Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The element of safety

As I watch and listen to the new real-life tragedy at Virginia Tech unfold, I have just finished writing a personality-profile blurb on Kathy Sierra, the subject of the not-as-seemingly-tragic-as-now event from last week.

I teach a (psychology) graduate course at Harvard, and I have posted before about the esoteric skills involved in and related to compiling a personality-profile based on linguistics. I have now finished carefully reading parts of Kathy Sierra's blog, and I have concluded a personality-profile blurb based on her written language. Here is an excerpt from her blog, along with the personality-profile blurb:

"But whose fear? The metaphor Liz used (she got from someone else) was that many of the 'leaf nodes' (what Microsoft and Sun and others refer to as 'individual contributors') tend to be innovative and brave, but many of the 'branches' (i.e. layers of management) can't stomach the risks. In their (admirable) desire to be strong and stable, the 'branches' put safety above all else." -- Kathy Sierra (from 'Death by risk-aversion' post)

She is a person who sometimes likes to only pretend she knows what's going on around her. Also, she will often use this naivete persona to actively try to move forward with a plan she already has formulated in her head. In addition, she is a person who usually must always bring others into her sphere of life so as not to do things alone or on her own. But on the other hand, she almost always chooses to do the things she desires with people she doesn't know very well. And as a result, this always adds to the insecurity and hesitation she often feels when following through with her own ambitions.

You can take this personality-profile blurb into consideration whenever you read further developements regarding her situation.

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carrie said...

wow. i wish i knew more about how you do that.

infinitesimal said...


I likes ya.

I really do.

but I find this... business of yours--- well dammit, it disturbs me!

And i find myself wanting to quantify that with something else, to help to explain my feelings of being unnerved, but I cannot readily wrap my brain around what bugs me out so much. I will try:

I am talking specifically about the writing of personality profiles based on linguistics. I am fascinated how you come up with it but it also seriously creeps me out. I mean, I don't want to offend your life's work (see statement a) but it makes me uneasy and introverts me to see you doing that without permission... It makes me want to self-censor what I DO manage to write in case you are feverishly cutting and pasting in attempt to build a profile to show to your fancy-pants grad-students.

"So DON'T do it to me!!!"
I want to scream at you
but I can't stop you.

It just seems like an invasion of privacy, and then you say: 'Oh keep that in mind when you read her (Kathy's) next blog...'
I mean we all know that were you to delve into MY psyche you would conclude the obvious:

SUPER Genius
touch of royalty
sprinkling of perfection
smattering (but not much) of humility haha

But let's not go there OK?
Do not ever do this to me, or my pink blog, or any other thing I write or say.



canopenner said...

Flics gift doesnt freak me out.

Niether do countless unnamed gunmen.

Dont live in fear. Its not worth it.

What do we really have to lose anyway? I am so much cosmic dust flickering into(and back out of) sentience in a galactic eye-blink.

Flics observations or the guy hurling bullets at an educational center wont significantly effect anything, nor will the actions of our entire race. (as much as the scientific community and the human race would like to believe in our omnipotence, it simply does not exist)

All we have is a bunch of made up BS told to others and validated within them and ouselves in a 10,000 year old game of telephone.

There have been no significant answers found. In the end wont we all wish we had done things differently anyway? If life was one big day then no one will be going to sleep content.

Just afraid, unsatisfied and alone.

I dont see how it could be any other way. This in itself is indicative of our helplessness and insignificance.

Enjoy life while you can. Its gonna be over soon no matter what you do.

I have to go bake my wife a birthday cake now. (Please forgive me my spelling and grammatical errors)

jesse crockett said...

That sounds more like my own profile. It does not reflect an IT professional, at all.

flic said...

carrie- You may be able to read it in a new book soon. :)

infinitesimal- Canopenner is right.

Plus, if you don't want me to ever do anything like that to you, then I never would.

And don't forget, someone like Kathy Sierra is high-profile (in her field) and is a very public figure. I don't need her permission to make an obsevation about her based on what I see.

And remember, the subject of "the writing of personality profiles based on linguistics" is nothing more than thinking something about somebody based on what and how they say something. If there would ever be a law prohibiting that, then that would be akin to trying to stop people from thinking about language and linguistics.

Really, no need to worry.

canopenner- You're absolutely right, about everything you said!

jesse crockett- As you say, IT professionals are people too, you know.

Jesse Crockett said...

In 1997 a woman accused me of stalking her, and the police took it seriously, (tho they took themselves most seriously) but I was a long ways from being as isolated as Cho. I had two female roommates who were also friends from an earlier living arrangement. And the woman who reported me was acting quite stupidly herself. So was everyone. I hope nobody has to visit with such a dipshit psychiatrist that I got the first time.

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