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Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2)

September 8, 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 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,015

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 and Co-Editor of Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society. 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 oneMcGinnis Genealogy of Crown Point, New York: Hiram Porter McGinnisSwines ListSolipsist SoliloquiesBoard GameLulu blogMemoir of a Non-Irish Non-Jew, and May-Tzu’s posterousHe discusses: “Stains Upon the Silence: something for no one” (2011); the intended meaning of the title; MayTzu or May-Tzu; the cover; a cross-section with “philosophy, cosmology, poetry and humor”; an atheist; Jorge Luis Borges in The Library of Babel; transontological studies; the conservation of information; “two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics”; information; and information, knowledge, and wisdom.

Keywords: information, knowledge, IQ, Mega Society, Richard May, Stains Upon the Silence, wisdom.

Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Okay, now, we come to the fun bits. The greatest hits of May-Tzu in three thematic parts based on three books while bound to one singular interview and segmented into parts. Your first book for analysis is entitled “Stains Upon the Silence: something for no one” (2011). Why this title?

Richard May[1],[2]*: I think the expression that “each word is a stain upon the silence” originated with Samuel Beckett, who may have implied that his words were less true and beautiful than silence. The silence of pure consciousness in the moment is suggested to and by me, but not necessarily meant by Beckett, analogous to sunyata, the Buddhistic void. 

“— Something for no one” anticipates that the book is unlikely to immediately be made into a hit TV series or become a popular film. Only the subset of the general population with both fairly high cognitive ability and a degree of “right-brainedness” and/or appreciation of artistic creativity are likely to value the work. These two factors probably have a correlation of about zero (0). So this is not a large potential audience.

Jacobsen: What is the intended meaning of the title?

May: What I’ve said above.

Jacobsen: Is it MayTzu or May-Tzu?

May: Google says it’s either.  But May-Tzu is Wade-Giles.  Today May-Tzu should apparently be written Mayzi, as Lao-Tzu is Laozi. The former is Wade-Giles, the latter pinyin.

Jacobsen: Who designed the cover? 

May: The image was my idea. Someone who knew how to edit files, a digital artist of sorts, brought it into existence.

Jacobsen: Why make a cross-section with “philosophy, cosmology, poetry and humor” in it?

May: Why not? The universe is a Rorschach inkblot interpreted by human intelligence as a geometric theorem and also a geometric theorem interpreted by human intelligence as a Rorschach inkblot.  “A complete and perfect philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Jacobsen: Are you an atheist? Rather, how are you defining the “-theist” god so as to provide an “a-”?

May: I find the existence of Zeus somewhat improbable. Was the Buddha an atheist? Was Patanjali an atheist? Is advaita Vedanta atheism? Is the philosophia perennis atheism? Atheists seemed to be mostly focused on the personality of the Adorable Yahweh, and on the exoteric level of the Abrahamic religions. As Gurdjieff, among others, recognized there are different levels of religions, e.g. exoteric and esoteric, and different levels of humans beings.

Remember May-Tzu’s wager: “It is extremely improbable that God exists. But it is certain that I don’t exist. Therefore, the existence of God is a much better bet.”

Jacobsen: You quote Jorge Luis Borges in The Library of Babel on page 3, which says, “I know of an uncouth region whose librarians repudiate the vain and superstitious custom of finding a meaning in books and equate it with that of finding a meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one’s palm … … … the books signify nothing in themselves. This dictum, we shall see, is not entirely fallacious.” Why quote him in this book? Why do books “signify nothing” in and of themselves?

May: Borges’ mind resonates with me; Borges is hilarious. But he attributes the view to the librarians of an *uncouth* region. If life, itself, is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” then what of the literature of those who live it?

Jacobsen: What would be “transontological studies”?

May: Studies across different levels of Being, a bit beyond transgender. Maybe academic pretense also.

Jacobsen: If we take the musing in the “Preface” on the conservation of information, how might this effect considerations about human mentation and computational capacities of digital computers?

May: Maybe everything and every thing is immortal as information. Then all sorts of Immortal Dreck would exist, floating throughout space-time everlastingly as information, perhaps including human personalities.

I don’t understand how it would affect the computational capacities of digital computers. But the conservation of information may be beyond my pay grade or even the pay grade of Homo sapiens, as presently evolved.

Jacobsen: Do these “two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics” imply a link to the ‘fundamentals’ or base of the dynamic construct called the universe and that which we – recently, mind us – deemed “information” for the proposed conservation of information if tying this knot to G.I. Gurdjieff who “maintained that all knowledge was material”?

May: I don’t understand the question.

Jacobsen: Following from the previous question, you focused on the contextualizations of information with “knowledge” and “wisdom.” In this framework, we come to the idea of the triplet linkage between information, knowledge, and wisdom. Human operators make distinctions between these. Why would the universe make such a distinction? This seems like an jump-gap with hidden premises, potentially, needing filling for more complete consideration.

May: I think, as Sir Fred Hoyle suggested, that our brains, and presumably brains in general, including exo-brains and AI, follow the logic of the universe, not vice versa. The distinctions between information, knowledge and wisdom may be natural language attempts to designate an information hierarchy of increasing levels of generality and utility, both objectively (isomorphic to ‘external’ reality and intersubjectively testable) and subjectively (isomorphic to ‘internal’ reality).  — Sometimes questions have hidden premises too.

Jacobsen: Following from the previous question, we have the idea of the conservation of information and “memories,” human remembrances, as incorporative of information. Why would the universe constitutionally organize the information on the large scale akin to the manner of the human mind, so as to make the connection between human memories as a form of information? This seems similar to the dilemma with information, knowledge, and wisdom, stated in the context before. 

May:  I continue to think, as Sir Fred Hoyle suggested, that our brains, and presumably brains in general, including exo-brains and AI, follow the logic of the universe, not vice versa. The distinctions between information, knowledge and wisdom may be natural language attempts to designate an information hierarchy of increasing levels of generality and utility, both objectively (isomorphic to ‘external’ reality and intersubjectively testable) and subjectively (isomorphic to ‘internal’ reality). 

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Mega Society; Co-Editor, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2; 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 “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2) [Online].September 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, September 8). Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, September. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (September 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2).” 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 “Stains Upon the Silence”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (2) [Internet]. (2020, September 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/may-2.

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