Member Profiles - Kevin Langdon

published in Vidya, the journal of the Triple Nine Society, #245, June 2007

 

I was born on May 3, 1943, in San Francisco.

I was a sickly baby. I was born with hip dysplasia. I had a urinary system infection as an infant and, at one point, I was not expected to survive. I underwent a series of hip operations as a young child, starting when I was one year old, when my great uncle noticed my condition, which the doctors had missed.

My family was very stable and supportive, but I was a weird kid and this is a weird world. As like charges repel one another, we were not a good fit. As an older child (after about five or six), as a teenager, as a young person, and as a middle-aged person Iíve had a difficult time relating to people (somewhat less so recently) and Iíve gotten into a lot of trouble, though Iíve managed to avoid doing anything foolish enough to get me killed, brain-dead, maimed, incapacitated, incarcerated, homeless, or enslaved.

As a child I liked nature. I liked math and science. I liked games. I liked getting together and playing with other kids. I liked reading, especially reading that stretched my imagination; some of the books that particularly touched me are listed on my website.

From an early age, I enjoyed complex systems and appreciated intricately-structured imaginary worlds. I built elaborate structures with my blocks. I began inventing variations on games when I was a young child, and then inventing new games. I was fascinated by math and science and language and abstract thinking, less interested in subjects where learning was more by rote.

All my life Iíve had an interest in creative activities such as writing (though when I was younger I had a strong writerís block), making pictures, playing music, and inventing things.

When I went off to college at the University of California at Berkeley I got good grades in math but my interest was hijacked by questions having to do with meaning and this so distracted me from my academic studies that I flunked out of school.

This was in the early 1960s. There was plenty for a young person in Berkeley to get involved in, and I did ó sex, dope, folk music (rockíníroll came a little later), new religions, psychotherapeutic movements, political movements. Fortunately, I grew out of the worst excesses.

I became involved in science fiction fandom, private discussion groups, Mensa and (later) the other high-IQ societies, and groups connected with the ideas that interested me.

Since leaving school Iíve spent time hanging out, working off and on at one job or another, and pursuing my own projects, some of which have been remunerative but most of which, due to the large number of them and my reluctance to specialize, have not yet come to fruition.

I got married in 1967, divorced in 1974, married to my present wife, Virginia, in 1987.

Iíve worked at systems analysis, statistical analysis, technical writing and editing, science writing, book and magazine editing, simulation game design, implementation and testing, and software design, implementation and testing.

I worked at U.C. Berkeley for two years in the early 1970s designing and testing noncomputerized simulation games involving (typically) 15-50 participants.

Iíve developed, administered, and normed several high-range intelligence tests, most notably the Langdon Adult Intelligence Test (no longer scored), which was published in Omni in 1979 and has been taken by 27,000 people.

I was a member of the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft press corps and wrote stories about the outer planets for newspapers.

Iíve written many essays, stories, songs, and computer programs (many of the essays have been published, but few of the other things Iíve written), and I have several books in progress. Iíve invented about 50 games and a number of patentable products.

Interests

Consciousness, mind, intelligence, thought, attention, emotion, sensation, games, IQ, Gurdjieff, cognition, phenomenology, spirituality, psychometrics, psychedelics, Ouspensky, giftedness, genius, insight, wisdom, self, creativity, awareness, awakening, psychology, philosophy, science, graphics, enlightenment, music, logic, statistics, religion, perception, intuition, space, astronomy, humor, ethics, law.

For details, see my website:

http://www.polymath-systems.com

 

Kevin Langdon Biographical Data

Polymath Systems Home Page