Friday, 8 November 2019

Born to do Math 143 - Smoothing Functions

Born to do Math 143 - Smoothing Functions
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
November 8, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Does this make certain thoughts impossible and other thoughts extremely difficult for us?

Rosner: Yes! Unless, you practice recalling dreams and actively recall your dream as you wake up, really rehearse it in your head. It is almost impossible or very rare that you spontaneously remember a dream because the weird combination of arbitrary crap in your dream is like a very tough to break code. 

You are very unlikely, at random, to simultaneously think about enough of the random assortment of stuff in your dream that your dream will resurface. 

Jacobsen: Are there certain things whether awake or dreaming that are impossible for the human mind to comprehend?

Rosner: Yes, if there is too much going on, and if you haven't really turned into what you're seeing or hearing, or if most of the content has not been rehearsed and been reinforced by being part of consciousness, then it makes it harder to have enough associations with that thing to recall it. 

Jacobsen: We've talked about the mathematics of consciousness before. One of the things that follows from that is that even the things seeming fundamental or mysterious, like consciousness, in experience, as in qualia. If we can get mathematics of consciousness, then there should be a derivative from that.

One of those should be the qualities that should be describable by math or apprehendable immediately in the math. 

Rosner: I think that a lot of people have a practical understanding of what consciousness is, already. This generation has this more than any other generation. We understand. I read some article discussing various niceties of consciousness, e.g., whether consciousness is an illusion.

We've talked about this. It sort of is, but it doesn't matter because it works as if it is not an illusion. Anyway, there were all these different things. This article talked about that stuff with Tegmark and all the modern guys with models of consciousness and some of the guys with models from 20 or 30 years ago.

Everyone pretty much agrees what consciousness is. It is the sharing of information among a bunch of subsystems, such that you get a very vivid, fleshed out, real-seeming version or model of the world.

Jacobsen: One characteristic not pointed out about consciousness is in the weaving together of thoughts and experiences is the all-at-onceness of it. It feels as if it is happening all at once. But we're getting feedthrough of all these different subsystems at different timescales. Somehow, there is the illusion behind the illusion of consciousness. That it is this simultaneous thing. It's not.

Rosner: I think what you're talking about are smoothing functions. I don't know if there is a formal name for them. But they are like another app to ensure that you're not confused by the nuts and bolts of assembling moment-to-moment awareness.

Jacobsen: You know people who have podcasts. They speak into a microphone and have software that smooths out the voice and the background. That seems like the characterization of the "smoothing functions."In one view, they are an illusion behind the illusion. In other sense, they make the real feel that much more real.

Rosner: If you take LSD, which I don't recommend doing, and if you take anything, then you can take mushrooms because LSD lasts for like 20hours. It becomes a pain in the ass after the first 2 hours.

Jacobsen: Did you see the video of the three Mormon guys who took LSD? 

Rosner: No, I hope they poke each other's eyes out like the horror films of the 60s would threaten happening to you if you took it. Or did they just get really loose and giggle?

Jacobsen: They get loose and giggle in front of a camera. It's the first substance any had taken.

Rosner: Oh wow, that's a big first step. Anyway, take mushrooms, not LSD. If you do take LSD, then it fucks up a lot of stuff, like visual smoothing functions. People's faces look like intermediate steps in building CG faces. 

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: You get polygonal faces. You don't get the final work product or a good final work product. You see what, to some extent, the raw crap - not raw perception - or an incompletely formed perception looks like, e.g., polygonal and lizardy. Not the rounded rosy, for white people...

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: [Laughing] you get fucked up shit. You time fucked up, because all the time smoothing functions. One function of consciousness is so that we're not constantly freaking out about glitches in perceptions.

Jacobsen: Those freaking outs are still part of the overall safety functions.

Rosner: They are. When you look at a doorway, and for like half a second, and are like, "What was that?" Then you get more information and it's like, "Oh, false alarm." If you didn't see people lurking in doorways when they are there as soon as possible. Then you are in danger. Your brain will sometimes see lurkers where there aren't because it is safer to be that way.

If we were seeing like a hundred lurkers in a room a hundred times a minute because our smoother-outers are not working right. We'd be constantly freaking out. It wouldn't be a good use of resources. We'd be constantly shitting our pants because phantoms are thrown up so much.

I suspect this happens to some people. I think schizophrenia is a breakdown to some degree of smoothing functions. So, people are jumping to all sorts of conclusions about what is happening in the outside world.

[End of recorded material]


American Television Writer

(Updated July 25, 2019)

*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.*

According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America's, North America's, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. 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 Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main "Genius" listing here.

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 commercialDomino’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. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. 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 AngelesCalifornia 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

(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:


[1] Four format points for the session article:
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  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott. 
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