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An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One)

June 1, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 23.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nineteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: June 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,116

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Anthony Sepulveda scored 174 (S.D.15) on Cosmic and is a member of the World Genius Directory. He discusses: family background; family life; experience with peers in elementary and high school; early gifts; nurtured by guardians/parents, teachers, friends, or community; post-secondary education; memorable or pivotal moments in early life; meaning in life; memories of Christianity in the Pacific Northwest; etymology of the name Sepulveda, or Brown; mother in the daycare and father in the military; consistent uprooting and displacement; mathematical talent indications; college “an almost completely ridiculous institution nowadays”; intellectual interests; men taking upon themselves the defensive posture; Christianity in particular; religion or faith; believe in a god or gods; nature of problems; universally fair IQ test; reframing in a survivor and positive manner; step-father; and other aspects of the university system.

Keywords: Anthony Sepulveda, Background, Christian, Christianity, gifts, intelligence, Pacific Northwest.

An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One)[1],[2]

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: As always, some background with some family and personal contexts can be helpful for the audience expected now, or others unexpected into the future. What is some family background, e.g., geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Anthony Sepulveda: A little over three decades ago, I was born in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. My parents met in college and were practicing Christians. I haven’t spoken with them much about how things were for them during that time, so any picture I could paint for you would have such broad strokes that would likely result in a false impression.

2. Jacobsen: If you reflect on some aspects of family life, family dynamics and upbringing, were the memories warm or cold in general? 

Sepulveda: Both of my parents were bread winners. My father joined the military shortly after my birth and my mother started her own independent daycare for toddlers and newborns that she ran from the various homes we lived in. We moved from place to place quite often during my developing years, usually staying for a few years (three, on average) before we’d pack up and relocate. At the time, it was explained to me that this was caused by my father’s military career. So, the only consistency for me was the family dynamic and the organized chaos of having a half dozen toddlers to help manage.
Like any other lifestyle, this one had it’s pros and cons. While it was more or less warm, I believe that the general inconsistency of my upbringing stymied my social skills during a crucial period. As a result, I haven’t had many personal lasting relationships and I often approach them without any expectation of permanence. It wasn’t until just recently that I started thinking about social intelligence as a something you can actually study and develop. But I’m already feeling optimistic about that even subjective social problems have objective logical solutions.

3. Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers in elementary and high school for you? Was social life active for you? Or did you live a more isolated existence with books and hobbies? Looking at the upbringing in the home, what was the form of parenting? 

Sepulveda: As mentioned above, my social skills didn’t develop at the normal pace. Which resulted in me living a fairly isolated existence and caused me to find solace in books.

4. Jacobsen: When were early gifts discovered for you?

Sepulveda: Beyond a variety of subjective experiences, the only noteworthy event I can recall was during a math class in my early teens. Without warning, we were given a series of calculus problems dealing with simple projectile motion. Long story short, I was the only one to get all the questions right but nothing came of it.

5. Jacobsen: Were these nurtured by guardians/parents, teachers, friends, or community? If so, what were the benefits? If not, why not?

Sepulveda: I was left to my own devices, for the most part. Now that I’m an adult myself, I imagine that my parents were struggling enough just to keep the ship afloat and felt some relief knowing that I was relatively stable in my own little world.

6. Jacobsen: Did you pursue post-secondary education? If so, what were some of the more enjoyable parts of the experience for you? If not, why not?

Sepulveda: I did, but it didn’t last long and I probably won’t be pursuing it further. College is an almost completely ridiculous institution nowadays. And even if I were to successfully slog my way through it and earn a degree, there’s a very high probability that I still won’t make it into the field I was aiming for. Such is the case for about 70% of students worldwide and I can’t reasonably expect any other result for myself given my age and interests. So I’ve elected to carry on educating myself and doing what I can to benefit and entertain myself and anyone else interested in my work.

7. Jacobsen: What are memorable or pivotal moments in early life for you – the good and the bad?

Sepulveda: Two important experiences come to mind – Firstly, at one point during a vacation my father decided that he, I and a couple of others should explore Wind Cave in Bend, Oregon. It’s about 4 kilometres long and littered with large stones that have fallen from its roof a short way in. These stones remain where they fall, forming an unstable mess that completely covers the ground and often forms large walls of debris that you have to climb up and down to continue forward. I was a fat teen during this visit and barely managed to keep pace until we reached the end. This must have tested everyone else’s patience because they left me to fend for myself on the way back. I spent several exhaustive hours working my way through the most complete blackness I’d ever experienced, often losing my sense of direction due to the chaotic nature of my surroundings and my inability to see more than about a meter ahead of me as I only had a small, dull hand light with which to navigate. Eventually, I made it out. But since then I can’t bear to rely on others for anything important. Whatever goes wrong, I’ll do everything in my power to solve it on my own. It’s only after I’ve exhausted all my effort that I’ll ask for help. And even then, I’ll feel guilty about it.
Secondly, when I was in my late teens there was a night during which I simply couldn’t sleep. This wasn’t an uncommon event as I’ve lived with insomnia for most of my life. But on this particular night closed the book I’d usually spend nights reading and placed upon it a sheet of paper. Having never drawn anything before, I simply starred at the blank surface in the dim light of my room. After a while, lines seemed to reveal themselves just beyond the page. And I spent the next few hours tracing them, shading here and there until my first abstract drawing was complete. It wasn’t very good or aesthetically pleasing, but it was my first tentative step towards a place of experimental expression where I’ve developed a long-lasting love of art and potentially the most singularly unique experience of my life.

8. Jacobsen: What gives you meaning in life?

Sepulveda: I don’t know if there is any objective meaning to be gleaned from the evidence life provides. But I do believe that our purpose can be deduced by examining our physiology and, most tellingly, our biopsychology. From these, I’ve concluded that our intention is simply to survive, procreate, explore, have fun and be happy. Beyond that, I don’t know. All other evidence seems too ambiguous to work with.

9. Jacobsen: What are the memories of Christianity in the Pacific Northwest for you?

Sepulveda: My parents had faith in common and wanted to share it with their children. But it wasn’t and still isn’t the belief system for me. I stopped attending regular services during my early adolescence and only look back into the subject during the occasional debate.

10. Jacobsen: What is the etymology of the name Sepulveda, or Brown, depending on personal preference?

Sepulveda: Ah, you’re aware of that recent change. I made that decision to celebrate the ten year anniversary of my mother and step father.

11. Jacobsen: With your mother in the daycare and father in the military, this is quintessentially aligned with the aspects of the roles set forth for men and women in the United States, whether the Pacific Northwest or the Midwest.

Sepulveda: I suppose my parents fit their respective stereotypes well, yes.

12. Jacobsen: Did the consistent uprooting and displacement due to father’s military career carry over into adult life for you? Someone who moves, has to be on the go, and simply someone who wishes to explore the world.

Sepulveda: A bit. I’ve relocated seven times since I started living on my own. But that was primarily caused by personal financial struggles,

13. Jacobsen: With some of the mathematical talent indications, since both came of it, have there been micro-builds on top of it? In that, this is something that may not have paid huge dividends for you, but became useful in those small crucial moments in life.

Sepulveda: It’s been useful for the discovery and appreciation of abstract patterns. But has little practical use in my day to day life.

14. Jacobsen: What makes college “an almost completely ridiculous institution nowadays”?

Sepulveda: Where else can you go to pay copious sums of money to do someone else’s job for them? Aside from the necessary lab classes, most college courses are taken online. During which a professor’s job is limited to judging the quality of work that cannot be graded via automated system (like essays) and occasionally offering advice while everything else has been streamlined into required reading and multiple choice question tests. And given the aforementioned 70% failure rate of students trying to move on to their desired careers, the whole thing seems to be a bad joke.
To put things into perspective, my first college course was a computer class that was taught by an environmental science major. Needless to say, I didn’t learn much.

15. Jacobsen: What are the intellectual interests now? What are some examples of productions by you?

Sepulveda: Most recently, I’ve been studying the nature of problems and the methodologies necessary to solve or resolve them. It’s been interesting to find so many common factors among seemingly disparate subjects.
Previous projects include the development of a universally fair IQ test and a number of original abstract art pieces, photos and puzzles.

16. Jacobsen: Many men take upon themselves the defensive posture with not a single traumatic incident of being left alone to fend for themselves in a seemingly desperate circumstance; they do this in a context of repeated small slights and damages to the ego, their pride, in which this becomes an armoured personality. It comes internally and externally. It creates a lot of issues around the world and manifests in destructive patterns for oneself and for others. I am so sorry you had to go through that experience. Is this something that you would want to change?

Sepulveda: It’s okay. Many people often lose perspective after trauma, often expecting or fearing that similarly bad events will occur in the future. But if you can accept the experience and try to understand it, the payoff is incredible. It’s given me a reason and desire to empathize with others that I may have scoffed off otherwise.

17. Jacobsen: What is Christianity in particular for you, now? 

Sepulveda: The Christian faith has never been a foundation I could stand on. The arguments for it essentially fall down to an over-reliance on faith, hope and the selective interpretation of ambiguous evidence. In my opinion, it’s just a comforting con for those who want a sense of certainty to help them through life.

18. Jacobsen: What is religion or faith to you, now, in general? 

Sepulveda: Religion is a belief system in which you have a relationship with a transcendent being that judges you and your adherence to dogma. These relationships come in many forms and some aren’t as strict as others, but most can be summarized in that way.

19. Jacobsen: Do you believe in a god or gods?

Sepulveda: I haven’t worked out that problem yet. The arguments for or against the proof of God have never been conclusive or satisfactory. But if there is an omniscient being running the show, then free will cannot exist and it wouldn’t be logically consistent for it to care what we do. So, I accept the limitations of my understanding and try to be content with it. I can always reevaluate later if new evidence comes along.

20. Jacobsen: For the “nature of problems,” this reads as if “the fundamentals of problem-solving.” Can you expand on that, please?

Sepulveda: There are many problems that we can work on and examine individually that share many common features that may not be immediately obvious. For example, when one is driving along a freeway, the actions of you and everyone else may seem too emotional to analyze mathematically. But the same equations used to deduce the safest, most efficient speed, width and curvature of those highways came from observing fluid dynamics.

21. Jacobsen: What would comprise a “universally fair IQ test”? What was the outcome of the project?

Sepulveda: Most IQ tests have fundamental flaws the skew the data they gather. Multiple choice problems give someone the chance to boost their scores by guessing and many problems rely on personal experience to understand (especially on verbal tests). Many test designers try to level the field by allowing the use of reference material. But this should not be allowed or required to do well on a valid test. After several relatively long conversations on the subject, I designed one that fit my harsh requirements – X’s and O’s (link provided here).

22. Jacobsen: Are reframing in a survivor and positive manner rarer than one in which an individual can become cynical and take an at-odds with the world stance?

Sepulveda: It’s hard to say. I can’t speak for others, especially those I don’t know. And statistics (which claim that one in two people live with some level of trauma) are only as reliable as the honesty of the reports they’re founded on. Given how many cases go unreported, this ratio is likely steeped out of our favor. And this implies that many of the people we see on a daily basis are living fairly civil lives despite the burden they carry. So it likely isn’t as rare at all.

23. Jacobsen: What is your step-father’s – not father’s – role in your life?

Sepulveda: You could think of us like coworkers with a shared goal of ensuring my mother’s happiness. We don’t spend much one-on-one time together, but we share a mutual respect and know that we can rely on each other in times of need. Which is all I could ask for.

24. Jacobsen: What other aspects of the university system make sense?

Sepulveda: It makes sense to charge someone for the opportunity to learn a practical skill or trade and it comes as no surprise that many colleges focus on medicine, business and criminal justice. Such things cannot be automated and produce much more valuable results than undergoing the same process to study subjects like poetry or music.

25. Jacobsen: What would be a healthy change for the university system?

Sepulveda: I believe that all necessary changes are already occurring naturally. Many people are reevaluating the value they place on secondary education and most are avoiding pointless degrees and most colleges focus.

26. Jacobsen: What is an alternative to the academic system for those who find this does not work for them financially, educationally, or organizationally?

Sepulveda: The best alternative that I’m aware of is Khan University. It’s a free online platform from which one can receive the exact same quality education offered by most colleges.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*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 Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One) [Online].June 2020; 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, June 1). An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A, June. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A (June 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 23.A (2020):June. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Background and Intelligence (Part One) [Internet]. (2020, June 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sepulveda-one.

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