Week 11 - 2018

Robin Hanson

Our usual institutions let us pretend to be trying to get the thing we pretend to want, while actually under the surface giving us the things we actually want. Policy analysts typically analyze policy reforms that would give us more of the things we pretend to want and we are usually uninterested in that because we know we don't actually want more of the things we pretend to want. ... What we want to do is pay for the appearance of the thing we are pretending to want and we are often paying a lot for that appearance.

Week 43 - 2017

20 Minutes on UnderstandMyself.com


My scores:

(Exceptionally Low - EL, Low - L, Moderately Low - ML, Average - A, Moderately High - MH, High - H, Exceptionally High - EH)

  • Agreeableness - EL
    • Compassion - L, Politeness - EL
  • Conscientiousness - EH
    • Industriousness - EH, Orderliness - H
  • Extraversion - MH
    • Enthusiasm - A, Assertiveness - H
  • Neuroticism - ML
    • Withdrawal - A, Volatility - L
  • Openness to Experience - MH
    • Intellect - MH, Openness - MH

I think for the questions on conscientiousness I was a bit too easy on myself (I scored in the 96th percentile) and on questions on agreeableness, specifically compassion, I was way too hard on myself (I scored 10th percentile). For example one of the questions was "I take advantage of people." A month ago a guy I had just met (and would likely never meet again) bought me a beer at a bar. After accepting I had ample opportunity later in the night to find him and repay him but never did so. Thus I answered "Agree" to the question (on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree). I thought I would score average or moderately high on compassion and politeness so I was fine not giving myself the benefit of the doubt for this question. However it appears I might have done that too many times.

At the start of the test you are advised to make decisions based on your day to day actions. Even following this rule, I feel my conscientiousness results are skewed. Since I quit my job a month ago, I've been riding a massive wave of positive energy and excitement which has made me far more productive and diligent this last month than I have been all year. Thus I believe my positive post-employment mood, which will eventually revert back to normal, might have skewed my conscientiousness scores to be higher than what is my normal.

The other main surprise is extroversion. I definitely feel like an introvert. Being around people drains my batteries and I need alone time to recharge. For example I generally can't stand vacations longer than a week partly because I feel frustrated at my lack of growth or learning (high conscientiousness), but mainly because I get so incredibly worn out constantly being around people and having no space/time to myself. However, I'm definitely assertive and reading the description for average enthusiasm sounds like me. People generally say that I'm extremely enthusiastic on a narrow range of topics, then pretty uninterested in almost everything else. So average enthusiasm and and high assertiveness seem right, but that combination automatically producing high extroversion doesn't.

If you take the test, be sure to let me know your results!

Week 33 - 2017

"Do not disturb thyself by thinking of the whole of thy life. Let not thy thoughts at once embrace all the various troubles which thou mayest expect to befall thee: but on every occasion ask thyself, What is there in this which is intolerable and past bearing? For thou wilt be ashamed to confess. 

In the next place remember that neither the future nor the past pains thee, but only the present. 

But this is reduced to a very little, if thou only circumscribest it, and chidest thy mind, if it is unable to hold out against even this."

-Marcus Aurelius


"So you're taking a few blows that's the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines."

-Steven Pressfield 

Week 6 - 2017

Cost Disease.

"I mentioned politics briefly above, but they probably deserve more space here. Libertarian-minded people keep talking about how there’s too much red tape and the economy is being throttled. And less libertarian-minded people keep interpreting it as not caring about the poor, or not understanding that government has an important role in a civilized society, or as a “dog whistle” for racism, or whatever. I don’t know why more people don’t just come out and say “LOOK, REALLY OUR MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS COST TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO FOR NO REASON, PLUS THEY SEEM TO BE GOING DOWN IN QUALITY, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY, AND WE’RE MOSTLY JUST DESPERATELY FLAILING AROUND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS HERE.” State that clearly, and a lot of political debates take on a different light."


I can tolerate anything except the out-group.