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On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 15, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,929

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Tim Moen is the President of the Libertarian Party of Canada. Dr. Oren Amitay, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a Registered Psychologist and a Media Consultant. Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson is the Vice-President of Humanist Canada. David Rand is the President of Atheist Freethinkers of Canada. Dr. Rick Mehta is a Former Professor at Acadia University. They discuss: freedom of speech and freedom of expression in general; freedom of speech and freedom of expression in practice and in theory; and thinkers and writings on the topic in the current moment.

Keywords: David Rand, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, Oren Amitay, Rick Mehta, Tim Moen.

On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One)[1],[2]

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

*Interviewees only answered questions in which they felt appropriate for them.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Freedom of speech is protected within the First Amendment to the American constitution. Freedom of expression, internationally and nationally, is protected in other nations around the world. These different phrases have different meanings. In a coarse view or general perspective, what makes them more the same than different?

Tim Moen: Freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the legal sense are negative rights. Negative rights are essentially an obligation to not physically violate another person, or by extension, their property. So freedom of speech would be an obligation to not physically violate a person or their property for speech. The term “freedom of expression” is likely an attempt to ensure this negative right applies to all forms of communication including non-verbal.

So freedom of speech and expression ultimately means that neither individuals, nor the government they delegate authority to, have the right to use physical force to violate your person or confiscate your property for speech/expression. I think its important to note that the right to be left alone means that I cannot confiscate your property or punch you for insulting me on your property, or in the public space, but it also means that I don’t have to tolerate your insults at my dinner table and can exclude you from my domain.

Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson: Freedom of speech is a subset of freedom of expression; that is, freedom of expression includes freedom of speech along with other ways of communicating.

David Rand: Obviously, speech is a very common mode of expression, so that the two freedoms overlap greatly.

Dr. Rick Mehta: The way I see it. Freedom of speech has to do with the means of communication being a bit more narrow. It is about how you express yourself verbally, through written or oral forms of communication. Freedom of expression, my understanding is more general. It could include arts, such as painting as an example.

It could include sculptures too. Freedom of expression can include music. It covers much more and a much wider base with freedom of speech being one specific example within the broad realm of expression.

2. Jacobsen: In a more nuanced view, what separates freedom of speech from freedom of expression in theory and in practice?

Moen: Often freedom of speech and expression are used outside the legal concept of negative rights and individuals think it is a good policy for private institutions to promote or tolerate all types of speech. I think it is dangerous to conflate the two ideas because it undermines the legal foundation of freedom of speech (negative rights) to suggest that I must tolerate insults at my dinner table in the name of “free speech”. I often see free speech advocates promote government interference in the private domain because private property owners won’t tolerate certain types of speech. Using threats of physical force or confiscation of property to prevent exclusion from the private domain is an equally dangerous threat as using threats of physical force or confiscation of property to prevent certain types of speech.

Conflation of these two ways in which the “freedom of speech” is used also creates confusion around other issues. It’s not clear on what basis a “free speech absolutist” (ie someone who thinks property owners should be required to tolerate all speech) would argue that falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre would be a problem. It’s not clear how they would argue in favour of rules of debate where speakers are each allotted time to speak and time to be silent, or how rules about the audience being required to be silent wouldn’t be a violation of their conception of free speech.

In my conception of free speech falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre is a violation of negative rights for the theatre owner who relies on an enjoyable experience for his patrons, and a violation of the rights of paying customers to enjoy the product they paid for. Likewise having rules around debate in a public forum is necessary to properly communicate ideas and violating these rules violates the negative rights of the debate organizers and everybody who came to enjoy the debate.

Dr. Oren Amitay: We do not have “freedom of speech” in Canada, as we have hate laws in place. We consequently do not really have “freedom of expression” either, as saying “the wrong thing” can result in harsh legal, professional and/or financial consequences, for instance being dragged to the Human Rights Tribunal (provincial or federal) or taken to criminal or civil court. Others have lost their jobs. To be clear, these are not always cases in which someone has called for the outright harming of identifiable groups or individuals.

Robertson: I don’t think they can be separated in practise. In a nuanced view, freedom of speech has to do with the uncensored communication of ideas whereas freedom of expression also includes the ideal of living one’s life according to one’s beliefs. The first is essential to democracy, the second to diversity. But of course, that diversity includes diversity of belief which, if uncommunicated, is inert.

Rand: Freedom of expression may also include modes of expression other than speech, such as dress, music or other art forms.

Mehta: In theory, we’re supposed to be able to express ourselves freely. Basically, freedom of speech and freedom of expression means that you will not get intervention from the government. In practice, that doesn’t protect you from social norms. If people don’t like your painting, and if they decide to have it removed as an example, it protects from the state, not necessarily from what others may do or in social media with increasing regulation on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. On YouTube, they demonetize videos within minutes of being released.

In practice, it can work very differently. Some service workers, we’re told the customer is always right. So, employers can tell employees how to behave on the job. In theory, we’re supposed to have freedom of expression in all areas of life. But depending on the workplace and social norms, there can be consequences for the actions if they are offended.

3. Jacobsen: What thinkers and writings represent crystalline and comprehensive statements on freedom of expression and freedom of speech? 

Moen: “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” – Frederick Douglass

“My own opinion is a very simple one. The right of others to free expression is part of my own. If someone’s voice is silenced, then I am deprived of the right to hear. Moreover, I have never met nor heard of anybody I would trust with the job of deciding in advance what it might be permissible for me or anyone else to say or read. That freedom of expression consists of being able to tell people what they may not wish to hear, and that it must extend, above all, to those who think differently is, to me, self-evident.” – Christopher Hitchens

https://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/areopagitica/text.html – John Milton

https://www.utilitarianism.com/ol/two.html – John Stuart Mill

https://mises.org/library/human-rights-property-rights – Murray Rothbard

Robertson: Humanist thought is predicated on the Enlightenment idea that knowledge creation is done by people. We may consider this axiomatic now; however, through much of human history knowledge was considered to be given through divine revelation. All ideas that did not conform to such revealed truths were, at best, folly and at worst, the work of evil. Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire, Locke and Spinoza rebelled against the resultant culture of censorship which served to stunt the growth of knowledge. Spinoza in particular held the view, still radical to this day, that no ideas should be censored.

David Rand: Not sure. Perhaps John Stuart Mill.

Mehta: I think probably our earliest were the people who said something. One quote is credited to Voltaire, “I wholly disapprove of what you say and will defend to the death your right to say it.” So, that’s probably the classic line. I hope that I am citing and giving credit to the right person.

That, I think, is an age-old adage. Now, whether that happens in practice, I think this comes and goes with the times. Right now, we are living in a time of a moral panic with the Me Too movement and the social justice movement.

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

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Tim Moen, President, Libertarian Party of Canada; Dr. Oren Amitay, Ph.D., C.Psych., Registered Psychologist and Media Consultant; Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, Vice-President, Humanist Canada; David Rand, President, Atheist Freethinkers of Canada; Dr. Rick Mehta, Former Professor, Psychology, Acadia University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 15, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One) [Online].May 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, May 15). On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, May. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (May 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):May. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. On Free Speech and Free Expression (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, May 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/speech-expression-one.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,115

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Amanda Parker is the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Director of the AHA Foundation. She discusses: background; tasks and responsibilities; prevalence of FGM, clitoridectomy, infibulation, and so on, other organizations; mental health and physical and sexual health problems, and negative outcome for girls and women who have undergone FGM; parsing of the context, or the environment in which this occurs, whether within the US or around the world; moving into 2019 and 2020; and final feelings and thoughts.

Keywords: Amanda Parker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, child marriage, FGM, girls, violence against women, women.

Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is background life, e.g., geography, culture, religion or lack thereof?

Amanda Parker: I am originally from Southwest Kansas. I am a Christian, Protestant. I moved from Southwest Kansas to New York City after college. I worked in finance. I worked in Residential Mortgage-backed Securities before the Subprime Crisis.

My entire department closed. I was telling a girlfriend of mine. I was interested in doing something more warm and fuzzy in terms of the content of the work. I was thinking of going into publishing or the nonprofit world. Because I could imagine getting out of bed for either of those things in the world.

My friend said, “Oh! You have to meet my friend, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a New York Times bestselling author. She has a women’s rights foundation.” She introduced me to Ayaan. Ayaan and I hit it off right away.

The foundation, however, didn’t yet have staff. It was still in the process of getting itself organized. The board was forming. They were getting all the necessary insurance and bylaws. Those sorts of things.

I have been working with Ayaan personally to help her be organized on a personal level. Then when the foundation had seed money, I shortly moved over to the foundation. I have been there since.

2. Jacobsen: If you’re looking at some of the tasks and responsibilities of the position, what have been the impacts of those on the development of the organization?

Parker: That’s a great question. Our primary focus is to protect women and girls here in The United States from honor violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and child marriage. We have a second wing of work. It deals with Islamism in the United States.

My focus is the women’s rights side of the work. I oversee all of our women’s programs. Those include honor violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and child marriage. Within those areas of focus, what we do, we work to raise awareness, particularly with professionals, but also in general or with a general audience.

Those professionals who are likely to encounter survivors or at-risk individuals of the specific nature of these types of abuses and best practices for handling cases, and how to work with communities in a culturally sensitive manner.

We also work to educate legislators and encourage them to put in place laws that protect women and girls from these issues in the U.S. That is both on the federal and the state level. Our focus in those two areas are, really, mostly female genital mutilation and child marriage legislation in the U.S.

We do some research. It is new. We have done preliminary studies on forced marriage and honor violence in the United States. Finally, we work directly with women and girls facing these issues in the U.S. to find appropriate services, wherever they are.

To clarify, when I say women and girls in the U.S., it is primarily women and girls in the U.S. It is a sweet spot. But we have worked with men and boys who are facing these issues in the U.S., forced marriage and honor violence.

We also occasionally work with individuals who are overseas, because there are so few organizations working to fight these issues that we do have individuals coming to us from overseas to find support in whatever they are looking for.

I am going to bring this back to the U.S. It could be anything from someone needing legal help to get an order or protection or looking for a domestic violence shelter, or it could be someone who has been taken overseas for help to get repatriated to the United States and getting back on their feet here.

It could be someone facing a crisis of honor violence who needs immediate law enforcement help. All of this is based on a case-by-case, never know what you’re going to get, when people reach out for help.

We do not know what to expect every time. It is a lot of problem-solving and figuring out what each individual needs and then supporting them. That is the overall of our women’s program. I do a lot of policy work.

I do a lot of the training myself, whether working with professionals on how to handle these cases. We have had a lot of successes in all the areas that I mentioned. We worked with a number of states to put in anti-female genital mutilation laws.

We have, recently, worked with Michigan to put in place the most comprehensive laws on the books to protect women and girls from female genital mutilation. We have also worked in a number of states to encourage them, and successfully so, to limit or ban child marriage and have done some federal work on these issues as well.

We have had a lot of successes there. We have trained between 2,000 and 3,000 professionals on how to appropriately handle these cases. I know that those professionals are saving lives. One of the things that we talked to them about is that an individual facing these issues might only have one chance to ask for help.

When they do, they need to encounter a professional who understands the danger that they facing and to take them seriously. That is the main issue in working to protect these girls. There have, unfortunately, been these cases in all the ones mentioned.

People reach out to teachers, law enforcement, or some adult; that should have been able to help them or find help. Unfortunately, that is just not happening in every case. It is raising awareness and helping every professional in the United States understand that these should be taken seriously, which is important.

I used to be the person who handled help requests. Now, we have a couple of therapists who work with us to do that, which is terrific. In all of our programmatic areas, we have had a lot of success. I am proud of each of the individuals we have worked with.

I know the laws we are helping to put in place are having a big impact, and so is the training of the professionals.

3. Jacobsen: I have seen statistics of female genital mutilation of women and girls running from 100 million and 200 million in the world.

This also relates to the general categorization of FGM, of clitoridectomy, of infibulation, and so on, as, in essence, extreme forms of violence against women committed by families, communities, men and women elders within the family even, and so on.

With the United States, as this is the focus of the AHA, what is the prevalence of FGM, clitoridectomy, infibulation, and so on? And what other organizations are impactful in coordination against this extreme form of violence against girls and women?

Parker: Unfortunately, we cannot know exactly how prevalent FGM is, because it is held so much behind closed doors. It is so underground. However, the CDC estimates there are 513,000 women and girl in the US who have gone through FGM or who are at risk of the procedure.

That is and should be shocking to most Americans. That there are half of a million women and girls in this country. There are a number of organizations doing really terrific work on the ground in the United States on this.

One is SAHIYO – United Against Female Genital Cutting. It is founded by a survivor and works particularly with those looking for community. It does amazing work around helping survivors to get their stories out and to empower them.

They also do some legislative work as well. There’s an organization called Equality Now. It does international work and on the federal herein the US. They are doing great work to end FGM. Then there are some smaller players.

There is an organization called Forma founded by Joanna Berkoff, who is an amazing psychotherapist who has done a lot of really amazing work to support women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation.

There are a number of organizations working on this and we’re coordinating to be complimentary and supportive of each others’ work.

4. Jacobsen: Even with the difficulty of finding those estimates, and even though we have those approximations at an international level, or in the US with 513,000 through the CDC, if we look at the mental health and physical and sexual health problems that follow from this extreme form of violence against women, what are they?

What provisions seem to work for the very negative outcome for girls and women who have undergone FGM?

Parker: I think that that’s a really important topic to talk about. I think that one thing that we should clarify is, as you mentioned, the WHO said this is an extreme form of violence against women and girls. An extreme form of gender discrimination.

We’re not talking about male circumcision; I am not suggesting that we’re pro-male circumcision at the AHA Foundation. The underlying reason for FGM is to control the sexuality of women and girls.

There are no health benefits and potentially lifelong health and psychological consequences that come along with it. Immediately following the procedure, it can include extreme pain, shock, hemorrhage, sores, infection, injury to nearby tissue, and so on.

Long-term women and girls suffer from urinary and bladder infections, infertility. Obviously, if you have gone through a more severe form of FGM, there is scarring, difficulty during childbirth, and so on. There are higher rates of death for babies born via women who have gone through FGM.

Even in a world where FGM is not causing any form of physical impact on the individual, which happens but it is difficult, if you speak with a medical provider about how possible and easy it is to perform the least physically invasive form of FGM, e.g., pricking, nicking, and piercing types labelled Type IV by the WHO, it is very, incredibly difficult to even those less severe forms to perform on an infant girl without causing scar tissue or some more of damage to the area – in a way that is not intended.

Back to the WHO, they make it very clear that it is a procedure that is not to be done in any of its forms, even by a healthcare provider. With that as an understanding, even if there are no physical impacts to a woman or girl who has gone through FGM, she could undergo lifelong psychological consequences, e.g., PTSD, depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, guilt.

Obviously, this is not in every case, but in many cases, I’ve seen. Women face retraumatization in many different instances throughout their lifetime following FGM. That first instance of trauma was when they were cut initially. Following that, they may be retraumatized when they get first their period or when they’re married.

Their first sexual encounter could be an event that is traumatizing to them. Going to an obstetrician or gynecologist can be difficult. We have heard horror stories when they go to a gynecologist.

When they are being examined, the physician, if they are not expecting to see a girl who has undergone FGM, they have audibly gasped or made a facial reaction, a normal human reaction, to something disturbing to them.

We have had doctors have their colleagues come in to be an educational experience to them. All of this can be incredibly traumatic to them. Women and girls who come to us following FGM are seeking medical care and psychological care in many cases.

In looking for medical care, they are looking for someone who can alleviate the symptoms of what I am looking for, in the cases of infibulation. All possible flesh is removed: clitoris and inner and outer labia are removed. The wound that is left is almost entirely closed except a small hole for menstruation or urination

Many women experience an infection due to urine and fluids being backed up, and not released. Many women will have symptoms. There are women who go to doctors that provide something called reconstructive surgery following FGM.

If you have had the tissue removed, obviously, it is not something that you can add back to someone who has had healthy parts of their anatomy removed. You cannot put it back. There are doctors do what they can, doing great work, trying to restore a woman back to the way she was born to what was originally formed, as well as helping alleviate the physical symptoms.

Certainly, psychological support is called for, in many cases. We have women and girls reaching out to us to have a therapist to help with the trauma and the PTSD, and the guilt, anxiety, and other issues that I have talked about.

5. Jacobsen: If we look at the parsing of the context, or the environment in which this occurs, whether within the US or around the world, some will claim this happens within the context of religion. Others will claim this happens within the context of culture.

What is the general ratio there in terms of the context as a source of this form of acceptance in many subcultures or in many cultures around the world?

Parker: FGM is a practice, or a cultural practice, that predates all major religions. It is not mandated by any major religion. But there are certainly patriarchal societies and religious sects that have picked this up and promote it.

It is not required by Islam for example. However, the Bohra sect of Islam has picked up this practice in India. It now has that as part of their religious practices. When you talk to families about why they are doing this, the underlying reason for FGM in almost all cases is to control sexuality of women and girls.

They are trying to prove virginity on the wedding night, in the more severe forms. They are trying to curb a woman’s libido, so she is not having sex outside of marriage. Even given these ideas, there are a number of old wives’ tales that the families think are their reason behind why they need to perform female genital mutilation.

That can include things like removing body parts that are considered unclean. They are afraid the clitoris will turn into a tail if not cut. This is what they think of as far as what beautiful women look like; someone who has been cut.

In many cultures where FGM is practiced, a girl is not considered marriageable until she has been cut. So, I think that’s something that we should talk a little bit about, because when I started working at the AHAH Foundation.

I would wonder how a mom could do this to her daughter – the moms, grandmoms, and females perpetuating the practice, and the men and boys, the family, and the society. How is it that a mother can do this to her child? Why would they ever do this?

After working in this field for a while, I realized they do not do this to hurt their child. They love their children. They are not trying to do something harmful to them. They are doing what they think is best as a parent.

Someone who has undergone FGM. This might seem like the only instance of abusive experience in their family. It can be a completely loving family. It can be mothers do what they think can do to ensure a future for their daughters.

In these cultures, they’re not considered marriageable until they have been cut. It is important for the daughter and her future, and the family as a whole. Marriage is, in addition to being a way to provide for your daughter’s future, an alliance between families.

It is important for the family as a whole. These are families doing this to protect their daughters and to do the best for their families as a whole.

6. Jacobsen: Looking ahead into 2019 and even 2020, what seem like some of the more and major initiatives and programs, and partnerships, of the AHA Foundation?

Parker: We are, this year, working on a number of initiatives in terms of policy; that we are feeling really hopeful about. There is a trial happening in Michigan of the doctor who has been accused of cutting girls in the state of Michigan in a medical clinic there.

This went to trial and the doctor may have cut over 100 girls over the course of a decade according to the prosecutors. There are 9, I think, involved in the case. The judge in the federal female genital mutilation charge said that it is the anti-FGM law is unconstitutional due to federalism. It is the job of the states, they said, to outlaw and ban FGM.

During that case, the AHA Foundation submitted an amicus or friend of the court brief to support the prosecution, which, in this case, is the government. The government is appealing the case. We will submit another brief.

The result of the case is, certainly, going to be hugely impactful in the US. This is something that could be appealed up to the Supreme Court. If it is, and if the law is struck down, which we are very hopeful that it won’t be struck down, it could render the federal anti-FGM law to be null and void, which would be sad and send a horrible message.

The judges initial ruling, I think, already sends a bad message; that the US is not serious enough about protecting girls and women from this abusive practice. The appeals will be hugely impactful on women and girls in the US.

From working with women and families in the US through the AHA Foundation, the law will be something they use as an excuse or as family members, even if they are on the fence. They can get in trouble. It could be a ‘great’ tool for families to avoid cutting their girls.

One result that we have seen from this case. There is some great momentum on the state level. We have worked all along on the state level to encourage lawmakers to put in place state anti-FGM laws. This is something important for a lot of reasons.

It sets precedence in law that is not filled. It is law enforcement and prosecutors who have the tools to deal with this on a state level, which is most likely where this would be handled. Following the judge’s ruling in Michigan, that the anti-FGM law is unconstitutional; we have seen some good momentum.

Some lawmakers realizing that this is something that they need to pick up and run with if they want to protect the girls in their state. This is something that we’re excited about, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California which has a law and we’re helping to strengthen it, and Utah.

We’re working with a lot of states. We are working with them to make sure that they are putting in place strong laws that act as the punishment for the perpetrators and also include education and outreach for professionals and communities to prevent this practice.

We are also putting in measures to help survivors in the court of law and empowers them to take action when they become an adult if they want to do it. There are more pieces of the legislation that we would like to see put in place.

That is a big part of our work in 2019 and beyond, to make sure that the girls are protected from FGM to the extent that we can; we are also working on the state level on the child marriage issue as well.

There are also federal efforts as well; that are hugely important to us. One is to clarify the existing federal anti-FGM law. That it is okay for Congress to put in place due to the commerce clause of the constitution.

We are also looking to include FGM as part of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) in 2019. Even though, as we discussed, this is an extreme form of violence against women and girls. It is not eligible for VAWA funding. It is a huge thing for us, and definitely a priority.

7. Jacobsen: Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

Parker: Honestly, I just want to say, “Thank you,” to you, for bringing awareness to this. Every person that understands that this is an issue in the United States, understands that there are no health benefits and lifelong health and psychological benefits that can come along with it.

It is one more person that we can reach with this message who can talk about this with our president, hopefully, share on social media, and, maybe, call their congressperson and say they want to see the end to this in the United States.

I am super grateful to you for helping to raise awareness about this, because it is personally important to me; it is something that is really under-recognized in the US as something that might be impacting our neighbours, our classmates, our coworkers, our colleagues.

It is not something simply happening overseas. It is happening here. It is happening to American citizens. It is something that we should care about. It is something right on our doorstep and to people that we care about. We really need to start acting like it.

8. Jacobsen: Thank you very much for the opportunity and your time, Amanda.

Parker: Thank you so much, Scott.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 8, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage [Online].May 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, May 8). Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child MarriageRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, May. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (May 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child MarriageIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child MarriageIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):May. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Interview with Amanda Parker on the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, Violence Against Women, FGM, and Child Marriage [Internet]. (2019, May 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/parker.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,582

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Sandy Marshall is the Founder and CEO of Project Scientist. She discusses: numbers leaving programs; retention; major initiatives and programs of Project Scientist; partnerships with individuals and educational institutes; expanding the scope for boys and girls; analysis of effects; countermovements, and counter trends and organizations; abilities versus preferences; and organizations, books, and speakers.

Keywords: Girls, Mentorship, Project Scientist, Sandy Marshall, STEM, Women.

An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s start on the pivotal moment, in personal life for you.

Sandy Marshall: Having the child, I was instantly overwhelmed. I don’t know if this was hormones or what. Once I had this child, “Oh my God, I only have 18 years to solve so many global issues. Where do I put my time?” It was a real concern.

I started to do the research. Why do we have hunger? Why do we have climate issues and environmental issues? Why do we even have those when we have pharmaceutical drugs? How do we get that when we can’t fix hunger?

I started to research into if I had continued on to my STEM major. I wanted to be a doctor. When I hit some challenges with Organic Chemistry, and if I had continued and was an engineer, I certainly would use that knowledge for good, especially if you’re having children.

So, why aren’t more women doing that? I started to research what happens to girls and women in STEM. From ages 4 through Ph.D. and working, there’s a variety of reasons why they drop out and don’t get to where they want to get, and can’t solve these issues that most women have concerns about.

I wanted to change that, at least as young as 4, 5, and 6 when everyone has an interest in science and mathematics. It is such a good tool to grab these girls by the hand and continue with their confidence and interest through middle school and high school.

So, they can solve these issues one day. It is a huge hurdle for representation and the top seats. Even in Academia, the way women are seen, treated and valued. There is a lot of work.

2. Jacobsen: If you were looking or are looking at adolescent girls in STEM and young women in their first years of college who are thinking, maybe, of changing a major into a STEM major, what do you see as their barriers based on the research or the anecdotal evidence that has come to you?

Marshall: With the middle school girls, if you have an interest by the time you get to middle school, which is unusual, you continue with it. What happens in middle school, most kids are challenged by math.

If you’re a bright kid with an aptitude for math, somewhere around middle school, you might finally be challenged. With the research on the boys, they take that challenge on, “Oh, if I work hard enough. I can get through this. If I get a C, it means I can be okay. It means I won’t be a doctor or a chemist.”

With girls, we don’t find that growth mindset. The research says, “Oh, I wasn’t born good at math. I need to change majors to English or walk down the hall to English.” We are trying to change that.

There is a ton of research, by Carol S. Dweck from Stanford. She coined the term “Growth Mindset.” Not bad! That is some of the work that we do with girls, especially around math. We have female STEM professionals come and talk to them.

They talk about math, whether they were good or not. Even if you got through it, with a C, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be whatever you want to be. It takes practice: “I had to get a tutor. I had to work hard.”

A lot of time, that is what happens in middle school. Of course, you don’t have a lot of female instructors around STEM subjects in middle school and high school. An absence of that. If you have a male instructor and mostly male in the classroom, especially an AP class, you start to lose confidence.

You don’t have anyone to study with, or who thinks like you or represents you. You start to lose confidence. We need more female teaching. We need more female professors in STEM. Taking that perspective to girls and that orientation.

As far as the college is interesting, I am U of C tomorrow, which is for undergraduate female scientists. They are already in STEM. Switching to STEM, obviously, you will have fewer female classmates and fewer female professors.

The stereotyping is still there. I was at a party before Thanksgiving. I met a prominent neuroscientist, a professor. When my husband told him what I do, he said, “There is only one thing women need to worry about in science. And that’s menstruation.”

He is a professor at a prominent school. We all need, unfortunately, our scripts. I still need them. You practice them with their colleagues, how women react to those things. You still don’t know how to react to those things.

You fall into these patterns of how we have always reacted to it, I guess. “I guess they’re right. I need to change my major. I need to change my class. I need to change my this.” We start developing scripts for girls and women to practice in these situations, so it starts from a better place.

3. Jacobsen: What about guidance to young women, say college age, by older women, whether in or out of university, in terms of what they might expect as they’re moving through their early professional lives, in their training, in their education?

Now, they may not necessarily expect the young women to get through the exact same things that they went through, say two generations ago, but they can, certainly, expect, and, therefore, guide them with anecdotes about what they might expect similarly in a, maybe, marginally attenuated form.

So, there is a certain psychological preparedness for it, similar to what you’re saying about having those scrips.

Marshall: There are a lot of programs out there like that. There is one called WISTEM. Their pilot is program is doing exactly that. It is connecting professional women with college-age women, to mentor them.

I want to preface. This conversation is around what girls and women can do with the current state, to make it a better situation. There’s equal input, equal value, equal time to both. I am not saying it should all fall on women’s shoulders to solve it.

It is super valuable. Some of the schools, like the engineering schools. Where, in recent years, the statistics have been deplorable. One in having women accepted. Once accepted, how many change majors? A lot of engineering schools are having mentoring programs for it.

4. Jacobsen: Is it large numbers leaving it?

Marshall: The numbers have improved. In Cal Tech, their numbers have jumped, how many females they’re accepting. I know UCIrvine for engineering has increased. USC has too. We will see in the next few years if they can maintain those numbers by their senior year.

5. Jacobsen: What have been shown, empirically, as effective retention methodologies apart from more women professors graduate students who can mentor or friendly policies for better environments? That may be more conducive to healthy college life, engineering school life, for young women.

Marshall: The challenges come with more postdocs and female professors. There are policies around sexual harassment and gender equality. It is still hard for people to come forward. The stories are not public.

They are not coming out. Because people [Laughing] don’t want to lose their jobs. At least, it is better. There are policies in place. At least, there are departments that people are told to go to. It is mostly women telling other women what is happening.

But people are not comfortable with it. There needs to be more active.

6. Jacobsen: If we are looking at major programs and initiatives of Project Scientist, what are those?

Marshall: [Laughing] Yeah! [Ed. There was an approximately hour-long in-depth discussion prior to the interview.]

So, we target young girls. Obviously, we work with women at the university level and in countries all over the world. Our goal at Project Scientist is to grab girls at 4, 5, and 6 when everyone has an interest in science.

It is to make sure they are confident in their interest and do not lose it by middle school. We are the only program nationally (US) to focus on girls as young as 4, 5, and 6. We go to age 12. We have a program just for girls on university campuses.

Every day, male and female STEM professionals talk to them about their careers, their educations, failures they have had to overcome, and really build that resiliency and variety in STEM careers and majors.

Wednesdays, our girls get on a bus and visit STEM companies and universities, so girls can see women firsthand in this space. What they do and excelling in this space, we also only hire teachers, because we want to help that workforce be better as well.

To make them more confident in their skills, so the girls are as confident as the boys, it is bringing that attitude back into it. In elementary school, there is research. When girls have a female teacher that says, “I was never good at math.” That resonates with them, “Oh, girls aren’t good at math.”

We are working to help elementary teachers feel more confident. We run 6-week summer academies on university campuses like Cal Tech, USC, LSU, North Carolina, and in Orange County California.

We serve 40% of our girls coming from low-income households. We have a very diverse group of girls. That is intentional as well. The girls in our program are the girls that really love math and science, and want to be there.

They are in there all day for 6 weeks, every day. They are meeting other girls from other neighbourhoods, other income levels, and other schools. Those who have the same interest. It normalizes that.

Especially if you’re a Latina girl in a low-income school, you may 1) not get recognized that you might have an aptitude. So, you’re not given the challenge that you need. 2) There might not be other kids with interest or knowledge.

You might feel like an outsider. Those lifelong friendships through the Ph.D. It can help keep them on task and pulling through. We work with a lot of women who inspire girls and then women in a variety of fields that STEM encompasses.

It is not only during the school year but also when the school year is over. Martin Luther King Day, for example, we had 50 girls in Irvine visit Johnson&Johnson. We have them go to Google and Medtronic. A ton of companies that specialize.

Then we do pre- and post-testing for our research purposes to prove our outcomes. The first day, girls will draw a scientist. The last day, they will draw too. It is looking for a change in gender, in ideas of what is a scientist and what a scientist does.

Often, we will have girls who say, “I am a scientist on the first day.” On the last day, they are drawing themselves out in the field, in the ocean studying ocean life. They learn. You don’t have to wear a lab coat. You don’t have to be a male.

You don’t have to have glasses. There are a variety of fields in STEM. So, now, when I first started Project Scientist, it was, “How do we build girls’ confidence in their voice.” So, they go back to school in the Fall and work in groups.

Boys say, “I will do the math part. You do the writing.” The girls that we work with are, potentially, better at math or want to do the math more than the writing. It is helping build their voice to say, “I am going to do the math part. I am going to do the engineering part.”

Now, we see with the Me Too movement. Things are changing. Girls are coming in way more confident. Our college interns are way more confident. We are seeing a big change in that, in their confidence level.

For me, I am seeing more work for us to work with the parents, really. A lot of our parents work at STEM companies. We do a family orientation before the Summer starts. It is logistics. We give the parents tools at home.

So, they can inspire the girls in the home and work against the stereotypes that the girls are having. We are having to work more with our parents and have them understand; the STEM companies that they work at, “These are some things that you may not be seeing.”

We make it a better place for women. Even with the girls there, they are thriving, have them be comfortable. This is something that we can probably do more. We have these really brilliant STEM professionals.

7. Jacobsen: Have there been partnerships with, in two ways, from individuals and educational institutes to groups of girls? For instance, as we know, an older woman scientist mentor can make a huge difference in the trajectory, success trajectory, of a girl or young woman who is interested in pursuing a STEM field.

Is there a similar way in which it’s, for instance, a Latina girl or someone who comes from a lower SES or background, matching up with someone older who knows the struggles and has overcome them? The institute to group question: is their partnerships with institutes or centres with girls who are interested in STEM with these co-op opportunities, these intern opportunities.

Marshall: There are some programs out there. As our girls age out, for example, we are working more with the university campuses and the other programs that exist, to make sure our girls are ageing into the STEM programs.

Some of them focus on exactly what you’re talking about. At CalTech, for example, our girls are starting to age into hands-on research in CalTech labs with postdocs and professors. We are doing that.

Our college internships is a big program for us. They are influencing the girls during the Summer. They are meeting the STEM professionals every day. They visit these companies. They are making relationships and mentorships on their own. We have had some post-interviews with them, with these interns.

How Project Scientist has impacted them, and their interest in their major in STEM, they stated two ways. One way is when they work with the younger students and inspiring them. They are inspiring themselves.

They are gaining confidence in themselves. I am teaching them and talking to them about what they do, how the young girls look up to them. That is good in terms of keeping them on track. They have also mentioned seeing and speaking with these women in the field.

They are learning from them and making relationships as they see fit. That is one thing. We have also started a new relationship with an organization called Boundless Brilliance. It was started by females that attend Occidental College in LA.

They were all STEM majors and started it for themselves. They created a curriculum with Occidental professors around building confidence, leadership skills, interest in STEM for girls, and the women in this program are training on these tools and techniques.

They are also training on a variety of experiments. They go into schools a couple of times a month. Typically, it is lower income schools. They will teach them these skills. Their experience of that.

The classroom is mixed with boys and girls. But again, bringing out these women to show boys and girls, these are women in the field and in these majors. It is normalizing that. So, we are working with them to help to train our interns and then hire their trained undergraduates to serve as our interns here into the summer.

It is giving us better interns, more experienced and better trained. It is giving us a year-round reach with our schools.

8. Jacobsen: What indirect ways in which to advance what is, for the most part, what the international community is aiming for, which is the empowerment of girls of women? Certainly, they have been disenfranchised in many ways to varying degrees.

For instance, could an indirect way to empower girls and women come through almost encouraging the men who have a mediocre talent for engineering but they have a great talent for the caring professions, e.g., nursing? It is encouraging boys and young men into the fields requiring skills not necessarily core requirements for engineering.

You might find someone with a wonderful bedside manner as a GP, a nurse, a nurse practitioner, and so on. The guys that would be going into engineering, but instead are going into the caring professions.

In that way, it is providing almost an example of the flexibility and better balance within the general culture compared to what we currently have, which, as we both know, guys simply have to achieve, achieve, achieve in just one domain.

It is a very narrow of things, but it is also doing whatever you want – but along certain stereotypical patterns. It may not be healthy for them. It may not be healthy examples for the women and men in their lives, or the culture in general.

Marshall: You’re absolutely right. It all needs to be normalized, right? [Laughing] Both sides. It is funny. My 8-year-old was in a talent show for their elementary school. I said to my sister, “It is so sad. 80% of the participants were female. Why aren’t there more boys?”

Jacobsen: What was the special talent?

Marshall: It was anything: puppet show, anything. There is still competition to get into it. As long as you’re confident, you can get into it. There was one boy group. I think it’s just women are conditioned more to do it.

I don’t know. It isn’t normalized. So, to have that culture where boys can do that too, it is interesting. The backbone of our product is SciGirls, which is a PBS show out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is really great shows featuring girls ages 12 to 13 doing real science with women in the field and real research.

Off those shows, they build the curriculum. It is free for any school, anyone, to use. But we are trained in the SciGirls curriculum. We train teachers to use it, to utilize the videos and the curriculum.

The SciGirls 7 is based on research on how to best teach girls STEM. Girls like to be collaborative. Many boys, whether it is taught/learned or not, prefer competition to excel; whereas, most girls would prefer to collaborate.

Our projects are done in groups of 4. They take turns collaborating. They seem to enjoy that. You don’t have coding competitions or things like this on Project Scientist. Girls, in STEM, like to know what they are learning is going to further help them or help someone improve the world.

Whether the experiments will have a dotted line to, “Okay, you learned about buoyancy. Here is a quick clip about a woman who works with buoyancy in her field. How is learning about buoyancy help you help the world?” Then we discuss that.

It really engages the girls into why they’re learning things, what it could potentially mean for them the world and the future. There is a good study from the Girl Scouts. It is, I think, 90% of STEM girls want to use the knowledge to help people solve the world’s problems.

9. Jacobsen: That makes me think back to the example of the drawings. When girls enter the drawings, they draw a scientist. When they leave, they draw themselves. You have a pre and post set of conditions.

What about a post-post condition in a similar time frame as between the pre and the first post? Where they are outside and not connected directly to the program. But then, they are brought back in, and they draw pictures under similar conditions again, to see if this has been a relatively crystallized internalization or something that has dissipated completely or has dissipated to some degree in between.

Marshall: Yes, you mean if they have aged out of the program.

Jacobsen: Yes.

Marshall: I would love that. If you could talk to the National Science Foundation, we would love a longitudinal study [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Marshall: We would love it. We want a longitudinal study. Are we really having an impact? The first cohort of girls I had in the guest house. They are ageing out this year. They are just ageing out. Those girls, they are phenomenal. They are going to gifted charter schools and winning international innovation competitions.

But as we grow, and as we serve a wider group of girls and cities all over, it would be really interesting, especially as they are hitting that middle school age when girls drop out. It would be useful to compare girls who had our program and girls did not have our program.

Our theory is that we’re building up their confidence in a variety of ways. They are seeing these women in research. If you see these women in so many careers, so many fields, and so many companies, you should be able to lay back on that, as you encounter some challenges in middle school and high school.

10. Jacobsen: So, of course, with any social good movement or institution, there, typically, is a concomitant countermovement or set of counter-institutions that can arise in culture. Typically, this will arise in a culture with the finances to found both.

This raises some questions. I will try to narrow down to one if I can. Who, or what, tend to be trends or organizations within American society that work against the advancement and empowerment of girls in STEM, basically, as a whole? And why those particular trends and forces, and organizations?

Marshall: It is the fact that our transparency and policies have not caught up with what we’re saying and trying to do if that makes sense. It is still not a safe place to be a whistleblower in a variety of instances [Laughing].

Even if, as we highlight girls from our program doing amazing things, for example, two sisters from Santa Ana who have scholarships. One of them got accepted to a very prestigious private middle school-high school, full ride, which is 6 years: transportation, computers, sports, whatever she needs.

We love to highlight those stories. When we talk so much in the media where we’re failing, we lose sight of where we’re succeeding. Girls need to hear and see the success stories. We also need to have a way for people to come forward. It’s not working.

I am not sure anything is there yet in corporate America or Academia. People are trying. But there’s a lot of people being silent about what is really happening.

11. Jacobsen: That’s a topic that needs to be talked about more. That’s where the damage is being done, for sure. It seems like conscious negligence in many instances. “Why should we empower them? Haven’t you seen these innate differences?” These sorts of argument. I think they have dropped the argument.

Now, “it’s innate preference differences,” which sounds like some of these forces are losing a lot of ground. 

Marshall: If a company were to excel at this and truly have this transparency, a lot of them are trying. They are talking about it. They have learned through [Laughing] lawsuits and other high-profile instances.

There is a shortage of – they all say – female talent. They are all clamouring to get these women coming out of college. They would attract these women. They are super successful if they were to have a culture like this.

That goes to all the research on women employees and how productive, more efficient, and the team players in culture. All the benefits this produces.

12. Jacobsen: What organizations or books, or speakers, would you recommend for the audience today?

Marshall: For parents, the girls 4 to 12. There is a website called Mighty Girl. They have a great Facebook and newsletter. We are constantly reposting their information. It is a great resource. They have a book resource by age. It is anything from STEM to bullying to issues around girls.

Mighty Girls is a great organization to look at resources for parents. For women, as you mentioned earlier, especially the college women, find a mentor, there is the Million Mentors program.

To find a mentor to go to, for all of us, even internally in companies, it is important. That’s it.

13. Jacobsen: Thank you much for the opportunity and your time, Sandy.

Marshall: Yes! Thank you.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder and CEO, Project Scientist.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship [Online].May 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, May 1). An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and MentorshipRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, May. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (May 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and MentorshipIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and MentorshipIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):May. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Sandy Marshall on Project Scientist, Girls and Women in STEM, and Mentorship [Internet]. (2019, May 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/marshall.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,559

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Graham Powell is the Editor of WIN ONE. He discusses: the current trajectory of WIN ONE; prolific contributors to WIN ONE; differentiation of gifted and talented, and not, content; striking poems; soliciting material; selection processes; and determination of an aspect of mind behind produced content.

Keywords: content, contributors, editor, Graham Powell, IQ, WIN ONE, World Intelligence Network.

An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Now, with the current trajectory of WIN ONE, what will be the plans for 2019/2020?

Graham Powell: I am about to collaborate with Krystal Volney, a long-time member of the WIN, on the production of the WIN ONE. Some ideas that are proposed include getting experts from outside the WIN to contribute, the magazine up to now consisting exclusively of material from WIN members. This will involve Evangelos Katsioulis too, the WIN being his creation, and it will need his approval. As hinted at earlier in this interview, I think the WIN ONE will express the results of one-to-one meetings and the results of discussions. Projects will also be relayed. I wish that real life problems be addressed by members and that active participation from WIN members will be encouraged. The high IQ network of societies is large; but the solitary nature of high IQ people in general, as the protagonists for change at the WIN see matters, means that encouraging participation is to be increased.  

2. Jacobsen: Who have been prolific contributors to WIN ONE?

Powell: Aside from my own contributions, which have been substantial, the main contributors over the years have been Paul Edgeworth, Marco Ripà, Phil Elauria, Claus-Dieter Volko, Gwyneth Wesley Rolph and Krystal Volney. Paul Edgeworth has been the most prolific contributor over the entire time that I have been the WIN ONE editor.

3. Jacobsen: What seems to differentiate the content produced by the High-IQ community and the non-gifted & talented community?

Powell: The philosophical nature of the contributions, especially ones which question the role of people in society, or papers which attempt to apply complex mathematical or linguistic theories to societal problems (or existential states) all seem to distinguish the contributions from high IQ individuals from non-gifted people, though, as a person from a professional, didactic background, I wish to point out that talents are multifarious and not limited to the ones which can be expressed in a magazine. It is another reason I want the WIN ONE to evolve and attempt to communicate more widely, gaining insights and contributions from those outside what is labelled “The High IQ Community”.

4. Jacobsen: What poems struck a chord with you?

Powell: I delight in reading the poems by Therese Waneck, one of the few high IQ poets I currently rate very highly. Her poems are short, yet gems at capturing moments of emotive intensity.

“Child Carries the Lullaby”, “Umbrella Clown” and “Educated Mime” spring to mind, each one appearing in the WINtelligence Book “The Ingenious Time Machine”. Obviously, my own poems strike a chord, that’s largely why I wrote them, the most endearing being “As promised, a soldier’s love visits in the rain”, “The Physics of Love” and “Reflections on Time and Darkness”.

5. Jacobsen: What are the main pathways for garnering or soliciting material for WIN ONE?

Powell: Most contributors have become friends over the years and I message them individually. They usually respond favourably. I also put adverts in the Facebook groups and on the WIN website. I hope this interview also inspires people to approach me. In the past, the conferences I have attended and the meetings in real life have also spurred people to write for the WIN ONE.

6. Jacobsen: In the process of accepting or rejecting material, aside from formal processes, there is, as an editor, an intuitive, even emotive, selection process within the framework or bounds of the criteria for submissions. Can you explain some of this non-verbal, or pre-verbal, selection process happening alongside regular choosing of content, please?

Powell: The G2G Manifest and the first WIN ONE were in existence prior to me becoming the editor, so people were aware of the content that had been accepted up to the beginning of my tenure. Firstly, I skim the proposed contributions and note my emotive response to them, as well as my cognitive appreciation of what is expressed. As said previously, I have never rejected a contribution, though sometimes the work has been modified in collaboration with the author. Most authors have trusted my judgement on the presentation and ease of reading that is necessary because even the most intelligent and diligent of reader needs guidance in order to get through an in-depth, complex series of concepts. It is also a question of what I would call ‘the greyness’ of a text, the addition of some illustrations or graphics making the experience for the reader more pleasurable. This is an intuitive reaction to the work that is submitted. I see the editor as a guide throughout the magazine and someone who eases the transition from one part of the magazine to the next. The overall style and look of the magazine should be appealing, and it is the same for a teacher as each lesson proceeds. Like any good lesson, or, indeed, novel, the ending should be clear, plus satisfying. It is also a tradition regarding the WIN magazine that the date of publication follows some kind of a sequence, this also influencing the arrangement and presentation of the content. International Pi Day dominated one edition, for example; another had prime numbers as the date… quirkiness seems to appeal to the High IQ community.

7. Jacobsen: In terms of written content, could one, theoretically or actually, differentiate the content produced by someone at 2-sigma, 3-sigma, 4-sigma, 5-sigma, and 6-sigma above the norm – without prior knowledge of the individual’s general intelligence score?

Powell: Within a high IQ group, this was proffered as a discussion piece a few days ago. My initial reaction was that a precise identification of IQ would not be possible based solely on written content, mainly due to the complexities and varieties of language being diverse and non verifiable diachronically, nor upon transcribing from one language to another – I.E., many people write in a second or even third language, or they demand that their original text be translated. This mediates their expressiveness in terms of complexity, lucidity and profundity. Placing the individual within a sigma level, as you query, however, is possible, in fact, most of the time I already know that information regarding a contributor. So, in other words, based on my experience, could someone make a shrewd assessment of another based on their written contribution? Well, yes, I think they could.

8. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Graham.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Editor, WIN ONE; Text Editor, Leonardo (AtlantIQ Society); Joint Public Relations Officer, World Intelligence Network; Vice President, AtlantIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two) [Online].April 2019; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, April 22). An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A, April. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A (April 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 19.A (2019):April. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on WIN ONE, Contributors, and Selection (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, April 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-two.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review

Author: Kwabena Antwi Boasiako

Numbering: Issue 1.A, Idea: Ghanaian Secular Leaders and Thought

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: Ghana’s 5%

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

Individual Publication Date: April 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,847

ISSN 2369-6885

Keywords: Ghana, Kwabena “Michael” Osei-Assibey, morality, theories.

Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review[1],[2]

*Original publication in Humanist Association of Ghana.*

Morality – the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, ethical and unethical – has always been at the top of philosophical discourse. For as long as we have been asking questions, and discussing ideas, we has been fascinated with the concept of right and wrong. The many moral theories – a framework upon which we think and discuss in a reasoned manner allowing evaluation on specific moral issues – not only help describe how thoughts are formed around issues of morality, but also prescribe how our actions including thoughts should be shaped. Before getting into my personal stance on morality, let us walk the path of the various frameworks I have come across. These may not be exhaustive.

The most common I have heard is the Divine Command Theory. This framework claims that there is a connection between morality and religion and that without God(s) there is no morality. The conclusion drawn from this framework is that right and wrong comes from the commands of God(s). In other words, an action is right (obligatory) if commanded, wrong if commanded to be refrained from, and permissible if not covered in commandments. The obvious flaw to this is the presupposition that there is a God or gods or that we can know what they command. In Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro, he asks “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?”.  If our belief is that actions are pious because it is loved by God(s) then pious actions or otherwise are independent of divine commandments. If we, however, think that pious actions are loved by the divine because they commanded it, we must conclude that right and wrong are but arbitrary dictates from the divine. If we, however, can agree that an action is right or wrong based on a reason, then the notion that it is arbitrary also goes out the window. Divine command theory falls under a group of theories known as deontological ethics in which the morality of an action is based on whether it is right or wrong based on a set of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action. The opposite umbrella of theories is consequentialism which considers the moral worth of action as determined by its potential consequence.

Moral subjectivism tells us that right and wrong is determined by what we (the individual) think is right or wrong. Moral subjectivism ultimately denies the existence of any moral principle or the possibility of criticism outside the self. Thus one can not criticize actions outside self or take criticism from the outside.  Cultural relativism makes the same argument but replaces the individual with a particular set of principles or rules that the relevant culture happens to hold at the time. Similar issues of criticism and moral growth make subjectivity a less plausible framework. In addition, this implies that a person or a culture cannot be mistaken about what is right or wrong, and thus denies the possibility of moral advancement.  On the same wavelength as cultural relativism is Virtue Ethics which argues that right and wrong are characterized in terms of acting in accordance with traditional virtues that are considered to make one a good person. We run into the problem of cultural differences in what constitutes a virtue.

Similar to but largely different is Ethical Egoism; the argument that right and wrong is determined by what is in our (individual) self-interest. The idea is that we are driven by nature to act selfishly. Selfishness does not imply that we aim for hedonistic outcomes but that we may sometimes forego immediate pleasures for the sake of some long term goals. Ethical egoism does not also exclude helping others but assumes that people do so for selfish reasons.  To the ethical egoist, there is nothing like altruism. This is the greatest flaw in the argument; that a person who helps others at the expense of their self-interest is actually acting immorally.  If we agree that morality’s role is to help guide and constrain our self-interest and not further it, as well as the fact that altruism is possible and very common, we see that ethical egoism is implausible. All arguments presented thus far have been deontological.

Utilitarianism argues that right and wrong is determined by the overall goodness of the consequences of an action. The idea is that all actions lead to an end but there is the highest good (pleasure or happiness). Earlier proponents of the idea proposed an index to maximize happiness to the greatest number. That is, we have to act so as to maximize human welfare and consider including all sentient animals in that matrix too. We do this by choosing the action that maximizes pleasure/happiness and minimizes suffering. Current interrogations of the idea yielded a few results. First, the idea of maximizing pleasure was replaced with the satisfaction of all relevant people’s preferences and interests. Also, a distinction between Act Utilitarianism, which is what has been described above, and Rule Utilitarianism, was made. Rule utilitarianism was to address the concern that act utilitarianism may result in harming one for the greater good. Rule Utilitarianism advocates that rules of governing society should be such that they result in the greatest good for all. This may however also create a deification of rules. A more realistic proposal is the Quality of Character Utilitarianism. This proposes that the primary objective of the moral assessment is neither actions nor rules, but qualities of character. The idea is that our primary duty is to develop qualities of character – dispositions of thought and feeling – whose possession is likely to produce the greatest overall utility. Such an account would be supposed to be grounded in a more realistic view of human rationality, and of the springs of human action, that is presupposed by act-utilitarianism. For utilitarians, no action is intrinsically right or wrong,  and no persons preference or interests carry greater weight than the other.  It will be difficult to apply utilitarian principles after the fact so utilitarians use rules of thumb to assess their actions.  Democracy and economic principles reflect utilitarianism.

The final idea that I will review is Contractarianism– the idea that principles of right and wrong are those which everyone in society would agree upon in forming a social contract. Contractarianism holds that persons are primarily self-interested and that a rational assessment of the best strategy for attaining the maximization of their self-interest will lead them to act morally. The idea is to start by thinking, hypothetically, that we are at the beginning of forming a society and we want to know which principles of justice to ground the society. However, in this ‘original position’ we do this without knowing which position we will occupy in the future society; we don’t know if we will be rich or poor, male or female, old or young, etc. We then advocate those principles that will be in our self-interest (though we don’t know what ‘self’ that will be). This forces us to be impartial, and if we are rational, to propose universal principles. The idea of the thought experiment is not to think that we actually begin again and construct a society from scratch. Rather, we can use the thought experiment as a test of actual principles of justice. If a principle is one that would not be adopted by people in the original position, behind the ‘veil of ignorance’ (about who they will be), then it is unjust and should be rejected.

From a humanistic standpoint, both deontological and consequential theories are up for debate as long as humans are at the centre of the decision making. However, humanism has other values such as empathy, justice, freedom, etc., which will rule out all deontological arguments. Both consequential theories offer arguments that play into what defines my humanism. As primary agents of change, I believe our goal is to create a system that considers the needs of the few with respect to the needs of many. We need a system that has checks for bias and allows growth as our societies evolve. A combination of the tenets of quality-of-character utilitarianism: the ability to develop traits that will generate the greatest good for all, and the unbiased solution of contrarianism, I believe will be the best way forward. The only way however for a collective agreement or movement in a positive direction with respect to our understanding of morality is for the subject to be taught as early as possible. Morality and ethics should not be treated as high school or university subjects but as ideas that children as young as can communicate are taught. To build quality of character as is required in utilitarianism, parent, family and the entire community has to play a role. We have to be each other’s keeper, constantly reminding each other of the greater good – the well-being of the ecosystem that supports us.

Kwabena Antwi Boasiako (11/04/2019)

Kwabena Antwi Boasiako is the current President of the Humanist Association of Ghana and a Building Services Professional.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] President, Humanist Association of Ghana.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Boasiako K. Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review [Online].April 2019; 1(B). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Boasiako, K. (2019, April 22). Moral Arguments and Humanism – A ReviewRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): BOASIAKO, K. Moral Arguments and Humanism – A ReviewGhana’s 5%. 1.B, April. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Boasiako, Kwabena. 2019. “Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review.Ghana’s 5%. 1.B. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Boasiako, Kwabena “Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review.Ghana’s 5%. 1.B (April 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

Harvard: Boasiako, K. 2019, ‘Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review, Ghana’s 5%, vol. 1.B. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review>.

Harvard, Australian: Boasiako, K. 2019, ‘Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review, Ghana’s 5%, vol. 1.B., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Kwabena Boasiako. “Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review.” Ghana’s 5% 1.B (2019):April. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Boasiako K. Moral Arguments and Humanism – A Review [Internet]. (2019, April; 1(B). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/review.

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and Ghana’s 5% 2012-2019. 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 African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 15, 2019

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,495

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Graham Powell is the Editor of WIN ONE. He discusses: background, pivotal moments, and educational attainments; becoming a member of the high-IQ community; becoming the main editor for World Intelligence Network ONline Editions (WIN ONE), formerly Genius To Genius Manifest (G2G); tasks and responsibilities; developments in his tenure right into the present; and the most read articles.

Keywords: editor, Genius To Genius Manifest, geophysics, Graham Powell, IQ, World Intelligence Network, WIN ONE.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of the background, what is it? What are the pivotal moments and educational attainments forming you?

Graham Powell: What an intriguing question, Scott. My first thought is that the immediate aftermath of my birth was especially significant as my mother suffered from depression and I was looked after by my grandparents while my mother spent months in hospital. This meant that I did not get baptised – though my brother and sister were. I later went to Sunday School with my brother, yet my foremost memory is of coming home to help my father rebuild the garage. We were clearly sent to Sunday School to be out of the way as my father did the vast amount of cement mixing, then the two of us did the more intricate jobs. We worked very much around the house and I learnt carpentry and other building skills from age four. We always worked with the end result in mind and little else, my father also being a perfectionist. I remember him shouting at me to keep things still as he laboured to fit everything together. He shouted at me one time because I was not supposed to move, despite him falling over. I had to keep the post straight! Perhaps it helped induce in me an autotelic personality type, something prevalent to this day as I do my daily duties. I also developed an early life with a more philosophical outlook than a religious one. Life has never involved earning money as a main goal.

My mother volunteered as a Saint John’s Ambulance nurse and I read all the books she had on it, gaining an excellent knowledge of first aid and anatomy. It was about this time that she told me about when the doctor performed the post-natal checks and commented on how well co-ordinated I was. I think this influenced my father giving me football training in the field next to our house, sport featuring heavily in my youth. I learnt to play football equally with either foot and was very good at heading the ball, even though I was only average height when young.

At Primary School I was popular, and meeting various teachers clearly forged my mental and physical development. Mrs. Bert took us for creative writing and I emerged as a poet. I was often asked to write poems because my schoolmates knew Mrs. Bert would like them and give us ‘House Points’. On one occasion, she gave Haxted House four points for a poem about a giant bird landing and befriending a poet, so we won the House Competition for that term. Mr. Apps, the science and PE teacher at Middle School, also liked me, my prowess at football suddenly being eclipsed by my exceptional ability at cross country running. Bernard Apps became my trainer and I ended up representing my county at the sport.

At Senior School I broke the school record for 800 metres and was one of the few victors in my House that day. Indeed, I became something of a ‘hero’ within Grants House, though I was shy and in no way ardent in pursuing such adulation.

By age 15 I had added cycling to my sporting repertoire, my father rekindling his youthful enthusiasm for the sport. It was a significant time, in hindsight, because during those three years I met people who are now well-known in their fields, one person in cycling itself, another in politics. Knowing them during more humble times helps keep me grounded.

I also went into the Sixth Form, but was disillusioned by the experience as we seemed to be persecuted for being the ‘Punk Year’, so different from any previous academic group at the school. Just before the first year exams, I had an accident on my bicycle and ended up in hospital, the week spent there influencing my choice to leave school and emerge into the working world. Overall, I was tired of being with teenagers who just seemed so infantile, though maybe their bravado and confidence in social situations also jarred, my struggle through that period being mainly one involving extreme introversion. Most of the times I just didn’t want to speak.

I left school and immediately got a job in geophysics, my rise in that area being quite phenomenal. I developed as a communicator and within three years became proficient in social situations. My new confidence made me want to self actualize, the way of doing this coming via two means: a journey around Europe and a return to academia. I eagerly arranged both.

My ten-week hitch-hiking tour of Europe made me realise that I was exceptionally bright and able to communicate across the continent, even if many languages were known minimally by me. I also developed amazing endurance and could walk for many kilometres each day, if required. I carried most of the kit which my work colleague and I had, which was also an ego-blow to that colleague, so much so that he became jealous and resentful – even violent. Towards the end of the tenth week away, we separated and I went straight back home to Surrey, England, from northern Luxembourg. It took 27 hours!

Shortly after my return, I decided to go to college and my aim was to attend university. I met Dorothy Humphrey, a 53-year-old English teacher from Glasgow. I owe her an immeasurable debt in life for taking what was, in essence, a kindling love of my language and transforming it into a raging fire of desire for it. This has never left me and I know it never will.

About this time, I also joined a theatrical group and my love of acting supplemented my studies in language and literature. Several in the drama group said how brilliant I was and after a few years of saving, I applied and was accepted onto the Drama and Theatre Studies course at Middlesex University. I learnt many new aspects to drama and theatre and I am happy to say that I am still in contact with many from that course. It was an incredibly stimulating, creative and rewarding time in every respect!

My post-graduate desire to fuse personal development with creativity and innovation made me take an MA in International Human Resource Management. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I won the academic prize for Best Dissertation. Disappointingly, however, I never got a job within that specific area. Instead, after a few years of retail management, I qualified as a teacher and until recently taught English both in England and abroad. The last few years have seen me develop as an English teacher at university, then advise C.E.O.s and civil servants on how to present themselves, plus create and innovate within their respective areas of competence and responsibility. It’s merges many aspects to my career, which I enjoy.

2. Jacobsen: How did the high-IQ community become part of life? How did you find it, in other words?

Powell: At East Surrey College (where I met Dorothy Humphrey) I made friends with a man who had recently finished a relationship with a member of British Mensa. He was convinced that I would be able to join, so he encouraged me to apply. After finishing college (which drained me of all my financial resources) I resumed work for a while and became a paid-up member of Mensa in January 1987. My interest in the high IQ community really expanded, however, when I got the internet connected within my home in Sardinia. That was 20 years after joining Mensa and by 2009 I had joined a few on-line societies. None of them were in the World Intelligence Network, but, in 2010, I saw a message from Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis, the founder of the WIN, about translating the WIN site into Italian. I volunteered to do that, and, just as I was about to finish the translation, more societies joined the WIN and I was suddenly a member.

3. Jacobsen: How did you become the main editor for World Intelligence Network ONline Editions (WIN ONE), formerly Genius To Genius Manifest (G2G)?

Powell: Immediately after finishing the voluntary translation work, Evangelos invited me to resurrect the WIN ONE, which had not been published for over three years at that point, and I took up the editorship, advertising for contributions. They came in rapidly, even a paper in Italian, which I translated. My first WIN ONE was as big as all the previous editions put together, so I was obviously pleased about that.

4. Jacobsen: What tasks and responsibilities come with the position?

Powell: The editor not only advertises for contributions; the role also involves checking each contribution for accuracy, decency and appropriateness – though I must admit that these aspects have never been imposed to refuse publishing anything. The editor collates the content and, especially, corrects the texts, many being written by people whose mother tongue is not English. The editor augments the content, introduces each part and improves the readability of each article, putting in subtitles (for example) or dividing the content into sections. This is all done whilst liaising with the original writer. The last few magazines have seen me contribute a major percentage of the content, especially the puzzles. The editor also decides on the style of the magazine and most of the covers have been designed by me during my tenure.

5. Jacobsen: What have been the main developments of WIN ONE in personal tenure?

Powell: The main development from the WIN ONE has been the WIN Books Project, the first “WINtelligence Books” publication coming out earlier this year as a Kindle book. “The Ingenious Time Machine” is an expression of the talents and ideas within the World Intelligence Network and it took four years to develop and publish the volume. The physical copy of this book should be made available later this year, or at least, that is my goal.

I am also about to publish the WIN ONE more often, though discussions with new collaborators are going ahead now, so I can’t give away too many details… Maybe we can talk again in a few months’ time, Scott… I’d certainly like that.

It has been via my WIN ONE activities that I have made friends and a few times this has evolved into inviting contributors to conferences and meetings, mainly in Dubai and London. It is a personal dream to invite to members to Malta at some point in the not too distant future… Promoting this will be a development within the pages of the WIN ONE. I think the WIN ONE will evolve to be a vehicle for getting people together. Face to face meetings seem more popular in the High IQ World these days, not the production of long, written articles.

6. Jacobsen: What have been the most read articles? Why?

Powell: Though specific data is not available to affirm which articles have been the most read, I can give personal feedback on what you ask. Most people seem to like the philosophical articles, especially the ones by Paul Edgeworth, whose brilliant analyses of philosophers and aspects to their work, such as Aristotle’s writing on contemplation, Cartesian Motion and Heidegger’s Dasein, have been appreciated very much. I know this because readers have contacted me about them. I also appreciate Paul’s work and my own writing has sometimes, serendipitously, evolved to be akin to Paul’s explorations. Rich Stocks’ writing about practical philosophy has been praised too, something I am pleased to have contributed to as well, his work being a commentary on current events in America and the dialectical implications of them, to crudely summarise some of the work he has done. The poetry published in the WIN ONE is popular too. Much of it is also an expression of the zeitgeist prevalent today, which is satisfying to experience.

Above all, Scott, I thank you for your questions and hope that you have gained much from our exchange. I certainly have.

7. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Graham.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Editor, WIN ONE; Text Editor, Leonardo (AtlantIQ Society); Joint Public Relations Officer, World Intelligence Network; Vice President, AtlantIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 15, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One) [Online].April 2019; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, April 15). An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A, April. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A (April 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 19.A (2019):April. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Gifted and Talented Life & Publications (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, April 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-one.

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© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, and Philosophy (Part Five)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 18.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fourteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 8,513

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Rick Rosner and I conduct a conversational series entitled Ask A Genius on a variety of subjects through In-Sight Publishing on the personal and professional website for Rick. Rick exists on the World Genius Directory listing as the world’s second highest IQ at 192 based on several ultra-high IQ tests scores developed by independent psychometricians. Erik Haereid earned a score at 185, on the N-VRA80. Both scores on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of ~6.13 for Rick – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 2,314,980,850 – and ~5.67 for Erik – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 136,975,305. Of course, if a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population. This amounts to a joint interview or conversation with Erik Haereid, Rick Rosner, and myself.

Keywords: America, Erik Haereid, Norway, Rick Rosner, Scott Douglas Jacobsen.

Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How do philosophy and mathematics mix with one another? How do philosophy and mathematics not mix with one another? What insights into reality emerge from philosophy and not mathematics, or from mathematics and not from philosophy? Or do these seem inextricably linked to one another? 

Traditionally, philosophy breaks into several disciplines: ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, and so on. Do some of these distinct fields seem unnecessary in philosophy? In that, some sub-disciplines in philosophy seem already explained within others.

Also, what seems like the limits of mathematics and philosophy in providing some fundamental explanation about the world? In that, the rules and principles of mathematics remain non-fundamental. 

Same with the purported big questions of philosophy. They remain important. They give insights, even a sense of grandeur about existence. However, they fail, at least at present, for a complete explanation about the world – assuming such a thing exists in principle.

Erik Haereid: Mathematics is an abstract, logical, cognitive tool based on numerical symbols, based on some assumptions, axioms that we agree on. Whether the assumptions are proper or not is a philosophical issue. Mathematics is about structures and exact relations.

Philosophy is some logical investigation into what’s true and false, and what’s right and wrong. It’s a compass in life. We use it trying to finish our mental map. It’s a cognitive tool that helps us directing our lives more proper, as we see it, than lives that are lived in the present and based on pure intuition and urges.

Philosophy and mathematics go hand in hand thus that we begin with some philosophical inquiries, then we put some mathematics to those thoughts, then we make new philosophical inquiries and so on. An example is the Big Bang theory. It’s reasonable that there many years ago were as many ideas of the Universe, what was outside the human perceptions when watching the sky at day and night, as there were humans. That is, basic for philosophizing is our fantasy; thoughts and emotions in a mental soup based on our genes and experiences. The yellow light we saw at day time on the sky, and we thought were god’s candle or whatever, became through philosophy, mathematics, and science to a massive spherical plasma object consisting of such as hydrogen and helium.

Einstein philosophized through his experimental thoughts about how the Universe could function and look like, and he had, for instance, Newton’s work in his mind. He got some ideas, like that space is curved and cause gravity, which were reasonably for him, and he put mathematics to it. He also philosophized over that the three-dimensional space and time were not independent, but one four-dimensional phenomenon (spacetime). That kind of philosophy and related mathematics created new thoughts about how the Universe looked like, and what was beyond our perceptions.

Who could think of the Universe as a 13-14-billion-year-old highly dense little object exploding into a vast mess of matter and energy, impossible to imagine, thousand years ago? It was the philosophy and mathematics that dug the ditch. And still are. Because we don’t know what’s beyond the Big Bang. And probably, if we look to for instance Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, we will never know. At least never get the whole picture.

Let’s say we could explain the Universe; find some formulas that explained everything (determinism). Then we could explain, prove (based on some axiomatic, logical framework), every statement we had. There wouldn’t be any statements that couldn’t be proved. But according to Gödel, within any axiomatic, logical framework there are statements that cannot be proved and therefore human can never prove a deterministic Universe even though the Universe is deterministic.

But since we are curious, and maybe naive, we still dig. And then we make new and more fantasies, restrict it into some logical, philosophical frame of thoughts, put some mathematics, even more strict relations and order, to it, call them theories and try to prove them. The final act is to observe it; experience that the empirical observations are in accordance with the philosophy and mathematics. Then it’s true, in our understanding of truth. When we have revealed the truth, we don’t need to philosophize about it any more. Of course that’s not completely true, because we don’t believe in our perceptions, and/or we don’t know what they are (what is a thought?). So we will continue philosophizing over that, until we get tired and give up, or get mad.

A harmonic alternation between fantasies (chaos), philosophy (order), mathematics (detailed and more order, relations) and empirical experiences (perceptual truth) is the track here.

Humans tend to try to see the surface of the three-/four-dimensional space we are confined in, from the outside. But there is no surface. What is “no surface?” And so on. The only possibility is to make fantasies about it, philosophize about it, create some mathematical formulas to it, but it’s confined within our perceptions and abstract images. Our desire for knowing exceeds our possible limits of knowledge. Maybe this drive is crucial for human’s evolution

AI and technology, build on better abilities, amplifiers, processors and storage possibilities than we have, could be fruitful for human evolution. We have to respect our limitations, like we do when we make cars, planes, telephones and binoculars. And I think we also do.

I also think we should extend our mind and cognitive abilities to its limit. It’s rewarding when mathematicians (and other scientists) find new solutions, invent new concepts or numbers (like when introducing irrational numbers, and later complex numbers).

We need philosophy as long as we don’t know everything we want to know, independent of which philosophical field we talk about. In this context a single philosophical discipline’s existence is a function of if we still see it proper to try to answer more questions about these topics.

When I know how trees grow, through photosynthesis, and am satisfied with that answer, I don’t need philosophizing about trees and growth anymore. It fulfills my needs. But that’s subjective, because the process, any process, has no end in the human mind. There are always questions to ask, even when we know “everything” about that topic.

If you see a tree, you can see it as timber to build houses, as a plant that grow and live through photosynthesis, as an imaginary picture of the phylogenetic development, as a family tree, as a nightmare, as beautiful, as a wish, as an oxygen producer, as a producer of apples and fruits, as x times heavier and higher than a human, etc. To discover all these angles and views is the aim of philosophy, in all areas and with everything we have any real perception or imaginary idea of.

To understand is beauty. We have to respect that we will never understand everything, and at the same time respect that there are always new things to learn. It’s about a balance. It’s like building a monument, like an enormous cathedral or tower; it takes hundreds, thousands, millions of years, but by putting one brick systematically on top of another we know that we each day get closer to the product; by creating time through successive events we experience that we can reach our goal. And until we know how to live forever, we reproduce and let our children continue the job.

What’s the final point? Maybe to reveal a global truth. To reach the very end, where the illuminated revelation is right in front of us. Is this what life is about? Or is it just an uncorrelated mess, with seemingly none or few relations, no goal, a nihilistic travel through emptiness? Shall we reduce life to simple, cynical social maneuvers that suck all the beauty out of it? I choose not to reduce humans to a harsh evolution process, because it’s meaningless, it’s messy and violent, and it’s logical in the simplest way. This makes me religious even though I don’t believe in God. This also elevates my experience of life.

It’s complicated to see the beauty in everything, and on that road we limit us to exclude what we have not understood yet. But still we unconsciously work towards that goal, because we know on an unconscious level that we need to see everything that exists in relation to each other.

In general we philosophize about everything and anything, and related to math about such as black holes and singularity, how to express the primes in a formula, multiple universes, artificial superintelligence, and how to travel and meet the aliens somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy. Dreaming about travelling to the Moon was one thing, philosophizing about it another and the next step, and then calculating how to do it and doing it the final steps.

Obviously, as we can see when we are at AI’s kickoff, the human brain has many limitations concerning perceiving, storing and processing data. The black boxes are mentioned, and our lack of knowledge of what is going on there even though we have created these devices.

One of the blessings by being a child was the large quantity of fantasies. In books, stories told, dreams, what we saw in the nature we yet didn’t restrict to pure science (Some trees grew into heaven, didn’t they?).

Inventions are made by grown up “children”. There is one person now and then through history that revealed something important, that made his/her fantasy becomes real; like that we can talk to each other from one side of the world to the other, or travel in space. The impossible became possible. This is an ongoing process which we all are a part of all the time.

Maybe our search for objectivity and truth, a real Universe, has something to do with us, our mind more than it’s about if the Universe is objective or subjective. Of course, how is it possible to travel in a subjective Universe? Who are you if my mind is the only mind? How can I interact with something else if this is a part of me?

It’s convenient to look at it as me and the surroundings, as different entities, subject and object, because that’s how we experience it naturally. But when we go into it, philosophizing, exploring it with our thoughts and logic, it could be that everything “else” is sort of an unconscious part of ourselves. “We” are not confined in our body.

We just don’t experience it like that, because we are not aware of it. But by putting it into a thought, we can think of it as a possibility, or just a fantasy. When you travel or do things, I do it, but as during surgery and anesthesia. It’s a matter of consciousness and not. Or several levels of consciousness; I am not aware that I think your thoughts.

Don’t misunderstand this; it sounds narcissistic. But it’s not, it’s a philosophical inquiry. If the person thinks he/she is God, then he/she tries to control all other’s cognition, acts, behavior. But we don’t control each other’s thoughts and behavior. It’s in this context the philosophical inquiry is done.

Maybe we are tricked by the fact that we experience that something is outside our own control, and therefore experience it as what we call objectivity. If I can’t remember that I wrote that sentence or did that thing, how can I then claim that it’s my act? How can I be certain of that me is confined within “my” body, “my” senses, “my” emotions and thoughts, “my” free will? It could happen that I am something else than I experience that I am, even everything. This is about how we identify ourselves, and what kind of responsibility we take.

Let’s say that we all are the same. If everyone and everything are a part of you and you are a part of everything and everyone, then all the interactions are a part of us and we are not limited to our bodies. Subject is object. When you speak to me, even though I can’t imagine or sense that this spoken sentence came from myself, I have no control over it, I don’t know where it came from within what I define as “me”, I have to think, from this point of view, that your voice is my voice. It could be a voice from my unconscious part, like my autonomic nervous system.

It’s not the chaos that is beautiful, but our adaptation to it in the sense of understanding and accepting the volatility in the surroundings, the magnitude of the Universe and life. This is what make logical practices like math and philosophy beautiful; they are tools evolving our understanding, abstract and not, and revealing that life is more than we have ever thought of before.

We talk a lot about what technology can do for us in the future, and obviously we need some kind of cognitive and emotional amplifiers to be what we want to be.

Inventions like social media, internet, shows creativity and that we are capable of doing almost what we want to. I am sure that evolution has its right pace, also related to technology.

[Ed. Further commentary]

We humans have the ability to think we are something we are not; we have the ability to believe we are gods and devils, for instance, that we are everything and nothing, abstractions or concrete manifestations different from which we really are, and base our existence on that false identity. The advantage of this feature is that we can create great ideas that can be converted into practical use. The downside is that we kill each other; become more destructive than necessary. Great ideas are also created by people that are self-aware, so let’s stick with this.

I am in favor of self-awareness, to use a word that is not sufficient and do not cover what I mean; but that’s the best word I came up with. It’s about knowing that you are an entity, existence, and who you are, as best you possible can achieve that self-awareness through all your identity-changes through your life. It’s a continuous struggle. And it’s the best way to live your life, if you ask me; for you and the society. It’s a state of contemplation, and maybe the Buddhist monks are the best achievers of that state, I don’t know. We in the western cultures are not very good at it, though.

When we discuss ontological, epistemological, ethical or aesthetical issues, I choose to start with this: We have to know that we are and approximately who we are; for real, not as abstract or false features. If not, we are driven into insanity.

When I discuss whether ideas exist or not, I have to profoundly feel that I am the entity that thinks of and discuss this problem with myself or others. If not, I get lost.

If abstraction exists per se, beyond our abilities to think abstract, is a function of what concepts we so far in evolution have developed and defined, and which logical inference and irrational beliefs we have established (knowledge).  Proofs of for instance abstractions’ existence are based on our, humans, innate abilities and learned knowledge. The core is how we humans define proof. And this is about feelings, experiences, profound feeling of and so on; the core inside us (i.e. self-awareness), which is irrational as such.

It’s possible to disagree about anything and everything, even though one wizard claims his or her right (like it seems I do here; I underline that this is my experience), and even “proves” it. Bottom line is that it ends here; reality, existence, truth cannot be proved as anything else than that we experience it and call it “truth, reality” and so on. Something is difficult to contradict as real, though, like physical events that “everyone” sees and experience. The closest we get to reality is therefore our experience of it. Do you see what I mean?

I think we have to see knowledge as a human phenomenon, a mental ability that helps advanced organisms like us to provide better identities and lives. Humans should focus more on what is real and not, and what is me and what is someone and something else; who are we, and how shall we capture a sense of that?

It’s not about living all life in contemplation, but to evolve the ability to slow down the chaotic lives when needed, and find that inner peace or understanding of whom one is; a meditation skill.

We all change identities every minute, every day, all life, and it’s a struggle knowing who we are on this bumpy travel. And since humans have these complex mental abilities, we also have the ability to dissociate, create several personalities, thinking we are something we are not and make a mess for ourselves and each other. I don’t say that I think we would be angels if we all had this continuously inner contact with who we are, but I guess we certainly would have been nicer and lived better lives and also chose the right path; because we would have the inner knowledge and wisdom of “here I am, and that is who I am just now”. Then the future would be easier regardless obstacles we met on the road. 

So, if there is one certain achievable knowledge, it is the knowledge of who we are. No one can take that inner experience away from anybody (even though we try and succeed…). But we have to believe in it; it’s not proved mathematically or a result from a syllogism. It’s an experience. It’s beyond thoughts and emotions, which are tools to gain that inner knowledge and wisdom.

If you want to be rich or a king, go for it, but the point is to experience and achieve an inner peace about who you are on that road. It’s not about restraining our lives, on the contrary, but about achieving goals through self-awareness. Do you see what I mean? I don’t believe in piety in the strictest meaning of the word, because that’s a wrong approach to inner peace. I am more in favor of hedonism, but with that extra ability to always know who you really are, and not the narcissistic or ascending self.

Maybe I am a bit off-road concerning the topic in this thread, but when we talk about philosophy and what kind of mindful activities humans should strive for in the future, I have to mention this which I strongly believe in. We can ask ontological and epistemological questions about reality, existence and knowledge, and questions about what is beautiful and not, and what is good and not, but anyway we end up with ourselves. That kind of self-awareness is the key to evolve on every other area we deal with. Being human is not only to gain knowledge but also wisdom, and that is to know when enough is enough.

Because we tend to blend our abstractions of who we are with who we really are, also because other people, the culture, plant ideas in our mind about who we are and should be, we build a distance between our perception of who we think we are and who we really are. This creates chaos in our minds and in the culture; socially.

It’s the culture, family, friends, activities and your surroundings that function as mirrors, that make you be self-aware or not. If this culture make you believe that you are something else than you really are, then you go out searching for someone and something that mirrors the real you, that make you find yourself, until you find it; because we all have that inner profound wisdom about whom we are, all the time. We just need help; mirrors that lead us towards it.

Self-awareness is also about understanding ones limitations. If you are far away from knowing who you are, you are not capable of capturing your possibilities. It’s like a child’s growth: The child develops best when its parents function as mirrors for that child; sees it as it is. Then the child is open-minded for strangers and differences, curious about it, and is driven towards new phenomenon. It changes identity every second. And because its parents sees it whatever what (not accept everything it does, though), it will continue being self-aware. It’s a process through life. When we get older other people function as mirrors, the culture does, and the same rules exists. When we are not seen as we are, when we cannot see ourselves in a film, a book or in a neighbor, we get lost in our minds and develop other and alternative pictures of who we are than we really are. When the culture contains many such individuals and features, then it gets messy.

One of my points is that we become xenophobic and hateful against each other when we abstract from our true self. And the contrary; friendly and inviting when we know who we are. Then ethics is to build a community and culture which embrace values that enhance each individual’s self-awareness. A culture that motivates everyone to be something one impossibly can be is an unethical culture, and the opposite. It’s not about restriction, but a consciousness about whom we are and who we can be. The sky’s the limit in our mind, but not in real life. And I think that is crucial to understand, and making good citizens; people that know how to treat each other with respect and good. And even though it sounds imprisoning, it works opposite; you will actually achieve more in life when you are aware of this. Self-confidence is å product of being self-aware.

You can create a justice system that controls people’s actions until a degree, but the basic problems are still the same; the system does not prevent violence. That’s because it’s still unfair; no such system embraces everyone. The thing, if you ask me, is not to prevent violence and make good citizens by telling people who they are and should be, but letting them be who they are. Then our natural social collisions will make us adapt properly. I think this is a path to more empathy and understanding, as I said before: Egoism is altruism. This is what I mean by that. I don’t say this will prevent violence completely, not at all. But it is, in my opinion, the best way to achieve cultures where all live their best lives and that is inside the acceptable for almost everyone. Statistically spoken the expected value, the average, of life quality could be the same but the standard deviation much less. There would be shorter distance between the extremities. We (think) we need more rules and limitations and governmental institutions because we are less in contact with whom we really are, and more in contact with an abstract, false identity; that’s my point.

About aesthetics: The idea with art is to elevate us, bring us into the contact I speak about, to our true self. So the idea of aesthetics, say art, is to bring us closer to mutual love and respect, understanding and behavior that we all can accept.

It’s about making the right picture, mirroring ourselves. I think it’s not a question if, let’s say in painting, impressionism is better for us than expressionism, or if that abstract art is better than figurative art, but what that piece of painting and sculpture does with us; like the book we read. I read novels that enhance my feelings of being, existing. It’s like travelling and being aware of that. And as with esthetics, it’s not possible to draw general and absolute rules. It’s individual.

When that is said it’s obvious that some with knowledge about paintings can help people to see things in the painting, and through that new insight evolve and appreciate that piece of art. Like in architecture, where you can look at a building and feel that it’s ugly until the architect wizard tell you about the details, the reasons; why, where, how. Then it becomes beautiful, as the zoologist thinks when he watches tarantulas.

Should we draw a painting and write a novel as beautiful as possible, far from reality, to enhance our good feelings that we get when we watch beautiful things; idealizing? Or should we paint and describe reality, with the chaotic mix of ugliness and beauty, reflecting our real emotions in our real lives?

If everything in a culture is about creating idealistic, always beautiful art and social installations, we get lost in our hopes and wishes, in our abstractions and thoughts about how we want our lives to be. If we don’t create any counterpoise to this, we will probably evolve abstract selves and huge distance to our true selves, and without the opportunity to evolve our true selves as we wish. To gain the optimal evolution we have to create idealistic art and art reflecting reality.

Being a true romantic, as an example, is not about being bohemian or poet, but being bohemian in the weekends, so to speak. Hedonism is a spare time phenomenon. It’s about having this inner switch turning you self on and off. A naturalist, a person that embraces things as they are, has also to turn his and her romantic-switch on now and then. Art is not about destruction, but about making us understand that no one survives if life is pure destructive. We have to see, to internalize, that there are good as well. If we don’t, it’s not because of our existence but because of our culture, art, communications and perceptions of life. It’s an illusion that reality is pure destructive. And it’s an illusion that it’s pure good.

[Ed., further additions]

We can divide reality into a concrete and an abstract world, where the abstractions meet the concretions now and then. It is “impossible” to claim that something created or perceived in the abstract world don’t have the opportunity to appear in the concrete world, such as time travels.  We don’t know the range of the concrete possibilities that lie in our abstractions. We profit from distinguishing between our abstract and concrete identities. The abstractions as phenomenon are far ahead of us, far beyond, but at the same time provide us vast amounts of opportunities in the concrete world.

Example quantum physics: The fact that two particles can function completely synchronized on different physical places, with no concrete relation, is an example of changes in our perception of reality based on evolved abstractions (math). When I say that we must be aware of our limitations, I mean strive for being self-aware, and not that we shall not endeavor and evolve through our abstractions; including convert from abstract concepts to real experiences like time travels. Abstractions are about aspiring, setting goals, and respect that we reach them when and if we do.

The very first grounds for anything is “because it is like that”. Axioms are established because we feel and experience that this is right, and not because it’s a logical context that leads to the axioms. My point is that all explanations, all mathematics and philosophy are based on an irrational, emotionalized elastic floor that we never can get under or beyond.  

Math is about developing numerical logical coherences, formulas, based on some basic rules, axioms that we agree in. When we bump into problems that involve lack of concepts and definitions, we create them. That’s the advantage by abstractions; it’s quite easy to expand and evolve. When mathematicians stop developing concerning formulas containing strange numbers that they until then did not have defined in their number system, they invent new number concepts and symbols (i.e. from natural to rational, rational to irrational and further to complex numbers). They adapt to their abstract needs by expanding their abstract world. Even though complex numbers (square root of negative numbers) seem illogical and incomprehensible by first glimpse, based on traditional mathematical rules, it’s about amplifying the system by thinking beyond what the mind think is possible.   

In logical, abstract activities we have the possibility to achieve new coherences and correlations, after developing new abstract concepts, definitions and symbols and the logical rules we attend to, that we possibly couldn’t within the frame of concepts and symbols we are captured into at that time.

It becomes a kind of abstract nanotechnology; we distort basic structures, and create new concepts, definitions and logical rules that we accept.

An intriguing thought: Maybe the prime numbers are math’s enigma to mankind; we have to reveal the formula explaining the primes to understand what life is about; what is meaningful and not. If I was a zoologist I would probably have found another example, though. But maybe it’s impossible to find that formula concerning the prime numbers without expanding into new mathematical concepts.

Maybe rhythm, logic, coherences actually is about developing concepts and symbols, enlarging our abstract world more than trying to gain control over the already existing abstractions we know of. That is, every lack of rhythm and understanding is a lack of new concepts, lack of abstract expansion. If that’s so, it’s not about what we want and not want, but how we can achieve that expanded wisdom.

Rick Rosner: I agree with Eric that our philosophizing about the nature of the world has been recently constrained in the last hundred years by our finally having a first overall picture of the structure of the universe.

Although, I would say that our first conclusions, including the Big Bang, are likely not going to turn out to be as right as we currently think they are. But until a hundred years ago, we didn’t even know there were other galaxies.

It was less than a hundred years ago that the expansion of the universe was discovered. A hundred years ago, we didn’t know that stars ran on fusion. That’s less than ninety years ago. There was no way we would be even anywhere close to right in philosophizing about the universe because we had a very incomplete picture.

Our picture is still well short of, in our current philosophies and science, the overall structure and behavior of the universe; it is still off in the weeds. But it is closer to correct than ever before because we have more observational evidence than ever before, and it is not even a gradual incremental increase in accuracy.

It is an explosive increase in understanding over the past 100 years. We had Newton’s universal gravitation, which itself was a huge step and then we had the relativities but they were brand new.

So, anyway we’re living in a new era of philosophy and science on the largest scales and philosophy can be considered for science on the largest possible scale with an observational foundation for the first time ever.

Ten thousand years of trying to imagine the universe with some explosive steps towards understanding from time to time going from an earth-centered universe to a sun-centered universe, the discovery of the elements and all that stuff, but we’ve only gotten the tools for any observation and information based global philosophizing in the past few generations.

And this coincides with the idea that what science is supposed to do is boil everything down to a single general set of principles or a single theory; unification in general. Let’s see how many things we can put under a single umbrella.

We wouldn’t get arguments from many scientists if you said that biology and chemistry are at their most fundamental levels just physics. And they need to have some quibble saying there are emergent principles in biology and chemistry that you’d have a hard time predicting from physics. So, you can’t do away with biology and chemistry.

Then if you came back and said, “Yes but all the physical interactions from which these emergent phenomena arise, that’s still all physics.” They might have to grudgingly say, “Yeah.” You could argue that evolution is a unifying principle of life on earth.

Now still, you can take it all back on physics, but evolution is the framework that encompasses all that and gives you a philosophical structure for understanding what’s going on. Evolution is still subject to severe revision.

It wasn’t until the 60’s and 70’s when Stephen Jay Gould came on with punctuated equilibrium. Before that most people and still, most people have the idea that evolution, if they believe in it at all, is this gradual thing that cuts along with occasional mutations being helpful and being integrated into net of life.

Whereas punctuated equilibrium says the species generally go on without changing much for tens and even hundreds of thousands or even millions of years until special circumstances permit for rapid change in evolution on change in a few hundred, a few thousand, or a couple ten thousand years based on either a changing environment or a small segment of a population being isolated.

If you were to graph somehow one finch changing into another finch, it wouldn’t be a gradual transformation of one finch into the other. Instead, it would be finch A going along for fifteen thousand, twenty-five, or fifty-five thousand years and then all of a sudden part of that finch population, something happens to it; it gets isolated or the weather changes or some crap happens and then within fifteen hundred years finch B emerges.

But anyway, that’s a recent addition to evolutionary theory and then epigenetics is probably even more recent, not that I can even talk about that in any decent terms but I think epigenetics is like Lamarckism that isn’t wrong.

Lamarckism is the idea that an organism’s life history is somehow incorporated into what it passes on genetically with the standard example being that if a giraffe has to reach higher and higher to get to stuff on trees that reaching is somehow going to be incorporated, it is going to be passed on to its kids because the giraffe had to be so reachy all its life.

It wants to have longer necks, which survive better and pass on their long neck genes. So, it is not individual experience changing, it is the better-adapted creatures pass on their genes and if this happens in enough increments; if there’s a niche for longer-necked creatures, then longer-necked creatures are going to have more life success.

That is, they’ll get more food. They’ll be able to get laid better because they are healthier than the short-necked giraffes. So, the long-necked giraffes will have more descendants than the short-necked giraffes.

What I think epigenetics says, I should probably read the Wikipedia article so I’m not wrong, is that our genome; it has a bunch of junk genes. The genes that are expressed to make us and operate us are like in a teamwork with all the genes we have.

Most of the genes are right along those that have just been passed along because there’s no reason for them to be knocked out across several billion years of evolution. But some of these genes can be turned on based on life experience, so you do have an options package based on your life experience because you have all these templates to express other stuff if you run into the right circumstances.

I’m not sure that this means that these will be passed on based on your life experience, except that there will be bias if you survive better because your genes have been turned on. But anyway, that’s a whole new area of genetics that would’ve surprised the shit out of Darwin; he didn’t even know we had genes.

We have the bias towards unification looking for overall principles in philosophy, in math, in science and this unifying philosophy is generally successful. You’ve got the deductive principle and the inductive principle.

I don’t know which is which, but like one is looking to generalize and the other is you’re looking to specialize; take general principles and make new inventions from what you know. And science has had huge amounts of success going in both directions.

You’re going to make a bunch of money going from the general to the specific and they are making these stuff, but you’re going to get tenure and by going from this specific to the general.

I agree with most of what he says. It reminds me of three possible future paths for science which we talked about, which is:

1)      We complete science and know everything.

2)      We complete science without knowing everything because there are things beyond what we can know.

3)      Science proceeds to acquire a more and more complete picture of the universe but never reaching 100% completeness. There’s always more to know.

That seems the most reasonable path that we’ll render with AI, big data. So, our descendants and the things and people that will come after us will find all sorts of relationships in the world that we had no idea existed, probably don’t even have the mental capacity to process.

But it is still part of the ongoing but never complete process of understanding the world. Eric also talks about the importance of beauty and emotion and it used to be a stereotype when presenting robots in science fiction that they would be emotionless.

They would make dispassionate judgments just based on algorithms. Some of these judgments would be horrifying. The Terminator series with this cold logic tells the robots to eradicate the humans.

I think you can’t operate in the world effectively without assigning values to events and things and ideas and link to those values or emotions feeling good when positive things happen and bad when negative things happen and feeling good when you see something that appeals to your sense of aesthetics.

I think that the beings that come after us with much larger information processing capacity will continue to have emotions but emotions that will probably be even deeper than our own. If you can say something like our emotions are deeper than a dog’s emotions because our emotions are informed from more angles and based on more information, very few dogs write poetry and I think it makes sense to extrapolate from that that the beings who come after us with their bigger brains will have emotional structures that are bigger and deeper still.

The half robots of the year 2115 will feel deeply and have relationships among themselves and other beings that are as intricate and feeling and reflecting of values as our own and more so. Emotions and values are part of the toolkit that let you operate in the world. They are not for fun.

We as evolved beings; our emotions and values are largely evolved. Love is a cultural overlay; the feelings of love and the idea of love is a cultural overlay on our evolved drives to reproduce and to care for our offspring.

Future emotions and future values will have some of those same structures. People in the future may feel things strongly and the more stoic people of the future may feel emotions as being frippery but, in general, emotions help you navigate the world and help order emerge into the world.

They are a necessary part of conscious life and consciousness itself is probably a near necessary part of increasing order in the world. The point of view now is that everything boils down to physics. If you take biology apart everything happens because of physics, chemistry; because of physics.

So, all the more complicated sciences boil down to complicated instances of the simplest most basic science. I would say that similarly some of the complicated ideas of philosophy may be seen as boiling down to the more basic principles that might be found in math and in physics or even more basic than that in the principles of existence.

The consequence of this scientific program for the past few centuries has been to search for and boil everything down to essential principles and when you can’t do that you look for more macro explanations and overarching systems of values and beliefs.

But those overarching systems are subject to being boiled down to more essential principles as those principles are discovered and expanded upon. The current dominant belief of our time is scientism. The belief in science is the dominant and most dynamic belief system of our time.

Humans and human society and the universe itself has been increasingly subject to scientific analysis and most scientifically educated people believe that we are the entirely biological products of billions of years of evolution rather than being imbued with certain magical properties by God.

Now, that doesn’t mean that values have to be discarded, instead, we have to discover values within the more scientific framework and there is a lazy default form of science that says everything is random and nothing means anything but that is a misunderstanding of what goes on in an information-based universe.

It is hard to pull a bunch of values from a purely scientific point of view but you can pull some values and then you can build upon those like one value you can pull is that increasing order seems to be good, given how we fit into the world and the desires we’ve evolved to have.

If you can pull out that you want the preservation of order unless it is corrosive dictatorial preservation of order that’s at the expense of other values. You can pull out the golden rule because we know from personal experience that we want certain things and we can assume that other beings share many of the same things, the same desires we have.

And from the preference for order and from the golden rule you can build more complicated philosophies.

Even though we’re building not from benevolent God, His goodness, the magic property of consciousness and souls and all, you can still build from basic principles out to an entire philosophy, which will be helpful and necessary when we start to have to deal with the ethics of the new existences; new beings that we will bring into existence via AI and also the future humans and their future multiplicious forms and their augmentation and the new relationships among augmented humans and AI and the whole mess that’s going to coming in the next century. 

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Erik Haereid: “About my writing: Most of my journalistic work I did in the pre-Internet-period (80s, 90s), and the articles I have saved are, at best, aged in a box somewhere in the cellar. Maybe I can find some of it, but I don’t think that’s that interesting.

Most of my written work, including crime short stories in A-Magasinet (Aftenposten (one of the main newspapers in Norway, as Nettavisen is)), a second place (runner up) in a nationwide writing contest in 1985 arranged by Aftenposten, and several articles in different newspapers, magazines and so on in the 1980s and early 1990s, is not published online, as far as I can see. This was a decade and less before the Internet, so a lot of this is only on paper.

From the last decade, where I used more time doing other stuff than writing, for instance work, to mention is my book from 2011, the IQ-blog and some other stuff I don’t think is interesting here.

I keep my personal interests quite private. To you, I can mention that I play golf, read a lot, like debating, and 30-40 years and even more kilos ago I was quite sporty, and competed in cross country skiing among other things (I did my military duty in His Majesty The King’s Guard (Drilltroppen)). I have been asked from a couple in the high IQ societies, if I know Magnus Carlsen. The answer is no, I don’t :)”

Haereid has interviewed In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal Advisory Board Member Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis, some select articles include topics on AI in What will happen when the ASI (Artificial superintelligence) evolves; Utopia or Dystopia? (Norwegian), on IQ-measures in 180 i IQ kan være det samme som 150, and on the Norwegian pension system (Norwegian). His book on the winner/loser-society model based on social psychology published in 2011 (Nasjonalbiblioteket), which does have a summary review here.

Erik lives in Larkollen, Norway. He was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1963. He speaks Danish, English, and Norwegian. He is Actuary, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Statistician. He is the owner of, chairman of, and consultant at Nordic Insurance Administration.

He was the Academic Director (1998-2000) of insurance at the BI Norwegian Business School (1998-2000) in Sandvika, Baerum, Manager (1997-1998) of business insurance, life insurance, and pensions and formerly Actuary (1996-1997) at Nordea in Oslo Area, Norway, a self-employed Actuary Consultant (1996-1997), an Insurance Broker (1995-1996) at Assurance Centeret, Actuary (1991-1995) at Alfa Livsforsikring, novice Actuary (1987-1990) at UNI Forsikring, and a Journalist at Norsk Pressedivisjon.

He earned an M.Sc. in Statistics and Actuarial Sciences from 1990-1991 and a Bachelor’s degree from 1984 to 1986/87 from the University of Oslo. He did some environmental volunteerism with Norges Naturvernforbund (Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature), where he was an activist, freelance journalist and arranged ‘Sykkeldagen i Oslo’ twice (1989 and 1990) as well as environmental issues lectures.

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

He is a member of many high-IQ societies including 4G, Catholiq, Civiq, ELITE, GenerIQ, Glia, Grand, HELLIQ, HRIQ, Intruellect, ISI-S, ISPE, KSTHIQ, MENSA, MilenijaNOUS, OLYMPIQ, Real, sPIqr, STHIQ, Tetra, This, Ultima, VeNuS, and WGD.

Rick G. Rosner: “According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. He came in second or lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceversusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 8, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five) [Online].April 2019; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, April 8). Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A, April. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A (April 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 19.A (2019):April. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Existence, Mathematics, Philosophy (Part Five) [Internet]. (2019, April; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-five.

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