First, do people look like their blogs? Liz Lawley says no. In my post last week I pondered how this blog would have been received if I’d masqueraded as an attractive female. So I put up a recent picture at right. Do I look like my blog?

Second, why are so many bloggers INTP’s or INFP’s? The Meyers-Briggs personality type test was designed to produce roughly equal proportions of the 16 different personality combinations. The blogger proportion of the above two combinations (introverted, intuitive, perceivers) is four times the expected proportion.

Third, is mankind doomed?

And an answer: I’m not related to John ‘Red’ Pollard, the jockey of Seabiscuit, or Jonathan Pollard, the spy, or Michael J. Pollard, the actor. If you want to know who I am related to, my genealogy site is here.

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  1. Fiona says:

    1. I’ve found it interesting to see pics of other bloggers I’ve been reading. They never look the way I imagine them. But whether or not that means people look like their blogs in general… I’ve posted my picture a couple of times, and I’ll bet it’s been disappointing for a few folks. Nevertheless, my face is fairly symmetrical. It’s my personality that’s perhaps out of alignment…2. I came up as an “ISTP”, which indicates that perhaps I’m not your typical blogger? But I thought that test was far too simplistic. In each of the groups of questions, there were several I wouldn’t have checked. I had to settle for the group that included the most that applied. I think most bloggers are probably smarter than the average bear, and in this culture of the stupid, we get hungry for other intelligent beings. We are forced to go online to find them. And there they are! Thank god!3. It’s looking more and more that way. The grey goo thing is hard for me to grok, but I’m willing to worry about one more thing…

  2. Fiona says:

    PS – maybe that test is more accurate than I imagined. When I looked at the list of appropriate careers for my type, my profession (commercial artist) is on it.

  3. Susan says:

    Well, clearly that isn’t you, because I am absolutely sure you do not have a mustache :)

  4. mark says:

    oh my god if i’d only known…

  5. Jon Husband says:

    I wonder if they’re INTP or INFP because there’s now an interesting way for contact with others and expression of one’s thoughts and feelings that is more accessible for/to them, via blogging.And I wonder if I__P also need to “control” the pace of their interaction a bit differently – so much depends on relationships, and I__P’s might be shy, more sensitive and take their time to suss out trust ?

  6. I think it was Hoback who said I look older than I blog. I still haven’t decided whether or not that’s a compliment.

  7. Adam Solove says:

    My blog is dead sexy, so I don’t see a problem there.More importantly, I fall squarely within INTP (didn’t even have to think very hard about that) and it amkes sense that most bloggers are.I__P is necessarily part of the written aspect of the blog. We’re not talking to each other and enjoyign the company. We’re arguing, and doggone it, we’re right. We’re introverted enough to consider sitting inside typing to complete strangers as a social activity. And because we are merely talking and ocnceptualizing, it is easy to infer that perception and analysis is the community’s strong point.Also of note, INTP seems the category for the political blogger: the architect/theoretician. The glove fits, it must be legit’.

  8. natasha says:

    Hmmm. I always come out INTP on those tests, except for a freak result taken during a very stressful point in life when I turned up as an INFP. I think the proportion is likely related to the I, or introvert part.Many people misinterpret introversion as shyness, and it can manifest that way, when it’s really a measure of how tiring you find most in-person interaction. Blogging is therefore perfect, as you can have exactly as much interaction as you can stand, and hang it up when you’ve had enough.Also, now I’m paranoid about being doomed. Thanks a lot, Dave ;) We’ll be moving that closed biosphere project along directly…

  9. M. L. Foster says:

    I come up as ISTJ. I have taken a similar test in the past and have scored differently however. I wonder if such tests are largely dependent on a person’s circumstances. Now that I am retired I find my tendencies for hermetic closeting have been emerging.I have a few pictures I have mulled over putting into my blog. But my Grandson is so much more attractive. Besides, it took Dave 9 email messages for me to get one picture to upload. Old – Woman does not inspire confidence.

  10. M. L. Foster says:

    Opps… I forgot the last part of the question. Yes, mankind is doomed. Death is inevitable.

  11. Rayne says:

    1 — Part a, yes; part b, absolutely. Does that bother you? 2 — I-N personalities prefer communication which encourages their introverted-introspective nature; text/graphics that must be internalized then organized into output will naturally be more comfortable. Seems obvious to me. (BTW, ENFP here who tests closer to INFP the longer she blogs).3 — Yes. We’re all doomed. We just don’t know when, so make the most of it! Theoretically, assuming a biological agent is causal, perhaps as many as 10% of us may survive; but over the big 8 million year picture, we’re toast. Of course, you could look at this from a different perspective: our race may already be extinct, we may already be moving to post-humanity depending on one’s view of “test-tube babies” and genetically engineered medicines and foods. Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!

  12. Dave Pollard says:

    Fiona: I agree that some of the quicker Meyers-Briggs type tests do oversimplify self-assessment and could lead to erroneous results and clustering. And you’re absolutely right about the value of blogs as an outlet for slaking intellectual thirst and boredom.Susan: The facial fuzz is an artefact of a long-ago lip scar that I got horsing around carelessly with a cat and some string. It’s not me, perhaps, but it’s easier than make-up.Jon: I read (somewhere) that the reason teenagers like IM so much is that it gives them a chance to pause and think before responding to a message from someone they admire of the opposite sex. The ‘creative pause’ is likely a motivator for bloggers as well. If we were quicker on our feet, we’d be debaters, stand-up comedians or (gulp) politicians.Adam: That makes sense for I_T_ but there are lots of I_F_s on the blogosphere as well. How would you account for feelers-over-thinkers using such an ‘intellectual’ medium?Natasha: Hmmm. Introverted because face-to-face interaction is tiring. This never occurred to me! I suspect many introverts (maybe more male introverts?) are so because they find face-to-face interaction intellectually unsatisfying. I catch myself browsing the room aurally at cocktail parties. I’m impatient with the small talk that clogs too many face-to-face interactions. That’s why I’m an ‘I’ (except when I discover in person new people who are very bright or creative — then I suddenly morph from INTP to ENTJ (alcohol helps).

  13. Dave Pollard says:

    Marie: I can see you as ISTJ — a bit impulsive at times. I think most bloggers are past judging people by appearances. In fact, I’ve found the detailed bios of some bloggers (photos, personal history etc.) extremely valuable in giving me a context for understanding their writing and their comments on my stuff.Rayne: I’m pleased with your answers to (1). Blogging is a bit like having teleconferences with people you’ve never met. I’d love to have just one chance to meet face-to-face with all the Salon bloggers, just for one day. I think it would add enormously to the richness of our blogging. We might even reach consensus on the 2004 meme.

  14. natasha says:

    Dave – “Introverted because face-to-face interaction is tiring. This never occurred to me! I suspect many introverts (maybe more male introverts?) are so because they find face-to-face interaction intellectually unsatisfying.”So, help me out here. The substantial difference between tiring and intellectually unsatisfying would be… ?

  15. Dave Pollard says:

    Natasha: I can be tired out by intellectual over-stimulation more than by boredom. The difference is between tiring and tiresome I guess.

  16. mrG says:

    I’m curious — what method could you use to statistically assess the M-B metric for the blogger population? Could it instead be a self-selecting sample where you are only attracted to measure the metric for blogs most similar to yourself?As for the end of Mankind, this was answered 20 years ago by the great jazzman and interplanetary philosopher Sun Ra who would lead the room in a chant/improv/cacophony of

    “It’s after the End of the World,Don’t you know that yet??”

    wrapped up with the tagline, “The world ended 2000 years ago!

  17. Dave Pollard says:

    Gary: Such sacrilege, my friend! My method, beyond the mere observation during my daily reads which is, as you point out, statistically flawed, was to look at the tabulations at the right end of the Bloginality test page itself. That confirmed my suspicions. I’m not that unscientific ;-)

  18. Aurora says:

    Maybe only INTPs and INFPs are the ones who bother to take these tests online and post the results on their blogs. The rest might not be so interested.

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