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Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)

September 1, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 24.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twenty)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,016

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Paul Cooijmans is an Independent Psychometitor and Administrator of the Glia Society, and Administrator of the Giga Society. He discusses: creation of the Glia Society; the 99.9th-percentile; cognitive rarity in the general population does one begin to observe true thinking about a subject matter; what passes for ‘thinking’ in the general population; the Glia Society “nerve-centred” in Europe; the Administrator’s cognitive rarity; Glia Society “has several hundred members”; other names or titles brainstormed in the earlier stages of development of the Glia Society; the journal Thoth; the tasks performed by the “founder and other members”; and the growth trajectory of the Glia Society since its inception.

Keywords: 99.9th-percentile, Europe, Glia Society, membership, Paul Cooijmans.

Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: This interview will focus on the Glia Society. Several years ago, we focused on the Giga Society. You administrate for the Giga Society. You administrate for the Glia Society. Why create the Glia Society as “an international internet-based organization for friendly contact between intelligent individuals”? (Cooijmans, n.d.a) That is to say, is there a deeper reason than the noble and admirable aim of looking to construct a digitally-based community of intelligent people?

Paul Cooijmans[1],[2]*: First, I must say that it was not the aim to construct a digitally-based community. In 1997, I did not have an Internet connection, and all communication regarding and within the Glia Society was conducted via regular correspondence. I did not have an electronic computer either but used a typewriter, and the first three issues of the journal Thoth were produced on that typewriter. From the fourth issue onward, I used an old computer with M.S. DOS and WordPerfect 5.1 that someone gave me, and an old dot-matrix printer, but still had no Internet. Only in January 2001, I bought a modern computer and got Internet access, and that was the first time I used the Internet and electronic mail. Around midnight of the day on which I got Internet access, I had a web site online, and from that moment on, the Glia Society had an online existence (it had been advertised online by a few friends of mine in the years before already though).

Now to the actual question as to the deeper reason, it was so that I was not fully satisfied with the existing I.Q. societies that I knew at the time. The two main problems I saw were (1) the limited freedom of speech, the censorship, the editorial changes and vicious manipulations, in short the lack of fora for verbatim communication and publication, and (2) the too permissive admissions policies of societies, which were, in my perception, selecting below their proclaimed level, partly on purpose, partly through incompetence in psychometrics. I wanted to do better on both accounts; so, to select truly at the nominal level, and to allow uncensored communication and publication. In my view, I have succeeded, although only a limited audience can appreciate that. The truth seems to be that many people really like censorship and curtailed freedom of speech, and that many people like loose and permissive admissions policies. Such people find the Glia Society too strict and rigid, and really believe that anyone interested should be able to join an I.Q. society and feel intelligent or “gifted” in one’s own way. Some of those people are secretly against selecting by I.Q. altogether, and only join I.Q. societies to keep an eye on what is going on, or to destroy them from the inside, like a kind of moles or wolves in sheep’s clothes.

A consequence of the absolute freedom of speech and absence of censorship, combined with the strictly intelligence-based and otherwise non-discriminatory admission policy, is that the “moles” just referred to are able to join and wreak havoc on the society’s communication fora from time to time. Some highly intelligent people have this anti-intelligence attitude, and join purposely to cause trouble, for instance by passive-aggressively sabotaging discussions and conversations that bona fide members are trying to have. Due to its very open nature, the Glia Society is vulnerable to such abuse. On the whole though, my experience is that a strict admission policy and absolute freedom of speech result in a surprisingly diverse membership and that this is appreciated by people who are not afraid of differences.

Jacobsen: Why focus on the 99.9th-percentile?

Cooijmans: My considerations were that actually the 99.5th centile in intelligence, according to my experience with testing and communicating with people of whom I knew the scores, would suffice for the group I had in mind. However, I was anticipating the inflation that inevitably occurs when people take many tests purposely to qualify. Due to the imperfect correlations between tests, a person’s scores are always spread around one’s true level, with some scores above and some below it, and the more tests a person takes, the wider the range of scores (do notice that a widening of the range is not the same as a rise of scores on the whole). This is true for any kind of measurement, not just I.Q. testing. Also, others told me that a cut-off like 99.5 was so unusual that it would confuse people. 99.9 was more common.

So it became 99.9. Soon I discovered that homogeneous (one-sided) tests were letting through apparently unqualified candidates, and for that reason I put the pass level for such tests at 99.99 for some years, which worked well, except that people did not understand the reason for it and mistook it for having “two classes of membership”. Eventually, I decided to set it at 99.9 again, but require qualifying scores on each of two homogeneous tests of different contents types (or on one heterogeneous test, of course). This latter system works excellently.

It has astounded me for many years that most other I.Q. societies do not treat homogeneous tests appropriately, and are thus selecting well below their intended level (for this and for several other reasons, which I will not name because the answer becomes too long then).

Jacobsen: What cognitive rarity in the general population does one begin to observe true thinking about a subject matter?

Cooijmans: I believe that occurs at about the level of 1 in 200 in general intelligence. To avoid misunderstanding, and strictly speaking, it is necessary to specify here that meant is the most intelligent 1 in 200, not the least intelligent 1 in 200; after all, with only the first sentence of this answer given, the latter interpretation would also be possible.

Jacobsen: What passes for ‘thinking’ in the general population, where this ‘thinking’ appears more as thought-ing?

Cooijmans: I do not know what thought-ing is, but for instance the mere possession or even availability of knowledge is often mistaken for intelligence. Sometimes you hear the possibility mentioned of connecting the human brain to a computer so that “all the knowledge in the world” will be instantly available, and this is then spoken of in terms like “then we will all be geniuses”, as if there will be no more differences in intelligence left. But of course, the difference between, say, someone of I.Q. 70 and someone of I.Q. 140 will not change the slightest bit when both come to possess all the knowledge in the world; the person with the higher I.Q. will be better able to use that knowledge. One’s intelligence level is not altered by the amount of knowledge available to one; nor by one’s amount of education, for that matter (the notion that an academic style of working and having an academic title guarantee the ability to “think” may also be an example).

Something similar can be said about improving one’s I.Q. test scores by fraud or practising; some think that their intelligence truly becomes higher that way, but the gains are hollow with regard to thinking.

Another example of confusing an activity with “thinking” that is not thinking is “brainstorming”, and really any form of conferencing, be it in person or by video or telephone. When I was working as a programmer for a company in the summer of 2007, a colleague insisted on meeting me to discuss the project we were working on. He collected me by car in the morning and took me to his house. There I sat the entire day, with him rambling uninterruptedly about anything that occurred to him. I could not get a word in edgeways, in fact he only stopped speaking to swallow the odd pill now and then; Ritalin, one presumes. It was a fully wasted day work-wise for both of us, but he did not seem to notice that, and was even flabbergasted when I asked him to drive me home early in the evening; he had probably hoped to keep “working” like that all night!

The next morning he was again standing at my front door ringing the bell; but we had not agreed on another meeting, so I did not answer and hid in the kitchen until he had gone, thus preventing one more wasted day. Half an hour later an electronic mail message from him arrived. It was empty. For reasons like this I believe that companies could work much more efficiently by honouring the principle of “talking is not work” and thus prohibiting any talk-meetings during paid work hours. Extraverted people may not like this, but boy will it increase productivity!

Jacobsen: Why have the Glia Society “nerve-centred” in Europe? (Cooijmans, n.d.b)

Cooijmans: Because I am living in Europe, and because there was no higher-I.Q. society based in Europe yet at the time (1997). They were all in the United States I think, so “nerve-centred in Europe” was what one calls a “unique selling point”. In this context I should mention that I have also claimed to have introduced the concepts of high-range testing and higher-I.Q. societies to Europe; it is hard to show with certainty that this is fully true, but no one has contradicted it in almost a quarter of a century.

Jacobsen: Where does the Administrator’s cognitive rarity lie, whether a singular number or a range? Does this provide the Administrator the basis for reasonable grounds for the administration of hundreds in the Glia Society?

Cooijmans: To my utmost regret, it would undermine my credibility to claim that I possess a specific intelligence level in the high range, when my scientific quest is to find out whether or not it is possible at all to measure intelligence in that range. It is so that in the 1990s I took a number of intelligence tests used by mainstream psychology, including the hardest ones available at the time in my country (the Drenth test series) but also the W.A.I.S. and more, and my scores were the highest that were possible according to the norm tables, with raw scores that were (much) higher than what was needed for those highest norms. I was told that it was impossible to measure intelligence meaningfully in the range beyond the highest norms. I took this as an inducement to start my high-range test project.

No intelligence level provides grounds for the administration of hundreds in a society; in order to be able to do that, one needs other personality traits next to high intelligence, in particular in the realm of conscientiousness. Perhaps a certain “je ne sais quoi” will help too (but I do not know what).

Jacobsen: The Glia Society “has several hundred members in more than thirty countries on five continents, the lion’s share residing in Europe and North America…” (Cooijmans, n.d.b) Surprisingly, there exist fewer than 10 in the Netherlands. (Ibid.)

Cooijmans: This is not a question. I will therefore assume that the intended question has accidentally fallen off and read something like, “How on Earth is it possible that there exist so few members in the Netherlands, considering the fact that the society’s founder and Administrator is a Netherlander, and one of the most interesting and brilliant ones at that? One would expect every intelligent inhabitant of the low countries to jump at the chance of joining the society under these tantalizing conditions!”

Well, that is an excellent question, and I could scarcely have formulated it better myself. The fact of the matter is that my country is suffering to an extreme degree under the ideological terror of cultural Marxism, and for several generations now the public has been indoctrinated from childhood on with notions like “intelligence is not important or valuable in itself”, “we do not even know what intelligence is, let alone that we could measure it”, and “all individuals have the same inborn potential and any observed differences result solely from social-environmental influences”. With such fallacies so deeply ingrained in the collective mind, I.Q. societies and I.Q. tests are not enjoying much positive interest. Popular sayings in the Netherlands include “Act normally, then you are already acting crazy enough”, and “No one is allowed to stick out above the mowing field”. Also, a prophet is never honoured in one’s own town.

A sublime illumination of the anti-intellectual nature of current Marxist radicalism was the proposal, one or two years ago, to abolish “het”, one of the two definite articles in Netherlandic. Words need “de” or “het” in front of them, depending on their linguistic sex. Immigrants often get it wrong and say “de” where “het” is required. So, the use of “het” by native Netherlanders is “racist” because it makes immigrants feel stupid, according to these activists, and we should stop using the word altogether. Such ideas are fully serious, and if you as much as bat an eye, this reveals you to be a “racist”.

There is little interest in what I do from people in the Netherlands, and reactions have sometimes been acidic, like “Testing and selecting is where the dividing of people starts!” (the implication being that where it ends is in the gas chambers). I have been studying this anti-test attitude on and off over the years, and suspect it is rooted in the following circumstances: (1) The Netherlands has been very open to immigration for a number of centuries, and as a result has been extensively occupied by a caste of people who have undermined the nation from within; (2) The Netherlands has been deeply involved in worldwide trade for centuries and entertains a huge export surplus, so has a business interest in not emphasizing or ignoring group differences, such as in intelligence; (3) The Netherlands has been involved in the Second World War, and the “never again” reflex to that is so strong that anything or anyone that can be even remotely connected to the Nazis is fair game and can be attacked with all ethical constraints dropped. For instance, in 2002 when a right-wing politician was heading to win the elections, his political opponents and the media openly compared him and his ideas to Nazism, and a far-left activist shot him dead a few days before the elections. The murderer received a nominal sentence of eighteen years but was released after a mere twelve years and is now completely free, despite never having regretted his deed and consistently having violated the conditions of his release.

Jacobsen: The Glia Society was entitled as such because the glia “is a type of brain cell — the glia, glial, or neuroglia cell — that in various ways supports and feeds the neurons. Einstein had many more glia cells per neuron than has the average person. Members are analogous to neurons. The Glia Society is a worldwide network of linked brains; a hyper-brain. What were other names or titles brainstormed in the earlier stages of development of the Glia Society if any? Why those names in particular?

Cooijmans: A variant proposed by someone was “Glial Society”, which supposedly sounded better. Another potential name that did not make it – to my disappointment because I liked it a lot – is one I can not name, for reasons I can not name. If you pay good attention you may come across it on occasion though.

Jacobsen: Why name the journal Thoth? The members, one assumes, are alive.

Cooijmans: Thoth, the Egyptian god, is one of the earliest entities in history to be connected to intellectual matters like science, wisdom, writing, art, magic and so on. He is credited with the invention of writing, mathematics, astronomy, and much more. To find an earlier intellectual, one might need to go back to the days of Atlantis, but I did not think of that at the time.

Jacobsen: What are the tasks performed by the “founder and other members”? (Ibid.) Do those “other members” have roles? (Ibid.)

Cooijmans: These tasks include the making of the journal, the admission of members and keeping of the membership list, the administration of communication fora and admission of members thereto, the verifying whether there are non-members on the fora, the keeping of a list of accepted tests, making and maintaining the public web location, and so on. Other members than the founder have done things like creating and administrating communication fora, making the journal, verifying whether there are non-members on the fora, designing the logo, and serving as Ombudsman.

In this context it may be interesting to note that online communication fora tend to get infested with non-members if one does not regularly clean them up. A requirement that has to be made is that a member’s profile on a forum must be able to be connected to the member’s entry in the society’s member list. Some can or will not understand this, and use anonymous or pseudonymous profiles on fora. When confronted with this by the forum inspector, they may not-understandingly respond like, “But you know me! I am [this or that person]!” But of course, such incidental self-identification when confronted does not help; it must be possible for any member to identify any forum profile by comparing it to the official member list.

Jacobsen: What has been the growth trajectory of the Glia Society since its inception?

Cooijmans: Below is a list of numbers of members that joined per year. One should keep in mind that the society went online in 2001. From 2008 on, the admission policy was tightened by requiring either a qualifying score on a heterogeneous test (with at least two different problem types) or two qualifying scores on two homogeneous (one-sided) tests with different contents types.

1997 5

1998 8

1999 17

2000 19

2001 41

2002 39

2003 31

2004 33

2005 32

2006 24

2007 40

2008 14

2009 14

2010 13

2011 14

2012 6

2013 11

2014 15

2015 20

2016 16

2017 13

2018 13

2019 17

2020 9 (until 29 July)

Year unknown 23

References

Cooijmans, P. (n.d.a). The Glia Society: General Information. Retrieved from http://gliasociety.org/general_information.html.

Cooijmans, P. (n.d.a). The Glia Society: The World-wide Hyperbrain. Retrieved from http://gliasociety.org/.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Administrator, Giga Society; Administrator, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 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. Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)[Online].September 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, September 1). Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, September. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (September 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):September. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Paul Cooijmans on Introduction to the Glia Society: Administrator, Glia Society (1)[Internet]. (2020, September 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1.

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© 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.

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