the dollar vigilante blog
Feedback Friday - January 18, 2013
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Another week passes in the USSA, and you have to wonder what real news went uncovered as the networks and mainstream media sheeple fell over themselves to tell stories of drug-addled bicyclists and Hawaiian Mormon linebackers with fake dead girlfriends. Fortunately for you, you get your opinion pieces here at TDV.
Now, on to the feedback...
MYERS-BRIGGS POLL RESULTS AND COMMENTS
Re: The Myers-Briggs Test
Here's the thing: psychometric tests are nonsense from start to finish.
They are ridiculously easy to "game", and are therefore prone to the tendency of people to answer them in such a way as to be "evaluated" as the psychotype that the subject wants the world to see.
People answer the MBTI in such a way as to feel good about themselves: if you're of "normal" intelligence, you can SEE what the appropriate answer is in order to get the psychotype you wish you were.
Last week I had a heated argument with a chum about how these tests were baloney (I was pointing out that in the early 90's I did a psychometric test for an employer, and was amused at how trivially easy it was to give the answers I could see they would require for th job; I got the job, and the pychometry was "perfect"). I simply stated what I've said above: that it was possible to declare ex ante what type you want to be, and to tailor your answers accordingly.
So we had a bet: I did the MBTI once, wanting to get INTJ (and got it), and once wanting to get ESFP...and got it. (For the record, INTJ is my subjective idea of what "fits" best for me, but the MBTI is just like a horoscope - folks see whatever they want to see).
Anyhow, the MBTI nonsense won me $50. Yay.
I am no more "ESFP" than I am "Capricorn"...which shows that the tests are nonsense (since any test that can so easily generate false positives is worthless).
I am also an anarchist and an atheist - not because of psychotype...but because I try to be as rational as possible in all things, and reject stuff that's patently absurd (except for lolcats).
Reject nonsense pscychometry: if you're going to place your trust in nonsense, just go to the horoscope.
Just because you can game the tests don't mean that the things the tests test for don't exist! That's like saying just because you can cheat on a math test, then math tests aren't reliabel tools to assess someone's knowledge of mathematics...or just becuase potential mates or employees can lie, then it's useless to interview them to see if they're a qualified match.
(An interview, by the way, is a test in which it is scarily easy to generate false positives...but odds are the employer would soon find out just how much you were bullshitting him. The false positives just take a little while to be revealed.)
Like at least one poster pointed out in the comments section, any reasonably intelligent person can see what all the questions are trying to determine and can provide the answers to arrive at any combination of letters they want. But what would be the point of that? Your personality is not going to change and people will see you for what you are...and anyone reasonably acquainted with MBTI will be able to figure out which group you belong in and maybe even specifically which type you are.
(Last night I went on another date with a teacher I'd met and had her pegged in my mind as Introverted, more Sensing than Intuitive, Thinking than Feeling and definitely Judging as opposed to Perceptive. She is a reserved sort of person, not given to emotion or much obvious empathy and does like to have things settled. In other words, ISTJ from the Guardian group. At my urging she took the test on her iPhone as we sat at the bar after dinner and a show and her result was ISTJ. She was actually a little miffed that she was that easily categorized. Which might explain why I woke up alone despite all the alcohol we consumed afterwards...)
Krato, you are an INTJ. You know you're an INTJ. Everyone who knows you knows you're an INTJ even if they don't know that particular MBTI acronym for what you are. You recharge by being alone rather than with others. You rely on intuition to construct ideas more than your sensory data. You are more likely to act based on reason than emotion and empathy. You like things to be settled rather than open for considerations. You can game the tests, but it doesn't change what you are. And no matter how you gamed them, anyone with some basic familiarity with MBTI could have you accurately typed after a few hours or days of knowing you.
So yes, you can invalidate the test by guiding it. Our advice? Don't do that. Answer honestly. Go with your gut where you can and when you can't, consider carefully if you are putting down the real answer. Honestly, what is the point of lying to yourself on a test that is supposed to help you understand yourself? Just so you can belong to a peronality grouping that you think is "cooler" than your actual group? That indicates a whole other bundle of psychological and emotional problems.
Another poster put it very well...
"I took this test twice from the original books on the subject. In the first, I was listed as an ISTJ. However, I later realized that i was 'guiding' the test: knowing what the test was after, I was altering my answers to achieve a 'correct' result. When I took a different test in the second book, I was rated correctly as an INTP, which is actually how I conduct myself in my daily affairs."
The results are in for our little poll, by the way...and the INTJs have it! Remember that we were expecting over 80% of our readers to be in the Rational NT group...and at least 80% of those NTs to be INTJs...
Well, we got exactly 150 results as of this writing. 131 or a little over 85% of them were indeed in the NT group. In that NT group there were 88 INTJs...That's a little over 67%. Not the 80% we were predicting, but still over a 2/3 majority! It should come as no big surprise I suppose. After all, Doug Casey, Jeff Berwick and Ayn Rand are (or were in the very departed Rand's case) all INTJs. (And they all have a connection with Galt's Gulch: Ayn coined the phrase; Doug made it happen in Argentina; Jeff is making it happen right now in Chile.)
So again, 85% of responding readers were Rationals. Over 2/3 of those were INTJs. About 90% of all responders had Introversion, Maybe about 10% or so tested closely enough to some other type that they felt compelled to mention it. In fact, we got some very interesting and telling comments from people who tested differently at different times in their lives, or very closely to another type, or who found their personality types extremely underrepresented on the forum, like the poster who says:
"[I'm] ISTJ, but I am really on the border with the 'S' (Sensing versus INtuition) so I am almost INTJ and sometimes do test as an INTJ. I am an anarcho-capitalist recently converted from being a social con/neocon...and I am signed up for Galt's Gulch Chile info."
Or like this ISTP who barely came out as Sensing versus Intuitive and was almost an INTP: "I suppose the 1% on the 'S' makes me a borderline Idealist/Rationalist. I wonder if that explains my desire and eagerness to communicate with left-libertarians and such..?"
There were very few Extraverted, Feeling and Perceiving types. Most everyone was Introverted, Thinking and Judging. Lara --one of the very rare ENFPs among the responders-- spoke up for her people:
"I test very strongly ENFP. I have never been a statist or leftist. Grew up with a single mom who was ENTJ. She taught me how to think, so there is that. Straight up Austrian, anarcho-capitalist with strong empathic tendencies and a need to see to people."
Hooray for Lara! She is a credit to her personality kind. And she is proof that MB type is not political alignment destiny. Her empathy and need to help others doesn't have her turning to collectivized violence via the state.
It is no surprise that the NTs and the INTJs in particular are the most likely to be voluntaryists in the brainwashed politicized world, as this INTJ put it:
"Tee hee tee hee...another INTJ! I confess I am surprised. I spent years thinking I was a liberal, but my partner exposed me to libertarian though. He thought I came around pretty quickly, but perhaps I was pre-disposed to it! I now consider myself to be a Voluntaryist."
Indeed. Perhaps there is a predisposition of this personality type to libertarian and ancap thought. But clearly you don't have to be an INTJ in particular or a Rational in general to get it. The Rationals seem to have to be the first ones to grasp the peaceful world beyond politics and the state, but they needn't be the only ones. We can all get there.
QUESTION FOR GARY GIBSON REGARDING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
I'm a fan and avid learner of libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, et al.
When discussing some if these principles with my best friend (who's black) he told me that thanks to affirmative action his mom was able to bring him and his brothers out of poverty.
I'd like to hear you-all's point of view, so I can learn.
Hahahaha, affirmative action... I suppose your friend thinks food stamps and public housing are the gateway to self-reliance and riches for black people, too?
Yes, the same affirmative action that makes people LESS likely to think black people are actually qualified to do the work they get hired for.
It’s quite possible that your friend and his family got stuff they wouldn’t have otherwise have gotten because the government held guns on recruiters and employers and threatened to take money from them. Your friend may be proud of this because he figures it makes up for slavery and theft of labor over many generations. But all it does is INCREASE the tendency for blacks not to be hired to higher level positions.
When you have to make it on merit despite racism, that’s when you KNOW you’ve made it. Without affirmative action, people would look at blacks in any given position and assume they must actually be more competent than a white person in the same position. The opposite is true today because the government’s quotas send a very clear message: “This person is not really qualified to do what you are paying them to do.”
Hey, I’m not saying it would be easy for blacks to claw their way to fairly equal economic standing without government help. But fixing institutional wrongs like slavery is not supposed to be easy. Further, government “help” is helping dumb down black people in the first place, breeding dependence and an entitlement mentality. Trying to fix this by forcing people to hire the under-qualified is only going to exacerbate the perception of black inferiority and racial animosity over time.
Affirmative action's supporters like to point out that affirmative action has helped increase the number of blacks in the workplace, but that increased inclusion has come about as a reflection of cultural changes. Of course statists love to ascribe any naturally occuring improvements to government policy. The same goes for wealth levels that were increasing before "poverty-fighting" legislation, by the way.
Jeff's Response: We hired Gary Gibson here at TDV, stealing him away from Agora financial, because in my opinion he is one of the best writers, philosophers and thinkers on the planet. Gary didn't need us to be forced by the government to bring him on board. The entire concept of "affirmative action" is so riddled with problems and immoralities that only politicians could have come up with it. It apparently works something like this: In the past, some people who weren't you did some things to other people who weren't you and that you had nothing to do with. Therefore, at the point of a gun, we are going to force you to hire people with a certain skin pigmentation even if they aren't the best person for the job.
Besides that, there is absolutely no need for anyone to be protected in a free market. Take, for example, an NBA franchise owner who doesn't like black colored people for some reason. So, he never drafts Shaquille O'Neal, or Kobie Bryant, or Lebron James... or the hundreds of other talented people with dark tans. He has just given himself a massive liability and the chances of him ever winning a championship, much less having a winning season would be small as he has limited himself to a small percentage of the available, capable workforce. It'd be like trying to pass a law to make sure an NBA owner who hates all races except for pygmies can't have a discriminatory all-pygmy team. There'd be no need. They be 0-82 every year and the arena would be empty.
Anything that starts with the use of force (anything government does) is always destined to fail... and usually have the exact opposite effect from that intended.
GOODBYE USSA, HELLO...AFRICA?
I was wondering if I could get some help. I'm a 17 year-old kid in the United States and I definitely want to leave the US and go to some other country. I just wasn't sure which country I would go to and so I started seeking out Doug Casey's perspective on where to go. He mentioned in an interview that if he was young looking to make a ton of money, he would go to Africa. Now I'm really interested in this idea and would love to make a run at it, but I don't know where to start. I have almost no investment knowledge and no money. I have a good understanding of Austrian economics, but I don't know if that will help. I have so many questions as to how I can make this happen, if I could speak to Jeff Berwick or any of the other individuals involved in The Dollar Vigilante who would know about this. I just want to make a run at this but need help. Thank you for your time.
Wow, good for you for being so bold. Not many 17-year-old kids today in the USSA are so willing to take some chances abroad and go for it. It is very hard for me to give you personal advice as I don't know you nor know your circumstances but I will say 17 is very young. Have you tried starting up some local businesses where you live first, to gain experience? When Doug says that a young person could probably go to Africa and make a fortune, he is probably correct... but it won't be easy and it will take some knowledge of entrepreneurism and doing deals. If you haven't even tried that where you currently live, then chances are you won't succeed in a very foreign place.
Now, I do realize that it is almost impossible to start up a small business in the USSA nowadays... and that is one good case for going to a place with little or no regulations to start... but some knowledge of starting a business would certainly be helpful.
As for location, I would also recommend you look at Cambodia. I believe that is another area ripe for major profits. Plus, we have numerous TDVers who currently live there who could likely give you the lay of the land. Of course, there are numerous other places as well... and most have TDV Groups already set-up. I suggest you go into the Subscriber's Area and onto the forums in the TDV Groups [You can get started here] and communicate with TDVers on the ground in now more than 30 different countries. Perhaps they can give you the info and insights you need to succeed. The world is your oyster... just try not to choke on the shell.
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