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: I was thinking earlier today about the idea of evil twins. If you could come up with n factors which could be weighted to describe a person's personality (which I don't think is possible, though I suppose you could get a decent approximation) and treated as a vector, then you could find their evil twin by multiplying their personality vector by a vector of -1s.

I bring this up because today I was thinking about Drew Kaplan. I originally thought that he was my evil twin, but that's not quite correct. His personality vector is mine multiplied by a vector in which each element is either 1 or -1. It's this combination of total similarity in some aspects and total dissimilarity in others that makes Kaplan so interesting to me in ways that an evil twin would not be interesting.

Yesterday Sumana gave me an Amar Chitra Katha telling the story of Annapati Suyya, a Kashmiri engineer of the ninth century who she considers in many ways an analog to myself. Suyya's behavior in the ACK is rather me-ish, as is the following dialogue:

Maharaj: You have done it! You have tamed the Vitasta [river]!
Suyya: With two chests of gold and a touch of madness!

Suyya is similar to me, and ethical in ways in which I like to think I'm also ethical. It's touching that Sumana made the comparison.

If I were an early-twentieth-century crackpot I would use this personality vector idea to come up with a system by which people could measure their vectors and come up with translation vectors between their personalities and others'. I would claim that these vectors were the keys to truth, containing within them the secrets of the of the universe, the way to achieve peace between nations, the true nature of the pyramids, and the exact date of Christ's return. It would be a pack of lies, but a hundred years later I would have a sympathetic biographer who, caught between sympathy for me and dedication to the actual facts, would suggest that perhaps I can be seen as grasping some deeper truth, that my Vectorosophy might be a metaphor for man's struggle to comprehend his universe, the optimism and faith in a comprehensible cosmos that was to be shattered in 1914 by the dull thump of bullets over the trenches of France, etc. etc.

I am not an early twentieth-century crackpot, so it merits only a passing reference in my weblog.

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