Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Received this in the e-mail a few days ago. It was not the first time I saw this, and it’s always interesting to run through it.
Below is Dr. Phil’s test. (Dr. Phil scored 55; he did this test on Oprah – she got a 38.) …This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees. It’s only 10 Simple questions, so grab a pencil and paper, keeping track of your letter answers to each question.
Make sure to change the subject of the e-mail to read YOUR total. When you are finished, forward this to friends/family, and also send it to the person who sent this to you. Make sure to put YOUR score in the subject box.
1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon and early evening
c) late at night
2. You usually walk…
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly
3. When talking to people you.
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair
4. When relaxing, you sit with..
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you
5. When something really amuses you, you react with…
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile
6. When you go to a party or social gathering you…
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed
7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard, and you’re interrupted…
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes
8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
A) Red or orange
c) yellow or light blue
e) dark blue or purple
g) brown or gray
9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are…
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers
10. You often dream that you are…
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e ) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 ( c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. ( a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1
Now add up the total number of points.
OVER 60 POINTS : Others see you as someone they should “handle with care.” You’re seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don’t always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.
51 TO 60 POINTS : Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who’s quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who take s chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.
41 TO 50 POINTS : Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who’ll always cheer them up and help them out.
31 TO 40 POINTS : Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you re alize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.
21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.
UNDER 21 POINTS : People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn’t want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don’t exist. Some people think you’ re boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren’t.
I found it consistent with what little I know of Dr. Phil’s methods, but it struck me as suspicious that “Dr. Phil’s Test” was not associated with the Great Doctor with much greater visibility. Why would the protege of Oprah rely on the e-mail to carry his wonderful test to the four winds, when he already had “Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today” already using it?
Since this had nothing to do with Al Gore, I decided the great oracle that is Snopes would be able to dispense a reasonable and well-researched answer. I consider David and Barbara Mikkelson to have very reasonable opinions about pretty much everything that isn’t Al Gore. Plus, by this point they’ve written up just about everything. I thought I might find this test at their site. I was right.
Although popular psychologist Dr. Phillip C. McGraw (better known to millions of television viewers as “Dr. Phil”) has appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show many times over the last several years and now hosts his own nationally syndicated TV show, we don’t find any evidence (by reviewing program listings and transcripts) that he ever offered the test shown above on either program.
The best way to regard this test is to consider it similar to a horoscope or a fortune cookie: all of them make broad, general predictions which seemingly apply to a great many people. The skeptical dismiss such predictions as random shots which occasionally hit their marks (in the same way that a stopped clock is still right twice a day); the credulous marvel over their accuracy, find ways to make the results apply to themselves, and overlook the parts that don’t fit.
Well, I’m skeptical and I didn’t even get that far because I found the test to be inaccurate. I scored a 43, which means people are supposed to see me as “fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head.” Well, people don’t say I’m fresh, they say I talk like Eeyore the Donkey. Nobody thinks I’m lively or charming. People complain constantly that if they ask me what time it is I’ll tell ’em how to build a damn watch, so I think we can dismiss amusing and interesting, and I’m not very sure at all about practical. “Constantly at the center of attention” is something we can safely out-and-out dismiss as a fortune coookie that should’ve gone to someone else.
When it comes time to vote on who is least well-balanced, I’ve got my share of trophies to line the wall.
But I become more jaundiced about this test when I read through the other categories and evaluated what other scores, higher and lower, are supposed to mean. It is, plainly, a one-dimensional test, capturing gradients along a single axis of some personality attribute. And it seems to me that attribute is kind of a messy hodge-podge of being extraverted, being energetic and being capable.
Now, I don’t have the background to properly design a test like this scientifically, but it should be noted “science” has very little to do with such tests. If you want to do it the “right” way, if “the science has settled” on anything it has settled on the MMPI, or Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. My one criticism of the MMPI is that it is a poor specimen of what we call science, or rather, what we are supposed to be calling science. It can’t really be criticized. Unlike this e-mail parlor-trick personality test, the MMPI runs around with it’s guts all covered up by opaque skin. I don’t know how it works and you probably don’t either. These computations are kept in a “black box,” supposedly to preserve the integrity of the test — if it was widely understood how the MMPI worked, it could be all bolloxed up somehow.
That very well may be true. But it’s the opposite of what we are supposed to be calling “science.” So there it is: If one is to evaluate our current state of technology with personality tests based on the MMPI, according to the classical definition of science, one would have to conclude the current state is, for all practical purposes, at zero. We got this nifty thing we’re supposed to presume works really well, but we have no reason to think so and we’re not allowed to get hold of the information we’d need to conclude such a thing.
So I thought I’d jump in and fix it all. Introducing the Morgan Freeberg Personality Test.
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