Quantifying Ourselves

September 23, 2007 – 21:21

Some friends on a forum I frequent have spotted a web application called The Political Compass the premise is you answer 6 pages of questions that gauge your political views. The result is two numbers which can be plotted as X and Y axis onto a graph that represent your political views.

My result was Economic Left/Right: -3.25 and Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.15.

Political Compass for Richard Slater

This is a result I don’t disagree with, however I don’t think it is as clean cut as this. Peoples views change over time, moral choices are affected by different influences to economic or financial issues, those influences can change regularly. When it comes down to it a decision needs to be made at the moment it is required to make, if I am presented with an problem be it moral, social, financial, technical, etc. I make a decision based upon experiences, morality, knowledge and in my case and more importantly for me prayer.

Academics and interested parties come up with these scales and measures to enable them to categorize people, this has been seen everywhere from Business (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) to online gaming (Bartle Test). For their purpose they serve their purpose and serve it very well.

They are however a hash function of an aspect of our personality at a specific point in time. I may be a INTJ in Myers-Briggs parlance or ESAK in Bartle Test parlance but that does not mean that all people who get INTJ in Myers-Briggs and ESAK in the Bartle Test are the same as me.

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