3.3 The Subjects of Brutal Kings

(Note: I’m going to cut my minimum quota per post down from two pages to two paragraphs.)

When a brutal dictator suppresses dissent in his country, he must crush the people’s will to the point where they find it either useless or at least undesirable to resist. At the ground level this results over time in a dull hypnosis. Since the country is now controlled entirely by one person, it is understandable that he must not only crush open dissent, but also crush any part of the openness of the culture which may lead to dissent. It’s not good enough just to cut the weeds above ground if the root system is still alive.

Just as insidious as those roots are to the dictator, one’s own desires can be to oneself. I find I’m not just one desire, but an almost incomprehensible tangle of desires. The brutal king is my sense of who I am and what I’m here on this earth for. The desires come from the roots and express themselves in ways which I find contradictory – the brutal king finds contradictory, I should say, because I often don’t know what drives him. Who am I and why am I here? There is something in me which knows the answer, and it tyrannizes over most of my impulses in a way I can hardly find comparison to among modern writers. The Jungians and traditional Christians I have found more able to address the point.

So I’ve suggested that in order to truly serve my purpose in life, a part of myself I’m calling a brutal king – am I or am I not one and the same king? – must oppress the individual activity of all of my smaller desires to the point where they do not resist his will. Even the ego center which writes this article cannot claim full identity with the king in question. That is, even the activity of writing represents at least in part an expression of one of my “upstart” desires. In a brutal kingdom, the people generally are allowed to express themselves so long as they don’t violate certain behaviors of which they can never be entirely aware. People’s sense of justice is dependent on how completely the rules of play are disclosed. If the king were perfectly fair he would disclose all the rules and it would seem like a just government. However, this presupposes that there is no essential difference between the natures of the king’s desire and the people’s desires.

The little people generally, are not thought to be the king, and vice versa. If the king takes action which the little person doesn’t understand, the little person, if he is a compliant subject, assumes that the king is operating according to mysterious factors which are beyond the little person’s understanding. If nothing more is expected of the little person, the little person will not feel bad that he doesn’t understand all the complexities of the operations of the greater kingdom. In many cases, however, more is expected of the little person than that he should simply observe passively. Indeed, to be honest, the little person rarely knows whether the king’s action is derived from such truly surpassing wisdom.

All these “little people” are the parts of me which might want to take actions different from the restricted possibilities allowed by the king. As mentioned above, even parts of this writing may be acts of rebellion. The first way in which I experience the brutal rule of the king is by sinking into a heavy depression. The king, which is at least sometimes acting entirely out of my unconscious self, makes me feel dreadful shame. The little person must either suppress himself or find a way around the king’s decree. The primary characteristic of the little person is whether he has faith or no faith in the king’s rule. If he has no faith, his inclination will be to act subversively, to divide himself into a phony compliant personality and a secret rebellious one, which rebellion can go on indefinitely so long as he is not caught by the king’s guard while the king rules.

But the more ordinary subject will feel ashamed that he has made a mistake, and conscientiously attempt to find ways to express his desires which don’t violate the will of the king. He believes in the king, in other words.

If I am unhappy, but I believe in the king’s wise rule, then I must reinterpret said unhappiness. Because the king needs and hopes for the compliance of all his citizens, I must interpret my unhappiness as a process of growth in which harmonious actions are promoted by the strict discipline of all inharmonious actions. What feels like dictatorship is a wiser self teaching me to conform to patterns which benefit, or at least do not harm, the greater organism. Our society pretends to be full of adults, which is why growing up can be so embarrassing – learning from your own self things which you might want to learn from someone else, but which in fact almost no one knows. We have a lot of adults, but almost no grown-ups.

Finally, Carl Jung has a very important and very difficult to understand concept called individuation. I’m toying around with definitions:

Individuation – The notion that there is something inside a person which can solve problems which conventional wisdom cannot solve, and the process by which such problems are solved.

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3.2 The Storing Borm Making Its Way Up the East Coast

I wrote an article about a year ago from the midst of another storm. Storms make me feel important during their brief lifespans.

The reason I feel important now is that the power might go out at any second, forcing me to lose whatever I had saved. But I can just press “command-S” and that solves that. Command-S just turned me into a totally unimportant sack of donkey entrails. Oh well, I’m unimportant, but life moves on and I should, nay, I must, write this blog post.

I know it’s not likely to entertain you. Yet I must do it anyway. Also, we need to have power be on for long enough to finish typing and posting, even though there’s no real risk of my losing any of this. I can just post it later.

I wish I could report the stormy action from the front lines, but despite how exciting storms are, they are kind of boring just the same. There are high winds, but I haven’t seen anything fall yet. The power went out and I thought it might be for a long time, so I suggested to my housemate that we eat the ice cream. As soon as I had served myself my second bowl, the power returned. I ate the bowl anyway because it seemed inappropriate to put it back into the container and I didn’t want to throw it out. But I’m stuffed with ice cream now.

So what else is new? Not much. I’m still studying Inform 7 when the power is on, reading Carl Jung when it’s not on. I have a wind-up radio which came in quite handy for the few hours our power was down.

How about I discuss the issue of how many words should a proper blog post consist of? Out of habit, I have enforced the idea that it should take up two pages. It’s a habit, and I’ve noticed sometimes I really don’t have anything I want to talk about, so I fill up the two pages with repetition of previous ideas, more or less. I ignored the pluses and minuses mostly. Soon however, I must admit that some days I just have very little to say. While it’s good for me to be public every day, that doesn’t make me fun to read. But once I allow myself to go below two pages, how long will it be before I write two *words* and call it a post? I have not allowed “nature” to control the length of my blog yet, for fear of what nature would do. Thus, there is still some “emptying” left for me. I don’t want to write bad posts. But I don’t want to write excessively short posts either. Which is worse, short posts or bad posts?

Right now, for example. I’m filling up the space – by saying that I’m filling up the space. I may need to come up with a better routine for how this gets done. Perhaps I could force myself to completely erase the first draft and write a second draft, which usually produces better writing but it takes a while. Hey, at least I can be thankful that I’m working on a problem whose domain is so narrow. Problems with a finite set of factors are a relief.

Factors involved with my daily blog:

– How long should it be?
– Should I settle for boring thoughts or rewrite desperately trying to sound interesting?
– How long per day should I spend writing it?

Maybe there’s a few more. Many problems, particularly “How do I make my video game?”, have a virtually infinite number of factors and I can hardly solve them. I’m a little embarrassed that I simply don’t know how to make a game because it means I take the longest and most winding possible route to finishing it. And I’m perhaps not much of a person until I do. But I have to live with that. On the other hand, I’m extraordinarily dedicated to a kind of “moral purity”, which means that I openly admit my condition even if it’s a horrible condition, out of the belief that this is the right thing to do. Why do I think it’s the right thing to do? Because most people don’t ask the deep questions, and somebody has to do that, even if it means they are a near-total failure in life. I’m trying to compensate for the rarity of people who truly dedicate themselves to very deep questions.

The problem with deep questions is how hard they are to connect with daily life. Yet the more people who ignore them, the worse things get for everybody. Is the unexamined life not worth living, as the saying goes? I would argue that the unexamined life may in fact be worth living, according to the opposing saying “ignorance is bliss”. I think the worse problem occurs when *no one* examines his or her life. A society only really needs a few people to examine their lives, I think. Why did I decide to become one of them? It’s hard to answer, but more to the point: is it possible for me to go back now that I’m deep into the fray? No, I don’t think so, if only because it would take too much work for me to disguise who I have already become. On the other hand, if the battle yields me nothing in exchange for all of my efforts, it won’t matter which path I take, because there will be no reward either way. It’s possible that neither the unexamined nor the examined life is worth living. Yikes!

Back to Zachenstein’s laboratory and the development of my Artificial Person Simulator!

3.1 Week In Review

I’m continuing to talk/write myself into being comfortable writing a blog post per day. I guess these things just take some getting used to. But I’ve realized another angle to it is my new relationship to society. Simply by blogging I am asserting myself as someone in society who has ideas and thoughts. I’m making those thoughts available. Hard to find, perhaps, but available nonetheless. A society is defined by the people in it and what they do and say.

I’m nowhere near the center. We all know this, but I *am* in the solar system, in an extremely distant orbit. I have enough of a basic sense of human nature combined with a basic sense of the specific society I’m in that I have things to say. Where was I up until now? I was outside the solar system entirely. This is an accomplishment.

I’m 35 years old, old enough I’d say that if I don’t start having things to say, I’m not much of a philsopher, nor, since I don’t do any *other* productive work, much of anything else. I *have* to start saying things or I feel like I’m a burden, even if I’m not that interesting. Saying *something* is my job at this point. Which makes me glad I can just talk my way through right now, literally describing the fact that I’m describing myself. I could feel ashamed of this, except that I believe many people do not know how to live well, a fact which is hard to discover since there is little profit in admitting it. Thus it must be detected by observation. But because I have the simple faith that my struggles are not mine alone, I can blog about them and not consider them shameful.

I still get very nervous, but not so nervous that I can’t still write, even if it’s only to analyze how nervous I am. I hope some day that blogging will pay off for me in a big way, that people actually start to find me interesting based on what they read. I wonder how interesting someone blogging about how hard it is to find topics to blog about can be, of course. I don’t want this article to waste anyone’s time. I’d say that this article’s value, if nothing else, is to demonstrate how someone can be committed to persistence even if they doubt they have anything good to say in any given post. That’s definitely the kind of person I want to be.

The post itself has a kind of solidity… if I can maintain this mindset I might actually start *enjoying* writing these things! I enjoy some of them. None of them truly feel like obligations. So long as I’m disconnected in other ways, I can be connected in this way. Who knows where this is leading? A meteoroid travelling through space… what is its destination?

Each blog post refines the picture. I’d love to think it’s traveling towards something, but I must be prepared to cope if it’s not. Create it and let go of it simultaneously.

There’s a storm coming in our area, the “Frankenstorm”. Halloween is also coming.

Happy Frankenween!

2.9 Emptying versus Keeping Something Secret

Sunday is indeed the day for two articles instead if one.

I’m going to write this one as if I have a lot of useful things to say about something I don’t really know a lot about – my Artificial Person Simulator (APS)!

It occurred to me that the famous game the Sims is based primarily on its APS. Is that a threat to my own pursuits, that a famous game already has such a thing? Well, maybe it is. Immediately I thought, well, what am I doing differently from the Sims? But I was relieved, at least temporarily until I discover another APS which has already used my ideas, to realize that my basic idea was to base the simulation not on needs, but on desires. In the end, the desire of the AP is to gain as many Motivation Points (Satisfaction Points? Motivation Units?) as possible. Everything is worth some amount of these points, and the A.I. is supposed to figure out how to bargain current possessions (spare time, money, etc.) for things worth more points.

It feels a little weird blogging all my ideas as I have them. But if I keep ideas to myself, I’ll be even more isolated than I already am.

I wonder how much of the reason I want to talk about these ideas is related to my need to sound like an expert. I can’t help but hear in my writing a tone of being an expert, when I’m not at all. I have so little experience developing Artificial Persons that I can’t talk like an expert. All the same, I feel that if I *don’t*, I’m bottling things up. Perhaps I’m only showing the truly desperate, and in the end, hopeless situation I’m in, that I need to sound like an expert when I’m not.

Well, it’s not so bad, really. In the worst case I’m simply showing to the world what is already true. In the best case, what I say may actually have value. The difference between me and many others is that I’m not working for a company or institution where it would be appropriate to keep secrets. Nor do I have anyone besides this blog to discuss my ideas with.

The thing about the blog is that even if no one responds to a given post, I still feel as if I’ve told the truth to *somebody*. It speaks, once again, to the emptying of Christianity. It’s not about whether anyone responds, yet the effort itself is therapeutic. Specifically, it feels like I’ve done all I know how to do to express myself, which relieves pent-up guilt caused by residual doubt as to whether I did everything possible to alleviate my isolation. But there is no perfectly reliable way to empty oneself. As soon as I recognize blogging as one way to do it, I run the risk of leaning on the blog and away from other, messier but more genuine ways of emptying myself. Unfortunately, I have no idea if my isolation level will ever be less than it is now, which simply means that I mustn’t feel *entitled* to any less isolation. Which is actually why the blog is so handy, because even in my worst condition I can leave a record of my existence.

On a brighter note, I might actually be thinking coherently when it comes to Artificial Person Simulation. If I publicize all my thoughts, I will end up not really owning any of them. Life, liberty, property… I guess I’ll have to forego that last item for now. Property would be cool, but I consider keeping a public journal of my adventures more important at this time.

What is property for, anyway? Is it a defense against the inevitable? Property is an instinct which got into the human species somehow, and it helps us survive, reproduce, etc. Does it serve a purpose in myself, though? Am I in a situation in which the instinct toward ownership of private property is not compatible with my own welfare? We all want property. For people such as myself whose stock in trade is really ideas, what good is the instinct towards ownership of the ideas? Property rights translates to money and status. Ownership equals status. Admittedly, in most cases such as mine the ideas in question aren’t worth as much as their owner thinks they are, but I don’t know, I might be an exception. Give flesh to the ideas. Give them an aesthetic wrapper to increase their value. Not like this blog.

I’m not sure this blog is the wrapper my ideas need. Nonetheless, it may not be good for me to keep my thoughts private. What have I to gain? Do I have some other aesthetic wrapper which is better than this one? Have I ever actually *made* an APS? Completed a video game? Therefore my experience in creating aesthetics… is it too limited for my purposes? It’s no more limited than this blog is, though. I continue to be a Rolling Meteoroid with No Direction.

Emptying versus keeping something secret. Is keeping anything secret a benefit to my mental health? Not so much that I’m unwilling to ask that question openly. If you have any hounds, now’s the time to put them on my scent.

2.8 Down The Rabbit Hole of Inform 7

I’m continuing in the vein of someone who wants to make an artificial person simulator (APS).

Knowing that I must blog each day seems to help me pull out of myself and reorient towards the general audience. It might be necessary to have such a task, because of how in-depth the thought processes involved with computer programming are. If my attention were to become entirely focused on programming (it doesn’t matter which language or platform), I might be lost in the depths. Instead, I may play the role of the sea animal which must periodically breathe air. The blog is the breathing of the air, and the intricacies of programming are the depths. I doubt nature will really let me proceed without my maintaining a daily connection to the surface. I must daily restore the mindset appropriate to “a blog for all and none”. The specialist must not compromise the generalist. Hurrah!

All this is moot if my programming comes to naught, but at least I’m getting good at trusting “nature” to distribute my energy, since I’ve no more faith in my own ability to distribute it.

I don’t really know what the best choice to start programming in. However, since I like interactive fiction (IF), and since I doubt I can make my APS any more complicated than is already possible with IF, and since there is a very fascinating system for IF which uses English language sentences as computer code, it’s what I’m currently working with.

The system is called Inform 7, at www.inform7.com, and it’s remarkable in that games really are programmed using entirely English language sentences. So I’m starting with that. It may be a little boring eventually to hear me narrate everything I’m doing there. That’s where the therapeutic aspect of this blog comes in. I simply have no one to discuss many of the most important thoughts I have with. I don’t know how uninteresting writing about programming might become. Yet the fatc that I’m worried about boring the audience may only reflect personal insecurities. My whole life I’ve lived in environments where no one was genuinely interested in my thought processes. It’s probably why I’ve spent so much time developing the more esoteric parts of my personality, because the plain ones were of no interest to anyone.

However, it seems that programming is more of a plain part of my personality which I am diving into, and that means my blog might become plain. But I can’t know, and I ought not to stop myself on something I can’t see in advance. I’ll only know by doing. Not to mention that, with my track record, this programming project is unlikely to last more than two weeks anyway.

So anyway, I’m studying Inform 7. The notes for my first goal are:

Location: Pavlov’s Sanitarium

Task: I need to have a blue button provide a reward. When Larry Johnson calculates the desirability of an action, he must weigh the cost and benefit. To push the blue button costs Larry one turn. The reward is a piece of candy. Larry must weigh the number of turns he has against the number of pieces of candy he wants. The value of a turn is, say, 3 MUs – Motivational Units. The value of a piece of candy is 5 MUs. He will press the button if the reward outweighs the cost.

Seems simple enough. Now I must begin up the steep learning curve of programming in Inform 7, which is extremely elegantly presented, by the way. It is far more inviting, especially for a Mac user, than most other programming systems. I have no idea if there is anything down this rabbit hole, but there’s not much going on on the surface right now.

Okay, short entry today. Here goes.

2.7 More About Video Games – The Holy Grail of A.I., or A.P.S. Artificial Person Simulation

All my talk about video games is pointing me towards actually making one.

Two days ago, I wrote an additional article above my quota. Normally this type of subtle aberration indicates the beginning of inflation, and since I don’t know how to handle inflation, burnout. Some part of me must find a way to contain the anomaly.

Today I found myself typing a bunch of notes about how I might get artificial characters in games to act like real people. This is an impulse I’ve often had. There’s a large community of people for whom simulating realistic human behavior is a computer programmer’s holy grail. So I typed out a page and a half of ideas – I have often resisted this impulse because it in particular seems like it is a case of chasing windmills while thinking they’re giants. Yet this time I decided to treat the impulse as if it is something which is simply not going away, and that therefore I will have to follow it.

Perhaps I have achieved a kind of temperance about what I can expect in life, and therefore I can indulge the pursuit of a holy grail knowing full well the parameters of the mission, the likelihood of success, and how the activity fits into the rest of my life. The lure of solving a problem like this is very powerful. To simulate people in a computer is to understand them. An extraordinary feeling of power would wash over a person who could see into the mysteries of people. It seems essential to develop one’s sense of life’s meaning before embarking upon such a quest.

How did my original sense of the meaning of life get so shaky? Certainly the problem goes back at least to middle school, age 12 or so. I remember being made fun of by my siblings and friends in a way which I never overcame. The problem of human nature arose then, and by the time I was 15 it inhibited me from really feeling that life had any meaning. The meaning of life is therefore at least partly tied into the question of human nature.

It seems a bad temptation to think that computers can replace real life. Most of my effort to understand human nature has therefore taken place outside the realm of thinking about how computers might simulate it. But assuming I have a sound understanding of human nature, and that I’m not using computers to *escape* anything, the problem of how computers can simulate people is very intriguing.

My personal opinion is that to really tackle the problem, one must know one thing about human nature for each thing one knows about computers. A good simulation should be set in a storyworld in which a player wants certains outcomes over others. The game must clearly convey the dramatic tension to the player. Otherwise the computer can run its simulation unto itself, resolving the drama without the player’s knowing any of it. In other words, conveying the situation is as much of an art form as is running the simulation internally.

What is the purpose of such simulation? Education? Distraction (a.k.a. entertainment)? If it’s selfish, then something like fame, or money. To consolidate then: fame, money, education, distraction. Education seems more wholesome than the rest, but none of the purposes are mutually exclusive.

It’s almost like wanting to make good video games is a disease, with the only cure being to make them. If so, I can be glad I’m only still talking about them. Perhaps I don’t have the disease after all!

I guess I could go into more detail about what I wrote in my notes.

I imagined how non-player characters (NPCs) would pursue goals:

– They seek commodities. There are two types of commodity, interchangeable, such as money, and non-interchangeable, such as a specific lover’s affection. Prioritizing between interchangeable commodities is simply a matter of which is worth more. Prioritizing between non-interchangeable commodities requires more sophistication and may even be the Achilles Heal of this type of model.

– I decided that for any goal there would be a “focus bonus” to simulate the person’s concentrating on the goal. If a goal is pursued one turn, it gets an increased value the next turn to keep the NPC focused on it. This might go down if the pursuit of the goal is frustrated by unforeseen obstacles.

– The point is to simulate how people really pursue goals, not to simulate a perfectly “rational” actor. Subgoals may be pursued for a number of turns before larger priorities are re-evaluated.

– Spare time is a commodity. How well would time work if it were treated as a commodity like any other? You spend spare time like you do money… seen the movie In Time? There might be something to that.

– The Good Opinions of other people are commodities unto themselves.

– To risk or not to risk? Evaluate: (gain * chance of success) – (pain * chance of failure)

– NPCs can possess commodities they are unaware of (good looks, innocence, e.g.).

– Goals appear on a tier system. Higher tiers outrank lower tiers. Goals on the same tier are interchangeable commodities.

– There’s a basic database of how anyone goes about obtaining common commodities: “Common Knowledge”. Other databases have restricted access!

– The first thing you need when pursuing a goal is Knowledge of how that goal is achieved. That Knowledge is in itself a commodity. Other characters can give you that knowledge (It’s Common Knowledge that if you need the knowledge of how to achieve a goal, you should ask other people.)

 

2.6 Human Intelligence – Introversion and Extraversion

I thought I would continue the discussion begun in article 21 of my blogathon about how I see human intelligence. Warning: This article is pretty long.

The first of eleven traits I discusses was total awakeness, which both is and isn’t a fair measure of a person’s intelligence. It merely acknowledges that for any form of intelligence to function, a person must be attached to and capable of using his senses. Also, in my case, for example, I find I need about nine hours of sleep per day. Some people need as little as five. I do not feel very much advantage in the fact that I have about one hour less awakeness than the average person, but I think it’s unavoidable that being awake less affects what I’m capable of doing with my mind.

The reason for emphasizing the above trait is found in the next two traits, which are inversely related to each other, but which added together would yield the person’s total awakeness. The two traits are duration of introversion, and duration of extraversion. An ordinary extravert will be applying his extraverted abilities for perhaps 2 out of every three moments of awakeness. An ordinary introvert likewise will apply introverted abilities for two out of every three seconds (moments) of his total awakeness. Whatever is not spent on the one will be spent on the other. Thus an ordinary extravert will have 1 out of every three moments devoted to introversion, etc.

In my daily life I can identify about five different ranks of person along the extraversion-introversion scale. More astute observers than I could probably detect more.

Before you begin to trivialize the significance of these two traits, let me tell you that according to my system, these traits are not changeable in any permanent way. Therefore, your placement on the introvert-extravert scale is fixed *at birth* for the entire duration of your life. I will allow that the use of drugs and alcohol, or extreme life circumstances will change a person’s natural temperament for a short time, but it’s generally fixed, and by the way, is the source of more misunderstanding between human beings than any other aspect of personality.

Because introversion and extraversion are inversely related in a single person, these don’t have the characteristic of normal factors of intelligence in which “more is better”. Yet I’m calling them intelligences because many circumstances in life truly call for one or the other. A job greeting people at a restaurant will almost always favor someone with an extraverted temperament, while a job computer programming will almost always favor an introvert. What we all should long for, therefore, is to possess a natural ability to shift seemlessly between the two factors, as needed. However, in all my observations of people, I’ve never found anyone actually capable of doing so.

Wherever you rank, from extreme introvert to extreme extravert, your temperament is likely to be so much a part of your life that you will hardly notice it, except when you become curious as to why certain other people are so different from yourself. If you’re lucky, you will find yourself in a position in which your natural strengths are appreciated, and, if the others in your environment tend to have the same temperament as yours, your weakness with regard to your opposite will remain unconscious for a long time.

The distribution of the types in the population, so far as I have observed them, are approximately thus:

Extreme Extravert: 2 percent
Standard Extravert: 47 percent
Ambivalent Type: 21 percent
Standard Introvert: 27 percent
Extreme Introvert: 3 percent

These are not exact figures. There may be more fine-grained distinctions. I do believe that the types are so fixed that they represent a genetic trait, and therefore may be measurable with far greater exactness than I’ve listed here. My listing is to combine as close as I can to what I think is out there with the frank admission that this is “the world according to Zach T.”

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Now for my controversial Who’s What list, which I want to do for all the intelligence factors, because it really helps me to understand people’s personalities both in person and from afar. I seem to have a lot of men on this list, but I’ve definitely met both sexes of each type, so don’t be misled.

What’s really remarkable about introversion-extraversion is how universally it affects a person’s talents and choices. A person could possess *exactly* the same intelligence profile in all other areas, and yet lead an almost completely different life, if only he found himself an extreme introvert as opposed to an extreme extravert. For example, I would rank comedian Daniel Tosh to be as brilliant as philosopher Ken Wilber. Yet it’s simply impossible to imagine either of them doing what the other does – the thought wouldn’t even cross anybody’s mind under ordinary circumstances. Our society has not yet embraced this fundamental differences between the types along this scale, to our extreme detriment, I think, because even the basic programs by which young people are educated should be informed by this absolutely crucial distinction.

Alright, enough said. Here are the rankings of a bunch of famous people as I observe them along the introvert-extravert scale:

Extreme Extraverts:

I have few examples of famous extreme extraverts, but I will give you all of them, plus people who are contenders for the rank but whom I can’t completely justify.

Extreme Extraverts (sure things):
comedian Daniel Tosh – best example I have because he’s still busy and easily observable
George Armstrong Custer (1839 – 1876) – saw a documentary about him and the characteristic was simply undeniable, in my opinion
classical music conductor Benjamin Zander – I was convinced by this video.

Extreme Extraverts (serious contenders):
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard – everything I’ve seen suggests it, but I’m not 100 percent
Leonard Berstein
Charlie Rose – interviewer extraordinaire

These are the ones I can think of.

Standard Extraverts:

The most common type. There are so many of this type that they sometimes make the presence of any other type seem like an aberration instead of merely another type.

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama – seems like a pattern…
Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette, Madonna
Most Hollywood Celebrities – The typical personality who appears in People Magazine
The Entire Cast of “Friends” – well, I dunno, but the whole ambiance of the show reflects the values and aspirations of the standard extraverted personality
Steve Jobs – yes indeed, I could be wrong but I think I’m right
William Shakespeare – in all probability, but who really knows?

Ambivalent Types:

There are some people who really do seem to divide evenly along the lines of introvert-extravert. I really have a hard time identifying them because there are other factors which contribute to an evenly balanced personality, which I must reserve for a later discussion. In particular, I often have difficulty separating ambivalents from standard introverts, but here are a few I think fit the bill:

Pat Sajak – makes sense, no?
Regis Philbin – they seem to make good TV hosts!
Alex Trebek? – he might be a standard introvert instead though… it’s hard to tell
Ben Affleck? – maybe just an ordinary extravert, but maybe not
Martin Luther King – his brilliance perhaps hides his type (extravert? introvert? hmmm…)

All men – hmmm, well, moving on then…

Standard Introverts:

Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush – introverts have fallen out of favor as presidential candidates because of our increasingly shallow social values, in my opinion
Richard Nixon – he actually borders on being an extreme introvert, which is really rare for a politician
Eminem – he exudes the cool reserve of an introvert
Sting, James Taylor, Phil Collins
Lady Gaga – she’s showy but still introverted I think
Matt Damon, Harrison Ford
Dave Matthews
Paris Hilton – you can see how desperate I am to add women to this list
Rachel Maddow – there ya go, I got one!
Louis C.K.
Bob Dylan

Extreme Introverts:

My favorite type, and the one I think the most about. Hence I probably have the most examples of this type despite its being relatively rare. The reader of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay The Transcendentalist will find a pre-Jungian attempt to isolate and describe this type.

Yours Truly – for what it’s worth
George Lucas – the Star Wars creator is a ringer for an introvert so dead he’s hard to ignore
Bill Gates – how else could the richest man in the world act so strangely?
Isaac Newton
Albert Einstein
Martin Luther – the Protestant Reformer, not the civil rights leader
Ayn Rand
Ken Wilber – a brilliant if eccentric philosopher. Brilliant but eccentric seems to be the stock-in-tade of the extreme introvert.
Ted Kaczynski – the Unibomber!
Henry David Thoreau

Every Single One of My Heroes and Influences (Goethe excepted), listed as follows:
Joseph Campbell
Carl Jung
Edward F. Edinger
Robert A. Johnson
Marie-Louise von Franz
literary critic Harold Bloom
Oswald Spengler – a totally underrated genius
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ralph Waldo Emerson – the Transcendentalist himself

Okay! Enough extreme introverts! See you next time! (as Charlie Rose would say)