Saku Mantere

17 October 2007

I’ve just come across Saku Mantere’s blog, and I’m left wondering How does he do it?

He puts so much effort into his writing and research, and yet he manages to be so productive in other areas of his life (music, watches, astronomy, and so on).

Maybe I should stop being a lazy so-and-so, and just get on with things. Which is a timely thought as Giles Burch presented me with my NEO reports today.

For those who might be interested here are the edited highlights…

Problem solving skills

Ability to organise thoughts … typical of the average person …

Open-mindedness and originality … curious and inquisitive you are usually comfortable in exploring new ideas and inventive solutions …

Confidence in problem solving … [you] proceed confidently through problems with only an occasional doubt …

Planning, organising, and implementing skills

Action orientation … easy going and slower to become frustrated than most … often bored with the familiar and routine … adventurous and versatile … often involved in a wide variety of activities … Some will see you as disinterested … a realist who makes decisions based on logic rather than emotional appeal … little sympathy for those who are unwilling to try .. Usually enthusiastic

Conscientiousness … as competent and sensible as most people …you are too easily discouraged and often quit trying much sooner than will the typical person1

Openness to possibilities and alternatives … You are intellectually curious about a wide variety of topics … somewhat idealistic.

Style of relating to others

Outgoingness … on the reserved side .. somewhat detached … more of a loner than a people person … you like to be in control

Accommodation … typically modest … more results orientated than compassionate under most circumstances

Trust .. midway between skeptism and trust Quality of relationships … open-minded and tolerant of the views of others

Personal style

Level of emotionality … typical …

Patterns of emotion … neither great concern nor optimism about the future … seldom angry … you retain a clarity of thought and action under stress and difficulty

Control of emotions … typically procrastinate starting tasks … [You] balance prudent deliberation with quick action

Outlook on life … willing to question the way things are … while you enjoy some art forms, you are unlikely to be artistically sophisticated … you tend to view the glass as half full

Looking at the individual factors what stands out. On the big-five

I am:

  • Low on emotional reactions,
  • Average on interpersonal patterns,
  • High on openness to change,
  • Average on agreeableness, and work ethic.

However, the individual facets tell a more wide-ranging story. I am:

  • Very low on frustration/quickness to anger
  • Low on sensitivity to stress, warmth, and outgoingness
  • High on assertiveness, excitement seeking, and positive emotions, imagination, willingness to experiment, intellectual curiosity, tolerance for diversity.
  • Very low in candour (I play my cards close to my chest), and sympathy. The full clinical report may well tell a different type of story.
  • Low on need to achieve, and deliberateness
  • Very low on self discipline2

Anyway, I think this is good picture of me. Some (Giles) will be interested in what I haven’t mentioned here.

my tendency to be somewhat mono-maniacal and focused. Maybe it’s a reflection of the hole I feel I’m in at the moment with my-PhD.

my tendency to be somewhat mono-maniacal and focused. Maybe it’s a reflection of the hole I feel I’m in at the moment with my PhD.


  1. This is a bit of a surprise—the NEO doesn’t seem to have picked up on [return]
  2. This is a bit of a surprise—the NEO doesn’t seem to have picked up on [return]