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Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega 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: 1,585

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) is a Member of the Mega Society based on a qualifying score on the Mega Test (before 1995) prior to the compromise of the Mega Test. In self-description, May states: “Not even forgotten in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), I’m an Amish yuppie, born near the rarified regions of Laputa, then and often, above suburban Boston. I’ve done occasional consulting and frequent Sisyphean shlepping. Kafka and Munch have been my therapists and allies. Occasionally I’ve strived to descend from the mists to attain the mythic orientation known as having one’s feet upon the Earth. An ailurophile and a cerebrotonic ectomorph, I write for beings which do not, and never will, exist — writings for no one. I’ve been awarded an M.A. degree, mirabile dictu, in the humanities/philosophy, and U.S. patent for a board game of possible interest to extraterrestrials. I’m a member of the Mega Society, the Omega Society and formerly of Mensa. I’m the founder of the Exa Society, the transfinite Aleph-3 Society and of the renowned Laputans Manqué. I’m a biographee in Who’s Who in the Brane World. My interests include the realization of the idea of humans as incomplete beings with the capacity to complete their own evolution by effecting a change in their being and consciousness. In a moment of presence to myself in inner silence, when I see Richard May’s non-being, ‘I’ am. You can meet me if you go to an empty room.” Some other resources include Stains Upon the Silence: something for no one, McGinnis Genealogy of Crown Point, New York: Hiram Porter McGinnis, Swines List, Solipsist Soliloquies, Board Game, Lulu blog, Memoir of a Non-Irish Non-Jew, and May-Tzu’s posterous. He discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; geniuses of the past; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; some work experiences and educational certifications; the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses; some social and political views; the God concept; science; some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; and ethical philosophy.

Keywords: general background, generic views, IQ, Mega Society, Richard May.

Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1)

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

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

Richard May[1],[2]*: Mother said that she was an orphan and “didn’t know who her parents were.” But she knew her mother’s sister. It was all very coherent and logical. Once she said her father was a minister. I listened in silence. Once she said we were Danish, after talking to her brother on the phone. Danish had been substituted for Irish, I’m sure. I never interrogated Mother, naively preferring a passive psychoanalytic or Rogerian approach. 

Father said his grandfather, who “looked very Jewish and wore a yarmulke in his jewelry business, fooled the Jews, by pretending to be a Jew.” However, we were the Jews we ‘fooled’ on father’s side of the family. “Truth is the safest lie,” is a Yiddish proverb. There were no true family stories of interest. The lies of otherwise honest parents inspired me to research my background. 

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

May: No, belatedly at age 53 finding the hidden truth provided a sense of family legacy.

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

May: Mother was from Northern New York. Father was from Boston, Mass. We spoke English, which was not unusual in those areas at the time. There was not much religion at home. Nothing to rebel against. A children’s book on “Jesus,” when I was very young. An angel candle to protect me from goblins coming down the chimney at night. There was a little lip service to God now and then. We usually said grace before Sunday dinner.

I’ve only gone to church about five times in my life, all during childhood only. Father’s originally Jewish side had become Unitarian, I guess. Mother seemed to think she was some sort of Protestant, alternating in a quantum fashion between Episcopal and Baptist. I correctly perceived this as not even farcical. At one point as a young child I told Mother that I did not believe in church. She cried.

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

May: I had a crush on a girl in the first grade. She liked my art work. It may have been o.k. till puberty. I was always chosen last along with a slightly retarded epileptic for sports teams in high school gym class. I was somewhat proud of this distinction. Guess I didn’t fit in. Almost didn’t graduate from high school and then university because of gym requirements.

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

May: Maybe the purpose of intelligence tests is to attempt to measure intelligence.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

May: Did SETI finally announce that they made a breakthrough? But SETI has never discovered me, as far as I’m aware.

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

May: Humans are tribal and primitive even today, to varying degrees. Differences of any kind among us are often not well tolerated.

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

May: Oh, you mean Mensa!  

No?

—  Archimedes, Euclid, Newton, Gauss, Einstein, and von Neumann come to mind.

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

May:  Focused hard work in an intellectual discipline(s) over many years, original insights and thinking out of the box. Also the conventions historians used in identifying geniuses in various time periods. Herman Hesse wrote that in his view many geniuses were never noticed or recognized by their contemporaries or even later.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and educational certifications for you?

May: Sisyphean shlepping, including ID checking in a bar, with a B.S. in psychology and a M.A. in Humanities/Philosophy.

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

May: Myths may not necessarily be false propositions to be dispelled by truths, I think. Otherwise I have no thoughts on this.

Jacobsen: What are some social and political views for you? Why hold them?

I’m a political atheist with regard to ideologies and political process:

“Ideologies

Freedom, peace and prosperity are preferable to their absence or negation. Marxists say that property is theft; Libertarians say that taxation is theft. But ideologies, themselves, are theft: theft of reason; theft of truth; a secular theology of lies; paleomammalian delusions shared by the herd; 1 dimensional maps of hyperdimensional territories of phenomenal processes and individual values; attempts to depict a higher-dimensional polytope on a 1-dimensional line segment; maps far more useful to the mapmaker than the individual trying to find his way. There are no up-wingers or down-wingers; no front-wingers or back-wingers. Ideology is a bit of truth simplified to a convenient lie. — May–Tzu”

Humans are unconscious automata, as G. I. Gurdjieff stressed. In Christian language we are not redeemed, i.e., we are just too f*cked up as a species and we have a Type-O civilization. (We are probably actually less intelligent today than were the ancient Greeks.) It may be worth noting, however, that everything turns into its opposite in the relative world, including in the political arena. 

“In Praise Of Stupidity  

Homo sapiens is a primitive species whose primary activity is internecine tribal warfare and whose secondary activity is destruction of the ecosystem. Obviously human wisdom and compassion have not evolved as rapidly as the intelligence associated with technology and weaponry. Maybe for this reason “human stupidity” actually has survival value for our species. If the mean absolute I.Q. were 150 rather than 100, and if there were no correspondingly increased levels of wisdom and compassion, then perhaps we would have eradicated our species from the planet. Is stupidity, itself, the long awaited but unrecognized Messiah? — May-Tzu”  

“There is infinite hope, but not for us.” — Franz Kafka  

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

May: There are a quite a few thoughts on the above topics are in my “Stains Upon the Silence — something for no one.” —  But having thoughts is not thinking.

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

May: To the extent that science is an apolitical approximation of truth, science is my ‘religion’ or worldview; Science not scientism. But remember the disinvitation of physics Nobel laureate Brian Josephson from a Cambridge University physics conference and the banning of Rupert Sheldrake and laser physicist Russell Targ, who did research for the C.I.A. for years, from TED Talks.

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

May: I stopped taking IQ tests after the Mega Test on which I scored about 4.7+ sigma, qualifying me for the Mega Society. I took no later-developed tests after that. My score range is between mostly between 3 and 4.7 sigma. 

Incidentally I make no claims about my alleged ‘high intelligence’. This is neither humility nor false humility. I was raised to be stupid. 

My mother repeatedly said that I was “just like her,”odd given that she appeared to be a female. She would refer to herself as “my stupid mother” and shortly after say, “You’re just like me.” She was orphaned in a rural area and had a 10th. grade formal educational level, although she usually didn’t sound like it. 

An uncle on my father’s side, who boasted of having a very high IQ score, gave me a vast dictionary- encyclopedia in my early teens. I remember avidly looking up and studying various topics for hours. Mother told me that my thirst for knowledge “was just because my brain was developing” and reassured me that I would “get over it.” 

My father’s father was said to have been a professorial-sounding brilliant autodidact who had dropped out of elementary school. He was said to have read a book a day, had a extensive vocabulary and corrected people’s grammar. But Grandfather had bipolar disorder. Therefore, my father apparently associated high intelligence and erudition with ‘madness’ and disapproved of my attraction to books, where they could be found. 

In short I took these tests to attempt to demonstrate something to myself, not to impress others. I don’t generally feel highly intelligent and usually assume that others are more intelligent than I am, at least until I’ve observed them.

But  — in an absolute sense — how brilliant are actual human geniuses standing before the cosmos?

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

May: My score range is mostly between about 3 and 4.7+ sigmas. My lowest score was about 2 sigmas. My friend Grady M Towers claimed that everyone has as many IQs as they have taken IQ tests. Anne Anastasi wrote that IQ is not a property of an organism, but an index of a sample of behavior.

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

May: Buddhist ethics.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Mega Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-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 Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1) [Online].September 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, September 1). Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, September. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (September 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):September. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on Some General Background and Generic Views: Member, Mega Society (1) [Internet]. (2020, September 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-1.

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