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An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Language and Thought (Part Two)

March 8, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 8, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,851

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Matthew Scillitani, member of The Glia Society and The Giga Society, is a web developer and SEO specialist living in North Carolina. He is of Italian and British lineage, and is predominantly English-speaking. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Carolina University, with a focus on neurobiology and a minor in business marketing. He’s previously worked as a research psychologist, data analyst, and writer, publishing over three hundred papers on topics such as nutrition, fitness, psychology, neuroscience, free will, and Greek history. You may contact him via e-mail at mattscil@gmail.com. He discusses: political view development; workaholism and intelligence; more ideal social and governmental system; religion; God; economics; human nature; soul; language; and thought.

Keywords: East Carolina University, Giga Society, Glia Society, God, intelligence, Matthew Scillitani, politics, religion, society, workaholism.

An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought: Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society (Part Two)[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What have been the development of political views based on the lack of sufficient standard indoctrination of you?

Matthew Scillitani: My political views took much longer to develop than my peers, most likely because of low exposure to that topic. Something I noticed early on is that most people’s beliefs polarize the more they argue with opposing political party members.To avoid that, I try not to affiliate with any party or become too emotionally or intellectually invested in any political belief. This comes at a cost, however, since many party members have an ‘us versus them’ mentality, and not choosing a side means being their opponent. This is especially dangerous today since political tensions are so high.

2. Jacobsen: Does workaholism seem common among the more intelligent? In that, motivation becomes a core factor for the development of intellectual capacities to their true limits?

Scillitani: I think there is probably a weak correlation between workaholism and intelligence. Being able to delay gratification and having good foresight are more common features in intelligent people, which promotes conscientiousness. However, workaholism is probably more related to different personality or cultural features, or is the product of psychiatric disorders such as Asperger Syndrome or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Regarding the second part of your question; the brain is very plastic and to reach one’s true intellectual potential one has to think often, think hard, and think clearly. Workaholism is one way to achieve that. At the extreme end, even workaholism can be pushed too far and become detrimental to one’s productivity and health though. If we can’t remember the last time we ate or slept then it is a sign we need to do those things and take a break.

3. Jacobsen: What seems like a more ideal social and governmental construction for the wellbeing of human beings in nations now?

Scillitani: An ideal system would probably not be very crowd pleasing. The first thing to go should be public voting, which I imagine would be met with some initial backlash. Public voting has and will always be in the best interest of the government and never in the best interest of its citizens. Because of public voting, politicians appeal to what a nations citizens want rather than what is best for them. Imagine if our parents asked us to vote on what we ate for dinner as children. Many of us would go to bed with pudding wrappers littered across the floor, clenching our stomachs in pain. The government must sometimes do things that are uncomfortable to its citizens in the short-term in order to improve overall human wellbeing in the long-term.

A dictatorship is probably best so long as the dictator is knowledgeable, intelligent, ethical, and chooses their advisers well. This will likely not happen in our lifetime, but it will lead to much rapid progress when it does. As an aside, many of the debates people have today about politics are ones that have already happened many times throughout history. All one needs to do is grab a history book and read what happened when each system was implemented. Contrary to popular belief, we are not much smarter now than we were two millennia ago, and failed governmental systems then will still fail today.

4. Jacobsen: What is religion? Why are much of the world religious? Why are a significant minority of the world not religious (in standard definitions)?

Scillitani: The function of religion differs between its founder and followers. To the founder, it’s a business or system of government. To the follower, religion can be a social or spiritual community, a path towards finding some meaning in life, or a prison in some unfortunate cases, such as Islam. Much of the world is still religious because it’s hard to break ancient traditions, especially when those traditions are still so influential in our cultures and governments.

There are many reasons why some people would not be religious. Lack of exposure to religion or being harmed by religious dogma are good examples (gay conversion therapy, as an example). Today, it’s also very trendy to be an atheist, and many ‘smart’ young people attack religion, typically Christianity, so they might feel smarter than they really are. The irony is that nearly all of these young people say nothing new or interesting during religious debates and just echo what they’ve heard on social media.

5. Jacobsen: Any stances on God, gods, uncertainty, or no gods? The old pickle question important to so many.

Scillitani: I think the universe has a creator and is not the product of chance. Without any intelligent design there would be no laws governing inanimate objects, which we know follow predictable behaviours. The odds that the universe as we know it was the result of chance alone is the same as flipping a fair coin infinite times and it landing on heads each time. Because our coin always behaves predictably, the only conclusion that makes sense would be if the coin wasn’t actually fair and that it landing on heads each time was by design.

6. Jacobsen: When you look at the current financial or economic systems, what ones make the most sense to the nature of human beings?

Scillitani: I don’t know enough about economics to give an educated answer. If given the choice, Paul Cooijmans’ proposed economic system in his hypothetical party program is the best one I’ve seen so far.

7. Jacobsen: Do human beings have a nature? If so, what is it?

Scillitani: There’s a duality to human nature, and people are either producers or consumers. Producers strive towards self-improvement, work hard, create, lead by example, and are inspiring. Consumers don’t strive towards self-improvement, are lazy, destroy, follow, and are uninspiring. The knee jerk reaction might be to think that consumers are entirely useless but that’s not the case. Without consumers, we’d eventually achieve perfection and then be robbed of any further self-improvement. We may all thank consumers for their role in slowing us down so we can continue to get better.

8. Jacobsen: Do you believe in a soul? If not, why not? If so, how do you define it?

Scillitani: I believe we have a soul and would define it as the intensity of the impression we make on others during and after our lifetime.

9. Jacobsen: What is language? 

Scillitani: Language is any replicable form of communication that can be understood between at least two things, animate or inanimate. When my dog was a puppy I used to give him a treat when he’d stand on his hind legs because I thought it was very impressive. Now he’s learned to stand on his hind legs when he wants a treat, and I understand his intent. We’ve developed our own replicable form of communication or language.

10. Jacobsen: What is a thought? Can thought be separated from language?

Scillitani: I’d define a thought as any instance of mental awareness that can be understood to mean something to the one experiencing it. I doubt thought can be separated from language. It’s likely that language is a requisite to have thoughts in the first place since even basic feelings such as hunger and pain can be expressed in a rudimentary language.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society. Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology, East Carolina University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 8, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/. Image Credit: Matthew Scillitani.

*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.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 8). An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Society, God, the Soul, and Thought (Part Two) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-two.

License and Copyright

License

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 www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. 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, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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