21 January 2008


By dcassa.
Wifey wonders how she slipped so easily from one persona to another; last week I was wondering whether I had a persona at all, or whether I was rather a multiplicity of different selves co-existing in a single body united only by a common set of memories,

I asked Mrs Botogol: "Do you think each of us is a coherent single self, or do you think we all contain a multiplicity? Different people, if you like, in the same body?"

"Please don't call me Mrs Botogol when we are at home, dear" she said.

At the ICA opinion was mixed: Rita Carter believed she has no free will and no self. "I, zombie" if you will - I am a zombie and so is my avatar. I didn't agree, but it's such a nihilistic viewpoint that is rather difficult to take issue with: arguing with a self-identified zombie is like arguing with the SatNav. I wished I hadn't praised her book, but comforted myself that perhaps I probably couldn't help it.

On the panel Raymond Tallis gallantly declared his faith in Rita Carter "I believe you have a self" he said and I was surprised to find myself on Tallis's side, arts against science, as Carter frowned at him (rather ungraciously I thought, but then it must he hard for her, surrounded by unthinking zombies acting mechanically and without imagination. A bit like being at work)

I jotted down random nuggets from each speaker. The most intriguing was the idea of different-sized selves (mania being swelling of self, and depression a diminution). The most confounding was the question of whether we are still ourselves when we dream...ouch.

The most amusing factoid (ie it appeals directly to my prejudices) is that, apparently, when a Myers-Briggs test is repeated there is only a 25% chance of finding the same personality type.

That would explain it then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised the personality test is inaccurate because it seems to me that in different situations and around different people you adopt different personalities (or indeed different selves...?)so how could personality possibly be measured - it is not fixed but constantly changes.