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Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 26.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (21)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 9,410

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Murasaki Hiroshi is a Member of ISI-Society. Hiroshi discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; the family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates; some professional certifications; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence discovered; the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; work experiences and jobs; particular job path; the gifted and geniuses; God; science; the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; ethical philosophy; social philosophy; economic philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; philosophical system; meaning in life; meaning externally derived, internally generated; an afterlife; the mystery and transience of life; and love.

Keywords: family, genius, Hiroshi Murasaki, intelligence, IQ, ISI-Society, love, philosophy.

Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Murasaki Hiroshi[1],[2]*: My family is far away now. We spent a lot of time together when we were close. I was raised harshly and severely by my mother, to whom I am very much indebted. She is not my real biological mother, but she has taken her place. It taught me the essential values ​​to which I am very attached. The stories she told me were from real life, not fairy tales. We often played together, even video games. The stories she told me very often were visions of the future. A future we would build together.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Hiroshi: Everything my mother taught me is like tattooed on the skin. It helped me develop a personal sense of myself vigorously. I learned the value of constancy, commitment, getting things done, and always doing my best. It taught me pride in myself and people who deserve respect. She taught me the value of strength, of willpower. 

Without her teachings, I would hardly be the person I am: I have a definite love for the identity that I managed to build, I hate making promises I can’t keep, I hate leaving things unfinished. Above all, I hate not achieving the goals I set myself, for me it is unforgivable. I know I’m very strict but I like myself that way. My family has had many faults, but to me, they are very precious more than merits because they made me proud of both myself and them. 

Jacobsen: What was the family background, eg, geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Hiroshi: My family is very heterogeneous, it includes different countries, different cultures, different languages, ​​and different religions. I am a native speaker of three languages.

It is difficult to identify a single reference background, even if the common idea is the same. Perhaps a common flaw that many of us have is excessive pride, which I judge badly. An advantage is the sense of unity and the strong perception of the concept of respect, and scientific consideration of things. 

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Hiroshi: I’ve always been the weird, the different, one. In adolescence, I had to deal with a strong sense of aggressivity that alienated me from others. When I was in high school, I enjoyed going to college courses instead. I’ve always done things with absurd timing to say the least, in the negative sense of the term. I never got along with my peers because I have always loved independence and work. I never asked my parents for money and I always made money by myself with jobs. I have always had strong corporate inclinations, linked to ambition, even as a teenager: I liked forming groups and doing creative projects, which always aimed at solving a problem and earning money. 

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Hiroshi: My professional life is divided into two major phases. That of working in the company as a developer and communicator and that of an artist. So I have various certifications for studies and courses that I have done like those of Adobe, those of Magento or WordPress, a slew of certifications for business management courses, I also have a degree in languages ​​that I took when I was younger. Now I’m getting my degree in physics. Lately I have decided to clear my professional background and focus on physics and art, possibly together. 

I’ve worked so hard, now I just want to do things I like. For this I am currently studying social media, how to be a freelance artist in the science sector and how to do a good branding job on myself. The IQ certifications, however, I did not take to serve me professionally. I took them to solve an insecurity problem with the university and because I was hoping to get financial help to study. As a working student it can be very frustrating not being able to devote as much time as possible to studying, which is my greatest passion. 

So I invented a job where my job was to study for others.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Hiroshi: Intelligence tests provide a not indifferent emotional engine, they can give an answer to some questions, when you feel not up to something or not accepted. The first time I took the test it was for an emotional response. At the physics college, a lecturer told me that I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, I took the test to have a counter-proof, a proof that he was wrong.
At the time I couldn’t afford to pay taxes and in truth, I admit, I wanted to be pampered for my intelligence. I think it is correct to take care of even very intelligent people, rather than forcing them to lower themselves to the level of others, getting bored to death. For me, to a certain extent, the test passed with a high score was also a moral obligation towards myself, I could not say that I was not intelligent enough to do something, if it was my duty to do it surely I could have completed it, the test I it obliged, but it also allowed me to constantly validate myself, to learn and therefore to become smarter from time to time: a learning positive feedback mechanism.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Hiroshi: When I was young I felt smarter than everyone else: I programmed, repaired computers, studied, had a job, in my head it was obvious that I was superior to others and often looked at them with disdain. 

When I got to the heart of this issue and my studies, I realized that there was really something wrong.
The first association I met was for 130-140, it was 2016, I was already studying physics. I had entered to prove to myself that I was enough to attend physics faculty, although it was an association for high IQs, I did not perceive them as intellectually superior to me, while at university I still felt the same as everyone who attended the degree course, on the contrary, I also felt less than them, much better than me certainly on the application part. 

Of course, the problem could be the background, I already had a degree in literature, while many of them came from the scientific and had a mindset more adapted to the sciences and their way of thinking.


Later, as the school years progressed, I totally lost interest in IQ. To date, my IQ is certified at 164, and this certificate has done nothing to me except to upset people when I talked about it by appearing superb. I value things for their functionality. Certified Qi makes me feel different, attackable. Then, right now I feel anything but confident in my brainpower. If I think about the limits of my reality and try to reason as if I were outside the physical system of which I am a part, my head goes up in smoke. 

I feel limited by current mathematics, which as a language we interpret, seems to have the same limits as us. Faced with what I see, what I study, I feel small. So in truth the discovery of higher intelligence is only an illusion, intelligence is a complex factor, formed by a spectrum of non-interchangeable and alienable capacities over time. 

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Hiroshi: Because human beings do not tolerate solutions that are incomprehensible to them, genius is not easily understood and is derided, like Baudelaire’s Albatross. The human being laughs at what he does not understand, thinking that humiliating something makes the sense of inadequacy he feels, or the ridicule he covers up, disappear. As for being shy or not in front of a camera, each person is different and each category collects infinite nuances. The word genius is a whole with indefinite outlines and unclear properties.

Jacobsen: Who seem like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Hiroshi: I would say Dirac. After Einstein, Noether, Godel and Heisenberg there is Dirac, which is what I feel closest to. What distinguished Dirac more than anything else is the beauty of mathematics, and the idea that theoretical physics can be based entirely on mathematics not as a tool, but as a language capable of offering direct access to the mechanisms of the universe. He proved that it is possible, opening the door to a new way of doing physics.
Dirac had his own vision of the world made explicit in the affirmation “if science is the attempt to say in words understandable by all things that people did not know before, poetry is its opposite, that is the tendency to talk about things known with dark words“. I like poetry, but Dirac is right. It takes less opinion, more clarity and fewer personal interpretations of nature. The scientific method needs to show everyone its beauty and elegance. What is the meaning of beauty in mathematics, however, should be explored. 

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Hiroshi: The genius knows how to put both hemispheres in communication, he knows how to move in multidisciplinarity, he knows how to feed himself and look for things even in the most unthinkable places. An intelligent person looks for answers in his own rationality and in himself. The genius knows how to look for the answers outside. The truth is, we are a not-too-well-planned database of what we see. Furthermore, the genius understands that the difference between reality and fantasy is marked only by hard work, after all, genius comes from ingenuity, not from intellect.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Hiroshi: No, intelligence develops over time, it can be trained, genius is a mindset. It certainly has genetic basis, but it is not enough. Furthermore, having high intellectual abilities means nothing: aptitude plays a fundamental role.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Hiroshi: I’ve done a lot of jobs in my life, because I needed to find my way. My studies were also strange, but somehow everything managed to converge in one place. 

I was a communicator, with advanced web and graphic development skills.
I worked for important sports clubs in Serie A (football), I worked for the Aerospace department and for companies always linked to aerospace, I worked for universities and I was the technical director of a national TV oriented to children aged 16 to 25 years. 

All these experiences led me to the realization that I want to go back young and dream of my career in theoretical physics. Now I can look at physics studies through the eyes of a more mature person, richer in experience.

At the moment I study physics full time and my main job is being a science illustrator and communicator. Recently, I have been preparing a path as a scientific V-Tuber. I love science and I want to show its beauty to as many people as possible, without ever making it appear boring. 

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Hiroshi: I had to build my economic stability day after day really seizing every opportunity. I have always offered communication and development services, but I started from the bottom. I have always combined my work as a freelancer with some personal projects that were seriously linked to my personal interests.

Since I enrolled in the second university to study physics, I have had to deal with the shortage of time, so I have gradually started to eliminate personal projects and reduce the number of clients. Today I no longer communicate for anyone who is not linked to the scientific / university sector. I work mainly as a scientific illustrator, but I also do more versatile things, if the work team is pleasant and I felt comfortable.

I have recently started, but I have already obtained jobs for very important universities (in the top 10 in 2020), I can finally say that I have found my way.

It makes no sense to work in an industry that you don’t love madly: you become cynical and bored. I study to become a researcher in Theoretical Physics, but I work every day to spread to the youngest, to offer free training, to explain science through art and manga. Because after all, I’m a nerd who believes too much.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of ​​the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Hiroshi: I have always grown up surrounded by people who admired me simply because I knew how to do many things and in their opinion well, the truth is that I was curious and hyperactive, but everything I learned I learned with effort: I can draw and this has required at least ten years of study, I can speak many languages, but I started as a child and practically never stopped (last year I thought about moving to Denmark and I successfully completed the basic Danish language course), today I don’t live in Denmark and I have forgotten almost everything I had learned, while in the common idea of ​​genius he learns immediately without effort and remembers forever, which is absolutely not true. 

So the bottom line is that necessity creates virtue, we learn the things we need and probably the genius is the one who has learned his trade and who has understood that he needs to learn more to train his talent, precisely as a sportsman continues to train more and more to overcome his limits, the truth is that one day I decided I wanted to become a genius and therefore I started doing things like geniuses, even if I never believed in genius as they do ordinary people. 

I played the part, but I never forgot the work behind the scenes, a bit like a magician would. I believe that people must first understand that intelligence (technical part) and genius (attitude and mental state) are things that are built and it is never too late to do so. 

I started building it around the age of 25 (very late), and the results came very quickly. Maybe being a genius is closer to being an influencer than a philosopher, inspiring others by doing what you love.
It doesn’t matter how big the numbers are. 

For example, when I enrolled in college I had absolutely no idea how modern physics was organized, I just knew I was interested in time travel, so I read about Einstein, Dirac, some other famous name. I started playing the violin at 27 because Einstein played it. Today I don’t like Einstein as much as I used to, but the violin is part of my life.

I read the biographies and tried to read the same books, as in the case of Einstein and Dirac, who have the most particular thought possible: I found that the rationale for their studies was realized through the reading of Mill’s deductive logic. I bought the book and started reading it as soon as I realized it.

What does this mean? If you want to be a sportsman you have to think like a sportsman, talent is the consequence of doing something with passion by immersing yourself in that way of being, which you learn little by little. When they say ‘want is power’ and that hard work brings results it is true. You are not born geniuses, but only very lucky because the environment has already put you in that mentality from an early age. If you weren’t lucky, you can fix it yourself.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Hiroshi: I don’t believe in a divine figure as imagined by the great monotheistic religions and the figure of a divinity drawn in this way is only a political rather than a spiritual tool.

My first university career was history, cultures and religions.

Studying physics it is difficult not to believe anything, but I believe that this discourse deserves a separate space. What I can say is that the more I study the more I feel I am small. The smaller I feel, the more I want to grow. For me the concept of God is this sense of movement. Sometimes I have imagined the existence of the divine, in a place where I thank him for creating something as beautiful as the universe. The truth is that before we can deal with the big questions of philosophy, we must have better weapons. 

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Hiroshi: Science is the foundation of every single event that happens in the world. In biology it is said that nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution, physics reaches an even more visceral level, so visceral that it leaves you speechless. I love science more than anything else: as a former humanist I say that the beauty of physics is something that can communicate to the soul better than a Dante’s triplet would.

What moves me every day is science. I absolutely want to get to know her better, day after day. I can’t imagine a world where physics is not part of my existence. 

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Hiroshi: I did a Mensa test, Fiqure test with 164 (SD15), ENST20 test of which I don’t remember the score, but always between 158 and 165. All deviations are sd15. I then wanted to focus on getting a 170+ certification because in my worldview of IQ it is not true that you are 160 and remain 160. By raising the aerobic threshold of the brain, IQ can go up, just like in the gym. 

Unfortunately, however, the fact that I had to work a lot and that when I asked for a scholarship to be able to focus on my studies, the state of poverty was more important than my intellectual abilities, threw me into a deep crisis, not only that: talking about your IQ puts you in a compromised situation, people tell you that you want to put yourself above others, that certifying intelligence is nonsense and so I stopped worrying about trying other higher tests because I couldn’t see any achievable advantage. At present I want to be able to get admitted to a university of the caliber of Cambridge (actually I would like Cambridge), from what I understand the projects in the portfolio count much more, rather than an exaggerated IQ. So although my ambition made me think I wanted to try the GIGA after the 4G I eventually lost the reason behind the purpose. Ultimately, smart or not, we always need a community to feel part of and to feel protected from, with which to share goals and visions.

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically.

Hiroshi:  Generally 162 or 164, I don’t remember exactly. Once there was a 151, as well as a 172. I like to think 164, because my girlfriend did a 166 and I like to say she has a few more points than me, because I find it fun and also very inspiring. 

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: I have written my personal Ethical Path over the last 10 years, mixing visions and philosophies, even conflicting with each other, since modern society is a linear combination of these philosophies, even dichotomous ones. 

My ethics require me not to waste time on silly thoughts, to work hard to get what I want at any cost, to be sincere and always show my will, at every opportunity. Don’t lie and use the truth as a weapon, always be true to myself. 

Reject prejudice in all its forms, stay curious. Learn from everyone and always offer something from your experience to teach. Research, experiment.
Fight your own defects and improve yourself, set yourself very ambitious goals, reaching at least half of them every year. Challenging the improbability, to find yourself in a life that is always changing. Unlikely calls unlikely, so different occasions, every time. 

Living in the cult of one’s vision. Life is too short to sacrifice ourselves, we have to live fully for ourselves. If it’s not possible, try the impossible.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: At this moment in my life I am studying social dynamics with interest for the first time and I am approaching emotional intelligence. Personally I had a particularly strict and wild background, so I don’t appreciate too soft approaches, but I think it depends on the types of people. The truth is that I don’t like to surround myself with soft people, even if my curious nature makes me want to understand rather than judge. 

I’m far from grasping social understanding and trying not to fall into the trap of hypocrisy, but I hope in a few years to be able to answer this question. For now I say that I am transgender (born woman, became man) and therefore gender issues should be my point of reference. Probably, however, I am only interested in discussing the social dimensions of scientific knowledge and a philosophy that revolves around this. A bit like it happened in the early twentieth century.

Jacobsen: What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Personally, I believe that capitalism is something unsustainable. But the possibility of not being able to increase one’s wealth scares me. If in the future there was a payment on time and services, I don’t think I would be happy. Because I’m lazy and because I build job opportunities mainly based on optimizations.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: I hate democracy when it makes no sense to exist. I live in a country where people don’t know what they’re talking about. The civic sense is at a minimum and the situation is of profound crisis. People who talk about flat earth, about conspiracies, about not wanting vaccines and so on. These people have the same right to vote as me. This democracy, as Plato said, makes no sense and is a strong degeneration. Each has a weight. One is not worth one, in this context. 

To date, the only political philosophy that pleases me is Chinese legalism, which comes from Confucianism. From there the geniocracy, which sees as its basic principle measuring the raw intelligence, giving the right to vote only to those who have an intelligence above the average of a certain percentage, while the possibility of government is only for the geniuses, that is those most intelligent than the average in a remarkable way. Let’s say 10 and 50% respectively. It would therefore be a question of a selective democracy, which does not neglect emotional intelligence and the ability to introspect.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Like the magic square of the SATOR, every metaphysical phenomenon is just a physical phenomenon not yet explained, it’s just a matter of time. It is up to our sensitivity and our attitude to decide whether Sator refers to a Catholic vision in which the divine is manifested (Ego Sum Alpha et Omega, in the deciphered reading of the sator), an unofficial translation, more than anything else hypothetical, as “Sator Abrepo, Opera tenet rotas ”ie the sower disappears, his work continues by itself, or a simple symmetrical matrix.
As I said, I lived first as a humanist, so the fact that only now is seeing the symmetrical matrix makes me think a lot. Nothing proves what the true interpretation is, but nothing proves that reality is univocal. 

Anyway, what I see with my own eyes is that will is the most beautiful metaphysics I want to believe in. In emotions there is the force behind the movement. It seems to me the most relevant thing. Physics has the role of explaining the inexplicable, whether it is photoelectric effect or abracadabra for us this should not be limiting. After all, today’s photoelectric effect was yesterday’s abracadabra.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: To date, no suitable philosophical thought has been produced and it is for this reason that society is still involved. If philosophers were a little more careful about the logical processes to be adopted, rather than forging ideas about discontent, they might have more value to me. 

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Hiroshi: There are two things that give my life meaning. The first, certainly the most important of all for me, is to be recognized as myself. The second thing is trivial: to seek an explanation for existence, as the ancient Greek philosophers did. To do this you have to break the barriers of your intellect, which is anything but easy, and that is why it is my goal to follow logical processes that are not linear, but transcendent (in the mathematical sense of the term).

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Hiroshi: There is no internal or external, because we are not a closed system with adiabatic processes. 

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Hiroshi: Just recently I wanted to talk to a refrigerator, I believe that electromagnetic fields and consciousness are closely related and I also believe that there is not much difference between our cognitive processes and the computation of a quantum computer, so I made myself the idea that there is an explanation to all the philosophical, religious and literary legacy left by our ancestors. The recurring forms and myths are perhaps a starting point for science. When I go to sleep in the evening, I always think that when I die I will be an electromagnetic wave discharged to the ground in many small fragments or that has the possibility of travelling in the vacuum of the universe for a very long time. If I can put forward a hope I would like to believe that there is no reincarnation, nor death in the epicurean sense, but that it is a phase transformation, in which I will finally be able to explore the universe and be part of it in another form, as long as I am conscious. I hate this sense of helplessness, I would like to know more.

Jacobsen: What do you make of the mystery and transience of life?

Hiroshi: I would like Einstein to be right when he says that God does not play dice, but the problem is that he does, at least as far as Bell’s inequality proves, but in one of my very fanciful ideas there is perhaps another explanation. . After my master’s studies, if this idea will withstand the elements of knowledge, I will try to deepen and why not: maybe demonstrate.

Jacobsen: What is love to you? 

Hiroshi: When Plato talks about divided souls he didn’t go very far. The person I love is my opposite, so opposite as to be complementary, he is certainly smarter than me, but also more stupid (in the nice sense of the term). He is involved in biology and manages not only to understand what I think, but to feed new thoughts. Probably since when I think of us the left hand on the violin string and the right hand holding the bow comes to mind, probably love is nothing more than the music produced.

Original Italian

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Murasaki Hiroshi[1],[2]*: La mia famiglia ora è lontana. Quando eravamo vicini passavamo molto tempo insieme. Sono stato educato con durezza e severità da mia madre verso cui sono molto debitore. Non è la mia vera madre biologica, ma ne ha esercitato le veci. Mi ha insegnato valori molto importanti a cui sono molto legato. Le storie che mi raccontava erano di vita vera, non favole. Giocavamo spesso insieme, anche ai videogiochi. Le storie che mi raccontava, molto spesso, erano visioni del futuro. Abbiamo scritto una storia insieme, una specie di libro, a cui sono molto affezionato. 

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Hiroshi: Tutto ciò che mi è stato insegnato da mia madre per me è come tatuato sulla pelle. Mi ha aiutato a sviluppare un senso personale di me stesso in modo molto forte. Ho imparato il valore della costanza, dell’impegno, del portare a termine le cose e di mettere tutto me stesso in ogni cosa che faccio. Di svolgere i miei compiti bene, o almeno provarci. Mi ha insegnato l’orgoglio verso me stesso e le persone che meritano il rispetto. Mi ha insegnato il valore della forza, della volontà. 

Senza i suoi insegnamenti difficilmente sarei la persona che sono: ho un fortissimo amore per l’identità che sono riuscito a costruire, detesto promettere cose che non posso mantenere, detesto lasciare cose incompiute. Soprattutto, detesto non ottenere gli obiettivi che mi sono prefissato, per me è imperdonabile. So di essere molto rigido ma mi piaccio così. La mia famiglia ha avuto molti difetti, ma per me sono preziosissimi più dei pregi perché mi hanno reso orgoglioso sia di me che di loro. 

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

Hiroshi: La mia famiglia è molto eterogenea, comprende diversi paesi, diverse culture, diverse lingue e diverse religioni. Io stesso parto con tre lingue madrelingua. È difficile se non impossibile identificare un unico background di riferimento, anche se l’ideale comune è lo stesso. Forse un difetto che accomuna molti è l’orgoglio eccessivo, che considero una cosa poco utile. Un pregio è il senso di unità e la forte percezione del concetto di rispetto, unità e considerazione scientifica delle cose. 

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Hiroshi: Sono sempre stato quello strano, diverso. Il secchione, per intenderci, quando ero più piccolo. Nell’adolescenza ho dovuto fare i conti con un forte senso di aggressività che mi ha allontanato dagli altri. Quando ero al liceo, mi piaceva andare a seguire i corsi universitari. Ho sempre fatto le cose con un tempismo a dir poco assurdo, nel senso negativo del termine. Non sono mai andato d’accordo con i miei coetanei perché ho sempre amato l’indipendenza e il lavoro. Non ho mai chiesto i soldi ai miei e ho sempre guadagnato da solo con dei lavoretti. Ho sempre avuto forti inclinazioni aziendali, legate all’ambizione, anche da adolescente: mi piaceva formare gruppi e fare progetti creativi, che puntassero sempre a risolvere un problema e guadagnare dei soldi. 

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Hiroshi: La mia vita professionale si divide in due grandi fasi. Quella del lavoro in azienda come sviluppatore e comunicatore e quella da artista. Quindi ho varie certificazioni per studi e corsi che ho fatto come quelli di Adobe, quelli di Magento o di WordPress, una sfilza di certificazioni per corsi sulla gestione aziendale, ho anche una laurea in lingue che ho preso quando ero più giovane. Adesso sto prendendo la laurea in fisica. Ultimamente ho deciso di cancellare il mio background professionale e di focalizzarmi sulla fisica e sull’arte, possibilmente insieme. 

Ho lavorato così tanto, che adesso voglio solo far cose che mi piacciono. Per questo sto attualmente studiando social media, come essere freelance artista nel settore scientifico e come fare un buon lavoro di branding su me stesso. Le certificazioni sul quoziente intellettivo, però, non le ho prese perché mi servissero professionalmente. Le ho prese per risolvere un problema di insicurezza con l’università e perché speravo di ottenere un aiuto economico per poter studiare. Da studente lavoratore può essere molto frustrante non poter dedicare tutto il tempo possibile allo studio, che è la mia più grande passione. 

Allora ho inventato un lavoro dove il mio compito fosse studiare.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Hiroshi: I test di intelligenza forniscono un motore emotivo non indifferente, possono dare una risposta ad alcune domande, quando non ci si sente all’altezza di qualcosa o non accettati. La prima volta che ho fatto il test è stato per una risposta emotiva. All’università di fisica, un docente mi ha detto che non ero abbastanza intelligente per frequentare la facoltà, ho fatto il test per avere una controprova, una dimostrazione che lui si sbagliasse.
All’epoca non potevo permettermi di pagare le tasse e in verità, lo ammetto, volevo essere coccolato per la mia intelligenza. Penso sia corretto prendersi cura anche di persone molto intelligenti, anziché costringerle ad abbassarsi al livello degli altri, annoiandosi a morte. Per me, in una certa misura, il test superato con punteggio alto era anche un obbligo morale verso me stesso, non potevo dire di non essere abbastanza intelligente per fare qualcosa, se era mio dovere farla sicuramente avrei potuto portarla a termine, il test mi obbligava, ma mi permetteva anche di validarmi costantemente, di apprendere e quindi di diventare più intelligente di volta in volta: un meccanismo a feedback positivo di apprendimento.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Hiroshi: Quando ero giovane mi sentivo più intelligente di tutti gli altri: programmavo, riparavo computer, studiavo, avevo un lavoro, nella mia testa era ovvio che fossi agli altri superiore e spesso li guardavo anche con sufficienza. 

Quando sono entrato nel vivo di questa questione e nel vivo dei miei studi, mi sono reso conto che c’era davvero qualcosa che non andava.
La prima associazione che ho conosciuto era per il 130-140, era il 2016, già studiavo fisica. Ero entrato per dimostrare a me stesso che ero abbastanza per frequentare la facoltà di fisica, nonostante fosse un’associazione per alti quozienti intellettivi, non li percepivo come persone a me superiori intellettualmente, mentre all’università mi sentivo comunque uguale a tutti quelli che frequentavano il corso di laurea, anzi, mi sentivo anche da meno rispetto a loro, molto più bravi di me sicuramente sulla parte applicativa. 

Certo, il problema poteva essere il retroterra, io avevo già una laurea in lettere, mentre molti di loro venivano dallo scientifico e avevano una forma mentis più adattata alle scienze e al loro modo di ragionare.


Successivamente, con il progredire degli anni scolastici, ho totalmente perso interesse verso il QI. Ad oggi, il mio QI è certificato a 164, e questo certificato non mi è servito a nulla, se non a indisporre le persone quando ne parlavo apparendo superbo. Io valuto le cose per la loro funzionalità. Il Qi certificato mi fa sentire diverso, attaccabile. Poi, in questo momento mi sento tutto tranne che sicuro delle mie capacità intellettuali. Se penso ai limiti della mia realtà e provo a ragionare come se fossi fuori dal sistema fisico di cui faccio parte, mi va in fumo la testa.
Mi sento limitato dalla attuale matematica, che come linguaggio da noi interpretato, sembra avere i nostri stessi limiti. Di fronte a quello che vedo, a quello che studio, mi sento piccolo. Quindi in verità la scoperta dell’intelligenza superiore è solo un’illusione, l’intelligenza è un fattore complesso, formato da uno spettro di capacità non intercambiabili e alienabili nel tempo. 

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Hiroshi: Perché gli esseri umani non tollerano soluzioni a loro incomprensibili, il genio non è facilmente comprensibile e viene deriso, come l’Albatro di Baudelaire. L’essere umano deride ciò che non capisce, pensando che umiliare qualcosa faccia sparire il senso di inadeguatezza che prova, o il ridicolo di cui si copre. Per quanto riguarda l’essere timidi o meno di fronte a una telecamera, ogni persona è diversa e ogni categoria raccoglie infinite sfumature. La parola genio è un insieme dai contorni indefiniti e dalle proprietà poco chiare.

Jacobsen: Who seem like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Hiroshi: Direi Dirac. Dopo Einstein, Noether, Godel e Heisenberg c’è Dirac, che è quello a cui mi sento più affine. Quello che ha distinto Dirac più di ogni altra cosa è la bellezza della matematica, e l’idea che la Fisica teorica si possa basare interamente sulla matematica non come strumento, ma come linguaggio capace di offrire accesso diretto ai meccanismi dell’universo. Dimostrò che è possibile, aprendo le porte a un nuovo modo di fare Fisica.
Dirac aveva una visione tutta sua del mondo esplicitata nell’affermazione “se la scienza è il tentativo di dire in parole comprensibili da tutti cose che prima la gente non conosceva, la poesia è il suo contrario, cioè la tendenza a parlare di cose risapute con parole oscure” . A me piace la poesia, ma Dirac ha ragione. Ci vuole meno opinionismo, più chiarezza e meno interpretazioni personali della natura. Il metodo scientifico ha bisogno di mostrare a tutti la sua bellezza ed eleganza. Quello che è il significato di bello in matematica, però, andrebbe approfondito. 

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Hiroshi: Il genio sa mettere in comunicazione entrambi gli emisferi, sa come muoversi nella multidisciplinarietà, si sa autoalimentare e cercare le cose anche nei luoghi più impensabili. Una persona intelligente cerca nella propria razionalità e in sé le risposte. Il genio sa cercare le risposte fuori. La verità è che noi siamo un database non troppo ben programmato di ciò che vediamo. Inoltre, il genio capisce che la differenza tra realtà e fantasia è marcato solo dal duro lavoro, in fondo, genio viene da ingegno, non da intelletto.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Hiroshi: No, l’intelligenza si sviluppa nel tempo, può essere allenata, la genialità è una forma mentis. Ha sicuramente basi genetiche, ma non bastano. Inoltre, avere capacità intellettuali alte non significa nulla: l’attitudine gioca un ruolo fondamentale.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Hiroshi: Ho fatto veramente tanti lavori nella mia vita, perché avevo bisogno di trovare la mia strada. Anche il mio percorso di studi è stato strano, ma in qualche modo tutto è riuscito a convergere in un unico punto. 

Ero un comunicatore, con capacità avanzate di sviluppo web e grafica.
Ho lavorato per importanti società sportive della serie A (calcio), ho lavorato per il dipartimento Aerospaziale e per aziende sempre legate all’aerospazio, ho fatto lavori per delle università e sono stato direttore tecnico di una tv nazionale orientata ai ragazzi dai 16 ai 25 anni. 

Tutte queste esperienze mi hanno portato alla consapevolezza di voler tornare giovane e sognare la mia carriera nella fisica teorica. Ora posso guardare gli studi di fisica con gli occhi di una persona più matura, più ricca di esperienze.

Al momento studio fisica a tempo pieno e il mio principale lavoro è fare l’illustratore scientifico e il comunicatore. Da poco, sto preparando un percorso da V-Tuber scientifico. Io amo la scienza e voglio mostrare la sua bellezza a quante più persone possibili, senza mai farla apparire noiosa. 

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Hiroshi: Ho dovuto costruire la mia stabilità economica giorno dopo giorno cogliendo davvero tutte le opportunità possibili. Ho sempre offerto servizi di comunicazione e sviluppo, ma sono partito dal basso. Ho sempre affiancato al mio lavoro da freelancer qualche progetto personale che fosse seriamente legato ai miei interessi personali.

Da quando mi sono iscritto alla seconda università per studiare fisica, ho dovuto fare i conti con il poco tempo, quindi ho iniziato via via a eliminare progetti personali e ridurre il numero dei clienti. Oggi non faccio più comunicazione per nessuno che non sia legato al settore scientifico / universitario. Lavoro principalmente come Illustratore scientifico, ma faccio anche cose più versatili, se il team di lavoro è gradevole e mi sono trovato bene.

Ho cominciato da poco, ma ho già ottenuto lavori per università molto importanti (nella top 10 nel 2020), finalmente posso dire di aver trovato la mia strada.


Non ha senso lavorare in un settore che non si ama alla follia: si diventa cinici e annoiati. Io studio per diventare un ricercatore in Fisica Teorica, ma lavoro ogni giorno per divulgare ai più giovani, offrire formazione gratuita, spiegare la scienza attraverso l’arte e il manga. Perché dopotutto sono un nerd che ci crede troppo.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Hiroshi: Sono sempre cresciuto circondato da persone che mi ammiravano semplicemente perché sapevo fare tante cose e secondo loro bene, la verità è che ero curioso e iperattivo, ma ogni cosa che ho imparato l’ho imparata con sforzo: so disegnare e questo mi ha richiesto almeno dieci anni di studio, so parlare tante lingue, ma ho cominciato da piccolo e praticamente non ho mai smesso (l’anno scorso avevo pensato di trasferirmi in Danimarca e ho completato con successo il corso basico di lingua danese), oggi non vivo in Danimarca e ho dimenticato quasi tutto quello che avevo imparato, mentre nell’idea comune del genio lui impara subito senza sforzo e ricorda per sempre, cosa che non è assolutamente vera. 

Quindi il succo è che la necessità crea la virtù, impariamo le cose che ci servono e probabilmente il genio è colui che ha fatto dell’imparare il suo mestiere e che ha capito che gli serve imparare dell’altro per allenare il suo talento, proprio come uno sportivo continua ad allenarsi sempre di più per superare i propri limiti, la verità è che io un giorno ho deciso di voler diventare un genio e quindi ho iniziato a fare cose da geni, anche se non ho mai creduto nella genialità come fanno le persone comuni. 

Ho recitato la parte, ma non ho mai dimenticato il lavoro dietro le quinte, un po’ come farebbe un prestigiatore. Credo che le persone debbano innanzitutto capire che l’intelligenza (parte tecnica) e la genialità (attitudine e stato mentale) sono cose che si costruiscono e non è mai tardi per farlo. 

Io ho iniziato a costruirlo circa a 25 anni (molto tardi), e i risultati sono arrivati molto in fretta. Forse essere un genio è più vicino ad essere un influencer che a un filosofo, ispirare gli altri facendo ciò che si ama.
Non importa quanto siano grandi i numeri. 

Per esempio, quando mi sono iscritto all’università non avevo assolutamente idea di come fosse organizzata la fisica moderna, sapevo solo che ero interessato ai viaggi nel tempo, quindi ho letto di Einstein, di Dirac, di qualche altro nome famoso. Ho iniziato a suonare il violino a 27 anni perché Einstein lo suonava. Oggi Einstein non mi piace più come prima, ma il violino fa parte della mia vita.

Ho letto le biografie e ho cercato di leggere gli stessi libri, come nel caso di Einstein e Dirac, che hanno il pensiero più particolare possibile: ho scoperto che la base logica dei loro studi è stata realizzata attraverso la lettura della logica deduttiva di Mill. Ho comprato il libro e ho iniziato a leggerlo non appena me ne sono reso conto.

Cosa significa questo? Se vuoi essere uno sportivo devi pensare come uno sportivo, il talento è la conseguenza del fare qualcosa con passione immergendosi in quel modo di essere, che si impara a poco a poco. Quando dicono ‘volere è potere’ e che il duro lavoro da risultati è vero. Non si nasce geni, ma solo molto fortunati perché l’environment ti ha già messo in quella mentalità fin da piccolo. Se non sei stato fortunato puoi rimediare da solo.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Hiroshi: Non credo in una figura divina come immaginata dalle grandi religioni monoteiste e la figura di una divinità disegnata in questo modo non è che uno strumento politico più che spirituale.

Il mio primo percorso universitario fu storia, culture e religioni.

Studiando fisica è difficile non credere proprio a nulla, ma credo che questo discorso meriti uno spazio a parte. Ciò che posso dire è che più studio più sento di essere piccolo. Più mi sento piccolo, più voglio crescere. Per me il concetto di Dio è questo senso di movimento. A volte ho immaginato l’esistenza del divino, in un luogo in cui lo ringrazio per aver creato qualcosa di così bello come l’universo. La verità è che prima di occuparci dei grandi quesiti della filosofia, dobbiamo avere armi migliori. 

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Hiroshi: La scienza è il fondamento di ogni singolo evento che avviene nel mondo. In biologia si dice che nulla ha senso se non alla luce dell’evoluzione, la fisica arriva ad un livello ancora più viscerale, così viscerale da lasciarti senza parole. Io amo la scienza più di ogni altra cosa: da ex umanista dico che la bellezza della fisica è qualcosa che può comunicare all’anima meglio di come farebbe una terzina di Dante.

Ciò che mi muove, ogni giorno, è la scienza. Voglio assolutamente conoscerla meglio, giorno dopo giorno. Non riesco a immaginare un mondo in cui la fisica non fa parte della mia esistenza. 

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Hiroshi: Ho fatto un Test Mensa, test Fiqure con 164 (SD15), Test ENST20 di cui non ricordo il punteggio, ma sempre tra 158 e 165. Tutte le deviazioni sono sd15. Volevo poi concentrarmi sull’ottenere una certificazione da 170+ perché nella mia visione del mondo del QI non è vero che sei 160 resti 160. Alzando la soglia aerobica del cervello il QI può salire, proprio come accade in palestra. 

Purtroppo però il fatto che dovessi lavorare molto e che quando ho chiesto una scholarship per potermi focalizzare sugli studi, fosse più importante lo stato di povertà rispetto alle mie capacità intellettuali mi ha gettato in una profonda crisi, non solo: parlare del proprio QI ti mette in una situazione compromessa, le persone ti dicono che vuoi metterti al di sopra degli altri, che certificare l’intelligenza è una stupidaggine e quindi ho smesso di preoccuparmi di provare altri test più elevati perché non riuscivo a vedere alcun vantaggio raggiungibile. Allo stato attuale voglio riuscire a farmi ammettere in un’università del calibro di Cambridge (in realtà vorrei proprio Cambridge), da quello che ho capito contano molto di più i progetti nel portfolio, piuttosto che un esagerato QI. Quindi nonostante la mia ambizione mi abbia fatto pensare di voler provare la GIGA dopo la 4G alla fine ho perso la ragione dietro lo scopo. Alla fine, intelligenti o meno, abbiamo sempre bisogno di una comunità di cui sentirci parte e da cui sentirci protetti, con cui condividere scopi e visioni.

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically.

Hiroshi:  Generalmente 162 o 164, non ricordo con precisione. Una volta c’è stato un 151, così come un 172. Mi piace pensare 164, perché la mia ragazza ha fatto un 166 e mi piace dire che abbia qualche punto in più rispetto a me, perché lo trovo divertente e anche molto stimolante. 

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Ho scritto il mio personale Sentiero Etico nel corso degli ultimi 10 anni, mescolando visioni e filosofie, anche contrastanti tra di loro, dal momento che la società moderna è combinazione lineare di queste filosofie, anche quelle dicotomiche. 

La mia etica mi impone di non perdere tempo in sciocchi pensieri, di lavorare duramente per prendermi ciò che voglio a qualunque costo, essere sincero e mostrare sempre la mia volontà, in ogni occasione. Non mentire e usare la verità come arma, essere sempre fedele a me stesso. 

Rifiutare il pregiudizio in ogni sua forma, restare curioso. Imparare da tutti e offrire sempre qualcosa della propria esperienza da insegnare. Ricercare, sperimentare.
Combattere i propri difetti e migliorarsi, porsi degli obiettivi molto ambiziosi, ogni anno raggiungerne almeno la metà. Lanciare sfide all’improbabilità, per trovarsi in una vita sempre in cambiamento. Improbabile chiama improbabile, quindi occasioni diverse, ogni volta. 

Vivere nel culto della propria visione. La vita è troppo breve per sacrificarci, dobbiamo vivere a pieno per noi stessi. Se non è possibile, si prova l’impossibile.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: In questo momento della mia vita sto studiando per la prima volta con interesse le dinamiche sociali e mi sto approcciando all’intelligenza emotiva. Personalmente ho avuto un background particolarmente severo e selvaggio, per cui non apprezzo degli approcci troppo morbidi, ma credo che dipenda dai tipi di persone. La verità è che non mi piace circondarmi di persone rammollite, anche se la mia natura di curioso mi spinge più a voler capire che a giudicare. 

Sono ben lontano dall’aver afferrato la comprensione sociale e cerco di non cadere nella trappola dell’ipocrisia, ma spero tra qualche anno di essere in grado di rispondere a questa domanda. Per ora dico che sono transgender (nato donna, diventato uomo) e quindi le questioni di genere dovrebbero essere il mio punto di riferimento. Probabilmente, però, mi interessa solo discutere delle dimensioni sociali della conoscenza scientifica e di una filosofia che ruoti attorno a questo. Un po’ come accadeva nei primi del novecento.

Jacobsen: What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Personalmente, credo che il capitalismo sia qualcosa di non sostenibile. Ma la possibilità di non poter accrescere il proprio patrimonio mi spaventa. Se in futuro ci fosse un pagamento in tempo e servizi, non credo sarei felice. Perché sono pigro e perché costruisco possibilità lavorative soprattutto basate su ottimizzazioni.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Odio la democrazia, quando questa non ha senso di esistere. Vivo in un paese dove le persone non sanno di cosa parlano. Il senso civico è al minimo e la situazione è di profonda crisi. Persone che parlano di terra piatta, di complotti, di non volere i vaccini e quant’altro. Queste persone hanno il mio stesso diritto di votare. Questa democrazia, come diceva Platone, non ha senso ed è una forte degenerazione. Ciascuno ha un peso. Uno non vale uno, in questo contesto. 

Ad oggi l’unica filosofia politica a me gradevole è il legalismo cinese, che proviene dal confucianesimo. Da lì la geniocrazia, che vede come suo principio base misurare la cruda intelligenza, dando diritto di voto solo a chi ha un’intelligenza superiore alla media di una certa percentuale, mentre la possibilità di governo è solo per i geni, cioè quelle persone più intelligenti della media in modo notevole. Diciamo 10 e 50% rispettivamente. Si tratterebbe quindi di una democrazia selettiva, che non trascura l’intelligenza emotiva e le capacità di introspettività.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Come il quadrato magico del SATOR, ogni fenomeno metafisico è solo un fenomeno fisico non ancora spiegato, è solo questione di tempo. Sta alla nostra sensibilità e alla nostra attitudine decidere se Sator si riferisce a una visione cattolica in cui si manifesta il divino (Ego Sum Alpha et Omega, nella lettura decifrata del sator), una traduzione non ufficiale, più che altro ipotetica, come “Sator Abrepo, Opera tenet rotas” cioè il seminatore si dilegua, la sua opera continua da sé, o una semplice matrice simmetrica.
Io, come ho detto, ho vissuto prima da umanista, quindi il fatto che solo ora veda la matrice simmetrica mi fa riflettere molto. Nulla dimostra quale sia la vera interpretazione, ma nulla dimostra che la realtà sia univoca. 

A ogni modo, quello che vedo con i miei occhi è che la volontà è la più bella metafisica in cui voglio credere. Nelle emozioni c’è la forza dietro il movimento. Mi sembra la cosa più rilevante. La fisica ha il ruolo di spiegare l’inspiegabile, che sia effetto fotoelettrico o abracadabra per noi questo non deve essere limitante. Dopotutto, l’effetto fotoelettrico di oggi era l’abracadabra di ieri.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hiroshi: Ad oggi non è stato prodotto un pensiero filosofico adatto ed è per questo motivo che la società è ancora involuta. Se i filosofi fossero un po’ più attenti ai processi logici da adottare, anziché forgiare idee sul malcontento, magari avrebbero più valore per me. 

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Hiroshi: Ci sono due cose che danno senso alla mia vita. La prima, sicuramente la più importante di tutte per me, è essere riconosciuto come me stesso. La seconda cosa è banale: cercare una spiegazione all’esistenza, come facevano gli antichi filosofi greci. Per fare questo bisogna rompere le barriere del proprio intelletto, cosa tutt’altro che facile, ed è per questo che è mio obbiettivo seguire processi logici non lineari, ma trascendenti (nel senso matematico del termine).

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Hiroshi: Non esiste un interno o un esterno, perché non siamo un sistema chiuso con processi adiabatici. 

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Hiroshi: Proprio in questi ultimi tempi volevo parlare con un frigorifero, credo che campi elettromagnetici e coscienza siano strettamente legati e credo, inoltre, che non ci sia molta differenza tra i nostri processi cognitivi e la computazione di un computer quantistico, quindi mi sono fatto l’idea che c’è una spiegazione a tutta l’eredità filosofica religiosa e letteraria lasciata dai nostri avi. Le forme ricorrenti e i miti sono forse un punto di partenza per la scienza. Quando la sera vado a dormire, penso sempre che quando morirò sarò un’onda elettromagnetica scaricata a terra in tanti piccoli frammenti o che ha la possibilità di viaggiare nel vuoto dell’universo per un tempo molto lungo. Se posso avanzare una speranza mi piacerebbe credere che non esista la reincarnazione, né la morte nel senso epicureo, ma che sia una trasformazione di fase, in cui finalmente potrò esplorare l’universo e farne parte in un’altra forma, purché cosciente. Detesto questo senso di impotenza, vorrei sapere di più.

Jacobsen: What do you make of the mystery and transience of life?

Hiroshi: Mi piacerebbe che Einstein avesse ragione quando dice che Dio non gioca a dadi, ma il problema è che lo fa, almeno a quanto dimostra la disuguaglianza di Bell, però in una delle mie idee molto fantasiose forse c’è un’altra spiegazione. Dopo i miei studi magistrali, se quest’idea resisterà alle intemperie della conoscenza, cercherò di approfondire e perché no: magari dimostrare.

Jacobsen: What is love to you? 

Hiroshi: Quando Platone parla delle anime divise non era andato molto lontano. La persona che amo è il mio opposto, così opposto da essere complementare, è sicuramente più intelligente di me, ma anche più stupida (nel senso simpatico del termine). Si occupa di biologia e riesce non solo a capire ciò che penso, ma nutrire nuovi pensieri. Probabilmente siccome quando penso a noi mi viene in mente la mano sinistra sulla corda di violino e la destra che tiene l’archetto, probabilmente l’amore non è altro che la musica prodotta.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, ISI-Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society [Online]. March 2021; 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, March 1). Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society. Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A, March. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A (March 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 26.A (2021): March. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Hiroshi Murasaki on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Philosophy, and Love: Member, ISI-Society [Internet]. (2021, March 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hiroshi.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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 and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 26.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (21)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,623

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Dr. Herb Silverman is the Founder of the Secular Coalition for America, the Founder of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, and the Founder of the Atheist/Humanist Alliance student group at the College of Charleston. He authored Complex variables (1975), Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt (2012) and An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land: Selected Writings from the Bible Belt (2017). He co-authored The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America (2003) with Kimberley Blaker and Edward S. Buckner, Complex Variables with Applications (2007) with Saminathan Ponnusamy, and Short Reflections on Secularism (2019), Short Reflections on American Secularism’s History and Philosophy (2020), and Short Reflections on Age and Youth (2020). He discusses: Amsterdam Declaration 2002 and possibly “Amsterdam Declaration 2022”; points preliminarily brought forward for the new declaration; things to add to the potential new declaration; human intelligence and non-human intelligence rights; the environment; non-Western traditions of Humanism for formal inclusion; Indigeneity and Humanism; Amsterdam Declaration 2002; and the ultimate fate of religious ethics.

Keywords: Amsterdam Declaration, Herb Silverman, Free of Charge, freethought, Humanism, Indigeneity, Western.

Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The philosophy of Humanism[1] does not dictate to its adherents, as in a top-down dogma requiring thou shalts and thou shalt nots on some firm, transcendentalist basis. The supernatural only gets invoked as a negation of it. Even with the organizations and the statements, these amount to individuated communities and documents with individual choice as the ultimate arbiter. It took about 50 years for an advancement of the Amsterdam Declaration 1952 into the Amsterdam Declaration 2002.[2] There has been a call by the team at Humanists International for an advancement into a third edition of the Amsterdam declarations in particular. This may move forward, or has moved forward, for requests on proper ways in which to add updated concerns to the proposed third edition of the Amsterdam Declaration.  The most recent version from 2002 (Humanists International) has been translated into 35 languages.[3] If an updated version proceeds in 2022, then this will be the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the organization, Humanists International, formerly the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and the third version of the Amsterdam declarations. Some of the conversations ranged around sport or physical activity, non-human intelligence, the environment, and non-Western sources within the humanist tradition. Fundamentally, what is the difference in a philosophical stance representing evolutionary changes even to ethical founding documents compared to others declaring foundational texts as complete and comprehensive for all time with nothing ever capable of edit, as in Quranic theological orientations – can’t edit it – akin to the necessity of acceptance of the resurrection of Christ in Christianity? In short, what makes foundational evolution of an empirically informed ethic better than an unchanging asserted morality in centuries-old texts?

Dr. Herb Silverman[4],[5]*: Evolution made it possible for us to become Homo sapiens (humans), though my DNA shows that I am 3% Neanderthal. Charles Darwin felt that a difference between Homo sapiens and other animals is our moral sense. He said that our enhanced ability to cooperate may be the most significant distinction between us and our closest evolutionary relatives. Such cooperation, along with concern for others and a sense of fairness, may be the basis of morality in humans. Since evolution works so slowly, I don’t think we can relate evolution to how moral behavior differs in humans today, often based more on philosophical or theological differences.

You ask why our empirically informed ethic today is better than an unchanging, asserted morality in centuries-old texts. Science is empirical and thrives on disagreement and on a willingness to question assumptions critically, while we search for evidence until a consensus is reached. Centuries-old texts, often called “holy” books, were written by scientifically ignorant men. Their ideas of ethics included discriminating against gays, not allowing women to have responsible positions, punishing blasphemers and heretics, and advocating for holy wars. Tying our principles to unchanging, dogmatic religious text makes no sense. Morality, to us, involves using available evidence to help decide what actions might be for the greater good of humanity. We base our ethics on what we learn from human experience, which includes the efforts of thoughtful people throughout history who have worked toward achieving their ideals. We also know that some of our values might change as our knowledge and understanding advances.

Jacobsen: For those points brought forward, “sport or physical activity, non-human intelligence, the environment, and non-Western sources within the humanist tradition,” what seems like the relevance of each to the potential next edition of the declaration?

Silverman: I’ll address your question of “sport or physical activity” here. The other parts (non-human intelligence, the environment, non-Western sources) are asked about in your other questions, so I will answer those later.

Regarding sport or physical activity, I think we should encourage people to remain active for as long as they can. Playing sports, preferably non-contact, can be fun and help us keep a sound mind and body. At 78, I no longer play sports, but I exercise a lot. I walk a few miles every day with my wife, Sharon. We also lift weights or swim several times a week. What I don’t like to see are so many people who only watch others play sports. When a professional player on their favorite team hits a home run or scores a goal, they congratulate each other, as if they themselves deserve credit for it. Being active in sports (and in life) is beneficial; being passive is not.

Jacobsen: Would you add anything else for consideration to such a new Amsterdam declaration?

Silverman: I would add more suggestions on how humanists and others can improve their quality of life. In addition to physical activity, we could mention the importance of having a good diet (perhaps vegetarian), getting enough sleep, reducing stress (perhaps through yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques), and having a sense of humor with lots of laughter.

Jacobsen: What is the core of human intelligence? What seem like the prospects for non-human intelligence and the possibility for rights (and responsibilities) applied to non-human operators? Prominent humanists, e.g., Isaac Asimov, posited science fiction ideas of positronic brains, and the like, exploring ideas like these well before the current crop of humanists.[6] These likely have been stewing since that time, potentially even more so in the Computer Age.

Silverman: Human intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Intelligence has evolved in animals, perhaps many times. We must not forget that non-human animals can also be intelligent. Thinking about other intelligent animals causes some humans emotional distress because they may eat these animals or use them for neurobiology research.

When it comes to robots, perhaps one day they may be designed to have consciousness, and we will deal then with those implications. Isaac Asimov wrote science fiction stories about robots with a positron brain that functions as a central processing unit and, in some unspecified way, provides these robots with a form of consciousness recognizable to humans. I loved Asimov, who was president of the American Humanist Association from 1985 until his death in 1992. But keep in mind that his wonderful scientific fiction robot stories were still fiction. I hope one day we will have conscious robots, but I don’t expect to see that come to pass in my lifetime.

Jacobsen: What makes the environment a core necessity as this time, especially with the ongoing climate crisis temporarily overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic?

Silverman: I think even now that the ongoing climate crisis should not be overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic will pass, but the climate crisis might never pass, only get worse. The scientific consensus at the moment seems to be that we need scientific breakthroughs and global cooperation to avoid a catastrophic rise in temperatures and climate disaster.

Jacobsen: Something which I consider important is the inclusion of non-Western, even Indigenous, proposals into the humanist canon formally. For example, the definition provided about indigeneity by the United Nations in “Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations” states:

Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.

Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, way of life and their right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources for years, yet throughout history, their rights have always been violated. Indigenous peoples today, are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life. Find below a short history of the indigenous struggle in the international stage.[7]

This is a good start for humanists, possibly. I have been given permission by the Aboriginal Committee, as a member (non-Aboriginal) of the committee for Humanist Canada, to submit a point of reflection via a letter to the representatives of Humanists International.[8] As far as I know, this was a first, which was sent in March of 2020. Different regions and cultures have different flavours of Humanism and distinct difficulties against religious fundamentalism and state totalitarianism. How can proposals, such as these, provide neither a negative view on Western-based Humanism nor a rejection of the current mostly Western-based Humanism, but an expansive global Humanism inclusive of the tastes, sights, sounds, flavours, and unique manifestations of Humanism seen around the world? Those more rounded perspectives can provide a better vision of Humanism and, in turn, a more complete and comprehensive envisioning of Humanism vis-à-vis a more comprehensive and complete imagining of human nature and potentialities.

Silverman: We tend to focus on Western culture and assume that other cultures should behave more like us. Perhaps sometimes they should, and sometimes they shouldn’t. We need to learn more about these cultures and watch how they interact with others, including with us.

One of my most memorable experiences was being a Visiting Mathematics Professor for a semester in 1987 at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. My colleagues there treated me very well. Over eight hundred languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea, reflecting the isolation of its many tribes. Not only were most students at UPNG the first in their families to go to college, they were the first to leave their village tribes. Part of our mission was to persuade students not to continue their ongoing tribal disputes at the university, avoiding the “payback” system in PNG. A tribal member at the university explained to me how the payback system worked. If a member from Tribe A killed a member from Tribe B, a designated member from Tribe B could legally kill any member from Tribe A. If he killed more than one member, “payback” would again kick in. Fortunately, the university was a payback-free zone.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Australian explorers discovered the highlands of PNG, home to roughly one million people who had never before encountered Europeans. In a video I saw of this “first contact,” one PNG woman said they thought white people were gods, but changed their minds after having sex with them. Women in PNG were treated unbelievably poorly. Village men typically resided in a house, while women and pigs (yes, pigs!) lived together in a shack behind the house. Both women and pigs were sold or used for barter, the woman/pig ratio depending on the quality of both the women and the pigs. (This, of course, does not apply to men and women at the university.)

The country was teeming with missionaries of all kinds. Most tried to improve the lives of the inhabitants, usually accompanied by attempts at religious conversion. I hope missionaries now have become more humanistic than when I was there. At the time, I asked one priest why he deplored the practice of bare-breasted women, but said nothing about wife beating, which was legal there. He told me they couldn’t change everything that was wrong in the country, and bare breasts were a good place to start. Shortly thereafter, the university held a beauty pageant with five participants, four of whom were bare breasted. When I saw that the primary judge was this same missionary, I confidently predicted the winner to my colleagues. After the breast-covered woman won, my colleagues showed an undeserved respect for my powers of judging beauty.

Jacobsen: The second Amsterdam declaration (2002) or the Amsterdam Declaration 2002 posited a number of core values.[9] Its foci are ethics, rationality, ethical, “democracy and human rights,” “that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility,” a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion,” “values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art,” and “a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment.”[10] Non-dogmatic principles for being in the world. These are so in line with cosmopolitan global values and positive scientific uses more than almost any other philosophical system known to me. As our ethics advance more and more, how do the more faith-based ethics appear in comparison year-by-year?

Silverman: Assuming faith-based ethics is not an oxymoron, I think more and more people are adopting our improving humanist ethics. This is especially true of younger people, most of whom no longer believe that homosexuality is a sin, willingly accept transgender people, think men and women should be treated equally, and agree that no law should prohibit abortion under all circumstances.

Jacobsen: What is the ultimate fate of religious ethics?

Silverman: Probably there will always be people who follow what they consider to be religious ethics. I hope most of those people will have a religion that allows them the flexibility to follow their own conscience, without being restricted to following everything in a book that was written thousands of years before. I have no problem with nontheistic religions, all of which seem to be humanistic.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Dr. Silverman.

Silverman: Thank you.

References

American Humanist Association. (2021). Definition of Humanism. Retrieved from https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/definition-of-humanism/

Grudin, R. (2020, October 22). Humanism. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/humanism

Humanist Canada. (2021). What is Humanism?. Retrieved from https://www.humanistcanada.ca/about/humanism/

Humanists International. (1952). Amsterdam Declaration 1952. Retrieved from https://humanists.international/policy/amsterdam-declaration-1952/

Humanists International. (2002). Amsterdam Declaration 2002. Retrieved from https://humanists.international/policy/amsterdam-declaration-2002/

Humanists International. (2021). What is humanism?. Retrieved from https://humanists.international/what-is-humanism/

Humanists UK. (2021). Humanism. Retrieved from https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/

Memory Alpha. (2021). Positronic Brain. Retrieved from https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Positronic_brain

United Nations. (n.d.). Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/about-us.html

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Grudin (2020), Humanist Canada (2021), Humanists UK (2021), American Humanist Association (2021), and Humanists International (2021).

[2] Humanists International (2002) and Humanists International (1952).

[3] Humanists International (2002).

[4] Founder, Secular Coalition for America; Founder, Secular Humanists of the Low Country; Founder, Atheist/Humanist Alliance, College of Charleston.

[5] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[6] Memory Alpha (2021).

[7] United Nations (n.d.).

[8] The letter in full as follows:

I send as an independent proposal and through filtration of the Aboriginal Committee of Humanist Canada. In other words, I send this based on prior correspondence alongside feedback caveats from the Aboriginal Committee of Humanist Canada, of which I am a part, in addition to personal justifications and qualifications before too. This amounts to the formalized presentation, numerically ordered (not by importance), of the caveats from Humanist Canada’s Aboriginal Committee and myself. The document below entitled “Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Formal Recognition in the Global Humanist Movement” implies global democratic Humanism before comprehensive consultation with the international Humanist indigenous and tribal peoples diaspora should:

  1. not speak for indigenous or tribal peoples in general;
  2. not speak for indigenous or tribal peoples who are humanist;
  3. not take this draft statement as a declaration, resolution, or policy;
  4. take this as a statement of reflection and consideration for the global democratic body of Humanism to seriously consider endorsing established international documents like the UNDRIP; and
  5. further serious reflection on the inclusion and furtherance of consultation and dialogue with humanist groups around the world in bringing in feedback from and having consultation with the humanist indigenous and tribal people diaspora in the “over 70 countries” and beyond?

I drafted the below alone – taking full responsibility for negative and positive implications of its presentation to Humanists International – with feedback (with minor alterations) from the Aboriginal Committee of Humanist Canada:

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Formal Recognition in the Global Humanist Movement

Indigenous and tribal peoples continue to muster and garner deserved recognition in international institutional and rights documents, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) from September of 2007 and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169(Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention) from 1989, and, by the nature of Humanism, deserve formal recognition in the global democratic Humanist movement too.

Global democratic Humanism marches forward in its greater moves towards a true representation of the vibrant fabric of the human species with more nations, peoples, and flavours of Humanist communities accepted into the international community in a formal manner in spite of the short period ebbs and flows of theocracy and secularity, authoritarianism and democracy, xenophobia and inclusivity, superstition and science, and, indeed, supernaturalism and naturalism. An oft-neglected sector of the international community comes from minorities within minorities. One such sector of the global humanist movement emerges in the context of indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the world. More than 370 million indigenous and tribal people exist in over 70 countries in the world based on estimations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Those indigenous and tribal peoples recognized in international rights documents including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2007, and the ILO Convention 169 (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989). Together considered the highest standards and singularly comprehensive international instruments available to the indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the world in the defence of their most basic human rights, in particular, with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the oldest and most general. When Humanism enters into the practical applications of daily living and ordinary recognition in a global democratic movement and capacity, Humanists International performs a fundamental role in this regard, especially as its evolution incorporates previously unheard voices and unseen faces. For the full flourishing of the global Humanist movement, indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the world who adhere to the principles of Humanism deserve recognition and support at the international level. This instantiates the first formal effort as such, in the tradition of global democratic Humanism.

We recognise: 

  • the Preamble stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) on “the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women,” “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,” and with special emphasis on Article 1 stating “all human beings are born free and equal,” Article 2 stating “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms… without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status… [or] on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs,” Article 7, Article 15, Article 18, Article 20, Article 22, and Article 28;
  • the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169or Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989) subjective and objective criteria for the inclusion as indigenous peoples or tribal peoples within an international context in Article 1, and with special emphasis on Article 2, Article 3, Article 5(a) and 5(b), Article 6(1)(a), Article 7(1), Article 27(1) and 27(2), Article 28, Article 29, Article 31, Article 34, Article 35, and Article 36;
  • the Amsterdam Declaration (2002) affirms the “worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual,” “human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government,” “Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents,” and “Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment… [and] can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.” 
  • the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(2007) in full.

We support:

  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948);
  • the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 or Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989);
  • the Amsterdam Declaration (2002); and
  • the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).  

Suggested academic reference

‘Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Formal Recognition in the Global Humanist Movement‘, Humanists International, General Assembly, Miami, United States, 2020

The Reconciliation with indigenous peoples (2000-11) for Australia represented a generic and national, not international, statement.

[9] “Amsterdam Declaration 2002” states:

  • Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.
  • Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.
  • Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.
  • Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.
  • Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process. of observation, evaluation and revision.
  • Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.
  • Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

Humanists International (2002).

[10] Ibid.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism [Online]. March 2021; 26(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, March 1). Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism. Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.E, March. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.E. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.E (March 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.E., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 26.E (2021): March. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Free of Charge 7 – “Amsterdam Declaration” (2002), Indigeneity and Humanism, and Beyond Western-Dominant Humanism [Internet]. (2021, March 26(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/free-of-charge-7.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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 and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 26.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (21)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,499

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Daniel Hilton is a Member of the Glia Society. He discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; the family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates; some professional certifications; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence discovered; the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; work experiences and jobs; particular job path; the gifted and geniuses; God; science; the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; ethical philosophy; social philosophy; economic philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; philosophical system; meaning in life; meaning externally derived, internally generated; an afterlife; the mystery and transience of life; and love.

Keywords: Daniel Hilton, family, Glia Society, intelligence, IQ, genius, Mensa International.

Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Daniel Hilton[1],[2]*: That is not really how our family worked, we had many good outings and holidays, but I feel we lived in the moment rather than spending time looking back.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Hilton: As above, we were more focused on the here and now.

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

Hilton: Unless I am mistaken, I am of Anglo-Irish heritage, I grew up mainly in the North of England and Yorkshire is home, we are an English-speaking household, I am British and for my part I am an atheist.

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Hilton: I very much enjoyed school, though high school age comes with many trials for most, I was no different. I enjoyed learning the subjects I was naturally quite good at, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography for example. On reflection I was less committed in subjects that fell outside my sphere of interest, though I doubt I am alone in that. I certainly should have worked harder at school; I met some talented individuals who were blessed with intelligence and commitment. I remained in the same school throughout my Senior years, this brought a sense of familiarity and community, it was a large school, so there were always like-minded peers amongst the many students there. I was fortunate to have a group of friends outside school, mostly from other schools that was important to me during the latter part of my adolescence, these friends were the ones I really connected with as I lived close to them and we grew up together.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings, earned by you?

Hilton: UK education, GCSEs and A Levels and a Mathematics Degree from Birmingham University, PGCE qualifications in Mathematics and Research in Education. I occasionally take courses with the Open University at Master’s level, but I have no real interest in completing a full Master’s degree as the bulk of the courses do not interest me. The things I want to know are readily available online and I can find clear explanations of what it is I wish to understand without expending the time, effort or money needed to secure official certification. Indeed, this for me demonstrates the key difference between intelligence and cleverness. If you take a textbook, someone clever who has studied it would be able to explain the material to you, whereas someone profoundly intelligent is quietly confident that if, and when, they read it, they will readily understand it.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Hilton: I enjoy the questions, when I have spare time I like to think about a puzzle, after mulling a problem over a deeper level of thinking emerges in my mind, and occasionally insight forms and a solution presents itself, other times there is no end product, but it is a depth of thinking and focus that rarely takes place in normal life and it has a deeply cathartic effect on my state of mind. Most high-range IQ tests are untimed so you can spend many hours thinking about a problem before having an insight, if that ever comes to pass.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Hilton: I was 27 when I took the Mensa test, I had recently entered the teaching profession and was working at a Grammar school with many bright students and staff. I felt right at home in that environment. It was a gradual realisation that I was able to quickly understand anything that was presented to me without repetition, regardless of context or complexity. As a teacher you see, and of course guide, the learning process up close and the hard work the vast majority of students put in becomes evident. It dawned on me that I had needed to work as hard as those I was teaching and I began to wonder why? I have since developed a more focused attitude to learning and more importantly understanding.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Hilton: For me this is just statistics in action, in any field, group, skill, or whatever you choose to investigate, there will be those who perform to the upper end of the scale, let us assume we are using a normal curve and left to right is a trait becoming more positive. Human beings are fundamentally competitive, so those on the extreme left of the scale in any measure will be looked down up by the majority, pitied, vilified, criminalised (depending on the context). Conversely, those at the extreme right of the scale will be envied by the bulk of the population, this can manifest itself as respect, support, hatred, exclusion, the response really depends on how that individual/culture views that particular trait and how tolerant they are of it expressing itself differently and strongly.

We are each on a near infinite array of these normal distributions representing every attribute of human existence, for most traits we are in the central region and thus fit in relatively anonymously with the wider population. But for those traits where we are too far to the left or right of the distribution, those traits will likely shape our lives. For the most positive traits we have, if we follow the path of least resistance and remain grounded, they should help make our life comfortable and by extension the lives of those around us. In some instances, the reach of the sphere of influence of an individual is much larger than normal, few humans are equipped to deal with this and they risk imploding under the spotlight, some do carry it off, those with high levels of intelligence are no different in this regard. Most highly intelligent people, I would argue, retreat into self-imposed exile and comfortable obscurity.

Jacobsen: Who seem like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Hilton: They will likely have had little input into history, but to their own folk and/or communities they will have helped herald in good times. Forced to choose a brilliant mind from the past I would have to say William James Sidis stands out for me, if even a small portion of what is written about him is true, then he would have been a fascinating person to meet.

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Hilton: For me there is no difference, their impact upon mainstream consciousness seems to define how they are remembered, of course the majority of people in any field will be footnotes to history. Looking at IQ societies, you could make arguments that up to 1% of the population are geniuses, but that does not mean they are solely responsible for the betterment of humankind, nor that not being in the top 1% is a restriction to greatness. A combination of good levels of intelligence, a conducive environment and luck seem to be what is required to become a “genius”. In the end you could argue genius means whatever people want it to mean, it is used with a degree of elasticity that renders the word meaningless in most contexts.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Hilton: They are two sides of the same coin when referring to genius level intelligence. It seems however the modern usage of the word is more flexible and is applied to anyone with any exceptionally developed skills. Take the great footballers, in that context it is not genius level IQ that is being commented on, though that is not to say they may not possess said high IQ, rather exceptional levels of skill are being acknowledged. Messi or Ronaldo offer a useful analogy to genius level thinking, they have the capacity to play at a level well beyond their peers, with the results easy to see, with genius level intelligence it is harder to see, but the same difference in capacity is there, though it is rarely met by the cheering of thousands of fans.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Hilton: I am a teacher and school leader and have been for some 20 years now, no other job, of the few I tried before teaching, brought a similar level of enjoyment or satisfaction. Teachers are exceptional human beings and provide the clearest evidence that not all superheroes wear capes.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Hilton: The path of least resistance led me here, this path is not the lazy concept it sounds like from the outside, life steers you and guides you toward your talents, you must pay attention and follow the subtle advice the universe prompts you with.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Hilton:  That a genius is some kind of celebrity and must make a huge difference to humanity. That gifted people will find school/life easy and always excel. That extremely high intelligence is desirable, when it in fact comes with many painful downsides, I would argue there is a sweet spot for intelligence where success in life, by most measures is assured, Doctors, Engineers and top professionals are often in this range, with IQs beyond that things become hit and miss, the ‘gifts’ may still lead to success, but there are lots of folk in that highest region who retreat into obscurity, take work well below their capacity, and have to deal with the side effects of understanding things easily.

If you picture life like an unseen road ahead, a person like a car, the mind like an engine, having a profoundly high IQ is like introducing high-octane fuel, when things run well life is good and progress easy, but the higher speeds attainable can make the car harder to control when you hit unexpected bumps in the road, crashes are more likely to be serious and the engine can be blown by the high-octane fuel at any moment. High intelligence without emotional stability and a supportive environment, preferably with some like-minded peers, for many would be a living curse.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Hilton: No, these offer me no interest whatsoever.

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Hilton: Science is the route to understanding, but we have discovered things place restrictions on what we can know, when I first learned of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, it shook the foundations of Mathematics for me, that I could spend my life trying to prove something that is in fact true a Mathematical fact, but one that is impossible to prove to be true within the Mathematics we use, this heavy blow was quickly followed by the crunching uppercut of Tarski’s undefinability problem, in particular where applied to semantics, there are other examples such as that of Church’s demonstration that Hilbert’s Entscheidungsproblem cannot be solved, or Turing’s demonstration that there is no algorithm that can solve the halting problem. These bolts across what was a fervent belief in Science in my youth have made me conclude that not all answers can be extracted by Science and some must be divined by human thought.

Science sees ever deeper and I am a great believer in this, yet I do not believe it is the ultimate answer to everything, that said most things will eventually fall to Science’s blade. I see little progress in it explaining me to me, that is a task left for me to decipher, in this case I mean my individual human consciousness, in the end Science may help us understand everything except our individual self, and by extension the individual self of others, though we may believe we know how all others (as a group) will behave on the average from our studies of Psychology, but that is converting raw data into grouped data, thus the individual is lost. I see progress toward medicines tailored to individual DNA, and the use of big data to garner meta-level insights, if humanity is waking up to the idea of understanding the individual and by extension all individuals in their own right, then perhaps a new golden age of Science is just around the corner, that would be a first step toward helping the individuals understand themselves, thus lessening the need to take anything on faith, which to me is always folly.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Hilton: In the last few years, the following 3 stand out.

Spectra IQ 174 sd 15

MultDiv IQ 172 sd 15

Narcissus’ Last Stand IQ 171 sd 15

These were the scores awarded at the time of marking, these can be adjusted up or down over time if the test has not yet had a final norming.

However, my natural inclination to share highest scores perhaps demonstrates the unreliability of testing at the high range, my most common score is 164 (though interestingly my average varies by test setter to some degree).

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically?

Hilton: I have taken many tests over the last 20 years. Thinking in terms of sd 15, these have been between 155 and 175, the most common score is 164 on tests that go to that level and beyond to levels I am unable to access. My favourite test was Paul Cooijman’s Narcissus’ Last Stand for which my score of 40 is currently the highest. I have enjoyed many of the tests by James Dorsey, my favourite test of his was the Spectra test, which returned an IQ 174 at the time, and is to date the only perfect score I have ever achieved, it is unlikely to happen again, this score completed my full set of Opals at the Opal Quest Group. I took the test for Mensa UK in 2002 and joined Mensa International once I moved overseas. Unsurprisingly I most enjoyed the tests I scored highly on, but that was true before I knew the results, as I made a connection with these tests, luck must have played a part as they played to my own personal strengths in IQ testing. This is why it is useful to take many tests, to learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you are more likely to get a true general intelligence score if you view your average across a variety of tests, with varying question styles and different authors.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hilton: What are ethics but the observations of what is right by the majority? They are not absolute truths; you only have to look to History for evidence. In a developed culture ethics seem to be viewed as the truth, the right and true opinion of the majority, with extremes of behaviour diverging from these viewed as unethical. Ethics therefore are an inevitable consequence of society, though societies develop and as such so do ethics. For me a philosophy where the boundaries of ethics are tested with reasoned debate would seem the ideal, where skilled speakers advocate for pushing the boundaries of ethics, others supporting the norm. We are a long way from this as views outside the norm are vilified immediately, for me this is actually a sign western culture is in decline, where intelligent debate is replaced with cancel culture. This does not justify the breaking of ethical norms, only allows platform for debate. After all, have all shifts in ethical belief lead to negative outcomes for humans? I doubt it, yet challenging ethical beliefs comes with huge risks, why must this be so?

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hilton: Again, what is society, is it the same the world over? Surely no, so this again has no answer and leads differing groups into conflict. If everyone worked for the betterment of their sphere of influence, whilst taking reasonable steps to avoid disadvantaging those beyond, instead of offering a set of values as a social philosophy, this eventually, would allow individuals to take different value positions within different groups. This is of course is a lofty goal, but the idea of degrees of separation means that your sphere of influence is much smaller than your meta-sphere of influence. It could be argued that the greatest advantages humans have are intelligence and competitiveness, it could conversely be argued these traits are the most likely to lead to our ultimate downfall. If humans can set aside the need to compete, I suspect our long-term chances would increase dramatically.

Jacobsen: What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hilton: I would give a similar response as the above, a philosophy that maximises inclusion.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hilton: I would give a similar response as the above, a philosophy that maximises inclusion.

Jacobsen: What worldvew-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Hilton: My own, though it is not so grand as to be a worldview-encompassing philosophical system. What I believe is likely covered by other philosophies, but is assimilated from life experience, indeed I have not read much philosophy, I find I am unable to draw satisfactory conclusions to non-empirical matters by following the thinking of others, so I have to think about it myself. That is not to say I am not taken with ideas when I hear them, I was drawn to stoicism when I first read about it, but while it felt homely for a while, it did not capture me, it was a comfortable cloak at that time in my life. I feel the same about much philosophy, if one is a devout and permanent adherent to one way of thinking, I fear one may be missing the point of life, to grow, develop, change, morph, all philosophies I have heard seem like clay to me, they can be made to fit with my worldview, but they are no longer the same shape, no-one has ever written anything philosophical that I can fully agree with, I hope that is true for everyone, as that would imply philosophy and metaphysics are absolute truths which they are not, for if they were they would be Science, they are evolutions of the views and opinions of either a majority, or more commonly, a significant, in some way, minority.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Hilton: Looking to the future, my 5 sons and more children if we are blessed, their journey through time and that of those who will follow provides deep meaning for me. To the present my wife, I owe her more than she will ever appreciate and together we have made a good life. Looking to the past, all of those friends, family and loved ones who enriched my life and tolerated my eccentricates with good grace, one in particular who was taken from us much too early through ill-health, much to the detriment of us all. Life has meaning for me because these people will exist, currently exist, or existed in the past.

Jacobsen: To set the stage for the further conversation, what comprises intelligence in the abstract?

Hilton: I think this is literally the human capacity to create ideas, ponder questions and improve systems. As a species we seem to excel at this kind of thinking and our capacity to make connections, see patterns and associate things have led us on an incredible journey.

Jacobsen: What are the mainstream and fringe theories of human intelligence on offer over time?

Hilton: Human intelligence is not evolving quickly enough for us to adapt to the technological world we are creating. We need to look at psychometric, cognitive, cognitive-contextual, and biological theories to better understand intelligence in terms of the species and more interestingly from my perspective the individual, big data should be looking to this, rather than recommending I buy a particular brand of trainers as I happen to be near a store that sells them, having predicted I may like them from my previous purchasing history.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1) [Online]. March 2021; 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, March 1). Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A, March. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A (March 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 26.A (2021): March. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Daniel Hilton on Family, Intelligence, Genius, and Philosophy: Member, Glia Society (1)[Internet]. (2021, March 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hilton-1.

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Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 26.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (21)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,424

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

This is an interview with a youth member of the high-IQ community in South Korea, Dong Geon Lee, who is a Member of CIVIQ Society. He discusses: the right life; the right life being lived as the right life; other people aware of living the right life; religion; rejecting the religion of youth; an atheist; atheism; hostile and jealous; respect; the reaction of parents and the school system; mathematics, physics, and physical theories; Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß; the right moral behaviour; a morally right behaviour; the qualities or characteristics of morally right speech; not harming others in one’s speech; someone born in a house without religion; religion as illogical; parts of religion are good; the believers of the religion; general agnosticism bordering on atheism; the explanation of reality; the forms of “minor bullying”; this deification a form of protection; a relationship between the geometric laws about shapes as ellipses and the expansion of the universe as dark energy; and any limitations to Carl Friedrich Gauß as a mathematician.

Keywords: agnosticism, atheism, Carl Friedrich Gauß, CIVIQ Society, Dong Geon Lee, ethics, morality, physical theories.

Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Why were you told to live “the right life rather than just being nice”? How has this impacted life view and personal journeys?

Dong Geon Lee[1],[2]*: My mother said that she could be beaten to live a good life, and that she would not be ashamed of herself if she lived properly. And it actually happened.

Jacobsen: What is the right life being lived as the right life?

Lee: It is to behave morally and not to harm.

Jacobsen: How are other people aware of living the right life to you?

Lee: Basically, it will be revealed in my actions, but you will find out other things while talking to me.

Jacobsen: As someone from a religious family, what kind of religion? What form of religion? What were the practices of the religion?

Lee: I was born in a house with no religion. There is only religious freedom. (There must be some mistake.)

Jacobsen: Why did you reject the religion of youth?

Lee: It’s illogical, and the religion itself may be good, but the believers of the religion have not seen anything good.

Jacobsen: Why become an atheist rather than another religion or an agnostic?

Lee: It is an atheism that is close to agnosticism. And if there was God, he would have done nothing but creation.

Jacobsen: What makes atheism most appealing and true to you?

Lee: It is because it does not explain everything with the intention of God, but it holds and explains a logical, big system, and does not wish for faith.

Jacobsen: How were they hostile and jealous of you? What were the behaviours of them to you?

Lee: Perhaps the reason is because of my intellectual ability. Also, they inflicted minor bullying on me.

Jacobsen: What were the manifestations of their respect for you?

Lee: They deified me (did not like it), but they protected me from those who rejected me.

Jacobsen: What was the reaction of parents and the school system to writing at age one and reading books at 4 years old?

Lee: They were surprised and proud of me.

Jacobsen: What kinds of mathematics, physics, and physical theories have you been developing over time?

Lee: It’s hard to say, but in geometry, we’ve discovered many laws about shapes that are different from ellipses.  Physics has also created expressions that describe the expansion of the universe as dark energy.

Jacobsen: Why Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß for than others?

Lee: He did everything he could in math.

Jacobsen: What is the right moral behaviour in this context in addition to not harming?

Lee: First of all, you don’t make unconditional concessions to others. And from the mind to the altruistic mind, it is to practice it. No one should be harmed in the process.

Jacobsen: How does one enact a morally right behaviour, even in speech?

Lee: Words have the power to move people. That moving power is used to bring moral thought to others. In other words, it has an indirect influence.

Jacobsen: What are the qualities or characteristics of morally right speech?

Lee: Expressions that do not hurt others, expressions that make others feel good, but should not be different from the facts, expressions that are not exaggerated, unreduced, expressions that do not contain dual meaning, etc.

Jacobsen: How does one not harm others in one’s speech (another form of behaviour)?

Lee: There is no special technique. It’s to rethink what I have to say in my head and check the expression.

Jacobsen: As someone born in a house without religion, how does this compare to the wider nation in terms of religious identification or not?

Lee: I don’t understand.

Jacobsen: Why is religion illogical? Is this more based on argument or evidence for the premises, e.g., scientific evidence informing argument, or both?

Lee: Science uses the method of exploration to explore. And if there is a problem in the process, make corrections repeatedly. Religion, however, is limited to the worldview created by someone, and if there is a problem, it is hidden or consistent with the will of God.

Jacobsen: What parts of religion are good?

Lee: It teaches people to live in profit.

Jacobsen: Why have “the believers of the religion… not seen anything good”?

Lee: Religious people created the concept of hell (Jesus did not mention hell), used to wage war because of religion, and now in my country, also Covid 19 is widespread because of religion.

Jacobsen: I will relate one similar sentiment to yours, “It is an atheism that is close to agnosticism. And if there was God, he would have done nothing but creation.” The relation is with an exposition by Dr. Heinrich Siemens of the Giga Society and the Mega Society. The part of our conversation went as follows:

Jacobsen: Why live life “without God”? What defines God in this sense of “without” or “a-,” in reference to “-theism” as in “a-theism” for you – in a pragmatic sense of life without God rather than a formal implied ontological stance of the concept “God”?

Siemens: Some people need someone to take their hand and show them how to align their lives with respect to a higher being. I don’t.

Jacobsen: What constituted the trajectory of the “careful consideration”?

Siemens: When I still attended church, I often felt obliged to give witness to my faith, for example at school. However, I noticed more and more how insincere this was, when scientific explanations contradicted those of the believers. I believed one, gave witness to the other, and did not feel good about it. So, I stopped witnessing the other. Let us suppose that our universe, space and time, arose from an initial singularity. Did God exist before because he is eternal? The idea that anything, even God, existed before the origin of time seems contradictory to me. If God came into existence later, when the laws of nature already applied, he must have had a cause, as nothing comes from nothing (Parmenides). But this contradicts the concept of God as taught by Christianity. So, God himself must be the prima causa, an unmoved mover (Aristotle). Okay, if someone is happy with this, he should call the initial singularity God. But this is a wheel that does not move anything.

Jacobsen: What were the ‘final nails’ – proverbial, so-called – to this careful consideration? Why “maybe because of Ockham’s razor”? How big was the beard to begin with for you?

Siemens: The final nail was even literally a beard. The Baptizers have different ideas about what the lower half of a man’s face should look like. The Amish, for example, let the beard grow (because God lets it grow), but they shave the moustache. Well, actually God lets it grow too, but for some obscure reason that is something completely different. I grew up in a congregation where men had to shave. The theological argument was derived from the fact that it is written: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Little children do not wear beards, quod erat demonstrandum. When I stopped shaving, I got in big trouble with the church leadership. So, I grabbed Ockham’s Razor. However, instead of shaving my beard, I shaved my faith.

Does this more precisely reflect the general agnosticism bordering on atheism for you?

Lee: Aye!

Jacobsen: Why is the “logical, big system” without the “wish for faith” important in the explanation of reality to you?

Lee: When some begin to believe too much in their wish to believe it, like the framing effect, causes many to believe it, and the reality is distorted and becomes like the novel 1984.

Jacobsen: What were the forms of “minor bullying” inflicted on you?

Lee: I told myself important facts or spread bad rumors about me to other children.

Jacobsen: How was this deification a form of protection against those who rejected you?

Lee: They thought I was the smartest person in the world. So when other people are attacking me, I think it’s an insult to the children who deify me. And they attack them.

Jacobsen: Is there a relationship between the geometric laws about shapes as ellipses and the expansion of the universe as dark energy?

Lee: There is no relation between the two. I just studied each topic separately because it was fun.

Jacobsen: Were there any limitations to Carl Friedrich Gauß as a mathematician?

Lee: There are no limitations other than failing to solve Fermat’s last theorem.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2) [Online]. March 2021; 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, March 1). Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A, March. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A (March 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 26.A (2021): March. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Dong Geon Lee on The Right Life, Religion, Science, and Agnosticism Bordering on Atheism: Member, CIVIQ Society (2)[Internet]. (2021, March 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lee-2.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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 and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 26.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (21)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,873

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) is a Member of the World Genius Directory. He discusses: the fallout; the process of recovery; religion for support; professional therapy for support; personal, independent methodologies for helping; the religious community; professional therapy; forms of religious comfort; depression; the diagnosis; people’s sympathy; the mental health; and a higher sensitivity to the events in life.

Keywords: Anthony Sepulveda, depression, love, recovery.

Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Since the affair with Tango, what was the fallout?

Anthony Sepulveda (Brown)[1],[2]*:  I became emotionally unstable and unable to focus on anything else. As a result I was suspended and, nearly, fired from my present job. I also spent most of my money on alcohol in a futile attempt to forget about my problem for a few hours.

Jacobsen: How have you developed a sense of healthy self once more?

Sepulveda (Brown): Yes. With a great deal of effort, I managed to get myself back into a healthy state of mind.

Jacobsen: What is the process of recovery?

Sepulveda (Brown): For me, I cannot turn to religion or professional therapy. No one really listened when I did so in the past, often responding with some general cliches that are only effective for those incapable of independent thought. Instead, I dedicated my time towards trying to solve (or at least resolve) the problem. For weeks I couldn’t focus on anything other than her decision to throw me away. I needed it to make sense. And I knew that no matter how painful the truth was, it was the only move I could make. Otherwise I couldn’t move on. And despite how irrational it seemed and how painful it was to think about, I knew it was the quickest way to get through it. So I spent every day recalling every detail of every encounter and conversation we’d had since she’d got back into contact with me, certain that there were enough details there for me to understand why everything went so wrong. Eventually, I found a few incontrovertible truths that clarified everything enough for me to accept.

Jacobsen: Why didn’t you turn to religion for support with this?

Sepulveda (Brown): As I mentioned before in part 1, I consider religion to be a comforting delusion for those unwilling to actually work through their problems and I’ll never turn to it for any amount of solace. Instead, I’ll take the harder route of accepting the truth as it is, no matter how I feel about it.

Jacobsen: Why no professional therapy for support with this?

Sepulveda (Brown): I underwent several years of therapy after my parents’ divorce at the behest of my mother and, personally, found it to be a waste of time and money. While a therapist can be quite useful for many people, I believe that it’s ultimately up to the individual to be willing and able to solve their own problems. 

Jacobsen: What were some of the personal, independent methodologies for helping with this situation?

Sepulveda (Brown): There is one universal truth I keep in mind when I work on a problem – this has to make sense. No matter how complicated or confusing a subject can be or how we feel about the answer, every situation has a perfectly logical consistency. So, as I mentioned above, I focused on finding the details I needed to understand my situation. And I found them.

For example, I’d profess my love to her as often as I could. But said that she was unwilling to reciprocate such things verbally while she was married. I accepted that condition quickly and didn’t think much of it until I needed to. And when I recalled those occasions, I focused on her facial expressions. She’d smile, but it was a tight, reserved one and she’d look downwards. Now this matches her generally introverted personality. But it indicates that she’s uncomfortable about something she enjoys. She felt guilty. Not just because she was having an affair, but also, likely, because she didn’t feel as strongly for me as I did for her.

Luckily for me, human nature is fairly universal. So it wasn’t hard to work out why she made her choice.

There are only three reasons why people avoid each other – fear, annoyance and disgust. Given how close we were, it was obviously the former that was pulling her away. She was scared that there wasn’t any way to avoid some unacceptable consequence with me in the equation. With this in mind, I reviewed our last few conversations and concluded that she did, in fact, still have strong feelings for me, that she didn’t think she would be able to suppress them to the point where we could maintain a casual friendship and that if she acted upon her feelings she could lose everything else she cared for.

It should be known that even this little step of progress took me weeks to reach. During which point I was also trying to determine how much I wanted to keep living. Without love in it, everything seemed pointless. And my history of personal relationships has been absolutely terrible. So, if I couldn’t make it work with Tango, the one person who knew me best, then for what reason could I expect to find anyone who’d care about me? There were many occasions where I’d reflect on everything I’ve accomplished (from being a published artist in several different media, to my high IQ scores, to co-hosting a presentation alongside the head of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute without even having a college degree) and thinking that no matter what I did or how hard I worked or how I felt, no one was ever going to care. Because they don’t have to. There’s no incentive for them.

But then, unexpectedly, I got enough of a distraction from my problems to rest my mind. It was then that I was able to objectively consider what would happen if I gave up on my life. I can’t know for certain, but, as I’ve mentioned before, the most probable outcome seems to be reincarnation. And I have no way of determining what the end result of that process would be, so is my life really so bad that it’d be worth rolling the dice?

No, it wouldn’t be.

While my life isn’t always fun or easy, I can honestly say that I like who I am as a person. More importantly, I respect myself. And not everyone can say that. And it’s not worth the risk of being reincarnated as one of those people.

I’ve proven time and time again that I’m a decent, reliable, dynamic person. And I’ve accomplished more than the average thousand people put together with casual effort.

Since then I’ve decided that since I’m going to keep living, I’m going to live the best life I can. I’ve been making plans for my future. And I’m very excited to see it through.

Jacobsen: When others enter such a situation, for example, with religion, the religious community may condemn these states of affair(s). How is this not helpful?

Sepulveda (Brown): Religious people are often too biased and closed-minded to actually consider the context of the situation enough to offer a fair judgement.

For context, Tango found herself in a marriage that was both emotionally and physically unsatisfying. She’d call me crying at least once a week because her husband would yell at her for irrational reasons (often in front of their infant child) and left her so hurt and stressed that most will never really understand why she put so much effort into maintaining their marriage. Yet surely, anyone could why she’d pursue things to enjoy outside it.

Jacobsen: Others may enter professional therapy. However, the therapist may be outdated in training or given Christian therapy certifications. How are these not helpful?

Sepulveda (Brown): In every way. By habitually relying on outdated or illogical methodologies, you limit your ability to actually solve or resolve any existing problem. In reality, you often have to be willing to compromise and work with the problem on it’s own terms to find a solution.

Jacobsen: What forms of religious comfort or professional therapy may help people?

Sepulveda (Brown): It’s seems to me that religious people simply let go of their problems by accepting them as part of God’s plan. While I must admit that this can help people in many situations, I feel that such beliefs are too irrational and lazy to be taken seriously.

Jacobsen: Did you suffer depression after the affair?

Sepulveda (Brown): More so than ever before. She was the most important person in my life. And I became so focused on losing her that I could barely feel physical sensations. I accidentally shut my finger in a door during that period. And all I did was stare at it, unsurprised that I wasn’t capable of feeling the pain.

Jacobsen: Was the diagnosis formal or informal?

Sepulveda (Brown): Informal, but very obvious.

Jacobsen: Were people sympathetic?

Sepulveda (Brown): A few were. But not enough to do anything about it. Which I’ll argue is the key difference between caring and simply saying you do.

Others stopped associating with me altogether.

But there are several people I’d like to thank –

Derek, for being the only person at work to ask me how I was doing.

Heidi, for giving me your number and time.

Jodi, for listening when others only heard.

Elaine, you’re a saint for putting up with me.

Julia, for spending time with me when you didn’t have to.

My mother, for always being there for me.

Jess, I’d be in prison now if it weren’t for you.

Harry, for keeping me going, constantly engaging with me and giving me a reason to smile again.

And Tango, for giving me some of my most treasured memories. I’ll never forget you.

Jacobsen: What seems like the source of the disregard of the mental health of men, by women and men, in our societies?

Sepulveda (Brown): It’s now my belief that people are inherently selfish. So unless alleviating the suffering of another person can also give you some personal satisfaction or you benefit from associating with someone emotionally or physically, there’s no real incentive for you to extend any effort towards that end. Men often feel the most neglected due to their natural position in the gender dynamic; where people tend to feel safer around women because they are often physically stronger and/or are so much more attracted to them that they feel comfortable enough to express themselves honestly. As a result, men are often neglected, even amongst each other. Which is why they comprise about 90% of successful suicide attempts. Few people have the confidence or decency to really listen to what they have to say. All to often, we only receive consideration based on what we can provide (Financially, socially, personally, etc.) because that’s the role we’re ‘supposed’ to fill.

Jacobsen: Highly intelligent people can be emotionally sensitive too – without proper calibration. Something like a hot house tomato. What is an important lesson for those emotionally in tune with themselves, and others, and having a higher sensitivity to the events in life?

Sepulveda (Brown): I’d advise anyone willing to actually focus on a problem to keep in mind that no matter how illogical or ridiculous it seems, it makes perfect sense. All you’re missing are a few pertinent details and some context. Once you have those, everything becomes much easier to accept and/or work towards resolving.

And no matter what the answer is or how you feel about it, life goes on. You should too, when you’re ready.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Dr. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares on Family History, Catholic Schooling, Being Alone, Mathematics, Bioengineering, and Gifted Identification: Former Governor, Puerto Rico (1) [Online]. March 2021; 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, March 1). Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A, March. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 26.A (March 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 26.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 26.A (2021): March. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Anthony Sepulveda (Brown) on Depression, Love, Recovery, and Lessons: Member, World Genius Directory (9)[Internet]. (2021, March 26(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-9.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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 and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

A Case Against Blasphemy in Nigeria

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 951

Keywords: blasphemy, Christian, Leo Igwe, Muslim, Nigeria.

A Case Against Blasphemy in Nigeria[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

Nigeria’s blasphemy laws have been of focus locally, nationally and internationally following the arrest and detention of Nigerian Humanist, Mubarak Bala, the sentencing to death of a Muslim singer, and the imprisonment of a 13-year-old boy for blasphemy in Kano State in Northern Nigeria.

It would appear that Muslim theocrats – within the police and the courts – have gone to great lengths to subvert constitutional provisions and international human rights norms in their quest to enforce the ‘blasphemy’ provision. For instance, the police arrested Bala, who is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, at his residence in Kaduna on April 28, 2020. They took him to Kano the following day, where they have held him incommunicado ever since. The arrest was at the instance of lawyers who lodged a petition with the Kano State Police Command complaining that Bala had insulted the prophet of Islam in a Facebook post.

Before his arrest, Bala received death threats from Muslims who were angry over his posts and comments on Facebook, including a Kano State police officer. Police have failed to meet their Constitutional obligation to charge Bala within 48 hours of his arrest. Efforts to enforce Bala’s rights have met a brick wall. The police have not given Bala access to a lawyer. They have not formally charged him in court. There is no information regarding where he is held or the condition of his detention. There is no independent confirmation that Bala is still alive. Bala has a wife and a 6-month old son. His wife has petitioned the police and the parliamentarians urging them to give her access to her husband without success.

Kano is among the 12 states that uphold Sharia laws in Northern Nigeria and is notorious for jailing or murdering alleged blasphemers or desecrators of the Quran. Under Sharia law, the punishment for ‘blasphemy’ is death; however, in the parallel Common Law system, the same crime is seen as a misdemeanour punishable by up to two years in prison. In Northern states allegations of ‘blasphemy’ can end in the extrajudicial killing of the accused.

In the case of Bala, the police and government in Kano State are in a dilemma. They are unable to try Bala in a Sharia court and sentence him to death as many individuals in Kano are demanding. Only Muslims are subject to Sharia law; Bala is not a Muslim. He was born into a Muslim family but Bala renounced Islam in 2014. If the police must try Bala, it would be in a secular state court, not in a Sharia court. Even if the sentence is passed on Bala, the penalty would not placate the extremist base that is behind the petition. So, it would appear that, instead of prosecuting Mubarak Bala as required by law, the police and government in Kano disappeared him to appease the Muslim majority base.

In the cases of the 22-year old singer, Yahaya Aminu-Sharif and 13-year-old Umar Farouq, the allegations of ‘blasphemy’ have been handled differently. Both are Muslims and were tried and sentenced in Sharia courts. Aminu-Sharif was accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam in a song that he circulated on Whatsapp in March. His ‘offense’ was that they lyrics suggested that the Senegalese scholar, Ibrahim Nyass, was greater than Prophet Muhammad. Whilst Farouq was accused of making remarks that insulted the Islamic god, Allah. Even though Aminu-Sharif has 30 days to appeal, some Muslim bodies, like the Muslim Lawyers Association, the Council of Imams, and the Supreme Council for Sharia have issued statements urging the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to immediately authorize the execution of Aminu-Sharif. If some counter pressure is not brought to bear on the Kano State Governor, Aminu-Sharif will be executed. Or he may, as in the case of other members of the Sufi Order convicted for blasphemy in 2015, be left to languish in jail.

Nigeria is a religiously pluralistic country in which an individual’s ethnicity has a bearing on religious demographics. The Hausa-Fulani ethnic group, which is most populous in Northern Nigeria, are predominantly Muslim while the Igbo, a major ethnic group in the south is predominantly Christian. Meanwhile no single religion is in the majority throughout the country. Muslims, who are in the majority in the north are in the minority in Southern Nigeria. Whilst Christians, who are in the majority in Southern Nigeria, are in the minority in the north. Nigeria has a volatile ethno-religious mix and ethno-religious violence often erupts. The application of ‘blasphemy’ laws reinforces ethno-religious hatred and intolerance.

Nigeria needs to repeal laws that legitimize religious violence, oppression, and persecution. ‘Blasphemy’ laws are enshrined in both the Sharia and state penal codes. However, these laws are seldom invoked, except in the Muslim dominated states in Northern Nigeria. ‘Blasphemy laws are incompatible with human rights, tolerant pluralism and peace. ‘Blasphemy’ is a victimless crime. ‘Blasphemy’ laws make a mockery of the justice system in Nigeria because laws are there to protect individuals, and not to protect ideologies, beliefs or dogma – however important these may be to people.

Laws are made to guarantee and not violate the rights of human beings. Incidentally, blasphemy laws are used to flagrantly deny basic human rights, including the rights to life, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression. As the cases of Bala, Aminu-Sharif and Farouq have shown, blasphemy laws sanctify religious tyranny and impunity. They are used to legitimize the oppression of minorities, to justify extrajudicial murder, arson, and attacks.

‘Blasphemy’ laws are only a legal recipe for chaos, anarchy, and conflicts in Nigeria. In the interest of peace, justice, and progress, Nigeria should abolish these unjust, incoherent and archaic laws.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/a-case-against-blasphemy-in-nigeria.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Mubarak Bala: Government, Blasphemy and Islamic Mischief In Kano

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 739

Keywords: blasphemy, death sentence, Kano State, Leo Igwe, Mubarak Bala.

Mubarak Bala: Government, Blasphemy and Islamic Mischief In Kano[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

I am writing to urge the Kano state government to release Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. Bala has been held incommunicado in Kano since April 29. Kano state officials continue to misinform the world about Mr. Bala’s situation. They claim that he is in protective custody. That means he has been detained for safety reasons. Kano authorities have suggested that the coronavirus pandemic was responsible for their inability to prosecute Bala. Unfortunately, these are mischievous lies and excuses. Kano officials are using various pretexts to justify illegal detention and denial of Bala’s human and constitutional rights. Simply put, the Kano state government wants to, silently, eliminate Mr. Bala.

Look, Kano state officials understand their failure and inability to rein in Muslim bloodletters and blasphemy killers. They know that Kano is notorious for judicial and extrajudicial murder of suspected blasphemers and desecrators of the Quran. It is public knowledge that there is institutionalized jihadism in Kano. So how could Kano officials think that they could keep Mubarak Bala in protective custody in such a religiously volatile state?

Meanwhile, there have been petitions and requests to have Bala’s case transferred to Abuja or some other neutral ground. But the police and government in Kano have bluntly refused? A lawyer has been hired since April 29 to represent Bala, but the police have connived with the government officials in Kano to deny Bala access to a lawyer. They have resolved to prosecute Bala on their kangaroo court terms. Kano state officials are using the police and the court to legitimize their mischief. For instance, the court has ruled granting Mubarak access to a lawyer, but the police and state officers have refused to obey their court order.

Kano state government should stop this treacherous game that they are playing with the life of Mubarak Bala. Bala is a citizen of Nigeria and a human being. He has rights, and Kano state owes him some obligations under the law. Incidentally, Kano state is failing in its obligation to Mubarak Bala because the government wants to appease the Islamist base. This jihadist policy is unfair and does not speak well of the government. Now imagine this, a sharia court in Kano tried and sentenced two Muslims, Yahaya Sharif Aminu, and Umar Farouq, who were also accused of blasphemy. So the excuse that the court has not been sitting due to COVID19 does not hold water. Courts in Kano state have been hearing cases. If the courts were not sitting, how was a sharia court able to hear, and rule on the cases of Sharif-Aminu and Farouq? What is stopping the government of Kano state from prosecuting Bala as they did in the case of Sharif-Aminu and Farouq? Is it because, unlike that of the Muslims tried in a sharia court, the government’s case against Mubarak Bala, who is an atheist, would be difficult to prove in a secular court? Then, why can’t the government through its ministry of justice release him? I mean, what kind of justice system is in place in Kano?

Kano state officials continue to misinform the world about Mubarak Bala’s case. They claim that his case has been charged to court. But they have little or no information on the following: Which court was he charged? When was he formally arraigned? What was the date of the previous hearing? What is the date of the next hearing? Who is the lawyer representing him? A court has ruled granting Mubarak Bala access to a lawyer. What happened to that court order? Why didn’t the police obey the order? Why did the police move him to prison? Who ordered his transfer to a prison? Why have police/prison/state official not allowed Bala to see his wife and child? The police are saying that Mubarak Bala is no longer in their custody. Now, in whose custody is Bala?

The Kano state government should come out clean on the case of Mubarak Bala and end this drama of deception and misinformation. Is the government interested in ensuring justice or perpetrating injustice?  Is it trying Mubarak Bala or holding him hostage? Did the government arrest Bala or kidnap him? I mean, after 110 days in detention, the Kano state government should rethink the official persecution of Mubarak Bala. It should end this game of mischief that has made the police and court system in Kano, a global embarrassment, and a laughing stock.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mubarak-bala-government-blasphemy-and-islamic-mischief-in-kano

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu: Blasphemy and Death Sentence Revisited

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 514

Keywords: blasphemy, death sentence, Leo Igwe, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu: Blasphemy and Death Sentence Revisited[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

While the Muslim Lawyers Association, the Council of Imams, and the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria have called for the execution of the Muslim singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, I urge a stay of action and ask that the death sentence be reconsidered and quashed. Here I argue that Sharif-Aminu did not commit any crime as the sharia court in Kano had ruled. First of all, as in cases of capital punishment, there is a risk-a high risk of executing an innocent person. Sharif-Aminu’s is a typical case. The Kano state government is about to execute an innocent person. Unfortunately, all Muslim associations, including the Christian Association of Nigeria, that have come out in support of the death sentence, have not considered this possibility-that Sharif-Aminu could be innocent and that the sharia court could have erred in judgment. Nobody has bothered to ask. What if the sharia court was wrong?

Look, the sharia court in Kano sentenced Sharif-Aminu to death for insulting the prophet of Islam in his song. Right? Ok. What if it is later found out, after executing this sentence, that the song did not insult the prophet, Muhammad. I mean, someone’s life is at stake here. And we need to thoughtfully and painstakingly look at the facts.

Imagine this. The parties that were not insulted were the ones who determined and punished the insult. And they have gone to the extent of ruling that the insulter, Sharif-Aminu, be killed. And no Muslim organization sees nothing wrong in this Islamic misstep and judgmental overstep? Let us assume that by some stretch of Islamic sense, this Muslim singer insulted the prophet of Islam. Who will be the ultimate judge? A sharia court judge in Kano? No. The Muslim Lawyers Association, the Council of Imam, or the Supreme Council for Sharia? Not at all. It is the prophet, Muhammad.

Now, the prophet of Islam, who is the one that was allegedly insulted did not affirm-or was not in the position to affirm- that he had been insulted. So, how could a sharia court judge sitting in Kano and all these Islamic busybodies determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Sharif-Aminu insulted the prophet of Islam, and should be executed? Is it not viciously presumptuous of this judge? Is it not a demonstration of lack of wisdom on the part of all who support the death sentence to think that Sharif-Aminu should be killed at this instance?

Once again I urge the Kano state government not to execute Sharif-Aminu because he did not commit any crime in the song that he circulated on Whatsapp. This Muslim singer exercised his right to freedom of expression and belief. He sang a song that reflected his beliefs. Muslims who disagree with his song and message should release and circulate a song that reflects their own beliefs. Muslims say that there is no compulsion in religion. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The death sentence passed on Sharif-Aminu for merely singing a song is an indisputable affirmation that there is a compulsion in the practice and profession of Islam in Nigeria.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/yahaya-sharif-aminu-blasphemy-and-death-sentence-revisited

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Tanzania: A Secular State, Secular Education But With Some Elements of Religious Influence?

Author: Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: February 27, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,195

Keywords: Dar es Salaam, East Africa, Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge, religious influence, secular education, secular state, Tanzania.

Tanzania: A Secular State, Secular Education But With Some Elements of Religious Influence?

Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge[1],[2]*

Dar es salaam, Tanzania – East Africa.

Since independence the government of Tanzania was committed to provide to Tanzanians a kind of education which is secular, this government commitment is demonstrated by a speech of the first president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere when speaking to heads of schools in Tanzania on 3rd March in 1975 at Kivukoni College in Dar es salaam as a head of state by then when addressing to them about the government position on a type of education the government was aiming to offer in public schools(government schools). He said that his government was dedicated to provide secular education in public schools, which will largely focus in researches that are scientific. He further added that the purpose of education acquired from secular schools is to help human being to solve problems in life, therefore he insisted that education and knowledge imparted from secular schools to be applied in solving problems in life. This indicates that the government of Tanzania was enthusiastic to provide secular education to the population. In order to help the government succeed in fulfilling this good intention then the specific law was enacted so as to support government obligation of providing secular education to the people from primary to universities, this is the Education Act [Cap 353 Revised Edition 2009] also the law regulates all educational affairs and provides for the better development of the system of education in the nation. But somehow this government determination is controverted by the same law. Despite the good purpose of making this law yet there are some sections in this law needs to be debated in a very neutral perceptiveness, because somehow these sections do rise some illogicalities to the government determinations of providing secular education to the population targeted. For instance it is undeniable fact that Tanzania is a secular state, dedicated to provide secular education, yet section 2 and section 57(3) of the education Act poses some ambiguities.

(a) To start with section 2 of the Education Act in defining the concept education among other things the law has some elements of religious influence, for example the section defines education as “the instruction of or training of persons of all ages in various fields of learning designed to contribute to the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of the community and to the attainment of the wider national goods.” Cambridge International Dictionary of English defines the term spiritual as something that is not physical (religious). Then the question is how comes a secular state, with secular education can offer a kind of education with one among of its aims is to prepare some ones to spiritual development? Does secular state with secular education believes in spiritual development of the one acquiring such secular education? Why this? This section contradicts article 3 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania,1977 which articulates that Tanzania is a secular state.

(b) Furthermore section 2 of the Education Act with this term spiritual is moreover contradicting article 19(1) of the constitution, the article provides that: Every person has the right to the freedom of conscience, faith and choice in matters of religion, including the freedom to change his religion or faith.” A good description of this quoted article 19(1) is from page 9 of the Civics Manual for Secondary Teachers and College Tutors, a hand book is from the ministry of education and vocational Training in Tanzania through Tanzania Institute of Education.[3] The manual describes article 19(1) of the constitution as follows Freedom of religion and conscience this right means that no person should be required to profess any religion or other belief against his or her desire. Additionally, no one should be punished or penalized in any way because he or she chooses one religion over another or indeed opts for no religion at all. Therefore if this article 19(1) of the constitution gives freedom on matters of believing or even not believing, then why section 2 of education Act is designed to contribute to the spiritual development of a learner? It is a bit perplexing to witness that secular education is there to prepare someone for spiritual development.

(c) Section 57(3) of the Education Act directs that “Every school shall provide in its curriculum for the provision of religious instruction to its pupils on the premises of the school, but no pupil shall be compelled to attend any particular religious class or worship against his will if he is above the age of eighteen years or against the will of his parent or parents, if he has not yet attained the age of eighteen years.” These words “every school shall” indicates that it is mandatory to do so, then why the obligatory term is used here? For a religious curriculum to be provided? While Tanzania is a secular state, with secular education? Maybe this could be left for religious schools or schools owned by religious organizations and not public schools which are owned by the secular state. Therefore section 57(3) contradicts article 3 and article 19(1) of the constitution. Why section 57(3) of the law requires every school to provide in its curriculum for the provision of religious instructions to pupils on the premises of the school? In a nation which is secular one, with secular education? Is this law or these sections not contravening the constitution? Even though the law has given an exception that no pupil shall be compelled to attend any particular religious class or worship against his will if he is above the age of eighteen years or against the will of his parent or parents, if he has not yet attained the age of eighteen years. Yet the law was not supposed to require every school to provide in its curriculum matters of religious instructions, this was to be left free to be decided by the one who believes because this is a secular state, and matters of faith are private affairs of the person concerned. This is also emphasized in article 19(2) of the constitution.

Grounding on the fact that since Tanzania is a secular state then it is expected to provide secular education which is regulated by secular laws and not a vice-versa. confusing sections which are section 2 and section 57(3) of the Education Act especially those statements or words which in one way or another do contradict constitutions as it has been revealed in this essay, they must be removed or changed very immediate by the authorities vested with powers of either reform or amend laws so as to remove these ambiguities and leave Tanzania to flourish as a total free secular state.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Assistant Editor African Freethinker / http://www.in-sightjournal.com (Tanzania) a Lawyer, a Teacher, an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, a Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths, Member of the Bar Association of Tanzania Main Land (Tanganyika Law Society.) He holds Degree of Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B), Degree of Master of Laws In Information and Communication Technology Law (L.L.M – ICT – LAWS), Post Graduate Diploma In Legal Practice (PGD – LP), Diploma in Education (DIP – EDUC), Certificate of Admission of Advocate (High Court of Tanzania).

[2] Individual Publication Date: February 27, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/2021/02/27/tanzania-a-secular-state-secular-education-but-with-some-elements-of-religious-influence/.

[3] Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) – Is a Parastatal Organization under the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (M0EVT) charged with the responsibility of ensuring the quality of education in Tanzania at the Pre-School, Primary, Secondary and Teacher Training Levels. Civics Manual for Secondary Teachers and College Tutors, by Tanzania Institute of Education is a guide to Teachers and Tutors of Civics to prepare Civics lessons (Lesson modules) basing on the authorized syllabus in Tanzania. The manual aimed to add skills and knowledge of Civics Teachers and Tutors in the Teaching of Civics.

*Contacts are: Email: isamwaka 01@gmail.com. Mobile Phone +225 754326296. WhatsApp +255 629204106

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Thought Project: Dare To Question

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: February 27, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 566

Keywords: Humanism, Leo Igwe, Thought Project.

Thought Project: Dare To Question[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

Today I announce an exciting program for schools in Nigeria, the Thought Project. The objective of this project is to foster critical and creative thinking skills in pupils and students and to introduce critical thinking and creative reasoning as subjects in primary and secondary schools. Critical and creative thinking skills are among the most sought after skills by employers. While there has been much emphasis on the need for critical and creative thinking, there are no subjects or programs that are devoted to inculcating these intellectual virtues. To realize a critical and creative thinking society, these thinking skills have to be taught and learned. The thought project is an effort to fill this gap in education and learning in the country.

The thought project has been several years in the making-since 2003/2004. Unfortunately, it has been postponed or set aside for some reason. This year, I decided to go ahead with the project, then came the COVID19 pandemic. Schools have been closed. There has also been a delay in incorporating an NGO that will facilitate the project. Despite all these challenges, I have decided that the thought project can no longer wait. Efforts to promote critical and creative thinking in schools and the society at large will go on, COVID19 or no COVID19. The project will release books on critical reasoning and then books on creative thinking. The books are in a workbook format with ample spaces for additional exercise.

The publication of critical reasoning books has started. The books will be released based on the availability of funds and the resumption of schools. In the first phase, we are publishing books 1 to 3 for the lower basic primary classes. Book 1 will be out next week. Books for the upper basic primary classes 4 to 6 will follow. We shall then embark on publishing creative reasoning books for primary schools.

Critical thinking has been defined as the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. But to introduce this topic to primary school pupils, an operationalized definition is needed. To this end, critical reasoning is defined as asking questions. Modules have been created to encourage pupils to ask questions and express their curiosity. Children are taught to be inquisitive and to interrogate whatever they see, hear touch or smell, or taste. The target pupils are those who speak English as a second language. So, there is a provision to deliver the lessons and conduct exercises in languages other than English.

Besides, thought laboratories will be organized. A thought laboratory is both a program and an infrastructure. As a program, a thought laboratory is a workshop where pupils are taught to exercise their critical thinking skills. Schools are also encouraged to erect buildings or designate a room or an apartment as a thought laboratory. I am looking forward to opening the first thought laboratory building in Nigeria very soon- this year or next year. At the moment, the critical thinking workshops, including training for teachers, will be organized free of charge. The thought project will raise funds to defray the costs of the workshops. Participants in the thought laboratory will receive free copies of the books. And if the program succeeds in Nigeria, it will be extended to other African countries. The thought project is in its pilot phase. So criticisms are welcome and will help improve the quality of the books and the entire program.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: February 27, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/thought-project-dare-to-question

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2021. 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, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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