Skip to content

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

April 15, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: April 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 7,207

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Rick Rosner and I conduct a conversational series entitled Ask A Genius on a variety of subjects through In-Sight Publishing on the personal and professional website for Rick. According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. Erik Haereid earned a score at 185, on the N-VRA80. He is an expert in Actuarial Sciences. Both scores on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of 6.00+ (or ~6.13 or 6.20) for Rick – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 1,009,976,678+ (with some at rarities of 1 in 2,314,980,850 or 1 in 3,527,693,270) – and ~5.67 for Erik – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 136,975,305. 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: Erik Haereid, Rick Rosner, Science, Scott Douglas Jacobsen.

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

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Following from the previous question about the supernatural, and some religion, what is science?

Rick Rosner: Science hadn’t really been pinned down since historians and philosophers of science. People knew what science was. There was a Supreme Court Justice years ago who said that he couldn’t define pornography but knew it when he saw it. It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century until it was like that. People like Kuhn and Popper said it was falsifiability. You have a theory that makes claims about how the world should behave if your theory is true. Then you test the theory. To me, that is the quickest, easiest definition of science. You can find all sorts of ways to do science that don’t use that system, like scientific classification. Just classifying shit is a scientific exercise, which doesn’t use that system like scientific classification. Classification is a scientific exercise that doesn’t involve falsification. It says, “Look, we have beetles with serrated claws and with smooth claws.” It is making observations of the world. So, you must widen the definition of science. That leads to an expanding collection of verifiable knowledge about the world.

Erik Haereid: Concerning falsifiability, science is a probability process. You will never know for sure, but you will increase the probability for that phenomenon to be true by collecting information that substantiates the hypothesis. I guess this is basically my view.

Science is about processing as much information as possible trying to get closer to solutions and the truths in an everlasting critical circle. Science is a collection of tools, an instrument with the aim of finding universal truths. Its goal is finding something that everyone experiences and agrees with as objective and that’s not trapped within subjectivity. It’s about establishing some fundamental axiomatic assumptions that people respect, and to use some methods systematically to find patterns and new perceptions that we experience as true.

It’s about evolving something that works in general, some logical coherences or empirical perceptions, systemizing gathered information and treating it consciously using some methods that increases and maximizes the probability of the findings/results being true.

The clue is to develop new knowledge that hopefully will give humans better lives and advantages, and knowledge that is as objectively true as we can get it. Science is, therefore, a system or collection of methods that, so far, most people find as the best way of establishing knowledge.

If everyone experiences something and uses it it’s true until the children or the one scientist or someone makes us aware that we are wrong, like in The Emperor’s New Clothes. Manipulation and brainwashing can distort science because we need to adapt to each other and follow authorities. We don’t believe sufficiently in our own perceptions.

Our subjectivity is something we can live with when we adapt to the objective truth. We need objectivity to survive as subjects.   

One of the main features of science is doubt. This defines science. By being critical and never sure about everything you increase the probability of being pretty sure of something; it’s a way of collecting safety. It’s a way of tricking the mind to think of assumptions as temporary truths and, therefore, safe enough to live with. It’s like living by the rule “I don’t really know anything, but since I sit here and write, it can’t be that uncertain.” It’s an axiomatic precaution, like the cogito ergo sum.

Science is also about gathering information, thus defining and using symbols that describe phenomena in ever greater detail. It is thus also an extension of objectivity. We want to know more. To Norwegians snow and winter are quite central objects; we have a lot of symbols and words describing these phenomena. But for the Inuit this is nothing, they have cascades of words and symbols describing this, and for the people living around equator snow is almost baffling.

2. Jacobsen: Why are science and empiricism controversial to so many?

Rosner: Science and empiricism are controversial to people with a creepy hidden agenda or people who have been manipulated by people with a creepy hidden agenda. Some say science takes the mystery out of the world and denies the matters of faith and divinity. But those are horseshit arguments presented by charlatans. Religious people can maintain religious faith and still believe in facts about the world. I don’t think people who aren’t charlatans or idiots have that many quibbles with science. They might have problems. I could see somebody having problems with scientific frameworks that impose a complete absence of values on the world. That everything happens at random. That there are no higher values. That values are a construct by humans. But that hyper-cold pseudoscientific framework is itself kind of a lazy understanding of science; it has some faith aspects to it, itself. There is room to have values within an evolved universe. The superficial understanding of science; that nothing can mean anything. I concede having problems with that. That framework, an easy way of putting it: reasonable people don’t have a problem with the specifics, the specific discoveries and principles, of physics and of various sciences. They may have problems with overreaching scientific, philosophical frameworks. That deny the possibility of values and of divinity. But nobody but an asshole denies the factual discoveries of science.

Haereid: I think we all need to know that there is always a way out, an entrance where we can escape to; a final home.

The cultural thing is one cause, the obedience to authorities another. The classical Milgram experiment exemplifies this. The (subjective) truth is captured in our individual psychological needs. I think some are afraid of objectiveness; something they can’t control with their own mind and body.

Some are very conservative. This is especially a problem with middle-aged and elderly people. Many feel threatened by new inventions and scientific revelations. Even though, it’s based on the sincerest methods we know of. I think some are scared because they don’t understand; it messes up their mind, especially when the pace is as fast as now.

Laziness. It’s easier to stay where you are, even if that’s a world of delusions, than using the energy to adapt to a natural evolution of knowledge and activities. To some it’s frightening, I guess.

I think some people find science uncertain, meaningless, clinical. It’s easier to believe in elevated, supernatural figures and ideas.

The Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen wrote, in The Wild Duck, “Deprive the average human being of his life-lie, and you rob him of his happiness.” Ibsen didn’t mean that one should mix fantasies and reality, just swim into one’s fantasies now and then.

The scientist never knows for sure. There is always something to reveal and find, and the answer will never be found. I think that’s problematic for some. They can’t find the safety and peace they need inside that realm. Some find rest and peace walking on solid earth while others climb steep mountains.

Many find peace in an almighty power or father that ensures them peace in an afterlife. To them, it’s controversial to claim that such a father doesn’t exist, or at least we don’t know that, and the answer is in some stringent logical methods that to many don’t give much comfort. I also think that many people who are critical to science see scientists as cold, cynical and not in contact with their emotions. I don’t know. That’s a hunch.

3. Jacobsen: When we think of science in an everyday sense, what is it?

Rosner: It is what we learned about the world with, in most cases, a high degree of certainty and how we’ve used that knowledge about the world. Most of the stuff that we know with a high degree of certainty is, somehow, tied to science. Off the top of my head, I came up with a system of knowledge that is not tied to science, but is tied to real sloppiness or has less certainty, e.g., the art of picking up girls or women. It had a renaissance in the 1990s or the 2000s. These guys who wanted to hook up with hot girls developed a set of techniques for an attempt to do that, including things like negging – coming up to a hot girl and not telling her that she is beautiful, but saying that something is weird with her. According to the pick-up artist system, she has heard she is beautiful a million times before. That is a system of knowledge that is not reliable because every person is a different person. It is not scientifically established. You can go up and tell someone, a girl, that her nose does a weird thing when she laughs. That may or may not work. It is shitty, in terms of effectiveness and just being established fact that you can pick up a girl by mildly insulting her. A lot of the stuff that is more reliable is based on more scientific fact, like pupils dilate when someone likes you. It may be unreliable, but it is closer to real science. But neither of those is as close to the physics of when you drop a ball. Things we feel close to having 100% certainty are the products of science.

Haereid: Most of what we see of manmade objects is based on science. Different buildings, skyscrapers and bridges. Vehicles, machinery, roads and traffic. Infrastructures. Economic and political systems. Communication, phones, computers, the internet. Power, like electricity. Medicine. Technology.

We think of it as basic for a lot of our many devices that we use all the time, like washing machines and smartphones. We think of progress and effectiveness; an easier way to produce food, produce what we want, more spare time, more money, funnier stuff to use, more advanced tech to play with. We think of virtual reality and a totally new world that we dive into. Effectuation of communication. More of everything; more choices, more stress, more demands, more happiness, more sadness. It’s a dichotomy in the way that science produces more freedom and spare time, and at the same time, less of that; many struggled because they can’t reach everything they want to and feel they need to. Science produces vast amounts of conscious content. It creates a social pressure, and an economic brainless whirl based on the idea that all growth is good growth; reduction in GNP (GNI) is devastating. But of course, it isn’t. That’s nonsense.

I guess most (young) people think of science as something that gives them more opportunities, choices, freedom and, on average, a better and longer life.

4. Jacobsen: How does this differ from real science?

Rosner: The everyday understanding of science is using stuff already established or products. Everything we consume, now, is the product of modern civilization. Modern civilization is the product of science. But it is just using the products of science and technology. So, every day, exposure to science is using the products, and doing real science is trying to expand scientific knowledge.

Haereid: It’s about usefulness contra understanding. From “How do I use it, what’s in it for me?” to “How does it work, what does it consist of, how can I make it?” You don’t need to know how it works to see and use technology, a smartphone or a bridge. The border is the user interfaces. You don’t have to understand how a transistor or microchip works to use a radio or computer. You don’t have to understand that experiencing the blue planet and sky is due to certain frequencies in the electromagnetic waves. But to describe the phenomena and develop knowledge you must know it, dig into it.

5. Jacobsen: If we examine the supernatural, paranormal claims about ghosts, prayer, demons, goblins, reading minds, foretelling the future, spirits, the divine inspiration of purported holy texts, and so on, what are some appropriate scientific answers to them or responses to them?

Rosner: That they are mostly, or most of those beliefs get, squeezed out of existence and attributed to wishful thinking or optical illusions. Like, everybody occasionally sees somebody lurking in a doorway for about a tenth of a second. That’s just your brain rebooting its systems. You don’t see someone all the sudden materialize in a doorway if you have been staring at the doorway. If you turn your head, then you might for a split second see someone in the doorway and startle yourself. That’s just your brain making a bad guess about what is at the doorway. As you look at the doorway, your brain gets more information; then you brain is like, “Oh! Just a doorway.” Most of that stuff belongs to the paranormal and gets explained away by science. Some stuff might survive, but only in ways that are mediated by science. Take ESP, or telepathy, some people might be able to read other people’s thoughts better than other people because they are able to catch or perceive micro-expressions and can guess what issues most people have in their lives. Most psychics who are good are good guessers and experienced in asking questions that will ring a bell. Do you know anyone whose name begins with J?

Stuff like that. There can be some basis for this stuff. All of it is mediated through normal means, being able to read people’s micro-expressions; you’re using regular perception not extra-perception. Or you might be using some sixth sense; some people might have it. I doubt it. But like birds, birds can perceive magnetic fields and can be able to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic fields. Some people might have some vestige of it. I doubt it. But it would still be a scientifically established sense. There is not a lot of magic syrup floating around. If there turn out to be, they will turn out to be scientifically explained and incorporated into science, like zombies.

There are zombies. But they are the old school zombies like in Haiti before the definition of zombie got hijacked. People in Haiti, I think, and some other Caribbean island would kidnap people and drug the fuck out of them and turn them into these people who are kind of slaves, because they were drugged up and followed simple orders. They couldn’t follow complex orders because you drugged them enough to have control over them. Those are scientifically established zombies. Assuming this Haiti thing is real, you could find people in Haiti doing this and find people drugged up. But the new zombie, which is a dead person who came back to life and eats brains and lurches around; it is scientifically unsupportable. Nobody claims zombies are real, but people claim other shit is real like ghosts. Most of the stuff like that;

that people want to believe is, or are, real. They just don’t make sense.

People who live for 300 years, if they stay out of sunlight and drink blood. That’s just not supportable. Although, sometimes, when you look at the origins of the legends of these people, you see some people may have had a disease or a psychosis that may have led to the beginnings of these. All this stuff is obvious.

Anyway.

Haereid: Prove it. Give me more details; more information, things that I can see, understand and experience. Things that I can percept. You tell me something that I can’t experience empirically or logically. Then it’s a hypothesis. Science fiction is also science in the sense of thoughts about something that can happen, that maybe is real, but is far away from our perceptions of reality at this moment. When you have a mathematical hunch, you think there is a formal connection, but you don’t know; you create a theory which you try to prove mathematically. As a scientist you don’t claim that theory to be true or false until you have proved or disproved it. This caution and respect, humility, is in the scientist’s blood.

If you mean you can read minds and see ghosts, give me some evidences, something I can build my belief on. If I reject your ideas and say it’s nonsense, I am as little scientific as you are. Because I really don’t know if what you are saying is true or false. I can’t prove it’s not true, but I think you make a mental shortcut, that your brain tricks you.

Explain to me what you mean, in empirical and logical details; I need objectivity. If you don’t, it’s just subjective, emotional, psychological phenomena. We thought the planet was flat until we were objectively convinced it was not, and that a heliocentric view was righter than the geocentric one.

6. Jacobsen: Rick, you said, “Squeezed out of existence.” You mean, “Squeezed out of the mental, cultural landscape.”

Rosner: Just squeezed out of the possibility of existing, because in societies that are pre-scientific or early scientific, they have a catch-all of beliefs. There are plenty of empirical beliefs. There might be some systematized beliefs. There are probably plenty of beliefs about spirits and stuff that we don’t believe, but, maybe, people didn’t have enough evidence to deny them at the time because the accumulation of human knowledge wasn’t sufficient to squeeze that stuff out of the realm of possibility. If you have an institution promoting mystical beliefs, like churches, it is very persuasive; the church is invested in accumulating information that supports the beliefs of the church. It takes a long time for that knowledge to be superseded by scientific knowledge.

7. Jacobsen: Is part of the reason so many people believe in these things related to the lack of appropriate science education interventions? 

Rosner: Everybody constructs their picture of the world. People have a variety of influences. It is not necessarily the job of education and people’s friends and family to crush every mystical belief out of them, to examine everything that a person may believe and assiduously root out everything that might not be legit. People draw information from several different sources. It would be difficult and mostly unnecessary to drum every unscientific belief out of people. People can believe all sorts of shit and go about their daily lives. Much of the time, it is not much of a problem. Mostly, it is a problem when people exploit people’s ignorance. America is at a high tide of cynical motherfuckers exploiting people’s ignorance and non-scientific beliefs.

Haereid: People who grow up in an inspiring environment where the others “think science,” like some families, where both parents are teachers or scientists, seem to adopt this culture; understand and like science when they become adults.

It’s about motivation. If you have people around you ONLY talking about other people, small-talking and being interested in superficies stuff like clothes and makeup, or who is who-stuff, social status and so on, you don’t get into the interesting features of science. Then you don’t get it. You must understand it; go into the empirical and logical details to gain the motivation. You must experience that you get it. It’s like building something; it’s rewarding because you get that inner feeling of reward, to master something, building your identity. A good teacher can do miracles with the kids making them interested in science. To experience the power in scientific truth is stronger than any godlike power, I think. Then it’s more difficult to believe in supernatural things. You start asking questions that are prohibited in these cultures.

8. Jacobsen: Also, is some of this due to the churches and religious institutions? For example, when I went through the creationist groups in Canada, they almost always present in the churches or places of worship. In other words, pseudoscience gets transmitted with the permission and, in fact, promotional efforts and encouragement of religious groups while done in places of worship. 

Rosner: Yes! Churches incorporate mystical beliefs, for the most part. There are some churches like Seventh Day Adventists, Unitarians, or Reformed Jews where mystical beliefs take a back seat to the scientific beliefs and moral teachings. But yes, churches teach a bunch of mystical stuff. But if it teaches them to behave morally, then it is much harm. If it teaches them to behave like immoral idiots like some of the Evangelical congregations are caught up in America now, then, yes, it is a fucking problem.

Haereid: I think it’s more common in North America than Scandinavia, but it’s here too. Some institutions use every opportunity to convince people of what they believe is true, even if it’s based on wishes and fantasies. It’s coercion; you get a reward if you apply and punishment if you argue. The unscientific way of convincing people is basically through reward and punishment, emotional invasion. In science, the answers are rewards and the questions are the punishments.

It’s like the people in the wedding should force the people in the funeral to feel happy, or vice versa. They build a strong culture, and spice it with motivations and rewards. They use psychology to attract uncertain and lonely people to their herd; to build their army of blind soldiers.

9. Jacobsen: If we look further at the methodologies of science, what are its most advanced manifestations now?

Rosner: We are going to supplant ourselves as the best information processors on Earth. Eventually, we will give ourselves technological immortality. Those are the bigger manifestations of science. Just the rise of AI and super-medicine, if you’re asking about the purest manifestation of the scientific method, you could argue that is AI too, because AI – machine learning – is something; we are constantly performing thinking. Thinking is an experiment in predicting, in best predictions. The current fashion in thinking about thinking is that brains exist to predict and prepare you for every second and every moment that you’re about to face. Thinking is an experiment in making assumptions and having those assumptions confirmed or denied and then changing your assumptions based on the new information, brains are super-duper Bayesian. Bayesian Probability is a system of weighting your predictions based on your estimate of how much you know at each point in time and then changing those predictions and your weighting of them based on experience. That’s what your brain does all the time. That’s what AI do all the time, setting machine learning loose in the world is a testament to constant testing and verification being etched into silicon. Science is informed guessing. You take what you know to try to use that to predict. That’s machine learning.

Haereid: The only scientific, objective truths are the truths who apply to all; that favours all. This is a proper definition. It gives us few truths and a lot of uncertainty; a lot to work with and improve. And it provides common goals for the future information processors; human and AI.

When we set goals that do not fulfill this definition, they are subjective or democratic; there are always fewer than all that defines them. That’s the beauty of math; it’s so far the closest we are to axioms and rules that everybody seems to accept. It’s objective.

I believe in honesty and clarity as outcomes of science and its methods. In the future, it will be more difficult to lie, to manipulate, to gain power through promoting illusions. That leads us into a more joint and transparent society, where privacy becomes more visible and less private, because scientifically methods is about revealing failure, flaws, and then correct it. What we today see as flaws and failures will change through the process, with and without AI, and definitely with technology, when science develops through an effectuation of its methods. We still have a prehistorical view of what is right and wrong, because science is very new to us. We base a lot of our knowledge on nonscientific cultural stuff and prejudgments. We lack information and effective processors to handle it. With increasingly abilities, we will understand more and get closer to objective truths. We will adjust the goals as part of the scientific method, change direction, continuously, and increasing the probability of getting closer to the truths.

At the beginning, this seems frightening. We will struggle with all our flaws until we see that everybody else has the same ones or related flaws. Then it becomes a joint struggle to improve, like killing Covid-19 and getting rid of cancer. The scientific method, like using technology to expand our brains, will help us to achieve our goals more effectively; faster and more precise.

AI is an approach to how our brains work; it’s an amplifier in its very beginning. It uses its advantages over the human brain, like the available amount of information processed and speed. It copies the brain when it comes to our signal system. We speed up when something is important and we slow down when we don’t weight that information much.  When we mean something is wrong, we reject it, and when something is right we store and process it. It’s like a transistor. Basically. This is copied to AI. It’s an automatic process inside the AI-brain that is meant to work as (an amplifier of) the human brain when it comes to scientific methods; converging towards better solutions, more truths, by weighting information and results, and do this iteratively continuously towards a goal.  

We are constantly improving our brain’s capacity, using scientific methods. We use technology to enhance our thinking and data processing. We will succeed in reaching our goals.

10. Jacobsen: What are the most prominent and accepted findings in the sciences now?

Rosner: Physics. Physics is the most deeply mathematical and deeply verified of the sciences. Then you can look at areas of physics that just without question  are true: Newtonian dynamics for instance as long as you’re not dealing with stuff not travelling more than 1% of the speed of light, which almost nothing does in the everyday world except for subatomic particles or photons. The Newtonian framework is super-duper verified, so is Special Relativity. Physical dynamics is super verified. Even shit like thermodynamics is super verified, even though, people argue about the philosophical underpinnings of things like entropy and information. But really, there are so many areas of physics that we dead solid know. That footprint probably extends a little farther to stuff that’s known ridiculously absolutely, probably keeps creeping outward. Just because Einstein overturned Newtonian Mechanics, when a gravitational field or at high velocities, that didn’t invalidate Newtonian Mechanics. It meant that at normal velocities, and at normal gravitational fields. You might have to correct a term 14 places beyond the decimal point, which means you don’t have to correct it at all. Because it doesn’t matter for what you’re doing.

Haereid: Mathematics is the most basic of all sciences. When something is mathematical coherent, and empirically experienced repeatedly over a long time, we accept it. Like Newton’s gravitational laws, which Rick mentioned. It’s very difficult not to accept it. Physics, yes. Natural sciences in general. It’s a lot inside natural sciences that we accept, in chemistry and biology, in astronomy. It’s difficult to pick.

11. Jacobsen: Overall, what does this view of the world give us? These different findings from fields of science brought into a reasonably knit together, though incomplete, blanket.

Rosner: It lets us manipulate the world. To some extent, lagging that, it is understanding our place in the world. The lagging behind the certainty of science are the philosophies that may arise from science. Because we jettisoned; there’s the internet meme of the guy walking with one girl and looking at another girl. The girl that he is looking at is science; the girl that he blowing off is philosophy. We blew off philosophy because science gives results. Science is incomplete as we’ve talked about before. Science is nowhere near complete enough. It hasn’t given enough of a picture of the universe to give us any deep philosophizing that may have any of the nice certainty, even empirical underpinnings, that science does. What was the fucking question you got?

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: Right now, it gives us a bunch of cool shit. Some time in the future, it may give us philosophical understandings of the world. The cheap and shitty and inaccurate scientific/philosophical understanding of the world is that everything is random and nothing matters. I think a more sophisticated view might permit more. We have no idea. We still live at the bottom of a deep well of ignorance about the rest of the universe. We haven’t found life on any other planet. Even though, life on other planets must exist in profusion. We don’t know what a civilization that has been around for a million years might be like. We don’t know what role such civilizations might play in how the universe works, whether they play zero role or play a role in the universe’s information structure. That deep civilizations might be part of the way the universe understands itself. Who fucking knows? We have no idea. You and I talk about IC [Ed. Ask A Genius: Set I.]. These seem to have some offerings of a more philosophical set of implications if what we talk about is true. It is a true that has some nice resonances that seem like they should be true, but we just don’t know anything. But we do learn more stuff; we should be able to do more philosophy to some extent.

Haereid: We are more perfectionists. Many think as scientists; the culture is driven by scientific approaches and mindset. You can see this especially with young people, young adults. This is my experience; that they are more interested in details, discussing the logic behind phenomena, cause and effect, and that life is about finding the flaws and mistakes and remove it; their goal is to improve themselves; and on that road, they use scientific methods.

One of the (temporary) effects and downsides with this way of thinking is that it creates impossible expectations; demands that people can’t fulfill; we live in a world where no one is as good as they should be. This is because of a scientific way of thinking improvement. Then our brains create psychopathological issues; mental problems concerning self-images and -worth. Science doesn’t deal with this problem, at least yet, in a good way. The consequence is that (especially young) people try to change themselves to fit the impossible expectations; distinctiveness is banned. I think we will solve this with science; it’s some obstacles along the road. I said something about this a couple of questions ago.  

I think we think we can do everything; it’s so many inventions and products created by science the last few hundred years, that we get narcissistic. It’s easy to believe that we are godlike since we can affect our surroundings into such a degree. One of our advantages and obstacles is that we are capable of mentally enlarging everything. Science is a way of getting down to earth, in the end. It’s also a way of using our imagination, and it’s easy to mix up fantasies and reality. 

Most of the sciences have a positive impact on us, like the evolution in medicine. We do all agree in that fighting against diseases is a common goal; it’s nothing controversial in that. It helps us feel better and live longer. Evolving effectiveness concerning food supplies and other primary needs is only good. If we automatize everything, we can do something else. I am not one of those who worry about unemployment in the future because of evolution in technology. On the contrary; the main issue is to provide food and necessary needs, to everyone. This is primarily a distributional problem; we will create all those needs more effectively. People will always act, find something to do, together, paid or not. A job is only some activities. You can get paid, get your necessary supplies, from any source.

Appendix I: Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick G. Rosner, according to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing here, may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.

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

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

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

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 15, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-nine; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

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

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

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

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, April 15). Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Erik Haereid and Rick Rosner on Science (Part Nine)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/haereid-rosner-nine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

License and Copyright

License

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

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: