Reductalyzer

Reductalyzer March 10, 2009

The Typealyzer characterizes this blog as personality type "INTP: The Thinkers":

The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

Yeah, OK, fine. Not exactly the first time I've heard that. But while I'll admit that I may tend toward the abstract and the analytical, keep in mind, Mr. Textalyzer, sir, that it wasn't my idea to start classifying personalities like lepidopterae pinned to corkboard. One of us has the last name "-alyzer" and it's not me. In fact, if you'd asked me, I'd have said that trying to categorize people in this way was reductive and prone to simplistic and misleading distortions. (Or, as we say in Philly, I got yer Myers-Briggs right here.)

Despite being trapped in my prison of cerebral abstraction, I thought I'd still managed, occasionally at least, to set aside my impatient arrogance in order to see and understand the needs of other people. So I selected some of what seemed to my overly logical and analytical self to be some of the more intuitive/sensing/feeling posts from this blog and entered those into the Typealyzer as well.

They all came back the same.

Even a post in which I did little more than copy the text of 1 Corinthians 13. I'll concede that nine times out of 10, St. Paul does come across as more analytical and less empathetic, but this lovely meditation on love isn't one of those times.

So this led to me playing with our friend Mr. Textalyzer a bit more. I plugged in 1 Corinthians 13 from BibleGateway.com in various versions — NIV, KJV, The Message — all were textalyzed as "The Thinkers." Until I got to the Cotton Patch version. Clarence Jordan's southern dialect colloquial translation came up as "The Idealists."

Interesting, but what does it mean? Not much, probably, but still it's an entertaining waste of time. Particularly since song lyrics and poetry are so easy to find online. Some random results of the Typealyzer:

  • "The Second Coming." by William Butler Yeats: The Guardians
  • "Let America Be America Again," by Langston Hughes: The Mechanics
  • "Pasties & a G-String," by Tom Waits: The Performers
  • "Straight Outta Compton," by NWA: The Performers
  • "Born to Run," by Bruce Springsteen: The Performers
  • "Thunder Road," by Bruce Springsteen: The Givers
  • "My City in Ruins," by Bruce Springsteen: Detected language Filipino. The only supported languages are English and Swedish. (?)
  • "Dancing Queen," by Abba: The Socializers

That last one, at least, seems accurate.

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  • Hob

    I hate hate hate the Meyers-Briggs. This was the alternative my friend & I proposed but oddly it never caught on.

  • Tonio

    I just checked and apparently “bang to rights” is a strictly British expression.
    Thanks to six lads at the BBC, I prefer the alternatives “It’s a fair cop” and “You’re nicked, me old beauty.”

  • Not Really Here:
    1. It’s the Randians who are supposed to go live in a cave valley, not you. Once they get that magickal electricity generator thingy working and go Galt on us and leave us alone already.
    2. Game theory hit political science, as well; many were located in my grad program. It was heinous. And stupid.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    All this stuff on how people should be classified reminds me of how (allegedly) the German Army classified officers.
    An officer could be lazy or industrious. He could also be stupid or smart.
    Stupid industrious officers were discharged as a danger to the army.
    Stupid lazy officers were given jobs that required a officer to be present, but were otherwise pointless.
    Smart industrious officers were given staff jobs that made the army run.
    Smart lazy officers were put in command.

  • RP

    I’m pretty much a prototypical INTJ, and my pseudonymous gardening blog was typed as ESFP. One of my aims with the blog was to have it be about gardening and not about me, but that’s taking it a little too far.

  • Tonio: Would you explain what the latter has to do with mysticism? Whatever the merits of Myers-Briggs, it doesn’t seem mystical to me.
    Kit: It’s not really fair to assume everything to do with Jung is ‘mysticism’. He was a pioneer of psychology in an era where it was a very young field. A lot of his theories are speculative and untestable, but so was a lot of early science. In both cases, a lot of theories were definitely or probably wrong, but that’s what happens when you’re trying something new: you postulate. And some of his stuff is widely accepted nowadays, like the theory of extroversion and introversion – which is studied by neurologists as well as mystics. I think you’re being too sweeping.
    Tonio: Basically, because it’s Jungian.
    Kit: And I agree with you. I’m not saying that Jung was (simply) a mystic. I’m saying that conventional Jungian theory is unpopular in Churches of Christ because Jung is perceived as a mystic. Sorry for the confusion.
    NRH: you need to try more than a brief lookup. The Nash Equilibrium rooted in Game Theoroy, created by John Nash, of A Beautiful Mind fame. (The movie is largely fictionalized, but his real-life story is still fascinating.) Game Theory was an attempt at creating a mathematical model of human behavior, based on the idea that human beings are entirely motivated by rational self-interest, and are constantly strategizing against one another, and will screw people over if given half a chance*. It is rooted in psychosis, not science. John Nash was a paranoid schizophrenic who, once he overcame his illness, renounced Game Theory as being, well, wacky.
    Thanks, NRH. I saw the connection to Game Theory, but did not know that Game Theory itself was regarded that way. I am constantly reading articles that refer to it as a going concern, still under serious study by real psychologists and sociologists.

  • It seems to me that Not Really Here’s description of game theory is to game theory as social Darwinism is to evolution.
    Game theory is a mathematical toolkit, originally based on maximizing the odds or margin of “winning” in various game-like scenarios. It’s a useful set of tools for what it does, but there’s nothing in it that says that you’re supposed to model your life or your ethical choices as if they were games.

  • Izzy

    On the other hand, a Rayndian dating service would at least cut down on the number of her followers who are out there trying to date the rest of us. There was a time in my life when I would really have appreciated this.
    (Now if only they’d make a service for people who insist that all fiction be absolutely realistic all the time ever. And guys who kiss like squid. Oh well–horror stories are part of the bounty of dating.)

  • Tonio

    Basically, because it’s Jungian.
    I don’t much about Jung, other than his concept of archetypes. I don’t understand why the Churches of Christ would perceive Jung as a mystic. That’s like calling him a fortune-teller or a sorcerer.

  • Not Really Here

    It’s the Randians who are supposed to go live in a cave valley, not you. Once they get that magickal electricity generator thingy working and go Galt on us and leave us alone already.
    But Randians scare me. If they start breeding, there will be more of them. And you can bet your sweet bippy that they would manage to find their way into positions of power. And the whole point of Atlas Shrugged was that the Mary Sue/Gary Stu coporatist heroes were moving to the valley so that the whole economy would tank due to the mishandling of big business by, you know, operating for the benefit of society instead of their own greedy self-interest. Then the MS/GS’s could come back and be worshipped as heroes for saving the world from the evil wanting to help others people.
    And Galt’s magical electricity thingy is a fictional device (although I hear the Tesla coil had some potential in that area), and once the Rationally Self-Interested people came out to save us all, John Galt was apparently meant to benefit society by becoming filthy buggering rich selling his magical electrical thingy. The worship of the Almighty Dollar will save us all, and all that.
    Of course, the Dollar being Almighty, I imagine the magical electrical thingy would have been sold at the highest price the market would bear, so only those who were wealthy enough to afford one could have the benefit of it. And maybe make boatloads of money selling the electricity to their less well-off serfs.I get images of slum landlords installing the things on the roofs of their apartment buildings and then charging their tenants for the electricity. (What, you think Randian capitalists would give the electricity away for free? Hell no, they would realize that they had a means of generating something everybody needed at no cost beyond the initial investment in the magical electrical thingy, and maybe the occasional repair bill, and reap huge profits selling the needed commodity to those who couldn’t afford their own generator at a price all out of proportion to the cost of production.) OK, so the profits would go to a larger group of slightly less rich people instead of the smaller group of hugely rich people, but the result would be the same. The rich would get richer, while the poor, who did the actual work of manufacturing the products and providing the services that their corporate overlords made their profits from would still be boned.
    People are naturally selfish and greedy as it is. There are enough people around who have adopted the idea that being selfish and greedy as a political and ethical philosophy is a good thing, because their selfishness and greed will benefit society because needed products and services will spring forth from their minds like Athena from the head of Zeus, and, hey, there’s no need to pay all those pesky workers a decent wage because, dammit, they didn’t think of the idea, and just because they actually, you know, create wealth doesn’t mean they’re entitled to any kind of share of it.
    We need fewer people who think that way in the world, not more of them. They shouldn’t be encouraged to breed with one another.

  • phryno_74

    I am in a graduate program that required several different personality tests/assessments to earn an additional certificate…so yep colleges are involved in this quackery. But it is fun even if it’s not really relevant.
    Over the course of my adult life i have taken MBTI 3 or 4 times and each time the result are different, which tells me that it is very dependent on where you are and what you are doing professionally and socially.
    It should be considered entertainment only, unfortunately people gain employment based on these things.

  • Not Really Here

    JMO Game theory is a mathematical toolkit, originally based on maximizing the odds or margin of “winning” in various game-like scenarios. It’s a useful set of tools for what it does, but there’s nothing in it that says that you’re supposed to model your life or your ethical choices as if they were games.
    On an individual level, no. It only works in scenarios where everybody knows everybody else’s strategy and operates accordingly. In other words, highly artifical ones.
    But Nash took the theory a step further with the idea that since all human beings operate based on rational self-interest and are constantly formulating strategies against one another, the whole of society would reach an equilibrium as everybody’s self-interest balanced off of one anothers. In other words, it was a mathematical theory that could be used to predict the behavior of human beings in society at large, not just in certain limited game-like scenarios.
    Game theory only works in games. Nash had a highly simplistic and distorted view of how human beings operate. Throw a few people into the mix who actually take the needs and interests of others into account, or don’t have the same goals as other players in the Game of Life, and the whole Nash Equilibrium falls apart.
    And it’s the Randians who have adopted the pursuit of rational self-interest, for the purpose of making money, as a moral and ethical system, not the original Game Theorists.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    Question: Has anyone ever seen a female Randian? Other than the original, I’ve not seen hide nor hair.

  • Kaiser


    Question: Has anyone ever seen a female Randian? Other than the original, I’ve not seen hide nor hair.

    I’ve never actually encountered them outside the Internet. Are there really that many havens for douchebags in real life?

  • Jeff

    You can try this test instead.
    Nice! I’m an Inventer (ICUG).
    ====================
    On another note, how on earth is a blog supposed to be extroverted?
    Odd – I think most blogs are extroverted: “Hey world, here’s what I think!” Especially those without comments. Only a few are “Here’s a topic. Discuss in comments.” (Or what MikhailBorg said)
    ————-
    And the Internet is a pretty low-level stimulant
    True, but it’s more of a stimulant than, say, reading.
    ====================
    Unsuggester is bizarre.
    It appears that the popularity of the input work among the readers of Unsuggester is critical. It works best with a book that a LOT of members have linked.

  • Tonio: I don’t much about Jung, other than his concept of archetypes. I don’t understand why the Churches of Christ would perceive Jung as a mystic. That’s like calling him a fortune-teller or a sorcerer.
    The concepts of the collective unconsciousness, and of archetypes, are often written about this way, whether they can be properly called mystical or not. Jung also wrote about spiritual experiences, which is more than enough to taint him in Restorationist eyes. I’m not making any claims about the man or his system myself; I know that I haven’t studied him closely enough.

  • I beta-tested an Apple ][ version of the MMPI in 1981, when I was 16. The psychiatrist (ologist?) who’d hired my friend to do the programming was really amazed that I scored “sane”, because your average teenager doesn’t. Obviously I was remarkably well-adjusted!
    What I didn’t point out to him was that it was *multiple choice*, and the “sane” or “socially acceptable” choice was obvious. I know there have been studies since then that show that engineering types are more likely to do that sort of thing on tests like that; not sure if anyone was aware of it at the time, though.

  • Tonio

    I know that I haven’t studied him closely enough.
    I haven’t either. I find it odd that any religious person would equate the concept of spiritual experience with sorcery.

  • The thing about the Randian Rapture is that even if the “best and the brightest” all left to hide in Galt’s Gulch for 50 years, the goods, workers, production facilities, and markets would still be there, waiting for something to do. Seems to me that even the second-best who didn’t get to go might see opportunity there, and might do something productive with it.
    Those non-Randians “Left Behind” would be highly motivated to prop up things as best they could, after all. They aren’t going to just stand and watch civilization fall apart, weeping and tearing their hair. I think the Galtites may overestimate just how vital they are.

  • Mine came up with –
    Detected language Not enough data to determine language.. The only supported languages are English and Swedish. But stay tuned, we are expanding.
    I’m obviously posting in the wrong sort of English…

  • Not Really Here

    I am actually amazed at the fact that personality tests/honsety tests are so popular with employers. You’d think that just from experience, they’d twig to the fact that these instruments for measuring an employee’s suitability are about as scientific as Tarot cards or astrology.
    “What, Grineldahyde was caught stealing money from the cash register, and an audit of her receipts shows she’s been doing it for months? But she got such great scores on her honesty test!”
    And polygraphs, well… they’re what, maybe 90% accurate on a good day, and that’s not including the “inconclusive” results. Which means that at least one in ten people who register as lying are telling the truth, and conversely, at least one in ten people who read as telling the truth are lying.
    I really love the daytime talk shows- back in the days when I was emotionally and mentally functional enough to actually work, they would be frequently be on in the break room, there would periodically be some guy who was accused of cheating on his wife/girlfriend, being taken into the back room and given a polygraph test, which would “prove” that he was lying when he said he was faithful. If there hadn’t been a lot of other people around, I would have been screaming, “polygraphs have been proven to be incredibly unreliable, you ignorant douchebag!”
    But then again, there are still plenty of people who truly believe that you can “beat” a polygraph test by not lying.
    The invalidity of polygraphs has been well-publicized for decades, yet employers still use them

  • “I am actually amazed at the fact that personality tests/honesty tests are so popular with employers. You’d think that just from experience, they’d twig to the fact that these instruments for measuring an employee’s suitability are about as scientific as Tarot cards or astrology.”
    I’d guess there’s plenty of employers who’d use Tarot cards and astrology to determine suitability, if they thought they’d get away with it. Personality tests have the advantage of seeming to be scientific combined with having great buzz words.

  • I think Tarot might be more useful. There’s nothing scientific about it, but whether you subscribe to ‘influences from beyond’ or not, Tarot can be a fascinating tool for gaining a new perspective on a situation.

  • I think most blogs are extroverted: “Hey world, here’s what I think!”
    But like I said, I think that’s based on a misconception of what ‘extroverted’ means. It’s not to do with how willing you are to interact with others, it’s to do with whether stimulation, whether social, aural, visual, tactile or whatever, tires you out or jazzes you up. Communicating with someone through e-mail is a low-stimulation form of interaction, and consequently just as comfortable for an introvert as an extrovert, if not more so.
    There are plenty of sociable and communicative introverts in the world; they just do it in a different style.

  • Tonio

    but whether you subscribe to ‘influences from beyond’ or not, Tarot can be a fascinating tool for gaining a new perspective on a situation.
    How so? Do you mean that you would see how others would react to the findings? Or that the findings might contradict one’s beliefs or presumptions?

  • Well, Tonio, please take this with a city-sized grain of salt, and understand that there are plenty of other interpretations out there.
    Tarot is a story-telling tool. You shuffle cards which represent iconic personalities, states of being, situations – they are flexible, but have some standard interpretations one can use as a base. (Even allowing the reader to select their own icon card will reveal information about how the subject sees him- or herself.) Now, if your fortune-teller is fraudulent, they will begin “cold-reading” at this point, which is a crafty way of drawing personal information out of a subject. Since I’m not trying to scam anyone, I just ask directly. The Tarot reader then constructs a story, based on that info and the positions and graphics on the cards, about the subject’s past, present, and potential future.
    The key here is that the ideas represented by the cards are pretty universal, and can be shoehorned into many situations; so the story is likely to fit the subject fairly well. More so if the reader knows the subject, and even more so if extra information is collected by cold-reading or open questions. But because the reader doesn’t and can’t have the exact same perspective as the subject, the story the reader spins will not be the same story as the one in the subject’s head – and that’s where the usefulness comes in.
    Whether you agree with another person’s perspective or not, it can be an invaluable tool in re-evaluating their own. I’ve read a lot of Tarot since I learned how, and I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard, “Hmm. I never thought of it that way.” This always makes me happy, because for me, it’s the point of the exercise.
    Possible applications in Human Resources are left to the reader, but I’d say there can easily be more insight in a Tarot reading than in an “honesty test”.
    Astrology, on the other hand, I choose to skip merrily past.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    NRH, on Polygraphs.
    My experience is second hand. I shipmate of mine spent the last years of his Navy career working with nuclear weapons. He was on the “Personal Reliability Program”, which meant that he could be tested for drugs at any time, by any method the Navy wished. He’d come to work on Monday, get drug tested in the morning, then again in the afternoon sometimes. There was no way that he could possibly get away with using any drug that the test could detect for this period.
    When he left the navy, he applied for San Diego Police. They polygraphed him. He failed. The polygrapher said that he lied when asked about pot use in the past five years.
    My friend now finds he cannot get a job with any police department. Because the SDPD shared the information with the whole world’s law enforcement community: this man is a lying pothead.
    He now works at a copper mine in Arizona, where they don’t care about such things. The hours are better, the pay is better, but he’s still bitter.
    MichealBorg, on Randian Rapture (good turn of phrase!)
    I would think that after 5 years, the shield would come down because the 2nd string scientists they left behind would invent a jammer. What happened next would depend on the culture left behind… someone might just drop a nuke on them, or they may merely arrest them, try them for the murders they committed, and execute them. But what Randians cannot admit is that there IS a 2nd string, a bunch of “also rans” who are almost as smart as thier “perfect men” who, given the chance, could do as good or better than the 1st stringers…
    (Sports metaphor: Kurt Warner was a never ran, unable to make it in the NFL. He played Arena football. Given a shot by the Green Bay Packers, he was let go as not good enough to even play back up. Picked up by the St. Louis Rams, they decided to use him as a 2nd stringer. Then the first stringer would be injured for the season. The Rams would win the championship that year. Kurt Warner would be given the credit. Kurt now owns 3 super bowl rings, one win and two losses. In one loss, the other team may have cheated. In the other, the team he lead had no right to be there, except they had Kurt. The never ran is a champion.)

  • Tonio

    The key here is that the ideas represented by the cards are pretty universal, and can be shoehorned into many situations; so the story is likely to fit the subject fairly well.
    I didn’t know that stories were part of Tarot. I had assumed that the person simply drew a card and the drawn card was supposed to be the person’s future, like a Magic 8-Ball. I suppose I equated Tarot with Ouija boards, tasseography, and yes, astrology. (Would it be right or fair to try to trick an astrologer with a false birthday?)

  • Cowboy Diva

    Astrology, on the other hand, I choose to skip merrily past.
    MikhailBorg,
    the only time I have ever seen anyone use astrology for any value was a counselor friend who liked using client’s natal charts as a guide to personality. The fortune-telling was for crap, but the natal chart was a better indicator for this therapist than say…Meyers-Briggs.

  • I had assumed that the person simply drew a card and the drawn card was supposed to be the person’s future, like a Magic 8-Ball.
    Some people do that and indeed put a lot of faith in it. You can ask, “Hey, should I buy that new car I’ve been looking at?” and draw, say, the High Priestess, the mysterious feminine keeper of secret lore, and then decide for yourself how that applies to your question. Perhaps you’ll draw the Ten of Pentacles, Pentacles representing (sometimes) wealth and/or craftsmanship, with the Ten being the highest card in the suit, and decide how that applies. But it’s still going to be your own interpretation. The cards never say anything as blunt as “Yes” or “No” – that would be too easy.*
    But even the simplest “Tarot for Dummies” will probably suggest a more complex card layout than that, with several more layers of possible meaning. The point isn’t for the cards to hand you an easy answer, the point is to help you consider your own ideas on the matter.
    *Despite plenty of cheap horror flicks, today’s readers rarely consider the Death card an omen of, well, death. Instead, it’s a suggestion that the subject prepare for drastic upcoming changes in their life, possibly extremely unpleasant ones. The suggestion may be cushioned by the observation that sometimes the drastic unpleasant changes in our lives can reap great rewards down the line, if ridden out.

  • Tonio

    You can ask, “Hey, should I buy that new car I’ve been looking at?” and draw, say, the High Priestess, the mysterious feminine keeper of secret lore, and then decide for yourself how that applies to your question.
    I suppose it’s not worth asking why the person wouldn’t just read Consumer Reports. I suspect that at least some such people really want the Tarot to make the decisions for them.
    Despite plenty of cheap horror flicks
    Or the Bond film “Live and Let Die,” where 007 uses a crooked deck as a seduction tool.

  • Izzy

    …what MikhailBorg said. I don’t know where my beliefs lie in this regard, but I find Tarot to at least be a useful tool for getting in touch with my subconscious.
    I suppose it’s not worth asking why the person wouldn’t just read Consumer Reports.
    Well, a lot of people do. And then part of them thinks they really should go with the minivan, and part of them really wants the red Camaro. Learning more information about either isn’t going to help: at this point, the decision has come down to emotions rather than facts. That’s where a Tarot reading–or, more accurately, your reaction to a Tarot reading–can be helpful.
    Astrology strikes me as useless outside the context of RPGs, where it can be an interesting tool for blind or quick character generation. (q.v. Unknown Armies). Tarot’s good for that, too: if we’re in a pick-up game and I have no idea how my elven ranger acts, I can grab a card and go from there.

  • Tonio

    Learning more information about either isn’t going to help: at this point, the decision has come down to emotions rather than facts.
    I question where the emotions would be trustworthy, at least in the hypothetical situation. They would seem like biases, tainting the results of the decision-making. If I let my emotions have a large voice in my eating decisions, I might eat french fries and Phish Food every night.

  • Jeff

    I think Tarot might be more useful. There’s nothing scientific about it, but whether you subscribe to ‘influences from beyond’ or not, Tarot can be a fascinating tool for gaining a new perspective on a situation.
    Used as a descriptive tool rather than a prescriptive one, Tarot has the advantage of a limited subset of characters, a link to archetypes and the use of a LOT of “flavors”. Casting a spread from a particular deck can be a good aid in accessing your unconscious dreams and fears and working with them.
    As anything else, it’s all hooey.
    (or, once again, what MikhailBorg said)
    ————————-
    <i.I didn't know that stories were part of Tarot. I had assumed that the person simply drew a card and the drawn card was supposed to be the person's future, like a Magic 8-Ball.
    There are several ways to “cast the Tarot”, but IIRC the shortest uses four cards, and some use quite a few more. The most popular uses about 10 or so. If the reader has multiple decks (most have at least 3), the deck used will shade the story (some quite significantly).
    ————————-
    Despite plenty of cheap horror flicks, today’s readers rarely consider the Death card an omen of, well, death. Instead, it’s a suggestion that the subject prepare for drastic upcoming changes in their life, possibly extremely unpleasant ones.
    I find The Tower a lot more unplasant than Death. Death signifies change, but The Tower signifies massive upheaval.
    ————————
    I suppose it’s not worth asking why the person wouldn’t just read Consumer Reports.
    You missed the point. The subject might be wondering whether to buy a new car or not, and whether to buy a sports car or a minivan. Consumer’s reports will help him pick the model, but it won’t help with the overall decision. The question the subject brings to the reading is not usually trivial — the reader will just suggest a magazine if it is.

  • Jeff

    And then part of them thinks they really should go with the minivan, and part of them really wants the red Camaro.
    And now I see that I channelled Izzy. Cool!

  • Not Really Here

    Tonio-
    Go for it. Phish Food rocks.
    Great, now I need to find out if there’s a store here in Lynn that carries Ben and Jerry’s.

  • ako

    I’ve messed around with Tarot in the past. Those and the rune sets popular in certain kinds of shop when I was younger. When I was in high school I discovered other people could become frighteningly convinced by my fortune-telling powers, even when I repeatedly reminded them that I didn’t know anything, wasn’t terribly convinced it was true, and wouldn’t have the knowledge to do a really in-depth reading even if there was some kind of mystic fortune-telling power in the cards. People got way too convinced, and somewhat freaked out. I think there was a degree of of subconscious cold-reading involved, and that didn’t help.
    I don’t read cards for other people anymore. I don’t like the chances I might convince them of the wrong thing.
    For myself, card-reading are more helpful when it comes to creative problems, like if I’m stuck with a story. If it’s a problem where facts and rational analysis have little relevance, and getting my thoughts flowing in unexpected directions is a big help, I have better luck with cards.
    Plus, good sets are pretty.

  • Jeff

    Plus, good sets are pretty.
    There are some sets inn which most cards are major works of art. (Some pretty much stink, but 90% blah blah blah) It’s rare to find a set that has a full set of stunning cards (with 48 Minor cards and 22 Major cards it’s easy to see why), but some get nearly every card right.

  • People got way too convinced, and somewhat freaked out.
    Heh. I’ve been there. I deny everything, I show them and explain exactly what I’m doing at every step, and I still get that creeped-out-stare sometimes after a good reading.
    I think it’s because people have a lot more shared archetypal experiences than they think. Combine that with some personal info (even openly gained), and a smidge of storytelling talent, and a reading can be pretty compelling!

  • Hawker Hurricane

    I played poker with a Tarot deck last night. I got a full house, and three people died. – Steven Wright
    Somebody had to say it.

  • Jeff

    I played poker with a Tarot deck last night. I got a full house, and three people died.
    Tim Powers (one of my favorite authors) has a book (Last Call) that deals with a Tarot Poker game. It’s like the “joke” (in as much as Steven Wright tells “jokes”) you site above, but with a sinister twist.

  • Izzy

    Jeff: Glad you think so. I try for a relatively benign sort of posession. :)
    Tonio: Given that you know the facts, why would you not want your emotions involved?
    I mean, I’m the least touchy-feely person ever, I hate emo and I hate consciousness-raising groups and I loathe the concept of the “inner child” with the fire of a thousand fucking suns. Even I admit that there are situations where you want to decide based on your emotions, because…and I can’t think of another way to put this…*your emotions are what the decision’s about.*
    Camaro v. minivan? That’s not about which one of them has the (and now I take descriptions directly from the lyrics of Greased Lightning, because I do not know from cars) four-valve shifters and three-injection quads. You know that. You can find that out. This isn’t about which one of them is safer, which is obvious, or cooler, which is also obvious…it’s about whether “safe” or “cool” will make you happier.
    And there’s no real way to tell without getting your emotions into it, because your emotions are entirely what you’re basing the decision on: will security make you happier than freedom? Will splashy sexiness feel better than solid practicality? They’re both valid decisions, and they’re *entirely* down to emotions.

  • Tonio

    Given that you know the facts, why would you not want your emotions involved?
    I suppose I’m concerned that my emotions will overwhelm my powers of analysis and reason. That’s because most of my emotions don’t seem to be standalone phenomena, but seem to be driven by unresolved issues. In the car example, I might believe that coolness or splashy sexiness would make me happier. But the belief would be driven by an underlying assumption that others’ disapproval equals danger, with the expectation that impressing others might earn their approval of me.

  • Jeff

    This isn’t about which one of them is safer, which is obvious, or cooler, which is also obvious…it’s about whether “safe” or “cool” will make you happier.
    it’s also about whether your Mid-Life Crises is more important than Your Wife & Kids. Which is also largely emotional, but still.