Personality Shapes How We View, and Are Influenced By, People

I think personality drastically shapes how we view people. I was thinking about this in regards to¬†Robert Murphy. He and Nassim Taleb are probably my favorite living thinkers/philosophers. Plenty of people would look at Nassim Taleb and think that makes a lot of sense, but most people that read Robert Murphy’s work wouldn’t think the same thing.

Robert Murphy presents himself like a regular guy with a quirky sense of humor. He’s very lighthearted, he likes making jokes relating to childlike things, he sings Karaoke and doesn’t present his ideas with a sense of awe. Due to this, people wouldn’t describe him as a great philosopher and profound thinker … rather, he is a smart guy who you want to like.

Nassim Taleb fits the role of philosopher much better. He takes himself very seriously, he has a more stoic personality, he doesn’t use goofy anecdotes. Of course, from an actual qualitative stance … all of that stuff doesn’t matter.

I first ran across this years ago I made a video critiquing Ayn Rands philosophy on judgment. I ended up being persuasive to another fellow YouTuber who agreed with me and he made his own video outlining similar points (but with his personality attached). A funny thing happened when I had another friend who watched both videos … he talked to me how thoughtful and brilliant my YouTube friends criticisms were and that I should watch it. I remember thinking, “WTF? I know you watched the video I made outlining the same exact points.” It got me thinking about how I had a casual demeanor, while my YouTube friend had a much more philosophical and thoughtful demeanor.

I obviously think people are too guided by demeanor and emotions to see great ideas.