January 14, 2009

A friend pointed this site out to me this morning and I thought it was cool. I enjoy seeing the data visualizations that are becoming more prominent on popular sites. If you type in a name below and submit it will take you to an interactive version of the visualization.

Popularity of names starting with SH


Posted by Bugimus @ 10:48 AM PST [Link it]

I was talking with some friends the other day about a situation we are all associated with. During the conversation we were pointing out how advantageous it was for all of us and that it was rare. So I emphasized it by saying that it was decidedly "not normal".

Now for me that was high praise because most of my life people have described me that way and I've always felt complimented by it. To me not being normal has always meant I'm special, perhaps better in some ways, more valued like in the world of collectibles, etc. But a friend in the group quickly rephrased my characterization with "not typical" and I was taken back for a moment. I was fine with it of course but it really got me to thinking about why anyone would want to rephrase the praise I had uttered.

It's clear to me now what was going on in this exchange. Now that I'm more familiar with David Keirsey's book "Please Understand Me" which studies different personality profiles I see that for a good deal of people being part of the group and belonging is a huge deal. For them to not be part of the group is insulting and very hurtful. But my personality type is one of the few that cherishes being different even to the degree that I'm considered a true iconoclast. So it makes quite a bit of sense in this light.

I've lived long enough now to also know that group cohesion is a very good thing and there's no need to impose my minority views. So I quickly accepted the term "atypical" to describe our mutually beneficial circumstances and moved on.

This is just one more example of how learning about personality types has aided my understanding of the world.

Posted by Bugimus @ 07:48 AM PST [Link it]

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