Posted by: Matthew | October 30, 2007

My Interview with Seth Manapio

This is my interview with Seth from Whiskey Before Breakfast. Read his interview to learn what a velodrome is. Thanks for letting me interview you, Seth!

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Where do you live? What is it like where you live?
I live in East Point, GA, which is a small town outside of Atlanta.
Really, we’re still part of the city, it’s only 7 miles to downtown
Atlanta and we’re on the rail line, but we have our own police, fire,
water, mayor, and city council. Its sort of neat to live in a small
city of 32,000 or so that is on the border of the largest city in the
southeast.
East Point has a velodrome, which is bicycle racing track. Its the
only outdoor velodrome in the United States with a tree growing in the
infield. That’s one thing about this area, there are these huge oak
trees everywhere, all through the metro area and out to the mountains.
Whole neighborhoods just disappear under the canopy of this forest
that grows through the city. It’s a very beautiful city in that
respect, especially in the fall!

What is it like being a dad?
I love being a dad, even though it can be a little overwhelming at
times. Little babies are totally dependent. Everything the Highlander
needs has to be provided by someone else, usually his mother or me.
And it’s hard to know whether I am doing a good job because he can’t
really tell me. But it feels very normal to take care of him, very
natural, very much like the single most important thing I’m ever going
to do in my entire life.

And while there are these normal feelings of a sort of devoted love
and mild panic, at the same time there is a sense of wonder because
from day to day, I have no idea what he is going to do, or be, or be
like, or like. Every day is an experiment and a revelation.

Being a dad is totally airwolf. It is the most intense experience I’ve
ever had.

What is it like being a graduate student? What is a graduate
student?

A graduate student is a student who has graduated from college and
then gone back for an advanced degree. If you want to be a scientist
or an engineer or a teacher, you probably are going to have to go to
graduate school after 4 years of undergraduate school after 4 years of
high school.

Graduate classes are different from undergraduate. There is a lot more
learning on your own, a lot of presenting your work to other students,
a lot of writing. Its fun when the ideas are exciting and boring when
they aren’t.

What are you studying?
I study computer science. I’m trying to figure out efficient ways that
a lot of computers can send a lot of information to each other
wirelessly. This is a lot more interesting than it sounds.

I know that you are an atheist. What does an atheist believe?
Probably mostly the same things that you believe! To be an atheist
just means to be “without god.” So an atheist is just somebody who
does not believe in at least one thing that you might believe in. But
for the most part, atheists believe the same things that everyone else
does. Most religious people believe that it is wrong to hurt, kill,
lie to or steal from other people, and so do most atheists. I value
freedom, family, and personal responsibility, which are things that
most religious Americans value. Atheists and religious people can have
a lot in common when they aren’t talking about religion.

If a stranger came up to you and started making amazing claims, you
might wonder how they know that what they are saying is true. Most
religious people, on most topics, think that this is a healthy
attitude to take because sometimes people believe things that just
aren’t true. And that is another common belief between most atheists
and most people of faith, a belief that a certain amount of skepticism
is sensible.

Atheists treat religious claims with more skepticism than other people
do. We want to see more evidence that these claims are true.

What color socks do you wear?
Usually grey. Grey goes with everything. I don’t think about color as
much as I think about the type of socks I’m wearing. I’m very foot
conscious, I don’t like wearing shoes at all. So I tend to like really
comfortable socks, either dress socks or riding socks. My favorite
socks have a right foot and a left foot. Those are some comfortable
socks!

What kind of music do you like?
I like bands that have the ability to improvise live, or that make a
lot of very powerful and ear threatening noise. The Mermen are one of
my favorite bands in the world because they improvise and make a lot
of noise at the same time.

I also like Modest Mouse, older punk rock bands like the Pixies, and
jam bands like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

What is your favorite type of flower? Why?
My grandmother paints watercolors of magnolias, jasmine, wild roses,
and other flowers. She has been a professional painter for over half a
century and she is still very good. I think that her painted flowers
are my favorite type of flower.

My favorite species of flower (from a long way away) is the stinking
corpse lily
, which is 3 feet wide and smells like rotten meat! I
wouldn’t want to keep one in the house, but it is a very unusual and
interesting flower.

Do you ever play video games? If you do, what is your favorite?
Not often. A friend of mine has a Wii and I love playing Wii golf!

What is your favorite place just to go and enjoy life?
I don’t really have one. I like being with my friends a lot, or with
my son, regardless of where we are. And I like doing fun things, like
riding motorcycles, anywhere I can.

What happens to you when you eat sugar? A lot of sugar?
First I get very energetic and enthusiastic. Then I start to feel
sick. Then I get this really terrible headache and my stomach gets
even worse. Then I start getting really depressed and tired.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love riding bikes and motorcycles, watching movies or reading. The
last DVD I watched is called “Long Way ‘Round”, a documentary about
two actors that travel around the world on motorcycles. And the last
book I read was a science fiction novel about immortal, time traveling
cyborgs, titled “The Children of the Company”.

*************************************************************

Also, we went on a field trip to the apple orchard. You can see pictures and stuff here.

matthew-in-pumpkin-patch.jpg

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Responses

  1. I liked the sock question!

  2. I loved this interview, Matthew! Even though I am not an atheist, I totally respect Seth’s choice, and his explanation makes it clear that he has really thought it through . I totally dig that.


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