A story of two classes

Male and female, optimists and pessimists, positive and negative, atheists and believers…
There are many such classifications. What’s unique about these is that you can take any of such pairs and divide the world or the people in the world into one of these two categories broadly. Of course there would be exceptions for all of these and some small minority of people would not be classifiable. But that’s an entirely different issue which am not going to talk about.

Sometimes some of these pairings overlap. It might not be a strict overlap, but pretty significant. Like those who love pink and those who don’t. There is a significant overlap with women and men respectively.

There are two such classifications that have been of interest to me lately, mainly for a possible overlap. One is introverts and extroverts. These of course have been fodder for innumerous theses, philosophies, psychoanalyses and lots of interesting professions. For our reference now, let’s just deal with their dictionary meanings.

Wordweb says:
Introvert: (psychology) a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts.

Extrovert: (psychology) a person concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings.

By this definition one can safely assume that an introvert is someone who tends to absorb more and an extrovert is someone who tends to emit more. What they emit/absorb could be thoughts, words, feelings, anything. Ideally, its a source and sink division, if I may.

The second such pairing or division that interests me is that of those who read books and those who don’t. Of course, we are talking of a smaller population than all the people in the world, as not everyone is literate. So among the literate population, there is the group that reads books, devouring them by the week or days and then those who don’t have the patience to sit through written material of more than 50 pages.

The main thing I wonder here is, if there is a significant overlap between the group of book-readers and introverts, and non-readers and extroverts? Think about it. Book readers are those who can stay confined to their rooms over weekends just lost in books. Pretty much like introverts who can be lost in their own thoughts and can do easily well with no company whatsoever. Extroverts need people around them and that’s what makes them most comfortable. They are the life of any group. But how many extroverts can actually sit and read through books over a long time? Am talking of hours here over a period of weeks. Books require an ability to absorb from one source for long hours. So, going by the source/sink hypothesis, introverts make better book-readers than extroverts who tend to emit more and have limited capacity to absorb.

Something which was said in a training I attended: Software engineers are by default introverts. Even then, the biggest introverts are developers and testers tend to be extroverts. Any takers??

P.S: Somehow the humor got missed out somewhere and it ended up a primly written piece!

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2 thoughts on “A story of two classes

  1. IMO your take on extroverts not being book readers is totally flawed. I speak from experience, lots of my bookworm friends are extroverts, it’s just that love to and can find time to read, that’s all.

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