Born to Do Math 184 – Technical, Not Mystical

In-Sight Publishing

Born to Do Math 184 – Technical, Not Mystical

September 8, 2020

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We use a lot of terms consistently. Since we us them a lot, we should specify some more. What meant by technical consciousness rather than mystical consciousness?

Rick Rosner: I call consciousness a technical not a mystical phenomenon. It has been clear for decades, maybe a century, that when consciousness is figured out. It will be materialistic. That is, it will be generated by the same stuff that generate everything else in our world, the rules of physics and matter. That consciousness is made of stuff. Given that you can map consciousness into a separate space made of an abstract stuff, it doesn’t change the fact that consciousness is generated by matter doing regular things.

Jacobsen: Can I pause you there?

Rosner: Sure.

Jacobsen: If you look at the worldviews on offer, the major ones, the assumptions are non-materialistic origins of this stuff. It puts us as odds.

Rosner: As scientism has become more prevalent, it has become apparent consciousness isn’t magical. Even when we didn’t understand how it worked, it became increasingly obvious that it would be materialistic.

Jacobsen: You mean undeniably materialistic explanations.

Rosner: There is no extra fluid. There is no extra world consciousness exists subject to some mystical God-given or some hocus-y pocus-y separate set of phenomena. You can mathematicize consciousness and show the information within consciousness as existing within its own physics. Normal physics, but the physics of a separate space, we assume under IC. We assume consciousness can be mathematically represented in its own space. Just because we can’t do that now, it doesn’t mean consciousness can’t be represented via the processes in the brain, and the brain itself is built from physics.

Also, we have thought about consciousness under IC, as we have been working together for 5 years.

Jacobsen: It is more physics than metaphysics and more philosophy of physics too.

Rosner: As we built this out, I do not find this particularly hard to understand. Consciousness is the sharing of information among different sensory and processing subsystems, so that they all inform each other in a kind of shared arena. So, they generate a vivid, rapidly-changing, moment-to-moment picture of the environment and your thoughts of the environment and associated emotions with those inputs.

Jacobsen: In a way, you take among those who accept modern standards of science. You take premises most people would agree with and then come to conclusions only a minority of people agree with.

Rosner: If you sit people down and talk to them, here is what is feels like to have consciousness, what is consciousness, I think you’ve convince a significant number of people: Shared processed information generates the feeling of inhabiting a vivid reality.

Jacobsen: I don’t think it’s unreasonable. I do think it’s too optimistic. In North American culture, people would assume “immortal otherworldly stuff connects to me.”

Rosner: Take my wife, she doesn’t think a lot about science stuff. I get this a lot when I throw jokes at her. I will throw a decent one. He will say, “Anyone could have thought of that.” It doesn’t make it a bad joke.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: It means a lot of people could get the joke. I tried explaining IC to her. Similarly, it is obviously not obvious because we are sitting on thousands of years of thinking about consciousness, which we believe gets it wrong.

Jacobsen: What are the impediments to understand our view of consciousness? What have been the impediments?

Rosner: The impediments consisted of not existing in the right technological and scientific space in which we exist in a growing jungle of AI and apps, and increasingly CG and burgeoning brain science. We have the conceptual tools to think about consciousness as an information processing process. An emergent property, if you want to call it that; although, I’m not sure how emergent it is because it is right there.

Have a system that is getting multi-dimensional, that is, multi-faceted analyses of its current situation. All of the analysis that goes into fleshing out its world will produce what acts like and feels like consciousness. Obviously, that needs to be further mathematicized, as we have said a thousand times.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] That’s another one.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

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

Founder, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[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

License and Copyright


In-Sight Publishing  by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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