Saturday, January 8, 2011

A conversation with Virgil Vanfair

You've devoted yourself to a strict schedule in a self improvement crusade. What are your primary motivations for doing so?

Ever since the 7th grade, I have been working diligently to sharpen my talents and assets. I don't know how the motivation came to me, or why it came at such an early age, but the thing that keeps me going is previous success, and a desire to get more of it. 2010 was such a good year in this regard, I want an even better one this year.

I have also been a huge fan of reading biographies, which has led me to read about the greats such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson from which I have derived inspiration from. I have always aspired to become like the greats and to be a good steward of my God-given talents, I guess thats what drives me.

You show a fair amount of interest in the SAT/PSAT tests, what score are you striving for? Are you a national merit scholar?

As to the latter question. No, for the very good reason that my graduate class will not being receiving recognition until next fall. But my scores are well within the top 1%, so its pretty much a guarantee that I will be at least an outstanding participant. As to the former, my ultimate goal is to get a perfect score, at least on the Reading and Math sections.

What is your I.Q? Have you looked into the various I.Q societies such as Mensa?

Over the supposed genius level. How much over, I don't know, although I suspect it isn't by that much. I have thought about joining the various societies, if I were to pick one to go for, it would be Triple Nine, which requires an I.Q of is one person in a thousand. The thing this, the mensa threshold isn't really all that spectacular. If you have 1000 readers, the chances are that 20 of them are Mensa material. And the fact that the overwhelming majority of politicians and elected leaders can hardly pass that not too impressive mark speaks volumes about who is really running this country.

Where do you stand on the I.Q debate? How much of a role does it play in individual success?

Warren Buff is known to have said that any I.Q points exceeding 125 are wasted if you want to make money. That I can hardly dispute. Although I think the reason most studies show a weak correlation between I.Q and success is because the metric used to define success if financial welfare. The problem is is that many individuals possessing a high intelligence are successful in their field but may not be particularly lucrative. The Scientific profession is a case in point; I very much doubt that a physicist with an I.Q of 150 will make more money that a lawyer with an I.Q of 120.

Anyway, it is not completely true to assert a perfect correlation between the two. Diligence, interpersonal skills, and other modes of creative thinking are just as important in the success equation. To object to the I.Q measure because it does not accurately predict success is a category error; it doesn't because it was merely designed to measure abstract and spatial intelligence in order to predict academic success, which means it isn't a comprehensive Life test.

But I will admit though, SWPL's are a little too enamored of it.

To what extent can you improve your intelligence, and how?

To a great extent, I believe. Although certain types of intelligence can be improved more that others. In garder's division of 7 kinds of Intelligence, I would say that interpersonal, verbal, spatial, and musical provide the greatest room for improvement, whereas math, intrapersonal, and physical, are a little more difficult. The actual intelligence you understand, not the knowledge base. Although it is extremely difficult to become an actual genius in any of those areas without exceptional inborn talent.

On exactly how one goes about boosting it depends on the type. Spatial requires access and proper us of the right side of the brain, which can be difficult to tap in, but produces dramatic results once it is done. This is why some fledgling drawers can get absolutely nowhere in a month and others progress rapidly in the same period. Math requires a similar transformation, but the mechanism behind that transformation is not very well understood, and the effects are less dramatic. Verbal requires just reading, writing and listening to a well written/spoken article of information. Musical demands delving into the logical foundation of musical patterns as described by the scales and improvisation methods. And interpersonal skills can be greatly enhanced when you become a ruthless observer of human behavior and a constant ponderer of that behavior. Vanfair Maxim #23: Observation without proper reflection not only does the mind no good, but does it a disservice by creating an illusion of knowledge and experience. Anyway, an entire book could be written on the subject of intelligence enhancement, I very well may write that book someday, but I not at the moment.

Thank you for the all the insight that you bring to a conversation. One last question, can you provide a list of all your goals for 2011?

I will be posting them sometime this weekend. And thank you, its a pleasure doing this with you.

He will be interviewing me next week on an entirely different subject. The current condition of Western Civilization.

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