John Martin

grogging through grad school
(academic stuff)

(hints of life beyond
school and work)
(Flying Moose Lodge videos, photos, etc.) (musings and rants)

Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking. Perceiving

This description of me (ENTP) is exceptionally accurate. I got the four letters by taking the online character sorter at It's better than the trite sites (IMHO) like, because David Keirsey offers anyone on-line access to an instrument which is similar to the well-respected and professionally used Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. My scores have been identical on three professionally administered MBTIs and about six or so self-administered tests. As with any indicator, it simply feeds back what you tell it, so if you take it, be honest with yourself.

To compare and contrast each of the 16 MBTI types (and the way each often interacts with others, understands the world, makes decisions, and allocates time), check out this link of Characteristics Frequently Associated with Each MBTI Type

What I think of my results

Honestly, it’s pretty accurate. Close friends and family would (and do) confirm it. While there are parts of the personality that I’m not too proud of (the whole bit about inadvertently hurting people) there are other parts which I realize frustrate others but I generally embrace. For example, I screw up without apology. I’m used to blundering around in the darkness, and make mistakes frequently. In fact, I’m getting better and better at making mistakes. And each time I make a mistake I learn from it -- not necessarily “how to avoid making it in the future” as much as “how to better recover from mistakes” (although I learn how to avoid making them in the future, I usually put that lesson aside).

I’ve come to the point where it’s almost a thrilling test of self and system flexibility to recover from blunders. This is the sort of thing that the “ants” (ant and grasshopper analogy) of the system -- those who make the system work smoothly -- hate about people like me. I understand it. I generally try to temper my goofups around ants. On another level, I try to instill a bit of flexibility in them.

I love challenging people by placing them in new situations that require thinking “outside the box.” Why? Because when I’m in those situations, I develop tremendous amounts of confidence and problem-solving skills by handling them, and it feels good, and I want to others to feel good too. Sometimes they don’t appreciate it right away. Some never do. That’s when I most hope they understand that I’m not malicious, but sometimes not as sensitive to this sort of thing as I should be.

This often happens while playing devil’s advocate in arguments. Although I’ve nearly lost the goodwill of numerous friends, family, and acquaintances (and “nearly” is an optimistic term in regards to a few of them who haven’t spoken to me for quite some time) I’m getting better at sensing “when to say when” in arguments, and stop the devil’s advocate thing and tell them I agree. It’s just that by arguing against -- even if I agree with my “opponent” -- I challenge and re-evaluate my own opinions and positions, and by doing so, I either strengthen or modify them. I suppose it’s a Darwinian thing, where I discard the weak arguments and values, and support and reinforce the strong ones.

Like all of the other types, deep down inside I’m committed to the universal goal of world peace, love, respect, and sustainability. I just show it different than the other types.