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An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Bucket List and Culture (Part Three)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/07/08


Anthony Sepulveda scored 174 (S.D.15) on Cosmic and is a member of the World Genius Directory. He discusses: important problems; ethics and morality based on the position of the determinism of human nature; international human rights and humanitarian law, and God’s law; morality; a cyst; the bucket list; items for the bucket list; form of reincarnation; the inevitable drift or direction of human evolution; environmental long-term stability; redistribution of resources and international responsibility, or not; an alien species; a culture of care; religion; week 10; the Northern Lights; ‘Tango’; 1984-ish attempts to rewrite history on the part of religious extremists with a conservative orientation and extremist social activists with a liberal perspective; and some signs of some cultures decaying in rejection of historical monuments of the senses called art.

Keywords: Anthony Sepulveda, bucket list, culture, philosophy.

An Interview with Anthony Sepulveda on Bucket List and Culture (Part Three)[1],[2]*

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

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What do you consider some of the more important problems to solve now?

Anthony Sepulveda (Brown): The biggest issues that need attention right now are political with a focus on long-term social and environmental stability. It terrifies me to know that we’re closer to interplanetary travel than world peace, insofar as we’ll be more akin to a virus spreading than curious explorers. So we need to ensure our home is stable, safe and sound before moving onward.

2. Jacobsen: Some will claim a determinist view of human nature leaves the question of freedom of the will a concluded issue and then this becomes connected to morality or ethics. Any thoughts on ethics and morality based on the position of the determinism of human nature?

Sepulveda (Brown): This is a very interesting problem. Generally, an objective answer to an important problem would result in it’s immediate implication. However, given the standard view of a hard determinist and my current views on the afterlife, it would conclude that it doesn’t matter what we do and that our experiences have no effects after death. This would result in a ‘might makes right’, ‘survival of the fittest’ environment that I’m not entirely sure doesn’t already exist (if in a relatively unusual form).

3. Jacobsen: What do you think of the comparison between international human rights and humanitarian law, on the one hand, and God’s law, e.g., Moses and the Ten Commandments, on the other?

Sepulveda (Brown): Any ethical problem can be solved using the same logic John Nash applied to economics – Do what’s best for you and everyone else. Many problems arise when our egos overshadow our empathy for others. And accepting our status as relative equals (especially with future generations) would go a long way to resolve most issues.

Without definitive proof that a specific religion reflects the truth of God’s will, all laws should be founded on objective reason and experience.

4. Jacobsen: Is morality invented, discovered, or innate and then constructed/formalized?

Sepulveda (Brown): It’s an interesting question… I believe that the solutions to ethical problems are relative to their environment. So, while there is a Commandment that orders not to kill, I would obey it on the grounds that performing such acts is not necessary for the ongoing prosperity of myself and those I respect. But in a different situation – if I were homeless and cold and another vagrant were to attempt to steal what little comforts I had, I imagine that their continued existence wouldn’t matter much to me. It seems probable to me that most of morality is relative to the events surrounding it.

5. Jacobsen: What was the sense of relief in finding out only a cyst was present?

Sepulveda (Brown): Indescribable. I was on cloud nine for weeks. Absolutely nothing could get under my skin and I was obnoxiously happy.

6. Jacobsen: So, what is on the bucket list?

Sepulveda (Brown): 1. See the Northern Lights 2. Do everything in my power to ensure the ongoing happiness of Tango and the few family members I’m close to. The rest of life is a blank canvas that I have free reign with as long as I avoid actions that I’ll actually regret.

7. Jacobsen: Why choose those items for the bucket list?

Sepulveda (Brown): The patterns of nature have always fascinated me and the only one I haven’t seen for myself yet is the Northern Lights. The other is pretty self explanatory – I love them most dearly and want nothing but the best for them.

8. Jacobsen: What form of reincarnation makes sense to you?

Sepulveda (Brown):  There are a few different ideas of how reincarnation occurs, but there’s no real way to determine which one is the most accurate. Still, I lean towards it because no other part of nature is permanent. Everything is in a constant state of flux. So why would the soul be any different?

9. Jacobsen: What seems like the inevitable drift or direction of human evolution?

Sepulveda (Brown): I’m not sure. The world is so interconnected and events arise to be forgotten so quickly nowadays that it seems impossible to accurately predict. But if determinism is accurate, then the idea of fate is valid and we’ll all reach an inevitable conclusion no matter what I do.

10. Jacobsen: What parts of environmental long-term stability?

Sepulveda (Brown): All of them. We need to learn from our mistakes and alter our methodologies if we want to maintain the overall stability of the global ecosystem. We need to fund and encourage companies like Mycoworks that have dedicated themselves to the development of safe materials that could easily replace leather, plastic and even some building materials. Even that simple change would go a long way towards securing our future because, let’s face facts, humans are wasteful and will continue to be so in the future. So we need to get ahead of that problem and design our luxury products with the mindset that they will likely be cast aside as soon as they’re unwanted. Plastic is still found in the digestive tract of many, many animals (primarily aquatic and avian because they don’t taste food as we do). And this poisons the entire food chain of many environments.

We also need to prepare for the inevitable end of resources like crude oil, which, during the time of this interview, is believed to be depleted completely within my lifetime.

11. Jacobsen: What needs to happen in regards to redistribution resources and international responsibility, or not?

Sepulveda (Brown): I wish I knew. Answering that question would require a level of expertise I haven’t reached in several subjects and I’m not the type to try to turn hollow words into a facsimile of something that sounds good.

12. Jacobsen: If we meet an alien species, how will Mecca travellers or the Vatican react, likely?

Sepulveda (Brown): Likely, there would be a state of denial that would last for a period relative to each individual’s level of fanaticism and access to information on current events while others attempt to incorporate the news into their existing belief system.

13. Jacobsen: How can we inculcate a culture of care for better empathy amongst more people in society?

Sepulveda (Brown): Firstly, we need to talk to each other more often. And not just the people we like and agree with, but as many people as we can. We need to challenge and humble ourselves and realize that no ones all that different from anyone else. All too often, people will completely write off other contrasting views and either ignore them completely or insulting them into nonexistence. Both are unhealthy responses and need to be rectified for everyone’s benefit.

14. Jacobsen: Religion tends to be based on revelation, theology (ad-hoc rationalization and textual analysis), and personal experience, and authority. What could make religions more rational if they aren’t going anywhere based on some evolved bug in the wetware of human beings?

Sepulveda (Brown): Many of the revelations referred to by religious people or texts have to be taken on faith, trusting the words of others without any real evidence or reason. This level of naive silliness should be avoided, in my opinion. Instead, we should focus on the details we can all see and appreciate and compare them with the overwhelming ignorance we all have of the nature of reality.

15. Jacobsen: What happened on week 10?

Sepulveda (Brown): My eyes regained focus, metaphorically speaking. And the pleasant visions I’d been fantasizing of pursuing with my potentially more distant future were obstructed by an ugly present that refused to be ignored.

16. Jacobsen: Why the Northern Lights?

Sepulveda (Brown): The Southern Lights are farther away.

17. Jacobsen: Do you mean that you dance Tango?

Sepulveda (Brown): No, Tango is the nickname I gave my best friend when we were working together. And to answer your next question – no, at the time of this interview we have never danced together. Though I look forward to the day I have the opportunity.

18. Jacobsen: What do you make of 1984-ish attempts to rewrite history on the part of religious extremists with a conservative orientation and extremist social activists with a liberal perspective with one declaring God as the author of the greatest [fill-in-the-blank nation] and the other declaring the pervasive phobia of all forms making the leastest [fill-in-the-blank country]?

Sepulveda (Brown): Any such attempt is an act of unbridled immaturity. We need to accept every situation as it is, not as how we want it to be.

19. Jacobsen: What are some signs of some cultures decaying in rejection of historical monuments of the senses called art?

Sepulveda (Brown): What many call ‘culture’ is simply a shared belief and, often, aesthetic. Individual pieces of art hold little value to the whole, but the common features they share form the foundation for cultural identity. Now that we’ve reached a point of global connectivity, the exotic edges of our global experiences are being worn down and it seems that we’re all beginning to stagnate. And given the incredible frequency with which virtual experiences occur, even the most breathtaking works of art have lost their memorability.

I used to perform volunteer services for an art gallery featuring a man named Bill Walcott who can take oils and, with a level of patience I will never have, with the skill and technique of a true artisan, slowly coat the surface of a canvas with the perfect application of paint to make it indistinguishable from a photograph. And yet, no one cares. Such things have become commonplace to the point that they hold no value for the average person. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people walk by his works without even the slightest pause or consideration. Which is a genuine tragedy in my eyes. A link to his work is provided below. But before you or anyone reading checks it out, please take the time to reflect on the value of art, how important it is to you and how important it should be. It’ll only take a moment and I promise you won’t regret it.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2020:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020:


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


© 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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