An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three)
Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Numbering: Issue 10.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Six)
Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal
Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com
Individual Publication Date: January 15, 2015
Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2016
Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing
Frequency: Three Times Per Year
An interview with Marco Ripà. He discusses: interest in arts and culture, children, economic empowerment, human rights, education, and science and technology; accrued benefits from them; changes to the educational systems of the world; development of an educational system to provide for the needs of the gifted population; most important global problems; solutions to them; policies and economic system for “equitable redistribution”; remedies for problems of diet, fitness, and social connections; a general moral, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional progression or development; ultimate relationship between consciousness and the universe; differentiation of “mankind” from the rest of the animal kingdom; relationship of mathematics to the operation of the universe; ease of correspondence due to accident/chance, design/teleology, or an alternate possibility; reasonableness of artificial intelligence with consciousness in the near future; major organizations devoted to similar causes; Gino Strada and his wife; myths around the gifted and talented population; possible motivation for the one third of underachievers in the gifted population; truths to dispel the myths; shared concern for the gifted population, especially the young; responsibilities of the gifted population towards society and culture; reason for thinking this; argument for provision for this sector of society; person of most influence on him; personal heroes in history; personal heroes in the present; smartest person he’s ever met, Evangelos Katsioulis; most creative people he’s ever met, Manahel Thabet and Enrico Preziosi; most intelligent person to have ever lived in human history without necessary overlap with IQ; the future for gifted and talented education in Italy; best untimed, power, intelligence test; technological advancement and the gifted and talented landscape influence in education, in governmental policy, in socio-cultural life, in their definition; upcoming collaborative projects; upcoming solo projects; and near and far future for the ultra-high-IQ community.
Keywords: Evangelos Katsioulis, gifted, Gino Strada, IQ, mankind, Marco Ripà, talented, ultra-high-IQ, universe, young.
*Please see the footnotes throughout the interview, and bibliography and citation style listing after the interview.*
41. You have in interest arts and culture, children, economic empowerment, human rights, education, and science and technology.Why these interests?
When you feel that something is wrong around you and inside you, almost every day of your life, you start to search a response, but there is no solution and every answer brings two or more questions. An endless process, a continuous search for the unknown.
42. What benefits accrue from them?
Keep thinking in order to avoid what I prefer to forget, I mean: “To preserve a flexible and curious brain”, just as children do.
43. If you could, how would you change the educational systems of the world?
My dream would be to see an educational system that is not stereotyped, that can adapt itself to individualities, allowing pupils, children and boys to express their full potential and capabilities for the benefit of society. There should not be “better” or “worse”, just different people on the same world.
44. In particular, how would you develop an educational system to provide for the needs of the gifted population?
Through acceleration, curricular enrichment and curriculum compacting, this means to let the educational system be more flexible, introducing a preliminary screening for every pupil of a class. A good solution would be to combine a collective IQ test with an individual one (e.g., Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices with a cut-off at the 90th percentile plus WISC for pupils above 120 SD=15). You can find more info here: http://www.slideshare.net/marcokrt/identifiyng-gifted-children-and-dyslexia-early-diagnosis-risk-of-cheating-on-iq-tests
45. What global problems do you consider most important at the moment?
Food. Food is life and there is a very strong link between food and global health: unfortunately this is still a massive issue for too many people around the world.
46. How would you solve them?
Reducing the inequality of income and wealth, forcing towards a more equitable redistribution of them, spreading the growth opportunities from the most privileged people to the forgotten ones.
47. What policies and economic system would further this “equitable redistribution”?
Inequality directly undermines equality of opportunities: it entrenches immobility also affecting opportunity on a daily basis, leading to inefficiency. Thus, the classic and aforementioned trade-off between equity and efficiency is not a dogma, if we can find a good approach to use the new “capabilities” for achieving and sustaining the growth. So, my favorite model is definitely Martha Naussbaum’s theory of justice: it is focused on some fundamental capabilities, dignity and a threshold, expanding Sen’s capabilities approach.
48. Insofar as the global health issues relate to poor diet – noted in question 45, poor fitness regimens, and poor social connections with the introduction of modern technology too, what means seem to provide the remedies for each of these problems of diet, fitness, and social connections aside from equitable redistribution?
Informing children and their families about the risks of those “modern age mistakes”, as much as possible, would be a good starting point.
49. If you do consider a general moral, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional progression or development, how do you view development from the basic to most advanced levels at the individual and collective level?
This is a hard question for me and I can only guess something about living in peace as a group rather than living for ourselves looking for others approval, hoping in their envy to be recognized as “winners”. I do not know why I am here, on this strange world, nor if there exists any reason to be here, but here we are and I feel that it is important to help those who are unlucky to be proud of us. We cannot forget that we are just men, calling us “mankind”.
50. What is the ultimate relationship between consciousness and the universe?
Being conscious of ourselves is what makes us to feel alive. The whole universe is around and inside us: an exterminate, multidimensional, place in the pocket of a single brain.
51. Based on personal analysis, what differentiates “mankind” from the rest of the animal kingdom?
As Albert Einstein explained to a little child, we are smart animals, but just animals: our brain should be the key to raise mankind above animal level, and a good help was given by the opposable thumb. Unfortunately there would be a second answer to the same question: human beings are more cruel than the rest of the animal kingdom, what a big difference a smart brain makes!
52. What explains the relationship of mathematics to the operation of the universe?
This is the task of the philosophy of mathematics and I do not want to take away the big answer to Hilary Putnam and his heirs.
53. Does this ease of correspondence seem based on accident/chance, design/teleology, or an alternate possibility to you?
The only thing I can argue here is that both mathematics and the Universe seem to equipoise their rules and formulas, Galois showed this with his group theory too. I like very much asymmetrical formulas such as Maxwell’s equations, describing all classical electromagnetic phenomena. Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces (interactions) of Nature, indeed.
54. Does the creation of an artificial intelligence with consciousness seem reasonable in the near future?
I do not think so, but… “Who knows?”. It is very hard to predict this: I am still trying to answer to “Why am I conscious about myself?” I think about it since I was a child and I have not solved the riddle after so many years.
55. What other major organizations devoted to similar causes can you recommend for resources and support?
UNICEF and Emergency (an Italian humanitarian NGO founded by Gino Strada and his wife in 1994).
56. Please expand, who are Gino Strada and his wife?
He is a brave medical doctor (surgeon) who said about himself “I am not a pacifist: I am against war!”. He and his wife, Teresa (who died in 2009), founded the humanitarian medical organization “Emergency”, officially not recognized as a NGO, with the aim to provide basic medical services to civilians in many countries devastated by wars. He is also an author and he openly opposed the Italian government for its support to the NATO in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan (the ISAF Operation).
57. What myths exist around the gifted and talented population?
It is quite common to assume that a gifted person should be good at school or that he will live a happy life: on the contrary, there is about one third of the gifted population that is composed of underachievers. Moreover, too many gifted men are nihilists or depressed, feeling sad most of the time.
58. What might motivate this one third of underachievers in the gifted population to begin to achieve to some small, or even large, degree?
They need to find a subject to study both challenging and interesting for them, feeling good at school and inside their class. It is not easy at all to achieve such a goal, but we have to do our best in order to reduce this big loss.
59. What truths dispel them?
“Truth” is relative and, in my humble opinion, it would have to be declined in as many meanings as we can see different cases and situations to apply it. Gifted or not, talented or not, first we are men who dream to be accepted as we are.
60. You share a concern of mine. In particular, the sincere desire to assist the gifted population in flourishing, especially the young. Now, many organizations provide for the needs of the moderately gifted ability sectors of the general population, most often adults and sometimes children. However, few provide for the needs of children (and adults) in the high, profound, exceptional, or ‘unmeasurable’ ability sectors of the general population. Some organizations and societies provide forums, retreats, journals, intelligence tests, literature, or outlets for the highest ability sub-populations. What can individuals, organizations, and societies do to provide for the gifted population?
It is just a matter of priority: “in primis” gifted children need to be accepted and supported by their family and by their school. Thus, they need to be identified during their early childhood… I think that this would be a very good starting point. We can do more for them, such as focusing our attention on their relationships with peers, the third pillar of a gifted children development in addition to “family” and “school” according to many experts (Monks et al.).
61. In turn, what responsibilities do the gifted population have towards society and culture?
If they are well-supported starting from their childhood, they will gain more chances to bring significant benefits to society contributing to science and human arts. In addition, they have to develop a deeper comprehension of mankind and the need of social justice, because they have the tools to better understand the world and the human behavior.
62. Why do you think this?
Because I am a gifted myself, I guess. Who knows?
63. What argument most convinces you of the need to provide for this sector of society?
It would be very sad to waste talent, because it is not true that gifted people always create their own opportunities if they cannot be supported by a good environment to let them grow-up in the right way. This would be a pity and a great loss for the whole society.
64. Who most influenced you?
When I was young, I was inspired by Dante Alighieri and Voltaire. Now that I am over 30, I still admire rebel geniuses, such as Évariste Galois and Friedrich Nietzsche.
65. What personal heroes exist in history?
I like very much Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, but some of my favorite historical heroes are Socrates, William Wallace, Newton, Tesla, Ettore Majorana, Mahatma Gandhi, the Tank Man and the Italian carabineer Salvo D’Acquisto.
66. What about in the present?
Three Nobel Laureates fighting poverty for more global justice: Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, Amartya Sen and his “Capability Approach”.
67. Who is the smartest person you’ve ever met?
This is a really hard question, but, basing my guess on IQ performances only, my best choices are Evangelos Katsioulis and an Italian fellow student I met when we both attended Physics courses, his name is Sergio Simonella. I think he is a mathematician now and I remember he was really smart, a fast thinker too.
68. Who is the most creative person you’ve ever met?
Someone I see almost every time, walking next to a mirror… but I have not met a lot of people in my life. However, a couple of very creative person I met years ago are the entrepreneurs Manahel Thabet and Enrico Preziosi (owner of a famous toys brand).
69. Who appears to be the most intelligent person to have ever lived in human history – not by necessity an overlap with IQ?
In order to answer this question we should previously agree about a embraceable definition of “intelligence”. Anyway, could I guess “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe” instead of “Leonardo da Vinci” without making my compatriots getting angry? Perhaps it would be better to choose “the one who invented the wheel” and stay in peace.
70. What lies in the future for gifted and talented education in Italy?
Unfortunately, I cannot see any good news on the horizon. People keep talking about their “professional work” in this field, pushing parents to pay for a private screening, but nothing is moving in Italian children’s future, gifted or not. Considering how many spots about gambling our children watch, I fear a (big) blind future for them.
71. What untimed, power, intelligence test seems the best to you?
My favourite untimed test for the high range is Lato’s LS36, because IMHO it still remains the best Gf loaded HRT. You can find similar ideas in latest HRTs and this proves that LS36 is a great test and that newest ones can suffer from the learning contamination effect, as explained here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/144702702/HRTs-Big-Flaws.
72. How will the continued increase in the pace of technological advancement alter the gifted and talented landscape, for example, in education, in governmental policy, in socio-cultural life, in their definition, and so on?
Looking at the Flynn effect, we could argue that the technological advancement increases people’s IQ (gifted or not) as well. It is clear that computer based skills will become more and more important but, if you want to know more, I have to take the crystal ball and tie my turban.
73. Any upcoming collaborative projects?
I am currently involved in two “big” collaborative projects dealing with IQ: the first one will be an 8 hands platform to connect high IQ people and smart jobs offers, while the second one is the aforementioned implementation of the Dynamic Spatial IQ Tests. I and Roberto Enea will work on it for the most part of the 2016 in order to achieve this ambitious goal. We have already started making a prototype of the system that let us check all the transformations we are going to use for every test. This tool will let us deepen the study of the tests in order to detect error conditions (e.g., multiple solutions) and it has been developed as a stand-alone application, even if our aim is to turn it into a web application during the first step and later into a smartphone application. In the web application we are going to apply all the security features necessary to guarantee the correctness and non-hackability of the test and at the same time the privacy of the scores.
74. Any upcoming solo projects?
I am currently focused on my YouTube channel [https://www.youtube.com/user/marcokrt] and I am still working on a few math papers concerning primes and the extended “Nine Dots Puzzle” [http://nntdm.net/volume-20-2014/number-1/59-71/].
75. What near and far future seems most probable for the ultra-high-IQ community?
In the near future I think that we keep on arguing about who has the highest IQ (sometimes taking many low quality tests and reporting only the top score). Many of us will continue to quietly writing books, feeling frustrated about the small numbers of people to talk to, and probably slightly more contact with one another online through Google Glass or so, ignoring bigger problems related with food lack, resources shortage, terrorism and overpopulation. I hope there will not be a third world war and it will come true just my prediction concerning who has the highest IQ and Google Glass. Time will tell.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Ripà.
- Ripà, M. (2012). Congetture su interrogativi inediti: tra speculazioni, voli pindarici e riflessioni spicciole. Simplicissimus. https://books.google.it/books?isbn=8863699461.
- Elite High IQ Society. (n.d.). Elite High IQ Society. Retrieved from http://www.elitehighiqsociety.org/.
- (2015). LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/.
- Ripà, M. (2012, July 15). Identifying Gifted Children and Dyslexia Early Diagnosis: Risk of Cheating IQ Tests. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/marcokrt/identifiyng-gifted-children-and-dyslexia-early-diagnosis-risk-of-cheating-on-iq-tests.
- Ripà, M. (2014). The rectangular spiral or the n1× n2 × … × nk Points Problem. Notes on Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics, 20(1), 59-71.
- Ripà, M. (2013, July). X-Test Solutions Finally Revealed!. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/251238254_X-Test_Solutions_Finally_Revealed%21.
- sPIQr Society. (2015). sPIQr Society. Retrieved from http://www.spiqrsociety.com/.
- World Intelligence Network. (n.d.). World Intelligence Network. Retrieved from http://www.iqsociety.org/.
- World IQ Foundation. (n.d.). World IQ Foundation. Retrieved from http://wiqf.org/.
- Ripà, M. (2006, October 18). MarcoKRT Channel. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/marcokrt.
- Ripà, M. (2013, May 30). HRTs (Big) Flaws. Retrived from http://www.scribd.com/doc/144702702/HRTs-Big-Flaws.
- Ripà, M. (2014). 1729 – Il numero di Mr. 17-29. Eracle. http://www.ibs.it/code/9788867430574/ripagrave/1729-numero-29.html.
Appendix I: Footnotes
 Founder, sPIqr Society; Co-Founder & Co-President, World IQ Foundation (WIQF).
 B.Econ.Sc. (magna cum laude), University of Roma Tre.
 Photograph courtesy of Marco Ripà.
 Please see LinkedIn. (2015). Marco Ripà. Retrieved from https://it.linkedin.com/pub/marco-rip%C3%A0/14/991/950.
American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal [Online].January 2016; 10(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2016, January 15). An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three). Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 10.A, January. 2016. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/>.
Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2016. “An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 10.A. https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 10.A (January 2016). https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2016, ‘An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 10.A. Available from: <https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/>.
Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2016, ‘An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 10.A., https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 10.A (2016):January. 2016. Web. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/>.
Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part Three) [Internet]. (2016, January); 10(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2016/01/15/an-interview-with-marco-ripa-part-three/.
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