Saturday 15 June 2019

Born to do Math 124 - Will and Willpower: Proto-Sensory Event Prediction

Born to do Math 124 - Will and Willpower: Proto-Sensory Event Prediction
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
June 15, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If you consider more, you have a richer decision tree. Each node will have more detail on the decision tree, in terms of the more thought out things, more thought out decisions. What about those ones that are more well-formed?

Rick Rosner: We were talking about this before we started taping. You were talking about the "I meant to do that reaction." It is kind of part of the confirmatory will, I guess. You forget all of the other things that you may have done and then agree with what you did, and then forge that you were of more than one mind.

That goes along with the "I knew that was going to happen" reaction. Where, sometimes, I will be doing something. I will drop a cup. I will do some sort of bobble. I am pouring something, then something goes wrong. 

I think, "You a-hole. You asshole. You knew that was going to happen." So, you are of more than one mind when you're picturing what is going to happen. When you're anticipating what happens, you forget; you only remember the half-formed thought, "This was going to happen."

You forget a number of different semi-pictured possibilities and only remember the one that happened. Part of your brain may realize what happened and is telling the rest of your brain what happened before you get more sensory information.

Another part of your brain may tell another part before your senses say it. That's a goofy kind of explanation. You're picturing what might happen and what happened before you're fully aware of what happened.

That could lead to the reaction, "You knew that would have happened. Why the hell did you let that happen?" It is two things. Your brain anticipating what will happen. Your brain perceiving what happened at different rates.

One job of consciousness or the main job of consciousness is to consider holistically - that is, using all easily available means of thought to consider - problems that cannot be considered unconsciously. The stuff that gets tossed into the conscious arena to be made aware of.

And once it is in the conscious arena, you have all these analytic tools including words, dynamical analysis, what's likely going to happen, and all sorts of dynamics including interpersonal dynamics and physical dynamics. "What is going to happen if I lose my shit and punch this person?" 

Depending on the person, you may anticipate that they fall over or that they don't fall over. That they sue you. That they hit you back. That they call the cops. This is all based on physics, on perspective. If you throw a punch at somebody 40 feet away, nothing will happen because your fist won't reach.

So, you use all your analytical subsystems to analyze the current situation and your actions in that current situation when those actions in your current situation require higher level analysis. We can do another session as to why consciousness takes the form of a narrative in our minds.

Jacobsen: We are our stories.

Rosner: But what is helpful to us in feeling like we're living a story that can be pictured as a movie or a novel, or a linear recounting of thoughts and actions and incidents? Why do we have to weave everything into a story? What is helpful about that?

[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. 
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview. 
  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:
  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from
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