Friday 22 November 2019

Born to do Math 146 - Tentative Conclusions and Open Questions

Born to do Math 146 - Tentative Conclusions and Open Questions
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
November 22, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: One tentative conclusion for hard or soft sciences is a naturalistic worldview. The world as a natural rather than a supernatural place.

Rosner: Yes, though, you could make the argument that we come to the natural view via science invalidating a lot of supernatural things. My kid, as you know, has been working on a paper about frogs as embroidered objects in the 17th century. 

She ran into an issue in discussing why people would be at home wearing embroidered frogs when frogs during that time were associated with witchery. The deal is that frogs were thought to be useful, naturally, in a naturalistic sense.

But they had spooky uses under witchery. There were natural uses. People who weren't, who used frogs for good purposes - and witchy and possibly evil purposes. Given the level of scientific knowledge in the 17th-century, it is very hard for a modern analyst of frog uses to distinguish between witchy uses and natural uses.

She mentioned one use. You take a frog and burn it, and mix it with some honey and stuff. Then you feed it to a cat, and then kill the cat. At some point, whatever you have done with the frog mixture will make foxes come out.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: She mentioned that as a non-witchy use of frogs. She mentioned this as a non-witchy use of frogs in a non-witchy way. To us, it sounds like a use of frogs in a witchy way, pure witchery. It is because people didn't know shit back then. They couldn't tell the difference between the natural and the supernatural based on the stuff they did. 

They had no good idea of whether the stuff would work or not. They weren't or things were not tested scientifically and recipes were passed on. It is only via 3 or 4 centuries of using the scientific method, where we have a pretty good idea of what is supernatural, what's likely bullshit, and what's natural.

To the point, we have some laws that we understand pretty well.

Jacobsen: Based on the stuff discussed in the Born to do Math series, when we think of chakras, ghosts, and efficacy of prayer, in the way fundamentally, espoused...

Rosner: Let's take a detour since you mentioned the efficacy of prayer. Until recently, I have been willing to let religious people have their religious beliefs. I have even, from time to time, had some semi-religious beliefs myself.

But now, given the state of religion in America, I and I think lots of people find ourselves oppressed by crazy levels of hypocrisy. I find myself less willing to let certain religious hypocrisies stand. For instance, the idea that what we need to do after a gun massacre is praying. 

You got to say, "Fuck you," to that because making that the main thing that you can do. You can't pass laws, can't do studies. That's just bullshit and lining up to do the NRA's bullshit for them. American politics is being scuttled by a religious demographic that support Trump.

Even though, he is not just non-religious, but a really huge breaker of most of the 10 Commandments. He is a terrible con man and bullshit artists. He is terrible for the country and supported by a majority of Evangelical Christians. 

Jacobsen: May I interject?

Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: If we take the main thrust of the question while sustained in the detour, do the negative, the social, impacts and ease of the political manipulation of a sector of the United States, in some ways, relate closely to a lack of acknowledgement of there being this separation what we consider science and non-science now?

Rosner: I would argue a lack of acknowledgement. Most people who are engaged, mostly evangelicals, in this religious hypocrisy have an inkling of doubt that what they are doing is legitimate. The people who support Trump because he supports their values. Even though, he doesn't follow any of those values.

Others who support Trump and Israel because, maybe, he is hastening the End Times, the apocalyptic war between good and evil, which will wipe out most of humanity on the planet with only the good people going on to salvation.

I have a feeling that most of those peoples. If you really put it to them, they would admit some doubt with this really bullshitty system that they are supporting. There's a new report. It came out on Jerry Falwell, Jr. He runs Liberty University, I think.

It is called a real estate scam in the article. He is not godly at all. He brags about the size of his dick and sends salacious pictures of his wife to people. He might have a weird, creepy relationship with his exercise trainer. 

He is an all-around terrible guy and a one in a long line of scamming preachers, televangelists. 

Jacobsen: This comes out of a very strong movement of the WWII Healing Revival Movement.

Rosner: Yes. In the 60s, there was another revival as hippies rejected the materialism of their parents. A lot of them tried to embrace religion. Some Christianity, some eastern religion, religion used to reinforce decent behaviour. I can get behind that.

But that's not the way it is being used in America right now. So, anyway, back to demarcation, I think after 400 years of science. We're pretty clear as to what science is and isn't. Although, there are a not-insignificant number of people who are in the business of obscuring the border between science and not science to scam money out of people.

People who sell health and beauty products want their shit to sound scientific. There's a product that I've heard a lot of ads for, 'Man Pills.' They supposedly raise your testosterone, over the counter 'Man Pills. You put in a mail-order, then they keep arriving each month. They say that they have been clinically tested in the ads.

They do not say any results: "Clinically tested," and then no results. Probably, because the results were shit, they sell boner pills over the counter too. A lot of bodegas have these tiger pill packs, which are supposed to increase your virility. These are ridiculous because a) they don't work and b) there are pills that work that can do the things that these B.S. pills claim to do.

Science is science. We know what it is for the most part. People who are trying to smudge the borders are, usually, trying to take your money. 

Jacobsen: So, could we say that we live in an amazing place but not a magical one?

Rosner: Yes! But there are people working in fringey areas because science doesn't cover everything. Even the stuff covered by science is subject to being hugely revised with new discoveries, as with our discussions before, our main theory of the universe is not even a century old. This very complete cosmology before us is subject to vast and radical revision as we discover more about the universe.

Jacobsen: You and I differ in some ways, in terms of what is presented in a digital physics view of the world. You look at the universe as very probably as having a mind or the characteristics of a mind based on large-scale information processing. I agree with a fundamentally information-based view of the world. I need more premises to have that supported. 

It is a basic agreement. The question is to what degree is that conclusion supported in terms of some of the derivatives.

Rosner: You could look at what we with our minds and their characteristics. We have minds in order to predict the future and prepare for it, which is a popular view of minds and brains right now. In that, every action that we take is in anticipation and prediction of the future. 

It feels like we're dealing with present realities. But really, we're dealing with a prediction of what the world is, even if it is a world of a micro-second from now. We've built a vision or version of the world in our minds. That allows us to, we hope, live safely and productively in the world.

Every action that we take is, if you want to get really technical according to this theory, based on a prediction. This couch is solid, gravity works. It will work a second from now, 10 seconds from now, next week. Everything that we do is, as we move into the future and thus our brains help us move into the future, building a model of the future world for us. 

Even if it is a fraction of a second from becoming now, as a world, that's one thing. Our brains help us survive in the world. That they are predictive. That they simulate a world. We could probably come up with about 20 different things that our minds and brains do. 

You could probably go down the list and, for each of those 20 things, discuss whether a self-consistent or a vast self-consistent information-processing system or set of subsystems would necessarily have to fulfill each of these 20 characteristics of our minds.

For example, each of our minds is assigned to a single organism, helping one organism doing its shit. That's not a requirement for other minds like a mega-mind, some universe-sized mind. It could be the information-processing, predictive, conscious arm of a group of organisms. Our mind is located on our bodies. Our brain is located in our bodies. There is this locality characteristic.

That doesn't have to be so. The information processing can be done remotely for something operating a gazillion miles away. It becomes impractical. If you are talking about huge distances where the speed of light becomes a problem, it doesn't become a problem if you have this little robotic soldier or bomb defuser, or a little spider assassin that needs to crawl inside somebody's ear, but is too small to have a sophisticated brain.

This could be directed from a sophisticated brain 2 miles away. The locality isn't necessarily a thing. You can go down a list of things and pick whether this would be a characteristic of an information processing system. Then everything is up for question if the universe or whether other things are information system, and whether the information pertains to something outside of our universe.

The way our mind pertains to a world. If we think the mind is a world with its own existence, the mind is doing its work is predicting things in a world beyond it or mathematically distinct/separate from the information that it contains. That's open to question.

Whether you need hardware to support the software, whether the universe is a thing made of information the way our minds are made of the information and needs a hardware structure, an actual existing structure to support the information that it contains. We have assumed because it makes sense to be made of information; that there needs to be an armature to support the information as a framework.

That physically supports the information that cannot exist on its own because our minds cannot exist on their own. They need brains to be the physical structures where the interactions of the neurons and dendrites, and everything, encode the information. That's open to questions. Everything is open to being questioned. 

[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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