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Conversation with Jiwhan (Jason) Park on South Korean Education, Genius and the Gifted, and Philosophy: Member, CIVIQ Society (1)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/01/22


Jiwhan (Jason) Park is a Member of the CIVIQ Society. He was born on March 24, 1989, in Seoul, Korea. He attended Hongjae Elementary School in Seoul (March, 1996 to February, 2002), TEDA International School in Tianjin, China (January, 2002 to December, 2002), Tianjin International School in Tianjin, China (January, 2003 to June, 2007), Attended Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA (August, 2007 to August, 2011), served as an Interpreter Officer at Republic of Korea Army (April, 2012 to May, 2015), earned an MBA at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (August, 2017 to August, 2018), and works as an Investment Manager at Multi Asset Global Investments (December, 2018 to Present). He is a member of ISI-S Society (151-Society) and the Order of Imhotep. He discusses: growing up; a sense of an extended self; the family background; experience with peers and schoolmates; the purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; wide-ranging reactions to geniuses; the greatest geniuses; a genius from a profoundly intelligent person; profound intelligence necessary for genius; the gifted and geniuses; God; science; the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations); the range of the scores; ethical philosophy; social philosophy; economic philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; philosophical system; meaning in life; meaning; an afterlife; the mystery and transience of life; and love.

Keywords: atheist, Jason Park, Jiwhan Park, giftedness, genius, intelligence, South Korea.

Conversation with Jiwhan (Jason) Park on South Korean Education, Genius and the Gifted, and Philosophy: Member, CIVIQ Society (1)

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

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Jiwhan (Jason) Park[1],[2]*: None. Besides, the stories may be lies that distort the truth.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Park: Not applicable.

Jacobsen: What was the family background, e.g., geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Park: My father was a general manager at LG Chemical, a Fortune Global 500 company headquartered in South Korea. My mother served as a school nurse practitioner. Both are pure Koreans from Seoul dedicated to Presbyterianism.

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Park: As a primary student in Korea, I simply served the peers’ instincts. They were quick to idolize the superiors and justify all the actions to protect their ideals. In fact, I was a superstar beyond the top of my class in every subject, which naturally made me class president multiple times. I was one of the top 100 elementary students in a nationwide English exam hosted by the Korea University at grade 2. I studied TOEFL and TEPS at grade 3 on my own. I scored the highest on school wide Math and Chinese exams with no effort at grade 4. Next year, I quit my service, only to realize that the efforts to please others served me no good. I found no purpose for making friends and getting good marks.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Park: I majored in Finance and minored in Chinese during college. I recently completed my MBA with a concentration in Finance.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Park: Discover true IQ based on the most valid and reliable intelligence test for the Gifted (130+, SD 15). Mainstream tests (WAIS, Stanford Binet) fail to distinguish the mental abilities of the Gifted in different categories (I.e. 140s vs 170s), since they are made to identify and counsel the mentally challenged.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Park: I took the highest quality test made by Paul Cooijmans called “The Nemesis Test” and scored the highest among Asians in 2018 (Score: I.Q. 143, Range: Intelligent).

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Park: At high school in China, I was isolated by my classmates for being different. I often found interest in playing board games, entered the chess tournaments hosted by schools in China and won multiple times. Impressed by my credentials, the Deans at Johns Hopkins and other top schools offered me an automatic admission, given my timely approval followed by an application. Unsurprisingly, the fellow students vilified me for expressing an unofficial approval in the absence of any outstanding academic records. That a hard working transfer student from an elite Daewon Foreign Language High School barely made it into Berkeley, which placed at least 10 ranks below Johns Hopkins, seemed to justify their actions. I redeemed myself by officially rejecting the offers but instead graduated at Indiana University Bloomington with a fair amount of scholarship. I simply didn’t want to create conflicts with others around me.

Jacobsen: Who seem like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Park: It could be anyone. The mentally challenged may think of his average friend as the greatest genius.

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Park: Genius = High Intelligence + Hard Work + Creativity

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Park: No. A hard work is enough to compensate the lack of intelligence.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Park: Interpreter Officer (2012-2015):

Translate and interpret verbal exchanges among generals, commanders, and vice ministers of Defense Departments from Korea and foreign countries, including Australia and United States.

Investment Manager (2018-):

Raise private debt funds that finance an expansion or acquisition of foreign infrastructures.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Park: The correlation between Finance major and Investment Manager job appeared to be the highest, only to realize that individual skills, characters and links mattered more.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Park: The gifted and geniuses have inherent abilities to reason and connect the seemingly disparate ideas. That does not mean, however, that they are academic elites. The most notable Nobel Laureates (and geniuses at the same time), including John Nash and Albert Einstein, are no graduates from, let’s say, Top 5 QS or Times World Universities. Wolfgang Mozart never attended a school in his lifetime. For the gifted and geniuses, curiosity diverts their attentions from one subject, while adamancy drives them towards the other. They also ask fundamental questions before accepting new ideas. On the other hand, academic elites simply follow instructions and work hard to excel in every subject. These elites, typically below “Intelligent” or “Genius” range (<I.Q. 140), are commonly misunderstood as the gifted or geniuses.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Park: I am an atheist.

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Park: Hard Science > Hard Science + Engineering > Engineering:

I always pondered why humans desire to elevate themselves, while they fail to maintain their own status. Why would they create AI (Engineering) to control, while they succumb to the virus? The machines may replace humans to save lives, but eventually destroy them. An automated driving may impair the learning abilities. A remote working environment may lower the social skills. A robotic environment may degrade the value of a human being. On the other hand, hard science serves to raise human dignity. A development (Engineering) of anti-virus to COVID-19 (Hard Science, Biology) saves lives, while a discovery (Engineering) of Universe’s deepest secrets (Hard Science, Physics), or even a theoretical one (Hard Science, Physics), helps value them.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Park: I have listed only the most reliable and valid test that measures an I.Q. at or above 130.

The Nemesis Test (Paul Cooijmans) / I.Q. 143 (SD 15)

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically.

Park: Since my test scores, except for one above, were distorted by lack of validity, reliability, or even bad health on the test date, I don’t think there is any significance to the score range.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: None. Since ethics is formed by a majority of opinions, the idea or philosophy is not required to define what it should be in nature.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: Equality of Opportunity. Dworkin argues that people begin with equal opportunities but may end up with unequal economic benefits as a result of their own choices. It is natural that people should bear the consequences, given that they made the best efforts to analyze the choices and arrived at the decisions free from any external pressures. In reality, the starting points differ at birth and outcomes are distorted by others, but such conditions apply to a minority. In a sense, the philosophy is most applicable to a majority.

Jacobsen: What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: Free Market Capitalism. Friedman argues that the government intervention in a nation’s economy should be limited. If the Fed fails to shift the money supply on time, the economy should deviate from its intended cycle. A faster increase in the supply causes an inflation and lowers spending at the growth stage, while a slower one increases spending at the recessionary stage. Instead, a tempered domestic spending at the latter stage should limit the purchasing power to either save or repay any debts and compensate for the lost GDP with higher exports. Otherwise, the Fed would have to raise the interest rate and charge the debt repayments higher than intended, bringing chaos to the overall economy.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: Luck Egalitarianism by Dworkin. Similar to the social philosophy stated above.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: Metaphysics of Knowledge. I do not understand why people accept the knowledge as it is. Is the knowledge truly acceptable? A few examples of social knowledge. Why create laws that change? Why require academics to divide? Answers to the fundamental questions will help live the world with rationality, creating a better place for more.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Park: Theoretical Philosophy. Similar to the above.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Park: That life exists to set something for me.

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Park: Internally generated.

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Park: Nope. I only exist to be part of the design.

Jacobsen: What do you make the mystery and transience of life?

Park: Every moment in life is a piece of memory that remains forgotten after death. Why humans seek to remember others’ past, knowing they would meet the same doom, is a mystery to me.

Jacobsen: What is love to you? 

Park: An illusion. It dies when its bearers disappear.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ Society; Member, ISI-S Society (151-Society); Member, Order of Imhotep.

[2] Individual Publication Date: January 22, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2021:

*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.


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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