How to Think Like a Genius 13-Old Days

In-Sight Publishing

How to Think Like a Genius 13–Old Days

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen and Rick Rosner

September 1, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s talk about the bad old days, the days before Google and search.

Rick Rosner: That makes a good point in terms of you ought to have good web searching skills because it’s such a crazy huge resource. I grew up in Colorado and at the University we had the biggest university in the state and possibly the biggest library between, I ‘unno, California and Texas, or Arizona. It was the biggest library in several states for hundreds and hundreds and even a thousand miles in every direction. It had -

University of Colorado had a million volumes, which is huge. The public library had maybe 60 to 80,000 volumes, supposedly, but probably had be stolen and never returned from their card catalogue. Boulder had a lot of bookstores. You could try hitting bookstore. Each bookstore maybe had 8–10,000 volumes.

Compare that to Google, which depending on which statistic you look at, has either 47 billion web page or 30 trillion web pages. So at least 47,000 times more items in Google, but still 47,000 thousand more items to look than the biggest library for a thousand miles, and you don’t have to search through the library. Later, I moved to New York, where I was a fact checker for a quiz show. I checked facts. This was 87', 88', 89'. We called people on the phone who might know something and we asked them using a phone book. [Laughing]


And try to get them to answer stuff, to move forward, I first went online in 1995, and the internet sucked ass. The odds that the internet could answers your question about any given thing was about 1 in 4, but now everything is up there. For a while, on Twitter, I was looking for or making fun of sexy Halloween costumes, which meant that I was doing Google image search with sex plus some random word: sex cheese, sexy raisin, sexy crib, sex plus anything. It gives you dozens and dozens of images.

And odds are somebody has done something to make a crib sexy somewhere and Google has it. It’s just a reasonable slice of or nice thick slice that we as humans know plus a bunch of non-sense that is also interesting because non-sense has value too. All available within the time it takes to type a few words, which is kings didn’t have it 20 years ago. The richest man in the world didn’t have it 20 years ago, and it doesn’t have to make you smarter, but it could.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012–2017. 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 and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

Originally published at on September 2, 2017.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights.