Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Born to do Math 119 - Forms of Order: No-Nothing, Defaulting to Something

Born to do Math 119 - Forms of Order: No-Nothing Three-Point Shots, Defaulting to Something
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
May 8, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The whole argument is "why is there something rather than nothing?" But the real argument is "why wouldn't there be something?" [Laughing]

Rick Rosner: But then we go back to another form of that question, can the universe exist without a support structure? The simplest analogy that comes immediately to mind is the score of a basketball game as seen on a scoreboard. 

The rules of basketball are consistent. So, you see or you can follow the basketball game by following the scoreboard. It makes sense. It is not as exciting as actually watching the game. I am thinking of the old scoreboard that doesn't show video. It just has numbers and lights.

Jacobsen: Red bulbs.

Rosner: Right. That's a perfectly consistent system within the rules of basketball. But you can't have that system. Either the series of scores on a scoreboard throughout a game or the scoreboard, it implies a scoreboard is there to keep score and that there is a game that the scoreboard reflects.

You can't really have the scores in just a free floating way. Unless, there is some kind of structure to provide the scores. It is a terrible analogy. Because you have both the support structures that include the game being played and the scoreboard that shows you the score of the game at various moments.

Also, your consciousness that registers what is going on. But still, the idea that there would be this free floating and consistent series of scores rolling without forms of external support or external correlates that those scores reflect doesn't make sense.

So, if the matter in our universe is some sort of thing of the universe keeping score, then that implies there are some structures that pertain to and are relevant to the score. The universe, itself, at any given moment is a score. 

Does there have to be a scoreboard to show the score to physically support it? Does there have to be a reality that is reflected in the score? A game that is being played. Both of which refer to this world that is external to the universe.

But the universe is a model of or an information processing model in the same way our mind is a model of the world around us.

Jacobsen: Take some of the aforementioned terms, the idea of 3D spatial relations, the idea of colour, the idea of fairness, with in-built systems.

Rosner: Yes. Anyhow, that is a larger question than we're discussing now. 

Jacobsen: It is important, though.

Rosner: Yes, it is one of the central questions. But right now, we want to find out if micro events, e.g., whether or not I have toe fungus, and I do...

Jacobsen: Thanks.

Rosner: Mmhmm.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: ...have some informational meaning to the overall computational structure that is the universe. It is a computational structure. Even if, it is supported externally. To put it in scoreboard terms, do my fungus toenails register on the scoreboard that is the universe?

Jacobsen: You don't mean the casual way people are imagining this. I don't mean the gross way they're imagining this. I mean registering via photons hitting an apparatus and being registered on an information processor, even pain registering generally.

Rosner: The state of my toenails is definitely registered by the wider universe. There is a model of my foot right here in the room we're sitting. But that model is 8 years old. It is the actual size of my foot. It might be slightly bigger, as it is made out of silicon. I forget if it ends up bigger or slightly smaller.

Jacobsen: Why is your second toe so big?

Rosner: That's just the way my toes came out. That's the reason that model exists because my foot is grotesque. 

Jacobsen: It looks like your second toe and your big toe went "hey, let's trade places for this life."

Rosner: [Laughing] It is horrifying.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: That's why somebody decided to make a model of it and turn it into an ashtray and hand it over to my boss.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: My boss had had enough of it after 8 years, 10 years and said, "Do you want your foot back?" I am like, "Hell, yeah." To some extent, the state of my toe is reflective in the outside world. But is it reflected in the ongoing game that is the universe's computations? 

That is, the scoreboard of a basketball game, an old school scoreboard, does not tell you whether one player shoved another player, one player for one reason gets a boner in stressful situations like basketball games, where he is not only trying to play basketball but also hoping that people don't see that he gets a boner.

The scoreboard only represents the most general information about the game, like the score and the number of fouls. It doesn't reflect the minutiae. That there is a girl in the audience that has a crush on the center. Or the school colours that are there.

The question is if the minutiae of our lives have informational meaning to the universe itself.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer
Rick Rosner

(Updated March 7, 2019)

According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

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

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

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
In-Sight Publishing

(Updated September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice MagazineYour Political Party of BCProBCMarijuana Party of CanadaFresh Start Recovery CentreHarvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, Vice President of Outreach for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.


[1] Four format points for the session article:
  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner. 
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott. 
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  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability. 
For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:
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  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from
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