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Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heoric Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)

2022-08-08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: August 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,926

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

AntJuan Finch is the Author of After Genius: On Creativity and Its ConsequencesThe 3 Sides of Man, and Applied Theory. He created the Creative Attitudes Inventory (CAT) and the Public Domain Intelligence Test (PDIT). He discusses: the healthier things; problems; the heroic attitude; the sense of disdain of organized religion; “very intense, moralistic tirades”; social maldevelopment as a consequence of autism; “incredible literature”; the geniuses who come out of extreme poverty; tests; the most valid findings; qualitative interpretations from the findings; and work with Shelley Carson at Harvard University.

Keywords: AntJuan Finch, character, CIVIQ Society, Edith Wharton, Harvard University, heroic attitude, Shelley Carson.

Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)

*Please see the references, footnotes, and citations, after the interview, respectively.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What have been some of the healthier things, personal and professional life, of the family?

AntJuan Finch[1],[2]*: My immediate family and I are very close. I think that some of those developmental and childhood hardships, as well as familial isolations, inadvertently caused a sort of bond that I think should be present in every family (though I definitely don’t think that everyone should or needs to have similar experiences to get that dynamic).

I’ve always been somewhat amazed when some people tell me that they’ve always had a tough relationship with immediate members of their family, who weren’t diagnosably anti-social or something like that—I’ve always been like, “you’ve spent your whole life with them, how have you not figured out how to get along by now?” My siblings and I are all very different, and I’m really not sure if we’d all been friends if we’d met like how most non-sibling, similar-aged people tend to—but we are, and I think that’s because that’s just something that most healthy people will have to figure out at some point.

Jacobsen: What problems do you want to solve? What types of people do you want to focus helping efforts on now?

Finch: I am generally attracted to (what tends to be) just intuitively hard to solve problems. Such things are not always straightforwardly potentially helpful to a lot of people, at least, if solved in a way that I judged to be correct in some way. For example, it might be the case that the return on any con-or-disconfirmation of freewill might yield a nearly nonexistent positive return, in terms of lives bettered, given the quality of thought that would be needed to reach either conclusion accurately, which surely could have been invested elsewhere.

Likewise, I have and do sometimes gaze on problems that actually seem to matter, like the “meaning of life,” or ways to aid recovery from pneumonia, as well as cancer. Though, more generally, I’d say I’m currently dedicated towards identifying and cultivating extraordinary creativity, so as to, hopefully, empower others to produce solutions to pressing problems that perhaps most of us, including me, could not meaningfully solve directly.

For example, a synopsis of my idea on free will, recently tweeted (1)

[Nothing outside of the set of all things ever could have caused the set of all things ever, so the existence of the set of all things ever must have been determined by something inside the set of all things ever (itself). Ergo, free will exists. The universe determined itself.]

Likewise, a very innovative paper on cancer treatments, which I have no affiliation with (2)

Anakoinosis: Correcting Aberrant Homeostasis of Cancer Tissue—Going Beyond Apoptosis Induction

Jacobsen: What sense is the heroic attitude oriented towards ‘saving the world’? Or is this more of an orientation?

Finch: For a story, I once wrote, “Most people work justifications for their character flaws into their worldviews.” I tend to do the opposite: I view the world as a place where my actions really matter, as somewhere where my decisions could trickle and domino into something that could really save a life, or everyone’s, or cause much unnecessary suffering. But, I don’t view myself as very special in this regard—more so as a hero among heroes, or possible heroes. Somewhat unrelated, I do sometimes get an attitude when talking to someone who appears to be avoiding taking responsibility for the effects they may have on their own, and our accumulated problems.

Jacobsen: What is the sense of disdain of organized religion for the full siblings, i.e., the reasons? What about forms of non-institutional religion?

Finch: I’ll refrain from answering this so as to not mischaracterize their views, or get them into something they might not want to deal with.

Jacobsen: What was the character and content of the “very intense, moralistic tirades”?

Finch: To my memory, the man (the preacher) would just get up and yell for hours about whatever he was thinking about that day, which I think sometimes included the mortal sin of sodomy, charismatically in front of openly gay members of the church. Though, I usually fell asleep—maybe I dreamt that.

Jacobsen: When does the social maldevelopment as a consequence of autism break through the intelligence and become more apparent?

Finch: That something’s amiss is usually most apparent in groups of over 3 or 4 people, where apparently my brain tends to become incapable of producing statements quickly, or in a way that isn’t odd to everyone else around. But I think that that would be one of the only indications, to others, these days. It seems that I’ve become more competent with socializing as time has gone on, which corresponds to some studies on the topic, showing that autism “symptoms” tend to “improve” as time goes on, and which also matches what one might expect, given that, according to the DSM-V, autism is primarily defined by social maldevelopment, and that because one continuously has social experiences throughout their life, at least some functional or experiential understanding, or competence should develop with age, not unlike how while some learn their first language quicker than others, really everyone gets fluent by thirty—similarly, though less intensely—barring cases where’s there’s prohibitively low generally cognitive, or induction ability.

Somewhat of an aside, but my casual advice to high-functioning autists regarding social situations is usually something like “just try to learn how to be much more comfortable and casual–even loose–while talking: your anxieties and neuroses get mirrored and contribute to the awkwardness and complications.” Believe it or not, that may have helped some people.

Jacobsen: What were some influential pieces of the “incredible literature”?

Finch: Edith Wharton’s Roman Fever. I believe that my first academic essay ever was actually on that short story. For the curious, I’ll link that too (3).

Jacobsen: Do you think the geniuses who come out of extreme poverty may have compensatory mechanisms and psychological sturdiness to succeed even further than a comparable genius coming from affluence?

Finch: This could actually be a good hypothesis, and even explain the somewhat surprising finding that socio-economic status is uncorrelated with creative achievement. This could indeed imply that there’s some “compensatory mechanism” with creative people that might nullify the obvious benefit of additional resources. Unfortunately, another explanation could be that almost all people high in creative achievement are wealthy, but that hardly any wealthy people are also high in creative achievement—this would effectively “zero-out” the correlation while keeping it the case that those high in recognized creative achievement tend to have had quite a lot of resources to manifest their abilities, and get them recognized.

But regardless, my general thoughts have been that creative geniuses (of the potentially general type that I’m usually referring to) would likely tend to be very high in what most people might call a kind of “psychological sturdiness,” being extreme internal motivation and perseverance with interests even when there’s no clear reward. Though, they may not be very psychologically sturdy in the sense of having high emotional stability, as—and if the frequency of mood disorders among highly creative artists is to provide any indication—there isn’t much reason to expect mental health for creative geniuses to be, or have always been, above and beyond the norm generally.

But I think that you were getting at a sort of “edge” that could make some people from extreme poverty even more dedicated or sharp than their counterparts from more comfortable, or less extreme situations, which might elicit less extreme variations of people—which all geniuses, by definition, would be, due to being so rare. To be honest, I think that I’ve always thought that that edge would describe all very industrious people—they’re moving quickly, racing, competing against someone, maybe often themself—and have never thought that it would ever be more common in people from tough circumstances than those who weren’t. Though, it seems reasonable that industriousness could be to some extent cultivated by early exposure to straightforward input-output dynamics in childhood or young adulthood—for example: I did this, this came back; if I do more, I’ll get more—which might be less in common in “tiger parent” situations where a kid or young adult’s day-to-day decisions are more externally determined, and as a result, they might identify with their successes and failures less, and not Internalize a sense of consequence enough for it to be a moving facet in their personality. Likewise, I suppose overly harsh punishment, which might be more common in more tough circumstances, might inadvertently also contribute to a greater degree of this internalized sense of causation. Of course, another explanation for industriousness might simply be that some people are born with neurology that is wired such that they feel more stress at rest, and so more often fill their days with things to do, and when they’re creative, more creative things.

Jacobsen: How have your tests been developing so far, by the way?

Finch: Rather than continuous development of a myriad of tests for constructs of interest, this past year I’ve been more focused on collaborating with others to develop platforms that may allow for more integrated use and tracking regarding tests that I’ve already thought about. I’ve also been more focused on collaborating with others to utilize existing platforms to more widely validate ideas that I’ve had for a long time, but have had trouble getting superb samples for.

Jacobsen: What would you consider the most valid findings from them?

Finch: The most robust and interesting data that I collected in the past year would probably be the results from a large experiment that Jay Olson and I did not too long ago. In short, using several thousand participants, we found a significant correlation between the ability to produce random sequences of letters (in a few seconds) with a high-quality test of verbal originality, using words; I’ll elaborate more on this later.

Jacobsen: Are there qualitative interpretations from the findings about some of the relationships between the findings of the different tests?

Finch: In the experiment with Jay Olson, previously mentioned, we found that the ability to produce chaotic sequences of letters decreased with age less than the ability to produce unrelated words. This was actually expected, and one explanation for it was that the ability to produce disordered letters relies on some predisposition for psychological disorders, while the ability to produce unrelated words taps a bit of this ability plus the ability to recognize patterns more generally.

Jacobsen: How did the work with Shelley Carson at Harvard University develop to its conclusion? What were the findings?

Finch: The experiment carried out on twelve Harvard Extension students in Shelley Carson’s creativity class found a .7 correlation (the maximum is 1.0) between the rarity of one’s imagined uses for a common object (AUT Originality) and the ability to produce letters that were unpredicted by one’s previously inputted letters (a modified version of the Aaronson Oracle). Moderate correlations (.3 and .5, respectively) were also found between self-report (BFAS) conscientiousness and the creative achievement questionnaire, as well as between self-report aberrant salience scores and results on the Alternative Uses Test, previously mentioned.

Another interesting data point was that the class, overall—of about 50 people—had an average level of Openness to Experience that was higher than 96% of Canada’s general population.

Quite a while later, I was shared Jay Olson’s DAT creativity test. Not long after that, Jay and I worked on an experiment.

Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 8, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: 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.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)[Online]. August 2022; 30(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 8). Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heoric Attitude. Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.A (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with AntJuan Finch on Heroic Attitude, Character, and Harvard University Research Findings: Member, CIVIQ Society (3)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/finch-3.

License

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 www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. 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 and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

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