Re: Personality types (was: uncontrollable suffering)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 14:03:33 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2001 at 07:20:35PM -0500, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > Amara Graps wrote:
> > >
> > > These are just a few words to capture the essence. Yes, it's
> > > more Enneagram stuff. I find it very useful to help me to
> > > figure out people's motivations, since I'm normally hopeless about
> > > that. It's just a system, though (and I'm a five, so I _like_
> > > systems...).
> >
> > Actually, Amara, it's because you're Nature: Judge, Demeanor: Visionary.
> I wonder how these RPG references look to outsiders?

Probably around the same way that Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram look to
me: Darned silly. Which is the point I was trying to make with all
this. Any system of phrenology works about equally well, whether it's
Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, the AD&D alignment wheel, or White Wolf's
Nature/Demeanor system.

Actually, I consider the gaming systems to be superior, since they were
created by highly creative people, with a sense of humor, who had
customers to satisfy; this in contrast to ivory towerfolk who take
themselves far too seriously. I'd rather know whether someone is lawful
or chaotic than introverted or extroverted, and the Natures and Demeanors
strike me as being more specific (they more clearly fit or not fit a given
facet of a given personality) than the Enneagram types. When creative,
smart people try to have fun, useful ideas can come out of it; but Ifni
preserve me from social scientists.

So I think it would be fun to relentlessly mock the Myers-Briggs and
Enneagram systems by posting followup messages that use the alignment
wheel or Nature/Demeanor instead. I am willing to show that I can conduct
a conversation that makes just as much apparent sense as Myers-Briggs
using the alignment wheel. More sense than Myers-Briggs, in fact. You'd
have a much harder time arguing that I'm chaotic evil than that I'm ENFP
or whatever.

We'll see how long I can keep it up before I get bored.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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