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Are you a “type” or a unique individual?


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:09 PM

A frequent accusation leveled at me on these forums when I have a go at scientists and academics, is that I am tarring them all with the same brush or making “sweeping generalizations” about them.  I am told that they are not “types” at all, but are unique individuals who cannot be, as it were, “type-cast”.  So, for example, when I rant about the idiocy of one particular psychologist and then generalize the idiocy to all psychologists, to all academics, in fact, I am criticized, as I said, for tarring all psychologists/academics with the same brush which, I am told, is nonsense.  Oh yeah?  Consider the following, then…..

Consider the internet.  Consider the practices of the likes of google and other “data harvesters” when they gather information about you as you browse the internet. This information is used to draw up a profile of you such as your gender, age, likely occupation, social class, personality type and so on and so forth.  Your profile is then used, amongst other things, to more accurately target advertising.  (Post code profiling is also used in this way and for this purpose.)

Of course, the analysers, the software that sifts the data and compiles your profile, can only work if people ARE all “types”.  This software, we are told, is “powerful”, but that’s a lie.  It’s actually extremely crude.  And the very reason it’s crude is because it’s working with ”crude” people.  That is, people who are so simple and predictable and unsophisticated that they easily fall into groups.  You fall so easily into groups because you are NOT individuals (and see, I’m now extending my generalization from all academics to ALL people i.e. you! --- you’re ALL “types”, not an individual amongst you!!!!): you all think the same, say the same things, and behave in the same way.  That’s because you all think what those in power tell you to think, say what you are told to say, hold the opinions you are told to hold, wear the clothes you are told to wear, live in the little boxes, in little pink ones and yellow ones that are all made of tickey-tackey and that all look just the same, that you are told to live in, and so on and so forth.

So, when those numpties, the computer scientists who write this analyzing software think they are making a really “powerful” tool --- and the software is considered “powerful” and google and the likes are totally in love with themselves for using it to get such “powerful” results, and oooooh, the POWER --- the tool they are using is actually a wimp, it is weak and ineffectual, because the job it is doing is SO crude and unsophisticated because the raw material the tool works with, YOU, is also unsophisticated, because you are all so predictable and therefore you DO all easily fall into types.

Which brings me to a suggestion for the organizations (I forget their names, I think Liberty is one) who monitor internet surveillance and campaign against its excesses on our behalf: these organizations want to limit the amount of surveillance and “information harvesting”; to force the likes of google to rein in its data gathering activities.  Not a bat’s chance in hell of that ever happening.  The way to STOP internet surveillance (data gathering) is NOT resorting to the law to prevent google from gathering data about you.  The way to stop internet data gathering is for ALL people to become the unique individuals you would naturally be if you had not all succumbed to brain-washing by the powers that be.  If each of you was an individual, that would scupper google’s activities.  So, instead of trying to limit google’s activities, it would actually delver a death blow if you were all to become individuals because there’s no software that could ever be written that could profile billions of UNIQUE individuals.

Of course, the down side is that it’s no easy job becoming a unique individual…………… So, maybe you need those campaigning organizations to protect your internet privacy after all……….

So, are you a “type” or a unique individual?


#2    Asadora

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:14 PM

I am a type of a unique individual. I will lazily use Google to search for mundane stuff. I'll use Startpage to search for things, I don't want the government to snoop on.
Whenever I am on a international call to my Mother, I'll always say 'Hello to whoever is listening.' and always always, in response my mother and I both will hear on the line: 'click click click.'
Of course I can't prove if there is a direct connection, but it's entertaining all the same.

Kind Regards ;)

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#3    DeWitz

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:41 PM

Panto, I've read your OP but I am unclear as to what you are asking. "Typing" people has been used by the advertising industry for over 100 years to sell products to "unique individuals."
I happen to believe that all people are unique (genetically, ontologically, maybe spiritually) even as all people are the same (as in we are not chimpanzees, dolphins or whales--the basis for the UN Declaration of Human Rights). So, are you saying that we who use certain forms of electronic communication are "typing" ourselves for the exploitation of business and government, and that there is another way to comport oneself to be more genuine ("unique")? Or are you saying something else?

On the one hand you sound suspicious of technological information-gathering, but on the other you suggest there are other ways to become more "unique" rather than a "type."

Can you explain the dilemma, or direction you'd like to see individuals go, a little further? Thanks.

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#4    Lilly

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:45 PM

I'm just one of those boring science types that uses evidence and critical reasoning when forming my opinions. The foundation of my education took place long before computers and the internet. For me information technology is simply another tool (like going to the library).  But one thing I don't do...I don't characterize people who hold differing opinions from my own as being brain washed "types".

"Ignorance is ignorance. It is a state of mind, not an opinion." ~MID~

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#5    kannin

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:55 PM

im one of the most unique individuals you would ever meet

happiness can be found in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light

#6    Paranoid Android

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:07 PM

Advertising programs are more sophisticated than you may give credit for.  For example, I went to watch the NSW-vs-QLD State of Origin game last night (unfortunately NSW lost).  Based solely on this information, whatever program is used to get information on me is going to check this data against all people who watch State of Origin, and by proxy all people who watch Rugby League.  It probably cross-references all people who watch sport as well.  From this, it can gather set of details on me based on what MOST people who watch State of Origin or sport in general are interested in.  But then another website search will show I enjoy classical music, and watch sci-fi religiously.  Suddenly the stereotypical Aussie-male who loves his footy, his barbecue, his Nascar racing, and his women is intruding on this information.  Now the program is saying I'm not you're stereotypical footy watchers, I have other interests.  When the program sees that I log into the Department of Education they realise I'm a White-collar worker and not a blue-collar worker, which ties in to different information that are typically sought by the blue-collar/white-collar worker.  When I search Youtube for World Music or Classical, or any other I care to look for, the program takes it all in and tailors my advertising to what I am interested in.

Of course, I have programs that block all such advertising so the point is irrelevant in my case.  But if such programs did not exist I would have a personally tailored set of ads that appeal to me.  They may not appeal to my next-door neighbour who went to the Footy with me last night, because he has a different browsing history as I.  I find your generalisation of browsing software to be quite shallow and uninformed.  If you compare me to most of my friend's who watch Footy you won't see many who appreciate things like Monty Python.  But when I log on to Youtube, even on the basic screen I'll have a random Monty Python scene to view, along with a random football moment to watch, as well as a song from a favourite band.... you get the idea.  Your views are far too simplistic to warrant proper discussion, as far as I can tell.

That's as how I see it, in any case :)

~ Regards, PA

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#7    pantodragon

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 18 July 2013 - 03:07 PM, said:

Advertising programs are more sophisticated than you may give credit for.  For example, I went to watch the NSW-vs-QLD State of Origin game last night (unfortunately NSW lost).  Based solely on this information, whatever program is used to get information on me is going to check this data against all people who watch State of Origin, and by proxy all people who watch Rugby League.  It probably cross-references all people who watch sport as well.  From this, it can gather set of details on me based on what MOST people who watch State of Origin or sport in general are interested in.  But then another website search will show I enjoy classical music, and watch sci-fi religiously.  Suddenly the stereotypical Aussie-male who loves his footy, his barbecue, his Nascar racing, and his women is intruding on this information.  Now the program is saying I'm not you're stereotypical footy watchers, I have other interests.  When the program sees that I log into the Department of Education they realise I'm a White-collar worker and not a blue-collar worker, which ties in to different information that are typically sought by the blue-collar/white-collar worker.  When I search Youtube for World Music or Classical, or any other I care to look for, the program takes it all in and tailors my advertising to what I am interested in.






Do you really intend to imply that the process of classification you describe is anything other than completely trivial, easy-peasy?  You are describing the advertisers taxonomic ranking system.  It was preceded, of course, by scientists classifying the world of living things: Main taxonomic ranks Latin English regio domain regnum kingdom phylum divisio phylum (in zoology) division (in botany) classis class ordo order familia family genus genus species species

The principles by which this pyramid is produced are the same as you describe.


#8    pantodragon

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:34 PM

View Postkannin, on 18 July 2013 - 02:55 PM, said:

im one of the most unique individuals you would ever meet

So said the Elephant Man!


#9    kannin

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:36 PM

View Postpantodragon, on 18 July 2013 - 03:34 PM, said:

So said the Elephant Man!
thats good, because i respect him largly, poor but strong man

happiness can be found in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light

#10    pantodragon

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:39 PM

View PostLilly, on 18 July 2013 - 02:45 PM, said:

For me information technology is simply another tool (like going to the library).  But one thing I don't do...I don't characterize people who hold differing opinions from my own as being brain washed "types".

In other words, you conform to the Type that doesn't  "characterize people who hold differing opinions from my own as being brain washed "types""......... It quite often goes with a higher education.  The well-educated frequently learn to be too pc, too polite.


#11    keithisco

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:06 PM

Actually ... I believe that the higher educated (particularly in Sciences, rather than Social Sciences which has no scientific  background whatsoever) are the least likely to be drawn into PC commentary.

I am sure that we can all be "typed" just as everyone else can be "typed" - is it important? NO , not really


#12    seaturtlehorsesnake

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:32 PM

you're one heck of an authoritarian type, that's for sure


#13    kannin

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:47 PM

View Postpatagonianhorsesnake, on 18 July 2013 - 04:32 PM, said:

you're one heck of an authoritarian type, that's for sure
read my mind indeed

happiness can be found in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light

#14    GreenmansGod

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

Everybody's brain is wired a little different, so a lot of how you think depends on what side of the brain you use the most.  I am a creative thinker who has worked at being more analytical, because I like science.   Of course culture has a big roll. I don't know what type a person I am, I guess I am a geeky hippie artist. A lot of people  think I am rather odd when they first meet me, but then I hang with people who have some strange life styles, so my friends think I am normal by their standard.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#15    StarMountainKid

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:11 PM

If anyone thinks they don't fit into some psychological or personality type or category, they are mistaken.

The acceptance of authority does not lead to intelligence.
A mind untouched by thought...the end of knowledge.
To see reality loose your opinions.




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