Thoughts on advice

I put myself in the chair of the host and hearing someone ask me what they should do about their huge debt.  I hope I would have the strength to hide my thankfulness of not being in their position, and instead look at their core condition.   Debt is a fact of their existence.   The worst advice is to say they need to get that debt to zero.

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Missing data: taking looks seriously

Looks do matter a lot in social and professional success.   What really matters is that our looks match our personalities and aptitudes.   Many of us do not live up to our appearances.   We can try to compensate with changing things we can control, but we can not escape the messages sent by our height, our skeleton, and especially our facial features.   The alternative is to work on our personality, changing it to match what people expect from our features.   Many of us do that, but we never convince ourselves so it is always an act, and that act will eventually be exposed for what it is, leaving us where we started, alone.    

Testing the young-man’s hypothesis of self

My discussion here is why I criticize my 17 year old self for not being more confident about my self-assessment.   I don’t criticize my 13 year self who pretty much understood the same thing.   It is reasonable to the 13 year old to treat the assessment as a hypothesis to be tested.   The various tests attempted were all appropriate, if not not sufficient. 

Assigning names to personality traits

One of the advantages of machine intelligence over human intelligence is that machines are not driven toward poetry.   To me, poetry captures the scientific appreciation for the simplest explanations with the fewest number of terms.   Humans are innately poets by nature, and even the objectivity of science can not escape the human delight in well-crafted poetry, or human disdain for inelegance in descriptions. 

Archaic personality assessment in age of data

Consider the case of a big-data store the was able to store all of the individual answers keyed with sequence numbers, time stamps, and specific individual identification.  I don’t think anyone would voluntarily discard that data in exchange with anonymized data consisting of just a few categories.   The value of data reduction into categories is for people who don’t have access to big data.   Those people are the consumers who wish to have an external assessment of what kind of person they are, allowing them a shortcut to introducing themselves, similar to the 1960’s approaching of introducing oneself as a zodiacal sign.