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Thread: How many kinds of people do you think there are in the world?

  1. #1
    thankful Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Default How many kinds of people do you think there are in the world?

    This is a preliminary investigation into some of my own personal thoughts. I don't usually throw stuff that's not concluded at least partially out into the world. But I am interested in grokking it out here.

    I was thinking about the enneagram, and typology, and how I like how the both of them overlap and fit together. In particular, tritype layered over typology comes as close as anything to loosely categorize how people "feel" to me. I especially like how enneagram attempts to explain how we are shaped as children. Some of the ingredients were already there to create the recipe but ultimately from that I was "made" into a 9 and can point to specifics on that one.

    Even all of you folks on the forum, people I have never personally met, you all "feel" a certain way to me and I sort you all into broadly-based buckets, based on those feelings. But how many buckets are there? How many buckets have I personally got all lined up? I've never examined that about myself.

    So that got me thinking overall about how many types of people I think there are in the world.

    At this moment, without deep analysis, I would say, ball-parking it, about 75 broad types of people to me based on how they "feel". Maybe as many as 100, but I don't think there's more than that in my mind ... Then, there are additional factors that come into play as well. Two people who "feel" similar to me can be differentiated (for example) on when they were born. There's a generational aspect to how we are shaped, large context style, that adds texture. Then all of the individual nuances come into play: gender, culture, upbringing, family structure and so on and so on increasing the number of sub-buckets further.

    Add experiential context and whoa, it gets really complicated.

    Any thoughts on this? Realizing I have made this kind of personal typology up in my own mind, but not really dissected the "how", makes me wish to put some parameters around it, explore what makes this some kind of system in my head.

    As I mentioned, what got me thinking about and it and what appeals to me about enneagram plus typology is how it starts to label some of those buckets I seem to have made ... lends words to things that have been pretty nameless to me.

    Do any of you do this too? Think of people in this way?

    I should add, I see everyone as unique, but you all form a kind of tree-diagram in me.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  2. #2
    Permabanned Array
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    Sep 2010


    So what bucket would I fall in?

    I think the number of buckets is pretty arbitrary, I'm pretty sure I adjust it according to the context appropriate in a certain situation.

    For example, while at a party, there are two types of people in my mind. Men and women. Of course each one of those men and women are individuals, but the whole party atmosphere (at least of the parties I attend, typically no one knows anyone too well) is so focused on those types of interactions that you can't help but concentrate on that binary.

    But, I'm guessing I can scale up to around 50 or so. It's complicated since, like you said, the groupings aren't strictly mutually exclusive. A lot of them overlap in certain's more a tree with many branches.
    I've learnt not to trust any of the grouping though, they aren't based on anything other than inaccurate representations of archtypes. I'd model it more like a dot in the center of a circle. The dot representing the "stereotypical person", and the circle representing everyone. Everyone has their dot in the circle...some are left of center, some are at the bottom-right of it...

    If you are familiar with polar graphs, that's kind of what I'm trying to describe.

    So instead of buckets, I have fuzzy areas on a graph...

  3. #3
    insert random title here Array Randomnity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    6w5 sp/sx


    There are 6-odd my bad, 7-odd billion, and there is one.

    You can categorize people into a large number of very detailed groups or a small number of very vague groups. Importantly, you can do both of these simulaneously.
    -end of thread-

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array animenagai's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    There are 6-odd billion, and there is one.

    You can categorize people into a large number of very detailed groups or a small number of very vague groups. Importantly, you can do both of these simulaneously.
    Exactly. Humanity can be split up in any many of ways. The divisions can be as course or fine grained as you like. Here is a 'typology' system with 2 types: male and female. Here is a system that breaks people into 5 groups: black, white, yellow, brown and mixed. I don't see why we have to answer with a specific number. We can split humanity up in any number of ways, depending on our needs.
    Chimera of Filth

    A gruesome beast with dripping flesh
    Clings to me as a sick fixture
    My throbbing heart it gnawed apart
    It stalks and hunts me through mirrors

  5. #5
    FRACTALICIOUS Array phobik's Avatar
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    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  6. #6
    Boaty McBoatface Array SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    1w2 so/sp


    The answer is 3; those who can count and those who can't.
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  7. #7
    ... Array Tyrinth's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'd like to say 7 billion-and-change kinds of people.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Viridian's Avatar
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    Dec 2010


    To me, it's not so much a number of categories of people as a number of ways to slice them. Er, metaphorically, I mean.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    There are 117 periodic elements. These can form many organic compounds. These can form many types of cells. These can form many types of tissues and organs. The holistic resonances which form from these combinations are many. In addition, when these people are organized differently or exposed to different things it impacts the inner resonance. There is much more complexity I could add, but this is enough to know that there are many many indeed
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  10. #10
    RETIRED Array CzeCze's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    I want to know PeaceBaby's criteria. It's true there are many different ways of classifying people, so I'm interested to hear your classification system.

    I was gonna be smart-alecky and say there are 3 types of people: Alive, Dead, In-Between. Because that is some *deep ish*, yo.

    For my own selfish purposes, I block people in a very crude way to compartmentalize them in my mind as "socially relevant" and "not socially relevant". "Socially relevant" is anyone who I actually see in my world somehow, from friends, lovers, acquaintances, to people I'd volunteer with, see around at the same venues I frequent, etc. Then there is everyone else. When I write it out like that it may seem cold but I believe everyone does this in their minds, just maybe not as consciously or by naming it. Most people are just faces in a blur and then there are the ones that come into focus just a bit longer in the day.

    Another way I crudely block people in my head are Abrasive People and Non Abrasive People or Oblivious versus Self-Conscious. Abrasive people are the kinds that just end up agitating situations and people and aren't afraid of stepping on toes or being confrontational and breaking social boundaries. Non Abrasive People are conscientious and considerate and try to uphold social boundaries and are even perhaps a bit self-conscious. I also have a category called "shady". I stay away from those in the "shady" category. Other categories include "People I Trust" vs "People I Don't Trust". Also important are "Happy People" and "People With a Chip On Their Shoulder". Other categories include "People Who Would Make Great Partners" vs "I Feel Bad For Anyone Who Dates Them". Also I have "Essentially Cheerful/Positive People" vs "Essentially Melancholy/Sad/Troubled People" (this includes people with Darkness inside them)

    Aren't this categories great???

    I just started writing them down after I read this thread. :P
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux


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