Sunday 15 December 2019

Born to do Math 149 - Predictive Power and the Power to Choose

Born to do Math 149 - Predictive Power and the Power to Choose
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
December 15, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How can predictive power increase freedom, potentially?

Rosner: I wonder about increased freedom, if any, if our actions are based on more and more predictive information. There are plenty of time travel books, movies, and T.V. shows, where people are can travel into the past to try and fix things that they want to change. That did not go the way that they wanted. So, the question is, "Does it change the experience of time to be able to run multiple parallel simulations of the next few moments and even further into the future than the next few moments and then choose among those moments?" We already do that.

It doesn't feel like we are choosing among future moments. It feels like we are moment-to-moment taking the best actions based on what we think will happen. We don't really think of ourselves, generally, as predicting what will happen moment-to-moment, but we are doing it.

We stop at a stoplight that is red because we predict that there is traffic. Or, also, because we see cars are coming, we predict that if we step into traffic that the cars will keep coming and hit us. We are predicting and making the best possible choices based on those predictions.

But we don't see those as predictions. We see ourselves as reacting to circumstances. In only some of our choices do we see ourselves as predicting and acting according to our best predictions, if you come up to a girl, a woman, I'm from the 70s and the 80s, and the 90s, where you went up to women in bars and said stuff to get the woman to like you.

In doing that, you are trying to figure out what the best thing to say would be. My default was to ask the woman to dance because I did not know how to talk to women. After 3 songs, it would get sweaty and weird.

Jacobsen: [Laughing]. 

Rosner: All I had to do was say, "Enough of that dancing shit, let's get you a drink." I was bad at it. I was a little clueless. But my best-predicted action was to ask a girl to dance. That seemed, at least, to get me to the next moment of dancing based on the prediction that, sometimes, the girl would say, "Yes."

But it doesn't seem like a prediction when you take a step predicting the floor will still be the floor and gravity will still be like gravity in the next few subsequent moments. So, I am saying that there is a possibility that future powerful entities with more global information and a much more powerful ability to predict will experience the world. 

There's a famous book or series of books from the 70s called Dune. It is getting made into a  T.V. series again. It was made into a movie nobody liked, maybe a T.V. series a while ago. In the book, that one character can see the future exactly as it will play out. He is blind. He can see the future so well that he just knows where to go and what to do because he can so exactly predict the future. 

I am saying that time won't be experienced as moment-to-moment. But we don't experience time as moment-to-moment now. We accumulate a history. But our perception of each moment, our awareness of each moment, is smeared out across moments and out consciousness and sub-conscious smooths everything out.

So, it feels as if we are experiencing time in a moment-to-moment fashion. Even though, the information that we get about the world does not perfectly fill out each moment at that moment and our processing of each moment does not happen at each moment.

We accumulate knowledge about changes in the world across a span of, a short span of, time, but still a span of time. We don't experience a bunch of instantaneous moments. We experience, vaguely, a bunch of smeared out moments.

Again, it raises the question as to what a vastly more powerful moment to moment massive amount of predictive information would look like or would feel like within a vastly knowledgeable and powerful consciousness.

The default point of view would be that we would still experience things linearly. In that, we would take action. That action would be locked into the moment. We would take another set of actions that would be locked into subsequent moments. We would still experience things linearly even as we were working through a much wider range of possible futures.

Because generally, we don't see the possible futures in any kind of fully fleshed out way. When I went up to a girl in a bar and asked her to dance, I didn't picture ten different versions of the next few days based on how the girl might react. She says, "Yes."

We get along. We have a one-night stand. We still like each other in the morning. Or if she says, "Fuck off," then I get embarrassed and leave the bar or go to another bar, or go home. You don't picture fully-fleshed out futures. 

You experience the possible reactions the woman could have. I don't know whether the more powerful consciousnesses of the future will perceive more fleshed out possible futures. That's probably a dumb supposition in a lot of ways. But I am not even sure of the ways.

[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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