Introverts and a Curious Guy

Time is short this week, so here's a few interesting links:
  • Introverts of the World, Unite!: An interview with Jonathan Rauch, the author who wrote an article in the Atlantic called Caring for Your Introvert in which he perfectly characterized what it means to be an introvert. The reaction was overwhelming, and the article has drawn more traffic than any other piece on the Atlantic website. From personal experience, I can see that it not only struck a nerve with me, but with several friends (including several Kaedrin readers). Some good stuff in the interview:
    The Internet is the perfect medium for introverts. You could almost call it the Intronet. You know the old New Yorker cartoon with a dog sitting at a computer saying to another dog, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." Well, on the Internet, no one knows you're an introvert. So it's kind of a natural that when The Atlantic put this piece online, introverts beat a path to it; it's the ideal distribution mechanism by which introverts can reach other introverts and spread the word.
    [emphasis mine] It is very true that the internet is great for introverts and I'd wager that a lot of bloggers and discussion board frequenters are more introverted than not.
  • Curious Guy: Malcolm Gladwell: Bill Simmons writes an awesome sports column for ESPN (it can be entertaining even for people who aren't big sports fans like myself), and every so often he e-mails questions "to somebody successful -- whether it's a baseball pitcher, an author, a creator of a TV show, another writer or whomever" and then he posts the results. A few weeks ago, he went back and forth with Malcolm Gladwell, leading to several interesting anecdotes, including this one which I found fascinating:
    There's a famous experiment done by a wonderful psychologist at Columbia University named Dan Goldstein. He goes to a class of American college students and asks them which city they think is bigger -- San Antonio or San Diego. The students are divided. Then he goes to an equivalent class of German college students and asks the same question. This time the class votes overwhelmingly for San Diego. The right answer? San Diego. So the Germans are smarter, at least on this question, than the American kids. But that's not because they know more about American geography. It's because they know less. They've never heard of San Antonio. But they've heard of San Diego and using only that rule of thumb, they figure San Diego must be bigger. The American students know way more. They know all about San Antonio. They know it's in Texas and that Texas is booming. They know it has a pro basketball team, so it must be a pretty big market. Some of them may have been in San Antonio and taken forever to drive from one side of town to another -- and that, and a thousand other stray facts about Texas and San Antonio, have the effect of muddling their judgment and preventing them from getting the right answer.
    Gladwell's got a new blog as well, and he posted a pointer to the Dan Goldstein research paper (pdf) as well as Goldstein's blog, where he comments on Gladwell's reference...
That's all for now...