined, in Canada. In raw numbers, it will not happen as much in Canada. Per capita, it may happen at some parity. With that as a background, I wanted to get your thoughts on the phenomena of de-platforming in some campus censorship.

In other words, what do you think is its prevalence? How bad do you think it is? And so on.

Mehta: It is hard for me to answer that question because, unlike the States, we do not have the equivalent of FIRE. We have the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship. I will admit that I am a member. So, that will bias me in terms of saying that that they do good work.

I do have to be honest and open about that. I am also a member of the Heterodox Academy in terms of viewpoint diversity. So, full disclosure is important. However, we have instances of what happened at Wilfred Laurier when they wanted to invite Daniel Robitaille.

In my talk, I did document some events that had happened within the last year in Canada. But there is another technique that used as well. It is not called no-platforming. It is “let us just make sure we can control the messaging.”

What happened at Acadia, I think it was last year? It was Marie Henein who was giving a talk about Bishop’s. It was broadcast through a livestream to the other Maple League universities: Acadia, Saint Francis Xavier University, Bishop’s, and Mount Allison.

Anyway, we had the live stream on Acadia on a Friday night. In terms of the publicity, it was sent as an attachment on the emails. You look at the emails. It would be a big piece of paper, like this, then the name would be this big.

That is what the posters look like when they are on campus. The most discrete kind of publicity for that talk. Then, on top of that, the talk was followed by a panel chaired by a women and gender’s study professor and the panel were people pretty much from our union, and people involved in the gender study program.

It was all people who were going to think the same way and have it in a hush tone because “oh, we cannot talk about this Marie Henein because she had defended Jian Ghomeshi and there might be people who are sensitive.”

It was the strangest type of publicity for a talk. It was “let us make sure there was a debrief.” If I did a panel, I would invite someone like Christie Blatchford [Laughing], right? Someone who covered that from a different angle.

It was very like “these are children and we have to protect them.” I found that rather interesting.

4. Jacobsen: I find that unfair. I see that as one viewpoint set protections. That seems unfair and against the spirit of an academic environment. Can you recall another case? For instance, based on your speech on free speech in universities.

Mehta: I found that interesting in terms of the publicity because the student newspaper was the one hosting me for that, but they just kept calling it a panel or a discussion. They did not put my name to it or say what it was about.

Even when I said, “You have rather misleading and imprecise posters.” That was summarily discounted. It did not stop the interest. I had somewhere between 45 and 50 people in the room and another 250 people who listened to the live stream.

I think a lot of people there were surprised. I think they did not know what to expect. I guess knowing that my audience was going to be towards the Left-leaning side. I think that helped.

I used that information to frame how I would get the message because I wanted to win them over. Then the question and answer period, only two or three faculty members showed up – and solely for the purpose of attacking me.

The students were open for the most part. It is the small groups on the campus that are the most vocal. For instance, when I brought up the wage gap, only a few got upset and irate. The others were wondering what was going on.

Jacobsen: These are the 1-in-50s. These are the Mensa level of obnoxiousness [Laughing].

Mehta: Yes.

Jacobsen: I want to focus on students now. So, if a student is coming into an environment where they make an argument, then they receive some epithet or are given an ad hominem attack to shut them up. They may have fewer means through which to protect themselves.

For example, if a European-Canadian student in the university environment takes something like the Hopi notion of not truly owning the land but caring for the land in conversation with someone of First Nations or Cree descent, the young First Nations student in conversation may have different views but given the campus culture simply calls the European-Canadian “racist.”

It stops conversations.

Mehta: If you are doing a study in which you’re comparing Canadians to South Africans, then it is a cross-cultural study. But if we do that within the Canadian or American context, then it suddenly becomes a study of race differences. I said, “Why don’t we talk about these as cross-cultural differences?”

If we talk about across countries, it is a cultural difference; but if we talk about in a country, then it becomes about race. What I think is that we are talking about cultural differences within Canada or the United States, we are talking about cultures clashing.

Then we can then have these honest and difficult discussions. Such as, why are poverty rates higher or lower among some groups and not others? If we talk about that as a cultural difference, then we can make some headway.

5. Jacobsen: Do some students, though, not have protections against the early parts of this question? Where the discussion isn’t mainstream in that way, in other words, the headway has not been made and the students may be afraid to speak out.

Mehta: Yes, what I was talking about there was not individuals but groups, it is the average. This is what we’re seeing. That is the way I introduced heritability of race. It is a population index. It means nothing.

What we need to do is test the individual and see where they lie, that is what we do with IQ. It is returning to that frame of reference. It is not the individuals, but the group differences. So, we see how we can shift that group difference, so that rates of being arrested or whatnot.

Why is it in this group that happens to have a label in it? It is trying to undo years of how we have been framing that debate. I think this is the proactive interference at work. It is very basic first-year psychology principle.

We can talk about that and compared to swimming correctly. I learned to swim with unilateral breathing. It is hard to do bilateral breathing. Everyone gets that. If we put that in the context of race, suddenly, it is culture now.

The defenses go up. It is trying to unlearn a bad habit that we have had ingrained in us for God knows how long, right?

6. Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, professor Mehta.

Mehta: Yes, my pleasure, I hope that was helpful.

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Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Professor, Psychology, Acadia University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 1, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] B.Sc. (Honours), University of Toronto; M.Sc., McGill University; Ph.D., McGill University.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two) [Online].April 2018; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, April 1). A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A, April. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 16.A (April 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 16.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 16.A (2018):April. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. A Conversation with Professor Rick Mehta on Defamation, Censorship, and Honest Discussions (Part Two) [Internet]. (2018, April; 16(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mehta-2.

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 2012-2017. 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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