Friday 15 November 2019

Born to do Math 145 - The Marky Markation Problem

Born to do Math 145 - The Marky Markation Problem
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
November 15, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The Demarcation Problem, there are a lot of criteria.

Rosner: There's the Marky Markation Problem.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] what's the Marky Markation Problem? 

Rosner: It is when you are in Times Square in your underpants in the '90s on a huge billboard.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Singing about what? Or rapping about what?

Rosner: Or maybe, it is when you are in your teens and beat up a guy and cause him to lose an eye. 

Jacobsen: [Laughing] what is science to you?

Rosner: Finding regularities in the environment, by "regularities," I mean repeatable phenomena. Often, there are theories. You try to explain the repeatable phenomena. That's pretty much it. As generalists, humans evolved to exploit all sorts of regularities in our world, as opposed to other animals who occupy more specific niches based on a more limited repertoire of behaviour, like anteaters.

It's right in the name. They eat ants. There are some other things that go along with it. There's falsifiability. If you have a theory, it has to explain some results that would invalidate the theory if they turned out otherwise. 

Jacobsen: It has to make predictions too.

Rosner: Yes, that's a little tricky. Often, theories follow discoveries. So, theories involve extrapolations. You can have a theory explain a repeatable phenomenon. But it is worthless and also not testable if it is so specific to the on experimental set-up; it is not generalized. 

This ball will fall to the ground. Every time you drop the ball. It will fall to the ground. It doesn't tell you anything or why. It just applies to the one ball. You can, at least, generalize to any ball falling to the ground. It still doesn't help you.

It is not general enough or predictive enough. You mentioned pseudoscience and soft science. When people think of the sciences, they generally think of the hard sciences: biology, chemistry, physics.

Jacobsen: What are the hard sciences? What are the soft sciences?

Rosner: The hard sciences try to build things up from the least complicated elements of what is being looked at, trying to get at the least complicated elements, formulate theories of those elements, and they're fairly universal. The elements that are measurable with great precision.

Then the soft sciences are things like political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology. Things that deal with smushy, often human, behaviour. You can come up with rules for soft sciences that are nearly as universal as the rules of the hard sciences, at least statistically.

But they are based on smushier and complex biological systems, humans. That rule would be true well over 99% of the time, which makes it a pretty decent rule in terms of its ability to predict behaviour. However, you're still dealing with soft sciences.

You don't get mathematically, numerically exact results. Everybody understands this distinction. If they don't, then they should pay more attention.

[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:
  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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