Thursday, May 29, 2008

Superman is as American as…

There's a cliché in the [comics] industry that American comic book writers watch film and read comics, whereas Scottish, British, [and] European writers read books.

From an article on DC Comics (titles such as Superman) being written and drawn by just a couple Scots under as many as 14 different pseudonyms. 

Reportedly, part of the appeal of Scottish writers and artists for the US industry is their "quirkiness and a weird sense of humor". 

This leads one to ponder the relationship between what one knows (and derives inspiration) and their eventual output when it is time to create "from new" and what it means to be "creative". 

It is also pointed out that most of the Scottish writers had worked outside comics - from garage mechanics to bus conductors to ferry stewards. 

Interestingly, "irrelevant" backgrounds are stereotypically shunned in conventional thinking when searching for work candidates who are most suitable and highly trained. Reminds me of when a great design speaker mentioned architects can become some of the best interaction/user experience designers.

By the way, are these guys and Steve Jobs right? He claims 40% of Americans read one book or less last year. I wonder what kind of book that "≤1 book" is likely to be? Do Americans really not read anymore?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My personality type: Rational

Rationals are the problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us. Rationals might tackle problems in organic systems such as plants and animals, or in mechanical systems such as railroads and computers, or in social systems such as families and companies and governments. But whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.
  • Rationals tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
  • Rationals pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
  • Rationals make reasonable mates, individualizing parents, and strategic leaders.
  • Rationals are even-tempered, they trust logic, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, prize technology, and dream of understanding how the world works.
Rationals are very scarce, comprising as little as 7 to 10 percent of the population. But because of their drive to unlock the secrets of nature, and to develop new technologies, they have done much to shape our world.

I'm not sure what to think about being supposedly scarce. Does it explain why people confuse me sometimes or why I can be confusing sometimes?

I love the last sentence about analyzing systems to understand how they work so I can figure out how to make them work better. Reminds me of the creepy Sylar character in the TV series Heroes though.

All in all, a well-spent 10 minutes on the test: it's mostly accurate and where it isn't, it describes what I want to be. What's more, it lines up nicely with my random ruminations on the kind of career I want to have.

Take the test: