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Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1)

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: October 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,471

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Hakan E. Kayioglu is a Member of the Glia Society. He discusses: growing up; stories helped provide a sense of an extended self; the family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; geniuses; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; some work experiences and educational certifications; some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses; some social and political views; the God concept or gods idea; science; me of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; and ethical philosophy.

Keywords: genius, Hakan E. Kayioglu, intelligence, IQ, Istanbul, Turkey.

Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia 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?

Hakan E. Kayioglu: No prominent family stories were told except that my paternal grandfather was a very intelligent and learned man who had been amongst the best 3 students in the university he attended in Istanbul early 20th century. I learned that my father also was the first ranking student in his local high school graduating with a record level cumulative GPA. He said he had graduated as the fourth best student at the university.

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

Kayioglu: Probably yes in youth but not much in my later years in adulthood. I think family stories might have put some burden, a certain sense of obligation on my subconscious to be successful and achieve better than most at least in school.

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

Kayioglu: My parents were born in a village close to a historical town, Söğüt, of Bilecik province in Turkey. I learned from my father that our paternal ancestors, at least seven generations back before my father, were all born and grown in the same village as well as my mother’s paternal ancestors. Söğüt is one of the first towns where the Ottomans started to evolve in the 13th century. It is about 300 km south east of Istanbul. I was born in 1964 in a city in the northern part of Turkey but most of my childhood, but most of my childhood, teenage and university years were spent in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. We also had been to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for a couple of years during my high school education. My native language is Turkish.

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

Kayioglu: Quite well. I had no problems interacting with my peers and schoolmates throughout my education and in social life. I was probably a bit selective of close friends based on common interests, mutual understanding and accord. For intellectual pursuits I was mostly alone and on my own, doing my reading in diverse fields, constantly acquiring encyclopedic knowledge. So, I had to confine myself to sharing and enjoying with my friends only social life normally as a 14 year old boy couldn’t find ways to discuss higher level topics for lack of intellectual peers. I usually had to satisfy that need by discussing with older people in school, in the circle of acquaintances of my family and sometimes with teachers.

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

Kayioglu: Intelligence tests give a reasonably accurate measure of one’s intellectual capacity in a comparative scale. To me, it is also a dopamine shower and a sort of ecstasy when I solve a difficult problem; a short term nervous breakdown when I fail to find the solution. The most attractive feature and benefit of especially a good high-range intelligence test is that it teaches one to think on one’s own thinking, and I believe it improves the “quality of thinking” by raising one’s awareness on one’s own logical fallacies, forcing to use one’s mind in extreme diligence, precision, to check every divergent possibility available to his mind. In the end, one either finds the solution or not, but the very process of deep, layered and detailed thinking is itself rewarding on its own even in case of failure simply because it then teaches at least how not to think.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Kayioglu: I was formally tested when I started elementary school a couple of months before age seven. In Turkey, especially in those years I.Q. testing was not popular. It is known but not popular even now. But, years later I learned that somehow the educational management system had started a pilot study to identify intellectually gifted children in the area I lived in (Ankara), and upon my teacher’s noticing some intellectual brilliance about me and contacting the local authority I had the chance to be tested by a professional psychologist. I remember being tested by an old lady, asking me questions and recording my answers, sometimes also tape-recording my voice. I don’t know which test it was but my father told the true story to me years later on an occasion of discussing intelligence at home when I was 16 years old. He said: “Son, they told me you were found to be intellectually as capable as a 12-year-old. They recommended you be skipped at least one grade in elementary school but I didn’t accept that for fear of bullying and developmental issues that may arise.”

My parents also told me that I showed some signs of superior intelligence very early as I was able to speak in full sentences when I just turned my first year. I also invented some novel words at age 2 for objects whose names I didn’t know but needed to refer to. Those words were obtained in accordance with the derivation rules of Turkish but were not in colloquial use. I still remember two of them: tutamak (door handle) derived from “tut”, meaning “to hold” in Turkish, and “bağlaç” (belt) from “bağla” meaning “to fasten”.

I learned the alphabet at 4 and could read and write the names of family members. This happened soon after I was exposed to toys consisting of the letters of the alphabet. I remember a dialogue between my parents, wherein my father expressed his fear that I seemed to learn how to read and write soon if he didn’t hide the letters and thus he wouldn’t want to let me be able to read before the normal school age for fear of problems with my peers.

As a peculiarity and maybe a sign of cognitive precocity, I also have vivid early memories before age 2 dating back to when I was 16 months old although mainstream psychology does not credit.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past 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.

Kayioglu: Well, I think extreme reactions to geniuses may stem partly, or in combination, from socio-cultural conditioning, jealousy, ignorance, misinterpretation, a need for psychological compensation for one’s low self esteem.

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

Kayioglu: The guy who invented the wheel, Euclid, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Newton, Euler, Gödel, Albert Einstein, and Ramanujan.

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

Kayioglu: A profoundly intelligent person, if not already a genius, is no more than being profoundly intelligent. Genius, to me and most others, requires the presence and manifestation of extraordinary level of inventiveness and/or creativity in any field that involves it. Some typical personality traits are also said to co-exist with genius, but maybe the most common trait is conscientiousness. So, genius can be said to be a unique and optimal combination of high enough intelligence (not necessarily profoundly), conscientiousness and creativity. On the ground, it seems to me, lies ample curiosity and a very strong need to understand as a driving force.

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

Kayioglu: I graduated from Middle East Technical University’s Chemical Engineering Department with a B.Sc. degree.

Soon after graduation I enrolled in the graduate school for a M.Sc. with an intention to obtain a PhD afterwards and pursue an academic life. But I decided to drop out before completing the first semester simply because I felt offended and discouraged when I was told during the interview by the department head that I would not be employed as a research assistant although I had the highest score at the exam. Reasons put forward were not related to my ability or academic standing but to my prospective attitude. The department head, based on her past observations about me, was just not sure enough if I would remain stable and consistently motivated in a long-term and demanding academic job.

As I had never thought of myself as someone to work in a factory environment throughout my education I didn’t want to hunt for an engineering job in a factory because I felt as a research oriented type of fellow. I didn’t want to go to other universities around for a similar position and degree either. So, I remained idle and unemployed for a couple of months. Then I applied for a vacant position as a translator in a government office. After the assessment formalities I was employed as an official translator. Though successful and happy with my job and work environment, it was a radically different career path which I soon discovered would probably not continue for long.

In the meanwhile I was informed by a friend that some government agencies and companies were granting scholarship to eligible candidates in many fields for higher education abroad – mostly in Europe, the United States of America and Canada – to be employed in various positions, including research engineering, upon return to Turkey after earning M.Sc and/or Ph.D. That was it! I was interested in and applied for a research engineering position offered to chemical engineering graduates who were to obtain a M.Sc. degree in petroleum engineering in the U.S.A. First I had to pass a hard exam held once a year nationwide to be an eligible candidate. I took the exam and got the highest score among some 250 applicants that year.

I was accepted by several universities after meeting requirements for the GRE and TOEFL during my stay with a host family in California in 1988, and I chose the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. I spent one year by taking both undergraduate and graduate courses in petroleum engineering at Tulsa. Next year I decided to change my school and enrolled in Colorado School of Mines. I moved to Golden, Colorado. But, towards the end of my first semester there, it was too disappointing to have realized, just by chance from reading an announcement on the board, that I would not be able to complete my M.Sc. on the subject I was asked to study by the company, because that subject was only possible to study within the scope of a postdoctoral fellowship offered by another university! Surprised and upset, I discussed the situation with the authorities in the sponsoring company to resolve the issue proposing them also some practical alternatives like changing the subject of thesis or going for a professional engineering degree instead of a M.Sc., but they didn’t accept and could not propose a reasonable solution to satisfy both parties.

Truly frustrated and discouraged, the only way out from the deadlock, it seemed to me then, was to leave everything behind and return to my country to start a new life. For I felt I lost my stamina and was cross with my luck. So I dropped the graduate school, returned home and did nothing for a year until I felt good enough and recovered from depression.

Having completed the mandatory military service, I found a job to work as a chemical engineer in the research department of a factory producing refractory bricks and mortars. Later, I also specialised in quality control and management systems and ensured the entire factory implemented the QM systems and got certified in accordance with international standards. I also became one of the IRCA (International Register of Certified Auditors) certified provisional auditors for quality systems. Aside from managing the quality system in the factory, I also established a small laboratory for on-site internal calibration of measuring devices in use in the factory; giving personally, or arranging necessary training required to all employees from top management to workers.

Later I was also involved as a manager in the installation and development of a new production unit in the factory to manufacture sliding-gate refractory plates that are sold and used in the iron and steel industry. I worked in the refractory company for 7 years.

In November 1998 I moved to Eskisehir, the city I have been living since then, in order to run my own business by starting up a small company to provide calibration and quality systems consulting services with a partner. Because of some financial adversities unfortunately we had to close the company in 2000.

Between March 2000 and January 2020 I worked in a glass tableware production factory that belongs to a large corporation in the glassware industry in the position of Quality Control Chief until 2014, and Quality Manager in 2014 – 2020. Over the years I specialised in quality control and management systems based on international standards such as quality management (ISO 9001), environmental management (ISO 14001), food safety (ISO 22000), information security management (ISO 27001), social compliance management systems (e.g BSCI), and also became partly involved in energy management (ISO 50001) and occupational health and safety management (ISO 45001). Apart from managerial tasks I was involved in, I also contributed to various technical works and researches on product design and development, test development and improvement, quality improvement, organizational development, digital transformation projects, development of automated systems for visual quality, 6 sigma projects etc.

I hold a couple dozen certificates in topics of quality management systems, auditing/assessing, quality improvement techniques as well as managerial skills.

As of January 2020, having fulfilled official requirements, I asked for my resignation and I am now a retired person with some free time and for the first time in 30 years, but only to turn my two decade hobby into a small business: teaching and working as a practicing astrologer on birth time rectification.

Currently I am enjoying free time while at the same time writing a book on the subject and doing some preparations for a different business life.

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?

Kayioglu: I have been into books and articles on intelligence, creativity and genius since my teenage years as a topic of interest. I was keenly interested in the topic especially in my young age that I even had chosen to write on the topic of identification and education of the gifted and submitted a term paper of some 50 pages when I took the expository writing course in English in my freshman year at the university. It was only in order to call attention to the subject. Because I was aware by that time that many, if not most, of the intellectually gifted children and young people were lost and wasted due to many different reasons.

That being said, I believe this is the biggest waste among all sorts of wastes. Imagine for a moment that just because we wasted for this or that reason all geniuses such that humanity didn’t ever have Euclid, Archimedes, Al Khwarazmi, Avicenna, Galileo, Gauss, Euler, Newton, Einstein, Madam Curie, Schrödinger, Tesla, Shakespeare, Mozart, Bach, Da Vinci, Goethe and all other geniuses not mentioned herein; what could be our civilization like? We owe most of our civilization today and in the past to gifted and creative people, the big share always going to geniuses. Period.

The myths surrounding the geniuses usually stem from hearsay, movies, media which often emphasize and portray their eccentricity and savant-like peculiarities presented sometimes in an exaggerated way, so that most of the more important personality traits such as insatiable curiosity, truth seeking, dedication to work, diligence, perfectionism, very high and sustained concentration, determination, obsessiveness etc. are not given due consideration thus leading to a distorted view about genius. A good percentage of ordinary people think that genius comes hand in hand with madness. It is true some of them were also mad but most were certainly less than that. They were actually mad only about their work.

Another false idea, if not a myth, is to assume a genius is always a profoundly intelligent person. This is hardly true. A person having extreme intelligence but lacking genius traits like high level of creativity, diligence, persistence or conscientiousness is not supposed to create products at genius level. For instance, we have many such extremely intelligent individuals in today’s super high I.Q. societies who do not come up with compatibly creative output. There are examples from history also. John Von Neumann for instance had extreme cognitive power that was said by his contemporaries to be unmatched, yet he was not equally creative. By all intellectual standards, it appears, he was sure a genius as far as raw intelligence and cognitive ability is concerned, but not a true genius in terms of the real meaning of the term.

Therefore, it seems, one must have the optimal combination and amount of the required traits to be a genius. If the personality traits are accompanied by an extreme intelligence, that person may even be a candidate for a universal genius like some of the polymathic universal geniuses in history. But, I am of the opinion that in our time it is highly unlikely for the world to see a universal genius simply because too many fields of specialization, all having its diversity and depth and some being interrelated, are beyond any mortal’s capacity to encompass and absorb.

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

Kayioglu: I have been living in a culture where people usually care for the poor, the old and the underprivileged in general. Compassion and charity are kept in high regard. As someone who was raised in such a culture, this puts me closer to political systems that value social welfare and humanitarian ideals.

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

Kayioglu: I believe that everything exists in God’s imagination only. By everything I literally mean everything, the universe we live in and also all other possible universes that we may not be aware of. God, in my understanding and belief system, refers to an undivided endlessness, wholeness and oneness beyond or apart from which nothing can exist on its own. In other words, the only ultimately aware Being who is the source of all other beings. Separateness and otherness is illusory. Each and every being is one of His infinite ways of manifestations as a kind of self projection, projection of a bundle of His names (divine qualities) out of infinitely many . In a sense, we are living in a matrix created in God’s imagination.

I came close to such an understanding in my high school years by reasoning and contemplation. Later, studying islamic sufism shaped my understanding of religion over the years since then. I was really impressed by and owe gratitude to especially two thinkers in this regard among many: Mohiuddin Ibni Arabi, a 13th century sufi mystic, philosopher, poet and scholar; and more recently Ahmed Hulusi, a contemporary sufi thinker.

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

Kayioglu: In my mature years now, I see that I have always been fascinated by the “scientific thinking” itself rather more than the particular topics of interest in sciences, be it hard sciences or soft sciences. Conceptualization, hypothesis formation, experimentation, testing the hypothesis against facts and findings, drawing conclusions, then a critique. It must be a beautiful adventure. While I was being educated as an engineer, one of the things that I found most interesting and instructive was to discover the importance of underlying assumptions one often needed to make in order to simplify and be able to solve a real engineering problem. This taught me how things differ and a theory turns out to be when real life problems are faced.

I understand that science and engineering, to varying degrees, seem to be an oversimplified model of the reality that we are exposed to. No less, but also no more. In the search for understanding the workings of the universe science absolutely is a strong and indispensable tool, but I doubt that it is the strongest tool when it comes to search for the ultimate truth, especially when we consider the metaphysical implications of the logical limit imposed by the Incompleteness Theorem that Kurt Gödel had introduced and proved.

I suspect that science will ever reach a level where human intellect will no longer need philosophy, metaphysics and religion unless of course some day humanity totally becomes devoid of soul and discards the need to search for meaning (maybe there is no!).

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

Kayioglu: I was not informed of a score for the test I took when I started elementary school. I was only informed to be 5 years ahead of my peers. But a quick calculation would place my childhood ratio I.Q in a range of 165 – 175.

In the last year of junior high school I took a nationwide exam open only to eligible students satisfying grade requirements (about 15 percent of the student population). First phase of the exam was an intellectual aptitude test resembling an I.Q. test. I obtained the highest 34th score among some 17000 mates. This roughly corresponds to a rarity score of 1 in 3000 – 4000. Assuming normal distribution, this would have corresponded to an I.Q. above 150 sd15 if it were normed by rarity.

I also took two self administered timed I.Q. tests at 16 which were said to be normed to ceilings of 145 sd 15 and 200 sd16. On the former I hit the ceiling, and on the latter 169. I don’t remember the name of the first test, but the latter was, if I don’t misremember, a Turkish version of the CMMT.

In 2004 I took the Mensa’s entrance test RAPM, but because as a policy Mensa did not give a score, I received a formal letter reporting only that I was eligible to enter Mensa. In 2005 I took Cooijmans Intelligence Test – Form 2E with a score of 156 I.Q. sd15 based on the preliminary norming, and was admitted to the Glia Society based on a 149 I.Q. after the norming in December 2005. Later in 2006 I took Paul Cooijmans’ QMC#4 test with a score of 143 I.Q. sd15.

In both tests I feel I did not do my best because I didn’t put the maximum effort needed for such tests. Years passed without attempting a new test due to lack of time and energy. I have recently completed in my free time after retirement another test authored by Paul Cooijmans, but not sent it yet for scoring; currently reviewing my solutions to make sure I have done my best this time. Last three tests mentioned above are all untimed and unsupervised high-range I.Q. tests authored by Paul Cooijmans.

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.

Kayioglu: My scores on adult scale have varied between 143 to 149 which seem to be pretty consistent. I think the scores do not scatter much if one invests enough time and effort, does all the tests at adult age, the tests contain mixed item types covering a wider range of abilities rather than focusing on a single type ability such as consisting of verbal-only, or spatial-only; the tests have high enough ceiling, and of course if the test quality is high, that is, the tests are all psychometrically good.

That last condition may not be present in some tests. Most of the supervised tests do not have high enough ceilings for the exceptionally gifted. If a test has a ceiling of 130, another one 145, all Giga Society members with I.Q.’s of 190+ taking all three tests would have a score variation from 130 to 190! So, even if those three different tests are psychometrically perfect, and other conditions above met, one would still observe 60 I.Q. points a difference – apparently a very large discrepancy – between the lowest and the highest scores they obtained.

Obviously, if one or more of the conditions above are not met, then it is likely to get a wide scattering of scores differing at times 2 or more standard deviations for the same person. In my case for example, the condition of “investing enough time and effort” above was not fully met. If, for instance, I get a score well above this on the latest test I did, then it becomes quite clear that the spread is my fault, not the tests’. In the example above for the hypothetical Giga persons, it’s the ceiling that is guilty, not the testees.

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

Kayioglu: No particular philosophy as a whole, without implying myself not favoring moral principles. I only want to point out the highly subjective and complex nature of ethics. Given the observation that human beings, societies and life arising out of interactions between them are too complex and dynamic, it is overwhelmingly difficult to offer a universal philosophy in the first place. I find it superfluous to elaborate more on this as it must be obvious when one especially considers the immense complexity of nonlinear systems and myriad of factors related to culture, genetics, belief systems, religion, education, upbringing, ration, intelligence, geography, technology, individual differences, biases etc. to name a few.

I am not as erudite as to claim that I studied all major schools of ethical philosophies to offer a perspective, but simply because of the complex nature of the matter, I don’t think any particular ethical philosophy can address all or even most of all problems effectively. So, to me, the nature and depth of the problem defies human intellect at its core. Consequently, this requires taking into account non-rational and even irrational elements of human beings if one has to deal with ethics.

Therefore, on an individual level anyone (here “anyone” also includes the most advanced AI to imagine) is doomed to choose one’s way under uncertainty based on such factors said above.

On a personal level, I have moral and ethical principles that I have adopted in the culture I was raised and am trying to follow, but ethical philosophy is, and I think, will always remain to be an open question that needs to be re-addressed, reviewed and revised according to the dynamics of the age human beings live in.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1) [Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from:  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 15).  Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1). Retrieved from  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S.  Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. < http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “ Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A.  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “ Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020).  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘ Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: < http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘ Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A.,  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “ Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. < http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S.  Conversation with Hakan E. Kayioglu on Family, Background, Philosophy, Genius, and Ethics: Member, Glia Society (1)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from:  http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kayioglu-1.

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Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1)

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: October 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 6,164

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Bob Williams is a Member of the Triple Nine Society, Mensa International, and the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry. He discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; the family background; the experience with peers and schoolmates; some professional certifications; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; the geniuses of the past; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; job path; the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses; thoughts on the God concept or gods idea; science; some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; worldview-encompassing philosophical system; meaning in life; intelligence in the abstract; and the mainstream and fringe theories of human intelligence on offer over time.

Keywords: Bob Williams, intelligence, International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, IQ, Triple Nine Society.

Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (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?

Bob Williams: Family stories were about what my grandparents and parents experienced before I was born. I recall thinking that I would not see advances as dramatic as those experienced by my grandparents. They were born before electrification and before flight, yet lived to see the first humans land on the moon. It is difficult to compare my life to theirs, but I think there have been at least as many big changes as they experienced.

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

Williams: Stories of past lives and experiences help to put my life in perspective. There has been an enormous change in the standard of living that my family has experienced as a result of increasing amounts of education and the technology that has increased exponentially in the last two centuries.

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

Williams: I was born during WW2 and grew up in Virginia in the suburbs of a city that was third largest (back then) in our state. We had two groups: whites and blacks. {Today this seems strange. As a student I only met one child who was Jewish and that was in primary school. We had one Catholic church, but I only knew of one student in my school who was Catholic. There were no Hispanics, Arabs, Russians, or any of the ethnic groups that we only knew about from movies.} Everyone claimed to be Christian; that meant Protestant as Catholics were presumed to mostly live elsewhere. Crime rates were low and violent crimes almost nonexistent. There was a very strong hatred of the North that was residue from the war. My great-great-grandfathers fought for the South, as did the families of those I knew. Today, that feeling has vanished. Technology and multiple generations caused many changes, even in local demographics.

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

Williams: I began first grade when I was 5 (6 was the usual). I had to go to a private school for one year, then transfer to the public schools. Through every grade, I was the youngest and, fortunately, one of the tallest in every class. One curiosity I have is about what was known about me by the schools and teachers. I don’t recall what if any standardized tests were given back then. I was apparently tested by a psychologist before being allowed to start school at age 5.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Williams: I have two degrees in physics and one in business administration. I went into the nuclear reactor business and worked (core design, modeling, analysis, instrumentation, etc.) in the private sector, then in the nuclear weapons business (we were intending to build a tritium producing reactor, before the SALT treaty made it unnecessary). In that particular market, everything is either proprietary (private sector) or classified (weapons program). As a result, despite constant writing, nothing was seen “outside.” We had only advancement as a reward. I joined my private sector company as an associate physicist, but the company decided to make everyone an engineer, so my job titles went that way, from engineer, to senior engineer, to principal engineer, and to fellow engineer. During that time I also held a range of management titles. I also became the company representative (we had research labs and production plants scattered over the eastern part of the US) for joint research projects, which led me to a very enjoyable stint of high level meetings with people in the US, over much of Europe, and the Middle East.

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

Williams: Today we can measure intelligence reliably and with good predictive validity. The only purpose of these tests is to predict important life outcomes. If the tests don’t do that, they are worthless… but they do it quite well. More intelligence means that there is a higher probability that a desirable outcomes will happen and undesirable ones will not. More intelligent people are more likely to experience: higher income, increased longevity, greater general health, more life satisfaction, higher degree of body symmetry, higher educational achievement (grades, years completed, difficulty of major), higher SES (a product of intelligence, not a cause of it), faster speed of mental functions, better memory, faster learning rate, greater number of interests (held with competence), higher job performance, higher brain efficiency (relative to glucose uptake rate and speed of mental operations). And … they are less likely to be impacted by smoking, HIV infection, crime, incarceration, school dropout, teen pregnancy, illegitimate births, and unemployment.

At the national level, mean national IQ correlates positively with per capita GDP, economic growth, economic freedom, rule of law, democratization, adult literacy, savings, national test scores on science and math, enrollment in higher education, life expectancy, and negatively with HIV infection, employment, violent crime, poverty, % agricultural economy, corruption, fertility rate, polygyny, and religiosity.

This effect does not have a known ceiling. The Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth is a longitudinal study started by Julian Stanley and maintained today by Camilla Benbow and David Lubinski. Part of the study evaluated cohorts in the top 1% of intelligence. It showed that there are large differences between those in the bottom quarter of this range and those in the top quarter of the top 1%. These differences, favoring the more intelligent top quarter have been found in number of doctorates, number of STEM publications, number of patents awarded, income and literary publications.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Williams: Apparently it was well before I was aware of it. Even in primary school, I was selected for special treatment (a summer camp), a place on the varsity high school debate team when most participants were 4 years older, etc. By age 15, I began to win awards in science fairs

that led to half a dozen trips to various parts of the nation; two trips to the International Science and Engineering Fair (one was part of the World’s Fair in Seattle); lots of prizes, a summer job, and ultimately scholarships that paid for much of my college education. Upon entering my university I was given a chemistry test, which let to my being put in an advanced chemistry class that destroyed 2/3 of the students who were placed in it (I was up to it). Then there was a surprise trip by the Air Force (I was at Virginia Tech, which was compulsory military for two years, but I stayed in the Corps of Cadets for all four.) to send me to visit an airbase. It was years later that they told me I had made the second highest score on the Air Force Officer’s Qualification Test. The only thing I knew was that I did well on tests; it took years for me to connect various events to testing.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past 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.

Williams: It is amusing to see how interested people are in genius (the real thing, not simply high IQ), yet bright people who are successful seem to be frequently looked down on. Genius is such a complex thing that it is extraordinarily rare. It happens when a constellation of necessary, but not sufficient traits exist at maximum expression. Hans Eysenck believed that both traits Neurosis and Psychoticism had to be elevated in true genius. Obviously if either trait is overly expressed, the individual would be hobbled and not achieve enormous feats of creative genius. When N and P are somewhat elevated they positively impact success, while likely creating an unpleasant personality. For example, P may cause a person to be seen as aggressive, cold, egocentric, impersonal, impulsive, antisocial, unempathic, tough-minded, and creative. Arthur Jensen believed that genius is the product of high ability x high productivity x high creativity.

ability = g = efficiency of information processing

productivity = endogenous cortical stimulation

creativity = trait psychoticism

The result of genius traits is not pretty, nor is it consistent in how it is displayed in geniuses. We have all read about the lives of various composers, artists, and scientists who were sufficiently “unusual” as to be unable to fit into normal life patterns. I think the common reactions that you mention are not restricted to genius. We see other people rejected when they have personality, or even physical, differences. Curiously, I see this same rejection and bullying among the Canada geese that live in my yard. Lame geese and even normal geese without a group are rejected and sometimes attacked.

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

Williams: As a scientist, I am going to surprise you. It is the great artists, because they give us things that only they can produce. The major scientific discoveries would all be made, even if the people who discovered them had not existed. Of the greats, I think Beethoven is the most important person in all of history. His work was so profound, moving, and complex that nothing compares. Of course, the other composers (Bach, Mozart and many others) have made contributions that are treasures. In the arts, Michelangelo and Picasso lead the list of greats.

I have never seen a credible list of the IQs of any real geniuses. My guess is that those in the arts may be reasonably bright, but that it is their creativity and skill that sets them apart. In science, things are different. The scientists are brighter and higher on traits Agreeableness and Consciousness.

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

Williams: Personality and creativity. I have already discussed how personality can make a genius seem unlikable and unreachable. The thing that I find to be interesting is that the biological factors that are associated with bright brains are sometimes opposite from those associated with creative brains. We know from prodigy studies that prodigies have IQs that range from 100 to about 147 (those actually studied). Prodigies are found in rule based disciplines: chess, art, music, and mathematics. The highest IQs are those of the math prodigies.

One of the significant factors in the creative brain is an inhibitory function that is weak. This condition lowers the filtering system that rejects stimuli that are not needed for the task at hand. We experience this selective attention when we are in a noisy environment. Our brains usually tune out the noise, for example people talking in a social gathering, and focus on the sensory input that is needed (understanding the person we are talking to). When this selective attention is low, the person may find unrelated stimuli arriving in his brain simultaneously. This promotes new combinations of ideas that would normally be prevented by the inhibitory function. But this is exactly opposite of what we need for intelligence. A mathematician, scientist, or engineer must stay on task, not be distracted, and remain focused. An example of lowered inhibition is seen with alcohol and other drugs. Imagine trying to take a calculus test while you are inebriated!

There is a similar consideration in brain networks. The brain with poor connectivity (long mean path lengths and fewer connections to hubs) causes a single thought process to follow an inefficient path around the brain before it reaches its intended destination. During this long route, it can access information that leads to creative combinations of previously unrelated ideas. Again, this is opposite of what one needs for complex problem solving. There are other examples, but the point here is that creativity taps a set of brain conditions that are often opposite of those that are required for deep scientific reasoning.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Williams: “Yes,” for STEM fields, “no” for the arts. This is not to say that artistic geniuses are not bright, but rather that they do not require “profound intelligence” of the sort we see in great scientists.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Williams: I spent a long time in the commercial nuclear reactor world. I began in reactor core

physics, where I did modeling, burnup analysis, isotopic balances, and calculated a variety of physics parameters that are used by other physicists/engineers. A good part of that time involved work on fast breeder reactors, which was enjoyable because I could design and analyze multiple configurations so that the best one could be identified. It turned out to be a flat cylinder that got the name “pancake.” That design worked well because it allowed a lot of axial neutron leakage which fed the breeding of U-235 to Pu-239. Then I spent years doing transient analysis. This meant calculating the outcome of accidents, such as an ejected control rod, or a broken pipe. I recall doing the loss of feedwater accident for Three Mile Island-II. That was the accident initiated a sequence of events that destroyed the plant, but it was not because of a miscalculation, it was because we didn’t consider that an operator would turn off the emergency core cooling system! I ultimately became the only person who really understood the Reactor Protection System (RPS). It was satisfying to be the resident expert, but it made it difficult for me to move to something I wanted to do in a different division. I developed the methods for determining RPS setpoints and personally determined these for every large power reactor we built. I also did the work that resulted in the licensing of the first digital RPS approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

After training several people to do my job, I managed to move to the Contract Research Division, which was the most memorable and enjoyable part of my career. I mentioned some of that in an earlier question. All in all, I had great experiences doing things that most people could not even know about. My last 6 years (before retirement) were spent in the nuclear weapons program. I ended up working in Washington, DC for most of that time, as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Energy. On one trip, I went to Mound, Ohio. The old part of this site was built very deep underground and designed to withstand a direct nuclear blast. It was amazing to see that something like that even existed. I was with a small group and we went on to Fernald. During the trip, someone wanted to visit a vault where weapons grade materials were kept. We went through 3 or 4 checkpoints where we had to go though various presentations of security clearances, etc. and then ended up in a round concrete room. The walls were decorated with machine gun ports and the guys behind them were actually holding the machine guns. I understood the old quip about “shooting fish in a barrel,” from the perspective of the fish. After they finally let us out of what amounted to a cage, we saw the vault, which was a major letdown, then we had to repeat each step in reverse. This sort of thing does not appeal to me at all. I was never happy working with security that involved man traps, armed guards, magnetometers, sniffers, x-ray, and endless security checks.

One thing that I enjoyed was teaching/lecturing. For whatever reason, I became the go to person for delivering lectures to our reactor customers, federal regulatory agencies (including one from Italy), and prospective customers. My lectures were always well received, but we were getting feedback that our Loss of Coolant lectures were not well received. This is an area that is focused on heat transfer and hydraulics. I had not worked in the area, but agreed to take over the lectures, if the engineers there would give me some time, explaining their modeling. I figured it out, designed, and delivered lectures that generated accolades from our customers.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Williams: From childhood, I knew I wanted to go into science, but had no specific area of interest. By high school, I was more focused on chemistry and won awards on the studies I did with fuel cells that I designed and built, then with my studies of gas chromatography, using a system that I designed, built, then altered into various configurations. [These led to multiple awards, up to and including a first and second at the International Science and Engineering Fairs.] When I had to pick a major, I only considered the math load. I selected physics because I figured it was more math heavy than anything else. I was right at the academic level, but by the time I entered the nuclear business, we had mainframe computers and did most of our work using numerical methods (beating the answers out, by iteration). At that time reactors were the big deal for electric utilities and they paid off big for those who bought them. Ultimately, interveners found a way to stop the industry by endless (pointless) law suits that had no merit, but they delayed construction. At that time we were in the highest inflation period of modern times, so the utilities simply couldn’t pay the cost of their loans. It was a case of the interveners losing every battle, but winning the war.

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?

Williams: Very bright people have the ability to understand and deal with multiple complex disciplines and to solve problems that are beyond even bright people. The spectrum of intelligence is defined by the structures and properties of the brain and can only be degraded by environmental encounters. That means we have not found a way to increase intelligence. The brain is built from our genetic instructions and is intelligent to the extent that its components are efficient and suffer few flaws. For example, we know that tissue integrity in both gray and white matter influences intelligence, as do the multiple factors that relate to mental speed (white matter tracts, hub connections, myelination, nerve conduction velocity, etc.). Ultimately, any brain feature that has a range of efficiency between individuals is going to favor the more efficient brain.

Studies of large populations and high end intelligence have shown that extreme intelligence is not associated with one or a few genes. It is simply part of the normal distribution of the huge number of factors that each contribute to phenotypic intelligence. We are at one of the big new directions of discovery in cognitive science: genetics. Within the past few years Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been done with large sample sizes. With over 1.2 million people represented, researchers have found more than 1,200 single nucleotide polymorphisms that are associated with intelligence. Despite this number, the effect size is only around 10%. Despite the small effect size, polygenic scores (PGS) have been derived from the GWAS and used to predict intelligence, even in embryos. These PGS have produced almost perfect (greater than correlations of 0.90) predictions of mean intelligence differences between breeding groups.

As the brain matures, the heritability of g (the sine qua non of intelligence) increases from around 40% in early childhood to about 85% in adults. This increase in the genotype is found in other traits as well. Despite the lower heritability found in young children, measurements done for ages 6 to 12 months are predictive of adult IQ and educational achievements. [Adult IQ, r = 0.59; Adult academic achievement, r = 0.53 (both corrected for unreliability)]

In the case of genius, as I previously noted, intelligence, creativity, and personality all have to be at optimum levels. This is an extremely rare event. Geniuses are typically born to families that have not shown outstanding performance in academics, invention, creativity, etc. Relatively few geniuses have children and many do not marry. Those who do have children rarely produce another genius (there are a few possible exceptions that we might find over the past several centuries).

Neither the general public nor those who teach at any level have even a modest understanding of intelligence. Russell Warne has been uncovering the details of just how little people understand. This year he did a survey of teachers asking them to rate a number of statements about intelligence on a Likert scale. Sadly, the results were not surprising. In recent years, he has surveyed US universities and found that most didn’t offer courses on intelligence and the psychology courses they taught used textbooks that primarily discussed discredited models (Gardner’s multiple intelligences) and often did not even mention g. He has written a book on the subject of myths about intelligence: In the Know: 35 Myths About Human Intelligence.

Myths

I will offer a few comments on just 3 of the many myths that are commonly accepted as facts.

Group differences

The single most damaging failure to understand is that there are large intelligence differences between breeding groups. These are differences in g and these are overwhelmingly genetic. The differences explain many of the conflicts we see between nations, within national groups, and between individuals. They explain differences in academic achievement, in job performance, in crime rates, wealth, income, health, and longevity. These differences have been known for 150 years and are forcefully denied by the proponents of political correctness. Sex differences also cause some people to get upset and deny the differences. The reality is that, around age 16 males show a higher mean intelligence and a higher variability. These combine to cause a rapidly increasing male to female ratio in the right tail. There is controversy over the difference at the mean, but my conclusion is that it has turned up in a large number of independent studies and seems to be real. The difference we see most often is around 4 points, but a few studies have shown up to 6 points.

Heritability

Those who want to argue that all humans are born with identical abilities deny the very high heritability of g. We can and have measured this heritability using diverse methods that show essentially the same result. Those methods are as follows:

The correlation between MZA twins–This correlation is used directly—not squared.

Falconer’s Formula–This method was developed by Falconer and MacKay. It computed heritability by doubling the difference between the correlations of same-sex MZT and

DZT twins. Numbers are typically r = 0.88 and 0.51 respectively. After correction for reliability the numbers become .98 and .56, respectively. The difference is 0.42, so the computed heritability is 0.84.

Richard Lynn also reported two studies of heritability in India, both using Falconer’s Formula. One study yielded heritability of 0.81 and the other 0.90. After correction for reliability, these become 0.90 and 1.00, respectively.

1.0 Minus the Environmental Component–Adoption studies (and others) have shown that the environmental component is about 15% in adults (see papers by Posthuma, Haier, Lynn, and various others). This method produces the typically cited level of heritability in adults of 85%.

Path Analysis–This technique was invented in the 1920s by Sewall Wright. The method incorporates multiple linear regression to apportion the contributions of each of the multiple causal variables to the variance in the single outcome. The assumed links between the causal variables can be tested and rejected if they do not fit the assumed causation. This is not a test of causation, but provides a means of determining magnitude and of establishing the existence or nonexistence of the assumed causality link. The method is general and has been used to study diseases, occupations, etc. One study that used this method was based on the Texas Adoption Project (300 adoptees). The analysis used the IQs of mother, father, their natural children, and their adopted children (after about 17 years of adoption). The heritability derived from this study was 0.78 before correction for reliability. With correction it is about 0.86.

Brain Imaging–Within the past decade papers have appeared with heritability estimates based on brain imaging of MZT and DZT twins. Imaging by Paul Thompson showed that the brain structure was heritable at the level predicted by other methods (listed above). PGS (previously mentioned) predict between group differences with strong correlateion coefficients, as already discussed.

Environmental factors–People want to believe that intelligence is molded by parental interactions, socioeconomic status, school quality, etc. No, it’s genes. Stephen Pinker wrote a whole book on this topic (The Blank Slate).

Multiple intelligences–Howard Gardner invented a model that has strong appeal to the public, but which is not supported by data and does not withstand scrutiny. He showed that it is profitable to tell people what they want to hear, even if it is incorrect.

Flynn Effect and g

Another case of people wanting to accept pop-science explanations, without understanding the details. In this case, the public believes that intelligence is increasing and some believe that it is increasing in a way that will eliminate between group differences. IQ scores have been unstable for a long time and have mostly increased. The effect is different in different nations and is different as a function of time in most nations. We now have a reversal in a good many

European nations. The problem is that these score changes have been shown to be artifacts and are not due to changes in g. For example, some of the instability is due to increased guessing (the Brand Effect) and some are due to the method of scoring the test, which has nothing to do with intelligence. Meanwhile there is considerable evidence that g is declining, at least in Western nations and China.

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

Williams: Over 20 years ago, I attended a presentation by Jay Glass, author of The Animal Within Us. He described exactly what I had concluded several years earlier, based on the same source material (the study of chimps). He concluded that humans are significantly like our nearest relatives in that we are genetically predisposed to organize in a dynamic hierarchical structure. Chimps and humans have this social structure (other animals as well). I think we are so drawn to this need to have a hierarchy that we don’t stop with the chief, king, or satrap, but go on to spontaneously invent gods with magical powers and elaborate stories of their adventures, including the creation of the universe and man.

In cognitive science, religion has been studied extensively. In every case (national and individual studies) the finding has been a negative correlation between measures of religiosity and intelligence. Some researchers have approached the topic by studying the degree of dogmatism in individual religious beliefs. The more dogmatic (fundamentalist) the beliefs, the lower the IQ. I can recall that, as a child, I noticed that the religious denominations in my immediate surroundings were clearly stratified by SES. I didn’t know why at that time, but today it is obviously a case of grouping by wealth and education, both of which are products of intelligence. Scientists typically show low percentages who hold religious beliefs.

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

Williams: It plays to my interest. There are things that are difficult or impossible to understand from a purely scientific perspective. Ethics is one example. Yet most of the things we see are subject to scientific study and understanding. This applies even to relatively etherial things, such as emotions.

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

Williams: Virtually all of the tests I have taken were quite a long time ago, before I had an interest in cognition. I previously mentioned two tests I took in college. I think there were various others during high school. About 30 years ago, I took two tests administered by Mensa. I have no idea what they were and what the scores were, but I used them to join Mensa, the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, and the Triple Nine Society. The latter two admit at the 99.9th percentile. I have not had any interest in hobby tests and have written about my concerns for their validity on numerous occasions. My last effort will presumably appear in the journal Noesis (Mega Society – not a member) in February.

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.

Williams: I have no idea. When I have taken tests that had consequences, I managed to do well enough. I have not engaged in the “test taking as entertainment” practice.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you? What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you? What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you? What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you? What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Williams: I will combine the philosophy questions into one reply. Let me start with an observation by geneticist Robert Plomin. He was being honored with the Distinguished Career Interview at an ISIR (International Society for Intelligence Research) conference. As he discussed his career path, he mentioned that he began his university studies in philosophy. At some point, he realized that things that can be measured are not part of philosophy and changed majors. This reflects my view of philosophy. My interests lie in science, so that is what I read. My formal education did not include any courses on philosophy, so I don’t think in terms of Kant or Nietzsche. The one philosopher who has attracted my interest is Bertrand Russell; I found his essays about religion interesting. My belief about ethics is that, as usual with this sort of topic, there are different perspectives that can be argued endlessly. The thing I am most bothered by is another party attempting to impose an ethical standard on me. We see a lot of this as ethics is blended with politics and I believe it has become a social cancer. This relates to my previous comments about how the huge between group gaps in intelligence have serious consequences.

My view of economics is that of von Mises and Friedman. I think we have valid predictive models of economic behaviors and that we should follow those in government and fiscal policies. I consider myself to be a libertarian at heart. Unfortunately, I don’t see a path from the present political divide in the US towards a more harmonious and prosperous society. We have reached the point mentioned by Alexander Fraser Tytler at which people will vote benefits for themselves from the treasury at the expense of destroying the economic stability of the nation. This is an outcome that returns to the intelligence issue and, in particular, the decline in intellectual capital due to the negative correlation between intelligence and fertility rate.

As a matter of understanding why I see so many things as ultimately being matters relating to cognitive abilities, I think Douglas Detterman explained the gravity of it well: “From very early, I was convinced that intelligence was the most important thing of all to understand, more important than the origin of the universe, more important than climate change, more important than curing cancer, more important than anything else. That is because human intelligence is our major adaptive function and only by optimizing it will we be able to save ourselves and other living things from ultimate destruction. It is as simple as that.” [Detterman is the founder of ISIR and of its journal, Intelligence.]

While I am being pessimistic, I will share my conclusion about group conflicts. Despite all of the idealistic things that some people believe and others would like to believe, world history should have taught us all that humans are truly aggressive and will repeatedly commit atrocities and engage in wars. I see no end to it and think it is a part of our species behavior. In my lifetime we have had a world war, countless smaller wars, multiple instances of genocide, and see that these are not restricted to small, backward nations, but are done on a grand scale by the same nations that have given us artistic beauty and scientific understanding.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Williams: The things that are meaningful to me are those that many people hold dear: family, liberty, and nature. I have had the opportunity to live comfortably and to enjoy a great deal of autonomy. I have surrounded myself with a zoo-like population of animals, forest, and a beautiful place to enjoy nature. I have gotten to know my Canada geese as individuals and spent hours watching the other creatures that live here with me.

Jacobsen: To set the stage for the further conversation, what comprises intelligence in the abstract?

Williams: I think g is the best match to “abstract.” It is a latent trait, so it can only be known by statistical manipulation of measurements. We have Arthur Jensen to thank for convincing skeptical researchers that the essence of intelligence is this single factor that Charles Spearman discovered in 1904. Jensen had the persistence to meet every argument with data and analysis. Today intelligence research is g research.

Jacobsen: What are the mainstream and fringe theories of human intelligence on offer over time?

Williams: Today g theory is accepted as the best representation of intelligence, defining its structure via factor analysis and linking the biology of intelligence to the outward measurements that relate to it. As I have already noted Gardner’s model is very popular among laymen. It is the sort of thing that drives researchers crazy. Gardner did not derive his model from data, did not use an inductive process to construct it, and has been unable to show that it can be demonstrated as correct from real world measurements. The thing multiple intelligences implies is that if someone has a low academic ability, they have something else to make up for it in a zero sum sense. It sounds nice, but it is nonsense. The real world is not so fair. What we have is the positive manifold, which is the way Spearman described his discovery that people who test at a given level on one category of cognitive tasks will test at a similar level on virtually all cognitive tasks. Of course it’s unfair… it means that bright people are likely to excel at almost every kind of task, while dull people will find most such tasks difficult or impossible. It is from the positive manifold that Spearman was able to reveal the general factor g (Spearman’s g) using factor analysis, which he invented.

Robert Sternberg also invented a model that he calls Triarchic theory. It consists of dividing intelligence into practical, creative, and analytical. As is the case with multiple intelligence, it sounds good to people who want to believe that g is not the answer. Some years ago, Linda

Gottfredson did a detailed dissection (published in Intelligence) of his “theory,” showing that it does not withstand scrutiny.

Aside from the models presented by Gardner and Sternberg, there have been various other proposed models that have been abandoned. For example, Joy Paul Gilford offered a “structure of intellect” model. This complex model was designed with 150 cells, each of which represented an ability (Gardner magnified). There are a variety of other models that have been assembled, but the only one that is significant is Cattell’s model which was basically an argument against g. Instead of one top factor, he used two: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. We still use these as stratum II factors, but they are grouped with other broad abilities. The structural model that won out was the Cattell-Horn-Carroll model that serves as the basis for both the Wechsler tests and the Woodcock-Johnson. Carroll tweaked the model that Cattell and Horn were using, so that g was extracted as the single stratum III factor. This model is g theory in practice. [Despite its popularity and usefulness, the CHC model is somewhat arbitrary and is not the true structure of intelligence. That honor goes to the VPR model (verbal, perceptual, and rotational) developed by Wendy Johnson and Thomas Bouchard.]

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Retired Nuclear Physicist; Member, Triple Nine Society; Member, Mensa International; Member, International Society for Philosophical Enquiry.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1) [Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 15). Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Bob Williams on Background, Genius, Theories of Intelligence, Psychometrics, and Worldview-Encompassing Philosophical System: Retired Nuclear Physicist (1)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/williams-1.

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.

Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3)

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: October 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,933

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Mhedi Banafshei is a Member of the World Genius Directory. He discusses: high-IQ communities defined within the parameters; egalitarianism; common things; certain intellectual interests’ the high-IQ societies; the issues around the legitimacy of high-IQ societies; the issues around the “existence of differences of intelligence altogether”; some of the reasons of others for joining the high-IQ societies; examples of individuals who could only be identified as geniuses; inappropriate ways of putting forth one’s ideas; the important lesson on resilience in the midst of reality; a gifted person learn to trust, drop their guard, and trust their natural inclinations of interests to guide them in life; “answers that are weighted differently rather than just considered as either correct or incorrect”; the injustices of the past; high-IQ societies matching “most things in life”; the precarious balance between humility and confidence; some programs available for the “broadening of horizons” of the gifted and the talented; and speculation as to the reasons for “those with IQs above 150 or so… less likely to have careers of prestigious positions.”

Keywords: confidence, egalitarianism, high-IQ societies, geniuses, humility, injustices, interests, Mhedi Banafshei, World Genius Directory.

Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What makes high-IQ communities defined within the parameters of any “social factor which indicates something about human values or something meaningful in terms of experiences of life is a foundation of community”?

Mhedi Banafshei[1],[2]*:  Naturally, many members of high IQ societies are quite adept at being critical thinkers. Those who aren’t inclined to superficially analyze things are likely to find friends among themselves, in the same way that those who’re simply led by popular opinion and the media attract each other. The theory that one can only meaningfully communicate with those within two standard deviations of one’s own IQ score does have some truth to it, even if it doesn’t explain everything.

Jacobsen: Why is egalitarianism a common trait within the high-IQ societies?

Banafshei: I suppose many of us are smart enough to know that the value of something achieved is not determined by the superficial characteristics of the achiever.

Jacobsen: What are some of the common things to help “identify people with whom they have more than one thing in common”?

Banafshei: I think it helps to try to listen better than you talk. People will reveal things well enough, and soon enough, when you do that.

Jacobsen: You stated, “Given that having a high IQ does generally relate to a somewhat higher likelihood of forming certain intellectual interests, such societies are giving many opportunities to not only find those with similar interests but also those who happen to be equally cognitively equipped in relation to exploration of the subjects of mutual investment.” I ask: What seem like such “certain intellectual interests” in which “societies are giving many opportunities”?

Banafshei: It hasn’t been difficult for me to find knowledgeable people within IQ societies to converse with about the subjects I’m interested in, which relate to some of the abstract topics of philosophy, mathematics and psychology. Many of us find IQ societies to be very handy in terms of just learning about almost any subject for purposes of curiosity and intellectual development even, without there necessarily being any desire of academic ambition. And for this reason, IQ societies can have an educational value for the intelligent that can’t be simply replaced by formal education. In terms of the aforementioned, I’ve found the IQ societies founded by Iakovos Koukas to be very good and believe they’ll pave the way of the high, and especially ultra-high, IQ sphere.

Jacobsen: Do the high-IQ societies seem more important to a country culture or less important in general now?

Banafshei: IQ societies are of limited relevance in most countries because options are very limited in terms of the existence of nationally based IQ societies. Currently, many countries only have Mensa chapters and little else of serious development. While higher IQs are not very common, enough people exist with IQs at or above the third standard deviation to make the creation of national societies of such viable. With the realization of this, importance would manifest.

Jacobsen: What seem like the issues around the legitimacy of high-IQ societies?

Banafshei: The main ones are the questions of intelligence itself. Since a considerable number of questions still surround intelligence, many who happen not to have any confirmation of possessing high intelligence are more comfortable assuming the concept of intelligence is merely an abstract philosophical one of little real-life consequence or that the point of diminishing returns is much lower than what is likely to be the case.

Jacobsen: What seem like the issues around the “existence of differences of intelligence altogether”?

Banafshei: For reasons of political correctness, the education systems of many countries avoid assessing the intelligence levels of children and young pupils unless there is very obviously a need for it in terms of special needs, or teachers subjectively make formal judgments of such. The result of this is that many schools do a very poor job at identifying high, and sometimes even very low, intelligence. As well as the more important educational consequences this can have for many people, this reinforces social denial of the realities of intelligence related to the dunning kruger effect. Inevitably, intelligent people are undermined.

Jacobsen: What were some of the reasons of others for joining the high-IQ societies known to you?

Banafshei: I know some who’ve joined with the hope they could find an appropriate partner, some who’ve wanted to learn from others, some who’ve wanted to find high IQ friends and even some who’ve simply been in the business of collecting as many certificates as possible.

Jacobsen: Any examples of individuals who could only be identified as geniuses, as such, after the fact?

Banafshei: Individual examples are not as important as the general principle that contributions often need expansion of context to be properly understood.

Jacobsen: What are inappropriate ways of putting forth one’s ideas? What are more appropriate manners in which to put someone’s ideas forward to others?

Banafshei: The universally inappropriate way would be to present ideas dishonestly. What’s appropriate depends on the idea itself and the range of people it can appeal to.

Jacobsen: If “failure is a part of life no matter what your IQ is,” what is the important lesson on resilience in the midst of this reality? What are some other similar realities for the gifted and talented to ingest as if the proverbial bitter pill?

Banafshei: That while high intelligence is a good asset, it’s rarely sufficient on it’s own. It should be understood that even those who’re regarded as highly intelligent, or even geniuses, are not perfectly intelligent. Intelligence is relative, and the smartest are not as far ahead as some suppose. It’s only logical that some highly intelligent people become complacent in life due to being able to sometimes get by more easily. But that is an often disastrous mistake. In the long run, the winners are always those who are well-rounded participants who possess many positive attributes of human success. The proverbial pill is that intelligent people would often find themselves much more easily overtaken by people of seemingly much lower cognitive ability than they may guess if they are led to believe intelligence is any guarantee of anything. It may seem like an obvious idea, but given the fact that the correlation between intelligence and success isn’t much higher, the need of it’s expression seems apparent.

Jacobsen: How can a gifted person learn to trust, drop their guard, and trust their natural inclinations of interests to guide them in life?

Banafshei: It’s important that they know themselves. Many of the ideas and expectations of prevailing cultures are not very accommodating of the essence of individuals who are statistical minorities of cognitive ability and/or personality. Life isn’t predicated on a monolithic one-size-fits-all philosophical framework of meaning. Those who’ll often find themselves at odds with the world, due to giftedness or anything else, would generally be better off if they try to forge their own senses of meaning and direction rather than continue to try to meet the, sometimes antithetical, standards of normalcy.

Jacobsen: Can you expand on the idea of “answers that are weighted differently rather than just considered as either correct or incorrect,” please?

Banafshei: While the abilities of cognitive tasks correlate with each other, there is still variation in terms of the subtest profiles of supervised IQ tests, and it’s also been found in relation to high range testing that some people of contextually moderate ability sometimes solve some of the hardest items, the hardest items which are also solved by many of the most intelligent test-takers. In relation to this, it’s clear that often there are a range of test answers which could be regarded as more or less statistically correct rather than categorically either. The application of this could lead to more precise estimations. 

Jacobsen: What is done to ‘curb’ the injustices of the past? What is done to curb the curbing, so as to re-create the injustices of the past?

Banafshei: The range of both is too vast to be properly specified without writing a book, which I probably wouldn’t be qualified to write. An interesting context of this question is the circumstances in the US in terms of the current issues being dealt with relating to American minorities, and particularly African Americans, as the United States has been a focal point of matters of justice for a considerable period of time. Currently, it seems that radical opposing forces of politics are becoming more prominent there, and this may be in part because of the pervasiveness of the questionable modern notion that the things which are most representative of justice also happen to be the least offensive overall and the most easily presentable to society in association with causing minimal tension, this may have inhibited healthy debates in connection with growing problems and concerns of various kinds. Those who are seemingly the least biased in terms of radicalism will be crucial to the formation of things.

Jacobsen: You note most things in life, a lot, in relation to high-IQ societies. Does the consideration of high-IQ societies matching “most things in life” speak a lot about the nature of high-IQ and its associated societies built around attainers of said status?

Banafshei: Obviously, high IQ societies exist within contexts of general ones and like most, if not all, elements of subculture, they are highly influenced by the cultures of their surroundings. The dilemma of social groups which develop to function for niche purposes is that while they need to form norms of their own, they are nonetheless bound by the prominent cultural realities of their societal foundation. It’s difficult to say to what extent IQ societies tend to be structurally reflective of dominant systems, but participants thereof should certainly consider themselves relatively competent potential explorers of this matter. 

Jacobsen: What is the precarious balance between humility and confidence?

Banafshei: A sense of responsibility is important. When one appreciates the importance of their actions in relation to others as well as themselves, it’s often easier to maintain balance of mindset.

Jacobsen: What are some programs available for the “broadening of horizons” of the gifted and the talented?

Banafshei: When in school, it’s important that the educational needs of gifted children are accommodated by the implementation of personalized pathways of learning. The simple fact is, good nurture of the most able children is of incalculable importance to the societal productivity of the future. If the question is thought of generally in relation to all of such people, then I’d say gifted/talented people should be focused on finding the right way of doing things for themselves rather than simply following the example of others of a similar kind.

Jacobsen: Any speculation as to the reasons for “those with IQs above 150 or so… less likely to have careers of prestigious positions”?

Banafshei: Firstly, it should be clear to us all that difficulties of this kind don’t apply to everyone with IQs above this level. Given that one’s general intelligence doesn’t function independently of other human factors, whether or not problems of this kind will exist for a high IQ individual, and what the mechanisms of their existence/non-existence would be, depends on a host of personal, cultural, socioeconomic, and circumstantial factors, of course. In my own case, while I’m not sure such a notion applies in relation to my non-participation in the elite professions, I can say that some of the difficulties I’ve had in my formative years have related to my perceptions of interpreting things differently and apparently being more naturally evaluative/critical of the social activities, ideologies and fact related claims of the social systems of my engagement.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3) [Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 15). Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Mhedi Banafshei on Egalitarianism, Convergent Intellectual Interests, Trust, Confidence and Humility, and “Broadening of Horizons”: Member, World Genius Directory (3)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/banafshei-3.

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.

Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1)

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: October 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,061

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri is a Member of the World Genius Directory. He discusses: growing up; an extended self; family background; peers and schoolmates; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; the greatest geniuses in history; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; some work experiences and educational certifications; some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted; some social and political views; thoughts on the God concept or gods idea; science; me of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; and ethical philosophy.

Keywords: France, Islam, Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri, Morocco, World Genius Directory.

Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (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?

Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri[1],[2]*: Perhaps the most interesting was that of my grandfather on my mother’s side, he was a revolutionary who fought for years against the French resistance against the occupation of Morocco by France in 1912, he always told us with great pride of his adventures and his tricks and how close he was to death on several occasions with the desire to help force the French out of Moroccan territory.

My paternal grandmother was a healer. She used to cure patients with hepatitis and other ailments with medicinal herbs and other natural remedies, since at that time doctors were scarce and everyone with an illness went to healers and curanderos. But perhaps the one that left a very deep impression on me was the unpleasant experience of my mother’s illness as a child. For several years she had repeated psychotic outbreaks with hallucinations, she also had phobias of an obsessive nature and was under psychiatric treatment. It was a very hard time for me and my siblings.

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

Jabri: There was a positive and a negative part.

The positive part was from my father who is also a doctor by profession. He taught me several values that have served me throughout my life such as generosity, humility, the importance of family and that you have to work very hard to achieve your goals. He loved his country and his work. As soon as he got his medical degree in France he went back to practice medicine in Morocco and to take care of my grandparents who were already very old and with many health problems. He is a very beloved doctor in my city, he was nicknamed the doctor of the poor because he treated them without charging them for the consultation and without receiving anything in return, after treating them he even gave them money to buy their medicines. He was honest in his work and very modest.  He has always wanted me to be a doctor just like him even though I had other preferences for other careers at first.

The negative part was living through these difficult times of my mother’s illness that contributed negatively to me.  As a result, I too ended up developing anxious depressions and some types of phobias.

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

Jabri: My great-grandparents are of Berber origin were born in Feguig a city that is in the east of Morocco, near the mountains of the atlas on the border with allergy surrounded by a wild desert and mountains, a very hot city, then my grandparents had to move

Looking for a job and a better future in the city of Oujda, it is the city where I was born and grew up until I took the road to Spain to continue my studies. We are a large family of five siblings. In Morocco, in marriages it is common to have enough children thinking that when they are older they will take care of their parents and help support the family. There it is socially frowned upon to admit the parents when they are older in the residences for the elderly, it is part of the Moroccan culture.

The religion in Morocco is Muslim, the official language is Arabic and there are several dialects depending on each region, the second official language is French. My city is small and conservative, but each time the new generation is having a more open and more liberal mentality, although the traditions and customs of our ancestors are maintained but now with a certain touch of modernity. My parents are very religious, I would say they are fanatics, they pray five times a day, they do Ramadan and have made a pilgrimage to Mecca. I grew up in that religious environment, hence my Muslim religion, I consider myself an open person with a different view of the world unlike most of my countrymen, grows up with a certain degree of ostracism towards some customs and habits that are part of Moroccan culture and that remain to this day, although I retain my religious beliefs.

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

Jabri: In both primary and secondary school I had a pretty bad time, there the teachers’ method of teaching consists of you learning things by force, if you don’t do your homework they punish you, they mistreat you physically and psychologically by hitting you, insulting you. I was afraid to go to school, which caused me anxiety and a lot of nervousness. As for the relationship with my classmates, it was not bad at all. There were good moments when we laughed and had a lot of fun, and other bad moments when we were upset and fought with some of our classmates. Once at school, things improved a lot and I stopped suffering so much from the mistreatment and aggressive behaviour of the teachers. I always had very few friends, at most two or three, I was very shy and a little unsociable.  I enjoyed spending hours talking with my father about medical and other scientific topics.

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

Jabri: The purpose of the intelligence tests for me. If we talk about the high-rank tests, in part, they serve to entertain me, I have fun spending sometimes hours trying to solve some test, looking for more and more creative solutions for each item, since they are very complex tests that require much imagination and many hours to get to solve the items of a given test. And in part, they are also used as a psychometric measure of the g with variable reliability depending on the type of test and the author who designed the test.  It is a different way of estimating the ci compared to classic tests such as the WAIS and other time-limited tests, which are rather static, simple tests and depend largely on how fast you are and the processing speed you possess. Psychological tests are sometimes less reliable for people who are susceptible to problems of anxiety, stress or if you suffer from a psychological disorder or simply if you take them without having slept well the previous night or any other circumstance that may negatively influence the final result of the test.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Jabri: As a child, I did not take any psychological tests to determine my IQ, but I entered school at an early age and finished the courses with good grades. In school, I got the first grades in subjects like math, physics or chemistry and not so good in other subjects that were less interesting to me, where I was bored and wanted to finish the class as soon as possible. A little over two years ago, thanks to a friend who knows him through Quora and who had told me about the high ranking tests, I tried to take several tests in a small period of time and they didn’t turn out badly, I got quite high scores in most cases. But throughout my life I have always had a mistrust of myself in my abilities, I suffered from the impostor syndrome.

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

Jabri: For me, the most outstanding in the Arab world is Ibn Sina. He was a philosopher, scientist, doctor, mathematician. I contribute many works on geometry, astronomy, logic and psychology and natural sciences.

Albert Einstein is famous for his special and general theories of relativity.

Besides, I have a special admiration for Nicolas Tesla. Engineer, physicist, inventor, he laid the foundations of the second industrial revolution, although it did not have a happy ending because of his mental disorders, he died alone and poor despite his contributions to science.

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

Jabri: Albert Einstein, said ‘that we are all geniuses. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live a life believing it is stupid)’

Geniuses are not only intelligent, but they are also very creative, they are usually great inventors, painters, musicians, philosophers. A genius is partly capable of understanding reality, which leads to generating transformations that benefit everyone.  We attribute the great scientific advances we have achieved today, thanks to their great ideas, theories, thoughts and inventions that revolutionized an entire world

A deeply intelligent person, he has cognitive skills, much understanding to solve difficult and complex problems with divergent thinking. High ability to adapt to the circumstances and diverse situations that life presents.

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

Jabri: In Morocco, I started to study biology, then I had to continue my studies in Spain where I studied a year of chemical engineering and changed my career to medicine where I graduated as a doctor. Afterwards, I worked as a doctor for a while in an outpatient clinic in Valencia, currently, I am practicing my profession in a private clinic.

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?

Jabri: Throughout history, a series of stereotypes have been created, myths deeply rooted in society regarding the gifted that are not completely true, they are merely beliefs that often do not correspond to reality. They were considered as misfits, unsociable, they are supermen and superwomen who stood out in all areas and can perform any job without any difficulty, at the academic level is thought to get the best grades, and usually have a high academic performance, achieving both school and professional success. Nothing could be further from the truth than the fact that few people perform in an outstanding way academically, either because of lack of motivation or because of boredom in class. Many times they end up failing at school and a considerable percentage of them end up leaving school. They are emotionally labile, extremely sensitive, in fact, they are vulnerable, and if they do not receive the necessary attention and support and a specific education from an early age to unfold their potential and so that talent is not lost, they do not achieve the desired goals that are expected of them on an academic and professional level. Many develop psychological problems from feeling frustrated, they end up having anxiety, depressive pictures, sometimes obsessive behaviours and various types of phobias.

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

Jabri: Today we live in a capitalist society, which is dominated by business deregulation, unemployment, injustice, poverty and economic inequality. Economic growth seems to benefit only the highest class of society, unscrupulous billionaires, who seek to make their fortunes at the expense of the poorest, without concern for human dignity, in an attempt to enrich themselves using all the means at their disposal, sometimes illegal, without concern for the generation of more poverty, environmental pollution and destruction of the natural habitat, violence. Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars in profits, taking out more and more expensive drugs that are out of reach of many people, they care more about how much money they make than about people’s own health, not everyone can pay what it costs for example the drugs to treat the various types of cancer, especially in the poorest countries.

In order to come to power, in the electoral campaigns before the elections, politicians often make false promises that then do not comply, sometimes financing their election campaigns or political parties with money obtained illegally, really only look after their political interests most of the time that what their people really need, we see each time the emergence of ultra-right parties, radical with their speeches divide society by promoting xenophobia, gender violence, social inequality, as in Spain with some political parties such as the party of Vox. Sometimes politicians in an attitude of manipulating people use religious arguments to attract more voters. Now with the crisis of the COVID-19, apart from the mismanagement of the pandemic by many governments, the rulers of different countries do not agree among themselves. We see at the beginning of the pandemic, a divided European Union. Richer countries in a selfish attitude try to recruit all the medical equipment, the drugs that seem to have some effect on the COVID-19, depriving other countries with fewer economic resources, lack of solidarity. Perhaps, we are undoubtedly facing the worst face of humanity.

I would like there to be solidarity among countries around the world to win the game of the pandemic we are living today. More coordination between countries, more collaboration. At the social level, that there be justice, eradicating poverty, social injustice, child exploitation, and less investment in arming and allocating this money to invest in universal health care, fighting unemployment. I would like to see the extinction of anarchist governments, dictatorial regimes and more care for ecology and the environment.

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

Jabri: Religions all have the same purpose, to establish social norms and rules, to put order and justice. These norms do not differ much between one religion and another, they have the same basis for the purpose of worshipping one god in either the Muslim, Christian or Jewish religion…for a reward in life as well as in the afterlife, promising an eternal life after death. Before religion people lived in a wild and disorderly way, it was chaotic, people killed, stole, raped, there was no justice. Almost all religions come with various prohibitions and restrictions that greatly limit people’s freedoms in order to have a sin-free life.

Having one religion or another depends a lot on the social, family and cultural environment of the place where you were born and raised, on the education you received. The Muslim religion its parishioners are the most faithful to their religion in the sense that they follow it and practice it in a more passionate way and with more fanaticism but as always there are exceptions. The parents pass it on to their descendants and so it is perpetuated and passed on from generation to generation. With time we see that religion is fading and losing weight, in many occasions you find people who say they have faith, believe in God but do not practice it or practice it partially, both in the Christian and Muslim religion, although less frequently in the latter, especially among the youngest because the mentality and lifestyle, is sometimes incompatible and does not fit with the times of now.

As for me, I believe in God and try to live with faith. It is difficult for me to conceive of the idea that this universe with this harmonious balance has been created from nothing, hence my need to believe in a creator. I follow the Muslim religion because my parents are Muslims and I have been educated and taught since childhood to practice the Muslim religion and by my own convictions. For me Islam preaches non-violence, respect and solidarity. Unfortunately, some radical extremists or terrorist groups justify their actions by misinterpreting the Koran and the Muslim religion.  With their violent acts, they have greatly damaged the image of Islam and Muslims around the world.

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

Jabri: Thanks to science man came to step on the moon for the first time and who knows in the not so distant future we will reach Tuesday, we discover other galaxies, extraterrestrial life. In the field of medicine, which is constantly being renewed, science has given us much, thanks to the discovery of drugs, vaccines have saved millions of lives throughout history, in parallel with technological advances and their applications in the field of medicine have led to a revolution in modern medicine. Science in all its fields implies greater development associated with an improvement in the quality of life, social equality and in general the well-being of the population.

In my opinion, governments need to invest more in education, research, and seek greater dissemination of information and knowledge, such as opening more libraries, cultural centers, and more accessibility to the Internet. To try to train more and more qualified, prepared and trained people, which would lead to an improvement of our society as a whole.

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

Jabri: I did high-grade tests from several authors, among them Mathema by Dr. Jason Betts where I got my maximum score of 158, cosmic by James Dorsey also with a score of 158, the ISPE test and from other authors like Marco Ripa, Alexi Edin and Ivan Ivec among others.

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.

Jabri: My range is between 144-158, depending on the type of test and the author who designed the test, my lack of knowledge of English limits me when doing verbal tests.

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

Jabri: Religion and my parents’ education have taught me values such as honesty, solidarity, compassion, trying to help others as much as I can, respect for others regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs or any other human condition, I live a life free of prejudice. Also because of my profession as a doctor, I must act according to ethical principles, I try to be honest, transparent in my work, I am very understanding and empathetic with my patients, trying to do my job in the best possible way. In my day to day life, I try to take advantage and enjoy the best moments that life has to offer and adapt to difficult circumstances, I always try to give my best.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1) [Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 8). Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Mohammed Karim Benazzi Jabri on Family, Intelligence, Genius, Islam, Faith, and Intelligence Test Scores: Member, World Genius Directory (1)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jabri-1.

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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.

Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author

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: October 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,415

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Heather Dugan is an author, advice columnist, and feature writer. She was a finalist in the USA Book Awards and the Indie Next Generation Book Awards. She recently published Date Like a Grownup. She discusses: dating like a grown up; look to someone as a potential partner or someone as a summer fling; change and growth; lifestyle and potential preconditions; the narrative inside of the woman’s mind; young woman vet ‘sharks’ or inauthentic men; the challenge for Millennial women looking for relationships; factors are the most important to make a relationship last; the loss of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg; persistence; women to see themselves as making independent choices in more connection with their real selves in their lives; and challenges rather than primarily as tragedies.

Keywords: Heather Dugan, life, love, relationships, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you’re considering dating, and dating like a grown up, what are some lessons you’ve learned in reflection?

Heather Dugan[1],[2]: One of the things that got me started on writing that book. If you had a difficult situation, a lot of friends would like to bail you out, “You can pretend you have an emergency.” I wanted to do it differently. You feel a lot more empowered and happy with your choices if you can face people directly. I started this for Date Like a Grownup: Anecdotes, Admissions of Guilt & Advice Between Friends.[3] The big scenes I come back to are understanding who you are. A lot of the time, people begin dating the second time around thinking that they’re the same person as the first time around. They don’t realize, maybe, that they’ll be looking for different qualities.

Have yourself in a position where you have a life bigger than dating, it means that you need good, strong friend relationships. [Laughing] Otherwise, it is like trying to find dinner in a convenience store when starving or hungry.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Dugan: Then you tend to grab the least-worst option or the last text message. If you’re solid in your self-understanding, then you can wait for the best fit for you. It fits into some other things like filtering out people who may be nice, but do not fit. It is a self-assessment – being honest with who you are. We have such need for a relationship. Where they will cloak a candidate with all of their hopes and dreams, they want to see this persona s the person that they want. Something that resembles a dream. Then the person [Laughing] does a bad little strip tease and reveals who they are. You just weren’t will to see that.

Jacobsen: This is good information. Also, the framework for coming to vet a potential candidate – let’s call them – for a relationship, this will differ for each individual, but there are trends in terms of what people want where they are in life. For someone of a younger cohort, how do they, typically, if they are a young woman, look to someone as a potential partner or someone as a summer fling – so to speak?

Dugan: My book is really geared more towards for people looking for the long-term relationship. I don’t think that you need to filter. If that is your intention, short fling, there are some things. It is where your attraction is; that is what that boils down to. You may want some shared activities. If you want some legs on it, you have to look deeper than that. Because you can find chemistry in shared activities a lot of different places. If you want it to last longer than a summer, you have to find some other commonalities. One of the big things that will make the difference is static versus a dynamic partner.

It can cause a lot of friction. One wants to stay the same. They aren’t curious. There is nothing wrong with that. But that kind of person is not going to be comfortable in being with someone who wants to learn and grow. Even two people who want to grow, they may not even have the exact same interests. I think it is important to have the same mindset of the curiosity. Because you will always have things to share. Actually, it is better if you don’t share your whole lives together. Otherwise, you suck the oxygen out of the relationship.

Jacobsen: When we talk about change and growth, change is more neutral and can go in any number of directions, including dissolution. Growth has more positive connotations. It has this sense of adding things to the unit, to the couple, rather than detracting from it. What are the positive things, concrete manifestations, of growth here?

Dugan: A lot of times, this last book I wrote about the transitions of people individually, but the effects on couples as well. These are life changing events. When a couple weathers things together, they find strength and learn to appreciate and rely on each other in new ways. Other times, the deficits become clear. If a couple is to grow, then I think it is a matter of each of them being able to use the strengths of them. It takes knowing the strengths of the other person and the strength of oneself. Growing, it is creativity in there too. If we are growing, we are trying new things. One of my lessons to my youngest, “You saw the mistakes of your sister. You saw the mistakes of your brother. Make your own mistakes.”

Obviously, with a couple, in the context of a romantic relationship, you want to be growing, learning. A manifestation – to be more specific – is growing together and finding new things to talk about, new activities to share together, probably meeting new people to talk with. A lot of it is fresh water flowing into the relationship. It guarantees that you’re going to have new information, new opportunities. It is what tends to drive the growth. It is integrating what you’re learning into your life.

Jacobsen: For young women, younger people in general, they, typically, do not have to worry about a lot of health issues. As they get older, the probability of them having any variety of health issues from the very severe to the minor rise. Different health issues arise as well. When people are looking for the long-term partner when they are younger, how should they factor into account lifestyle and potential preconditions an individual might have who they might be looking to have legal and economic ties to – for a lifetime, potentially?

Dugan: In the beginning, if you are young and starting out, philosophy will be important. You mention later having some evidence of those ideas. Are you financially frugal? Do you enjoy spending lavishly? You want to be compatible on that. Part of that is going to be a shared activity thing. Is this somebody who likes to go running or going out, or staying in watching Netflix? Hopefully, your diets are compatible. In terms of health, it is all a roll of the die on it. If you are healthy, hopefully, you will be attracted to someone compatible that way. In the years that transpire, there are other things that grow beyond the initial physical attraction and other things. So, you’re able to weather things like a health issue.

Because, big and small, they do happen. People do bump into things. You do get stronger. I’ve had ankle surgery. I am still hiking in Colorado. You learn to push through. If you are in a couple, it becomes part of your story. Anytime you can make something part of the story. It is good.

Jacobsen: When a relationship is going well for an older person, what is the narrative inside of the woman’s mind? If a younger woman, what is the narrative there as well? Are there differences, in other words?

Dugan: I will have to think about the younger side of it. Because people share things, but you don’t know the whole internal narrative. You always begin relationships with a lot of hope and with a lot of history. Older people have more history. A lot of times, I think that can put a ballast on it. But it doesn’t make it go away. People react in different ways. It depends on how mentally healthy they are. Some people, unfortunately, have a difficult time without drama. I do a lot of speaking on relationships in general. It is so important to catch. People do these patterns based on past experiences, which end up sabotaging relationships, sometimes.

If things are going well, and if the person is emotionally healthy, then the excitement comes from enjoying life together rather than creating drama. There is some peace in that. But you are planning for a future they share. Again, for the younger, there is not the history there. But everyone brings some history. In the beginning, you are dating the possibility of a person, almost. As we go along through life, we get chiselled. It is almost like a sculpting process. I see that happening. You reveal more and more of yourself as you grow into yourself.

Jacobsen: How can a young woman vet ‘sharks’ or inauthentic men who can make wild promises but have no intention of fulfilling them? Or are simply not competent in life, in life tasks and goals, to fulfill some of the promises that they make, even with good intent?

Dugan: It is important to give people time to show who they are. It is difficult to know, immediately. You may have clicks on things that look like a relationship will go a while. But you have to have some glitches along the ay. You have to deal with a malfunctioning toilet or delaying travel plans. Travelling together is a great way to see how flexible people are; somebody might make promises. You look for how they treat you. Words are one thing. What do they do? I often tell people in terms of evaluating the quality of the relationship.

A lot of people, they are weighing it, “Is it valuable to say or should I move on?” Is it diminishing you? Are you able to be your best self? If anybody is having to diminish who they are in order to keep the relationship afloat, it is not going to work in the long-term. That’s a time to have, at least, a discussion together to see if it is something that can be understood and rectified. But that situation, if somebody is squashing somebody else’s capacity to grow or is trying to keep them within a certain framework, then you’re likely to get to get a defensive response. It is better to live alone than to not live authentically as yourself.

Jacobsen: What do you see as the challenge for Millennial women looking for relationships, family, if they are heterosexual, a husband and family? As Pew Research finds, most young men and women do want marriage and family in the United States.

Dugan: I’ve encouraged my children. I’ve told them, “Don’t get married until you’re at least 30.” It is great if you can find someone who you click with and can do things together. There is no rush. You need to be stable in who you are before having children. It launches you into another orbit. I’ll be honest. It is not like you become a parent and suddenly have everything figured out. It is one of the first things I had my kids understood when they were older. “You’ve got it from here.” We don’t have to start a family immediately. I can understand when some people are tentative to move in that direction. I hear what you’re saying, ultimately. It is important to make sure it is a solid relationship. There are a lot of wobbly things in the world right now.

Hopefully, a relationship when you’re younger makes things in the world a little more stable, at least in your vicinity. Is it easy to relax with them? I remember back in relationships. Here is one party that is happy, which has nothing to do with me, it is something carried with them. People show you their best self. That is what we do. Over time, more and more, we reveal parts of ourselves that we are unsure of being worthy for other people to see.

Jacobsen: What factors are the most important to make a relationship last? Based on the research and the advice in the column, what strategies should people keep in mind?

Dugan: I think flexibility is huge. Rigidity has killed more things. It is difficult when people decide there is one way of living, one way of doing things. It is important to embrace things that come your way, to incorporate that into what you’re already building. Kindness, you have to be able, even in the midst of difficult times when there is a crisis or someone is not feeling well/afraid, to know the line and not to vent on your partner. To be kind, it is final. That’s what keeps things afloat, I think. Showing respect, you will not agree on everything. Respecting their choices and letting them have them, that shows love to the highest.

Unfortunately, it is hard to dial it down to a couple. But flexibility, kindness, respect, and a sense of commitment to something bigger than yourself, the promoting of each other in terms of appreciating their ability to be their unique self, not wishing for some other self – letting them be their self on their time. So, you can have the safe, calm space or a haven from the world.

Jacobsen: Unfortunately, there was the loss of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg late last month. She has been a pillar for a lot of women’s rights progress, nationally, in the United States, whether in Supreme Court decisions or in commentary. So, as a mother, how can you approach speaking about the legacy of former Justice Ginsburg in regards to the work that she has done, and the strength of women and the importance of gender equality in the United States?

Dugan: I like to use those conversations as a way of empowering my kids and to help them tap into their own possibilities. On the topic of legacy, I would begin talking about how these develop over time. She didn’t become a circuit judge until 60. There’s a lot of work there. A lot of constancy, integrity, to get to the position, to be the same in all situations. The reliability of the decision-making there for her. It is helping your daughter understand who RBG is to so many people and thinking, maybe, the things she would hope people know about herself. Now, and what kinds of things would she like to build towards for her own legacy, another thing, too, the consistency thing; the constancy of being the same person in all situations. It is important to talk about integrity and to be the same in all situations.

It can be difficult for young women and for young men for that matter. Can you be the same person with your friends group? It is understandable that, maybe, you speak differently with adults than with kids. Are you able to be the same person with adults and with kids? If you are a person of respectful of other people’s ideas, are you different with one friend group than with another?

Jacobsen: You had a note about persistence as well. What is the example of persistence in Ginsburg’s life?

Dugan: The whole going first thing, my kids have heard a lot, “If not you, then who?” The idea that somebody has to take the first step for things to change. It wasn’t one step. As we said, her legacy, she went at this creatively. She was striving for equality through the use of the law, but she came at it through different viewpoints. As part of her push for women’s rights, she argued widowers should receive death benefits. It was creative to find that and make that as part of the puzzle. I would go on to the value of creative problem solving, where there are different approaches for the same situation to move yourself forward. Talking about what it means to be a pioneer, that “no” is always part of the process. You are going to hear, “No.” Women need to understand it. Because they are going to hear it. When I was younger, “No,” would stop me in my tracks, now, it is more information.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Dugan: It is not judgment on a person. When they are more aware, then they can blow through them easier and then make their next attempts, I would ask about times when she heard, “No,” when she thought that she should have heard, “Yes,” when she thought that she was capable. Arming our kids with those first words, so they have that launching pad, the moment when you are first feeling the stress of the situation. It can be hard to find the words. It can give them the confidence to push past and find the dialogue rather than giving up. RBG, her life is such a rich history and example. There are a lot of different answers to learn on how she progressed through her journey.

Jacobsen: How can one allow women to see themselves as making independent choices in more connection with their real selves in their lives?

Dugan: I think you have to build that confidence in self. A lot of people spend their 30s, 40s, and 50s repairing a confidence damaged in childhood, unfortunately. Talking with your daughter that she will make decisions totally different from you, it’s totally fine. RBG pursued a different path than her mom. She couldn’t attend college. But her mother was her fan. Talk about the ways the two of you are similar and different, it allows her to be different within the family. The fact that she can change her mind. That’s part of gaining information. It does mean that you do change your mind. RBG exhibited an open-mindedness, even as she held onto core values. She socialized quite a lot with Scalia. There are a lot of great anecdotes out of that. Her challenges made her stronger, because of him. If you integrate the good parts into your own, and crystallize what you really good think, it is a good thing. We need discuss active listening and discussing vs. arguing, being able to take in the information the other person is preparing rather than preparing the rebuttal [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Dugan: It is affirming that that is a sign of strength. That apologizing is a sign of strength. She apologized for comments about Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick. She said things that she thought later weren’t the best and was strong enough later to say that. Saying, “Sorry,” doesn’t make you a weaker person, it makes people respect you more if you own up to it. Was there a time when people apologized to you, and then you liked them better because you felt they were more real with you? Maybe, you ask about times that she’s gotten information and changed her own mind. It will help her be more open to that kind of thing.

Jacobsen: As a wrap-up question for the session today, I want to ask about some of your difficulties in your life that you have experienced and taken those on board as challenges rather than primarily as tragedies, so as to become stronger.

Dugan: It has been a journey [Laughing]. Now and then, people will say, “You’ve had such a charmed life.” I just want to laugh [Laughing]. I had a call today. I mentioned. There was a time in life when I lost three close family members, had a major surgery, was going through divorce proceedings, was trying to raise kids as a single mother, and my mother required care. I got very disconnected from the whole world. It was a very difficult, dark time. I didn’t know that I could create anything better out of my life. I think my children were part of it, certainly, of moving forward. It was a greater responsibility for everybody. If you have something bigger than yourself, then that always helps. I have always been one of those people who has been curious. There is always an expectation. I want to see what it is [Laughing].

I’ve mentioned the previous ankle surgery. I find workarounds. Most of the time, when something is blocked, I have begun to find ways around them and see them as detours. Plan B is almost always better than Plan A because it includes possibilities and spontaneity, which didn’t enter my brain. I didn’t have the idea. [Laughing] I think having this sense of purpose and looking for workarounds in Plan B. It makes all the difference. The purpose part, for me, is helping other people maximize their life experience. It is such a big and important purpose. I don’t think I could stop.

Jacobsen: Heather, it’s been a delight. Thank you so much for your time today.

Dugan: Well, thank you, I appreciate chatting. If I can ever help you with anything, just give me a call.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Author; Columnist.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3]Blurb from Amazon (Hyperlinked in the main text): “Date Like a Grownup examines the impact of loneliness and social obsolescence on men and women in their second single lives and provides punctuating proof that looking for love from a place of isolation is as unwise as grocery shopping on an empty stomach. A USA Book Awards and Next Generation Book Awards finalist, Date Like a Grownup is “a witty and insightful look at dating the second time around, “a refreshing peek into the challenges of building midlife relationships” and “a toolkit for moving past the loneliness toward a relationship built for the future.” Unlike most relationship manuals, this book does NOT guide the reader through game-playing and winning temporary partners. Instead, Ms. Dugan presents a personalized strategy for building a life foundation that facilitates finding and growing a “right fit” relationship. Topics include: effective filtering, social media and online dating, how to avoid isolation and “space-filler” choices and how to strategically begin building a larger social network. Engaging narratives such as “The Percocet Proposal” and “Need Meets Greed” underline specific dating principles outlined in the book and affirm that none of us are immune to bad choices. These real-life outtakes from interviewed men and women are often funny and always insightful. Heather Dugan is a speaker, discussion facilitator and connection coach, a writer/advice columnist and frequent media expert on topics related to relationships, dating, connection, combatting isolation and work/family issues. Founder of Cabernet Coaches, a social connection group that encourages and enables women to build bigger relational foundations, Heather is dedicated to high impact, face-to-face friendship as a means of change. Her videos, articles and books promote active enablement, meaningful connection and proactive decision-making with a twist of humor and the affirming good nature of a friend who has traveled the same road. With at least half of adult population attempting a Do-Over on their most committed relationship—and many getting it wrong yet a second time—Date Like a Grownup provides time-saving truths for the millions of men and women navigating midlife dating.”

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author[Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 8). Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author. Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Heather Dugan on Relationships, Life, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Author[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/dugan.

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.

Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: October 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,228

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Justin Duplantis is a Member of the Triple Nine Society and the former Editor of its journal entitled Vidya. He discusses: nuanced facets of giftedness; some ways individuals who are gifted can be derailed in childhood development; the higher risk factors for gifted youth becoming deviant; learning styles; the capacity to make better decisions; internal policies for helping new members who may be younger and having issues; an issue of Vidya to this particular issue; the National Association for Gifted Children; the doctoral research; and the Zone of Proximal Development.

Keywords: giftedness, IQ, Justin Duplantis, National Association for Gifted Children.

Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some of the nuanced facets of giftedness important for understanding nature of the gifts?

Justin Duplantis: Traditional schooling is tailored to those of average intelligence. The general population requires information to be conveyed numerous times, prior to its retention. Gifted youth do not require such repetition, so once the concepts are understood, the child becomes bored and restless. This, inevitably, results in the child attempting to locate something in which to entertain themselves. This is generally something that directly contradicts the classroom rules, resulting in a reprimand, as opposed to a redirect. These gifted youth are subsequently labelled deviant, as opposed to an exploration into their behaviour, which would have resulted in the proper labelling of the child as gifted.

Jacobsen: What are some ways individuals who are gifted can be derailed in childhood development?

DuplantisAs stated above, if the child is labelled deviant, as opposed to gifted, this could lead that child down a path that would inhibit growth and disable them from fulfilling their potential.

Jacobsen: In adolescence, what would be some of the higher risk factors for gifted youth becoming deviant? Is there an innate aspect to this running off the rails? We have cases of Sufiah Yusof becoming, later, a prostitute. We have the case of Keith Raniere ruining several people’s lives and facing significant time in jail, potentially for life, as a cult leader. Bobby Fischer derailed into exile and anti-Semitism. J. Robert Oppenheimer tried to kill his tutor. Lots of stories like this abound.

DuplantisI believe this is a two-part response that goes with nature versus nurture theory. Although there are exceptions to every rule, gifted individuals tend to fall into one of two extreme categories. There are those that have the need to try everything once and those that are uninterested in taking risks at all. The higher the standard deviation, the more likely that individual is to fall into one of these two categories. Due to this, there is a high propensity for nefarious behaviour by those who fall into the “try everything once” category. This is fueled by the need for the next thrill. I am unable to relate, as I fall into the opposite category, having never smoked, done any recreational drug, or even tasted alcohol. On the other side of the coin, nurture is certainly a factor and I strongly believe, as referenced above, that the identification of giftedness at an early age is vital. My five year old’s preliminary IQ test was done at three and he ceilinged out the test at 150 IQ, so we are unsure where he actually lies. He started Kindergarten this week and has exhibited behavioural issues already, due to his boredom. If, as parents, we were unaware of his potential there is a probability that this unbecoming behaviour could result in future issues. Instead, his teacher is aware of his giftedness and is exploring creative ways to keep him engaged.

Jacobsen: When you speak of learning styles, what is the theoretical and empirical foundation for this view?

DuplantisDifferent learning styles are common among all demographics in society, so this phenomenon is not limited to the gifted population.

Jacobsen: Young adults, ideally, have more fully-developed and integrated brains for the capacity to make better decisions. Yet, still, their minds can go into deviancy, even mental illness. What are some of the ways in which this can be induced externally if not by internal factors? (Obviously, we’re talking ratios here.)

Duplantis: I strongly believe this starts in childhood and adolescence. It is vital that the mental stimulation and hunger for knowledge that gifted youth possess be channelled in the proper direction. Without this, the deviant road is the most convenient, for its excitement.

Jacobsen: For Vidya, have there been any previous issues of the journal dealing with this particular problem? Have there been internal policies for helping new members who may be younger and having issues, i.e., providing community, giving encouragement, supporting them socially and intellectually, etc.?

DuplantisI am unaware if there have been any past articles that are specifically geared towards this. With that said, at the annual gathering each year there is generally someone that speaks on giftedness and provides advice and resources.

Jacobsen: If this hasn’t been done, would you consider devoting an issue of Vidya to this particular issue?

DuplantisThis has absolutely been on my mind, as well as conducting a presentation at a future annual gathering. With that said, I want to ensure that the primary information that is provided is factual, as opposed to opinionated; therefore, I am going to wait and do so until after ascertaining my PhD.

Jacobsen: With organizations like the National Association for Gifted Children, they provide supports for the gifted. It is an acknowledgement of the differential in performance in different areas for the youth. In What is Giftedness?, they state:

Students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential. Student with gifts and talents:

  • Come from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata.
  • Require sufficient access to appropriate learning opportunities to realize their potential.
  • Can have learning and processing disorders that require specialized intervention and accommodation.
  • Need support and guidance to develop socially and emotionally as well as in their areas of talent.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of this definition?

DuplantisThis is an all-encompassing definition. Just as the term Autism is used to describe individuals with developmental delays in one or more areas. There are many subcategories that are yet to be defined that fall within these larger categories. In some school districts, for instance, they have gifted theatre classes. The students must go through a rigorous testing process to be deemed gifted in theatre. This is completely separate from academic giftedness.

Jacobsen: Is this close to the definition used in the doctoral research for you?

DuplantisMy research is not generically focused, as this definition suggests. I am solely focused upon overall intellectual giftedness, as defined by IQ.

Jacobsen: Something featuring prominently as the theoretical construct for the NAGC is the Zone of Proximal Development. Who invented this terminology and theory? What is it? How is this important for parents of gifted children?

DuplantisLev Vygotsky developed this in the early 20th century. It essentially indicates that there are items in which an individual is capable of learning on their own, other items that need assistance from another individual to learn, and those items in which the individual is simply incapable of learning. The toughest sector for the gifted community is the sector of items that simply are unable to be learned. This is a much smaller quantity, as compared to the general population. Due to this, the gifted individual and their circle of influence (ie family, friends, educators, etc) find it inconceivable that a gifted person would be unable to learn a certain subject. This created frustration and often times feelings of worthlessness. Although there are many distinct differences between the average individual and the gifted, at the end of the day we are all human and face similar struggles. Human first. Gifted second. 

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Justin Duplantis is a Member of the Triple Nine Society and the former Editor of its journal entitled Vidya.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)) [Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 8). Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Justin Duplantis on Giftedness, Deviancy, “Vidya,” and the National Association for Gifted Children: Member, Triple Nine Society (5)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/duplantis-5.

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.

Ask Takudzwa 11 – Constitution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

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

Individual Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 418

Keywords: Humanist Society of Zimbabwe, Takudzwa Mazwienduna, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean Secular Alliance.

Ask Takudzwa 11 – Constitution[1],[2]

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a Member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand more. He is a friend and former boss at the now-defunct Cornelius Press in South Africa.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Many organizations come with policy statements and governance documents. These set the boundaries of operation or scope of the organization. What is the progress on the constitution for the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe drafted a constitution before it got registered. It covers all the aspects that relate to the organization and was approved by all the members

Jacobsen: What will be some of the upcoming policy statements of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: There hasn’t been any talks about new policy statements lately, the organization’s priority at the moment is to mobilize members.

Jacobsen: Who are the drafters of these first constitutional and policy documents?

Mazwienduna: The interim chair Shingai Rukwata Ndoro and the interim secretary Tapiwa Muungani were the authors of the constitution.

Jacobsen: What are some things to keep in mind while developing such documents for the construction of a humanist society?

Mazwienduna: We maintained ideas of equality, fairness and cooperation when the constitution was drafted. We also defined our relevance in the framework of the national constitution.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.

Mazwienduna: It’s always a pleasure Scott, thank you.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, In-Sight Publishing.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 6, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/ask-takudzwa-11-constitution.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and African Freethinker 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 African Freethinker 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 African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)

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: October 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,902

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. This series with Christian and Kirk build on this idea. Kirk Kirkpatrick earned a score at 185, on the Stanford-Binet. He is an expert in Business. Dr. Christian Sorensen earned a score at 185+, i.e., at least 186, on the WAIS-R. He is an expert in Metaphysics and Philosophy. Both scores on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of ~5.67 for Kirk – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 136,975,305 – and a sigma of ~5.67+ for Christian – a general intelligence rarity of more than 1 in 136,975,305, at least 1 in 202,496,482. Neither splitting hairs nor a competition here; we agreed to a discussion, hopefully, for the edification of the audience here. 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 Dr. Christian Sorensen, Kirk Kirkpatrick, and myself. They discuss: its earliest procedural manifestations; the modern sciences; a unifying framework for knowledge; a lack of a unifying framework about human nature; and the sciences converging and providing some deep insights.

Keywords: Christian Sorensen, genius, human nature, Kirk Kirkpatrick, science, scientific methodology, unifying framework.

Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The sciences seem like the name of the game of the 20th century and potentially the 21st century with the 21st century probably more as an era of engineering and technological application than discovery, necessarily, because most of the unifying principles and theoretical foundations for fields have been discovered. The eras of broad strokes have been done in most of the major fields of inquiry, except ToEs, GUTs, and psychology, maybe some others. To start off, when you think of more ancient notions of “science,” as such, what were its earliest procedural manifestations?

Dr. Christian Sorensen[1]: I think that believing that this is an era that is more of technological application than of theoretical discoveries, is an irrational and illusory belief, because as such, has frequently been expressed since science decided to turn into a science, which in my opinion has to do metaphorically speaking, with what occurs with the digestive phenomenon of post-prandial depression, where it is erroneously believed, that because it’s felt the sensation of complete satiety with a hint of dysthymic humour, that then the sensation of hunger will never be felt again, in other words in some fictitious way, it is thought with regret, due to a vagal compression of the heart with a full stomach, that the appetite might have disappeared forever. In this sense, I think that in science, theory and technique, are inseparable momentum of a same cycle, due to the fact, that there exist what I will name a contingent positive feedback, therefore as themselves, necessarily they cannot act deferred, which means that the application of the current technique, at a certain moment, immediately remits to a model or theoretical system, which is updated, and at the same time forces an updating of the first technique that is applied again but modified. From my point of view, in strict semantic rigor, the earliest technical procedural applications of science, coincided with Descartes’s Discourse of the Method and with the development of the scientific or empirical experimental method, that gave rise to physics, biology and chemistry as classical basic sciences.

Kirk Kirkpatrick[2],[3]*: Science is a system of organized knowledge derived from observation, deduction, experimentation, and induction which is used to make predictions about the laws and structure of reality. Science predates writing systems which means the earliest procedural manifestations are not available to the modern man. We can deduce what the earliest types of science were. They were most certainly agricultural techniques that were passed along orally. 

“The eras of broad strokes have been done in most of the major fields of inquiry, except ToEs, GUTs, and psychology, maybe some others” is not accurate. We have not come close to a systematic understanding of reality. In fact, we are scratching the surface. When we can explain the two-slit experiment or quantum entanglement, perhaps we will be close but I doubt it. “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” J.B.S. Haldane. The more we know, the more we learn we do not know. 

One of the problems with the quoted statement is that it presupposes that everything “CAN BE” known. I would maintain it is not at all clear that the sum total of the Universe can be known. Einstein certainly believed that it could and this belief was perhaps his biggest stumbling block. 

“The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.” Patent Office Commissioner, Henry Ellsworth in a report to Congress in 1843. 

Jacobsen: How does this differ from the modern sciences inasmuch as changes happened to the epistemologies and practical applications of the sciences, including fine points of crucial detail such as peer review?

Sorensen: It differs, that in their origins, it was inconceivable that something different from the natural sciences would be considered as science, therefore the technical applications derived contextually from these, and especially the epistemology deduced from them, had a systemic consistency which allowed their progress, both from a theoretical and technological point of view. Nevertheless, as modernity progressed, the path went through post-modernity, and entered into an era that I will denominate post-paradigmatic era, which as such among other things has just begun, and has demonstrated as a matter of fact, that science by itself, has evolved paradoxically and dissociatively, since on the one hand, it is possible to verify a coherent and forceful theoretical and technical development, in relation to the classical sciences, which to a certain extent, reached a limit that forces a questioning and redefinition of their object as observable phenomena of study, and consequently to a rethinking of the scientific method in itself, and on the other hand, what is verified is a scientific setback, when it’s examined over time, what has happened with the development of pseudosciences, and with their pretension of being or of becoming science, which although regarding that status they demonstrate the contrary, they continue to consider themselves as science and to seek scientific reputability. I think that the last, is what has occurred fundamentally with the so-called social sciences, which as other pseudoscientific disciplines, they have productively developed numerous theoretical models, that lack a methodological correlation, able to support them with their apparent ground-breaking discoveries and with their truly useless contributions. The lasting, has resulted in technical applications, that operate practically almost exclusively by trial and error, and that have derived nominalistically speaking, in hollow epistemologies, which when analyzed as a whole, I consider that determine scientific failures. If the aforementioned is visualized in perspective, and a conclusion by synthesis is extracted from it, then I think, that it may be possible to propose, that science, in terms of what would be a truly qualitative leap, what it currently needs, is a scientific revolution, not from the point of view of the search for new paradigms, but instead through the exploration of other dimensions of consciousness, which in a functional sense, means to enrich the digital thought, though they might be intellectually intuitive, through what I will name the analogical perceptions.

Kirkpatrick: The organization and systematization of the sciences have advanced precipitously. The methods not so much so. Aristotle delineated the lines of reasoning and most of the advancement since then have been footnotes. The biggest changes from ancient science are that there should be no more references to the supernatural in the study of science. No one sees an effect and yells, “The Hand of GOD!” For the earliest users of science, magic and science were the same things. Even today, sufficiently advanced science seems like magic to the person who does not understand it.

Jacobsen: To a field without a unifying framework for knowledge, psychology is and is not a science by all appearances. Yet, it’s one of the big ways to study human nature, outside of, maybe, incisive literature or something like this. What is human nature as defined by you?

Sorensen: I think that if what is intended to be studied is human nature, but in a more encompassing and comprehensive sense, rather than in a reductive manner, then it is more appropriate to do so from what would be for me a sort of philosophical anthropology, than from what would be a psychological field, since I will define human nature, as a material body endowed with a rational substance, where its intelligents acts as mind and soul simultaneously, while its eternality, leads it to transcend to what I will denominate as a spirit in being.

Kirkpatrick: The question might be better formulated from “To a field without a unifying framework for knowledge, psychology is and is not a science by all appearances,” should be, “To a field without an UNDERSTOOD unifying framework for knowledge, psychology is and is not a science by all appearances.” Human nature has many meanings. Plato thought that humans were rational animals, and he felt our nature was defined by our souls and the ability to reason rather than physical effects from our bodies. Aristotle disagreed and thought that both body and soul contributed to our human nature. Trying to differentiate our nature from some type of science is a mistake. Science is the sum total of all reality and nothing exists outside of it. Psychology and human nature (why one acts) is simply one of the most complex sciences since the subject of its study, the practical applications of the processing of the human brain, is one of the most complex areas of science due to our almost total lack of understanding of Consciousness.

Human nature is that attribute which differentiates humans from other things. Most likely, it is sentience. And I firmly believe that as we build Artificial Intelligence which comes closer and closer to humans, one will see this AI taken on elements of “Human Nature.” 

Jacobsen: Why is there a lack of a unifying framework about human nature, about the entire makeup of a human being?

Sorensen: There is a lack of a unifying framework, because the operational aspects of human nature are evident, and therefore there is a general consensus regarding those properties, nevertheless due to the fact that the origin of these aspects is not evident, then there exists a discrepancy with respect to them. In consequence if it is not factible, due to etiological reasons, to combine the operational factors with their causes or principles as a unique definition, neither is then possible to arrive to what I will name a noetic consensus of human nature.

Kirkpatrick: Because there is a lack of a unifying framework about everything we know; in the same way there is a lack of unifying framework in the understanding of the nature of energy and matter. No single branch of science has a truly unifying framework; just a framework more unifying than the framework that come before. 

Jacobsen: How might, or are, the sciences converging and providing some deep insights into this?

Sorensen: I think this would be possible, as long as sciences without feeling threatened, are capable of questioning themselves, about the possibility of studying phenomena that are not observable through any medium, which are additionally not experimentally replicable, and that can be of a single occurrence, thus opening up to the study of other realities, that although are not empirical, and may require a methodological readjustment, can nevertheless allow sciences to arrive at valid knowledge, which at least they can approximate asymptotically, that is to say ideally towards the truth.

Kirkpatrick: This question shows us it is appropriate to remember that science is the study of reality. Differing fields of science study different aspects of reality. In this way sciences must converge since all science is the study one thing. A good example is illustrated by the scientific fields of chemistry and physics. The earliest chemists were alchemists, which tried to understand the different constituents of matter and how these interacted. Likewise, builders and soothsayers became early physicists as astrology morphed into Astronomy and construction needed engineering principles. As the chemists learned more about their field, they notice that much of the fine details are solidly in the realm of physics and vice versa. It is not that sciences are converging, it is that our understanding of the compartments of reality lead us to door that open into other compartments of reality as we try and get the big picture. 

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Christian is a Philosopher that comes from Belgium. What identifies him the most and above all is simplicity, for everything is better with “vanilla flavour.” Perhaps, for this reason, his intellectual passion is criticism and irony, in the sense of trying to reveal what “hides behind the mask,” and give birth to the true. For him, ignorance and knowledge never “cross paths.” What he likes the most in his leisure time, is to go for a walk with his wife.

[2] Kirk is an American businessman.

[3] Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)[Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 1). Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Ask Two Geniuses with Dr. Christian Sorensen and Kirk Kirkpatrick on Science’s Earliest Manifestations, the Modern Sciences, Human Nature, and a Unifying Framework: Independent Metaphysician & Philosopher; Businessman (1)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/kirkpatrick-sorensen-1.

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.

Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence in Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Founder, Rebutia (2)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 25.A, Idea: Land of Fire and Ice: Islandia, Snelandia, and Insula Gardari (1)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,851

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir is the Chief Executive Office of Dimmblá and Chief Executive Officer of Rebutia. She discusses: potential industry partners connected through the university system in Iceland; artificial intelligence and ethical and sustainable fashion dynamics; and style for Dimmblá.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, Dimmblá, Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir, Rebutia, sustainable fashion.

Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (1)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: With the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University, how are potential industry partners connected through the university system in Iceland and small business owners & startups such as yourselves?

Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir[1],[2]: When we are developing the artificial intelligence into our service, when we applied for the grant, we spoke with Reykjavik University. They have a department within the university, which is an A.I. department. They have been working with companies. They are really respected by the Research Development Grant that we get. They are really respected by them. I am sure that this collaboration is helping, or did help us, to get the grant, definitely. When they, Reykjavik University, sign an agreement, they worked with us, and bigger companies in Iceland, to develop an A.I. for them. The agreement says that, since they get so much innovation and knowledge from every research that they do in the development work, they can use it for the benefit of other companies; that are not in competition. So, let’s say, Marel (machining manufacturer in Garðabær, Iceland) are developing a fishing machine with A.I. This A.I. that they are developing for them could be helpful for us. In our case, there might be some angle there, “Yes, oh, we can use this.”

They are, actually, profiting other companies, helping them out, grow faster, and be better in international competition later on. It is a huge benefit for companies to collaborate with the university. Now, funny that you say this, I am, actually, applying for another grant in collaboration with the University of Iceland. It is a collaboration with a student for the Summer. I have an idea about what we want to do; I applied with the student. They get their angle into the application. They might think something different than I do. Then we get new views on the application, “Oh! We can go to this direction and complete this in three months.” Of course, both the student and the university, and the society, van benefit, because, if we see this person is a good fit for the new company, we can hire them. It can be a good benefit for when we are growing the economy here in Iceland. This is one of the reasons, probably, that the government decided to spend more money on the start-ups. This kind of collaboration is really great for everyone, I think.

Jacobsen: Some of the economic hits that came to Iceland’s economic shores. They have been the 2008 crash. They’ve been the counter-intuitive boom from the explosion, volcanic eruption [Laughing].

Sigfúsdóttir: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: Based on my knowledge so far of Icelandic history and the people, it’s a survival culture. It’s a culture where, to quote Laxness, is “independent people.”

Sigfúsdóttir: Yes.

Jacobsen: Right? It is a people where the men went out; the women handled themselves. They’re fine.

Sigfúsdóttir: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: When men weren’t acting properly in the sexual dynamics of life for men and women…

Sigfúsdóttir:

Jacobsen: …there was a MeToo before MeToo. When bankers were involved in kind of financial ill-dealings, they were dealt with according to, where law. And they got their penalties. There are cases in the United States, where they were bailed out wih over $700 billion (USD) when the banks were acting bad. So, it was a nanny state for the super-rich. Then when it came to the MeToo movement and the TimesUp movement, we see this in the United States, but only in the last few years since, not only the election of Donald Trump but also, the explosion of the myth around a lot of these prominent male figures in Hollywood.

Sigfúsdóttir: Yes, exactly, definitely.

Jacobsen: So, Iceland is way, way, ahead. How are these artificial intelligence and ethical and sustainable fashion dynamics fitting into the larger weave of Icelandic history and culture, where it’s ahead of the curve and very conscious of things that are right and things that are wrong well ahead of their time?

Sigfúsdóttir: I think, we are a small society. We are 350,000 people.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Sigfúsdóttir: [Laughing] That’s the nature of Iceland. Like you talked about in the beginning, you went to the bar [Ed. Pre-interview conversation]. Accidentally, you meet your cousin.

Jacobsen: Right [Laughing].

Sigfúsdóttir: [Laughing] You have to go to check [Ed. The digital application is called Íslendinga-App, which references Íslendingabók or The Book of Icelanders.] If someone who you were dating was someone related to you [Laughing]. That is the problem that we have had in Iceland. I think because we are, basically, a small community.

Jacobsen: That’s a good way to put it.

Sigfúsdóttir: Heritage is our nature. It is our heritage. It is all around us. I live in the city. After five minutes, I can, actually, be in the woods. Of course, I live in the suburban area. However, I only have to travel five minutes to have the river, to have the woods, and to have the beautiful valley, which is untouched. I think I can tell, at least from my perspective, and the people around me. When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandma. I still remember; she saved everything. She kept jars. I am drinking from a jar now [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Sigfúsdóttir: I still remember it. She needed a bedroom table. She went to her basement to make one. A table and other stuff, they were putting this together. Then she had a nice table for her bedroom. We just built it, out of stuff that she found. She never bought a bag when grocery shopping. This is 30 years back. She was concerned. She reused. People were poor. They did not have the money. So, they just had to adapt. I think because we were a poor country; people, we learned from our grandparents. This was a way of living. You had to survive with the small things that you had. You had to repurpose things. We learned a lot from our grandparents and being so close to nature. Many of us in the younger generation have gone travelling in Iceland. We are only a few minutes from Reykjavik. You are amazed, “Like, wow!” We have the highlands and so much untouched nature. Many people, when the tourism was really high in Iceland, were scared as well.

Because when there was so much tourism in Iceland, when you travel abroad or to the United States, you pay for everything. It wasn’t the case in Iceland. You could see the waterfalls and everything, but then thing changed with so much tourism. Suddenly, we were standing in line. A few years back, you were standing alone. Nobody was there. That was the best thing. Now, it was crowded with people. People were paying to see something. Even us Icelanders, at least, we had to pay for everything. For us, it was like, “Really?! I am travelling in my own country.” We are so close to nature. We might be brought up by parents, grandparents, who didn’t have much and had to make the most of things. I think this has, definitely, made us more conscious. At least, some of us [Laughing], most of us.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] The township where I live is hovering around 120,000 or 130,000. The capital of Iceland with Reykjavik is floating around the same number.

Sigfúsdóttir: Vancouver, I went there when I worked for an orthopedic company. I liked Vancouver. It is so beautiful there. Oh my God! This is a place I could imagine living. You could go out. You could be like, “What am I going to do today? Should I go skiing, swimming at sea?” [Laughing].

Jacobsen: A big thing, I think, for a lot of Vancouverites. I live in the Greater Vancouver Area. I live on the outskirts in a small town called Fort Langley. It was the first capital of British Columbia. It was a colony before Canada was a country. To get to Downtown Vancouver, it is a significant amount of travel relative to a European’s idea of travel. You can walk from one corner of Reykjavik to the other in about an hour. That’s the length of the drive to Downtown Vancouver.

Sigfúsdóttir: Yes, exactly. That’s a benefit of Iceland, or Reykjavik [Laughing].

Jacobsen: Yes, Canadians don’t understand how other people view them because provinces that we have are bigger than most countries. That really puts it into perspective, I think. I think Canada has a lot of Icelandic-Canadians as well, maybe 100,000.

Sigfúsdóttir: Exactly, true.

Jacobsen: What other areas could we touch on that are relevant to others to cover the relevant dynamics of Iceland? I think the fashion rooted in the culture. With Dimmblá, every fashion company has a particular style. You’re rooted in Iceland. Other than things like Sky Blue and Nay Blue. Things like this. What other things are you thinking in terms of style for Dimmblá?

Sigfúsdóttir: I have been going away from fashion a bit. Because I have been focusing on sustainable living. What I have been designing is basically the accessories, like scarves, of course, I was designing the dresses with a designer before. We were always thinking about what we wanted to capture: As a woman, what you would be feeling when you were wearing the Dimmblá clothing. That’s mostly what I was thinking. It was for women who were free spirit going out into nature. Something reminding her of the nature and the comfort. Someone who is, actually, a traveller who has been around the world, basically. Because what I have learned, you begin to appreciate things more, especially, for me, when I travel, “Oh wow, we have this at home.” You start to appreciate your nature and your heritage more when you start travelling. So, when people are travelling more and learning about new culture, I have seen that for many cases. People start to appreciate. They start to get more conscious about things around them after travelling, learning new culture.

You want to, basically, (not save) keep the heritage and the nature. I see this when people come to Iceland. They travel and come to Iceland and see the nature. They go, “Oh wow, you have managed to keep nature so untouched. It is amazing how much nature that you have.” Then they start to say, “You have to keep it. You have to make sure that it is not ruined. It is the feeling when in nature and close to nature. It is the feeling, which I that want to inspire with my products. You want to get this sustainable and to not be affected by the chemicals or the pollution, which are so-often used in this business. I think that’s a really important perspective for me, in everything I do. I want to inspire people and make the right choices, basically. When you buy something, you know this is something authentic. They believe in this. It is something that you want to be a part of.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Heiðrún.

Sigfúsdóttir: [Laughing].

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Dimmblá; Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia.

[2]Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2)[Online].September 2020; 25(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, September 8). Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A, September. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A (September 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 25.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 25.A (2020):September. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Heiðrún Ósk Sigfúsdóttir on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Fashion Design in Iceland: Chief Executive Officer, Rebutia (2)[Internet]. (2020, September 25(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/Sigfúsdóttir-2.

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.

Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)

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: October 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,629

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Anas El-Husseini is a Member of the Glia Society. He discusses: private forums; the email newsletters; the journals for the high-IQ societies; some common elements; private forums, email newsletters, and journals; apps for communication; long-term online platforms; “Die silently”; some intents of society founders and administrators; a reasonable and coherent society; the alternative tests; historical cases of high-IQ societies becoming particularly acrimonious and destructive; the Glia society; the reason for taking the test in the first place; some first impressions of the tests; the general impression of the content of Thoth; the general contents and reasons for submitting to Thoth; some of the sources of humour found in megalomaniacs; the source of the emotional, verbal, and logical deficits in megalomaniacs; the loss of interest in I.Q. tests; balanced intelligence; and efforts to bring everything under the same roof.

Keywords: Anas El Husseini, Glia Society, IQ, megalomaniacs, Paul Cooijmans, Thoth.

Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How do the private forums work in the high-IQ communities?

Anas El Husseini[1],[2]*: They are more or less like public forums, but with different types of topics sometimes, and with less traffic (due to the usually low membership). The communications there are rather high in quality, not only in the content’s side, but also in the presentation and the verbal ability.

Jacobsen: What tends to be the content of the email newsletters?

El Husseini: They vary from I.Q.-related tests/contests/articles to more common topics like personal choices of music. They contain sometimes articles or stories written by society members and published in I.Q. journals or elsewhere. Philosophical discussions occasionally take place there. They are also generally open to all kinds of intellectual communications, whether trivial or major.

Jacobsen: How common are the journals for the high-IQ societies?

El Husseini: They seem like a tradition for high I.Q. societies. If you find such a society without a dedicated journal, or with a journal that does not publish new issues any more, you will be right to assume that that society has become defunct.

Jacobsen: What tend to be some common elements of them?

El Husseini: Basically, there are articles authored by society members looking for a place that allows them to be published verbatim. However, some journals like Thoth accept copy from non-members too, so you get to see some bizarre content (since I.Q. societies tend to attract megalomaniacs and other types of people). Other people like to write about their personal achievements, memories and life experiences and publish it there.

Jacobsen: What could make the private forums, email newsletters, and journals more engaging?

El Husseini: Modernization and rules. First, people have been preferring live chat and social apps over email lately, since the latter usually requires more formality in communications. Second, it is my opinion that the stricter the rules of the forum, the less people become inclined to participate. However, rules are very essential in such forums, since they are there to regulate and not to restrict freedoms. One should set a balance between forum rules and the allowed behavior in order to avoid compromising the principles of the society and the freedom of its members.

Jacobsen: Could the creation of apps for communication bridge the generations of individual members who exist within the high-IQ societies?

El Husseini: I think so, as I explained in an earlier answer.

Jacobsen: Not only member cognitive rarity cutoff for entry, there seems to be the facet of longevity and a long-term growth trajectory of a society for communication. Mensa International started a long time ago and continue to grow past 130,000+ members. It’s a feat. In fact, with online availability and access, could long-term online platforms provide a basis for sufficient membership, trust, and will to move into “physical events” and “meetings”?

El Husseini: No doubt that online presence has increased the outreach of high I.Q. societies, but those seem to have reach their limits in terms of increasing members nowadays. Talking about the higher range of I.Q. societies, they tend to either decrease in new membership because they became dormant, or they increase at an almost fixed rate every year for the last decade.

Jacobsen: I like the phrase, “Die silently.” It seems true. Based on some preliminary analyses of the landscape of the high-IQ, we can note the trend there. Many listings of societies lead to dead links, i.e., likely defunct societies. Any suggestions to memberships on prodding the administrators to maintain focus and energy on the society, so as not to “die silently”?

El Husseini: In brief, the administrator must be fully involved, dedicate a good amount of his own time for this role, and manages to keep the other members engaged and interested in activities and discussions.

Jacobsen: What are some intents of society founders and administrators that can lead them inevitably into oblivion without a change of course?

El Husseini: I do not think there are any intents within society admins that lead to that result. It is usually inaction and passiveness that are the main culprits.

Jacobsen: What cutoff seems most conducive to a reasonable and coherent society without restricting the growth and access of the society?

El Husseini: A good compromise between freedom and regulations seems like a good basic conduct, although not trivial to achieve.

Jacobsen: Why do so many societies focus on the aspects of the alternative tests as opposed to mainstream intelligence tests?

El Husseini: Mainstream intelligence tests have their weak points. They are so common that their patterns are found in almost every online I.Q. test, so people can learn or get trained to memorize those patterns and achieve an I.Q. score higher than their real I.Q. Furthermore, many of those tests have a low cut-offs, i.e. they cannot measure I.Q. higher than 140 or 150 on a standard deviation of 15.

Jacobsen: Any historical cases of high-IQ societies becoming particularly acrimonious and destructive based on personality conflicts?

El Husseini: None that I know of.

Jacobsen: Why decide to join the Glia society in December of 2012?

El Husseini: I was looking into joining Mensa first, but it had no branches in my country and it required supervised I.Q. tests. I found the alternative in online I.Q. societies, many of which admit members based on the scores of recognized unsupervised I.Q. tests.

Jacobsen: With “an I.Q. score of 149 (S.D. 15) on the ‘Psychometrically Activated Grids Acerbate Neuroticism’ test,” what was the reason for taking the test in the first place?

El Husseini: Part of the reason was to solve the extraordinary puzzles in there. The other part was to get admitted to Glia Society.

Jacobsen: What were some first impressions of the tests?

El Husseini: I have tried some of Paul Cooijmans tests before. My opinion is that they were always top-quality. Their questions are unique, very challenging, and give a great satisfaction when one manages to solve them.

Jacobsen: What is the general impression of the content of Thoth to you?

El Husseini: I almost always find something of interest in Thoth, sometimes even an image or just a line. Although, most members seldom send content to be published there nowadays, there are other members who still keep at publishing steadily.

Jacobsen: What were the general contents and reasons for submitting to Thoth several years ago twice?

El Husseini: I had joined the society recently then, so I wanted to see the impact of my writings in the journal. One of the contents I published was a call for engaging society members in some group action. It didn’t get any response or feedback, so I let it go.

Jacobsen: What are some of the sources of humour found in megalomaniacs?

El Husseini: They threaten you sometimes with things they obviously cannot do, or things they can do but it will only hurt them back. They tend to be illogical and contradictory too. They cannot think that they can be wrong in any way. All of that make them say things or in act in ways that render them as objects of humor to me.

Jacobsen: What seems like the source of the emotional, verbal, and logical deficits in megalomaniacs?

El Husseini: It is mainly their failure at assessing their own abilities, and overestimating them, that make them think that they are perfect at their current level and that they don’t need to learn more nor to add any more skills to their arsenal.

Jacobsen: You stated, “I was also fond *at the time* of I.Q. tests, and high I.Q. communities were a source of tests and puzzles of a rare and high quality.” [Emphasis added.] Why the loss of interest in I.Q. tests?

El Husseini: Excellent I.Q. tests are rare. There exist few that show up now and then, which I usually participate in. Otherwise, I try to find interesting and new challenges elsewhere.

Jacobsen: Balanced intelligence seems probably most important for a satisfying life of the highly intelligent person. Community or a social circle is one facet of balance. How do you get the sense of balance out of the Glia Society? Does this seem similar for most others in the communities inasmuch as these exist?

El Husseini: A balance exists between opposites. Highly intelligent people are not necessarily anti-social, but many of them may not find a lot of people that they can befriend. I.Q. societies exist to bring such people closer to each other. The funny thing is that in such societies, there exists a diversity in philosophies and views which may oppose each other, requiring therefore a new kind of balance between them.

Jacobsen: Some efforts exist to bring everything under the same roof, as networked or associative efforts to unify the entire front of the high-IQ. In some ways, this makes sense. In another sense, a diverse ecosystem of independently evolving communities can make a more interesting and variegated tapestry of the highly intelligent. In fact, this may make more sense, as these individuals seem more prone to independence of thought and small collectives may be the trade-off between individualism implied by independence of thought, in general, and collectivistic impulses with an instinct to socialize. What do you think about these efforts?

El Husseini: I have seen a couple of those attempts, none of which seems to achieve its goal, most likely due to the owner(s) of such groups or the participating societies. I personally think that intelligent people who just want to socialize do not need a private group to do so. One may find a good companion or partner with people who have very different levels of intelligence. Some other people get attracted to their opposites. For those reasons, I do not see that collective communities were a success.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Glia Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: 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 Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)[Online].October 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, October 1). Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, October. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (October 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020):October. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Anas El Husseini on Private Forums, Email Newsletters, Journals, Common Elements, Apps, Megalomaniacs, Thoth, and Balanced Intelligence: Member, Glia Society (3)[Internet]. (2020, October 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/husseini-3.

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