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Like a horoscope. Period.

Published January 10, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Because I’m easily influenced by others, something just happened that totally distracted me from writing tomorrow’s “Missing Letter Monday” post.  (I still remember what I want to write it about, though, so that’s good.)

The chain of influences:

  1. C.G.Coppola recommended author/blogger Jenny Lawson, so I checked out her blog, saw I liked it, followed it, and made a mental note to pick up one of her books.
  2. When I came back online as my dinner was cooking (planning on writing that post), I saw that a new blog post in my reader from Lawson (“The Bloggess”), and checked it out.  It was about a personality profile test
  3. So I decided to take the test and see what I got.  I got so caught up in doing so that I missed it when the toaster oven dinged, and my dinner got cold half-way through cooking.

Anyway, I — unlike most everyone else I saw commenting about this test — was less than impressed with it.  I found reading the results to be identical to reading a horoscope:  some stuff is accurate, but some of it is crazy wrong.  (And I didn’t mis-answer the questions to louse up the test.  I answered them as well as I was able…though many of them didn’t really apply, or couldn’t be answered in such a simple manner.  And I’m still annoyed by the question about “The room is full” because it didn’t say what the room was full of.  I’d behave very differently in a room full of kittens than I would in a room full of boxes.  And if the room was full of candy or cupcakes, I’d probably turn and run away for fear of eating it all.)

Now, being the type of person that I am (a bizarre one), I actually printed (to .pdf) 6 of the 7 screens of results analysis.  (The one I didn’t was about parenting, because seriously, why bother?  I’ll never be a parent.)  I naturally only printed out the first three pages, stopping the print before it got to users commenting on the analysis, because that would be rude.

The reason I did this, of course, is so I can tear apart their analysis here.

Because that’s how I roll.

So, here goes!

INFP PERSONALITY (“THE MEDIATOR”)

Whoa, copy-paste even grabbed the font size and stuff.  Wasn’t expecting that.  Uh, anyway, this was my result.  Right away, we have a problem:  when the heck have I ever mediated anything?  When I see people arguing, I tend to run in the opposite direction.

INFP personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events,

I am a cynical misanthropist.  I may once have had some idealism, but reality long since crushed it.  And I don’t think I’ve ever looked for “the hint of good” in anyone even slightly bad.  Unless they’re a fictional character or a king who’s been dead 800 years.

Comprising just 4% of the population

Is that really true?  More like, how the heck would you calculate that?  No matter your random sample size, it would necessarily be skewed.  Not to mention the population of what, exactly?  A country?  If so, which one?  The world?  Please.  These personality types are as much shaped by nurture as by nature (just like everything else) so a type that’s rare in one location will be common — or at least less rare — in another.  It is also noteworthy that the poll on Lawson’s blog indicated a whopping 21.65% of respondents had gotten this result.  While the people answering a poll on a blog are hardly a meaningful indicator since “birds of a feather flock together,” it still makes the claim of 4% seem highly unlikely.  (Somehow, I doubt any of the 16 personality types profiled on that site are claimed to make up more than 5% of “the population”…)

When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – INFPs are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments.

“The purity of their intent”…?  I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean.  And, honestly, I am motivated by rewards.  Specifically, I want to do things I’ll enjoy.  What could be more rewarding than that?  (As Tony Stark said, “you can count on me to pleasure myself.”)

At their best, these qualities enable INFPs to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. The strength of this intuitive communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous INFPs are poets, writers and actors.

Dude, I’m lucky if I can communicate at all, let alone “deeply.”  As to lending one to creative works…well, that’s one of those rare “yeah, I guess so,” points.  But — lest we ignore the title of the post — both my star sign and my Chinese horoscope both include creativity in their description of my type.  And there’s no way everyone born in the same year as me is creative.

INFPs’ ability with language doesn’t stop with their native tongue, either – as with most people who share the Diplomat personality types, they are considered gifted when it comes to learning a second (or third!) language.

Yup, they know nothing about me.  I’m notoriously bad at foreign languages.  Okay, maybe not “notoriously.”  (How many people are notorious for that?)  Anyway, my point is, I suck at other languages even more than I suck at English.  (And as anyone who’s had the misfortune to read much of my drivel can tell you, I really suck at English.)  In fact, I kind of view the foreign language competence test as the biggest obstacle to getting my MA.

Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause – spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for INFPs’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.

(I’m not so sure that any of my cousins are extroverts.  I think they’re all more or less introverts…)  While I did tend to focus my attention on a very few people back in the days when I actually went out and interacted with people, where are they getting this “rosy outlook” garbage from?  I’ve never had one of those, or anything like one.  Being the unpopular fat girl at a private school full of pretty, skinny, rich kids prevents rosy outlooks from ever budding.

INFPs can lose themselves in their quest for good

Their what now?  Are you sure this is the right profile result?  ‘Cause I only “quest for good” when I’m playing an RPG.  The rest of them time I quest for keeping my head down and avoiding, you know, other people.

Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into “hermit mode”, and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.

All right, I admit it.  This part is right on the money.  Only I don’t have any friends or partners, so I had to force myself back into the real world (to the small extent that I’m part of the real world) which I suppose means this isn’t so “on the money” after all.

Luckily, like the flowers in spring, INFP’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back,

Yeah, I don’t know who you’re describing, but it ain’t me.  I have very little altruism, and zero idealism.

Famous INFPs

William Shakespeare
J.R.R. Tolkien
Björk
Johnny Depp
Julia Roberts
Lisa Kudrow
Tom Hiddleston

Okay, let’s take these in order:

William Shakespeare
J.R.R. Tolkien

So, full awesome points for two of my favorite authors being listed.  But, uh, how did you give a personality test to Shakespeare?  He’s kind of, you know, long dead.  And I really don’t think we know enough about him to accurately assess how he would have responded to all those questions.  Let’s be honest:  they put him on this list because he’s a poet, and they said this type are often poets.  Most likely, the same applies to Tolkien as well.

Björk

Who?

Johnny Depp
Tom Hiddleston

While I don’t consider this test to have been worthwhile, if there was an INFP convention and these two were going to be there, I would so go.  *drool*

Fictional INFPs

Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings
Anne of Green Gables
Fox Mulder from X-Files
Amélie Poulain from Amélie
Arwen from The Lord of the Rings
Sybil Branson from Downton Abbey
Lance Sweets from Bones

A number of these I don’t actually know:  I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables, never watched The X-Files, and haven’t watched Downton Abbey, either, though it’s on my “gee, I should probably watch this someday” list.  Oh, and I’ve never seen Bones, either, because I have zero interest in crime shows.  (And from what my brother’s told me, I’m glad that I didn’t, because it sounds like it went downhill all too rapidly.  And I suspect my anthropological training would have been offended.)  As to the others…

Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings

Enh, whatever.  I was always more of a Samwise fan.  (And I got to see Sean Astin in person at a convention a while back!  That was awesome.  Not as awesome as seeing Matt Smith — at the same convention — but still awesome.)

Amélie Poulain from Amélie

I’ve only seen that movie the once, because even French romantic comedies are still romantic comedies, and thus hold no real appeal to me.  But from what I recall, I have zilch in common with the title character, personality-wise.  In fact, the only thing I have in common with her at all is that we’re both female.

Arwen from The Lord of the Rings

Awesome.  (Especially if Aragorn really looked like Viggo Mortensen…. *drool* )

And that was just the first section of the profile.  I totally understand if you jump ship now.

Read the rest of this entry →

Top Ten Tuesdays – Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

Published September 22, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Oh, this won’t be pretty.  Even leaving out assigned reading for class, it’s not a pretty sight…

Anyway, so this is part of  The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesdays event.  The last time I did this, it was for the Summer TBR list.  Well, I actually made a decent dent in the list, it turned out.  Got through books 1-5 (though I’ve yet to write up my reaction to #5) and I’m most of the way through #8.  Over the summer, I also read To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, plus all too many volumes of manga, so…uh…yeah.  Anyway, the following list is needless to say not so much stuff I necessarily want to read as stuff I’m going to be reading as research for the final papers in my classes.  (Yeah, I’m already researching papers not due until December.  Such is life.)  Some of them should be pretty good reading, despite being research.  I’ll try and focus on those….

The list’s order is pretty random; they’re all of equal importance but all equally my own choices for my papers.

  1. The Female Review:  Life of Deborah Sampson by Herman Mann.  First written in 1797, this is a biography of a woman who dressed up as a man in order to fight in the Revolutionary War.  And lived to tell the tale:  Mann interviewed her in order to write her life’s story.
  2. My Dearest Friend:  Letters of Abigail and John Adams
  3. Letters of a Loyalist Lady by Ann Hulton.  A nice counter-point, I’m hoping, to the more typically repeated pro-Independence point of view that will be expressed in the previous two books.  Also, one of the few primary sources I have for women during the revolutions in the Spanish colonies is a letter from the royalist sister of Simon Bolivar, so there should be a nice parallel there, too.
  4. Virgil’s Empire:  Political Thought in the Aeneid by Eve Adler.  (Assuming that whoever has it eventually returns it to the library, that is.  It’s several days past due at this point.)
  5. Playing Gods:  Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction by Andrew Feldherr.  Technically, I’m supposed to be focusing on Virgil, but I want to use contrasting examples of other contemporary poets who treated the Trojan War material differently.  Though in Ovid’s case, it was post-Aeneid, so it’s a bit different than someone like, say, Catullus, writing a generation earlier.  (But I don’t plan on looking at Catullus too closely…)
  6. The Politics of Latin Literature:  Writing, Identity and Empire in Ancient Rome by Thomas N. Habinek.
  7. Reading after Actium:  Vergil’s Georgics, Octavian, and Rome by Christopher Nappa.
  8. Poetry & Politics in the Age of Augustus, edited by Tony Woodman.
  9. Latin American Independence:  An Anthology of Sources, edited and translated by Sarah C. Chambers and John Charles Chasteen.  You have no idea how tough it is to get good primary sources for this stuff in English translation.  Source books like this for the American Revolution exist aplenty (and I’ll be reading bits and pieces of a number of them, let me tell ya!) but English versions of ones for the revolutions in South America and Mexico?  Nope.  Just about zilch, apart from this and a few collections of the writings of Simon Bolivar.  And Bolivar is not likely to be a good source for my topic on how life was for women during the revolutions.  This is, of course, why one normally speaks the language of whatever one studies as a graduate student.  But I’m not planning on making a career in studying Latin America.  I’m focused largely on ancient Greece.  (Admittedly, my ancient Greek is twenty years rusty and was never good anyway, but…I should be able to pick it up again.  I hope.  German will be easier to regain.  And there’s a lot of German scholarship on ancient Greece.  Latin will also be easier to relearn — one of the easiest languages ever, in my opinion — but will not be as useful.)
  10. Sally Wister’s Journal:  A True Narrative.  This one will be hard to read, because it’s in-library-use-only, being over a hundred years old.  But it’s the journal of a “Quaker maiden” and her interactions with the officers of the Continental Army during the early years of the Revolution, so it’s likely to be very informative.  I’ll just have to figure out a time to sit in the library for hours on end reading it.  (Well, obviously, I’ll want to bring along my iPad to photograph any passages that seem important, which will help, but still…it’ll be an unusual experience for me.  But a good learning experience, too.  This is the sort of thing a professional historian is expected to deal with.)

Well, that jumped all over the place, didn’t it?  I should’ve tried to organize it by class, instead of going back and forth from one to the other and back again.  Oh well.  At least this time I’ll actually get to all the books on the list!

After I write that bloody paper for Thursday.

Ugh.

I don’t wanna write it.  It’s awful.  I hate the topic.  And I didn’t understand word one of the reading.  (Hey, I never signed on to study economic history!)

But I’m already halfway done, so I just have to knuckle down and finish it, right?

Sigh….

Procrastination

Published October 4, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m supposed to be writing a paper right now.

It’s not due until Thursday, of course.

So I don’t need to write it right now.  But the sooner I write it, the better it’ll be.  Because the book will be fresher in my mind (’twas short and entertaining, so I read it in one day) and I’ll have more time to edit it and fix it up.

But I spent all afternoon over at my brother’s place playing Hyrule Warriors.  (Good thing I don’t have a Wii-U of my own, or that could really murder me, ’cause I’m a completionist type…)

And then after getting home, I’ve spent all too long on-line, dropping my minimum price on LeanPub (’cause if no one ever downloads the dang thing, how am I ever going to get the feedback I wanted?) and checking my self-advertisement on deviantArt, and…

I could have written most of a draft in the time I’ve been wasting.

Oh, and although I was supposed to be spending the morning working on it, I split that time between going through all the pages I marked to transfer the notes into the computer, and making new plotting notes for a novel I just came up with.  (Like that one would have any better chance of selling.  Sigh…)

So here it is, nearly nine o’clock at night, and I haven’t even started my paper yet.

It frustrates me that at my age I still act like a child.

(And don’t get me started on my toy collecting hobby!)

I really should turn off the Internet and get to work.

But maybe I can spare a minute for a little break first…

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