The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Nov 21, 2008

Blog Psychobabble

Via Language Log, news of a brand new method to waste time: psychoanalyse your blog via Typalyzer. In the words of Language Log, here is how the website works:
The Typalyzer seems to use a standard machine classification technique. Presumably the creators have created a little database consisting of example websites with classifications that they think are appropriate, then trained the classifier with these examples. Now the classifier gives instant classifications of sites it's never seen before based, broadly, on how similar the new sites are to the old ones. It's likely that the classifier is primarily using what's called a "bag of words" technique. That is, similarity of one site to another is based on the relative frequencies of words used on the sites. Then based on the classification, the machine chooses which misleading picture to take from a vast database of misleading pictures. All well and good. If you've any faith at all in the psychological categories they use, then this is neat way to do cheap psychology.
As I'm rather at loose end this cold, cold morning, what better way to warm up than to test a few blogs for their psycho-profile?

Singaporean in London: Doer! Especially attuned to people and things. Talks, jokes and engages in physical outdoor activities. Happiest with action-filled work. Impulsive. Has problem sitting still.

Spaniard in the Works: Performer! Entertaining and friendly type. Attuned to pleasure and beauty, and fills surroundings with soft fabrics and sweet smells. Lives in the now, doesn't plan ahead, and risks exhaustion. Enjoys work that helps others in concrete and visible ways. Rarely initiates confrontation, a quality that makes a management position rather difficult.

Language Log: Scientist! Long-range thinker and individualist. Good at improving almost anything with creativity and imagination. Intellectually curious and pshysically (psychically? physically?) hesitant to try new things. Has no trouble working alone and, owing to abstract thinking, finds it hard to communicate his vision effectively to others.

Yossarian Lives: Artist! Gentle and compassionate type. Attuned to inner values and what other people need. Tends to follow the path of least resistance. Works quietly. Values friends and family above work.

Polandian: Visionary! Charming and trend savvy type. Especially attuned to big picture. Has sophisticated language skills, and is witty and social. Pragmatic decision maker. Gets easily bored when the creative exciting start-up phase of a project is over.

La Vie Quotidienne: Mechanic! Independent and problem-solving type. Attuned to demands of the moment. Prefers to think things out personally and avoid interpersonal conflicts. Works with other mechanics. Enjoys risk: drives racing cars and works as a policeman.

Jabberwock: Thinker! Logical-and-analytical type. Attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges. Figures out subtle connections between things and imagines far-reaching implications. Works with complex things using imaginative models of reality. Not good at understanding the needs of others, so comes across as arrogant and impatient to people slow to understand what is being explained.

So there you go.


Shefaly said...

Oye, Feanor!

When I ran the test, I got "INTP - The Thinkers. The logical and analytical type"...

Considering I do not have a licence to drive, if I drove racing cars, I am more likely to steer clear of policemen, aren't I?

Shefaly said...

And my work related blog comes to INTJ - The Scientist.

The long-range thinking and individualistic type. They are especially good at looking at almost anything and figuring out a way of improving it - often with a highly creative and imaginative touch. They are intellectually curious and daring, but might be physically hesitant to try new things.

The Scientists enjoy theoretical work that allows them to use their strong minds and bold creativity. Since they tend to be so abstract and theoretical in their communication they often have a problem communicating their visions to other people and need to learn patience and use concrete examples. Since they are extremely good at concentrating they often have no trouble working alone.

Wha-e-va, as my friend's 10 year old is learning to speak alongside a dereliction of her home counties accent...

Fëanor said...

Shefaly: I suspect that last post of yours on snowclones tipped you over the fence from policeman-racer to impatient-thinker. Heh.

??! said...

Yossarian Lives - Gentle and compassionate type
Bill is cracking up somewhere.

C K said...

Hey, this is way cool! I am fidgeting as I type out this comment. :)

Now, that pose a problem when I'm commenting on a certain 'logical and analytical type'. Cheers!

Space Bar said...

huh. mine's giving me an error so good job you had me figured as an entertainer. huh.and just how dissipated is an entertainer supposed to look? why did they omit the speech bubble saying 'hic!'?

Space Bar said...

(ok. basically that means that somewhere in the middle of typing that comment it worked. unless my type's also the oracular type?)

Shefaly said...


Your title somehow brought this song to my head and I had it ringing all day. I blame you.. :-P

Tell you 'bout a dream that i have every night
It ain't kodachrome and it isn't black and white
Take me for a fool if you feel that's right
Well i'm never on my own but there's nobody in sight

I'm too scared to run and i'm too weak to fight
But i don't care it's all psychobabble rap to me

Bill said...

??!: I have been gently and compassionately instructed to say that no, no, I am not cracking up, not at all. I completely agree with the test conclusions.

Feanor: Btw, did you notice the other language you can test this on? As the old Swedish proverb goes: Bamse Zindabad!

Fëanor said...

CK: As Yoda said: Do or do not. You do. And I do not. Oooh, there's poetry.

SB: Most oracular. Some entertainers are prescient, you know, even without hiccups. Heh.

Bill: Very politic of you!
Yes, I noted the Bamse connection. Still waiting for Veena to start translating that intrepid bear's adventures.

Shefaly: Stop singing that. Stop it, I say. STOP!

Island1 said...

Only just saw this incoming link.

Interesting idea, though I wonder how it copes with a collaborative blog like ours. Are we all visionaries or is somebody dragging us down?! There may be a purge.

Fëanor said...

Island1: Looking forward to gory details of purge on your blog. Ah, Communist times. Sheer bliss :-)

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