Friday, April 15, 2011

Venn Diagrams and Personality Disorders: the Blog for Letty Lulu

Several months ago, after making a comment about blogging graphs and diagrams, I was challenged by one of my good friends to come up with a Venn diagram and use it in a blog. Until yesterday, I had forgotten that promise - but, as all great friends are obligated to do, she called me out on Facebook yesterday: "Once upon a time, you promised me a Venn Diagram. Oh why hath thou art forsaken such an attribute." Now, she may kill me for putting her (nick)name in the title, but, afterall, she IS the reason I obsessed for several hours yesterday to come up with a good enough Venn in hopes of impressing her (or, at the very least, not looking like an idiot).

Most good ideas usually start with research, so I went to "The Google Image Search" and typed in "Venn diagram." I was instantly bombarded with hundreds of circles and colors and the first thing that came to mind was that commercial for the Bing search engine where people are spouting off random facts about everything under the sun.

After clicking on the ones that looked interesting or funny, what I found were the unfortunate truths:
  • all the really clever Venn diagrams are already taken
  • Venn diagrams can be anything from two joined circles to some unbelievable combination of circles, ellipses and any other shapes that have rounded corners
Here are some of my favorites:

The Social Media Venn Diagram
from PicoCool

The "Things that are Bad" Venn diagram from Burning Door
(many of my friends will ROTFL at this, or at least find it mildly amusing)

The Venn Diagram about Venn Diagrams
This accompanies one of the most hilarious articles I read about Venn diagrams,
from Miss Cellania at Mental Floss

The Charles Dickens Venn Diagram
from GraphJam

Something I've always been dying to know (having been called several of these),
"The Difference between Nerd, Dork, and Geek Explained by a Venn Diagram"
from Great White Snark 

For Letty Lulu and the rest of my English friends,
there's even a "Great British Venn Diagram"
for the people who don't get it.

I set out to define a Venn diagram for myself that would explain something about my life or my personality and be somewhat comedic. Note that defining my personality in amusing terms is easy for other people but never for me. Although I DO laugh about it.

I gave it some serious thought. I wanted three circles. Three circles seems reasonable and do-able in a short amount of time. And it's a little more challenging and creative than two circles (besides, I didn't want the narrowness of two circles to explain me). More than three circles hurts to think about (see above, or do what I did and type "Venn diagram" into Google).

Having decided on the all-powerful three circle mode of Venn-diagramming, I answered the question "what are some of the trichotomies in my life?" (is trichotomy even a word?):
  • Duh! Swim, Bike, Run - this one is just BORING and I'm sure it's been done 50 billion times before
  • Home, Sports, Work - hmmmm, this one has potential, but lately, I've been determined to keep any of those things from overlapping
  • The J-Team (Julie, Jim, Jeanne) - more potential there because Jim and Julie share many characteristics as do Julie and me and Jim and me... 
  • Jim, Jeanne, Hopper (our cat) - determining the overlap characteristics was fun, but not "funny" in the comedic sense
I pulled up Adobe Illustrator and drew three circles. I thought about the geeky Venn diagrams I had seen. I thought about my personality. I recalled something my friend and orthopedic doctor, Sam Patterson, once said: "I wouldn't believe this could be, but you have both compulsive and impulsive characteristics." I though about the things I do for a living and in my free time.

I wrote "Athlete" in one circle. I wrote "Artist" in another circle (because I do, afterall, have one of my college degrees in that). I struggled to come up with what to write in the third circle. It has to be something to do with work. I wrote "Web Developer." Too narrow. I decided on "Geek" - something I've often been called at work. And at play. (and my other college degree is a B.S. in engineering - and that has to count for something, right?) In retrospect, I probably should have written "Mad Scientist" from my blog title.

So, there it was, I accomplished first step to the Disaster Magnet Venn Diagram - the three circles. Next I had to determine what goes in the overlapping areas. I looked to the personality traits I bring to those three things. The centerpiece, then, would be what I think is my true personality disorder, the one thing I take with me everywhere.

And I was done. And here it is:

The Disaster Magnet Personality Disorder Venn Diagram.

Well, it was SUPPOSED to be funny.

1 comment:

  1. Love love LOVE IT! By the way, you know "Venn" is Norwegian for friend, right? ;)

    Col├ętte-Elizabeth AKA Letty-Lulu. xoxoxo