How to find out what you mean…

Today I sat down and I tried to think about what people would say about my personality (I’m thinking mostly of people who don’t know me) if all they had to go on was my work?

Now there is a very handy tool called Watson IBM Personality Insights – which basically gives you a psych profile based on the words you use. When I run my plays through this it comes back with a series of insights, and I find myself interested in what it has to say. Sometimes it is surprising ‘does not consider art to be important at all’. That struck me and got me thinking. I was perturbed. What if I am actually a complete nihilist engaged in an occupation for which I have no interest at all? I spent 20 minutes staring into Klein’s The Void and it was one of the most moving experiences I have had in a gallery. Surely the computer is wrong? But what if it isn’t?

I don’t know how the tool generates these insights, but I’m pretty certain there is some science behind it. I’m going to try and find out a little more about it after this blog, and will then update based on what I discover.

You can get a trial of this before you have to purchase a full copy and it is fascinating to put your words through the process. The question I have is – given a play is ‘wrought’ and I’m writing from different points of view, which is necessary to create a drama, does the tool discern between something like a piece of journalism and a piece of fiction? Should it have to?

Try it and see what it delivers…

http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibmwatson/developercloud/personality-insights.html

Here is my Twiter insight:

Summary

You are confident, social and unpretentious.

You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. You are mild-tempered: it takes a lot to get you angry. And you are excitement-seeking: you are excited by taking risks and feel bored without lots of action going on.

Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.

You are relatively unconcerned with both independence and achieving success. You welcome when others direct your activities for you. And you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents.

I have to say on first sight of the above I am pretty impressed with what it has to say, but it cannot be the whole of me. None the less it is worth thinking about… I like what it is asking of me.

Here are the insights for a play I have written:

Summary

You are social, somewhat dependent and can be perceived as shortsighted.

You are respectful of authority: you prefer following with tradition in order to maintain a sense of stability. You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. And you are cheerful: you are a joyful person and share that joy with the world.

Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.

You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents.

You are likely to______

Reply on social media

Buy eco-friendly

Take financial risks

You are unlikely to______

Click on an ad

Follow on social media

Buy healthy foods

You should give this a go yourselves, you can be pretty certain that if you are a student at a University you will have been put through this process, and you should know how people are approaching your work and yourself. Most importantly it offers insights that are useful for your own thinking about yourself and your work. A useful, provoking tool.

 

I don’t think I’ll ever get over it

I turned in a play for a competition recently. I have to say, I put some thought into it.

Having turned it in I found myself with a pocket of time with which to stay away from the pens, notepads, and keyboard. I failed mostly but I had a go.

I went out and read a few stories, people clapped, they really seemed to enjoy it. I was happy, genuinely, and I think they were too.

I wassailed with some friends, and met some people and had long drunken conversations. I hadn’t done that for a long time. It was fun, and I can see why people like it.

But most extraordinarily of all I saw a scratch performance of a draft of a scene from the play I turned in. The writing was ‘old’ I had changed it for the turn in. What got me was how well acted and directed it was in a short space of time and how the actors really tried to make it what I must confess I am afraid it is – deeply unsettling and weird and conflicted and unfair and humorous and dark and disturbed and disturbing.

They really did it well. And the audience clapped.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over that.