All this gives me an idea for a website. Investors, please backchannel.
So I'm trying to come up with a better term for a personality type that I called on my Twitter profile "rationalist/aesthete." It seemed important to emphasize both traits in equal measure; identifying as either alone would evoke the wrong image. In other words, most rationalists are not aesthetes, and vice versa, but I feel a strong inclination toward both worldviews and recognize a few like-minded individuals, though I can happily be friends with people who are only one or the other. "Rationalist/aesthete" is pretty self-explanatory I guess but not all that catchy, if my ultimate goal is to create a brand, rally a movement and get bought by Google. (According to a book I was reading yesterday, that's the logical outcome of a viral marketing effort?)
Tyler Cowen (of Marginal Revolution) is a high-profile R/A. Whereas Eliezer Yudkowsky is a pure rationalist. In the poetry blogosphere, I'd identify Seth Abramson as R/A. There are plenty of representative aesthetes here: take Mathias Svalina and Johannes Goransson. Their main subject is, well, the subjective. They frequently examine a piece of art (a book of poems, a film, an album, etc.) to establish whether or not it is "good." I'm very interested in all that, in asserting my tastes and eating "good" food and so on. But I'm equally interested in the purview of the objective (AKA science facts!).
I should point out that it's not enough to be merely "rational" as in intelligent, cogent, not insane. To qualify as a rationalist, by my standards at least, you need to be particularly interested in attaining a level of rationality beyond what's necessary to function in society. Because most people aren't rationalists, it probably puts you at a social disadvantage most of the time. There's much questioning of assumptions, demanding evidence, ruthless argumentation and other elements that generally piss people off. So don't everybody go waving your arms crying "Me, me, I'm a rationalist/aesthete too!"
Can anybody throw out some other examples or counterexamples? I realize everyone I named above is a man. Maybe women tend to be more well-rounded (i.e., better) and therefore more difficult to type. (Can "type" be used as a verb in that way?)
Remind me to post an excellent David Shapiro poem I read on the train last week. John, don't pack David Shapiro.